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That panel between the tail lights

This is a discussion on That panel between the tail lights within the Firebird / WS6 forums, part of the Vehicle Specific category; Is there any way to remove the stock red lettering and bird from this panel without having to completely strip ...

  1. #1
    Junior Member 2000_Black_WS6's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    That panel between the tail lights

    Is there any way to remove the stock red lettering and bird from this panel without having to completely strip and repaint the whole thing? New ones cost $$$ so I just bought a set of the vinyl replacements from WS6store but the old has to go first. Hopefully this isn't a repeat question, I tried looking before i asked.

  2. #2
    Member gd1996's Avatar
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    I have a 93-97 style an it had what looks like a sticker on top thats fadded. I got the newer style and they look painted on or something. My best guess would be to wetsand and buff... but might not turn out right.

  3. #3
    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    how soon do you want to know...this is a project i've been thinking about doing for a long time now...can you wait a month or so when I can get you a write up?

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    Green....Navy blue
    96 WS6 Form. 02 Firehawk

    You can wet sand and polish it and it looks better than new. I polish them with 1200 and then 1500 and then polish then glaze. I have sold a few on ebay but the ones I have left are not perfect they have some deep gouges that would not come out.

  5. #5
    Detailing + Design third_shift|studios's Avatar
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    explain "polishing" and "glazing" please? I assume the 1200/1500 are wet sanding?

  6. #6
    Junior Member 2000_Black_WS6's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    Fortunately I have some friends at an autobody shop where I just sent the car to have some suspension upgrades installed and the guy said he'd take a look and see what he could do. So I'll let you know what he did and how it turns out.

    Were those pannels painted black and clearcoated, then a bird painted on over that? I didn't know if wetsanding would take any of the original finish off, but they again thats probably what the glazing fixes. I just don't know what that is either.

  7. #7
    Madeche Vision...soon The Scientist's Avatar
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    NBM
    '98 Ram Air Formula

    I found that the letters were a very thin film/sticker that was slightly inlayed but the bird was clearcoated over. I tried to get it off but then decided to take it off and have it painted NBM to match the rest of the car and put new stickers on. Very nice and worth the money and avoiding the hassle.

  8. #8
    Member 99WS6MAN's Avatar
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    Red
    99 Pontiac WS.6 Trans Am

    Quote Originally Posted by 2000_Black_WS6 View Post
    Is there any way to remove the stock red lettering and bird from this panel without having to completely strip and repaint the whole thing? New ones cost $$$ so I just bought a set of the vinyl replacements from WS6store but the old has to go first. Hopefully this isn't a repeat question, I tried looking before i asked.
    I just placed my Vinyl over the faded area .... cleaned it real good and they have been on no problem ... can see where the old one is .. I will take some pics for u and post them later tonight ...
    99 WS6 Trans AM
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  9. #9
    38 of 139 PontiacFan's Avatar
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    I knew someone over on LS1Tech that has sold many of the polished center sections, ...
    <--- Hint


    As a lot of people have said already, ..., Start by using nail polish remover to get the leftover pink ink off of it. Then simply take 600-1000-1500-2000grit wet-sand paper & start sanding, progressively working up to the 2000 grit. (I stop at 1500 by hand.)
    Then go to your local WallyWorld or auto parts store & pick up some plastic polish. If you have a buffer machine, it will go a LOT faster.
    Buff to a nice lustre, ...

    I used to buy & sell these things all the time, but they're getting harder & harder to buy 'cheap' anymore. If I can't buy'em cheap, they're not worth putting all the time & money into.

  10. #10
    Junior Member 2000_Black_WS6's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Finished the panel

    I finally finished the project. I must say it was alot easier than i had thought and looks really nice. The factory lettering and the bird were evidently painted on and as someone said, some nail polish remover easily removed all of the red. What's nice is that the outline of the lettering and the bird remain slightly visible so you know exactly where to place the replacement vinyls.

    I didn't mess with all the wetsanding or rubbing compound and I really don't think it is neccesary at all unless your panel is in real bad shape to begin (beyond being a little foggy and slight scratches).

    All you need is a $1 bottle nail polish remover, $1 bottle of rubbing alcohol, $5 bottle of Meguiar's PLASTIX plastic cleaner/polish, and the $17 plus S/H vinyl replacement decal from WS6store and about 10-15 minutes of your time.

