Its damn cold here in Toronto, Canada.
I have many parts I purchased wanting to finish my car, but this is definitely not the season to be working on a car... SO i have decided to work on little fine details, and useless mods.
Clearing my tails.
I first started with the superclean on the 90-91 tails. Sure they look great... until comparing them to G2IC member waramp's modified clear after-market tails.
I even tinted my supercleaned 90-91 tails to give them a dark cherry red look but still didn't give me what I wanted. I didn't like the look of the faded white look the tail was giving me... but wanted them to look "clear". After searching, I found info on modified 92-93 tails. They looked identical to waramp's tails so I decided to get right to it.
So I started with a set of damaged 90-91 tails using a heat gun I purchased at crappy tire for $20 to practice and test my heat gun.
Sure, this thing worked great... but took a bit of time.
I have modified my 98 RAV4 tails on 2 separate occasions using the oven method, so you can say I have considerable experience in terms of baking the lights... but I wanted to make use of my new toy I just bought.
So after quite some time, I finally got this apart. My first thing I got a hold of was the white strip with the pink lines. This thing was so sensitive to anything touching it, I could just rub the pink off with my fingers. So I kept rubbing them with a cloth until they turned white. Some of the white I noticed were gray. I thought I wasn't rubbing enough so I continued until it turned black. **that's when I noticed with the superclean method people vent about when their lines turn black... they did too much to it**. I thought it was grey because I didn't get the pink enough, but it was the opposite...
I think the pink lines were probably a darker RED originally... so this is what happens to the lines...
Red -> Pink -> white -> gray -> black -> clear.
I used a 2000 grit sandpaper to get the rest of the white to appear black.
Then I thought... hmmm... maybe I can dismantle my other set of 90-91 damaged tails (ya, I have a few of them laying around...), do this, and add the plastic piece to my 92-93 tails. I like the look of the 92-93 tails more than the 90-91. I don't really like the look of the white part to look strong as I have a black car... so I think this would blend in with the car more.
I thought nobody did the black lines thing, but turns out Neil the founder has done this already... but to his original 90-91 tails.
I must say, I was a little disappointed with the outcome... maybe better pics - perhaps in the daylight - will look nicer.
If interested I have tons of pics, and probably a good writeup with pics of taking the tails apart.
Once I fit them on my car, I plan to take pics and upload.
I think I like them, but if I had a choice to do this again, I probably couldn't be bothered.
I still haven't sealed the lights together yet since I wanted to get an idea of how they'd look on my car first.
Top to bottom: black stripe 93, supercleaned 90-91, 90-91 tails with a very light coat of tint spray.
Supercleaned 90-91, and black stripe 92-93 tails together.
First off, let me mention this - as mentioned everywhere the key to this is patience... whether you're using the heat gun or oven method, keep in mind the problem is loosening the glue. Over time the glue will easily harden from room temperature and you will need to melt over and over until you can pry this apart. It's probably a good idea to clean the tails as much as possible. Dirt is probably trapped in many parts of the light, so it'd be a good idea just to keep your work area free of sand/dirt.
Oven or heat gun method, you WILL need to remove the rubber and grill piece. Also: if you're proceeding by the oven method, I strongly suggest you to use a baking sheet, dampen a towel and place it on the baking sheet where the light should rest facing down. This will avoid warpage. Keep in mind, by attempting this mod, you can seriously damage the lights to the point where they cannot be repaired. [B]Please attempt this modification at your own risk. [/B]
So here's what I had, and here are some tools I used to the left. Use a thin/strong piece of metal. I used some knives for envelopes.
This is one of the pieces that need to be removed. This one came off no problem. If you had a difficult time removing this, apply some heat - if you don't have a heat gun, a blow dryer will probably work with lots of patience.
Can't forget the vent. There's 3 screws that need to be removed.
The rubber piece on the lower inside part of the light -where it meets the center of the bumper filler. I cut my finger while prying the lights apart. The lens snapped in my hand and cut pretty much every finger. The index finger was cut pretty badly. Hope you don't make the same mistake!
I marked it out. That's where the silicone is concentrated. That's what you gotta heat up.
So after it came apart, here's what the inside of a 90-91 tail looks like.
I supercleaned this light. The white would show up as red or pink if superclean was not applied. I've supercleaned a total of 6 taillights and always had a really tough time with the edges and corners. As they say, this is probably due to the corners and edges lacking exposure to sunlight as opposed to the rest of the surface.
I was just trying to get the white off as much as possible, and this is what happened... the white went black, then clear.
I thought to myself... hey, I kinda like the black line.
This is where my idea of inserting the plastic piece in my 92-93 tails came in.
I used 2000 Grit sandpaper (1500 works too, but won't look as smooth as the 2000) and carefully and lightly wet sanded until I got rid of all the red/white. The edges and corners are VERY tough... if the edges seem to be taking a while, its not just you. It took me much longer. When I was doing this on my practice set, the lines were damaged - they had knicks, and the stripes were ruined. If your lines have surface damage, this modification will not be 100% successful, so when taking the lights apart be VERY careful not to damage the plastic piece with the lines. I forced the practice set apart cracking the lens and damaged the plastic piece on my practice set.
So after some time and patience, this is what your plastic piece can look like. This can take 5-10 minutes - depending on how detailed you want the black stripe to look. I also tried to rub superclean on the stripe directly with a cloth. It removed a lot of the red/pink but struggled with the white to black. I strongly suggest you use 2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper and wet sand this down.
I have more pics. If you need assistance I can try to help you out, but please... do a search first. By assistance, I don't mean I will do it for you.
Now I need to see how these look on my car.
I'm contemplating on the upper stripe as:
black stripe, chrome look, or clear look...
Its hard to tell by my photos, but the stripe is not Grey like it appears in the photos. They are black, but once they go inside the lens, they appear gray.
By the way, people who ask for pics of this mod - it is extremely difficult to take pictures for this process since your attention must be on the lights. Trying to take pictures of this while heating and prying the lens apart is difficult, but I did the best I could. If you would like any advice, I will gladly help out.
The passenger side is a supercleaned 90-91 tail with 3 light coats of tint spray.
I'm probably going to end up tinting the 92-93 blackstripe tail with 1 or possibly 2 very light coats of tint spray.
Page 01 - Current Progress
Page 02 - About the GS-R
Page 03 - Pics of the car when purchased
Page 04 - JDM Appeal.
Page 05 - Future plans.
Page 06 - DIY 90-91 clearing pink lines - aka superclean.