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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Ok so I re-tinted my tail lights and have tinted the gf's tail lights and have helped a few others tint my tail lights recently. There is a secret to giving it a stock shine though and still have the reflective red in the housing needed to not get you in trouble (or much trouble). This how-to/g5club should not be held liable for any issues you could incur with law enforcement so please check your province/state/municipal laws before doing this... I didn't and haven't got in trouble yet but I HIGHLY recommend you do and just be aware of that before you do this.

Anywho, on with the good stuff:

Level of difficulty:
- Easy (as long as you have patience)

Amount of time:
- All day if done properly, short route: 4 hours (roughly)

Tools needed:
1.) VHT Niteshade
2.) A good cut polish (I used Meguiars Mirror step 3 cut polish, check your local parts stores for a good cut polish)
3.) Automotive Clear Coat
4.) Some wax applicator pads/polishing pads or something to use for polishing (such as rags or something)
5.) Screw driver (for the corner markers)
6.) Degreaser (optional)
7.) 800 or 1000 grit sand paper
8.) Tack cloth or prep wipes
9.) Automotive Wax (wet or dry, you choose!)

Steps:
1.) Pull out the tail lights. This can be achieved by completing the following:
a) Twist off the cargo net retainers (top ones) at either side of the car that are attached to the tail lights until they twist right off.
b) Gently pull back the carpet.
c) Undo the two nuts holding the tail lights in with a extended 10mm socket.
d) On the outside of the car, there is a smaller sized bolt where the trunk lid is that is a 7mm bolt, take that off as well.
e) Untwist the bulb out of the tail light housing.
f) Gently pull your tail light out.

Note: Side markers simply require a cross-tip screw driver

2.) Prep your tail lights/side markers by using some kind of solution/degreaser (optional). Once complete, wash it under water to get the chemicals off (for environmental sake you could do this over a bucket but I did this in my sink lol).
*To see what I had to do to mine to get my old crappy tint job off, look at the very bottom of post lol*

3.) Gently sand your tail lights with a fine grit sand paper (I used 800 grit). This will give a surface for the VHT to stick/adhere to (as with any painting surface).



4.) Using a tack cloth/prep wipes, wipe away the dust created from the light sanding. Your tails/side markers are now ready for tinting/spray!



5.) Spray a LIGHT coat of VHT Niteshade & wait 20 minutes to dry.



6.) Repeat step 5 twice more



7.) You'll start seeing a difference, now you can do a light-medium coat of VHT and repeat this step for the desired darkness. Go ONE COAT darker than you were originally planning, you'll know why in the upcoming steps.



8.) After reaching one step past your desired darkness, let your final coat of VHT dry for about 1.5-2 hours (depending how humid/warm it is/how long it takes to dry & set to work with).


^lol... don't worry it wasn't THAT black, it just looked that way because no light was passing thru it since I was holding it against me haha^

9.) Time to bust out that cut polish! Cut polish will give you a factory type shine that makes your tail lights look tinted out of factory without making it ragingly obvious that you tinted your tail lights yourself & making it hard for police to know that you spray tinted your tails and that they can't tell if its DOT approved or not ;). This step will take a while so you may as well crack a beer and watch some TV while you do this. Put on two lines cut polish across your tail lights (or you put dots of it al over your tail lights) (just two thin lines, about 3-4 cm in thickness from end to end, no need to coat your whole tails in it as you'll be rubbing it in). Using the wax applicator pads/polishing pads, rub in the cut polish until it pretty much disappears into a light film, wipe the white film away with a cloth or the other side of polishing pad.

10.) Repeat step 9 until your desired shine is reached... for me it was about 45 minutes of polishing each tail light (reapplying the cut polish roughly about 6-8 times). You do need to apply a little bit of pressure while you are rubbing in the cut polish. I did this in a circular motion. Don't forget about the side and the corners of the tail light. Do this with your corner markers as well (although with corner markers you're just working in a straight line)

11.) Once desired shine is achieved, wipe clean with a rag so there is no residue leftover from the cut polish.

12.) Spray a light-medium coat of clear. Wait 20 minutes to dry and repeat once/twice more.

13.) Allow another 1.5-2 hours to dry

13.) Repeat step 9 to 11 again. You won't need to do this as long this time.

14.) Apply 2 layers of wax rubbing it in just like you were the cut polish....

15.) If you can, wait between 10-24 hours to reinstall as that is how long it will take for the VHT/clear coat to completely cure. It is not 100% necessary but if possible, recommended. With Kiwi's, Brads & _UnLiMiTeD_'s tail lights, they were installed right after we finished the wax coating (wax is a protectant keep in mind ;) ) and they never had any problems & was reinstalled in the pouring rain... although if possible I still recommend.

16.) ENJOY the beautiful darkness of your new tinted lights while ENJOYING a "factory like" shine of your tail lights :). I can scrape my finger along my tail lights now and nothing comes off! Its completely stock like!!! Looks tinted out of factory.

Side note.... sorry for the shitty pics. Additional side note.... Incase any cares, my old job wasn't coming off very well, so I found a combination of taking off the old tint that I don't recommend but it worked for me... I soaked my tail lights with brake clean, waited like 5 mins for it to evaporate then used Acetone and poured it all over my tail lights and scrubbed away, finally the shit came off! lol. Works really well for removing old tint/paint :lol:


^what I had to do to prep mine, not recommended lol^

Mine (I redid them :) looks much better now!!!):




Kiwi's:



Brad's:

 

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Good write up man. Nice trick with the cut polish.

Is that what mainly gave you a more red color or did you decide to go a bit lighter on the tinting? Either way looks much better, I don't like a deep black. Looks good.
 

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Awesome how-to... I'll be doing this once I get a nice day, and some money...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
During the day, depending on the light shined or in direct sunlight it shows up red housing, in the shade its pitch black... nice and shiny... I love it.... !
 

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good to know how to do them properly... i don't like my cut out tint film i put on, it has air bubbles under it.. lol
i was planning to tint spray them just didn't know exactly how to do it properly.. now i do.. wooo.. hopefully the weather will hit double digits sooon so i can do some work on my car... and have it all nice for my bc trip ;)
 

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not to be rude...but i dont see a differance from the first time u did this..other than this time...they are not so dull n ruff? but still a bit?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
not to be rude...but i dont see a differance from the first time u did this..other than this time...they are not so dull n ruff? but still a bit?
they seem shinier and not as dark to me... good write up btw
Definitely not as dark after you use cut shine.... as for not seeing a difference... you can't notice in pictures but in person there is a major difference.
 
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