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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Down below are pictures of completed trial 3 (driver side) and trial 4 (passenger side) of turning stock corner lights to black housing and clear lens corner lights. I used aftermarket lights from ebay, didn't want to ruin my OEMs.

Why so many trials? Well, the gen4.5 corner lights has this lip that curves up and all the way around the top to the outer side of the lens, so I had to do some trials to take off the lens with that obstacle.

I didn't try "dremeling" because there was too much of a curve and that lip is in the way for most of the lens.

Trial 1 was an oven trial and it FAILED big time, chrome blurred and the housing even warped so much that the bulb holder wouldn't fit.


Trial 2 was an attempt with using a heat gun to heat the seam and cut the seam, this turned out to be a failure since I was using too high of temperature and had the same blurred chrome as the oven. I folded the lip down so I could cut the seam but it was still hard and I even tried heating it really good to try and pop the lens off but it just stretched and when it got too cool, it cracked.


Trial 3 (driver side) was good but the housing warped from too much heat so it doesn't fit right into the car, it pushes up against the headlight and sits higher. I didn't do as good of a job folding the lip back up either so there's ripples and uneven.



Trial 4 (passenger side) was the best, every mistakes I made before I didn't make this time, but it's still not to the point that I'm satisfied, the seam where I cut isn't as clean looking as I want it.



Now that I've completely gone through everything, I plan on trying this again, maybe this winter or next summer, and really take more time and try to get this near perfect. Cleaner smoother cuts and better handling of the lens and housing so it looks really clean is my goal.

Pictures are taken in the garage and there's 3 cars in the driveway and it's too much of a hassle to move them all so I can get out. So no full front pics, just side pics. Eventually, I can get the car out for full frontal pics.
I took quite a few pics of about every step I did, here's the Photobucket Album with all the pics.
You'll also notice some editing on the photos, I originally planned on doing a DIY write up, but since I'm not satisfied with how it turned out and the high level of difficulty of the project, I thought a DIY wouldn't be such a good idea. There'd be so few people capable of doing this and ending up with good results. But if you all want one anyways, I can write one up.

Comments? Suggestions? Tips?
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sanded the inside where the "ripples" are down flat and even from coarse to fine and wet sanded up to 1000 grit then switched to using a headlight restoring kit to finish the wet sanding and polish it clear.

Basically it's the same as the DIY for GEN3 Headlight Lens Clearing, but I used a headlight restoring kit at the end instead of just rubbing compound, also saved me from buying more wet sanding paper since most kits come with high grit wet sand paper.

You can see the sanding stage in my corner light project photobucket album.
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
paint the edges black so you cant see the seam, otherwise looks pretty good
I thought about doing that, but decided I wanted to keep the lens clean and clear so it matches the headlight.
 

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1992 Toyota Camry LE
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651 Posts
I'm pretty its universal in every state as apart of US DOT regulation to have an orange side reflector in the front, just some jurisdictions of course and more lenient in comparison to others.
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'm pretty its universal in every state as apart of US DOT regulation to have an orange side reflector in the front, just some jurisdictions of course and more lenient in comparison to others.
the_professional is right, its federal regulations on safety features and how lenient enforcement is.

For me I have the worst luck when it comes to enforcement of those regulations. I had blue cathodes under my front end and blue LED washer nozzles installed for about a week then got a warning to get them removed. And what really gets me frustrated is that I've seen plenty of others with the exact same setup drive around without any problems.

So since then I do some research before starting any modifications and for this one I found US DOT requires amber reflectors in the front, doesn't have to be in the corner lights, but somewhere on each side in the front and I think it was within 12inches from the vertical center of the front bumper.

But sometimes you see cars out of the factory that doesn't meet some DOT requirements, so it's a puzzle to me whether they're actually required or only applies to certain cars/makes, like front license plates, this one gets me really riled up.

Those look awesome, ive been wanting to do that for a while now. Why not get rid or the orange reflector altogether and replace the bulb with an orange one?
Besides requirements, I like the Amber/Black contrast and the bulbs are amber stock.
 

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2000 Camry
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220 Posts
Don't you have to have amber turn signals in Oz? If memory serves me correctly they have to be amber, here they can be either amber or red. What about side repeaters, are they a requirement? Someone told me they are a requirement for the UK.

One could possibly in theory install the clear corners, then install the fenders off of a Camry Gracia that has the amber side repeaters and that would be legal in the US.
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I'd definately like a set of black corner lights. Even just a set of corner lights that are totally clear would be cool. I ruined my clear corners trying to open them up.
I know the feeling, ruined a pair of lights to figure out a good way to open them and even then it wasn't until the 4 corner light that I opened that came out good. If I hadn't found cheap aftermarket lights on ebay for ~$30 a pair, I would have given up.
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
So how did you finally open them up?
I used a heat gun and a blade, it's like this
, same principles.

But have to be extra careful not to heat it too much of the housing or the chrome blurs. And my heat gun is adjustable and I put it on 6 out of 10 max setting and took my time and slowly heat the seam and then cut it open. Also have a flat fan type nozzle attachtment so that it focuses all the heat onto the seam and not circular like in the video, so that helped a lot.

As for the lip, I heated that enough so it becomes soft and folded it down to cut the seam and then fold it back up. There's pictures of this in my Photobucket album.

I originally planned on doing a DIY write up, but since it the difficultly turned out to be rather high and I didn't get good results, it didn't seem worth it with such a low success rate. I can still write one if it's wanted.
 

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39 Posts
wow those look pretty legit, nice work

so its possible to just sand the stock headlights into clear headlights?

did you do this for the front? if not where did you get yours?

oh and what is gen 4.5? what does that cover?
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
wow those look pretty legit, nice work

so its possible to just sand the stock headlights into clear headlights?

did you do this for the front? if not where did you get yours?

oh and what is gen 4.5? what does that cover?
For the "stock headlights into clear headlights," it's possible as long as it's a plastic lens. DIY: GEN3 Headlight Lens Clearing, just finish it off with a Headlight restoring kit.

My headlights were clear stock, but the headlights I have on are ebay aftermarket with that black insert with a halo.
The corners were sanded down to get clear lenses, basically like the DIY above.

And gen 4.5 is the 2000 and 2001 years, the front lights are a bit bigger than the previous gen 4 years and the tail lights are different too, bit of exterior changes for the last 2 years of gen 4.
 

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D.I.Y.'er since 2004
2000 Camry LE
Joined
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227 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
how did u do the taillights and the headlights. i love the parenthesis halos. howd u make the halos? what kinda lights do u use in halos? leds?
The headlights are retrofits, there's DIY posts here with more info.
Halos are bent rods of acrylic with LEDs at the ends.

For the tail lights I bought alteza and opened them to retrofit with LEDs.
Circle plates of plexi with holes drilled to hold the LEDs replaced the plastic lenses.
 
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