How to: Tail light tint
NOTE: Following was done on a Euro 2011 Ford Focus Hatch MK3
**If you find that you tinted too much, you can reduce the tint by rubbing away with rubbing compound. This will slowly take off tint until you are happy!**
I used the following products:
1500 grit wet/dry sand paper
Wax and grease remover
VHT Nite shades
Acrylic lacquer clear coat
Meguiar's ultimate compound
1a.) Remove tail lights, there are 2 wing nuts and a clip that have to be undone. The wing nuts are located here:
And they look like this:
Once the wingnuts are removed, pull the tail light sideways off the car, and the clip should come out. Look at the following picture and take note at where the clip is. Circles are the wingnut bolts, and the square is the clip.
1b.) Remove hatch light
Just unscrew the two screws indicated, and disconnect the wires at the back.
1c.) Remove the 2 lower rear reflectors. They are held in by clips which go though the rear bumper. Just stick your head under the car and use pliers to undo the clips.
2.) Wet sand the tail light with 1500 grit
3.) Wash off the debris with paint thinner and a cloth. Rub down the tail light firmly after, as it can leave a film.
4.) Apply wax and grease remover as the final prep, careful not to touch or move the tail light after this step.
5.) Apply VHT Nite shades and clear coat. I used quick fanning motions with the VHT nite shades and the clear coat. I used 3 coats of nite shades and 4 coats of clear.
6.) After spray let cure for at least 12 hours, 24 is best. Buff with rubbing compound until smooth and shiny.
Before rubbing compound:
After rubbing compound: (had to use the car, so cut the buffing process short, i'll finish it up later)
7.) Reattach lights. (Looks darker than it is, car was in a shadow.)
8.) Rubbing compound more once attached, you can really put your back into it when the lights are on the car. I also used a synthetic polish to give it a bit more shiny. This is the end product. I'm quite happy with it.
Excellent write up and pics man [thumb]
Fantastic looking, thumbs up!
Good write-up and the tails look great[thumb]
I would also recommend, for those concerned with reversibility, that the sanding step can be skipped pre-spray. Then, should the need arise, the spray can be removed with gasoline (or the like) with no scratching visible on the lenses.
Real heads up Duane, thanks man! Was wondering about the viability of reversing it.
Not a problem[thunb]
I actually shaded my tails when I did my headlights. After they cured up I went to wet-sand them smooth and accidentally burned through the shade on my D/S (I only wanted a light tint) in two spots. It took me about 30 mins with a rag, elbow grease and some gasoline, but you can't tell anywhere on my lights that they ever had been sprayed.
Also if you are concerned about reversibility as well as durability. VHT does a RED nite shades, which can be used to reverse everything back to stock. Even if you sand.
** Also added how to remove the hatch light and 2 rear reflectors **
I wish tail lights were cheaper so that I could play around and experiment.
When I changed the lights on my GP I bought the best I could find (condition) for $37.
Looks Great dude, awesome instructions and pictures! Very informative
nice write up!
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