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One thing that has always bothered me on Thirdgens is the tail lights. Just like the park lamps, over time they get very cloudy and start to look like crap. Occasionally, I'll see a Camaro for sale, the owners have repainted and replaced everything on it, new paint, badges, park lamps, grill, the car is mint... and then they show a rear picture and you see the cloudy lamps. I had strongly considered buying new lamps for my car, but a pair of new tail lamps can cost you $500!!! That's a lot of dough to hand over when your tail lights work as they should and are not damaged! With a budget in mind, I decided I would take a stab at making my existing tail lights look new again. I wasn't really expecting results... boy was I suprised!

Today I pulled the tail lights off of my Camaro and brought them home. I decided to only do one tonight to show a before/after.

This is what I did:
1. Filled up a bath tub with enough water to submerge the lamp fully.
2. Let the lamp sit in the tub submerged for about 30 minutes.
3. Added a mix of Simple Green cleaning product and RV Gel Cleaner to the water.
4. I poured some RV cleaner and water into the bulb holes in the tail lights and swished it around.
5. Violently shake the tail light side to side, swishing the water and cleaner around inside the lense.
6. Submerge the lamp in water again and repeat step 5 a few more times.
7. This step is optional, but I gave it a shot... find an old toothbrush and try to scrub any build up from condensation.
8. Drain the tub, fill it up with clean water.
9. Submerge the lamp in the water again, and move it around in the water to make sure that the soap gets washed out, as you don't want a haze left in the lense.
10. Grab a hose and spray the lamp, I did this just to make sure there was no soap left over.
11. Wait for it to dry. You can use a hair dryer to speed up the process. You tail light will most likely look cloudy and not much different for about an hour, this is condensation.
12. Get a plastic shiner and shine up the outside of the lamp.
13. Enjoy your amazing clean, brand new looking tail lights and pat yourself on the back for saving yourself hundreds of dollars over buying new tail lights!!!

This is the difference it made with mine! The top one is not cleaned, the bottom one is...


Leave me feedback and LMK how I did! I am very happy with the results!!!
 

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Looks great.. If you go to eastwood .com they have a polish system to do that as well, for ones that are worse off. You can take the two halfs apart and repolish both and get brand new looking ones.. Yours looked just dirty and looked in good shape to start. If you had more fading like you mentioned before this stuff would fix that as well.. Great job.. :thumbsup:
 

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Looks great.. If you go to eastwood .com they have a polish system to do that as well, for ones that are worse off. You can take the two halfs apart and repolish both and get brand new looking ones.. Yours looked just dirty and looked in good shape to start. If you had more fading like you mentioned before this stuff would fix that as well.. Great job.. :thumbsup:
Thanks :D I was lucky, Actually I have been extremely lucky with the whole car... (knock on wood)... everything seems to be in pretty good shape lol. They were very dirty, a nice bath in RV Cleaner and All Purpose soap really turned them around! And to think I was actually considering spending $5-600 to replace them lol!
 

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Looks good man.

I did something similar with mine, but the outside lense was still cloudy from light scratches. I tried all of the glass cleaners / waxes, they worked OK, but didnt have enough grit to really get the medium to larger scratches out.

I wound up using 2000 grit wet sanding paper, then 3M products made for buffing out cars. The auto paint products worked better than the stuff made for tailights, imho. I buffed the tailights out with a buffing pad on a bench grinder. Just need to be carefull, the pad will melt the plastic if you let in one spot for to long. You will need to repaint the black grids if you go this route also.

After doing this on both of my cars, I just purchased new turn signels and fog lights for the front.

FYI, I tried to purchase gridded tail lights new from GM 5 years ago, they didnt have any, anywere. I dont know were you can find new tailights now?
 

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Looks good man.

I did something similar with mine, but the outside lense was still cloudy from light scratches. I tried all of the glass cleaners / waxes, they worked OK, but didnt have enough grit to really get the medium to larger scratches out.

I wound up using 2000 grit wet sanding paper, then 3M products made for buffing out cars. The auto paint products worked better than the stuff made for tailights, imho. I buffed the tailights out with a buffing pad on a bench grinder. Just need to be carefull, the pad will melt the plastic if you let in one spot for to long. You will need to repaint the black grids if you go this route also.

After doing this on both of my cars, I just purchased new turn signels and fog lights for the front.

FYI, I tried to purchase gridded tail lights new from GM 5 years ago, they didnt have any, anywere. I dont know were you can find new tailights now?
good luck finding new ones, but used ones can always be cleaned up.
http://www.hawksthirdgenparts.com/camaroused82-92taillamps.aspx
 

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good luck finding new ones, but used ones can always be cleaned up.


I did find a new one when I was searching 5 years ago, my buddy at Biddle Chevy loacated it in Texas. Last one in GM dealer stock. I got the phone # for the dealer and ordered it. When it arrived I was shocked at how clear the plastic was, it looked awsome. Then noticed it was non gridded. I still have it, it's been out of the box twice. If anyone is interested in buying it email me at [email protected]. I paid about 150.00 for it, and would like to recoupe the cost.
 

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Looks good man.
I did something similar with mine, but the outside lense was still cloudy from light scratches. I tried all of the glass cleaners / waxes, they worked OK, but didnt have enough grit to really get the medium to larger scratches out.
U didnt have to go through all that. like i said go to eastwood.com and they have a plastic polish kit that comes with wheels and 3 different polish compound sticks to fix the outside and if you take them apart like i said before you can polish the reflectors inside and will look better than new.. or like i said go to classicindustries.com and buy new ones but they aint cheap. :thumbsup:
 

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U didnt have to go through all that. like i said go to eastwood.com and they have a plastic polish kit that comes with wheels and 3 different polish compound sticks to fix the outside and if you take them apart like i said before you can polish the reflectors inside and will look better than new.. or like i said go to classicindustries.com and buy new ones but they aint cheap. :thumbsup:
Strike two.
Have YOU actually tried to split the tail lights appart WITHOUT breaking the clips that hold the two pieces together? I have. Decided to polish them as one piece.
 

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No, not classicindustries.

http://www.classicindustries.com/controller.cfm?type=product&action=productDetail&productId=124451&productSearchCatalogId=1

You cannot purchase any NEW tailights from them. Click on the link above.

I havent researched lensces, but I would guess you wouldnt get the inner part or the weather stripping. The one I have is plug and play, complete.
So I forgot the www. They have them for 199. Look you can It says.. The item listed below is temporarily out of stock.
Please allow ample time for delivery. I buy so much from these guys I have there credit card. :lol:
 

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Strike two.
Have YOU actually tried to split the tail lights appart WITHOUT breaking the clips that hold the two pieces together? I have. Decided to polish them as one piece.
Strike two? Is this baseball? Yes, I did it a few times its a *****. Didnt say it was easy.. and if you screw up they have just the inside lenses too.
 
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