67/68 Tail Lights in a 65/66 - Forums at Modded Mustangs
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post #1 of 33 Old November 30th, 2011, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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67/68 Tail Lights in a 65/66

For about six months now I've been looking for ideas on how to french the tail lights in my 65 coupe.

Recently GPR showed some pics of his 68 coupe with the tail lights frenched, along with some progress pics.

https://www.moddedmustangs.com/forums...ml#post4108354

Looking at his post, I still can't see how it could easily be done on a 65/66 because the tail lights on these are one piece, with a bezel around and in between them, rather than three separate lights. They also angle out rather than in.

1968



1965



Unless someone has a better idea, I'm thinking my best bet is to try and install a set of 67/68 tail lights into my 65. Since I don't have any 67/68 mustangs handy to look at, I've got a few questions.

1. How tall are the 67/68 lights compared to the 65/66 lights?

2. The tail lights on a 65/66 are two wire, two light designs, are the 67/68 the same way, and I will just be able to daisy chain my two wires to all three lights on each side, or will I be in for a headache with wiring?

3. Does anyone have an opinion on whether it would be easier to try and weld in some dividers into my current light light panel, or try and cut it out and replace it with a panel from a 67/68 mustang? Based on the fact that the 67/68 angle in, I'm thinking I'll be much better off trying to patch in a full panel, but I'm open to suggestions.


Thanks guys
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post #2 of 33 Old November 30th, 2011, 09:06 PM
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post #3 of 33 Old November 30th, 2011, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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I've been looking all night and cannot find anywhere that has the dimensions of all the body panels on classic mustangs, does anyone have a link?

The more I look at what I want to do, I think I have to replace the entire tail light panel including the middle section with the fuel filler. This is due to the fact that the entire rear panel of the 65/66 is concave, while the entire rear panel of the 67/68 is convex. I am worried about it being too wide (although I could chop the middle and weld it back together) and also about getting the fuel filler to line up.
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post #4 of 33 Old November 30th, 2011, 11:05 PM
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The fuel filler will be fine you will need the part that goes around the filler to keep with the shape.

the 67 is a little taller. Take what you need out of it.
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post #5 of 33 Old December 1st, 2011, 04:33 PM
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I think the tail light panel and lights are too tall to fit into the 65-66 body..
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post #6 of 33 Old December 1st, 2011, 07:58 PM
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Yes it is, Take the middle of it out for what he is going to do. He will need the shape.
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post #7 of 33 Old December 2nd, 2011, 09:13 AM
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OK,

Yes it will Work...

The tail light panel on a 1965 from trunk lid to top of bumper is 7"

The tail light opening of a 1967 it 5" so we have 2" to spare.
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post #8 of 33 Old December 2nd, 2011, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks MustangOne
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post #9 of 33 Old December 3rd, 2011, 10:27 AM
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post #10 of 33 Old May 13th, 2012, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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So it has only been five months, but I've finally gotten to this portion of my project. However, instead of trying to put a 67/68 light panel in my 65, I've decided to try and french my 65.

After looking at it, I decided that I could do something similar to what I saw done on the 68, by moving my light box from the outside of the panel to the inside. However, I am going to need to make a custom red lens, and also going to have to weld some dividers into my panel. I started my trial run tonight.

First I removed the chrome bezel and red lens from the assembly:

Ed: This first picture refuses to upload to photobucket, so I borrowed one from the interwebz



Next I removed the light box from the panel:



The studs on the box stick through the panel, and are held on by bolts inside the trunk:



Using a set of pliers, I simply broke the tack welds loose that held the bolts in:



Next I took the light box and set it in from inside the trunk, and placed the broken out bolts on the outside:



From what I see, everything can work. What will happen next is that I will weld the bolts into the tail light panel, and then grind them flush, so that I essentially have studs sticking into the trunk that the light box will bolt to.

Next I will need to weld in some metal strips to divide the panel into three vertical sections (right now it would look like one big light instead of three small ones like all classic mustangs).

Then I will need a piece of flat brake light panel plastic. This is actually been harder to find that I anticipated. I think my best option is to use some sky light plastic from Lowes, and paint it with some candy red paint. The red plastic will get sandwiched in-between the rear panel and the light box (there will probably be a gasket in there too)

Lastly I will need to do a little smoothing on the outside to fill in those two grooves that you can see on the left side of the picture.

