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Help My taillights are too dark!

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silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:34 am



Well I got my niteshades tinting spray and painted my taillights last weekend but they are too dark. You can barely see my brakelights and turn signals in the daytime. I think I put on way too much. Can I wet sand it with a fine sandpaper to take off a layer of paint and clear or do I have to use paint thinner and wipe it all off and start over? Also, the surface of the painted tails is bumpy and I have a drip on one of them. How do I get a nice smooth shiny surface? Good thing I bought 4 cans I still have 2 left. I also did my front turnsignal housings and those turned out pretty good. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks! icon_smile.gif [/img]
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
Posts: 4517
Location: Texas!


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:46 am

im not too sure how to get it off, but i dont think paint thinner will be your friend without messing them up

next time, do REALLY light coats with a few minutes between until you get the effect you want
Aken

Joined: Feb 12 2003
Posts: 10885


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:48 am

I think you should be able to wet sand some layers off, but I don't know for sure - I've never used the Nite Shades.

Wet sanding is also used to get rid of bumps and such in paint, just use a really high grit paper.
Tim

Joined: Nov 16 2003
Posts: 10795
Location: Kalamazoo, MI


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:53 am

I'd be more worried about those dual fart-cans... but that's just me.
Cooper

Joined: Mar 19 2006
Posts: 1770


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:12 pm

I've wet sanding my plastic lenses before to smooth them out, and sanding paint to get out orange peel and runs is common practice I think so I don't see why it wouldn't work . Just hit it with a real fine sandpaper like 1000 grit or more .
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
Posts: 4357
Location: moved (twice)


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 12:50 pm

wet sand them back to stock and start over.

then do REALLY light coats sanding with 800-1200 grit in between. Then when finished do the same with clear coat.

That will be the best way to get a smooth glossy finish with nightshades
ImagoX

Joined: Aug 24 2006
Posts: 2124
Location: Columbus, Ohio


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:03 pm

This is why I prefer tint film over spraying. icon_smile.gif

User posted image

Good luck, SilentBob!

PS... "bumpy"? Aren't you supposed to spray the INSIDE of the housing? That's how MINI peeps do it...
corvettecrazy

Joined: Dec 17 2003
Posts: 4357
Location: moved (twice)


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:24 pm

ImagoX wrote:
PS... "bumpy"? Aren't you supposed to spray the INSIDE of the housing? That's how MINI peeps do it...


most people end up doing it on the outside out of ease and a lot of OEM TL's dont just bake appart....mine are plastic welded/fused together so the only way they would come appart is by cutting them.
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
Posts: 4517
Location: Texas!


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:27 pm

^Ive never heard of them spraying inside the housing, always the outside
ImagoX

Joined: Aug 24 2006
Posts: 2124
Location: Columbus, Ohio


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 1:44 pm

Most glued lamps can be dissassembled by heating them in the oven @ approx. 250 degrees for about 10 minutes to soften the glue... then pry them open with a screw driver. I've done it with Mazda aftermarket lamps. It's a pain, but it's a lot cleaner than spraying the outside, FYI. Tint film (externally applied) is a better solution IMHO, especially in a state that does not allow tinted tails - it's nearly invisible after installation and if you get hassled you can peel it right off.

Lamin-X (re-sold all over) has a great selection of headlight and tail light films in a variety of colors and degrees of darkness:

http://www.lamin-x.com/products-color-film.php

Personally, I'd strip off ALL of the sprayed-on stuf (if you can) and go with film, esp, in Cali (I hear that state is vigilant on enforcing tail light violations). If Lamin-X does not make a pre-cut kit for your make/model you can get uncut sheets as well.
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 3:28 pm

Thanks for all the suggestions everyone. ImagoX your mini looks pretty sweet! I didn't go with the tint because I was worried about getting bubbles with that stuff. Also there is a reflector in the center of the taillight that is not flush and has a course texture. (you can barely see it in my pic). Also I wanted to go darker than yours Imagox. I like it black but this is just a little too much. So you think I can save it with some light wetsanding with 800 sandpaper? I tried putting this stuff on in thin layers but it wasn't going on evenly and it looked "milky". So for my last coat I just did I nice thick layer. Hopefully with some patient sanding I can save it. I will post pics of the finished result. Oh yea and don't be hate'n my "fartcans" Tim lol. I like them they sound nice icon_smile.gif
FatManDan

Joined: May 30 2004
Posts: 2766
Location: Roseville, MI


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 4:16 pm

ImagoX wrote:
This is why I prefer tint film over spraying. icon_smile.gif

User posted image

Good luck, SilentBob!

