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98 & later tail lights in a 96?


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#1 JimChallenger

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Posted 30 October 2015 - 08:42 PM

So I unfortunately have crack in my driver side tail light. I cannot find many checkered tail lights, only plain red and honeycomb. I was looking at the honeycomb style tail lights from the 98-02 year Firebirds. They look extremely similar in size, and the screws are in the same placement on the back. I'm just not sure if the harness will fit into the holes. I was looking to find out if I could just go ahead and put a 98-02 set of tail lights in. Thanks!


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#2 sea dog

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 03:59 AM

People switch to the newer honey comb tail lights all the time with no problem.

 

If you want the original, try this salvage yard search engine. You can search your state, region, or whole country. The yards on engine ship all the time.http://www.car-part.com



#3 JimChallenger

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 06:48 AM

Awesome! Thank you for your help, I couldn't find much about this online.
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#4 ZumpTA

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 07:10 AM

Be warned.   *MANY* 98-02 honeycomb lights are DEFECTIVE!   The refelctive material inside flakes off rendering the lights into a huge saftey hazard.  STUDY THE NEW LIGHTS WELL!  if there is so much as a hint of a dark patch in them, move on.  If they look blotchy, move on. The lights should appear as one uniform shade of red.  Any flaking in the material will display as a dark spot in the light.  The worse it is, the darker it gets.  Fully ruined lights look like they were smoke tinted.  *BAD*.    I have been through 4 sets of 98-02 lights from Craigslist and salvage yards.  Every set has been defective.  When the reflective material is gone, they do not show up in the daytime at all.

 

I'm spending the $800 on new-old-stock 93-97 T/A tail-lights.   It's worth it to me at this point.  I like the honeycombs much more, but, I am so put off of them.  I'd hate to spend several hundred dollars just to end up replcing them again.

 

Look here:   http://www.ebay.com/...s-am-tail-light

 

Defective:  http://www.ebay.com/...H-/361419977593

 

Defective: http://www.ebay.com/...bmodel:Trans Am

 

Defective http://www.ebay.com/...R-/181890183469

 

Defective: http://www.ebay.com/...3-/161864626543

 

Defective:  http://www.ebay.com/...t-/301781406547

 

 

 

GOOD! http://www.ebay.com/...bmodel:Trans Am

 

 

 

Hope that gives you an idea of what to look for.  Don't get suckered into buying the lights that the original owner was going to THROW AWAY but decided to sell instead.


Edited by ZumpTA, 31 October 2015 - 07:18 AM.

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#5 JimChallenger

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 07:29 AM

Be warned.   *MANY* 98-02 honeycomb lights are DEFECTIVE!   The refelctive material inside flakes off rendering the lights into a huge saftey hazard.  STUDY THE NEW LIGHTS WELL!  if there is so much as a hint of a dark patch in them, move on.  If they look blotchy, move on. The lights should appear as one uniform shade of red.  Any flaking in the material will display as a dark spot in the light.  The worse it is, the darker it gets.  Fully ruined lights look like they were smoke tinted.  *BAD*.    I have been through 4 sets of 98-02 lights from Craigslist and salvage yards.  Every set has been defective.  When the reflective material is gone, they do not show up in the daytime at all.
 
I'm spending the $800 on new-old-stock 93-97 T/A tail-lights.   It's worth it to me at this point.  I like the honeycombs much more, but, I am so put off of them.  I'd hate to spend several hundred dollars just to end up replcing them again.
 
Look here:   http://www.ebay.com/...s-am-tail-light
 
Defective:  http://www.ebay.com/...H-/361419977593
 
Defective: http://www.ebay.com/...bmodel:Trans Am
 
Defective http://www.ebay.com/...R-/181890183469
 
Defective: http://www.ebay.com/...3-/161864626543
 
Defective:  http://www.ebay.com/...t-/301781406547
 
 
 
GOOD! http://www.ebay.com/...bmodel:Trans Am
 
 
 
Hope that gives you an idea of what to look for.  Don't get suckered into buying the lights that the original owner was going to THROW AWAY but decided to sell instead.

Fair enough. I will make sure to get plenty of pictures. When you say the reflective material comes off, do you mean they go dim?

Edit: my bad, I did not see those links. I understand.

Edited by JimChallenger, 31 October 2015 - 07:35 AM.

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#6 GaryDoug

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 05:33 PM

It's the reflective material around the bulbs and behind the lens that decays. it is possible to disassemble it and re-coat/re-paint the reflector, but it is a tricky job. I will see if I can find the article I read about a repair.

 

Here it is: http://www.ls1.com/f...ird-ws6-163800/


Edited by GaryDoug, 31 October 2015 - 05:36 PM.

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#7 sea dog

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 05:43 PM

At the ls1lt1.com forum, in the sticky threads of 4th gen section, is a good taillight rehab thread. It will show you how to make them bright again.


Edited by sea dog, 31 October 2015 - 05:43 PM.


#8 GaryDoug

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Posted 31 October 2015 - 05:55 PM

Saw the ls1lt1.com topic. I liked the idea of using an oven better than the heat gun; more even, less localized.


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#9 JimChallenger

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Posted 11 November 2015 - 01:24 PM

I went ahead and purchased a set off eBay that looked good for $299. No cracks, no scuffs. I got about 7 pictures sent to me before I bought them to make sure they were good. I think they look great! No black spots, even though it looks like it. All the reflector is still there.

9a3d1066204b745c41fa8cc8051d3e34.jpg

da905eedefcf4ac1378f13745dd24d05.jpg

Edited by JimChallenger, 11 November 2015 - 01:25 PM.

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