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D.I.Y. - Tail-light tinting

Old 04-Jul-2006, 07:14 PM
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D.I.Y. - Tail-light tinting

So I thought it was time to change it up a bit, with my options being either to tint my tail lights, or purchase an altezza set. Since I plan on going with the entire blackout theme (rims coming soon) I figured it would be wise to both save a little $$, and look hot doin it

1. I removed both tail lights, and the brake light in the spoiler. Removal was fairly simple, pull back the shrouding under the clip on either side, unplug the connections and remove 4 small nuts.

2. Sanded the s*** out of all the lights, starting with a rough 400grit paper, then smoothing it out with a finer 1500grit. When doing this step, it REALLY seems like ur messing things up for the worst, but this step guarentees the best adhesion of the paint.

3. Purchased Night Shades tint from a shop in brampton for $16.99, and then a standard small can of clear cote from crappy tire for $9.99

4. Clean all surfaces THOROUGHLY with rubbing alcohol to remove all of the sanded red plastic, and remove any grease from fingers.

5. 3 coats of the Night Shades were then applied, not overdoing it, but definately not skimping out on it either. I applied fairly liberally and probably should have used a little less and gone with maybe 4 or 5 coats, but i was happy with the result none the less. Leave yourself about 25-30 mins in between coats for drying purposes.

6. 3 coats of clear coat were then generously applied, due to the night shades leaving a fairly matte finish. Clear coating also protects the night shades, which by itself will wear and chip after time. Clear coat gave it an AMAZING shine.

7. After applying the final coat, i then placed a fan 8feet away from all the surfaces and let it dry completely for 2hours, then it was time to put everything back into place.

8. Used a mixture of windex and rubbing alcohol to get any crud and left over grime from the lights, repeated about 8 times to get it shinin' beautifully!

Notes : this process is more harmful chemically than spraypaint! Use in a HIGHLY ventialed area!! I was using this in my shop, with a window open AND a fan to circulate the fumes. After every coat, i left the room with a headrush, so a mask would probably safe a few braincells through the overall process!

And.......... then end result?


Any quesions / comments appreciated
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Old 04-Jul-2006, 10:07 PM
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is this a double post?
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Old 06-Jul-2006, 01:39 AM
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they look so dark illegal maybe??
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Old 06-Jul-2006, 09:49 PM
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man ur done for... plan on disliking cops a bit more now...loooks sweet *** tho
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Old 06-Jul-2006, 10:57 PM
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Maybe its just me, but the lights look photoshoped...none the less they still look wicked....makes me wanna go darker on mine!
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Old 07-Jul-2006, 12:07 AM
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to remove the tint use a can of throttle body cleaner and the tint will come right off and look better than ever ive had to do this to many friends who think the tint looks good.
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Old 07-Jul-2006, 01:01 PM
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lol definately isnt photoshop -- it really does look that good, though my cameraphone makes it look a little darker than it really is. Its been a week and so far I've had no cops even pay mind to it. At night the lights function 100% and its really hard to tell they are even that dark unless it is daytime.

And aaron, im not sure what you mean, can you elablorate why I would want that done? And how does it look better?
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Old 13-Jul-2006, 01:41 PM
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Looks really good even though I dont liek the dark look usually,
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Old 13-Jul-2006, 01:48 PM
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what tail lights are we talking about??
i don't see anything back there...its too dark
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Old 13-Jul-2006, 03:20 PM
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Way too dark. Take a picture of daytime braking and night time braking and tail lights.

Your going to get a ticket for sure.
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Old 13-Jul-2006, 03:40 PM
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looks good if you like the dark look... only thing that will screw you is the fact that you don't have any reflectors on the rear of your car, which you need by law. when they lights aren't blacked out they reflect light back, but these won't.
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Old 16-Jul-2006, 02:32 PM
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i will get some better pics up tomorrow. 2 weeks and no tickets, although cops definately dont like it. they run my plates alot more now, but i havent been bothered.
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Old 19-Jul-2006, 12:16 PM
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Now when you sand the crap outta the lights...does this just take away the tint so the lights are clear and colour less?...i'm asking this b/c can i sand out the tint to make the lights clear?
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Old 13-Aug-2006, 05:37 AM
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if you want clear tails... invest in some... sanding the **** out of your stock tails if it actually takes the tint off... will look like shyt man.,. sorry but i think it would
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Old 22-Aug-2006, 02:11 PM
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yeaaa they look awesome, but its only a matter of time, till you get an ***hole cop that gives you a ticket....
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Old 03-Sep-2006, 08:46 PM
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i'd like to tint mine a BIT, but i've heard that the tint stuff cracks over winter.. and i will be driving my car all winter. is that still true for the tint stuff you used?
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Old 07-Feb-2007, 11:55 AM
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Nice post.

I have a 91 Integra coupe and did something similar...
but instead of tinting them black, I wanted the red/white to look like more of a dark Cherry Red / White so I did light coats until I got what I wanted.

2 coats though was probably enough.
Do the tails visibly light up in the day time?



Pics are of different cars, but are the exact same lights.
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Old 07-Feb-2007, 09:38 PM
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great job! for clearcoat I go to princess auto...half of the price that CT charges
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Old 19-Feb-2007, 10:27 AM
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Update -- well its half way thru winter and they look as good as they did when i first did them. I dont drive daily, but the car sits in the elements full time. No chips, cracks, fading etc; still looks hot as ****!

and........ NO TICKETS!!! seriously, i haven't got 1 ticket yet. Lucky? perhaps, brampton cops are notorious for being arseholes, but they havent even bothered. Since the rear tints, ive lowered my car 1.5 f/r, 18" ALT rims and tinted my headlights (dont bother, invest in halos!) and im still ticketless!

@G2TEG416 -- great job man! looks sweet - at times i wish i would have left my white reverse light untinted, but i saw another guy same model as mine who did the same thing minus the reverse and it looked kinda gay, so im glad i did the whole thing.

When i get a chance ill get some updated pics, after we get thru this hellish winter.
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