North American Turbocoupe Organization



Looking for help with adhesives on rear lamps
marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#1
The rear drivers side lamps came apart in two pieces, the portion that holds the bulbs and reflects, and the outside face portion that has the colored plastic to indicate movement. I scraped all of the old adhesive out of the grooves and am looking for suggestions for something to replace the old adhesive with. I am considering jb weld but I’m not sure if it’s supposed to be a permanent joint. Maybe a caulk would work? Has anyone else had this issue?
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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#2
If you can get something in there that holds water out, holds it together and looks good, it's really up to you. Obviously you don't want something that contracts and expands much with temp changes.
Regular old silicone will work and it's dirt cheap. I used a flowable silicone on headlights recently.(Permatex,3M both make this. Used for windshield repairs, and repairs like these)
As the name implies, it flows a little easier as it is a bit runnier. The idea is it is supposed to flow into cracks, rather than you having to squeeze it in. It will find its way into smaller cracks than you would normally be able to coax the regular stuff. If it's somewhere you're going to see it, I also think that you would like the flowable more than regular silicone as it really dries nice and clear, versus that smokey look "clear" regular silicone often cures to. It also lays flatter.
My drivers tail lamp assembly is doing the same thing yours is. Has been for years, I need to get on sometime but haven't yet so I don't know what it looks like but I have a rough idea.
I think if it was me I would decide if I'm going to use black or clear silicone where I need more of it, and where I'm not going to see it. In finer areas, or areas that someone might see, I would switch to the flowable.
I don't like the thoughts of JB weld or anything that cures hard like that. Unless you're sure that'll be the last time you will need to get in there. Don't forget, with things like JB weld you're only going to have about 5 minutes at most to get that product on there where you want it, cleaned up and whatever else. In my experience you've got about half that time where it's still really easily workable. If you make any mistakes, or just need back in there someday, you will need to mechanically remove(drill,sand,grind,chisel)
None of that sounds good around your tail lights.
You don't want caulk I don't think. It won't take movement as well, I really don't know what the advantages of it are. I think anytime I ever use it it's when I want to be able to paint it. It also dries quicker but I don't think you're in a rush.
I think if you were in business making headlights and tail lights you would probably have some butyl rubber in your factory, as well as whatever tools and clean up supplies etc you might need. And the expertise to do it. Maybe it's not that complicated I don't know, I would stick with something I've done a thousand times and that is silicone. Just my two cents
Good luck, let us know how they turn out!
You going to clean them up real nice?
Like I said before I haven't had these apart, what do they look like on the inside? Is the back side of the face piece flat? I had planned if possible to sand and clear coat the front and back side of the face piece to remove the yellowing. That or maybe give them a slight tint with some black paint on the outside face.
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#3
Marko,
Rob has some great advice, any type of flowable adhesive will work. I did mine with black weather strip adhesive, it has very good adhesion and the black color blended well with the surrounding plastic. Don't go crazy squeezing it in there as any push out will show at the bottom of the lens.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#4
(06-01-2021, 05:57 AM)Rob H Wrote: If you can get something in there that holds water out, holds it together and looks good, it's really up to you. Obviously you don't want something that contracts and expands much with temp changes.
Regular old silicone will work and it's dirt cheap. I used a flowable silicone on headlights recently.(Permatex,3M both make this. Used for windshield repairs, and repairs like these)
As the name implies, it flows a little easier as it is a bit runnier. The idea is it is supposed to flow into cracks, rather than you having to squeeze it in. It will find its way into smaller cracks than you would normally be able to coax the regular stuff. If it's somewhere you're going to see it, I also think that you would like the flowable more than regular silicone as it really dries nice and clear, versus that smokey look "clear" regular silicone often cures to. It also lays flatter.
My drivers tail lamp assembly is doing the same thing yours is. Has been for years, I need to get on sometime but haven't yet so I don't know what it looks like but I have a rough idea.
I think if it was me I would decide if I'm going to use black or clear silicone where I need more of it, and where I'm not going to see it. In finer areas, or areas that someone might see, I would switch to the flowable.
I don't like the thoughts of JB weld or anything that cures hard like that. Unless you're sure that'll be the last time you will need to get in there. Don't forget, with things like JB weld you're only going to have about 5 minutes at most to get that product on there where you want it, cleaned up and whatever else. In my experience you've got about half that time where it's still really easily workable. If you make any mistakes, or just need back in there someday, you will need to mechanically remove(drill,sand,grind,chisel)
None of that sounds good around your tail lights.
You don't want caulk I don't think. It won't take movement as well, I really don't know what the advantages of it are. I think anytime I ever use it it's when I want to be able to paint it. It also dries quicker but I don't think you're in a rush.
I think if you were in business making headlights and tail lights you would probably have some butyl rubber in your factory, as well as whatever tools and clean up supplies etc you might need. And the expertise to do it. Maybe it's not that complicated I don't know, I would stick with something I've done a thousand times and that is silicone. Just my two cents
Good luck, let us know how they turn out!
You going to clean them up real nice?
Like I said before I haven't had these apart, what do they look like on the inside? Is the back side of the face piece flat? I had planned if possible to sand and clear coat the front and back side of the face piece to remove the yellowing. That or maybe  give them a slight tint with some black paint on the outside face.