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post #11 of 33 Old May 27th, 2012, 05:19 PM Thread Starter
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Today I made a test panel for the tail light pane. I started with some skylight repair covers from Lowes:



I cut the panel with a pair of tin snips, and then drilled from the bumpy side with progressively bigger drill bits. It didn't work. The stuff likes to shatter:



Next time I will tape the area I intend to cut to try and prevent some of the shattering. I might also try cutting with a dremel instead of snips. Don't know what to do about the drill though, other than maybe put a heat gun on it while drilling to get it soft.

I added some nice allen head bolts to hold it all together so that it doesn't look so bad if I drive the car before I get the studs welded in:





The next step is making some dividers to turn the one big light into the three small lights that mustangs are known for. Then I will try to make a better (less shattered) panel, and paint it with some candy red paint.
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post #12 of 33 Old June 1st, 2012, 03:11 PM
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Update? Looks good man!



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post #13 of 33 Old June 1st, 2012, 05:14 PM Thread Starter
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No updates yet. Maybe tomorrow. My plan is to spread a thin layer of JBWeld around where I need to cut/drill the plastic to prevent shatter. I hope to put some on tonight, so that I can cut another piece tomorrow.
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post #14 of 33 Old June 1st, 2012, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Tonight I prepared two new tail lens to be cut. I marked them off side by side on the panel, and then put a skim coat of JB weld where I plan to cut and drill. The theory is that the JB weld will keep things from shattering when I start working on them. Really I don't have to worry too much about it because you can't see anything inside the bolt holes anyway, but I want it to be structurally sound. (I'm trying to reduce the number of [email protected]$$ed parts to my car)

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post #15 of 33 Old June 2nd, 2012, 11:43 PM Thread Starter
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So the JB Weld.... Didn't do crap. However the heat gun worked miracles. If anyone else out there wants to use these light covers to make lenses, heat while you cut. Heat while you drill. Just be careful, because they warp easy. I warped the first one beyond repair, so the ones below are numbers 2 and 3:





I think I need a few more coats of candy red on the lens to keep it from washing out with the lights on.

Next I have to start working on the dividers, but I need to get some new cutting wheels first.

What do you guys recommend for cutting body panels with? I've been using a metal cutting wheel on a dremel, but they go fast, and they are very pricey.
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post #16 of 33 Old June 3rd, 2012, 01:03 PM
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Wow I like that look a lot better than them sticking out.





Good work! Rep'd.



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post #17 of 33 Old June 8th, 2012, 10:19 PM Thread Starter
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Back to work on the tail lights tonight. I decided it was not very efficient to waste my time trying to cut nice straight dividers, when I know my fab skillz sux, and you can just buy nice straight metal bars:





To me, that didn't tell me much, so I grabbed the rattle can:





There is a lip on the backside of the opening that prevents the lens from sitting flush:



So I got the dremel out with the grinding stone:







Unfortunately now my bars are too short:






Something just doesn't jive for me. It doesn't look quite like I imagined. I'll have to play with it some more, I'm not sure what it is missing.

Edit: I think the problem is that they are too small, and they are too round on the corners. The stock lights are much bigger. The hole in the panel is just where the bulb sticks out into the lens. The problem with going bigger is that it will require me to replace the unit inside the trunk with something bigger than the new hole I make. Guess I need to start looking at electrical boxes or something. When I go bigger it will be easy to square up the corners.

Last edited by ajzride; June 9th, 2012 at 10:08 PM.
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post #18 of 33 Old June 9th, 2012, 10:12 PM Thread Starter
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I hadn't planned to work on the car this weekend, as I have a road trip for work starting tomorrow. But the weather sucked so I couldn't take the kid out to the pool or the park, and these lights were just going to bug me all week long... So I went back at it.

Using the grill (is the the correct term) for the stock lights as a template, I marked off what size hole I needed to get closer to the correct size. After a quick trip to the hardware store for more cutting place, I was hacking up the panel again (this ticks me off, because it basically means the 2 hours I spent yesterday smoothing the lip were wasted )



Since I seem to have a hard time imagining what things are going to look like painted, I got the rattle can back out:



But I was still having trouble with it, so I ran a sheet of paper through the printer and made it red:





This is much closer to what I'm looking for. Maybe while I'm in the hotel this week, I can work on a new light box.
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post #19 of 33 Old June 9th, 2012, 11:48 PM
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Ehh, it a custom thing. Anyone guess what tailights these are?
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post #20 of 33 Old June 10th, 2012, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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They look alot like thunderbirds, except the taper on the ends. Maybe some late 60 early 70 Lincoln or mercury? Could be Buick even.

I think I would have flipped 'em upside down as well.
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Cool idea or sacrilege? - Page 3 - Vintage Mustang Forums This thread Refback June 28th, 2012 12:31 PM
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