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Old 05-08-2021, 09:44 PM   #1
2turbotoys's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Reading pa
Default Refurbishing 4 panel tail light housings

The four panel tail light housings aren't getting any nicer or easier to find, so I have gotten a couple extra sets. None of them are all that great, if they aren't broken, that is pretty much the best you can find. I'm not finished with the project yet, but thought I would share what I did so far. All work has been done to the worst of my housings in case something goes wrong.

The main issues that occur to the housings is the reflector disappears, making the light output orange and dull, all the seals are NLA, corroded terminals, and of course brittle plastics. The plastic can get to the point where you can dig it away with your fingernail.

After a good cleaning, I started on the reflector issue first. I sanded one of the light "buckets" and applied 3M 245 2" aluminum tape. This stuff is expensive, but very heavy duty. I got mine from a surplus place. Polished it with blue Wenol metal polish after it was applied.

It might look a little rough but it's pretty thick, and you won't see it with the lens on. I used a brand new red and white lens so the difference would be obvious. I didn't think the red/orange would be as good of a test. Happy with the results for sure.

Silicone cord for sealing the lens to housing

New PTFE washers for the lens screws (not OEM of course)

Hand cut closed cell foam gaskets for housing to body seal

The issue with the plastic finish is a bit tricky. The issue is usually the worst on the top of the housing. I decided to shave it with a razor to start, but it has to be done the way you might use a razor to remove a gasket from an aluminum surface, very carefully.

Forgive the crappy pics, anyone familiar with this should see what I am talking about though.


After razor

This is as far as I have gotten so far. Next is carefully sanding the rest of the plastic, another cleaning, then paint. I will update here as it moves along.

Thanks for the motivation TB, especially the project cars!
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