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Fading Tail Lights

This is a discussion on Fading Tail Lights within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Does anyone know why the tails fade on the 98-02 Firebird/Trans Ams? All 3 of mine are like that and ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member 02SuperChicken's Avatar
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    2002 Pontiac Trans Am

    Fading Tail Lights

    Does anyone know why the tails fade on the 98-02 Firebird/Trans Ams? All 3 of mine are like that and its only the passenger sides. And that chaps my ass bad. Because now I need to buy one to fix this issue.

  2. #2
    Merciless Always Bombhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 02SuperChicken View Post
    Does anyone know why the tails fade on the 98-02 Firebird/Trans Ams? All 3 of mine are like that and its only the passenger sides. And that chaps my ass bad. Because now I need to buy one to fix this issue.
    I don't know why they fade, but I feel your pain. I spent nearly $300 to replace both of them. My passenger side taillight was nearly black. I've read that water gets in there and erodes away the reflective material on the inside, but again, not sure...

  3. #3
    Senior Member nhra-trans-am's Avatar
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    99FRC,00TA,98Formula
    91Firebird,88FieroGT

    Yes, Water gets in there and will turn the lense black. I put a bead of silicone around the lense and havn't had any problems.
    1999 FRC Corvette / 2000 NHRA Trans Am
    1998 Formula / 1991 Firebird
    1988 Fiero GT

  4. #4
    Compulsive F bomb dropper sgt0704's Avatar
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    maybe you can polish these up like the headlights.. i remember my 3rd gen lights were horrible. and i wet sanded them 400 up the chain, and then polished them with a ball on the drill, and some mothers. turned out sexy.

  5. #5
    Compulsive F bomb dropper sgt0704's Avatar
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    atleast that way, they'll be shiny black, almost like a vht nightshade deal, without spending the money.

  6. #6
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    1973 Camaro

    I took mine apart and repainted the inside with a reflective chrome paint. I did it 6 months ago and they still look fine.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kyle C View Post
    I took mine apart and repainted the inside with a reflective chrome paint. I did it 6 months ago and they still look fine.
    I was just outside trying to remove one of my lights since it's about half-filled w/ water. Do they pop off or? I can only pull them out far enough to replace the bulbs. I'm sure I'm missing something Thanks.

  8. #8
    Senior Member INMY01TA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 00TA View Post
    I was just outside trying to remove one of my lights since it's about half-filled w/ water. Do they pop off or? I can only pull them out far enough to replace the bulbs. I'm sure I'm missing something Thanks.
    Gotta go in thru the interior paneling thru the trunk I believe. Several wing nut type srews.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by INMY01TA View Post
    Gotta go in thru the interior paneling thru the trunk I believe. Several wing nut type srews.
    Yea I removed those and pulled the light out of the screw holes, but it seems like the corner of the light wants to stay stuck to the car. I wasn't sure whether that's also supposed to pop out or not, and I didn't want to break anything by trying to yank it out.

  10. #10
    Senior Member t-rock's Avatar
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    dude..ur missing one more wing nut i had the same prob with mine.keep lookin

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by t-rock View Post
    dude..ur missing one more wing nut i had the same prob with mine.keep lookin
    Ahh ok. I took out 4...is there a 5th one in the bottom corner somewhere?

  12. #12
    Senior Member t-rock's Avatar
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    There's one more toward the side of the car and not all facing the back, if I remember right.

  13. #13
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    Alright I'll go check that out again. Thanks.

  14. #14
    Senior Member t-rock's Avatar
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    my right tail light started filling with moisture so i took it off and took a blow dryer to it and sealed it with sylicon put it back on and it stayed dry until i traded it. the lights on each end i replaced with led lights i got at a local truckstop it looked really kool

  15. #15
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    Hey thanks for all the responses. I got around to checking out my taillight again....good news is that I found the 5th wingnut and removed the light ...bad news is that after emptying the water out of the light and replacing the bulbs, I realized that almost all the reflective coating is gone ..so now I don't know if it's better to find another light at an auto salvage, or to try and repaint with reflective chrome paint like someone suggested above...if I did repaint, I'm not exactly sure how to take apart the light...I can only see the light through the holes where the bulbs are....help please? Thanks again!

  16. #16
    Member Mike's TA's Avatar
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    I would like to know this as well please. So when the time comes I will know what to do.

  17. #17
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    I took mine apart slowly using a screwdriver and a heat gun to soften the glue/sealant. If you go slow and put something like two pieces of paper between as you go to keep it from re-sealing, it will come apart undamaged. After I got it apart I found the easiest way to get all of the old glue off was with the heat gun and rags. I didn't have cleaner or solvent that would cut it without damaging the plastic. I used silicon to put it back together. The only other option is to buy a new assembly, I believe they were just north of $200 so I figured I had nothing to lose.

    This was my daughters car and a week after the tail light repair she pulled out in front of someone and got the door busted up. The light still looks good.

    PS I also used a razor knife to cut the glue as I was going.
    Last edited by Kyle C; 08-15-2007 at 12:59 PM. Reason: Forgot something

  18. #18
    Member Mike's TA's Avatar
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    Sweet!!

    I'll have to look at mine to see if they could use a coat of reflective paint. After I get it out of the shop though. An elderly lady backed into it a few weeks ago when it was in a parking lot and left about a 8 inch dent. Should have it back friday.

  19. #19
    Senior Member greatwhiteZ28's Avatar
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    try plastic - x for the plastci or try this for the viynal http://www.bfranker.badz28.com/vinyl/vinyl.htm for the decals

    tell him nick sent you

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