Monday, May 17, 2010

Front Turn Light Madness

Passenger Side - Original Condition and removal

The front turn lights were in pretty rough shape to begin with and were definitely botched by a PO. I won't bemoan this as one must do what you can when it comes to up-keeping cars like this. First, of 4 bolts that are supposed to hold the light down, only two were present, so basically there was nothing holding the base to the car except the lens cover. Of the two bolts holding it together, they were not the correct size for the application. The lens cover should bolt to the threaded base, where here it went through and through to the bonnet and attached with a nut there with overly long bolt. This made removal difficult, as the bolt had seriously rusted. I almost stripped the head off the bolt and the bolt was extremely hot after removal due to the friction of the built up rust and funk. The seals are in pretty bad shape, but are intact. Over-Spray from the red paint wasn't too bad but was still present.

Driver Side - Original Condition and Removal

The driver side was installed in a similar fashion with the exception of the attachment and seals. Instead of nuts holding it together, it was sorta a flat piece of metal, with cutouts to grasp the bolts. Again the bolts were miss-sized. The seals on this side were shot, mostly missing. The base suffered from the lack of seals and was almost completely covered in rust. Over-spray from the red paint-job made this base a real mess.

Passenger Side - Lens Removal

The passenger side lens is in pretty rough shape, needing TLC and repair. One side of the lens has broken off, luckily under the retaining plate. It is dirty and have calcium buildup from years of water drying off on it. The entire lens surface is dull, and pitted from impact of small rocks.

Driver Side - Lens Removal

The driver side lens is in horrible shape, needing TLC and repair. One side of the lens has broken off, luckily under the retaining plate and the other had a chunk missing that is viewable from outside the plate. It is filthy dirty, probably from the failed seal, and have calcium buildup from years of water drying off on it. The entire lens surface is dull, and pitted from impact of small rocks.

Passenger Side - Sample of the Lens after Cleaning

Though I don't have a ready picture of the driver side, I do have the passenger after cleaning. The grime cleaned off well, but the hard water stains still remain. Also, it's very apparent that the cloudiness of the lens itself is in the plastic top layer.

Passenger Side - Spray

The lens base was cleaned, brushed to remove rust and over-spray paint, and masked off for respray. Painted Silver left it looking very good. I'll admit I'm not the best painter in the world but I am happy with the results.

Driver Side - Introducing Evap-O-Rust

With the failed seals, the driver side base was really bad off. My usual brushing didn't even phase the rust accumulation and I was forced to bring in extra ammunition. Evap-O-Rust, found at Harbor Freight, provided me the method to soak the rust away. You can see the line where I flipped it and soaked the other side. It works wonders and really made the difference on this piece. It is causing me to rethink so of the other "finished" pieces...

Passenger Side - Spray Result
Overall I am happy with the result. A little bit shinier than the original would have been, but much better than what it was. The wires were cleaned with soap and water.

Driver Side - Spray Result
Again, I am very pleased with the transformation of this piece. The original looked like it should be trashed and I was dreading replacement costs and the search for the parts. It looks like it's better than the original.

Passenger Side - Epoxy Repairs
I switched the two best pieces and matched them together for the passenger side. The hole that was in one side was filled, after making a form with masking tape, with two part clear epoxy resin. I wanted to color it but didn't want to go to that extreme, if it didn't look right I would just go to the trouble to replace. The filler worked just fine, filling the missing piece and solidifying the remaining fractures without being obviously a repair.

Driver Side - Epoxy Repairs
The two worse pieces were used for this one. The same method was used on this one as well, with the exception of needing to drill out the holes. The color difference is hidden behind the chrome retaining ring.

Passenger Side - Final Product

Driver Side - Final Product
Mated with new hardware, which so happens to be the same as rack screws. I have literally hundreds of rack screws that have followed me home from work as spares in my pockets, I was quickly able to make up two sets in steel. The lens were scuffed up with a 3M pad until only the worst of the rock chips were visible in the newly hazed surface and sprayed with a clear coat of paint. The overall effect is pretty spectacular. The deeper chips are still visible, but overall I'm very pleased with the results! These completed units are safely padded and stored for eventual re-install on the car!

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