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Old 08-07-2009, 12:37 AM   #1
Super_HKS
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SWP

Default DIY: 2009 wrx tail light mod (only 10 dollars!)

2009 wrx 5 door DIY tail light overlay mod:
Conducted by Super_HKS

So let me start out by saying this mod is AMAZING. So after thinking of some cheap tint overlay ideas at work while
being bored out of my mind, I googled transparent red paint and sure enough I ran into the Krylon stained glass
spray paint. I knew right away for 9.99 I couldnt not try it. Well after telling my buddy about the mod, he told
me that a couple guys on nasioc had already done it. I was a little bummed cause I honestly thought I was going to
be super innovative and genius but someone already beat me to the punch. Well good news is that all the DIY mods
for the tail light on nasioc are for a 2008 wrx and the 2008 and 2009 wrx are a little bit different in terms of
removing the lights so basically in this demonstration, I will show you guys step by step on what to do. Hope you
enjoy because I sure did. Best 9.99 spent on the car yet.

Materials needed for this mod:

-Window cleaner (Lights need to be clean when being painted)
-Krylon transparent (color code is 9020) (I purchased mine at Michaels)
-A small ratchet
-10 MM small socket
-8 MM small socket
_An extender to reach the bolt to remove the reverse lights (Extender is shown in pix)
-Painters or masking tape
-Towel or a clean material for cleaning lights (preferable microfiber cloth)
-Phillips screwdriver
-flat head screwdriver or some type of flat item
-Clear coat enamel spray paint

Directions for removing both lights:
1. Start by popping the hatch open.. For the outer lights, start to loosen them by using the 10MM socket. Once
loosened (doesnt take much), take your flathead screwdriver and remove the bolts out.

2. Use a little force and remove the lights. (dont be affraid to show the light whos boss, your not going to break
it). There is no other bolts of screws holding it in place. Once the light is removed, remove the clip that
connects the lights up. (Put light aside and repeat with other side)

3. Now we will move on to the revease lights, remove the plasic covers on the inner hatch liner. (use a flathead or
another item that can get it open)
4. Remove the clip that connects from the car to the rear bulb

5. Also remove the bulbs so you can lay the lights down flat instead of having them slant. (To remove the bulbs,
just twist slightly to the left)
6. Now this is probably going to be the hardest part of the whole mod. Removing the liner in the hatch. Basically
just yank and pull it around until the clips snap out. Dont be affraid to pull it hard. It will sound like your
breaking it but it is very very sturdy plastic. Once you yank the liner out, move on to the next step.


7. After that is done, take your ratchet and your 8 MM socket and remove the 2 bolts connecting the tail lights

8. Now left is 1 more nut and this is a tricky son of a bitch. What you will need to do is throw on your extender
and reach up into the area and loose the nut and get it out.

9. After you remove the nut, remove the light (repeat on both lights), now we can move on to prep and paint
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:38 AM   #2
Super_HKS
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Default

Directions for prep and paint:
1. First spray your window cleaner on your lights and wash them off with a clean towel or cloth (insure they are
super clean)
2. After all lights are cleaned, get your masking tape and start marking off the reverse section and anything else
you would like. there are 3 or 4 different variations of this mod so if you want to paint it all red, forget about
the masking off section. When completing the masking off section properly, it will look like this:



3. Take your transparent red spray paint and start spraying the lights. (for a lighter red, only use 1 coat of
paint on the lights, for medium darkness, use 2 coats. And for a really dark red smoke, use 3 coats.) <=== I only
used 2 coats of spray paint


4. After the spray paint has dried 100% or close to it, take your clear coat/enamel and spray 1 coat of clear coat.
(You can use more than 1 coat of enamel/clear coat but do keep in mind, if you do this, the light will be more
textured
5. After that has dried, remove the masking tape if applied and now install your lights back into your car.
6. Step back and look at your lights for 2 hours and take lots of pix.

FINISHED:






Thanks for taking the time to stop by and checking this mod out. Hope I helped and if you need any help please ask
Sincerely
-Daniel
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:54 AM   #3
chen5108
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DGM

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Very nice tut, I might just give this a go.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:03 AM   #4
@NT
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Looks good, just have to make sure you mask it nice n tight.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:22 AM   #5
Super_HKS
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SWP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by chen5108 View Post
Very nice tut, I might just give this a go.
Do it. I was kind of nervous about doing it but I really wanted to get rid of the altezzas!

