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Old 12-02-2003, 04:22 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I'm working on an interesting project, and was curious if the 65/66 Tail lamp lens can be bleached or something to strip the color pigments from the plastic without making them brittle. I also have a custom set of yellow lenses that might be easier to work with than the red ones.

Can it be done, and what would be the best method?

If not, who sells flat lens like material in different colors as I may opt to even build a set of special lens for my project.

TIA
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Old 12-02-2003, 06:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Doug,

You may want to get some 1/8 inch clear plexiglass and give that a shot first to see if you like the look. Personally, this craze with clear lenses leaves me kind of "blah". Also, check with the DMV as I am not sure what the law is these days on clear taillight lenses...

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Old 12-02-2003, 08:10 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I would make a mold of your red taillights, then use clear epoxy resin to recast the lights. It would be much easier and it would fit just as good. I can't remember the brand name off hand, but I can look later if you want.

I have made lenses for my vintage motorcycles usin this stuff and it holds up well. of course, because the lenses on a motorcycle are more 3 demensional, I have to make a mold that goes completely around the lense, in 2 pieces, and then vacuum inject the resin. It's a lot simpler than it sounds. all you need is a large plastic bag like for storing food, and a shop vac. you just put the mold in the bag, poke a hole at the mold fill hole, and tape it around, then poke a big hole in the opposite side,and duct tape it to the shop vac hose. that way, after you fill the mold, you turn on the shop vac, suck the bag down tight, refill the mold and keep repeating until you see resin coming out evenly around the seam of the mold. I always leave the mold sitting fill side up the whole time so that any air bubbles that might stay in there will float up. I also put a little bit of resin in teh mold and turn it around and around on all sides to try and get it to coat the inside first.

It took me 3 or 4 tries to get it to work the first time, but haven't had a problem since.

Mold release agent can be bought at marine supply places that sell boat fiberglass; or you can get it at some paint stores.

otherwise, just make sure the mold is smooth inside.

same as fiberglass...

any other questions, just ask.
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Old 12-02-2003, 09:47 AM   #4 (permalink)
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By law taillights have to be red.

Can you imagine the fear in the person who turns a corner behind you and sees 2 white lights directly in front of them
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:02 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:11 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Just put a sign on the back of your Stang that says "Hit This" and be done with it. ::
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Old 12-02-2003, 11:29 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Doug,

Probably make something out of clear plexiglass like Randy sugggested.

However, for what it's worth, I think clear lensed lamps (tail or turn) are total rice. The only car that it looks good on was the 1965 Chrysler New Yorker...
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Actually, I'm not making a clear lens as I can not stand them either! Like mentioned above, it is a total ricer look that I dislike completely. :p

What I am doing is integrating back up lamps into the tail lights. I am having to modify the bezel & lens, and I'm trying to find a inexpensive way to proceed the prototype if it works out. I need to make the lens white or clear before I can modify it for my use. The entire lens will not be white! These will look similar to a normal set of tail lights, but with a noticable change!
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
However, for what it's worth, I think clear lensed lamps (tail or turn) are total rice.
So, the 64-1/2 Mustang was the ORIGINAL Ricer They used clear turns...

I think they look good, on the right car. :p
With that said, clear brake lights have never done much for me though.
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Old 12-02-2003, 12:25 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You had me really worried there for a second man, the last thing a Mustang needs is a rice look.

But now that you have cleared it up for me, I think its a good idea! Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 12-02-2003, 01:25 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Isn't it a safety reg that a taillight must be red so as not to mess up the following car's driver's night vision? I think so - that's why on modern multi-color taillight lenses only the turn signals and reverse lights are clear or amber....Something to think about before you put too much T&E into R&D ! Dickson
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Old 12-02-2003, 02:00 PM   #12 (permalink)
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It wouldn't be difficult to make a mold from a stock lens to use for thermo-forming Plexiglas (Lexan). Plexiglas is available in many colors. I do believe the emitted light needs to be red. To use clear lenses, you'd need to use red bulbs (think red LEDs). You could have a second set of clear bulbs in the buckets wired as reverse lights.
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Old 12-02-2003, 02:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Let me get this straight. You want to make part of your tail light lens clear for a back-up light you will be putting in there? If that is correct, you already have back-up lights on the rear valance don't you? By law, turn signals are amber and brake, running lights are red. If you are considerig altering this sceme, Why and what purpose would it serve?
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Old 12-02-2003, 10:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Quote:
Let me get this straight. You want to make part of your tail light lens clear for a back-up light you will be putting in there? If that is correct, you already have back-up lights on the rear valance don't you? By law, turn signals are amber and brake, running lights are red. If you are considerig altering this sceme, Why and what purpose would it serve?
Alright, I will try to clear this up. I really didn't think it would draw this much attention, but since it has....

The entire tail lamp is [color:"red"] RED [/color] and the brake and turn signals will continue to be [color:"red"] RED [/color] just as they always have been. This is going in my 66 Coupe which I am Restomoding, so a few modifications are being made here and there!

Two of the modifications I am making to the tail lamps is the sequential turn signals the other is the integrated back up lights which will be WHITE.

The way I will be doing this (if it works out as intended). I will be extending the bezel by one section (it has 3 sections in its current original form) and it will have 4 when I get done with it. The fourth section will house the white or semi clear lens for the back up light. The back up lights from the lower valance will be removed for a cleaner look. This will extend the whole bezel about 2"-inches toward the middle of the tail light panel.

I am wanting to make a mock-up to see how everything will look, prior to me making a mold to cast new bezels to house the modified lenses. Remember this is a Restomod!

Now back to the question... Does anyone know how to bleach the red color from the plastic lens? ::



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Old 12-02-2003, 11:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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[quote

Now back to the question... Does anyone know how to bleach the red color from the plastic lens? ::
[/quote]

Not positive but I am pretty sure that the red is solid all the way through the plastic, not just a coating, so I don't think you can just remove the red. I think the best idea given above was the idea to take a mold and make one out of clear epoxy resin. That way it will be an exact match for the other 3 panels except for the color, of course.
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