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DIY: All-Red Taillights

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by SMG, Oct 20, 2012.

  1. Oct 20, 2012 at 11:38 AM
    #1
    SMG

    SMG [OP] Member

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    Jordan
    Yarmouth, Nova Scotia
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    OEM Skidplate, OEM Running Boards, Anytime Foglights
    I was looking at tail light options but I didn't feel like spending that kind of money on cosmetics. I did this for under $15 and I'm really pleased with the result.

    [​IMG]

    1)Remove taillight lenses with a Philips screwdriver. The taillight housings can be left in place. Wash them inside and out and allow them to dry.

    2) Use Grease & Wax Remover to prep the surface. Allow that to dry.

    3) Spray the outside of the lenses using light coats of Testors 1605, which is available at most Hobby / craft stores. I used a light tack coat and then two wet coats and the paint dried glossy and even. Follow the directions on the can for drying times.

    4) After the last coat of 1605 had dried I applied 3 coats of Duplicolor Perfect-Match clearcoat. It's just what I laid laying around the house, almost any automotive clear will work fine. Hobby / craft clearcoats won't hold up in this application.

    5) Once you're done with the clear, let it dry for a few hours at least. Even though the surface may feel dry it is very easy to damage until it is completely dry.

    6) Re-Assemble. I found that the tail light seals were swelled up and wouldn't go back in place so I cut a small amount (~1/4") out of them, just enough to get them to push back into place. Once the seals fit well I coated them with a gel lubricant I had. Make sure whatever you use is safe for rubber!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Disclaimer: The only major problem with this mod is the reverse lights aren't as bright anymore which might be a problem for people who back up in the pitch dark a lot. I am not responsible for any damages or injuries resulting from modifying your tail lights. Proceed at your own risk!
     
  2. Oct 20, 2012 at 1:12 PM
    #2
    Taylor

    Taylor Wants to learn all about his Taco.

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    Wow, I like it! I might do this!

    Great write-up!
     
  3. Oct 21, 2012 at 9:00 AM
    #3
    BigOly

    BigOly Well-Known Member

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    That looks really good! Love seeing DIY projects like this. Good job!
     
  4. Oct 21, 2012 at 9:10 AM
    #4
    humanoid

    humanoid bite me

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    So I guess you don't need white/clear backup lamps in Canada?
     
  5. Oct 21, 2012 at 2:24 PM
    #5
    Backinblack03

    Backinblack03 Well-Known Member

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    ABS sucks.
    That might not fly here in VT either...?
     
  6. Oct 21, 2012 at 4:20 PM
    #6
    SMG

    SMG [OP] Member

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    I could have masked off the reverse section but the tape I had wasn't cooperating. If I had some thinner pin-striping tape to get a clean edge it would have been easier but it's tough to tape a straight line on tails like these with a rounded dip between each section.

    Several styles of aftermarket tail lights, such as the red/smoked OE-style tails don't have clear reverse lights either.
     
  7. Oct 21, 2012 at 8:14 PM
    #7
    DarkShark

    DarkShark Well-Known Member

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    Sweet i like this idea.
     
  8. Oct 21, 2012 at 8:40 PM
    #8
    XDEEDUBBX

    XDEEDUBBX Active Member

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    it will fade in time. Make sure you get it thick enough and try adding some wax after it dries.
     
  9. Oct 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM
    #9
    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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    Heed discliamer; I dont know if this is legal state side. Also, how do your backup lights work? Probably red :notsure:?
     
  10. Oct 24, 2012 at 8:08 AM
    #10
    SMG

    SMG [OP] Member

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    Yep they're red. Maybe I'll do a set with clear reverse lights next time but for now I'm not too worried about it.
     
  11. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:10 AM
    #11
    humanoid

    humanoid bite me

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    Not too worried until you and another car are backing up simultaneously, while the other driver thinks you're stopped because all he sees is red and then both of you hit.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:21 AM
    #12
    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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    This is what I was thinking too ;). Good concept but should tape over reverse lights to keep clear I think.
     
  13. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:23 AM
    #13
    easyeatlanta

    easyeatlanta Artificial Intelligence beats natural stupidity

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    they have reverse in canada? who would have known
     
  14. Oct 24, 2012 at 9:55 AM
    #14
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    Looks good.

    Like everyone said though keep the reverse lights clear.

    I'd also go with a deeper shade of red and not such a candy color
     
  15. Oct 24, 2012 at 10:10 AM
    #15
    skeeet

    skeeet Well-Known Member

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    I wrapped mine with tint off ebay for about 8 bucks. Good thing about tint is that its easy to remove if you ever want to put it back to stock
    IMG_3523_323434917da5ba4ffcaeefdab3b1752c258ef920.jpg
     
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