Crazy Cuban's Guide TO Custom coupe clear/red taillights - The Acura Legend & Acura RL Forum
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Second Generation Legend (1991-1995)

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Old 06-12-03, 08:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cool Crazy Cuban's Guide TO Custom coupe clear/red taillights

ok, This is going to my thread on how I made my taillights so I can stp getting all the "How did you do that?" and "Can you make me a set?" questions.

Not that I don't like all the comments and everything. It's just tired of typing the same resonses over and over and ....


What you'll need:

Extra set of taillights (A MUST if you plan on selling the car or need to put the stocks back for some reason)

Sheet of Plexi or equivalant that's about 1/4" (I used something called Plasticlite because I could find plexi)

Sheets of paper, marker, and scissors (any paper that is bigger than the lense will work fine)

Clear silicone epoxy (for sealing up the lights water tight)

Putty knife or Ice scrapper (trust me, just read on)

Aluminum foil and/or cookie sheet

Dremel or any tool that cuts plexi cleanly (I used a dremel with a diamond cutting wheel)

Testers Candy Apple Red Trasperant paint ( I found mine at a local hobby shop, comes as a spray)

Masking or painters tape

Scuff pad (I got it at the Auto store in the paint section)

Clamps that won't melt (old metal ones are the best)

Heat gun

Knowledge of how to open lights (if you search the forum you'll find the info. *I used 300 degrees for 10 -15 min.*)

TIME AND DESIRE TO GO ALL THE WAY!


Step one: Take the tails, one at a time, and place them on a piece of aluminum foil and make sure you prreheat the oven first.
Side note: now would be a perfect time, while it's pre-heating, to take as much as you can off the taillights ex: screws, rubber, etc.
Once, they are good and warm take them out *CAUTION HOT* and slowly pull them apart. Use a wide putty knife or a ice scrapper and use it like a screw driver to help seperate the tailligh tring to pry as evenly as possable. If the Glue becomes not as guey (sp?) just place them back in the oven to rewarm and continue. *Remember the light WILL brake if you pull unevenly*
Side note: I broke my pass one durring this proccess. DOH!


Ahh you have them apart. Good. You can now move on (all you that broke them can move on as well just see the *alternative below*)

Step two: *This is the most IMPORTANT part if you want perfect sized taillights* This is also where you'll need thoughs skills from Kindergarden. Take a piece of paper and trace one of the lenses anyway you choose. I traced mine with them flat on a table and traced them like we all did with our hands to make thoughs turkey drawing. (ok, maybe that was just me) Then cut them out and place it on the plexi sheet to trace them. To get the other side just flip the "pattern" over and trace it again. Now feel free to cut them with that dremel or rotozip thing.

Step Three: Place them on top of the bezels and clamp them down to the bezels nice and tight. Clamp them so the plexi lenses are EXACTLY the way you want them too be. Now, take that heat gun and heat up the plexi as hot and evenly as you can without melting anything and make sure thoughs clamps are on there tight. Once you've done that set them aside to "air cool" for about 24 hours.
So, by now you can remove the clamps but if they try to go un curve, REPEAT STEP THREE. They need to stay the right way before you seal them or over time they WILL leak water.

Step Four: I'm impressed you made it this far. Good for you. The hardest part of making your custom tails is almost over.
I kept a couple of clamps on the lense to hold them in place. Take you marker and mark the borders to where you will paint. I marked a line accross the taillight in the center for the bottom red section and also followed the border of the chrome for a border to cover the silicone. Good drawing skills. Now, take them off the bezels, flip them over, and tape off everything you DO NOT WANT PAINTED! DO NOT PRIMER! Just lightly scuff the back where the paints going with a light scuff pad. Now wipe it clean with a damp rag water only is good) to get all finger prints and residue off. Let them dry. Spray them with about 3-4 light coats (follow the directions on the back of the can). You can, as an option, spray some clear coat on the entire inside of the lense with the tape removed for an extra shine. Let them dry for at leat another 24 hours.

Step Five: Now take the lenses an clamp them on the bezels again. Take the clear silicone (I used one of those guns and a tube to do this part) and put a THIN bead around where the lense and the bezel meet. LET IT DRY FULLY! Then repeat once dry until you fill the space between them.
Once you have it filled, you can shape the edge to match the "stock look" or leave it to get a better custom look.

OPTIONAL Step Six: Use some rubbing compound on the outside of the lenses. Then buff them like you would with the headlight tip. Once they look perfectly clean/clear you can add a few thinly palced coats of clear coat to keep them looking "new".

CONGRATULATIONS YOUR DONE.

*Alternative* If you have broken them.
Keep in mind to reference the above to fil in the gaps. I am just telling what's different here.

Cut off the amber section using a dremel. Use your bezel instead to trace the taillight size making sure add about 1/4" to 1/2" outside of the chrome to ensure the right size. Use the same heating as in "STEP THREE". Now glue the section you want to save together and place on the bezel. Take the plexi and place on top of that and make sure the edges meet up best you can. Cut and sand them to match as best you can. Simply silicone them together now. The rest is the same as STEPS FOUR on.



Pics to come later. If someone else doesn't do it first. Sorry for all the gramer and spelling errors.
ohh and Your ALL welcome.
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Old 06-12-03, 09:16 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good write-up!!!!!.......

........I learned this method of clearing tail lights from tha '90-'93 Integra club I was apart of
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Old 06-12-03, 10:42 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
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thanks!!!! excellent tutorial
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Old 06-12-03, 11:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
 
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Cant u just make me a pair and I will buy them from u?
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Old 06-13-03, 02:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by skate4volcom007
Cant u just make me a pair and I will buy them from u?

Thanks so much, Great Info

But I with Skate4, can we send you pair of taillights and charge us for it. I work almost 80 hrs a week, I have no time but really like the look. Thanks
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Old 06-13-03, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Thank you all .. I have been giving thought to making them .. but it does take a long time and I am going to attempt to make another set .. it that goes well .. then I should be able to make more .. just gotta find the time too
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Old 06-13-03, 07:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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I completely understand about the time issue! Just let us know when you would be ready! If you need a set of tail lights, I got an extra pair
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Old 06-13-03, 10:22 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks crazy cuban, great write up. I am going to attempt this on my extra left tail. If it comes out good I will buy another right tail. I'll keep you posted.
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Old 12-18-03, 04:50 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Where are the pics?
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Old 12-19-03, 02:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I'm down for a pair !!! Let me know .... I can send you my lights since my car will be garaged over the winter.

Mark


Quote:
Originally posted by Crazy Cuban
Thank you all .. I have been giving thought to making them .. but it does take a long time and I am going to attempt to make another set .. it that goes well .. then I should be able to make more .. just gotta find the time too
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Old 12-19-03, 03:22 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I will do this next summer. Can we move this to the DIY section when it gets a few days old?

Very nice tutorial.
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Old 11-24-04, 02:16 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Did you ever make that 2nd set? or get pix?

I want clear/red tails =/
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Old 11-24-04, 02:55 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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I have sedan tail lights forsale... 60bucks each or both for 100bucks. If you want to try this mod but need lights... send me a pm
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Old 08-16-05, 03:41 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Were pics ever posted of this mod?
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