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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Been working on these the past few weeks. They are all ready for paint.







I have about 15 hrs into these already. Anyone interested in these, patience is the key but its worth it. Everything is smoothed out with 800 grit and its ready for paint and clear. Stay Tuned for more updates.
 

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Registered
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1,690 Posts
Looking good so far...are you going to color match or black them out?
 

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Previous 3g Owner
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1,363 Posts
Did you have to break the lense completely off? Or is it still useable and able to be put back on?
 

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SPYDEY MF!
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5,223 Posts
Looks awesome Clipse...now I see why you wouldn't sell those to me, lol. What color are you going to paint them? Black?
 

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BoomGoesTheDynaMitt
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7,180 Posts
What exactly have you done? Just popped/baked off the lens cover, taped up the bulb areas, primered and sanded? Are you planning to mod the bulbs themselves?
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Looking good so far...are you going to color match or black them out?
I havent decided. I thought about color matching them but we will see.
Did you have to break the lense completely off? Or is it still useable and able to be put back on?
No, I cut out the area of the lense I didnt need, then filled in the void between the chrome ring and the clear lense. Hand sanded down the cut out so it is smooth and the clear lense has a lip on it going into the cut out. Then I sanded down ever surface and did a series of primer, fill in the deep spots with Icing, then sand, then primer, then sand, then primer to get where I am at now. Now they just wait paint.
Looks awesome Clipse...now I see why you wouldn't sell those to me, lol. What color are you going to paint them? Black?
Ya, these are the ones I had for sale. I just didnt feel good selling them because one had a leak. I like to sell a quality product.
What exactly have you done? Just popped/baked off the lens cover, taped up the bulb areas, primered and sanded? Are you planning to mod the bulbs themselves?
No mods to the bulbs as of yet.
 

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140 Posts
wow these look great nice work! i tried this a while back put about 15 hours into it but i couldnt get the paint right soo i just bailed on the project but good job!
 

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2,080 Posts
Looks smoooooth. I vote for a How-To!
It's pretty simple.

1. Take lights off of car.
2. Place taillights onto pan, put in oven for 4-7 minutes @ 200 degrees.
3. Take them out and quickly pry off the red cover.
4. The adhesive will really stick, unbolt any necessary bolts (the Stratus has a few bolts and clamps)
5. once you have it taken apart, sand down what you want to paint, repaint, and then reapply the cover.
6. Now, you can either get rid of the old ashesive (best idea imo) or just reheat the old one.

Viola!
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It's pretty simple.

1. Take lights off of car.
2. Place taillights onto pan, put in oven for 4-7 minutes @ 200 degrees.
3. Take them out and quickly pry off the red cover.
4. The adhesive will really stick, unbolt any necessary bolts (the Stratus has a few bolts and clamps)
5. once you have it taken apart, sand down what you want to paint, repaint, and then reapply the cover.
6. Now, you can either get rid of the old ashesive (best idea imo) or just reheat the old one.

Viola!
Um that was nothing like what I did.

1. Take Lights off car
2. Take dremel cut off wheel and rough cut areas not needed on clear lense
3. Take dremel sanding wheel and rough out the cirlces more
4. Start sanding like it was your job to get the desired shape of circles
5. Use a filler to fill the gap between the chrome housing and the clear lense
6. Sand like its your job
7. Sand some more
8. Tape areas that you dont want paint on.
9. Primer
10. Look for imperfections and fill/sand some more
11. Primer
12. Sand again so they are ready for paint
13. Paint
14. Color Sand
15. Unmask the red lenses
16. Wet sand everything
17. Clear Coat
18. Put back on car

I am on Step 13 right now. TYCs are very hard to bake and they warp very easily. Also if you take the lense off, the rest of the light is to short and will look like ass on the car. Things that look good take time, and you cant expect them to be done overnight.
 

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Christopher Pearce
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2,542 Posts
You've done some great work so far. I look forward to seeing the end result. If I didn't have a Patriot Red 3G, I would color match mine, but it looks stupid from what I've seen.
 

