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24-Sep-01 Mounting the Rear Taillights Part1

Alien Space Eggs!

ImageA pair of `37 Ford taillights with LED conversions will make up the rear lighting along with a Gearhead third break light mounted under the rear window. Teardrop taillights will keep the look we're after and recessing the tail lights into the rear pan with the use of super bright LED lights will give us our blend of old and new - and added safety.

Being the “non-body man” I am, it embarrasses me to show these articles. I can just picture veteran body men rolling on the floor with laughter as they read them. Oh well, if you can't educate - entertain.

Yogi and I were talking a while ago about how neat kitty hair body filler is (yes, we have some deep conversations). For those of you wondering what I'm talking about, kitty hair body filler is fiberglass strand reinforced filler. Yogi made a comment about how you can sculpt it and I guess it stuck with me. The idea struck me to make indentations for the taillights in the rear pan using a taillight as a mold.
ImageI suppose I could have purchased a mold release agent to use on the tail light shell but this was an experiment and I'm frugal. I'd heard that fiberglass resin won't stick to aluminum foil so I decided to give it a try. The tail light housing was wrapped in two layers of aluminum foil to make sure body filler wouldn't reach the housing. The wrinkles were smoothed out and the foil-covered housing was placed on some newspapers. Kitty hair body filler was smeared as evenly as possible around the light - about 3/8-inch thick.

It kind of looked like a Barn Swallow nest when I was finished but on further inspection I decided it resembled and alien space egg. If you placed your hand over the egg as it was drying, you could almost burn yourself from the heat it gave off. It definitely resembled an alien space egg!
ImageAfter it dried I pulled the taillight housing out of its cocoon and sawed it in two with a hack saw, making a V-cut from the largest end to the smallest.
ImageI very carefully measured out the location for the taillights taking into consideration the distance needed to clear the frame rails and the room we'll need for a hide-away license plate.
ImageBefore cutting the holes I made a cardboard template and laid a taillight in it to check the fit. The template was also checked against the newly molded piece (1/2 alien space egg). Once sure that the measurements were perfect, holes were cut using a saber saw.
ImageThe molded inserts were checked for fit before glassing them in place.