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alini

tail light chrome repair

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I disassembled my tail lights due to them needing a deep cleaning from all the desert dust. The chrome inside the light is in bad shape and Im afraid the lights wont be bright when I get them rebuilt without fixing this. Will the over the counter chrome paint be good enough to get reflection or is there something better? Internet searches arent helping

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Either bright silver or chrome paint works fine. Harder with the curves, but I have seen these lined with aluminum foil as well.

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In the classified "services" in the Riview there's a vendor who can re-silver your reflectors.

I was reading something about this the other day and the article I found said that a very high gloss white paint was more reflective than silver or "chrome" paint. ????? I haven't tried it myself, but ?????

When I needed to re-silver the reflectors on my '70 Skylark, I used a chrome glitter paint that I found at the local Hobby Lobby. It had small metal-flake like pieces in it. It worked fine for me. Because the back of your reflector is fairly flat, you might also be able to use reflective safety tape instead of paint. LED replacement bulbs will shine brighter than a reflected incandescent bulb, you might consider that along with the gloss white paint.

Ed

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I have used chrome paint to restore the "silver" for taillights and front turn signals on my 66 Riv, a 75 Nova and going use it on my 65 project car. I cannot compare it to when the car was brand new, however it made a drastic improvement you'll notice immediately.

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I used the chrome paint from the local parts store. One side once I got it apart wasnt bad, not sure why the one side was so horrible. I used a flashlight to compare the chrome to the 'factory original' and the light seems equally bright.

Note to self....the lights need to be put on the bumper before the bumper goes on the car ;) I had my bumper on already not realizing there isnt enough room to work.

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I recently replaced the crusty taillight frames on my 65 with repros and found the reflective surfaces in bad shape. At my local big name craft store I found sheets of chrome-like reflective mylar, cut them to shape and spot-glued them to the inside of the housings. They are backed with heavy paper which concerned me a little, but with a little home product-testing I found they had a very high flash-point and that even after long continuous running the bulbs transferred very little heat if any to the reflective housings. That and individually grounding my sockets (as was suggested by one of you guys) has provided me with taillights which I think meet modern day standards. Drew

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Anyone tried the chrome 3 inch tape insulaters use on seams there joints-it has a pell back paper on the back-very sticky.I think ive seen it at lowes or menards.T.N...

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I actually thought about that as I had some, but it was a little too wrinkly compared to the completely smooth surface of the mylar. Probably sufficient, though.

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There is a product on the market now that reproduces a chrome like finish but is not caustic nor unfriendly to the environment. Here's a YouTube that shows the process. Just what we need for all of the stuff that doesn't get the abuse that a bumper might get.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-1cTpSZ1l8

The same type process is available from Thailand via eBay for what some of you enthusiasts could probably find room for in your garages.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR0.TRC0.H0.Xspray+on+chrome+kit&_nkw=spray+on+chrome+kit&_sacat=0&_from=R40

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I successfully used the "foil tape" which is actually the very sticky foil duct tape you've probably seen in home improvement stores. As mentioned in another post, it was a bit tricky to apply to the curved surfaces of the reflector housing. After much trial and error cutting and fitting, I was able to get sufficient coverage. I did not get 100% coverage, but I got "most" of the inner housing wells covered. The other important step in this process was cleaning and polishing the red tail lenses. It was amazing how dirty the inside of the lenses were when I disassembled them. After a good sudsy cleaning and drying, I used Maguire's Plastix lens polish on the outside surface of the lenses (can't do the inside - they're all dimpled). That process removed 90% of the surface scratches and gave the lens a fresh shiny look. Once reassembled, the combined effort was quite noticeable. I now have bright tail lights.

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Best cleaning for the lenses is a tooth brush and tooth paste. Scrub inside and out, even the nooks and crannies. As Dan said, a world of difference.

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Tooth paste is a very mild abrasive that will leave small scratches !

