Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Modding Our Mustang Taillights In Four Simple Steps

There's nothing wrong with a factory style taillight setup on the 67-68 mustang, but our project is far from factory and while the Shelby taillights are a nice change up. They are being done way to often for me and wanted a little something different, but still maintaining that classic mustang look. There are tons on back panel covers, billet light block and even L.E.D. conversions but they can be very pricey and again I'm looking for something a little less "off the shelf". Now I've seen people do the shaved bezel look a few times and wondered how they did it, so I figured out a way to delete the bezels, use all factory pieces, keep the cost to an extreme minimum and give my car a nice clean custom look. Here's how I did it.

Step 1 - In any project the tear down. Very simple 6 nuts on each side, remove the tail lamp housing and the bezels from the outside of the car. That's it for step 1.

Step 2 - Remove the threaded rod from the factory bezels. You don't have to do this, you can buy new threaded rod from most metal shops or home improvement stores. Just don't go to large you need to be able to adjust the angle of the rod and it need to fit through the housing. The largest I'd recommend its 1/4. If your bezels won't let them loose, you can use some WD-40 and put two nuts on the rod. Tighten then down to each other and then using the bottom nut unscrew the rod. That should break it loose. You will also need to pick up some small washers (the only cost if reusing your factory rods)

Step 3 - Next the hardest part (not really that hard). The holes for the bezels are angled and much to large for the small diameter rod, so to fix here's what I did. Using some small washers I placed then on the tip of a body hammer. centering them in the whole of the bezel and flush them with the tail panel. Then a couple spot welds hold the washer in place. Next I placed the rod in, angling it approximately the right direction leaving about a 1/8th inch out of the rear taillight panel. Spot weld it in place and then finish welding the washer and rod into place. Grind off excess and do the next one, repeat for all twelve holes.

Step 4 - Once welded and ground down. I used a little bit a filler and with some minor sanding. Presto! project completed.

When reassembling, you'll need to slightly adjust the rods to fit through the rubber gasket and the housing. I found it easiest to separate the two pieces, putting the rubber surround on first and then the metal housing. This somewhat aligns the rods to fit through the metal housing easier.

Later I will probably tint the taillights for a smokey look, but not 100% sure yet.
But even with out, I think the look is clean and just a bit more the factory.

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