Quote:
Originally Posted by @NT View Post
Looks good, just have to make sure you mask it nice n tight.
For sure!!!!! That would suck if you left a little slit and it got paint on it. I overlapped the tape to insure that from not happening.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:42 AM   #6
pDubs
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The good thing about this stuff is you can get it right off with some lacquer thinner and paper towel. Just rub pretty hard and it slowly comes off. I used this stuff on my foglights (but in yellow) and just recently removed it.



edit: I wish they sold it in black at Michael's though, I want to do my reverse lights.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:45 AM   #7
codesoccer
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Flip Flop Tuned on corn

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Well damn that looks amazing. Good job man!!
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:50 AM   #8
booster 11
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sgm

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nice job
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:52 AM   #9
chen5108
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Chapter/Region: NWIC
Location: Seattle, WA
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2008 2.5i 5-Door
DGM

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You live so close, i might just have to strike up a deal for you to do that to my car =)
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Old 08-07-2009, 02:36 AM   #10
Super_HKS
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2009 WRX Hatch <@_@>
SWP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by codesoccer View Post
Well damn that looks amazing. Good job man!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by booster 11 View Post
nice job

Thanks guys I really appreciate it


Quote:
Originally Posted by chen5108 View Post
You live so close, i might just have to strike up a deal for you to do that to my car =)
Sure man. You can swing by my place and we can work something out
Are you too nervous to do it yourself? PM me and we can get something going
-daniel
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Old 08-07-2009, 03:03 AM   #11
No_Brakes23
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2002 Suzuki SV650S Silver

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That looks so much better. If I had the hatch I would definitely go that route. Where did you get the color-matched center piece?
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Old 08-07-2009, 04:49 AM   #12
Super_HKS
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SWP

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Quote:
Originally Posted by No_Brakes23 View Post
That looks so much better. If I had the hatch I would definitely go that route. Where did you get the color-matched center piece?
Comes stock with the 2009's. The 2009s I hate to say it but are 100 times better than the 08s.

Upgraded turbo (faster in a 1/4 mile than a stock STI!!!!!)
red stitched interior
no chromy pieces on the car
gunmetal rims
etc, etc,etc. The difference between the two cars is very significant. Check out cars101.com for all the differences. Also check this out!!!! 2008 vs 2009 wrx. The 09 absolutly walks all over the 08. Subaru really did do a phenominal job with getting customer feedback on the 08's and really made something special with the 2009's. I hated the 2008's when they came out because of all the chrome and all the bling than when the 2009's were released, they really caught my eye!

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Old 08-07-2009, 08:02 AM   #13
thegreenthief
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pDubs View Post
edit: I wish they sold it in black at Michael's though, I want to do my reverse lights.

Look up VHT Nightshades. It's a transparent black paint made specifically for taillights. I used it on older cars I owned and it works well.
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Old 08-07-2009, 08:36 AM   #14
STi Hockey Guy
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alpine white

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looks very clean. nice job man.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:12 PM   #15
Mr_Hox
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I just went from
six to midnight...

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That looks fantastic Daniel! Basically perfect…

Can’t wait to see it in person. (Maybe next Tuesday?)
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:28 PM   #16
elwray
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Member#: 194826
Join Date: Nov 2008
Chapter/Region: Tri-State
Location: Central NJ
Vehicle:
'09 WRX 5dr PP DGM
'07 VTX1300c, '03 VFR800

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Looks awesome!

It's a very smooth finish -- no sanding? Cool!

Extra THANKS for the color code too, maybe I can ask them at Michaels since they don't have it around here/don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I like the results from the Krylon better than the Testor's.

How long ago did you do this? Are you waxing the paint on the lights or leaving it as is?

And those shiny UR flaps are growing on me... looks great!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by thegreenthief View Post
Look up VHT Nightshades. It's a transparent black paint made specifically for taillights. I used it on older cars I owned and it works well.
I've heard good things about the VHT nightshades. It was very very popular on the honda/acura boards I was on before this.. I've since grown wiser and traded up to a WRX
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:37 PM   #17
BuggeyEYED
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did you clear over the red only or did you take the tape off and clear the entire light?
looks great BTW, they should have really came like this already.
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Old 08-07-2009, 01:40 PM   #18
elwray
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'07 VTX1300c, '03 VFR800

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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuggeyEYED View Post
did you clear over the red only or did you take the tape off and clear the entire light?
looks great BTW, they should have really came like this already.
yes, samesies!

