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HOW TO: Tinting tail lights, The right way (PICS)

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Old 04-01-2010, 05:51 PM   #1
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HOW TO: Tinting tail lights, The right way (PICS)


So I used the search feature but never could find a how to thread for this, so I went ahead and made one. Hopefully it isnt a repost.

And please be gentle as this is my first write-up

This is easier to do in a well lit area....like outside lol.

Tools and equipment needed:

-- Ratchet with 10mm socket
-- Powder free latex gloves (optional)
-- 800 grit sandpaper
-- 1000 grit sandpaper (optional)
-- 2000 grit sandpaper
-- Microfiber towel (optional as paper towels worked well also)
-- De greaser liquid (I just used gasoline)

****I would like to add that if you dont have a buffing wheel, you could just purchase a headlight restore kit from 3M that is sold at autozone or any other parts store and used the buffing wheel that is included.****
-- Now you can do your tail lights and restore luster to your headlights

-- VHT NiteShades

-- Clear coat (any one will do, I used the plain 'ol clear)

--Rubbing compound of your choice along with Meguiars PlastX

-- Any polishing product of your choice.

Along with a tool to apply the polish and rubbing compounds, otherwise it will have to be done by hand....time consuming.


So we start off with the tail light, untouched in all its stock glory



So to remove the rear light you will use the 10mm socket
--There are only 2 bolts per side.
--They are the highest and lowest ones, leave the other in between alone as they do not hold the light. (sorry no pic)

Once those are removed it time to pull the light out. There are 2 prongs that hold them in and they will take some force to get them to let go.


Then disconnect the light bulbs with some simple twists


Next use your product to clean the light off. (I used gasoline)

Take the 800 grit paper and start to sand the light while using water. (I recommend to let the papers soak in water while removing the lights, this makes them a bit more flexy and easier to work with)

--Between different grits, wipe down the light and dry it to see that you have got the whole light.

Once you are done with the 800, start to use the 1000, then drop to the 2000 grit paper
--The 2000 will make it look like it has a flat smooth satin look.



Once done with the sanding all together, wipe the light down with your cleaning product( Again, I used regular 'ol gasoline). Then let them sit to dry. Using the microfibers will help speed it up.

-- Once they are dry try not to touch the lens surface with your fingers as this will put grease on them, powder free latex gloves come in handy.

So the lights are dry now, good. They should both look like they have the same consistency in texture.

--Now you are ready to apply the VHT NiteShade, remember that it will cure a bit darker than what it looks like freshly sprayed.

**Allow 20-30 min between tint coats**

Hold the can about 7 inches away from the light for better coverage. On the can it says like 12 inches but this will only give you a speckled look and will make you use more coats for good coverage....and more coats means darker lights (which can be a problem with local law enforcement)

Here is the difference after one coat


***For best and most even results, stand the sanded lights up next to each other and spray across both to get the same coverage on both.***

Sun's position made them look a bit different from each other but they where even

Here is one after 3 coats and a test to see how it would look


Once you are satisfied with the level of tint let the light dry to the touch, then cure in sun light for about 45-60 min.

When the tint is dry, apply the clear coat of your choice. (I used Krylon with gloss finish)


**It says it dries in 10 min but give it 15min between coats.**
I recommend at least 7-13 coats of clear for better protection, and it'll keep the buffing wheel from burning through the clear to the tint. Be happy to apply more if you wish.

Try to avoid letting the clear run at all cost.

Here it is with 5 coats of clear. Ignore the water spots lol.


Once COMPLETELY dried, repeat the sanding steps in the same order, but this time use more strokes with LESS FORCE. Remejber to have patience at this level.

This sanding step will get rid of that 'orange peel' effect/texture.

And here is the clear coat sanded.


Now, the lights are sanded, you are ready to use the rubbing compound.
--I mounted the light to do this because I had no other way to hold them steady, besides its only rubbing compound and polish so your truck wont get hurt.


Apply good amounts of rubbing compound to your application tool or the rag that you will be using. If using a power drill this stuff WILL get flung all over the place so be ready for a bit of a mess.

((***Remember to rub it clean in between applications of the compound, the PlastX, and the final wax***))

After you are done applying the compound, move on to using the Meguiars PlastX to take out the finer scratches.

Then finally move on to the waxing product of your choice to seal the deal.

Here is the finished product








The looks I have gotten from other taco owners is fun, I have even bee asked to do a pair

Hope this helps you guys out, and have fun! But most of all PATIENT!
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:00 PM   #2
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Great Write-Up!
Lights look nice!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:00 PM   #3
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awesome i need to do this! +1
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:01 PM   #4
ride BMX!
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Great write up, I will being doing this within the next few weeks.
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:02 PM   #5
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tacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shedtacomakid96 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Great write up!! Looks awesome on your truck man
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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jodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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wow those look awesome!
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:08 PM   #7
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I would like to add that if you dont have a buffing wheel, you could just purchase a headlight restore kit from 3M that is at autozone or any other parts store and used the buffing wheel that is included.

Now you can do your tail lights and restore luster to your headlights

I'll add this to the write up
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:12 PM   #8
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Oskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shedOskie_78 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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GreAt job on those tail lights! I wanna to this to mine
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:15 PM   #9
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jodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shedjodiddly33 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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BTW can you let us know if they cure any darker over time?
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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Outstanding!
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:54 PM   #11
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Great write-up
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:08 PM   #14
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Nice writeup! Lights look stealthy! Is that a '92 Mustang in the background...if so, post pics...sweetest body styling of all the stangs (imo)!
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:12 PM   #15
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Nice! Going down your pictures I was thinking; "wow, that looks like shit" Then when I got to the last pics after it was buffed, I was like; "wow, that shit looks awesome!!"
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Old 04-01-2010, 07:41 PM   #16
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Simon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shedSimon2150 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Awesome job!
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:18 PM   #18
what did I miss?
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Thumbs up

FRIGGIN SAH-WWWEEEEET! I have been wondering how the process went. You did a great job. I'm definitely doing this mod next!
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Old 04-01-2010, 08:25 PM   #20
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Awsome job, look and write-up! Thanks!
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