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DIY Clear Tail Lights

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by noxided, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. noxided
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 780


    These are for my 1953 Mercury. To start off, I cut our the center sections of my tail light bezels, " still need to be refined".

    I bought some clear plastic that is used in commercial light fixtures.

    I found some metal to the same curvature of my factory lenses. Ended up using large bean cans "empty".

    I used actual metal duct tape, the aluminum stuff, to attach the cans.

    Put them in oven at 275 and watched them for about 5 min, then pulled them out with welding gloves and helped form the plastic to the curve better.

    After that I cut them out the the shape I needed.
    Joined: Feb 18, 2010
    Posts: 26

    from Ireland

    nice 'how to' resulting in very cool, one off tail lights; the look sweet on the car....
  3. JohnEvans
    Joined: Apr 13, 2008
    Posts: 4,883

    from Phoenix AZ

    Nice job BUT !! Tail lights can be amber but Stop MUST be red. Good luck finding red bulbs. Edit : Can you put some red plastic between the bulb and your new lens?
  4. nico32
    Joined: Oct 30, 2008
    Posts: 717

    from fdl, wi

  5. DrJ
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 9,418


    They look cool!
    But in many states (CA does, TX I don't know) you are required to have the equivelant of a 2" diameter or larger Red reflector on each side.
    That's the reason the lights are reflective or there is a seperate reflector on cars. The "ricer" owners learned this one when the all clear with tinted bulbs craze happened about a decade ago. They got busted for no RED reflectors. Then the aftermarket makers quickly put the reflectors in their products.
    You could put reflectors anywhere as long as headlights from behind light them up, Under the bumper, in the guards in extra dummy tail pipes, etc.
    No sense in being illegal on purpose!
  6. carcrazyjohn
    Joined: Apr 16, 2008
    Posts: 4,844

    from trevose pa

    Just spray the lenses with candy red and problem solved ,I did that on a car a long time ago ,But it was flat turnsignal on an off topic car .
  7. Just watch out after a while they will yellow in the sun ( but just make more from that big sheet you have!) Also watch out for the no reflector issue as others mentioned
  8. Lone Star Mopar
    Joined: Nov 2, 2005
    Posts: 3,153

    Lone Star Mopar

    They make rubber bulb covers. The PO had blue ones on my old Dodge, Im sure you could find em in red. Which side did you put out, the smooth side or the textured ? I think the smooth one would look pretty slick.
  9. metalix_421
    Joined: Mar 24, 2010
    Posts: 890


    wouldnt it be grandfathered in if it didnt come from the factory that way, kinda like not having seatbelts?
  10. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 30,049


    They look cute but do they throw enough light so that the driver behind you can see the lights at night and see the brake/turn signals in day light. I'd suggest that when you get the bulbs figured out you have someone drive it and follow it in another car both in the day time and at night to make sure that the lights can be seen by anyone behind you.
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 435


    just about any parts stores can order all tail light bulbs in clear, yellow, and red. have 1157r's in my ot truck, with all clear lights. been pulled over a few times, most cops don't care about red reflectors. as long as the lights light up red. if you do have a problem, get motorcycle license plate bolts, with reflectors built in.
  12. noxided
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 780


    OK, thanks all for your comments.

    1. In TX you need a red reflector in rear, but I don't care and the cops aren't gonna harass you if your in a classic, ricer is another story or even in a bagged truck with thin led lights "I got busted many times"

    2. Bulbs are no issue, I'm installing red led bulbs for brake/running lights and clear led for reverse. So they will all be very bright.

    3. I put smooth side out and therefore it it has a clean finnish and the shape for the "Diamond cut" spreads light very well.

    4. I do have plenty of plastic left to make more.

    5. You could spray a candy red that Testors sells at model car supply. Here is a pic that I got the idea from, another 53 Merc.

  13. noxided
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 780


    Oh, here is a before "Red Reflector"
    And after.
  14. toolman1967
    Joined: Mar 13, 2008
    Posts: 441


    Very cool tech tip. I like the look!
  15. Cool idea and nice execution!
  16. Buddy Palumbo
    Joined: Mar 30, 2008
    Posts: 3,871

    Buddy Palumbo

  17. scrap metal 48
    Joined: Sep 6, 2009
    Posts: 6,075

    scrap metal 48

    Cool, you did a nice job on them.. They look great.......
  18. chaos10meter
    Joined: Feb 21, 2007
    Posts: 2,191

    from PA.

    Melted over " Large bean cans".
    truly a HAMB'er, love it.
  19. noxided
    Joined: Aug 28, 2006
    Posts: 780


    or does that make me a Beaner?
  20. Hdonlybob
    Joined: Feb 1, 2005
    Posts: 3,964


    Excellent job, and thinking!!
    They will work fine. I like them a lot.
    Thanks for posting the pics, as well as how you did them..

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