home register FAQ memberlist calendar

Go Back   Turbobricks Forums > General > showroom

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-08-2021, 09:44 PM   #1
2turbotoys
Salaminizer
 
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.

Before


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!
__________________
Feedback thread https://forums.tbforums.com/showthread.php?t=144924

1978 242, 5.3 L33
1979 242, MS, R brakes
2006 V50 T5 AWD @ 17 PSI
2turbotoys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2021, 10:58 PM   #2
nel621
Board Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Default

The aluminum tape works but if you want paint that actually looks like chrome get the Eastwood Almost Chrome paint. Sand the area smooth, prime then paint. There are other paints that claim to dry to a chrome finish but don't . I've found only the Eastwood paint to dry to a chrome finish.
nel621 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2021, 07:05 AM   #3
rearwheelpeel
Board Member
 
rearwheelpeel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Rochester NY
Default

These housings were one of my first projects on my 242. Very hard to find a good set. I’ve discovered there are two different brands just like the front flashers, one made by cibie, the other by hella. I actually like the Hellas better because the bulb sockets and wiring are all part of the unit, and not the crappy wiring on the back of the housing. I also had to buy multiple sets, and do some cutting + plastic welding between multiple units before I was happy with the two I’m using on my car. I think 4/5 I went through had melted sockets...
rearwheelpeel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2021, 02:02 PM   #4
jfs356
Board Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Default

This a good thread, I need to do my tail light reflectors. Your idea worked out very nicely.
jfs356 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2021, 07:26 PM   #5
2turbotoys
Salaminizer
 
2turbotoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Reading pa
Default

I considered paint, but I didn't have any and that is a lot more prep.

Ya there are Cibie and Hella housings, all the ones I came up with are Cibie. This matters when buying new lenses for anyone who doesn't know that, the screw holes are in a slightly different position.
Luckily the sockets just needed a little cleaning. On final assembly I will apply Oxgard to the terminals for longevity.

Thanks jfs356!
2turbotoys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2021, 10:04 PM   #6
2turbotoys
Salaminizer
 
2turbotoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Reading pa
Default

Update, I started on my "good" set. The upper/outer light bucket is by far the worst one, as well as the top of the housing. It turns into a grey powdery substance. So as I did above, I shaved it down to plastic, then sanded it. The bucket was tougher. I ended up using a Dremel with a stainless steel brush wheel in it. This must be done very carefully, it shoots grey dust everywhere then all of a sudden it starts to melt. A gentle touch is key!

I applied the SS tape, then went over it with a PTFE trim tool to smooth out as many bubbles and rough edges as possible. I started hand polishing the tape, then remembered I have my Dremel out and have polishing wheels for it. That turns a 20 minute per bucket job into a 10 minute total job.

This housing is now sanded and wiped with denatured alcohol, ready for Rustoleum adhesion promoter and semi gloss black paint. Going black because it will match the car better than silver.

This job is difficult to get good pics of, hopefully they make the point even though you can't see the dramatic difference in the polish pics.

The grey that needs to be removed:



Left side is polished with the Dremel and Wenol polish



FCP Euro sells this as a "Volvo trim tool", was quite helpful in the corners and curves.



Exterior of housing is now sanded and cleaned for paint.

2turbotoys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2021, 02:43 PM   #7
JonnyP
Bored Member
 
JonnyP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: ON. Canada
Default

Great write up!
__________________
forums.turbobricks.com/showthread.php?t=85012
instagram.com/mainstreetecho
JonnyP is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-30-2021, 08:00 PM   #8
2turbotoys
Salaminizer
 
2turbotoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Reading pa
Default

Thanks! I painted the outside one of the housings and don't like how it turned out, so I have to do more sanding and maybe a skim coat of filler on it.
2turbotoys is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2021, 10:58 AM   #9
toms_elleck
Board Member
 
toms_elleck's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Ben Lomond, CA
Default

Love this thread!

FWIW, I used gloss white paint inside the housings of my old 5 panel tail lights and front corner lights. It actually worked great for reflectivity and also gave a very clean, bright appearance to the lenses.


Regarding the 4 panels, the part the trips me out is the outside border of the lights. I think those were painted silver from the inside from the factory. But then it seems like the plastic turns yellow. I haven't figured out what to do about that, besides just painting the outside of the plastic. Is that what you plan to do?
__________________
-Thomas
toms_elleck is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2021, 08:53 PM   #10
2turbotoys
Salaminizer
 
2turbotoys's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Reading pa
Default

I bought new lenses. I have a couple NOS ones, a pair from swedish-lamps-for-less on ebay, and the white/red pair from Skandix.
2turbotoys is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 11:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.