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Old 09-19-10, 01:27 PM   #1
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Default GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

Alright this is my first post so its going to get sketchy.
Last weekend i got pulled over and was given a ticket for having a cover on my license plate, window tint and last but not least having my tail lights tinted. The tint on my tails was just so so anyway so i decided to take it off and paint the inside chrome piece of the light satin black.
(all these pics are from a blackberry so please forgive the poor quality.)

I took a Dremel with a diamond wheel bit on it. If you use the regular cutting wheels they wear out very fast and made a wider cut.

It also took more paint then i was expecting, i had to run and grab another can. So just grab two from the beginning.

The first lights i did were the reverse lights. They were very straight forward and only have two pieces to them. This is cut line i took to remove the inner piece from the clear lens.



You have to follow a line just inside where the two pieces are melted together in order for the pieces to come apart cleanly. I left this much gap all the way around the edge of the light. Here you can also see that when you cut through the grey backing you see though the clear plastic of the lens.



Here is the piece i cut out as i sprayed with Krylon Fusion semi gloss black


While i let that dry i took the tail light and found what i thought would be the best line to separate the pieces in. I also removed the little wiring harness. All the sockets just half twist out and there is one screw with a washer on it holding the end harness plug in place. (sorry no photo)
I forgot to take picture of the lines i drew on but here are a few with it cut





These are with the clear lens removed
Top/inside


Bottom


Here i went a little too deep on my cut, i got very lucky it just nicked the inner chrome piece. If it had gone any further i would have cut through so it would be visible from the outside.



This is the lens once it was removed just in case it is easier for you to see the cut lines i took.







Here are the three pieces the tail light is made of. The LED "plate" if you will is just attached with four screws. You can just pinch the rubber grommet and push it through the backing to remove the LED plate when the screws are removed.



Random shot of the back piece


Finally after all that, here is the piece i have been after the whole time


Okay so after taking this entire thing apart i could not find a way to get the red reflector off the chromed piece. I tried a little heat and gently prying, pushing on the little tab that is on the back side and nothing. I accidentally made some little stress cracks along the back edge from messing with it so i just said F it and masked over it.


I didnt get any pics of it being painted but it took a ton of coats with all the different depths and angles of the surface. It took me a can and a half of the krylon to do all four pieces.

Going back together was just reverse of taking apart, simple enough.

I chose to do two things to reseal the pieces together just to cover my bases. First i took Loctite Pro strength Epoxy. It is clear so you have to look close to see it in these pics.



Sorry this one is blurry


Then because i am paranoid and i do not want any moisture in the light i took a tube of Permatex ultra black silicone. I chose the black because the epoxy dries clear so if there are any gaps visible it will hide them and blend with the black i just painted.

I put it on liberally so it looks a bit messy. It wont be seen so im not too worried.




and the finished product


The car is a little dirty but i think the light are a huge improvement from the chrome and white they were before. They also look different from the overlays which is nice. The overlays look good but are way popular around here now.









So i have been through two rain storms, one heavy one just a light mist and a car wash with no moisture or water leaking in.
GREAT SUCCESS!!

If any one has questions feel free to contact me and i will answer them the best i can.

Also i would love for yous to help me out and give me some advice on the thread and let me know of any mistakes i have made. General advice is appreciated as well.

Thanks guys, keep on rock'n

I wasn't really sure how to get these to turn out clearer but here are some night shots
Tail and turn signal


Just the tail


Brake Lights





Last edited by SLC:STI; 09-26-10 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 09-19-10, 03:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

Damn man, that looks great. You did a good job on the write up too. 5 Stars.
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Old 09-19-10, 03:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

Awesome! I've been wanting to do this myself! Think I might paint a bit more than you did since I have an OBP
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Old 09-19-10, 03:51 PM   #4
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

Looks unique +1 to you for having the balls to cut open you tails.
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Old 09-19-10, 04:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

The lights look awesome. I have been thinking about that for awhile just don't have the guts to do it.
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Old 09-19-10, 06:44 PM   #6
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

That actually looks good, lets some some night pics please.
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Old 09-20-10, 11:38 AM   #7
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

Thanks fellas. I was nervous that the flat 4 community may not appreciate me messing with the stock tails since i know how much everyone loves them. (just a bit of sarcasm there)

I did make one small mistake just a heads up incase anyone wants to try them selves. I got everything ready even had the lights removed and i decided to look up the price to replace them if i messed up. Totally psyched my selfout made the first cut 100x harder. If you want to do it go for it. Just go slow, becareful and it will turnout sick.

I will try and get some night pics asap.

Last edited by SLC:STI; 09-20-10 at 09:51 PM.
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Old 09-20-10, 11:51 AM   #8
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

I think the majority of us hate the stock tails. I don't mind them, but I am looking for alternatives.
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Old 09-26-10, 02:19 PM   #9
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Default Re: GR- Paint the interior of your tail lights

Painted mine today. Waiting on them to dry as I post this. I took a different cut line on the top, and also masked off the front so I could try to get the plastic overhang painted. The white edges wouldn't look so good on my car. Didn't have a spare set of the small triangle shaped pieces laying around, so only the large pieces were done today. Figured out how to get the reflectors out, a good whack on the visible part on the backside of the chrome piece did the job. I'll put some pics up when I can so you can see the difference.
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Old 09-26-10, 02:54 PM   #10
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Wirelessly posted

Pics are on my flickr page, but these ones won't be going on the car. Epic fail on one, and the other doesn't meet qaqc for me.
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