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DIY: Tinted Tail Lights

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by csuviper, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Apr 25, 2014 at 8:58 AM
    #1
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    IMG_0060.jpg

    What is needed:
    • Painters tape
    • 800 - 2000 grit sand paper (I used 1000 grit)
    • PlastX plastic cleaner and polish
    • Auto wax of your preference
    • One can of VHT Niteshades
    1. Start by removing and cleaning off the taillights of any dirt using a cleaner that wont leave a residue. Water if you not sure.
    IMG_0008.jpg
    IMG_9634.jpg

    2. Then wet sand the entire taillight until the shinny surface turn into a faded matte finish when dry.

    3. Once sanded and cleaned off again, tape up the center sections of the brake light and reverse/blinker light areas. This item is optional. I did this because I wanted to put one less coat over the centers so that more light can be transmitted through them.
    IMG_0052.jpg
    IMG_0051.jpg

    4. Apply one coat of VHT Niteshades and allow to dry. I used a heat gun to speed up the process.
    IMG_0053.jpg

    5. Remove tape.
    IMG_0054.jpg

    6. Apply second coat of VHT Niteshades over the entire taillight and allow to dry for 12-24 hours. I used a heat gun to speed up the process. You can apply as many coats here as you want for desired darkness. It drys darker than when wet so make sure you don't do too many and regret how dark it is. 2-3 coats thick is about all you want without drastically reducing the light visibility.
    IMG_0055.jpg

    7. Wet sand using 1000 and then 2000 grit sandpaper then use water and a wax applicator to apply the PlastX. You can skip the wet sanding and move to just the PlastX if desired just might take a little longer to get it all cleaned up (this i did). Use a hard fast circular motion to polish up the VHT. The light will look dull when completed with this step. Do not over sand or polish with PlastX - you don't want to be left with a spot removed of the tint.
    IMG_0057.jpg

    8.The final step is to apply auto wax of your preference. Use a hard fast circular motion to apply. Use a towel to remove any access. Don't apply wax too soon, wait 24 hours for the Niteshades to fully dry.

    9. Install the taillights and enjoy.
    IMG_0183.jpg
    IMG_0201.jpg
    IMG_0189.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 12, 2015
  2. Apr 25, 2014 at 1:33 PM
    #2
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Added to DIY
     
  3. Apr 26, 2014 at 3:28 PM
    #3
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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  4. Oct 9, 2014 at 10:10 PM
    #4
    bigvizzle75

    bigvizzle75 Tundra Time

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    Man that looks good guys!!
    I dont know if i can pull that off.
    How often are you waxing the lights?
     
  5. Oct 11, 2014 at 5:35 AM
    #5
    MotoTundra

    MotoTundra Adrenaline Addict

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    Looks great!
     
  6. Oct 11, 2014 at 10:01 PM
    #6
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    1 or 2 times per year
     
  7. May 10, 2015 at 7:13 AM
    #7
    Virgils12

    Virgils12 New Member

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    Camburg Fox factory 2.5" lift Xd monsters with 295/70/18 nitto terra graplerrs Corsa cat back Weather tech liners Wet okole covers
    Is this holding up good?
     
  8. May 10, 2015 at 7:59 AM
    #8
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Looked fine the other week when I saw his truck.
     
  9. May 10, 2015 at 9:12 PM
    #9
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes they are looking good still. I probably need to wax them up again soon to make them pop
     
  10. May 11, 2015 at 11:25 AM
    #10
    pmedic048

    pmedic048 Pull away from the herd, drive a Tundra!

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    3" front spacer lift and 2" rear spring lift. Moto rims 18x9 with 18+ offset wrapped with 295x70x18 Nitto Terra Grappler G2, K&N drop in fliter and G-Tek SABM.
    Are the PlastX plastic cleaner, polish and the VHT Niteshades sold in auto parts store?
     
  11. May 11, 2015 at 11:55 AM
    #11
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Yes, all can be found in auto parts stores.
     
  12. May 12, 2015 at 9:26 AM
    #12
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    Nice mod. How long should the whole process take?
     
  13. May 12, 2015 at 10:09 AM
    #13
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    Hmm. Well let me try to break it down.
    1. Remove and clean: 10 min
    2. Wet sand: 10 min per, 20 min total
    3. Clean and Tape: 5 min per, 10 min total
    4. One coat and dry: 30-45 min (or 10 min if you use a heat gun to speed up)
    5. Remove tape: 1 min
    6. Remaining coats and dry: 5 min to apply and let dry over night.
    7. Wet sand and/or apply the PlastX: 10 min per, 20 min total
    8.Wax: 5 min per, 10 min total
    9. Enjoy: Priceless
     
  14. May 12, 2015 at 10:49 AM
    #14
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    18"X9" FN BFD's rims, 295/70R/18E Cooper Discoverer STT Pro's, upgraded to Old Man EMU coil-overs/shocks. Toytec shackles Next: true dual exhaust, new UCA's.
    Well done!! I want to do the BHLM but I think I'll do this mod first. I like the mods that let you improve existing parts with out spending a small fortune and taking up a lot of time.
     
