• entries
  • comments
  • views

Engine bay light lens- make your own replacement

Sign in to follow this  
Mikes Z car


Hi all,

I made a new engine bay light lens out of an empty nutrition drink tube that looks like a large translucent white test tube with a tube DIA of 33.8 MM, though it does not have to be exactly that to work. The nutrition drink is called Energize and has the words "Hardcore Energize bullet" on it with the word "Energize" much larger than the other words (Thank you to SteveJ for identifying the brand of drink for me since I had thrown away the wrapper). It is sold by Wall Mart here and I have read Walgreens sells it though not in the Walgreens we have (Several Energize offerings are on eBay now 23 Feb 2013). There is a colored shrink wrap covering on the Energize tube but the tube itself is translucent white. Another brand of tube that might work is the Profect brand tube though its color appears more neutral if the color at the top just under the lid isn't from shrink wrap:

Energize Hardcore Bullet:_____Profect Protein Beverage:


******EASY WAY****** (see further down for how I did this the hard way)

1. Cut off the rounded end of the nutrition tube so it is the same length as the original lens (33MM or 1 5/16" or 1.29") and scrape off any plastic burrs.

2. Sand off open end on the side of a bench grinder disk or on a sidewalk to remove irregularities if any.

3. Push into the light housing. You are done.

Pushing the new tube into the housing will take some hand force if you use the same size drink tube I did and will likewise take some force to pull it back out to replace the bulb however the engine bay light bulb will typically last for decades as it isn't often used. This easy approach will result in the best looking light lens as you won't see any cut/grind marks needed to make the new lens twist into place like the old one did if you try the same thing I did (see "hard way" below). Note that I also made two new rubber gaskets out of a truck tire inner tube to be a weather seal between the lens and metal housing as the existing rubber seals in the metal housings I have had deteriorated.

OLD lens/NEW Lens:....................Rubber gaskets:


The three pictures immediately below are also on this related thread:


White translucent tube for new lens material:


DIA of new lens material 33.78 MM:..DIA of original lens 32.52 MM:


******HARD WAY****** (see above for easy way to do this)

The goal of doing this the hard way was to duplicate not only the look of the original but the way it twists on.

1. Be sure any old rubber gasket or freshly made one is in place before doing this. I pushed the new lens into the bay light metal housing after cutting it off from the nutrition tube and put masking tape on it right up to the metal housing.

2. I drew a line across the top of the four tabs and extended this line the width of each tab in a counterclockwise direction from each tab as viewed from the rounded end. Each tab will slide in its own slot as the lens is twisted on. I also put a dot where each side of the four tabs were to be used in the next step.

3. I pulled out the lens and drew a straight line from each dot to the open end of the lens as a guide for grinding with the dremel small cylinder grinding tool.

4. I ground the area down between the three lines for each tab so the tabs will slide over that area easily.


5. Using a dremel thin cutting disk, I cut the slotted line I marked earlier. NOTE: Don't do like I did, take time to cut a little at a time and then test to make sure you didn't cut the slots too deep. You want a firm effort to twist the lens into place so it doesn't come off. If the slots are too deep the lens will be loose and can be cocked over at an angle which doesn't look good.

Dremel tools I used:



As the drink tube is much longer than needed it is possible to practice several times to get the plastic cut/ground off right. I cut off each practice session to give new plastic to practice with before cutting the tube to final length. Plastic slivers from the tube can be melted on with a soldering gun while positioned next to the slot towards the open end of the tube if needed to get rid of any looseness if the slots get cut too deep.

Sign in to follow this  


Recommended Comments

There are no comments to display.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Blog Statistics

    • Total Blogs
    • Total Entries
  • Blog Comments

    • I'm still waiting on a hoist to free up before I can start bolting the new brake parts on my Z, but I did make the drill jig today.  I started with a 12mm thick Mustang wheel spacer with a pilot.  I then made a drawing to layout the holes needed.  I transfered the drawing onto the spacer and I drilled three new 1/8" holes through the jig (spacer) so I'd have the correct 4x114.3mm holes.  One hole is shared from the original 5 lug rotor.  I then bolted the jig onto the Mustang rotor and simply dr
    • Local radiator repair shops used to be plentiful but getting harder to find.  Some of them just specialize in big truck-heavy equipment radiators.  I will be needing to do the same for my project.  I have heard good reports on gas tank RENU but there are none of those franchises in my area.  Good luck, John-Lugoff, SC
    • Decided to go with the 240sx conversion. Main reason is it’s strictly for the street and the parts were easy to source. What I didn’t realize was the 14” wheels won’t clear the caliper. Now looking for a set of 4 lug 15” rims and tires I can use during the build process. Can anyone recommend a temporary solution as far as make and model preferably a steel wheel that I can use until I’m ready to buy the wheel and tire combination at the end of the project? Thanks again for all the help out there.
    • There are several reasons to use the S197 rear brakes.  The rotors are larger diameter than the SVO rotors and they are vented.  The calipers have larger pistons to give them more power.  The big beef with the Maxima rears is that they don't offer as much stopping power as the stock drums.  The S197 rears allow the addition of an adjustable proportioning valve.  The Maxima rears cannot utilize an adjustable prop since the prop needs to be all the way open to get close to enough rear bias. 
    • Any particular reason to use S197 Mustang 5-lug brakes?  The Fox body SVO Mustangs had rear discs with 4-lug.  It's a popular swap to use SVO or T-bird Turbo Coupe rear brakes to retrofit discs to other Fox body Mustangs.  These parts are still pretty common (probably available as a kit).  Might be worth checking to see if they'll fit.