Sunday, March 18, 2018

Put The Spray Can Down...

Good Intentions, Poor Results

Tinted Taillights on certain cars is never a sure thing.

When properly executed, some cars look great with them and some, just don't.

Even if a car manages to pull off the "look" with a set of Tinted Taillights, they do need to be maintained.
Over the years with out regular care, or the occasional touch up, your "Sick Ass" Taillights, just start looking like...Ass.

Sadly, I Think It Looks Better Now
Which is what I think happened to my 98 Talon. 

I'm not sure what happened here, but as you can see...she hasn't aged well.  Both taillights are dull, faded and very dirty.  The same thing goes for the Center Trim Bezel.  Not sure why the center wasn't tinted, but it looks tired too.

Like the Rear End of "Trogdor", my other Talon, these things need a refresh.  Badly.

Almost Like The Last Time

The big difference between the 98 and the 93 Taillights though, is the presence of the Tint itself on the taillights.  This would need to be removed before any real work could start on anything.

Bath Time

Again, the Taillights and Center Bezel were cleaned off in the Bathtub.  Being an apartment dweller, unfortunately it's my only option.

  Any loose dirt, or debris were carefully removed from the various assemblies.  Once done washing, the pieces were dried off to prepare for the next step.

Un-Tint Your Ride

The Center Trim Bezel was disassembled and prepped for refinishing.
Easier To Tear Down Than The 93 Bezel

The surface of both Taillights was carefully wetsanded with 800 Grit Sandpaper to remove the old coating used to tint the lights.

Unfortunately some of the raised lettering molded on the surface of the lights was sanded smooth to ensure all of the coating was removed.

Once this was done, the Taillights and the Center Trim Bezel were then Wetsanded further with 1000, 1500, 2000 and finally 2500 Grit Sandpaper.

A Little Polish

The Center Trim Bezel unfortunately had quite a bit of "crazing" present under the Reflective Lens due to age or exposure to the elements.  Polishing and Wetsanding the Bezel can't do anything to hide this, but it will still make the entire assembly look a lot better.

The Taillights were Polished using a Headlight Refinishing Kit from Mother's.  The Polishing Ball was installed on a Cordless Drill and Both Taillights were polished.
Much Better

The Center Trim Bezel was also Polished using the kit.  The large Black Plastic section was also Wetsanded and Polished as well.


The Center Trim Bezel had raised letters spelling "TALON" on the Upper Panel.  These needed to be masked off and painted.  

The area was carefully masked off with Painter's Tape and a Razor Knife.  3 Coats of Semi Gloss Black were applied, with two coats of Matte Clear.

Meh.  It Worked
After drying, the raised Letters were Wetsanded to remove large defects on the paint, and then polished with the Cordless Drill and Polish from the Headlight Restoration Kit.

The Black Panel Hasn't Been Polished Yet

All Together Now

As you can see, the Rear End Looks a lot better now.
Getting There

Still Missing Something

Forced Performance And Texas...Represent!!

Thank God, That's Over

Seeing the car look better, with some small changes is keeping me motivated.  This thing is a huge mess right now, and at times it feels a little overwhelming.  I've resurrected plenty of 1G DSM's before, but the 2G is uncharted territory.

One step at a time.

Alpha, Mike, Foxtrot...

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