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2G Custom Taillights Lense Coloring

Posted by Kai Hefner, Dec 12, 2019

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  1. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I’ve been getting to a lot of electronics recently, mostly works with LED strips. I’m interested to mess up my extra pair of taillights to see if I can do something cool with them. Talon taillights have this orange top and red bottom. I thought it might just be tint or something but it turns out the piece of plastic is entirely that color.

    I want to make the lenses dark/black. Is that possible? I don’t want to use VHT stuff because it looks like crap most of the time. I’m not sure if I tint it that the light will shine through enough. Any recommendations?
    Ideally I want the lense to keep the same see-through appearance but be black. The LEDs I have are red so I don’t need the red plastic.
     

    Attached Files:

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    BLACK'98DSM likes this.
  2. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

    1,087
    267
    Joined Jul 19, 2005
    Greenville, South Carolina
    I've tinted a few sets of lights years ago. Here is what I do. Take some urethane clear and add some black paint to the clear. The more black you add the darker the tint will be. Then apply as many coats until you get the results you want.
     

    Autocross Build 308  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  3. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    That sounds pretty close to what the canned VHT tint stuff does. It there anything that would make it more clear as opposed to a tint? I don't like how the lights on tinted taillights are so dim. Another thing I'm concerned about is the texture, I feel like the paint stuff always comes out flat or matte.
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  4. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

    1,087
    267
    Joined Jul 19, 2005
    Greenville, South Carolina
    If you use urethane clear (that's what they paint the outside of your car with) the finish will not be full looking.
     

    Autocross Build 308  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  5. 91talonts1

    91talonts1 Proven Member

    575
    228
    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    Spencer, North Carolina
    I've used the tint film from vivid vinyl, turned out pretty good and has good light transmission. Looks better than the nightshade jobs I've seen.
     

    Drag Race Build 3K  15

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  6. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Would I need to sand the lense before painting?

    What %? I'm decently inclined to go this route because I turn out to be halfway decent at tinting. The only thing I'm worried about is that it's still orange on the inside, I don't want it to emit a slightly different colored light than the bottom red part.
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  7. silvreclips

    silvreclips Proven Member

    1,087
    267
    Joined Jul 19, 2005
    Greenville, South Carolina
    Yes, you would need to prep the lights as you would a car. Wet sand 320 grit and then spray your tint mixture.
     

    Autocross Build 308  1

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  8. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Is the lense thing orange/red all the way through? Wondering if I can sand the orange/red off of the piece is just that color of the plastic.
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  9. 91talonts1

    91talonts1 Proven Member

    575
    228
    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    Spencer, North Carolina
    Yes the amber and red go all the way through. I don't know how you'd get it to where you can't see any of the color through unless you tint them really dark or vacuum form a new lense out of a clear material.
     

    Drag Race Build 3K  15

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  10. 91talonts1

    91talonts1 Proven Member

    575
    228
    Joined Dec 29, 2008
    Spencer, North Carolina

    Drag Race Build 3K  15

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  11. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I suppose I could 3D print a clear lense for tinting but I would need a scanner. I think the curves are a bit too complex for me to try and manually measure it.
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  12. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

    1,382
    481
    Joined Feb 9, 2019
    Hoover, Alabama
    Those scratches would be too large for the clear to hide. I've had 600 grit show through a primer. Wet. 320 is for imperfection removal, and higher grits are for the particles and bonding purposes.

    When it comes to plastic, I may be wrong. But I would do AT LEAST a 400. Because there's no going back with plastic.
     

    588  5

    2012 Murray Explorer Dune
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    Road Race Build 3K  23

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    433  4

    2009 Troy Bilt Bronco
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles
    Loading...
  13. ileagleracing

    ileagleracing Proven Member

    223
    119
    Joined Sep 27, 2007
    Midwest City, Oklahoma
    Way back in the day there used to be a guy who would custom tint your tail lights, he's long since gone now, but I believe all he did was to take whatever paint code you specified and mix it with clear coat. Both my Talons have this treatment. The first one he did turned out absolutely killer, It looks just like the painted metal surfaces of the car, but the light still clearly shines thru. I think he mixed too much clear on the 2nd set, they still look good, but it doesn't quite have the same effect. Of course it helps that both my cars are "redish" colors. 20070331_03.jpg 20180505_06.jpg
     

    Autocross Build 4K  28

    1995 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    160 whp · 190 lb/ft · 2G DSM

    Autocross Build 6K  28

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    313 whp · 305 lb/ft · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    Kryndon and BLACK'98DSM like this.
  14. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

    1,382
    481
    Joined Feb 9, 2019
    Hoover, Alabama
    You sir, officially have a pair of bad-ass DSM's.
     

    588  5

    2012 Murray Explorer Dune
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    Road Race Build 3K  23

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    433  4

    2009 Troy Bilt Bronco
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles
    Loading...
  15. 1999RSfwd

    1999RSfwd Probationary Member

    20
    10
    Joined Nov 24, 2016
    Dresden, Tennessee
    You could always try and dye them with some rit dye.
     

    Street Build 77  1

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  16. Kryndon

    Kryndon Proven Member

    407
    235
    Joined Jan 10, 2014
    Bulgaria, Europe
    The plastic on both the Eclipse and Talon tailights are dyed all the way through, so just sanding the surfaces down wont do anything. What I do know is that both tailights and headlights are made by the company Stanley. It's the Japanese company, here's their website: https://www.stanley.co.jp/e/inquiry/

    You could always try your luck sending them a nicely written email asking if they have the original CAD files for the light housings. I've done things like that before but with mixed results. Always worth a try, though.

