Tron Up Your Car





Introduction: Tron Up Your Car

About: I'm an amature engineer, love to build things that use lights, lasers, LED's.. you name it. Other from that, i run a Photography business, and i L0V3 taking pics :D

Hi there!

Been a while since I last made one of these instructables, no worries, I haven't been low on making stuff just low on making the instructions for it.

However! This time it'll be something cool with lights that you put inside your rims that makes your car look like it came straight from TRON.

Watch the video for the quick version of making this, I'll try and explaining everything as detailed as possible since some clips and photos of me making it has been lost during the time.

This instructables will show you how the rim-lights are made, not the rooflights. (simple EL-wires)

Estimated buildtime : 1 day (with technical know-how, efficiency and all machines available)

Otherwise : A few days, drying and such included.

Watch the video for the rings in action, and with a videoinstructables!

Step 1: Creating the Ring.

Now, creating the ring is probably the hardest part of the whole instructable.

How you end up doing it is up to you.
My way of doing it was to ask my friend over at his factory, and borrowing one of his rolling-machines.
Otherwise you could take a metalbucket and shred the sides on it. But beware that you don't want a ring that is too "loose" .. or shaky, so it vibrates too much and could break. Which would be a disaster.

Or hand-bend one like I did with my prototype.

The measurements you have to take into consideration is

  1. Minimum innerdiameter (outside of the brakeshield)
  2. Maximum outer diameter (inside of the rim)

Anything too big or too small and it won't fit.

If you only have big rims, you might want to make the ring bigger and closer to the rim, makes the lighting look more awesome. (Pro Tip)

The Brackets are possibly the most simple things I've ever done.
Bought an aluminium-slate, sheet, or whatever you call it, then cutting it into the desired lenghts.
Since it's aluminium it won't rust...

Step 2: Preparing and Gluing LED's

When your rings are at the desired size, you go out and check behind the brakeshield where you can put the brackets on.

Since no carmodel is the same, i'm afraid there are no universal measurements here.
So sleeve up your shirt and get into the dirt.
You want to make sure that you get brackets all around the rings somewhat, so it doesn't shake too much. Preferrably nothing.

Then you coat your rings in a protective paint. (OR glue the LED's on first then shower it in coats of clearcoats)
Then glue the LED's on. You might have to sand off some paint to get a good rough surface to glue on.
If you have possibillity, then you can coat the entire ring in clear-epoxi to protect it alot more than clearcoat-paint.
Let the Epoxi and paint cure overnight to make sure nothing moves when you're about to install them the next day.

As you can see one of my strips malfunctioned AFTER i glued it on.
So I had to use a dremel to get through the epoxi, fix the broken connector, then glue it back together again.

Step 3: Installing the Rings.

Here's a tricky part.

When you put the rings on, you don't want it to be too snug on the brakeheads, some brakes don't like anything on them and will affect the performance of the brakes negatively.

After that being said:

When you install the rings, you (most of the times) cannot remove the brake-disc or the head itself without removing the led-ring first.

So you will have to make do with the little space you've got. (watch the video)
To screw it in place.

Then you pull all the wires through to where you have your led-controller, switches and whatnot.

Make sure you fasten these down properly.
You do not want any loose wires, but on the other hand you don't want them too stuck either.
Since they need to move around a little bit when your car flexes

Then you put the tyres back on. And you are done!

Step 4: Will They Stay On?

If you actually have used common sense, and common knowledge when you built it and installed it, you would have gotten the feeling that they won't come off.

I've taken my car to a racetrack and pushed it to the limit and the rings and Led's managed just fine.

If you have any questions, as I might have been unclear on any step. Let me know and i'll answer as good as I might possibly do.



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    this is pretty awesome. I love messing around with LED lights! What did you use for the strips on the top of your car? are they EL tape?

    Looks neat! No idea how finnish police would like of this, probadly would start whining, gotta check regulations.

    1 reply

    Probably the same way as here in Sweden.

    If you are at a parking lot, or standing still off the road it's OK.
    Otherwise probably not :P

    Now I want to do this to my Yamaha Majesty! For me it would be cool AND practical. Nobody will be able to say that they didn't see me after nearly killing me. (photo is not of me or my Majesty)

    1 reply

    that would be cool , but tricky to install?

    Pity is, as far as I know, glowing lights under/at a car is forbidden in germany.
    Correct me if I'm wrong....

    I'd apply it if it'd be allowed ;)

    1 reply

    There are loopholes everywhere haha!

    It's allowed in Sweden if they shine orange/Amber, since then it's a side-markin light.. But it cannot be too bright then either, so I'll have to dim the lights.

    However, in e.g. parking spaces you can use any lights you wish, but when you exit it, you have to turn it off .. :-)

    But mostly, this would be used when just showing off the car at shows and such, standing still with the car.

    Be careful, police tend to be allergic to blue and sometimes red. Also some states have regulations on lights too.

    3 replies

    Ah yes, you are absolutely right.
    I never said this was legal .. however, for carshows and such it's great!

    Blue lights in California Meas a sworn law enforcement officer with a firearm is in the vehicle. Be careful, because unless it came that way off the showroom, it's usually not legal.

    I never signed offl lighting tickets when I was a licensed inspector/adjuster.

    * means.

    I hate spellcheckers!

    I can't believe you did this to a Saab. sacrilege... oh well. not on my 9K Aero anyway.

    2 replies

    Hahaha, well I know it might not be liked by everyone.. But atleast I like it :D

    oh you did a marvelous job. I just wouldn't have thought on a Saab is all. lol

    those rings look pretty sweet. I would like to see a few photos of the rings installed with your wheel off the car as to better see how you attached it to the?? (caliper, rotor, suspension?)

    also has the heat from the brakes effected the led strip any? I know brake rotors can get really hot and the aluminum will definitely soak up the heat.

    1 reply

    Thank you!

    In the video there is a few angles of where I attached the ring.
    I've only attached the rings on the backside of the brakeshield with 4 screws/bolts with brackets right through. No place else, since if you attach it to the calipers, you get brake issues for example.
    And as you can see on the last step in the written version, I've taken the car to a racetrack (with the rings on) and went nuts, so everything was hot as it could be.
    And the rings took the heat very good.
    You can watch the laps for yourself : here :)

    I don't have any pictures from the backside more than in the video, but i'll see what i can fix.

    Thank you :)