Tail Light Body Fit Issues - Vintage Mustang Forums
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post #1 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-18-2019, 11:05 PM Thread Starter
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Tail Light Body Fit Issues

Hello, today I was trying to get a few small things done on the car and I realized that the tail light bodies I ordered aren't exactly fitting well. I can insert the bolts into the top two holes, and then push the bottom in, but they strain the top bolts trying to get the body flush with the panel-- however, I CAN get all four bolts in. When I tighten the bolts, I'm getting virtually no compression on the white gasket. If I understand correctly, the white gasket goes between the body and the tail light panel, and the black gasket goes between the body and the lens.

1. Is that the correct gasket placement?
2. Has anybody else had problems fitting aftermarket tail light bodies? How did you remedy it?
3. Any tips or advice for this install?

I can't for the life of me get them to line up. I've thought about widening the holes with a rat tail file, but the car was just barely painted, and I figured I'd ask here on VMF before I went and did something I might regret.

I've attached a few photos, but I'm not sure they'll be helpful. You can see the level of gasket compression I'm getting in a few of them. Is it just a matter of cranking down on the nuts until everything lines up, or am I going to have to modify the car?


Any and all advice or information is welcome!

IMG_5060.jpg
IMG_5061.jpg
IMG_5062.jpg
IMG_5063.jpg


Thanks all,
Alex

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And not nearly enough time


Last edited by alex1965; 06-18-2019 at 11:10 PM.
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post #2 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:22 AM Thread Starter
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I've fiddled with it a bit more. It appears that the hole for the tail light body is too small-- the tail light body is fat and does not fit fully in the hole. Should I widen the hole on the freshly painted car with a file or try to file down the tail light body instead?

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post #3 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 08:02 AM
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Did you replace the tail light panel? I say this because I don't remember that much of a gap in the top left corner. Do you have a OEM tail light housing you could try to see if your problem is the tail housing or the back panel.
Ford put a wedge with hole in it first then the nut. (Don't know what they are called it) This goes on then the nut, so the nut sits flat.

Last edited by BW66; 06-19-2019 at 08:09 AM. Reason: more info
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post #4 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:24 AM
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Enlarge the hole as needed to get the housings to fit. Then touch up the paint. It will all be hidden from view when completed.
And as the other guy said- there are supposed to be wedges installed on the studs before the nut is installed. Look at a picture of the tail light installation kit on CJ or NPD website.
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post #5 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BW66 View Post
Did you replace the tail light panel? I say this because I don't remember that much of a gap in the top left corner. Do you have a OEM tail light housing you could try to see if your problem is the tail housing or the back panel.
Ford put a wedge with hole in it first then the nut. (Don't know what they are called it) This goes on then the nut, so the nut sits flat.
The tail light panel was replaced, yes. I do not have easy access to an OEM taillight body to try.

The wedge is called a tail light spacer, right? I've read somewhere that they are not necessary if you are using newer bolts.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-dr...1966/p/HW1429/

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post #6 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awhtx View Post
Enlarge the hole as needed to get the housings to fit. Then touch up the paint. It will all be hidden from view when completed.
And as the other guy said- there are supposed to be wedges installed on the studs before the nut is installed. Look at a picture of the tail light installation kit on CJ or NPD website.
That's what I'm planning to do. I'll circle back around with an update. Thanks for the reply!

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post #7 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-19-2019, 09:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alex1965 View Post
The wedge is called a tail light spacer, right? I've read somewhere that they are not necessary if you are using newer bolts.

https://www.cjponyparts.com/scott-dr...1966/p/HW1429/

Yes, that's them and I have never heard that they are not needed under any circumstances.
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post #8 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 02:37 PM Thread Starter
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Update: I got them to fit. While the aftermarket taillight panel fit very well, the tail light body holes were slightly too small. I had to widen the flange/lip of the hole with a file and some gentle hammering before it would accept the taillight body.
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post #9 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 04:26 PM
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Chinese Offshore Replacement taillight Panel... That explains it...

At this point, I would dent the top and bottom of the taillight housing to fit.

It's better to fit the taillight housing to the panel... otherwise its cut..cut..cut to the taillight panel with a dremel..

A piece of wood and BFH (Big Freakin' Hammer) might would too before you try any cutting..

)

Tony K.



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post #10 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 06:41 PM
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Under the nuts there are supposed to be little wedges so the nuts are parallel and pull tight. I also found the holes for the bezels were drilled wrong on the replacement housings. I had to weld them shut and redrill a couple.

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post #11 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 07:19 PM Thread Starter
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No harm done, I got it all done. Had to do a bit of filing and touch up paint on the widened holes, but none of it is visible and all's well now.

289
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Power Steering
All-around discs
Aftermarket A/C

And not nearly enough time

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post #12 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 08:04 PM
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I had used the Scott Drake "Concours" FoMoCo Stamped Tailights on my two verts... They worked out and fit perfectly... Of course both cars have their original taillight panels as well.. You can buy them thru NPD or Virginia Classic Mustang.

)

Tony K.



Tony Kovar
Melbourne, FL (Formerly from Long Island, NY!)

1965 Mustang Convertible 200cid I6, 3spd Manual (Soon to be swapped for a '65 Date Coded C4!)
1966 Mustang Sprint 200 Registry Owner/Moderator
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post #13 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 08:12 PM
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Just an FYI... The Top Taillight Nuts on both Taillight housings had Factory Spacers behind them to help the lights fit better to the panel...This was done the same at all 3 Mustang plants. The Bottoms just had the nuts.

Scott drake sells a kit of 8 Shaped Taillight Spacers....Only (4) will be used... Give the other 4 to a buddy or use them on your other '65-'66 car if you have one.. Don't use all 8 Spacers as the bottom housing nuts didn't get them.

See pic:

)

Tony K.
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File Type: jpg OriginalFordRearGTJCali1966Mustang Pic 4.jpg (153.3 KB, 6 views)
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Tony Kovar
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1966 Mustang Sprint 200 Registry Owner/Moderator
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MCA#70001

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post #14 of 14 (permalink) Old 06-21-2019, 10:34 PM Thread Starter
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Mister Tony, thanks for the valuable information. I have ordered the spacers and I will utilize them on the top two (four total) nuts! Thanks for pitching in.

289
4 speed
Rally-Pac
Bench Seat
Power Steering
All-around discs
Aftermarket A/C

And not nearly enough time

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