  15. May 13, 2015 at 10:57 AM
    #15
    FunkinTundra

    FunkinTundra New Member

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    OME614 full suspension\ Ekstrom design 3" shackles and poly bushing kit\ 295/70r18 Toyo MTs/ +20 offset Fuel Anzas\ 8" BAmuffler....etc...
    I need to add this to the list... Hopefully soon I will gather enough courage to do my BHLM...
     
  16. May 13, 2015 at 11:22 AM
    #16
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    The BHLM "baking in the oven part" I have seen a picture of a fail on that step. Not pretty. But then again you don't put popcorn in the micro and go walk the dog.
     
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  17. May 13, 2015 at 12:12 PM
    #17
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    It's not that bad for the 2nd gens. @csuviper and I did this to both of our Tacomas, and the 2nd generation Tundra is similar. Just use a decent amount of epoxy when sealing it back together so moisture doesn't get in.
     
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  18. May 13, 2015 at 12:35 PM
    #18
    FunkinTundra

    FunkinTundra New Member

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    I'll have to ask the wife for help...she can use an oven WAY better than I can :D My a.d.d. might kick in if I see a squirrel or something and then next thing you know, I have a melted plastic disaster in the oven or I burn the house down :rolleyes:

    Thanks for the epoxy tip... I have seen a lot of posts about people just using the existing stuff. I would definitely rather be safe than sorry...
     
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  19. May 13, 2015 at 12:45 PM
    #19
    matluth

    matluth Fish On!

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    What epoxy did you use? The kind you mix up or straight?
     
  20. May 13, 2015 at 12:51 PM
    #20
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Ya use epoxy, and use it heavy, otherwise you will get moisture inside and be kicking yourself as u pry apart the headlights and re-do the sealant.
     
  21. May 13, 2015 at 12:51 PM
    #21
    Sean266

    Sean266 #ThinBlueLine Staff Member

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    Straight (clear) from the tube.
     
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  22. May 13, 2015 at 7:18 PM
    #22
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Some Mods :) See build thread for details
    I purchased a black butyl roll for sunroof seals. It's the same stuff used to seal the factory lense. Then I plan to add silicon around the outside of the joint to ensure its completely sealed.
     
  23. May 14, 2015 at 6:06 AM
    #23
    FunkinTundra

    FunkinTundra New Member

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    I wish there was a decent video of someone doing the BHLM, last time I checked a guy had posted a video but I looked like he had all of his lights off....you could barely see anything:confused:
     
  24. Aug 9, 2015 at 7:47 AM
    #24
    bluecollarbabe

    bluecollarbabe New Member

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    @csuviper ,
    Can you tell me why you chose wax over a clear coat for the finished gloss? Thanks!
     
  25. Aug 9, 2015 at 9:50 AM
    #25
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    I've did the clearcoat on my Tacoma tail lights but still needed wax to make it shine and not look chalky. Heard you didn't need the clear coat so I saved some steps and added the wax for a good look after the nitshades.
     
  26. Aug 23, 2015 at 3:06 PM
    #26
    JSK4712

    JSK4712 New Member

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    This looks awesome, I'm going to try this, this weekend on my 2015 tundra trd pro. About how much did it cost to finance this fun project? Do you think this xan be completed in a day with the heat gun or are you going to require about a day per coat?
     
  27. Aug 24, 2015 at 9:07 AM
    #27
    LOTSOFTOYS

    LOTSOFTOYS New Member

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    Brian, do u think the vht shades darkens the light out put to much? Is that why u did one less layer Round the lights vs the rest of the tail lights? I'd like to tackle this... but I really only want to lightly tint the tails...
     
  28. Aug 24, 2015 at 9:20 AM
    #28
    csuviper

    csuviper [OP] Moderator Staff Member

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    Yea it does if you add too many coats. Adding less coats where you want the light to be brightest is the best idea.

    I did 3 coats over the full lense on my Tacoma. Liked it but the brake lights were very dim during the day. Ok at night but probably lost 1/2 the output??
     
  29. Aug 24, 2015 at 3:32 PM
    #29
    LOTSOFTOYS

    LOTSOFTOYS New Member

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    Yeah Im only willing to lose 25% light.... if it's too dark I could always swap to leds to make up for some... let me find a pick for u Brian to show u what I am liking
     
  30. Sep 6, 2015 at 4:36 AM
    #30
    thegigz

    thegigz New Member

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    Can you got through the sanding process in detail? I never wet sanded anything before and would hate to destroy the taillights.

    What products you used.

    Thanks
     
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