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Taillight Reflectors


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I may have a line on a NOS taillight. A guy who I just bought a bumper and deck lid from has one with literally no signs of wear, still wrapped, and no indication of ever having the reflectors installed below the lamp housing. I almost bought it, at $75 it seemed like a steal, but I wanted it because my new 90 coupe has cracked reflectors. I don't think I can pay the $55 per side from a dealer for new reflectors, not with nice looking taillights being available at $150 or so with the reflectors. I'm already starting to regret not grabbing up a new looking taillight assembly though. How do those reflectors even adhere?

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Each reflector has plastic studs that insert through holes in the lower portion of the main lens and are secured with self-tapping speed nuts. Either 3 or 4 per side (can't recall without seeing one).

$75 for a NOS tail lamp lens is a steal IMO. I paid orders of magnitude more than that for one (don't ask) about two years ago. If you don't want it, PM me with the info and I'll buy it (seriously). Or, I'll trade you two good reflectors for the NOS lens if you'll buy it and ship it to me.

KDirk

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I may have a line on a NOS taillight. A guy who I just bought a bumper and deck lid from has one with literally no signs of wear, still wrapped, and no indication of ever having the reflectors installed below the lamp housing. I almost bought it, at $75 it seemed like a steal, but I wanted it because my new 90 coupe has cracked reflectors. I don't think I can pay the $55 per side from a dealer for new reflectors, not with nice looking taillights being available at $150 or so with the reflectors. I'm already starting to regret not grabbing up a new looking taillight assembly though. How do those reflectors even adhere?

Huh??? What??

The reflectors are still available at the dealer? For $55?

Kit

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A Google search eventually brought me to a gm dealer page with the part no. and prices, I didn't look into it any more than that.

If this is a big thing, I will ask for detailed pictures of it or ask him to post it here. All I got was pictures, and from what I could tell, and his description of it(said new), it was a new taillight that sat in this guy's barn for a long while.

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PD-

GM SPO will show a price for parts even when they are no longer available. I rather doubt any new reflectors are available from GM parts.

Long time ago here someone had a set of NOS reflectors for sale; long since sold of course. Probably some buried in the privately held parts stash of some hard core Reatta owners; I am amazed at the stuff that magically shows up at times, especially 25 years on now.

I have a couple of pairs of nice used ones I've scrounged from various places. I'd love to get another NOS main lens, so if this one you were offered really is new, never mounted I would like very much to talk to the seller, provided you aren't going to pursue it of course.

And I am absolutely serious about being willing to trade a pair of reflectors (+ cash or other parts I may have that you need) for the tail lamp if you wanted to buy it and work it that way.

Naturally, I'd want verification that it was really a new part but if you are interested in a swap or would be willing to put me in touch with the seller directly please drop me line here in private messages.

KDirk

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I will get back in touch with him when I can. The reason I didn't think much of it is because there doesn't seem to be any proof it is new besides him saying it was New and wrapped up before he took it out to photograph, and the studs are lightly rusted, so I was unsure. Then the missing reflectors and lack of wear made me second guess myself. I'll ask the seller for more info.

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Sounds good. If it really is NOS, it should be quite easy to tell versus one that has seen much exposure. The mounting studs could be rusty from ambient humidity while stored, but the plastic should be crystal clear (well, it is smoke color plastic), and the BUICK letter inlay chrome should be as-new if it was never run on a car. Appreciate you following up if at possible.

KDirk

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Eh, I suspected as much with a price tag of $75. If he really had a NOS lens it would probably be priced more like $750.

Thanks for checking in on it though.

KDirk

Hmmm, if you're referring to the five foot long clear tail lens with the BUICK letters, I purchased a NOS one in 2000 for quite a sum. I have since discarded the monster factory box and kept the lens wrapped in a blanket in the closet. I'd sell it for $750, no questions asked. :)

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That's the one I'm referring to. I paid $250 for one about 3 years ago. Still have it in the monster factory box. My quip about someone pricing one at $750 was intended to be slightly sarcastic and meant to convey how NOS parts are frequently priced obscenely high.

I'd gladly buy another NOS lens for $250 given the opportunity as I feel it is worth that much. I could buy (and have bought) a complete running Reatta for under $1000 so will not throw that sort of money at a 5 foot piece of plastic. The tail lamp is kind of a focal point of these cars however, so having a nice one is important to the overall appearance unless you are running a real beater.

KDirk

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Gotta be careful with spray finishes on that plastic. I used an automotive grade clearcoat trying to rehabilitate one and it caused the plastic to craze badly due to incompatibility with the solvent in the paint.

I sanded it down to smooth plastic again (starting with 100 grit) and working up to 1000 wet then buffed it out to get it to shine. Otherwise it would have been trashed beyond use the way it looked after the clear coat was cured. Lesson learned.

There was a guy here locally that would shoot a uv-stabilized heat cured epoxy clear coat on plastic lenses, mostly headlight housings, but his idea was sound. I had him do a tail lamp lens that was destined to be junked otherwise. Execution was ok but not great as he did it as a mobile service in the back of a van. Result was dust and impurities in the finish. It did put a permanent crystal clear shine back on it however. Long term I would be concerned about delamination.

This approach in a real paint booth would yield excellent refinish of plastic lenses. I know he used Sherwin-Williams product and was a three component epoxy based system (resin, uv-inhibitor, hardner). He used a hand held heat gun to fast cure it after spraying from a gravity fed HVLP rig.

KDirk

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