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Dr. 240Z

240Z Tail Light Refurbishment

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If interested in refurbishing your 40+ year old tail light lens here are the steps I took with mine after removing the exterior rubber gasket:

1) Before disassembly of the light unit (lens from body), mark the wiring harness left and right. Then number the individual plugs.

2) Remove the bulbs.

3) Remove the metal retainer from the light bar center post as it protrudes from the backside of the body. Please not that if you are planning on reusing the bar, removal of the retainer might require ruining it for reuse. On the other hand, if you are going to replace the bar with a new one, just do what you have to do to get it off.

4) In a sink filled with hot water fully submerge the light unit for 10 minutes.

5) Remove the felt plugs (2) on the bottom side of each unit and set them aside carefully.

6) Slowly pry the lens away from the body using a small flat bladed screw driver. Once enough of the edge of the lens is exposed from the recess, slide a small putty knife along the cement line.

7) Clean up any of the remaining putty by scraping the blade of a small screwdriver over the warm putty. This can take some time. Warm putty is easier to remove than either cold or hot.

8) Wash the lens and body in hot soapy water. Dish soap works well.

9) Now out of the sink and dry, go over the internal plastic with a commercial cleaner. I used ‘Tuff Stuff’ made by STP and it worked well.

10) Polish the reflectors with a metal polish such as ‘Autosol’.

11) Mask the reflectors with painters tape.

12) Paint the internal grey plastic with shiny white paint suitable for this application.

13) Replace the tail light lens bar. Before pressing on the retainers to the outside posts, place a dab of silicone over the protruded end to ensure a good seal. Ensure that you have a good fit of the bar to the lens.

14) Insert the two small pieces of felt in the lens edge just as they were before disassembly.

15) Lay a bead of clear silicone in the recess of the body that accommodates the edge of the lens.

16) Place the lens over the body and press it slowly but firmly into the recess until you feel it bottom out, fully positioned.

17) Place a dab of silicone over the protruded part of the center post of the lens bar as it exits through the body. Now press the retainer into position. I found that a safe and easy way to place these retainers was by use of a socket sized slightly less than the circumference of the retainer.

18) Reposition the wiring harness and secure the bulbs in their sockets

19) Shine up the lens with a paste car wax.

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Very good photo-documentation (visual) of what is needed to get this done! Thanks!

Administrators--- might want to move this to the "Tech Articles" section???

Jim D.

"Zup"

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Nice work:love: I did a similar job on my 280Z taillights when I fitted my ambers lenses. Didn't think of painting the inside though. Thats a good tip.

I couldn't find the original sealer and ended up using white "paintable" sealer, but it seems to be vunerable to water. I was afraid the silicone would be a one way ticket and never come apart. The reason was my lack of faith in my homemade lenses, but they are holding up fine.

Chas

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Nice! No broken posts on the chrome trim strips?

Dennis

I wish! However, going from the 4th to the 5th picture you can see the center post with the retainer (4th) and then a fractured off post without a retainer (5th). I did attempt to remove it without creating any damage but after awhile I gave up when it dawned on me that I was replacing the old bar with a shiny new one anyway.

Dennis, I think that the only way to remove the old retainer without damaging the post would be to carefully grind it off with a small power tool. Actually, if you have a friendly dentist, I'm sure he/she could do it for you.

Cheers,

George

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Would it make any sense to wax plastic parts on a car? Don't know if that would help with soot. I have always avoided waxing plastic on a car because it is hard to wipe that white powder out of the nooks and crannies. Doesn't wax stop UV damage and for that reason might preserve plastic parts?

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Something I did with all my plastic lens was sanded them!

Yep- wet sanded with ultra fine- start with maybe 800-1000 grit and work your way to 1500. Then buff out with a buffing compound. You would be surprised how well it works for fine scratches, overspray.

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Would it make any sense to wax plastic parts on a car? Don't know if that would help with soot. I have always avoided waxing plastic on a car because it is hard to wipe that white powder out of the nooks and crannies. Doesn't wax stop UV damage and for that reason might preserve plastic parts?

Hi Mike,

I used Turtle Wax 'ICE" - works great on many types of surfaces and does not leave a white residue. Google it and you might be tempted to give it a try.

In any case, this was the very first time I applied anything to the lenses and as you can see they ain't look'n too bad for 42 year old plastic.

Cheers,

George

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If interested in refurbishing your 40+ year old tail light lens here are the steps I took with mine after removing the exterior rubber gasket:

1) Before disassembly of the light unit (lens from body), mark the wiring harness left and right. Then number the individual plugs.

2) Remove the bulbs.

3) Remove the metal retainer from the light bar center post as it protrudes from the backside of the body. Please not that if you are planning on reusing the bar, removal of the retainer might require ruining it for reuse. On the other hand, if you are going to replace the bar with a new one, just do what you have to do to get it off.

4) In a sink filled with hot water fully submerge the light unit for 10 minutes.

5) Remove the felt plugs (2) on the bottom side of each unit and set them aside carefully.

6) Slowly pry the lens away from the body using a small flat bladed screw driver. Once enough of the edge of the lens is exposed from the recess, slide a small putty knife along the cement line.

7) Clean up any of the remaining putty by scraping the blade of a small screwdriver over the warm putty. This can take some time. Warm putty is easier to remove than either cold or hot.

8) Wash the lens and body in hot soapy water. Dish soap works well.

9) Now out of the sink and dry, go over the internal plastic with a commercial cleaner. I used ‘Tuff Stuff’ made by STP and it worked well.

10) Polish the reflectors with a metal polish such as ‘Autosol’.

11) Mask the reflectors with painters tape.

12) Paint the internal grey plastic with shiny white paint suitable for this application.

13) Replace the tail light lens bar. Before pressing on the retainers to the outside posts, place a dab of silicone over the protruded end to ensure a good seal. Ensure that you have a good fit of the bar to the lens.

14) Insert the two small pieces of felt in the lens edge just as they were before disassembly.

15) Lay a bead of clear silicone in the recess of the body that accommodates the edge of the lens.

16) Place the lens over the body and press it slowly but firmly into the recess until you feel it bottom out, fully positioned.

17) Place a dab of silicone over the protruded part of the center post of the lens bar as it exits through the body. Now press the retainer into position. I found that a safe and easy way to place these retainers was by use of a socket sized slightly less than the circumference of the retainer.

18) Reposition the wiring harness and secure the bulbs in their sockets

19) Shine up the lens with a paste car wax.

What kind of glue do you use to paste the lense to the lamp body back? Just clear silicone? What Brand?

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