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Old 01-26-2010, 09:21 AM   #1
Invrted
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Default Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

Hey guys,

I'm a fairly recent purchaser of a 2002 SC2. The last few months of driving it have been a bit of a throwback for me, the first car I ever bought for myself was a used 1993 Saturn SC2. I have to say, build quality and styling certainly has improved in 9 years and I'm really enjoying my 40 minute commute now (much more responsive and WAY better mileage than the Jeep I replaced).

Anyway.. the one major complaint I have about the looks of the car is the really bright red stock reflector and taillights that dominate the back.

Coincidentally, a buddy of mine just bought a gunmetal gray Dodge Magnum with a similar problem regarding his own taillights. We're both tinkerers, so we decided to pool our efforts and picked up a can of VHT Nightshades and a couple cans of clear. Since my buddy rebuilds classic cars, we already had the other necessary supplies.

I'm sure you all know the process, I can go into details if you want.. but some light sanding, a single coat of VHT for my car (two coats for his), some wet sanding and a few coats of clear later and my car looks MUCH better! I don't have great pictures of the whole car, it's winter in Minnesota and my car is rather dirty.. but I can show before and after shots of the large reflective piece, the lights and the front markers.

(sorry about the quality.. was taken with my cell phone)

- - Apparently I haven't been on the board long enough to post image links, so check the attachments for pictures of the lights, the reflector before and after, and the corner markers after tinting - -

It's exactly the effect I wanted! Cops around here are pretty touchy about tinting headlights and taillights... these are darker than normal but still reflective and red, just a really dark read. They look like they -could- be a stock option

This also had the added effect of tinting the colored parts of the rear emblem, an effect that I'm going to spread to the remaining emblems on the car once the weather gets warmer.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG00130.jpg (86.3 KB, 160 views)
File Type: jpg IMG00142.jpg (95.2 KB, 137 views)
File Type: jpg IMG00144.jpg (96.1 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg IMG00147.jpg (87.2 KB, 150 views)

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Old 01-26-2010, 09:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

I've seen a few people do the tints, but I have to say yours are the best so far. Enough to look good, but not so much where they are totally useless.

Pictures of it all on the car would be great (Both lights on and off).

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Old 01-26-2010, 09:51 AM   #3
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

As soon as I can get the car, somewhat clean, in daylight I'll take and post pictures of what it looks like with lights on and off. A little tough to do when you go to work in darkness and come back in darkness.. heh.. but I'll work something out.

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Old 01-26-2010, 11:56 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

Yeah, normally people to a little overboard in darkening theirs (IMO), but yours look really good so far (reserving final judgment til I see the lights on picture ).

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Old 01-26-2010, 12:00 PM   #5
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

That's the sorta thing I'm looking to do with my tails. They're just too bright. I don't want 'em blacked out, just smoked a little bit. ('02 SC2 here as well)

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Old 01-26-2010, 05:55 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

I agree with the other comments, subtle... Which is a win in my books.

Looks good..... Most headlight/tail light "mods" people do are enough to make me want to throw up.. This one is fine!

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Old 01-26-2010, 06:12 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

^^^^ +1; they typically look like exhaust soot deposits, which would be oddly fitting for our cars, known for chronically running pig rich on a bad ECTS. Plus, the OP's level of tint doesn't say "Hey, Officer McQuota, pull me over for an equipment violation!" like most tints do.

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Old 01-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

!!!! WARNING! The attached pictures feature a REALLY dirty car !!!!

Sun came out for a bit over lunch so I drove out to a parking lot and snapped a few pics. I would have washed the car.. but it was 6 degrees at the time.. and I'm not a big fan of icing my doors shut.

I had the friend that met me for lunch drive behind me when we left, he said the lights were as easy to see as any of the other cars on the road (even with that level of dirt) and if you look, the brightness isn't that much diminished from the third brake light at the top of the window.. but it sure looks better
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sm_DSCN3900.jpg (186.7 KB, 114 views)
File Type: jpg sm_DSCN3897.jpg (152.4 KB, 107 views)
File Type: jpg sm_DSCN3898.jpg (156.4 KB, 97 views)
File Type: jpg sm_DSCN3899.jpg (152.1 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg sm_DSCN3902.jpg (165.4 KB, 93 views)

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Old 01-26-2010, 10:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

Quote:
Originally Posted by SLCraig View Post
I agree with the other comments, subtle... Which is a win in my books.
I could not agree more. I have a list of mild things I want to do to this car, just to personalize it a bit.. but short of the extravagant mods that make people go "WTF was he thinking??"