 Thanks so much for your suggestions! I learned last night of a compound automotive sealant that may be what I’m looking for. I do agree with jb weld I would hate to have to destroy the part to get it apart and I also had to replace the other light assembly and it was pretty expensive.

https://imgur.com/gallery/F9C66j5

The above link will take you to the picture I have of the inside. The reflectors are oxidized and because the plating is so thin I can’t polish it so I will have to paint it. I just got the car moving yesterday so I’m pretty excited to get things fixed and road worthy.

The parking brake is the last thing yet!
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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#5
Hey Marco you look like you got something half decent to work with there, I'm sure there's plenty of guys here who started off with worse.
Thanks for the pictures.
I don't know what the inside of my tail lights look like but if it's anything like the inside of my headlights I'm a lucky guy. Mine is a Canadian car, I don't know the whole history on it but it seems like it was reasonably well cared for though likely not babied it's entire life. So I've not needed to explore this issue yet.
But anyways the issue of the plating, this seems to be extremely common, not just with our cars.
Is there no one out there providing this service?
People used to get their baby shoes bronzed and I know you can take your rims and get them hydro dipped... Got to be something out there no?
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Kuch Offline
Senior Member
#6
Marco,
If your silver colored plating is bad inside the tail light housing, instead of painting, try some of that shiny foil tape used for HVAC ducting. It goes on easy and has a very nice metallic reflective quality. I did mine with it.
1988 Turbo Coupe, Black/Black, 5 Speed, Moonroof,  T3/T4 50 trim, ported E6, 255LPH, Kirban, 3" DP dual 2.5" w Hooker Maxflows, MGW shifter, K&N, Gillis valve, RR cam, Koni's
1964 Ford Galaxie 500XL, 390 6V, Big Solid cam, Headers,3.89's, 4 Speed, Vast and fast
1960 Ford Starliner, 292 Y Block, 312 4bbl intake, headers, 3 Speed, slow and low
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Rob H Offline
Senior Member
#7
I don't know if it would work here, but have you ever looked into vacuum forming techniques?
Some of these setups are simply with toaster ovens and shop vacs!
It would just be a matter of finding the material. I did a really quick search and found this website.
https://shop.decorativeplasticsheets.com...hrome1.htm

That might be a little ambitious, but I've always thought it was a neat technique
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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#8
(06-01-2021, 01:15 PM)Kuch Wrote: Marco,
If your silver colored plating is bad inside the tail light housing, instead of painting, try some of that shiny foil tape used for HVAC ducting. It goes on easy and has a very nice metallic reflective quality. I did mine with it.

Thought about this as well, it’s good to know someone did this because I wasn’t sure how it would work. Thanks.
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marko_bohlo Offline
Junior Member
#9
(06-01-2021, 12:47 PM)Rob H Wrote: Hey Marco you look like you got something half decent to work with there, I'm sure there's plenty of guys here who started off with worse.
Thanks for the pictures.
I don't know what the inside of my tail lights look like but if it's anything like the inside of my headlights I'm a lucky guy. Mine is a Canadian car, I don't know the whole history on it but it seems like it was reasonably well cared for though likely not babied it's entire life. So I've not needed to explore this issue yet.
But anyways the issue of the plating, this seems to be extremely common, not just with our cars.
Is there no one out there providing this service?
People used to get their baby shoes bronzed and I know you can take your rims and get them hydro dipped... Got to be something out there no?
I’m not sure I can afford something like electroplating or dipping right now. I am looking for alternatives that would work for now and maybe update later. 

As for the condition of the car, I got it from my grandpa who babied it before it sat on tarmac for 10 years so it’s got good bones, I’m just worried about the seals and tubes but I’ll replace things when I need to no worries on that.
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88Slowbird Offline
Junior Member
#10
I used "the right stuff" from permatex it works great
1988 Thunderbird TC: 
  • SVO T3 .60 / .63
  • Esslinger cam gear retarded 4 degrees
  • RR Cam
  • Ported E6 manifold
  • Stinger 3" single exhaust & downpipe
  • Stinger FMIC
  • Greddy Type S BOV
  • Aeromotive Adjustable FPR
  • AEM Cone Filter
[Image: 7hHUpIum.jpg]
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