    Cleaned off the existing faded red with the nail polish remover, washed off the panel and did final cleaning prep with the rubbing alcohol. Next I applied the vinyl decal provided (if you get the reflective like I did you can't apply it wet so you get only one shot at this). Since I had to apply it dry I was able to then apply the PLASTIX which cleaned up the fogginess and minor scratches and made the panel shine like new. I applied the polish after applying the decal as it contains conditioning oils that I feared might affect the adhesion of the vinyl. This does not appear to have hurt the new vinyl at all.

    The most expensive part of doing this is the decal and you'll have enough PLASTIX to polish this thing about 500 more times.

    I'll take pictures of my finished product and have them on here shortly.

  11. #11
    Senior Member clg82's Avatar
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    2000 Trans Am

    Thumbs up

    If you are a member of ebay i have one of those for sale ...i took it off of my 2000 trans am and it is almost all faded.....the name i have it under i believe is 93-02 Trans AM Firebird Rear Tail Finish Panel Red LS1......or something like that .......if you wanna bid on it you can........my name on there is clg_1982........good luck man

  12. #12
    Member sfletch2000's Avatar
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    86 Buick Grand National
    02 WS6-M6 407 RWHP

    Would it be ok to wet sand the whole tail light assembly lenses included and then polish. I have some minor scratches on them that are bugging me.

  13. #13
    last of the breed... urstolendesire's Avatar
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    2002 Transam

    that and the blackout tail-lights...are those jus the plastic covers or are they made that way or something?

  14. #14
    Junior Member 2000_Black_WS6's Avatar
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    Black
    2000 Trans Am WS6

    From what I have learned from previous posts, the tail light blackening, ect. is a process all in its own. I recently bought the night shades to black out my side markers and from researching this there is at least one post that gives deatiled description on the process. I really don't think that wet sanding is neccesary to clean up the rear panel and I know this idea scares most people away from the very easy refinishing of the panel. My next step is to apply the plastic polish to the tail lights to see how it works before I darken them with the night shades. I've been told that the clear coat will really add that glossy look though. I'm really unexperienced with this and cannot offer a professional opionion, but as a amatuer i think just the PLASTIX will work great.

    After doing the side markers I'd really like to see how capable of darkening the tail lights I am. I have a guy that will spray the clear coat for me, but I don't want to go too dark that I lose the honey comb.

    Also, if you go with the ws6store vinyl replacement for the panel, beware of the "silver reflective", after I applied it, it looks almost white on the car. I really didn't want a white decal in replacement, and again, as soon as I get the digital cam I will add the pics of it.
    Last edited by 2000_Black_WS6; 04-13-2007 at 01:57 AM.

  15. #15
    Member sfletch2000's Avatar
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    86 Buick Grand National
    02 WS6-M6 407 RWHP

    i tried the Plastix polish on my tail lights yesterday and i really didn't notice much of a difference at all.

  16. #16
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    Black
    2000 WS6

    I had just the faded out bird and I was able to take a little rubbing alcohol to it and it came right off no problem. It won't polish the panel but it will get rid of the faded bird.

  17. #17
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Bright Red
    '02 Firebird TA WS6

    In regard to cleaning up the foggy look or minor scratches on the tail lights...

    Use Novus No# 2

    It takes a while hand polishing but does work... You can use a buffer but if you don't know what your doing, you will melt the plastic!!!

  18. #18
    Rollo Tomassee AKIRA's Avatar
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    Are you guys talking about the panel that holds the reverse lights in? Vinyl?! I dont know what the hell you are talkign about....

    Pics?
    99 T/A M6
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  19. #19
    Member sfletch2000's Avatar
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    86 Buick Grand National
    02 WS6-M6 407 RWHP

    Whats novus #2 and where do i buy it at? So there's no chance of melting the plastic if i just hand polish?

  20. #20
    Junior Member *JC*'s Avatar
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    Bright Red
    '02 Firebird TA WS6

    Quote Originally Posted by sfletch2000 View Post
    Whats novus #2 and where do i buy it at? So there's no chance of melting the plastic if i just hand polish?
    You've got mail...

    And no chance of melting if used by hand... You get pretty good results depending upon how bad the plastic is? If you really know what your doing (and I do stress really know what your doing) then a buffer can be used and it can bring back plastic to 99% of what it looked like, when it was new.... Yes, its that good!
    Last edited by *JC*; 04-14-2007 at 04:38 AM.

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