    Additionally you could either try getting ahold of a simple 3D hand scanner and scanning them yourself, finding a person who has access to one (I believe there was a chap from Germany who had one, he's on the forums), or go the old fashioned way and making a mold then casting clear covers out with nice quality plastic. If it ends up working out fine you can even cast them with different colored dyes. I'm sure lots of Talon folks will be interested in a single-colored rear light. That orange bit annoys me too!

    Another idea, the one I will be trying out sometime in the future, is using clear Plastidip as a base coat. So you'd spray a few clear plastidip coats over the areas you want to color (preferably the whole surface), then after it dries you'd spray your paint of choice mixed with clear as to allow light to go through. Then maybe some more clear coat to add a nice glossy finish. This way, if you don't like the result, you could just peel off the plasti dip. And I believe the plasti dip would be a very nice and sticky base layer for the paint to stick onto.

    Just some ideas for fooling around!
     

    Street Build 3K  12

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    Kai Hefner likes this.
  17. d1prospect

    d1prospect Proven Member

    232
    34
    Joined Mar 14, 2004
    Glen Bunie, Maryland
    I used “night shades” I didn’t have a problem. No runs or anything. Spraying just requires prep. It’s not hard work, but for some I guess removing lights and sanding then re installing could become cumbersome. I could put a picture up if needed. My lights turned out great for what I needed them for.
     

    Drag Race Build 4K  15

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GST
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  18. jpmxrider489

    jpmxrider489 Supporting VIP

    1,656
    20
    Joined Apr 4, 2010
    pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    I did a write up on using nightshades a few years back. As long as you prep the surface well and use clear coat, it will have a gloss look. Just take the time and do as directions say. I have never tried dye. But with the night shades, you can make them as dark as you want. If they are black, factory bulbs will not be bright enough in my opinion. But could be seen from 100 feet which was the law in pa at the time. You could buy aftermarket led that are brighter.

    https://www.dsmtuners.com/threads/diy-vht-nightshades-and-clear.447690/
     

    2K  3

    1995 Eagle Talon TSi
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  19. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    My current lights are nightshaded. I don’t like how it reduces so much light. Even with different bulbs. The fact that it LOOKS tinted instead of something factory bothers me.

    This is a great idea. Already sent an inquiry, thank you for the link.
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  20. 1999RSfwd

    1999RSfwd Probationary Member

    20
    10
    Joined Nov 24, 2016
    Dresden, Tennessee
    I sent Stanley an inquiry and this is what they said...

    We appreciate your inquiry.

    To our regret, our products are manufactured under exclusive agreements with our customers
    Please ask the car manufacturer.

    We regret that we are unable to serve you at this time.
    Thank you for your inquiry.


    Sincerely,

    Stanley Electric Co.,Ltd.
     

    Street Build 77  1

    1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · automatic · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  21. BLACK'98DSM

    BLACK'98DSM Proven Member

    1,382
    481
    Joined Feb 9, 2019
    Hoover, Alabama
    The purpose of sanding is so the clear/paint will bond properly.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2019

    588  5

    2012 Murray Explorer Dune
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles

    Road Race Build 3K  23

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    fwd · manual · 2G DSM

    433  4

    2009 Troy Bilt Bronco
    rwd · automatic · Misc Vehicles
    Loading...
  22. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    I got the EXACT same email back. I responded, mentioning that Eagle no longer exists and that I've tried to reach out to Chrysler (which I have in the past but not for this particular purpose) and they don't have any CAD files from back then. This was their response:

    "We appreciate your inquiry.

    I checked the CAD data in the company, but it was still there.

    We regret that we are unable to serve you at this time.
    Thank you for your inquiry."

    I think they might have misunderstood what I mean't, but regardless they are shooing me off. Is there a company that I could contact for old Eagle stuff?
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
  23. Kryndon

    Kryndon Proven Member

    407
    235
    Joined Jan 10, 2014
    Bulgaria, Europe
    Nope, we're sh** out of luck. I went on a research rampage a few months ago when I wanted to fix my Talon's documentation. To get even the smallest bit of info about these DSMs, you first contact Mitsubishi, who then refer you to Chrysler, who then refer you to Fiat, WHO THEN refer you back to Mitsubishi or Eagle. I've even gone to a few Mitsu dealerships with proof that my Talon is still valid for the lower balljoint recall, but they all rejected me and said to contact Eagle... Sure thing, let me revive a 20 year old dead re-brand company that was never even sold officially in Europe.

    Anyway, I love to rant. In most cases the people that you end up contacting wont have even heard of Eagle, let alone have any power to dig deeper and supply us with what we need. Maybe if you're a friend with the current Fiat/Chrysler CEO, you might have a chance.
     

    Street Build 3K  12

    1997 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    Kai Hefner likes this.
  24. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    RIP 3D printed taillight lenses. Perhaps I'll keep bothering them and see if I can annoy them enough to give me stuff.

    Turns out I have a friend with a 3D scanner but apparently the resulting CAD isn't too great and it a pain in the ass to work in. I suppose I'll give it a try though.
     

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    Kryndon likes this.
  25. Kai Hefner

    Kai Hefner Freelancer

    247
    128
    Joined Jun 21, 2018
    Calgary, AB, Canada
    Possibly not RIP 3D printed taillight lenses? Used a friend's 3D scanner to see what I could get out of the lenses. Had to be taped over, and scanned in two sections so let's see if I'll be able to put them together ROFL
     

    Attached Files:

    Street Build 440  1

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
    awd · manual · 2G DSM

    Road Race Build 745  2

    1998 Eagle Talon TSi AWD
    awd · manual · 2G DSM
    Loading...
    BLACK'98DSM likes this.

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