Tail Light Re-Habilitation

It's No wonder 2002s get rear ended. 

Before: Square tailight car with chunk missing out of left rear lens.
After undoing the two thumb screws in the trunk, I notice that the inside is missing most of the chrome around the bulbs. Hmmm... how long has this been a problem?
Closer view shows there is really nothing around the brake light and the back up light to speak of. The turn signal light (left most bulb) is only bright one left.
Once the lens is out, you have 1) Lens assembly, 2) Gasket, 3) Frame with "spaghetti" gasket seal, 4) the nuts off the inside that hold the whole thing in place on the car.  To start - disconnect the wiring assembly that plugs into the Lens Assembly (#1 shown above)
Using some Armor All or similar, spray some protectant onto the gasket to make it pliable and reusable.
I used Krylon Chrome paint to repaint the old assembly after carefully masking off the areas where brass contacts were exposed. Paint on these will make it difficult for the bulbs to work properly because the paint gets in the way!
Carefully put the renewed body gasket over the hole.
Slide the metal studs from the frame through the 4 holes in the gasket and trunk steel. Tighten up the 4 bolts. Reconnect the wiring harness. Apply liberal amounts of new bulbs as needed. Note: there are some new long-life bulbs available for this type that supercedes the original OEM spec bulb.
BEFORE AND AFTER. This shows the left light after the repairs and the right light just getting ready to be rehabilitated. In the end, a difference you can see - and so can other drivers. The total cost was around $10 counting paint needed to finish the job. My spaghetti gaskets that seal the taillight from the weather were shot. They cost $7 each from Maximillian. I added them to the lights later as they were not available at the time of installation.



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