Sprucing up taillights

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Sprucing up taillights

Postby lumbercis » Sat Mar 24, 2012 9:48 pm

Hi all,

Looking for ways to spruce my 92' taillights up a little bit and was wondering if there was any way to get a richer or brighter look to them with aftermarket bulbs? Are LEDs usable in the taillights? Basically just wondering what's possible.

What about tinting? I was thinking something like a light smoke or even a matte or satin tint.

I don't want anything extreme. I'm going for an "OEM plus" look. Basically where the average person wouldn't know it wasn't OEM, but just knows it looks good.

I was thinking something like a slight darker tint to give a richer look, with brighter bulbs to counteract the tint and still have the same or slightly higher light output than stock.

J
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby tubasteve » Sat Mar 24, 2012 10:41 pm

im doing this to my red car(already done) how ever i have the main harness out right now, be sure the leds for the blinkers have close to the same resistance....or youll get the jdm blink fast ricer look.
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby underscore » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:00 pm

you can get LED bulbs in just about any size, I was thinking of doing the same and shooting a coat or two of nightshades on my GT-S just so the lights look a little more red and amber and a little less pink and yellow.
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby tubasteve » Sat Mar 24, 2012 11:38 pm

Just use red and orange led lights like i am
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby Boo_Guy » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:03 pm

:D
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby lumbercis » Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:37 pm

^That's pretty cool. So just getting same-color LED lights in the stock housings might get the richer look I'm after.

So LEDs nowadays just plug in like stock? Same electrical draw?
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby underscore » Sun Mar 25, 2012 8:17 pm

less current typically, being LEDs (unless they've changed)
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby Boo_Guy » Mon Mar 26, 2012 5:22 pm

lumbercis wrote:

So LEDs nowadays just plug in like stock? Same electrical draw?


Yea they come in all the usual automotive sockets these days.

They draw less, which may make them blink fast and/or cause "light out" dash warnings in cars.

Some of them might come with resistors built in to make them function like a normal bulb.
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby Hotrodhendrix » Mon May 07, 2012 2:06 pm

I dont like tint on the exterior of the light housing as it never seems as shiny as it should be. You can open up the tails but trust me it is VERY hard. They melt. warp. crack 90% of the time. Waisted many tail lights doing this. Then tented the interior and didnt like it haha.

I ended up just restoring the exterior. 1k wet sand, 2k wetsand, 3m plastic polish back up. I used a buffer and med foam pad then light foam pad. Wax after that. Brings a much higher gloss and deeper colors out. Mix that with some LEDs and your set. I still need to pick some of those nifty little LEDs up for mine.

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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby ALLensTRAC » Mon May 07, 2012 2:13 pm

Hey James when you did that to the tails did it remove the tinting around the edges? I thought there was a thread regarding the tint coming off when they were wet sanded and buffed. I want to do this but I am worried about the tint.
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby Hotrodhendrix » Mon May 07, 2012 2:18 pm

I dont have tint on the exterior. I had tinted the interior of the orange section but didnt like it so went back to stock. If you wetsand and buff yes it will take off tint.
If you want to keep your exterior sprayed tint you will need to have atleast two layers of clear on them. Use high quality automotive paint so you dont burn through. Watch the edges as they are easy to burn through when you press down. I use a soft sponge sanding block alot. Much better for curved parts like these. Also watch out for the raised lettering as it will burn off the tint easily.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby ALLensTRAC » Mon May 07, 2012 2:26 pm

Thank you for the advice! I am concerned about the factory edge tint that came on the 92-93 tails. Are saying I should sand the lights and then tape off and retint? I don't know if my painting skills are there yet lol. I wonder if new lamps are still available from toyota? What sort of paint would be needed or what would you suggest?
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby Hotrodhendrix » Mon May 07, 2012 2:29 pm

ALLensTRAC wrote:Thank you for the advice! I am concerned about the factory edge tint that came on the 92-93 tails. Are saying I should sand the lights and then tape off and retint? I don't know if my painting skills are there yet lol. I wonder if new lamps are still available from toyota? What sort of paint would be needed or what would you suggest?


Ohhh sorry I think I was confused. I was talking 90-91 tails. I would be VERY surprised if the 92-93 tint is not on the interior of the tails. If it was me I would lightly hit the tails with 2k and dont focus on the tinted area. Then buff as normal. Like I said though the likelyhood toyota actually painted the tint on the outside is low.
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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby ALLensTRAC » Mon May 07, 2012 2:35 pm

Thanks again man! I think I'm going to try and tape the tint just in case and then sand the centers with 2k as you said. If it doesn't work I'll just get new tails(ugh).
Allen

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Re: Sprucing up taillights

Postby Hotrodhendrix » Mon May 07, 2012 3:47 pm

It should work fine. Sand paper is only for removing scratches and other imperfections. Helps really bring out the gloss also. You can just buff with the rubbing compound and that will help with the gloss as well but doesnt remove any imperfections.
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