If you didn't take the tape off to clear, does it have a little lip where the paint leaves off?
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:16 PM   #19
sea-sube
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2009 OBS
Silver

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great write up HKS - much appreciated. I still can't decide whether to go vinyl or paint on my 09 OBS. The one thing I've noticed from pics is it seems that when they've been painted they look darker (even with 2 coats) than red vinyl. I like the brighter red myself. Has anyone been able to compare side by side tails that have been painted with someone who's used vinyl?
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:35 PM   #20
TK421
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Keep us updated after car washes and over time ect..

Ive heard alot from people who painted them, that theres faded. I have the overlays right now, But have always wanted to paint them for a more cleaner look
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:39 PM   #21
cmiller219
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@cmoney219

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"Patent Pending" lol this is a sick job man very well done.
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:23 PM   #22
againstdan
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Dark gray metallic

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amazingly well done! i think it improves the look of the car sooo much and it is very cost effective. amazing job +1 !
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:47 AM   #23
Dan07WRX
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I just did this today thanks to this write-up! I will post pics tomorrow. I did it late afternoon and was dark by the time i put them on the car.
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Old 08-09-2009, 08:36 AM   #24
Dan07WRX
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Took pics this morning!Sorry for the ****ty camera phone quality and the dirty car.


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Old 08-09-2009, 06:46 PM   #25
Super_HKS
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Hox View Post
That looks fantastic Daniel! Basically perfect…

Can’t wait to see it in person. (Maybe next Tuesday?)
Probably. I think a little mongolian or blazin onion burger are calling my name. Ill text ya bud!
Quote:
Originally Posted by elwray View Post
Looks awesome!

It's a very smooth finish -- no sanding? Cool!

Extra THANKS for the color code too, maybe I can ask them at Michaels since they don't have it around here/don't know what the hell I'm talking about. I like the results from the Krylon better than the Testor's.

How long ago did you do this? Are you waxing the paint on the lights or leaving it as is?

And those shiny UR flaps are growing on me... looks great!!


I've heard good things about the VHT nightshades. It was very very popular on the honda/acura boards I was on before this.. I've since grown wiser and traded up to a WRX
1. Very smooth surface. I didnt wetsand or anything. Just cleaned very good and painted them
2. Did this the same day I posted the DIY up. being in Washington, we have very severe weather so ill keep you guys posted via this thread or PM. I am gonna be washing my car probably this week sometime.
3. For sure, the UR mudflaps not only look amazing but they perform amazing as well. I LOVED them on my 2005 and love them even more on my 09
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuggeyEYED View Post
did you clear over the red only or did you take the tape off and clear the entire light?
looks great BTW, they should have really came like this already.
I left the tape on their until everything was totally dry. Since the lights are plastic and not painted, it would really make any sense to clear coat that portion of things. But to answer your question though no I didnt clear that part only the red part. And thanks man, I really hope people enjoy the mod. Best 9.99 you can spend towards your car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sea-sube View Post
great write up HKS - much appreciated. I still can't decide whether to go vinyl or paint on my 09 OBS. The one thing I've noticed from pics is it seems that when they've been painted they look darker (even with 2 coats) than red vinyl. I like the brighter red myself. Has anyone been able to compare side by side tails that have been painted with someone who's used vinyl?
I say go with the paint. its cheaper, more effective and when it starts to wear, you can re do it in no time at all. The vinyl is harder to apply, takes more time and effort and its way more expensive. When I applied the first coat of paint, the tail lights looked exactly like the red tint overlays. I wanted to paint another coat to get it darker and to keep the paint protected a little better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmiller219 View Post
"Patent Pending" lol this is a sick job man very well done.
AHhaha for sure. I already have people in my state PM'ing me to help em out and stuff


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan07WRX View Post
I just did this today thanks to this write-up! I will post pics tomorrow. I did it late afternoon and was dark by the time i put them on the car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by againstdan View Post
amazingly well done! i think it improves the look of the car sooo much and it is very cost effective. amazing job +1 !

The pix turned out great. Glad I could help you out man.
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