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Discussion Starter #1
So i took the plunge, and decided to go at it, and tint my tails using Niteshades VHT tint spray

here are the goods for tinting, there are a few more later for finishing.



PlastiKote clear coat spray paint
Niteshades VHT tint spray
800 grit sandpaper
blue painters tape.
I suggest using a smaller width roll of blue painters tape,( what i ended up using) as it is easier to tape around the edges of the ridge on the lens

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remove most of the pins on the trunk lining so you can get at the lights in the back, and on the trunk lid, as shown



now that you have that out of the way, you can easily get at the rear lights on the trunk lid. take out all of the lights, and loosen the 2 bolts shown here in the picture. you dont need to take them off.




the trunk lid lights rotate out, be gentle, they have a lip on the outer edge that has to come off before they come out. here's a pic of them coming out. notice how they are sorta rotating around that outer edge, and notice the clips on the side of the light



now that the trunk lid lights are out, ( you do the same thing for both) you can move onto the corner lights, for these i recommend taking off the two bolts in the picture and gently removing the lens and then taking out the bulbs because it might be easier ( the turn signal bulb is kinda hard to get at)


the lens slides out almost straight toward you if you are pulling from the rear of the car, look at how its connected here..


now its out:


now that you have all the rear lights removed from the car you can start taping.
i thought this would be the most difficult part but if you look closely at the lights, there is a little ridge that is exactly the line that you want to tape on, so follow that ridge around, like so:


i also did the spoiler light, removed it using a small screwdriver, and because it cant be easily removed from the car, i did this. make sure you sand the lens before tinting.


once your done taping, you can sand the surface around the tape, using 800 grit sandpaper (found at pep boys or such) notice how the red area around the taped area is sanded and not clear any more. (dont worry, it will become clear later, your just making a surface for the tint to adhere to.)

 

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Discussion Starter #2
now your ready to tint. make sure you wipe the surface youve sanded clean with windex or a damp cloth. PATIENCE IS KEY HERE. you dont want it to drip, the spray is not like spraypaint, it is very thin and can run very easily, ruining your tint job.
in case you do ruin your tint job, laquer thinner can remove the tint easily. and you can try again.

i did 9-10 passes of tint spray per lens using about 3 light sprays from 16'' away. (the stuff smells pretty bad, stunk up my whole house pretty good, so do it in a well ventilated area.) again, be patient, you wont run out, i did all 3 plus the spoiler light with some left over.

this is how they looked.


after i removed the tape, i sanded the whole lens again ( yes including the tint, tho very lightly on the tint) you want to rough up the lens area primarily so the clearcoat will go on and adhere to the whole lens very well.) again wipe the surface clean from particles, and it should look like this:



spray on the clearcoat, make sure you use enough clearcoat to make a good solid base for sanding and finishing the lights. so if in doubt, use more. hold at about 8-10 inches and you can spray the clear coat on a bit heavier than the tint spray, dont let it run tho. little imperfections can be cleared up in the finishing/sanding of the lens.

here's a pic of clearcoated and back on the car:


i took a break here, because it was 4 am, and i had to work at 7 am the next day.

after work i got back on it to finish the job.

here are the supplies needed.



blue magic plastic and plexiglass cleaner ( a rubbing compound might work as well but i wanted to be safe and this stuff promised an optical clear finish. pep boys.)
1500 and 2000 grit sandpaper ( hard ish to find, except at pep boys :) )
a spray bottle with a few drops of dishwashing liquid.


now you take the 1500 grit sandpaper and wetsand the lenses. dont really grind at the clearcoat, you dont want to take it off, just enough to get rid of the roughness. be sure to follow up with 2000 grit sandpaper, and always keep the area wet! ( i did this on the car so i taped around the lenses) it might be a bit easier to do it off the car in some better light so you can see what your doing.


once your done sanding, clean the surface of particles again, and grab that magic blue! (at this point you might be freaking out because the lenses are not clear again and your wondering if you had just f**ed up) take a paper towel and rub that magic in!!!!!

everything will just start to look amazing and crystal clear. use some muscles to make sure you can really buff the compound into the small scratches made by the sandpaper. once done, it will look sexy like this.... ( i still need to touch them up but i was in a rush to get them as clear as i could before i had to run to school, so with a little more fo that magic blue even those swirl marks will be gone.)


and your DONE!!!! :D :D :D :D :D
again you can choose how dark you want the tint to be, and no i didnt do that to the licence plate, my flash is just that bright.. and that mirror reflection? my car is just that clean :)




Approximate time taken: 9 very careful hours.

i hope this helps some of you who want to do this mod but dont want to get those clearguard overlays that might bubble and have problems over time :)


EDIT:

adding more pictures after i tinted them darker a second time around, this time, my second time took only like 4 hours or so, mostly waiting for the spraypaint and tint spray to dry.





i also tinted the sidemarkers using the same procedure.

