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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
A car as cool as this needs a better tail light than the JC Whitney utility trailer light supplied with the kit. Not knocking FFR, I couldn't afford this car if they didn't source parts like this.

I spent a lot of time finding parts that would fit and think I have come up with a modification that gives the GTM a more exotic look. The lights are LEDs and the lens is smoked plexiglass. The housing is PVC and all fits together rather snugly.

The pictures in no way do these lights jusice. I took a lot of photos and will post instructions if intrested. Hard to tell from the picture but the smaller halo is the running light and the larger halo is the brake/turn signal.

Can't get Photobucket to work so I had to use a different image hoster, can't make pictures bigger.

Mike









 

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Sno B Gone!
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Interesting look. I like it. But will there be a problem with the lack of DOT certification?
Up here as long as it blinks, is red and works, it's golden...

Cool idea!!
 

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Mike,

I really like the look. Would love to see how you fabbed it.

-Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
List of materials
• estreetplastics.com
o (2) 1/8 thick Grey “Smoked” Plexiglas Acrylic Sheet #2064 12 x 24 $7.39 ea
• superbrightleds.com
o (4) AEPC-100 Angle Eye covers, $1.95 ea
o (4) AEPC-80 Angle Eye covers, $1.95 ea
o (4) AE100-R33 Lights, $9.95 ea
o (4) AE80-R24 Lights, $7.95 ea
• Autozone
o (4) Blazer 2.5 inch lights/reflectors #8836, $4.50 ea
o (1) Tube of Black RTV, $6.00
• K-Mart
o (1) Cut & Stick mirror replacement, $2.00
• Lowes
o (1) 3” thin wall sewer PVC, $10.50 ea. (They only sell it in 10 foot sections)
o (4) 3” PCV sewer caps, $2.00 ea
o (12) #8 x 1” screws
Tools
• Table saw
• Band saw
• Drill Press
• Disc sander
• Miter saw
• Basic hand tools
Ok, before you say you can’t do this, this is the first time I have ever done it and it is pretty simple. If you can build a car, making the lenses is a piece of cake. Make the box any size you want but at a minimum, the top surface must be able to hold the frame that holds the 12 x 12 plexiglass. My box is 19 x 25 because I will probably try to use it for other things as well. There is a video on You Tube on building the box so I won’t go into the details.
Directions:
1. Search on You Tube for Thermo Plastic Forming, Forming plastic sheet, Forming Acrylic sheet. You will need to build a vacuum box and a mold of the lens you want. I used the large plastic cover as the mold and added a wood base. I built frame so that it would hold a 12 x 12 piece of Plexiglass. After several failed attempts, I made a female mold (1/8 inch larger than the male one) and the persuader (the steel arm attached to the box). After adding these two things, I was able to produce 4 nearly perfect lenses in a row. BTW, the more time you spend on you molds, the better the lens will come out. Be sure they are smooth because everything will show. Set oven at 350 degrees and place plexiglass/frame in oven for 8 minutes (after oven is up to temp). Make sure you have the frame high enough off the oven rack so that the sagging sheet doesn’t hit the rack. After 8 minutes, turn on shop vac and place frame over your mold. Place the female mold over it and used the persuader to force the mold over the male mold. Hold in place for a few minutes and you will have your lens. I cut it to the same size as the removed lens. (You’ll love the way pizza tastes after this….j/k)




2. Remove screws, lenses and chrome inserts from factory lights.
3. Remove rubber seal from housings.
4. Drill a 1/8 inch hole through the back of the cap approximately ¼ inch from the side.
5. Place PVC cap inside housing, flush to the edge. Measure down from open end of housing 1 3/8 inches and place a mark in the recessed areas in three places. Drill (3) 1/8 holes through housing bungs and PVC cap.
6. Cut the light section out of the Autozone reflector. Cut just after the bonded area towards the red. Just want to remove the light. Sand smooth to remove any lip or burrs. (I used a cutoff wheel in my drill press for this. Be careful, as it breaks through, it wants to grab.)


