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Easy to swap taillight assemblies?

Joined
5 May 2003
Messages
306
Location
Bentonville, AR
Is it an easy bolt-in swap to replace 1991-2001 all-red tailight
assemblies with the 2002-2005 version? Can it be done
with simple hand tools, no re-wiring, no body or electrical
mods whatsoever? Its a long story, but it has to do with
shipping a US-spec 2001 NSX to a country that requires
yellow rear turn signals.

Thank you.

Gary
 
It is simple. All that is needed is a 8mm socket. No rewiring. All bulbs simply plug back into sockets. I did mine last week.
 
Excellent, thank you davidf.
 
Plan about an hour to do it. Make sure your 8mm is a deep socket and it's actually faster if you have an 8mm nutdriver (with good depth) so you don't have to keep turning the ratchet. The nuts screw into very long bolts, hence you need the depth. A few of them near the outer edges will take a lot longer with a ratchet vs nutdriver.
 
Yea I need to replace the bulbs in mine so this is very helpful....

Thinking of replacing them all at the same time since I'm sure as soon as I do it, another one would blow..... :rolleyes::tongue:

Or should I just go with clearcorners LED tail lamps? :D
 
8mm deep socket, and a power drill, and it becomes a 15 minute job; the hard part is releasing the plastic clips that hold the wiring harness in place.

I have done this about a dozen times, its about an hour with hand tools, the power drill doesn't hurt anything (make sure you use a cordless model, with a torque setting), and makes the job much much easier. If your car is a 'whore' (taillights have been removed before, so clips are not an issue), it's incredibly easy, not even a 10 minute job with the power drill.
 
Yea I need to replace the bulbs in mine so this is very helpful....

Thinking of replacing them all at the same time since I'm sure as soon as I do it, another one would blow..... :rolleyes::tongue:

Or should I just go with clearcorners LED tail lamps? :D
I agree. If you remove it replace all the bulbs. Cheap insurance, about $4 bucks. If your selling the car though, you may let the new owner pick up that tab.:wink:
 
I agree. If you remove it replace all the bulbs. Cheap insurance, about $4 bucks. If your selling the car though, you may let the new owner pick up that tab.:wink:

hehe I'm never selling it!

So should I replace the gaskets while I'm in there? I have no leaks as it stands now.... *knock on wood*
 
Pardon the 4-year-old thread bump.

When removing the tail lights, once you've un-done the 10 8mm nuts (after removing the "center panel" w/4 8mm nuts), the tail light assemblies should just pluck right out correct?

I was expecting them to basically fall into my hands according to the shop manual, however these lights seem to have other ideas.
 
They get stuck to the gaskets so you will have to pull some to get them off.

yes the gaskets do get kinda sticky and you may rip them when pulling these out.... sometimes the gasket will stay stuck to the car whereas the other parts of the gasket will stay on the tail light housings....... if so buy some new ones. :)
 
on a related note, should the tail-light harnesses (i.e. the left and right light harnesses, not the trunk harness) be sandwiched between the tail light assembly and the bulkhead, or should those wire only run on the inside of the trunk bulkhead?

Trying to decide how big of a D.A. the last person to touch them was...
 
Pardon the 4-year-old thread bump.

When removing the tail lights, once you've un-done the 10 8mm nuts (after removing the "center panel" w/4 8mm nuts), the tail light assemblies should just pluck right out correct?

I was expecting them to basically fall into my hands according to the shop manual, however these lights seem to have other ideas.

They won't fall out, the fit is pretty tight, left to right.

You should have a hand on them, in case they do fall out, but you will need to work them out.

I just swapped my NA2's for new JDM-R's last week; apparently it still takes 15 minutes, as it did in 2008; nice illustration I gave four years ago, when referring to an 'experienced' NSX :tongue:
 
on a related note, should the tail-light harnesses (i.e. the left and right light harnesses, not the trunk harness) be sandwiched between the tail light assembly and the bulkhead, or should those wire only run on the inside of the trunk bulkhead?

Trying to decide how big of a D.A. the last person to touch them was...

wire'em up how ever you want :) I kept the wires on the inside but thats just me...
 
A couple of observations:

1) Whoever did this before double-gasketed me. The 1st gasket set probably stuck to the car, and then they put a second gasket set on the tail lights.

2) The above is probably why there are a couple of the studs pulled out of the plastic taillight assemblies....they had to over-tighten to compress 2x gaskets and have the lights flush with the body.

I think I'm going to re-install the taillights with new gaskets (only 1 layer thick this time) and then hook up the harnesses from the inside of the trunk. (after I epoxy the studs back into place).

It looks like the harness originally went on the assembly, and then the assembly on the car, but the problem I'm having with one harness was due to wires being stressed with bulb changes on account of how they are pinched between the light assembly and the body. I don't anticipate any clearance issues in the trunk considering the trunk harness is already where these will lie.
 
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Ok, last question on this business:

The new tail light gaskets have adhesive on one side, and not on the other. Does the adhesive on the body-side or the tail-light side?

(i.e. to I stick the gasket to the body, and then bold the tail-light assy on top of that, or do I stick the gasket on the tail light assembly and then bolt both to the body?)

My inclination is to stick it to the body, since that's the more adhesive-friendly surface, but wanted to make sure there wasn't some voodoo involved.
 
Ok, last question on this business:

The new tail light gaskets have adhesive on one side, and not on the other. Does the adhesive on the body-side or the tail-light side?

(i.e. to I stick the gasket to the body, and then bold the tail-light assy on top of that, or do I stick the gasket on the tail light assembly and then bolt both to the body?)

My inclination is to stick it to the body, since that's the more adhesive-friendly surface, but wanted to make sure there wasn't some voodoo involved.

Every one I've done had the gaskets stuck to the taillight.
 
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