 

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Looks like you're definitely the first to spray tint them while sparing the circle "cut-outs." Nice work and looks great.
 

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Yeah, definitely looks good man. The tint overlay I have is starting to show it's age, even though it's been less than a year.
 

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Wow...

That's a hell of a lot of work. It looks great though!

Good job. I feel like I learned something while reading this. Thanks for taking us on your tinting journey.
 

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Looks great, but that's alot of time for 1 mod!
 

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hmmm nice job indeed... i was about to do the same thing if i got a euro tail... cz i want to tint it on the inside.....

but excellent write up !!!!
 

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looks awesome man, but would it have been easier if you just tinted the inside of the light?...could you have skipped all the sanding and clearcoating>? You should do a before and after shot side by side to avoid constant scrolling. Either way very awesome.
 

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Originally posted by Jackc6900@Jul 19 2005, 04:26 PM
looks awesome man, but would it have been easier if you just tinted the inside of the light?...could you have skipped all the sanding and clearcoating>? You should do a before and after shot side by side to avoid constant scrolling. Either way very awesome.
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That would require splitting the casing VERY carefully and then resealing the casing. It's NOT easy and most people who have gone this route for tinting the tails have had some messy results when trying to put the cases back together. It never looks right.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
in my opinion tinting the interior of the rear taillights would not be worth it. the seperation issue would be a pain, plus you would have to tape a certain area, either the housing, and tint the housing, or the lens, which would be extremely difficult. plus, if people are worried about how long this would take, imagine having to wait even longer after youve resealed them with sealant, letting them cure before putting them back on the car.

plus, with the stock NA rear tails, they arent clear, and that red coating would show through a bit more. thats what i thought.

if your worried about the tint getting scratched, the clearcoat makes a super hard layer on the outside of the lens, i think it would be very hard to scratch it, and even if it was scratched, i highly doubt it would go through the clearcoat, and you can just repeat the sanding process to fix it, even spray more clearcoat.

the reason why this took so long was because i was being very careful, if you want to do a job right, take your time. especially if you dont have a spare set of rear taillights sitting around :)

in one of the other threads, a guy was too anxious and messed up his corner lights, and said he wished he could buy patience, so i decided that patience was probably a good idea.
 

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Looks good! How does the spray hold up? My cousin and I did my tail lights with model car spray last year and it has pretty much all come off. We used the Testor's model car tint spray and Krylon clear coat. Didn't do any sanding, so maybe that explains why it is coming off. Might have to get it another shot.

My car is black and I decided to tint the entire tail lights, not taping off anything. It looked good when it was first done... but now it needs some work.
 

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WOW, good job to you. Thank you for the pictures and the write-up. At first I didn't think it would turn out that good but then I saw the end results. Your patience really paid off. :thumbup: :cheers:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
without a doubt you have to sand the surface before painting, otherwise it will easily come off, especially with that model tint.

i can tell you right now i could take a key to my lights in the rear and it would be hard to scratch and i know it wont make it through the clear coat. and if that ever happens i can sand and respray and finish the clearcoat again. :)
 

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Originally posted by arch4life@Jul 19 2005, 01:39 PM
without a doubt you have to sand the surface before painting, otherwise it will easily come off, especially with that model tint.

i can tell you right now i could take a key to my lights in the rear and it would be hard to scratch and i know it wont make it through the clear coat. and if that ever happens i can sand and respray and finish the clearcoat again. :)
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unless you scratch to the tint, then do it all over again.
 

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Nice write up and they look real good. Just dont think I could invest 9+hours in tinting my taillight. Clearguard took an hour. Props on ur patience
 

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But his won't come off :slap: ... overlays suck.

Originally posted by Jackc6900@Jul 19 2005, 11:26 AM
looks awesome man, but would it have been easier if you just tinted the inside of the light?...could you have skipped all the sanding and clearcoating>? You should do a before and after shot side by side to avoid constant scrolling. Either way very awesome.
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NO ........ NO NO NO. Do not open the damn tail lights. They're SO hard to keep it 'clean' looking, and even after you take them apart and put them back together, they still don't look right.

It's not even worth it if you're doing it on NA tails anyways.
 
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