Red out Taillights
Install by CloNeGTS, July 4, 2001
Additional photos by Tony & Isaac DeCoursey, August 4, 2001
To get rid of that nasty orange blinker on the bottom of your taillights, here's how to smooth out the color and make them look like this...
First, you'll need to have the following:
-Clear Plastic Wrap
-Testors Brand Transparent Candy Apple Red Model PaintThe link to buy the paint from testors.com http://www.testors.com/catalog_item.asp?itemNbr=1405
You will need to remove the taillights from the car in order to do this. This might not be so easy to do. PLEASE NOTE: YOU MUST REMOVE THE LIGHTS FOR THE PAINT TO DRY EVENLY!
The location of the 3 nuts holding the light on. This picture is inside the trunk with the small side pocket door removed. Two nuts are easy to get to, the other one is a little tighter. You will need to remove the plastic panel along the back of the trunk in order to pull the side plastic panels toward the inside of the car enough to reach that third nut.
Make sure tail lamps are off in order to avoid over-spray and completely covering the orange lens.
Following the molding line on the light, mask just above the orange part of the light. Make sure the tape is straight and is not covering any part of the orange plastic.
You will want to clean the taillight properly before masking it and painting. I used 409 to clean mine and it worked great. Now mask the rest of the light off with the plastic wrap. This includes the back and sides. Tape the piece of plastic wrap on top of the first piece of masking tape you put on the light. For this to work right, look closely at the picture. Lay the plastic wrap just halfway over the top of the first piece of tape, and then place the second piece of tape so that it is offset slightly. You only want to use the first piece of tape's edge to mask with. The second piece is only to hold the plastic wrap on. The only thing that should be open to the air is the orange lens.
Once that is done, it's time to spray. Here is where the clear plastic wrap comes in. You need to first make sure you are covering the orange completely, but DO NOT ALLOW THE COATS TO BUILD UP! Too many coats makes the red you are spraying too dark and it will not match the rest of the light. I used 2-3 light coats and it matched perfectly. Spray a coat, let it dry, come back and see how it matches up. Don't go by the number of coats anyone uses, yours will be different. Spray until the color matches!
Once you have a color that matches the original red, let it dry thoroughly.
Some people have added a few coats of clear coat to the lights, but I don't see the need for it. If the color fades over time, I will remove the faded paint and redo it. When you get an appearance you are happy with, reinstall the lights and you are done.
If you should need to remove a layer of the paint for any reason, use denatured alcohol to remove it. This will not damage the taillight in any way.Additional photos from this install can be found at...https://www.celicahobby.com/photos/celica/installs/inst_red-out-tail-lights/