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How to Clear a 2nd Gen Tail Light w/ a Hairdryer.

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Old 10-30-07, 06:21 PM   #1
BadViper22
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Default How to Clear a 2nd Gen Tail Light w/ a Hairdryer.

As promised... here it is!
(I'd like to thank twiga-auto-lights for providing some pretty decent condition tail lights as quick as possible.)


Mkay so lets begin, get yourself a decent workplace, I used my bed and an unfolded cardboard box. Before you do anything; remove the bulb harness, rubber vents, and license plate bulb housing. There are also to extra screws in the back that hold the center bar to the light, remove these. The tools you will need for this are one high powered hair dryer(Got mine at the local CVS) and a long flat-head screwdriver.


Start by turning on the dryer to full power and begin to heat up the corner between the trunk and the license plate. Use a gently, slow sweeping motion when heating any part up(fyi, just leave the hairdryer on at all times, it won't overheat). To find out if the area is heated up enough, just touch it with your finger, if it burns then yea it's ready. To heat up an area properly, heat up the black area that covers the silicone. Whenever you heat an area up, don't just leave the hairdryer on that spot, heat up an area of at least a 6 inch radius. When using the screwdriver as a wedge, use the smallest amount of force possible, and if you hear a crack noise Stop Immediately. If you can only use two fingers on the screwdrivers that is recommended to ensure you don't exert Too much force. As soon as the corner is hot enough, GENTLY wedge the screwdriver in there. And while you have the screwdriver in there, continue heating the area around it up.


Continue heating the top of the headlight up and GENTLY floss the screwdriver down the length of the top and stop when you reach midway.



Now move to the bottom corner and start by heating that corner up.


Wedge the screwdriver in between the lens and the back and start creating some space between the two. Move down till you can get the screwdriver to the middle of the bottom.



Now go back up to the top and heat and floss till you reach the edge of the top.



Go back down again and work your way through the whole bottom row.



Now go back up and heat this area up as long as possible, the corner that the screwdriver in is a great wedge point.



Keep giving it more heat as you continue to wedge the screwdriver in there. Now is when you should be more gentle than you ever have.
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Old 10-30-07, 06:22 PM   #2
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At this point it is okay to heat up the entire corner, and wait until ever part of it is good and hot. Now the way to do it from here is to use the screwdriver as a chisel. Give the spot where the head is direct head and move very slowly.



So far, so good! Stay gently and keep giving the silicone heat.



And there you have it! You're done! I know i don't have many pictures for the bottom section but its a given, heat and wedge. And as you remove the top section, remove the same section on the bottom.



To remove the center bar, heat up the corresponding area on the back. It too is held in by silicone(And those screws you hopefully removed earlier).



To remove the amber from the center bar, simply wedge the screwdriver in between the amber filter and the center piece. The filter is super glued to the center bar, so you basically have to break the area where they meet, it really isn't that difficult.



Put the center bar back on, clean everything up, and you're done!!!



To put the Tail light back together, go buck some black silicone first and apply a light spread into the canyon on the back of the light(this is to ensure you don't get any water in there when it rains). Put the two pieces together as much as you can and put it in your oven for 2 minutes on 250F. Any longer and you will melt the lens. Pull it out and squeeze everything back together. Repeat this about 3 times till it is tight.

This can get very tedious and frustrating, so do not get frantic at any point, always have the hairdryer heating up something, and don't give up. Total time it took to complete this was 2 hours and 15 minutes to give you an idea. Hope this helps everyone and happy moding! I recommend anyone who wants to do this to buy spare tail lights or a practice tail light first as I'm sure things can go wrong. eBay Ftw!
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Old 10-30-07, 08:45 PM   #3
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Nice DIY but whats with the pic size I remember on your preview you had bigger pics.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:47 PM   #4
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Oh and yoda your hairdryer looks like a lightsaber in those pics.
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Old 10-30-07, 08:53 PM   #5
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Really considering doing it myself as well, but im scared to mess up. on a 1 to 10 scale how satisfided are you with the results???
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Old 10-30-07, 09:02 PM   #6
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thx for posting the DIY! I'm gonna take a look at it when i have time
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Old 10-30-07, 09:14 PM   #7
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For the 95-96 tails, the disassembly is a little different. You just unscrew the frame holding the orange lens and diffuser and pop the orange piece out.
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Old 10-31-07, 08:41 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Choas View Post
Nice DIY but whats with the pic size I remember on your preview you had bigger pics.
Just click on a picture to see a larger version.
Awesome write-up BV !
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Old 10-31-07, 08:54 AM   #9
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did u paint the center piece?
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Old 10-31-07, 10:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by es300_2524 View Post
Really considering doing it myself as well, but im scared to mess up. on a 1 to 10 scale how satisfided are you with the results???
Id have to say 3984273, no lie, it looks beautiful. And if you take your time and do it right you wont end up with a single scratch. I still recommend you buy spare tails or a practice one first.

And I just made the pictures thumbnails so my post wasn't enormous.

Ariyanna,
I didn't paint the center piece because i had something else in mind, but once you get in there anything and everything can be painted. This could be one of the most unique projects ever, with people's creativity, probably no two tail lights could look the same.
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Old 11-04-07, 07:06 PM   #11
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And now for the finished project!!!!!

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.


After $195, 2 months of waiting, and 8+ hours of labor; I must say it has all paid off!
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Old 11-04-07, 08:07 PM   #12
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not sure if i'm feeling the m3 style spoiler but the tails are off the hook! I'd say it's definitely worth the effort!

I wish there were no red lens in the middle section like the later years. I was thinking about smoking the middle section with niteshade so it looks like one piece going across. What do u think?
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Old 11-04-07, 08:08 PM   #13
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Looks really good badviper22. Seems like all that time and money really paid off. Also is it just me or is your trunk popped in the first pic.
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Old 11-04-07, 08:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maniax View Post
not sure if i'm feeling the m3 style spoiler but the tails are off the hook! I'd say it's definitely worth the effort!

I wish there were no red lens in the middle section like the later years. I was thinking about smoking the middle section with niteshade so it looks like one piece going across. What do u think?
hmmm, it would be interesting, try photoshoping it or see if someone could do it.



And yeah, I left the trunk up cuz i was in the middle of the switch and i was kinda in a hurry.
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Old 11-05-07, 08:44 AM   #15
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looks sweet! And I like the addition of the thin chrome strips too. Makes the new tails look even more distinctive.
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Old 11-05-07, 08:44 AM
 
 
 
 
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