PS... "bumpy"? Aren't you supposed to spray the INSIDE of the housing? That's how MINI peeps do it...




your dog is amost as big as ur car =P
SickWitIt

Joined: Aug 03 2006
Posts: 5840
Location: Piqua, Ohio


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 8:49 pm

LMMFAO!!!

Tell me you didnt use 2 cans of that on JUST your tail lights?
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 9:43 pm

SickWitIt wrote:
LMMFAO!!!

Tell me you didnt use 2 cans of that on JUST your tail lights?


Almost 2 cans, I also did my front turn signal housings and the entire center panel to black out the 300zx lettering and the top strip above where the twin turbo sticker used to be. Not many people know what kind of car this is so I like the stealth look with no emblems.
Soulquarian

Joined: Apr 04 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Bellflower, CA


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Post Thu Sep 21, 2006 11:45 pm

Psshhh, Mine are darker...

User posted image

User posted image

I've gotten two tickets so far, and I've had them for over 7 months. Stay out of upper class areas (I.E. Huntington Beach, The O.C., Redondo Beach, etc.)

I'd suggest going with tint, but I'm in a tC club, so I just switch tails with another member when I get a ticket.
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:56 pm

^^^^^^^^ Yea those are dark. There is no way they are as dark as mine right now. Like I said you can't see my brakelights in the daytime! icon_lol.gif But I love the way yours look. Did you do them yourself? How many coats of clear did you put on that baby? Oh yea I live in huntington beach and I know cops are hardcore here. But I'm not going to let THE MAN get me down! Its just a fix it ticket right?
kkawana

Joined: May 25 2006
Posts: 59


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Post Fri Sep 22, 2006 1:56 pm

yeah.... i too caught the 2 cans thing..... 1 can shoulda been plenty with stuff left over in that one can....

sanding should thin it out to where you want... next time... light layers then test to see if dark enough... then add....
always eaiser to add then take away ;)
Soulquarian

Joined: Apr 04 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Bellflower, CA


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Post Fri Sep 22, 2006 3:02 pm

silentbob97 wrote:
^^^^^^^^ Yea those are dark. There is no way they are as dark as mine right now. Like I said you can't see my brakelights in the daytime! icon_lol.gif But I love the way yours look. Did you do them yourself? How many coats of clear did you put on that baby? Oh yea I live in huntington beach and I know cops are hardcore here. But I'm not going to let THE MAN get me down! Its just a fix it ticket right?


It depends on the cop I think. Both my tickets were non correctable. You'll have to pay the fine and take them off. I'm not sure if that counts on your insurance though.

My tails are professionally sprayed, but I did my third brake light with nightshades.
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:23 pm

^^^^^^^^^ How much was the fine?
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Sun Sep 24, 2006 1:49 am

Well I wet sanded my tails for 4 hours today and I could not get that stuff off of them. I used 600 grit and finished with 1,000 and managed to only clear up them slightly so you could see the lights a litle better, but it is still too dark. Also the sanding caused the lense to cloud up. I think the nightshades dye is soaked into the plastic because no matter how much I sanded, I couldn't get all of the black off. I guess the only thing I can do now is just put another coat of clear on it tomorro and find out how much the ticket is going to be. Well at least you can see my lights in the daytime again and maybe I will get lucky and avoid a ticket. But I recomend gettiing this done professionally if you don't have a lot of experience with this stuff. With all the supplies this was a $100 disaster. But it is a good excuse to get new JDM tails icon_cool.gif
Soulquarian

Joined: Apr 04 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Bellflower, CA


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Post Sun Sep 24, 2006 10:23 pm

silentbob97 wrote:
^^^^^^^^^ How much was the fine?