Plain old soap 'n water with a tooth brush, or small finger nail scrub brush will render the interior of the lens spotless like brandy new.

Plastic polish on the outer surface of the lens will remove hairline scratches and dirt deposits to improve the visual appearance of the lens as Dan stated.

While your at it, replace any crushed or worn foam gaskets to reduce potential water damage, or dust leaks.

A chrome silver, or white spray paint from a rattle can is a very quick 'n easy way to refinish the interior surface of any lamp housing,

without the muss 'n fuss of cutting and applying the chrome tape, unless your retired, and into a make-work project !!

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I'll jump in with another idea. In addition to cleaning the red tailight lenses and painting the inside of the housings with reflective paint, I replaced the tail light bulbs on my '65 Riv with a higher candlepower equivalent. I think the stock bulbs are 1157's. I can't recall the actual number of the brighter bulb, but you can replace the stock ones with the higher candlepower bulbs as they have the same base, so its a direct replacement. I did this over 10 years ago and it really brightened up the tail lamps on my '65 Riv. I got this tip from the 'RIVIEW' (ROA Newsletter). I'm not a home to dig throught my old newsletters; perhaps someone out there can recall which one has a higher candlepower?

I disassembled my tail lights due to them needing a deep cleaning from all the desert dust. The chrome inside the light is in bad shape and Im afraid the lights wont be bright when I get them rebuilt without fixing this. Will the over the counter chrome paint be good enough to get reflection or is there something better? Internet searches arent helping

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Alex, good idea. You are thinking about the 2357 and I believe they are about 20% brighter. I used the 2357's for a quick change and they definitely made a difference.

Rock On

gord

Edited by msdminc
Corrected bulb number and brightness percentage (see edit history)

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Hi Gordon,

Yes, that's the bulb, a 3157. Thanks for posting it.

On another note, I took a look at your photos and must say what a fine job you've done with your '65! Awesome!

Tell me - where did you get those 3 stripe tires? Are those from Coker? What did you pay? Are they bias-ply? Or radials? How do they ride??

Cheers,

Alex, good idea. You are thinking about the 3157 and I believe they are about 30% brighter. I used the 3157's for a quick change and they definitely made a difference.

Rock On

gord

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Alex thank you very much. I was looking for the three stripe tire to match the promotional material that Buick put out back in 1965. I really didn't want Bias Tires because I like to drive the car and the feel of a radial to me is much better. I have a set of mounted Bias Ply Tires for judging that I switch to when needed.

The tires I found are from Diamond Back Tires, and they really look like the ones in the vintage photographs. They have two types (different manufacturers) with the same three stripe whitewall that start at about $250 a tire, kind of steep, but they really compliment the road wheels and the car, so I splurged. The folks at db are easy to work with and delivery is typically about two weeks after order. Click here for their catalog. The ones I got are from page 11.

They ride great - tuned perfectly with the suspension. The white walls are bright white and if you follow Diamond Backs suggestion for tire care they almost sparkle. They would look great on your 65.

Thanks and as always Rock On

gord

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Searched 3157 bulb and came up with Sylvania bulb at Wally's Mart. However, the mounting base doesn't look the same as our cars. Do you have a man'f name? Where do you purchase?

Thxx.

dale

Edited by DrP (see edit history)

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Searched 3157 bulb and came up with Sylvania bulb at Wally's Mart. However, the mounting base doesn't look the same as our cars. Do you have a man'f name? Where do you purchase?

Thxx.

dale

DrP I misspoke, the 3157 is for one of my more modern cars. The ones I got for my Riviera were 2357's. There are a few versions you can get at a local automotive parts store - and the manufacturers are Sylvania, EiKO, Wagner, etc. Some of the manufacturers say the improvement is 20% some more than that. I haven't experienced this yet but some of the knock against the 2357 is their lifespan is shorter. It draws about the same current so no change to wiring is required. The halogen ones do draw more current, so I stayed away from the H1157's.

Sorry again for the confusion.

Rock On

gord

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