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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 08:42 AM Thread Starter
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Opening Tail Lights

So Iíve read that the read tail lights are plastic welded. Iíve pulled them out and indeed they look to be. No tell tale sign of clips along the edges which typically indicates they can be baked in the oven to pry them open.

Has anyone successfully open the tail lights? If so with a Dremel or hot knife? Any tips?

Thanks.
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 09:27 AM
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This was a project of mine. I decided to "Open" my tail lights and leave them that way. the outer layer of the taillights is the clear soft plastic, and is simply a cover. The inside is a hard plastic trim with hard plastic red translucent lenses. I sprayed the trim black and left the lenses open for conture, and to remove the silver trim completely(the inside of the soft plastic cover is painted in a silver trim...very hard to get off).

The only issue ive had is its very difficult to find a gasket, trim price, to go between the car body and the light(or there is a gap). I eventually found a rubber trim line and put it in with black silicon. It looks ok. Im still working on it.

As for taking them apart initially. You ARE BREAKING THEM. Understand this now. There is no clean way to get them apart, and you could glue them back together, but they wont be the same. I did mine very carefully, and they came apart pretty well...still has a couple broken spots that I had to shave down.

I put them in the oven to soften the plastic, same as the headlights. you can find an open place to get a knife in on one of the corners. Just pry very carefully. It will come apart, cracks and breaks.
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post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 09:32 AM Thread Starter
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My intention is to put them back together. I see a very defined seam between the clear lens and the tail light housing. Assuming the lens has a channel in it that snaps into the housing. Was looking at cutting through this under the lens.
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post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by SaturnSkyRedline2015 View Post
My intention is to put them back together. I see a very defined seam between the clear lens and the tail light housing. Assuming the lens has a channel in it that snaps into the housing. Was looking at cutting through this under the lens.
The only way I could see to do this is if you have a way to actually cut it apart perfectly. Not just break it open. Then glue it back.

The biggest issue is that when you open it the silver paint on the inside of the cover will crack and transfer. it looks ****ty, to put it mildly.

Why are you trying to open them? possibly another option?
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 09:59 AM Thread Starter
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Trying to open them strictly for aesthetics. Iíll try heating, but cutting through as described. Painting all the silver/chrome black and then a thing strip of black on the outside of the lens, around the edges, to conceal the cut/glue/transfer of silver plastic.

Obviously an expensive venture if it gets messed up.
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post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 10:07 AM
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Trying to open them strictly for aesthetics. Iíll try heating, but cutting through as described. Painting all the silver/chrome black and then a thing strip of black on the outside of the lens, around the edges, to conceal the cut/glue/transfer of silver plastic.

Obviously an expensive venture if it gets messed up.
Be aware of the silver paint on the inside of the cover plastic. Its very difficult to remove. I took a dremel and sanding bit to it, because I was going to do the same thing. Could barely get it off like that.
I wouldn't recommend paint thinner or remover because it will haze the lenses terribly.
very difficult project.

On the other had, aesthetically, opening them and leaving them open for contour is not bad, and looks really unique. And saves you the tail lights if you break the lenses when taking them off.

And maybe you can find a better way to close the gap in the housing that I haven't yet and help me out. lol

This isn't an impossible project, but its definitely a "do at your own risk, and be prepared to drop a few hundred $$$ on new taillights if you slip up" sort of thing.
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post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 10:13 AM Thread Starter
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Appreciate in the insight. Still mulling it over, so IF it happens, fingers crossed.
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-27-2019, 10:23 AM
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Appreciate in the insight. Still mulling it over, so IF it happens, fingers crossed.
Best of luck!

Oh, also be aware that you will need to strip the chrome and silver trim paint from the inside trim pieces before painting them. Paint cracks and falls off of that stuff badly. Mistake I made with my headlights. Tails went much better knowing that.

Excited to possibly see someone else with black tail trim. Havent seen anyone else do it yet =)
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 12:03 AM
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If anyone is interested....I do have an almost new set of OEM tail lights with the Webb Electronic diode installed...300 plus shipping.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 12:28 PM
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If anyone is interested....I do have an almost new set of OEM tail lights with the Webb Electronic diode installed...300 plus shipping.
So tempted....
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post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 01:43 PM
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We tried to do this and found that the plastic is very brittle. After having a lot of problems and nearly getting one cut open, it broke. We ended up painting the tails green to match the car. Careful application of the paint will let the tails shine through the paint.
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 01:52 PM
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Personally I just wish someone would make an aftermarket option for our tail lights. They aren't bad fixtures, but the silver trim just ruin them for me.
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 03:01 PM
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Personally I just wish someone would make an aftermarket option for our tail lights. They aren't bad fixtures, but the silver trim just ruin them for me.
I tinted over mine and it turns the silver trim into a gunmetal kind of color.
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 03:13 PM
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I tinted over mine and it turns the silver trim into a gunmetal kind of color.
Thats really good tinting. I tried to do mine and they were BLACK. glossy, but VERY dark. What did you use to tint them?
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 10-28-2019, 03:16 PM
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Thats really good tinting. I tried to do mine and they were BLACK. glossy, but VERY dark. What did you use to tint them?
I had a painter use regular black automotive paint thinned out and just applied one coat then cleared it.
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