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Old 06-27-2010
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Jp7 Jp7 is offline
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Tail Light dissasembly for 2001-2005 Tails - *pics*

For the last few days I've been getting really itchy about the idea of doing a complete LED retrofit in my 2003. I have a few spare tail lights sitting around and I tried to disassemble the lens from the housing. First I used a dremel and cut underneath the edge where I had thought the tail light was plastic-welded to the lens. The idea was to get behind it and close to the seam so that the cut could not be seen once the retrofit was finished and glued back together. The problem I ran into was that the areas around the outer screw-holes were glued also (which makes sense because that requires an extra seal), so I learned that I should have cut on the inside portion of this area. This is easy near the bottom because there is a reflector that you can't see through. The bottom is basically hidden from anything showing. The hard part is the top, because the clear reverse-lamp portion is there, and any error will totally show through. When I got it apart I realized that the entire lamp is NOT plastic welded- it is glued in. Right away I thought I would try the "baking in the oven" trick to get it apart. I put the lens in my pizza-oven, set it to 250 and let it go for about 10 minutes. I was just going to see if the glue would get soft, or if the lens would start to sag first. After coming back 10 minutes later, the lens had sagged badly while the glue remained completely solid. I don't know if this is because my oven is small and barely fit the tail light though, because the lens was almost near the heating element and possibly could have been exposed to higher temperatures because of this.

I think I need a better dremel or cutting tool to do more accurate cuts. The ranger has very curvy lines where you need to cut it to get it apart. I've cut apart Mitsubishi Evo tails, which are indeed sonic welded, and much easier lines to cut apart.

I plan on doing a retrofit like this to my rangers (both of them): I just need a good tool and a reliable way of safety getting the tail lights apart.

Originally Posted by btm757 View Post
...one morning we will all wake up and notice jp7 replaced the sun with LEDs
Originally Posted by Fx4wannabe01 View Post
I'm sure it'll turn out like all your lighting projects: amazing!
Originally Posted by dixie_boysles View Post
you are the lighting king
Originally Posted by Fink132 View Post
For those who don't know, this is our resident LED Expert.
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