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Old 08-29-2005, 12:23 AM   #1
Patrick Olsen
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QuickSilver Metallic

Question Taillight replacement tips? ('97 sedan)

So I picked up some JDM taillights for my '97 sedan and they showed up in the mail yesterday. I figured it would be a quick, easy swap (as it is on my Mustang, which I just swapped out yesterday) - unbolt, remove old light, bolt on new light. Unfortunately, it's not so simple, because the taillights are actually sealed to the rear of the car.

For those of you who have replaced their taillights, is there any trick to getting the sealant stuff off so I can pull off the OEM lights? Or am I just going to have to make a mess?

Thanks,
Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 08-29-2005, 01:04 AM   #2
sha_zapple
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you could use a hairdryer to heat it up, or just pull. Maybe use a knife to cut it as you pull. Make sure to add more sealant or else youll get trunk leaks!
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Old 08-29-2005, 04:18 AM   #3
wrx_driver_2002
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Once you get it started, it's really easy to pull off. Getting a grip on it, and getting it started is the hard part. By the time you've gotten it pulled off enough to get a knife in there, you're almost all of the way off anyways. The sealer they use isn't too messy unless you get brake cleaner on it... then it turns to black goo that never comes out of clothes you get it on... lol

Just grab it where you can, and steadily pull it off... You might need a prybar to get it started just be careful of the paint. After you've got the lights off, I always clean the old sealant off the car with a rag and some brake cleaner... Just makes me feel better knowing that the surface is clean and dry. The sealant stuff you need to use to replace the old stuff is made by 3M... It's called Ribbon Sealer. I'll get the exact part number for you tomorrow, if you want.


Mike
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Old 08-29-2005, 11:45 AM   #4
Subietonic
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This works well but will take a few extra minutes. Get the hottest hair dryer you own, or better yet, find someone who has a high output one and borrow it.

Open your trunk and apply high heat to the metal area around your rear lamps. The goal is to transfer heat through the metal into the sealant. Do this for about five minutes or to the point where it's hot to the touch. Can't recall if there are bolts (w/nuts) or screws into the lamp but, if there are nuts, then back the nuts out until they are flush with the head of the bolts and push/tap on these after you've heated the metal surround. If screws, then back them out a bit and use them to push on (don't recommend tapping the screws)

From the outside, pull, while you're tapping/pushing from the inside. Once the sealant reaches its release temp (hot to the touch), it should come apart easily. If it doesn't reapply heat and keep up the pressure from the inside/outside.

When you reassemble your lamps, heat up the sealant on your JDM lamps (should be there) and/or reapply some new silicon sealant before you reassemble. Heat up the new stuff too to make it really tacky and better able to conform to the seal point.

Good luck.

Dale
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Old 08-29-2005, 12:42 PM   #5
Patrick Olsen
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Thanks, guys, sounds like a lot of fun.

Pat
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Old 08-29-2005, 05:26 PM   #6
LetItSnow
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It doesn't help any, but I gotta get the dig in... My wagon doesn't have the goo. Just two studs each hold the tails to the car.
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Old 08-29-2005, 06:19 PM   #7
wrx_driver_2002
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Legacy's up until the new body style in 2000, used the goo.
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Old 08-29-2005, 08:54 PM   #8
Subietonic
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My 2001 Forester S has the goo/sealant on the tail lights.

Dale

Last edited by Subietonic; 08-29-2005 at 11:39 PM. Reason: correct my spelling...
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Old 08-29-2005, 09:02 PM   #9
Bud Brown
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patrick Olsen
For those of you who have replaced their taillights, is there any trick to getting the sealant stuff off so I can pull off the OEM lights?
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Old 08-30-2005, 08:21 PM   #10
lag
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Are you the one that won the lights off ebay a few days ago?
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Old 08-31-2005, 12:15 AM   #11
Patrick Olsen
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I won them about 2 weeks ago. At the time there was at least 1 other set on Ebay.

Pat
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Old 09-01-2005, 03:35 AM   #12
Jonathan
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Any progress to report, Pat ?

Pictures ?
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Old 09-01-2005, 04:12 AM   #13
Patrick Olsen
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Not yet, I won't get to it until this weekend. I'll definitely have some pics up when it's all done.

Pat
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