It was a combination of window and tail tint. It was around $123. Not too bad, but getting two in less than a month sucks...
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:04 am

Wow window tint in orange county is a fix it ticket. I am hoping the taillight tint is the same here.
Rags

Joined: Apr 21 2005
Posts: 3527
Location: dayton


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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:18 am

nice z32.

i would agree with corvette and say start over.
you can also check out stickercity.com for tint covers as well. may be more efficient?
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:34 am

Rags wrote:
nice z32.

i would agree with corvette and say start over.
you can also check out stickercity.com for tint covers as well. may be more efficient?


Thanks

Yea I don't think I can start over. I wet sanded the hell out of those tails but they are still really black. I think I will have to get new ones and maybe get it professionally done.
Dave

Joined: Aug 22 2006
Posts: 176
Location: CT


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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:09 pm

Chisel and mallet imo. Works on anything icon_wink.gif

I think you had applied the layers way way to thick at once, and that's definately why your lights are dripping and such... If you take a spray bottle and place it away from a verticle object and spray too heavily, it'll do the same thing.. Did you read as to how far away the can was supposed to be from the lights ? I've made that mistake painting before, and it's screwed it up as well... If sanding it with 600 grit paper didn't work, and your only alternative is getting new lights, try a 2-300 grit paper, and wetsand it.. You never know.
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:59 pm

^^^^
Yea I did have the can more than 12 inches away from the surface, but I am an idiot and just put way too much on. Just not a very skilled painter I guess. But, I did my rear sidemarkers and they tuned out great! I'll try and post pics if I can. I think with the smaller pieces its easier. Oh well live and learn. I will wait to see if i get stopped for them. I cop drove right past me yesterday, but he was probably on his way to crispy creme dohnuts and didn't want to stop me. icon_smile.gif
Cooper

Joined: Mar 19 2006
Posts: 1770


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Post Mon Sep 25, 2006 5:59 pm

If you're wetsanding and it doesn't appear to do any difference, just get a corser grit sandpaper . I recommended 1000 because you never want to go too rough until you know you need to . But if you're really not getting anywhere just keep getting rougher and roughter stuff.. eventually you'll be powering through that stuff with very little effort . But if you cut through all the black with some really really rough sandpaper you might end up with a real opaque scratched up lense . Then you use finer and finer sandpapers on that lense to bring it back to a nice smooth clear finish, then respray it with your tint .
Always start light 'cause you don't wanna spend hours restoring your lenses if you don't have to.. but it that doesn't work don't be afraid to tear into it with the rough stuff .
GlowinPontiac

Joined: Mar 04 2004
Posts: 5959
Location: Central CT


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Post Tue Sep 26, 2006 12:01 am

or just go to the junkyard or ebay and get some used tails.
Soulquarian

Joined: Apr 04 2006
Posts: 43
Location: Bellflower, CA


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Post Tue Sep 26, 2006 2:13 pm

That's what I recommend...
stasis-

Joined: Jun 05 2004
Posts: 4517
Location: Texas!


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Post Tue Sep 26, 2006 3:34 pm

hell, if they're broke..replace em with something cooler.

cant wait til I get my new headlights in..damn ebay supplier is slow as hell
silentbob97

Joined: Jun 04 2006
Posts: 95
Location: Anaheim CA


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Post Wed Sep 27, 2006 9:34 am

GlowinPontiac wrote:
or just go to the junkyard or ebay and get some used tails.


Yea unfortunately there wasn't many of these cars made so finding tailights in a junkyard will be difficult. But I will get new ones if I have to. The only problem is that the JDM ones are $400! Eyecrazy.gif
twizted_ion

Joined: Jul 09 2005
Posts: 260
Location: Spring Hill, TN


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Post Sat Oct 14, 2006 4:51 pm

buy some brake fluid, dump the fluid into a container and let them sit for about an hour, then with a brush brush off the paint. the brake fluid loosens the paint and itll come off easily with a brush, i had to do this when i screwed moine up and repainted them.
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