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QuickSLVR
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672 Posts
nicely done, i am actually been working on this very slowly and have not finished my other one yet...cant wait to see how it turns out. What did you use to fill in those little spots with to get it very smooth like that?
 

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Banned
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18,282 Posts
It's pretty simple.

1. Take lights off of car.
2. Place taillights onto pan, put in oven for 4-7 minutes @ 200 degrees.
3. Take them out and quickly pry off the red cover.
4. The adhesive will really stick, unbolt any necessary bolts (the Stratus has a few bolts and clamps)
5. once you have it taken apart, sand down what you want to paint, repaint, and then reapply the cover.
6. Now, you can either get rid of the old ashesive (best idea imo) or just reheat the old one.

Viola!
This is what most people think is involved when they ask for pricing on custom work. If it was such a simple 1, 2, 3 steps.. then everyone would be able to do it. You make it seem as if you could knock this out in an hour.

Um that was nothing like what I did.

1. Take Lights off car
2. Take dremel cut off wheel and rough cut areas not needed on clear lense
3. Take dremel sanding wheel and rough out the cirlces more
4. Start sanding like it was your job to get the desired shape of circles
5. Use a filler to fill the gap between the chrome housing and the clear lense
6. Sand like its your job
7. Sand some more
8. Tape areas that you dont want paint on.
9. Primer
10. Look for imperfections and fill/sand some more
11. Primer
12. Sand again so they are ready for paint
13. Paint
14. Color Sand
15. Unmask the red lenses
16. Wet sand everything
17. Clear Coat
18. Put back on car

I am on Step 13 right now. TYCs are very hard to bake and they warp very easily. Also if you take the lense off, the rest of the light is to short and will look like ass on the car. Things that look good take time, and you cant expect them to be done overnight.
This is MUCH more accurate.

Now, as reference for those curious - estimate the amount of time involved on each step and tell me how many hours that is to reach a final product. Now, multiply that by your local labor rates for custom fabrication.

Example.. 3 hours total at $60/hr = $180+ paint($40) + materials($80) + shipping($25).
I estimate $325 total. :) (obviously you don't count downtime, drying time, etc.. only actual labor time.)

One off jobs can be pricey assuming the time and care is done to ensure perfection and high quality.
 

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Premium Member
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16,710 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Now, as reference for those curious - estimate the amount of time involved on each step and tell me how many hours that is to reach a final product. Now, multiply that by your local labor rates for custom fabrication.

Example.. 3 hours total at $60/hr = $180+ paint($40) + materials($80) + shipping($25).
I estimate $325 total. :) (obviously you don't count downtime, drying time, etc.. only actual labor time.)

One off jobs can be pricey assuming the time and care is done to ensure perfection and high quality.
Very true. I believe I have 15 hours wrapped up into these. Now I dont think a body shop would take as long since they are more skilled than I, but it isnt a 30 minute job. It will be worth it in the end, and I toyed with the idea of making these to sell, but I would have to sell each set for about 350 to be profitable and I dont think anyone wants to spend that type of money these days on quality parts.

Stay tuned, I hope to start a 03-05 OEM tail light set soon.
 

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Banned
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18,282 Posts
Very true. I believe I have 15 hours wrapped up into these. Now I dont think a body shop would take as long since they are more skilled than I, but it isnt a 30 minute job. It will be worth it in the end, and I toyed with the idea of making these to sell, but I would have to sell each set for about 350 to be profitable and I dont think anyone wants to spend that type of money these days on quality parts.

Stay tuned, I hope to start a 03-05 OEM tail light set soon.
Yup.. I figured about 325-350. Same thing occurred when I made those integrated reverse taillights for Black Menace. I made one proto set and realized there is no way anyone on this board would foot that expense for a unique part.

I can't remember what he paid me for those without digging through my records, but I really think it was in the 250 range...
 
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