7. Press the reflector into the small plastic cover.



8. On the larger plastic covers, remove the (3) small tits on the inside of the cover. (I used a small wood chisel for this step.)

 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
9. On the small covers, taper the back edge so that it will start into the PVC cap. Just need to get it to start, it will be a tight fit. Do not install it at this time.
10. Test all lights to be sure they work (I tied a knot in the ground wire so I didn’t have to keep guessing which one was which). Place the lights inside the plastic covers and secure in place with silicone. Apply the silicone between metal parts on the back of the lights. The metal parts get hot.



11. This step is optional: Some of the wires were very close together where they are soldered to the light. I spread the wires and applied a little silicone to hold them away from each other.
12. Cut a ¾ inch piece of the 3” sewer pipe. Remove the PVC cap from the housing and place the reflector/small cover into the PVC cap making sure the wire lines up with the hole you drilled in step 3. Turn the cap over and place on a firm surface and press the reflector/cover into the cap until it is flush. Place the ¾ inch piece of PVC in the groove of the small cover and press on firm surface until ¾ PVC is flush with edge of cap. Remove PVC and save for other lights.



13. Install the cap in the housing using #8 x 1” screws.



14. Cut (4) pieces of 3” PVC to 1 ½ inches.
15. Sand and paint edge. (Only the edge will be exposed and I used silver paint. Black would probably work also).
16. Cut (4) pieces of the replacement mirror to 1 3/8 x 9 5/8. Place inside the PVC flush to the painted edge. The mirror will hold itself in place but I recommend using some spray adhesive.





17. Slide painted PVC into large covers so the painted edge is flush with the edge of the cover. Silicone in place.
18. Pop the large cover into the lens. Apply a bead of black RTV to the housing. Run the wires on the outside of the PVC cap and out the hole in the housing. Slide the lens into the PVC cap making sure the break in the mirror is at the top of the light. Let sit overnight and your light is ready to install.
I am using the small light as the running light and the larger one as the stop/turn signal. Again, I wish I could get a better picture, they really do look good. In fact, they look just as good off as they do on. I tried to list every detail but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.
Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
BA, I don't think there will be any problem with DOT. The reflectors are DOT and the LEDs are automotive.

Rev, I believe there are amber LEDs. Have a look around the site I listed. Many new cars (Corvette) have only red tail lights by the way and I like the look.

Mike
 

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Snake Farmer
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A trailer light is supplied with the GTM kit..huh?..

I thought one used Corvette tail lights for them. Guess I better study the GTM forum a little harder..:)
 

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A trailer light is supplied with the GTM kit..huh?..

I thought one used Corvette tail lights for them. Guess I better study the GTM forum a little harder..:)
LOL. Its a Hella brand light, but it is very generic and closely resembles a trailer light:001_smile:.
 

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Mike,

Thanks for posting the instructions. Not only do the lights look great, they really highlight your creativity and workmanship. Really nice work!

-Michael
 

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Yea, great thread!

Vacum forming of thermo-plastics can be used for all sorts of parts.

You can get started with very little invested in tooling (vacum cleaner, simple mold, etc).

Just make sure your wife is out of the house when you heat the plastic sheets in her oven:001_tt1:!
 

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Great idea. Looking at the Coupe body from the first day I saw it, I came to the same conclusion - what were they thinking? Well, whatever it took to get past the FIA as a road car, certainly not DOT.

The GT40 suffered the same, they sent a young guy out to find taillights based on "get the lightest" and he came back with '61 Corvair lenses.

If Opel Manta lights were readily available, I'd jump on them. Good looking lights are tough to find. These fit the bill.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Just have to be clear here, I am in no way critizing FFR for putting these lights in this car. Hell. I am glad they did because this way, I can afford it. To answer the question, "What were they thinking?", they were thinking about how you and I can afford it.

For those asking about lenses, let me do some checking. I travel a lot and really need to finish this car. I will let you know. You should really try to make the lenses, it was fun, really pretty easy and something you can say you did yourself.

Mike
 
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