Tail Light Protection

Paint, body preparation and modification, interior work and electrical
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Joined: 05 Mar 2014 21:34
Location: Colorado

Tail Light Protection

Postby loungin112 » 08 Apr 2018 10:22

Hello All.

I did a quick search, but couldn't find what I was looking for.

This is in regards to an issue we all, as 510 owners, have faced at some point. Yes, crumbling rear tail light housings. I realized I had a set of extra tail light housings stashed away, which came with the purchase of my car. To my surprise, they are complete! Internal reflectors and reverse housings in tact! That said, the reverse light housings are showing signs of wear/cracking. I'm hoping to arrest the degradation somehow. My initial thought was to use a basic resin and coat the interior and exterior, hoping that the resin will soak into the porous surface to create a solid surface. Knowing I only have one shot at this, I wanted to use the correct adhesive material. Is a basic resin the best adhesive? Or, should I use something else? I will be using LED lights, so heat/current really isn't an issue going forward.

Looking forward to your thoughts.

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Joined: 01 Aug 2016 02:58

Re: Tail Light Protection

Postby Beegee2 » 09 Apr 2018 13:17

There is a crowd in Australia doing reproduction of these items. I haven’t seen them advertised for a while though.
Keep an eye on eBay.com.au .
I think the company involved is : Phil’s rotaries’ or something like that.
At times on eBay.com.au a user lists good examples from 510’s (1600) , he is known as Tokyo-2-U.
Hope that helps.

Posts: 194
Joined: 05 Mar 2014 21:34
Location: Colorado

Re: Tail Light Protection

Postby loungin112 » 12 Apr 2018 19:32

Thanks Beegee. I do remember hearing something about repop taillights from somewhere.

But, I guess there isn't too much interest in maintaining those we have. The set I have in the garage are from Japan and are in decent shape. Just trying to keep them that way for as long as I can. I guess I will mess around with the taillight that is no longer usable; testing various adhesives to see what penetrates well and what provides a degree of protection.

Probably won't report on what I find out...that is, unless some other members indicate some interest.

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Joined: 27 Aug 2010 13:20
Location: Edmonton, AB

Re: Tail Light Protection

Postby SteveEdmonton » 12 Apr 2018 19:43

If you're fishing for interest (or since you are), yes I'll certainly be following this as closely as I can. :wink:

I too have some iffy or marginal tail-light housings, same issue with crumbling plastic. Seems to me your idea of attempting to somehow "permeate" the material with some sort of epoxy is worth trying. I've thought of "painting" mine with the material left over from a boat-building project some years ago, a good marine-quality epoxy that I used for finishing its okume plywood. But I haven't tried that yet. Maybe you'll come up with a good system on your own.

Good luck!
'71 4-door
'74 MGB-GT
'04 Miata

Posts: 194
Joined: 05 Mar 2014 21:34
Location: Colorado

Re: Tail Light Protection

Postby loungin112 » 15 Apr 2018 18:37

Hey Steve. Thanks for the reply....glad I'm not the only one facing this repair. I'll check out the idea of marine-quality epoxy. I work near an automotive service plaza, so I think I will bring the taillight by them to pick their brain too. I do have one taillight to experiment on, as the reverse plug receiver is simply gone....so I'll paint test a few solutions with it.

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Joined: 06 Feb 2008 11:02

Re: Tail Light Protection

Postby NICKLE&DIME » 16 Apr 2018 00:26

I used jb weld to fill in cracks and then after it dries up I
Sanded with various grit sandpaper nothing too coarse.
I then painted the insides and out after I cleaned them
Up. Used an Ace hardware brand gloss paint.
I shoulda done before and after pics
However I used the epoxy jb to fill in and build up
The cracks and outer square socket area. It took a long
Time but I just wanted to follow the contour of the
original shape.

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Location: Laguna Beach, Ca

Re: Tail Light Protection

Postby James » 16 Apr 2018 08:56

In a related but different concept - I have always thought it would be cool to make a metal cover as the Coupes have (I'm going from memory here) to protect the tail light from items in the trunk. I'm assuming no one has done this? Might be worth a look as the tail light parts are fragile and seem to be hard to come by.
Finished is better than perfect......

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