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Discussion Starter #1
Been asked to do a how to for Night Shading tail lights. This is the WIP thread that will become that how to.

Statastic delivered these to me for his car.

First step of course is get a good condition set of lights. These are in nice shape.




Note the tub of water on the table. And the assortment of 3M wet sandpaper. I allow the paper to soak for an hour before sanding.

First up is the raised mold marks on all 3 pieces. They gotta go! I use 400 paper and use my hand and a rubber sanding block. Note that as you sand there are shiny spots. You have to continue sanding / wiping dry and sand wiping dry and look at the piece until these shiny area's are gone. Initial prep is everything!!

Lots of pic's here......









See the shiny low area left from the mold marks? Keep going.



Now using a sanding block, get the uneven areas around the turn and backup lenses.



Sand the rest now.... try to go all one direction but it is difficult to do.





Wipe it with a rag and let dry to see how its going.



Needs more work


better


get those edges!!



now do the rest. get the shiny off! All of it!


Sand then wipe.


the edges too! Paint hates sharp edges. Its the little things that matter!


.....






No more shine. Shine is not good for paint. Paint needs tooth to hang on. Dull is tooth.




That is all for now, my old arms are tired. :biggrin:
 

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You are a master of tint.

Just wondering though, as there are slight colour variations of the plastic between a few of the years, do you find either of them to be more difficult to get an even colour with, or have you even noticed. It seems the later models 02+ are a brighter red.
 

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Whoa thats way more work then i did. Just clean with some quick detail spray to remove dirt then some rubbing alcohol to remove any other debris and wax. Then used about 3 light coats to get the color i wanted.

(Do it dudley's way if you want it to be correct. I just rushed mine, they look good but up close there is some red showing through on the top where i didnt sand it.)
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Did the art work and tinting today.
I find a design I like or what the person that is getting the tails wants and draw it out on a piece of tape 2" tape. The opening is approx. 8 inches by 1 1/4 inches where the brake lights will shine thru.


I make alignment parts on the tail and the tape so it can be centered correctly. Once in place I clean it up a little.


I like sit down work.


A selection of exacto knives is a good thing.


I use a clear straight edge and tape it in place as required to get straight lines with the knife.



If you turn the piece you can see where you have cut. Go slow and use care.


Using a pick I lift the design off carefully. Its not perfect but from 3-4 feet you wont notice and the guy behind you certainly wont. You can skip this step if you want to have a decal made at your local shop. I like the artsy look myself and its close enough for most.


After masking its time for a good cleaning. A friend of mine turned me on to this stuff. Seems to work good.


Using a clean mirofiber towel I spray the stuff on, let it set a moment then wipe, turning frequently. I have not had a problem since adopting this technique.



I have had problems with the tape sticking to this gasket and damaging it so if possible I take it off carefully.


Tape the lamp holes to keep nasty's out!


When applying the tint apply thin coats. I do two or three THIN coats. I apply it so that the tint has no way of becoming glossy, let alone run. (VHT Nightshades does run very easily)
Look very close at your work to avoid thin or heavy areas. Try to get as uniform coat as possible. These are after two coats. Note that there are still small scratches evident. Dont worry about the lack of shine. It will come later,






Dont forget the edges. This is where it is so easy to get runs. Several thin coats!!!


I wait about an hour then with a pick, I carefully remove the masking tape.
I put a couple LEDS behind so you can see what it will look like.


Note: if you wait less than an hour you do not have to sand between coats. (depending on temerature and humidity. I wait about 15 minutes and have had no issues.
Thats all for now. I let it dry for a day or so............
 

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I sprayed my tail lights. They turned out so dark the lights didn't shine through. Nothing would take the nite shade off or even lighten it up. I had to replace the tails.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I sprayed my tail lights. They turned out so dark the lights didn't shine through. Nothing would take the nite shade off or even lighten it up. I had to replace the tails.
lacquer thinner takes it right off.....
 

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Looks great. Which assorted grits do you use in what order? 400 for raised letters, then what do you stop with before painting?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
A little to dark??? You decide Nick....... I wont redo them, they will end up on my car though.... lol I like them a lot!! ..



just running lights


Brake lights

 
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