Also on the list is a brushed aluminum guage surround (have the part) for the dash cluster, a mild two-tone tan/black interior (this spring), tinted windows, some speaker tweaks and a 6000k HID kit.

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Old 01-26-2010, 11:48 PM   #10
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

Well done. I like it.

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Old 01-27-2010, 12:49 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

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Well done. I like it.
Agreed.

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Old 01-27-2010, 09:41 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

Looks fantastic! I like it.

Looks like you have a tan interior now... don't know if you've already seen this, but here's a great tan to black interior conversion (by PurdueGuy)

http://www.saturnfans.com/forums/sho...black+interior

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Old 01-27-2010, 10:08 AM   #13
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

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Looks fantastic! I like it.

Looks like you have a tan interior now... don't know if you've already seen this, but here's a great tan to black interior conversion (by PurdueGuy)
That does look pretty nice, but not quite the effect I'm going for. I'm thinking I'll probably get antsy and do the interior mods this winter yet, it's just a matter of taking the time to disassemble and reassemble the panels.

Essentially my interior will still be mostly tan, with some black accents.. instead of black with tan accents. When I get around to doing that change I'll definitely post up some shots of it. I do really like the overhead console in his interior though.. I wonder if I could retrofit that into my 02 SC2.. hmm

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Old 01-27-2010, 02:04 PM   #14
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

Yeah, I like that overhead console, too.

Not Saturns, but some nice black/tan interiors (the Saturn "tan" is darker than the "linen" but not as dark as the "champagne" in these interiors):

Link 1
This is a black/linen interior

Link 2

Link 3

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Old 01-27-2010, 07:24 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

<3 my overhead console.

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Old 01-28-2010, 09:35 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

I'm thinking something simpler for my overhead.. I intend to add a sunroof (or at least want to keep the option open) so something that fits on the raised panel between the visors.

As to the interior.. all this talk and speculation has me itching to modify!! I can drive the car without door skins for a few days.. hmm.. might have to do some disassembly this weekend!

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Old 02-02-2010, 09:54 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

how many coats of tint and clear did u use?? and how long did it take for u to do this.. i hav been wanting to do somthing like this for a while but i will have to wait for the spring/summer to do it. cause i cant paint inside and i live in michigan so like u im freezing my ass of and i really dont hav the time being that i am still in high school.. Senior year.. FINALLY. btw really good job on the tint. u car is not that dirty... u should see mine

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Old 02-03-2010, 08:31 AM   #18
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

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Old 02-05-2010, 03:10 PM   #19
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

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how many coats of tint and clear did u use?? and how long did it take for u to do this.. i hav been wanting to do somthing like this for a while but i will have to wait for the spring/summer to do it. cause i cant paint inside and i live in michigan so like u im freezing my ass of and i really dont hav the time being that i am still in high school.. Senior year.. FINALLY. btw really good job on the tint. u car is not that dirty... u should see mine
One coat of VHT (well, three very lightly dusted passes, but one effective coat) and three light coats of clear.

We used a friend of mine's heated shop to do this (not much warmer here in Minnesota, heh). Sanded and did the VHT one evening, then came back the next day, lightly wet-sanded the VHT and hit it with a couple coats of clear to get the gloss shine back and avoid that "rough flat" look or "orange-peel" look that you see a lot when the Clear step is skipped.

Looking at them in sunlight they look like they could be stock. Also, I sanded and painted the emblem on the back. The paint stuck to the colored areas of the emblem but rubbed off of the chrome with just a paper-towel and medium pressure. Left me with a dark almost black emblem without the hassle of trying to remove the stock one. In the spring I'm going to pull the other three emblems and hit them with VHT in the same way, REALLY like the effect!

We still have extra VHT and Clear.. if you want to box up your lights and send them to me I'd happily tint them for you.

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Old 02-05-2010, 04:51 PM   #20
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Default Re: Tinted the taillights and marker lights with VHT Nightshades

i would like to but my car is a daily driver so i really cant afford to park my car in the garage for a while right now

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