: Procedure for "spacing out" 8th gen tail lights?
01-08-2009, 08:38 AM
forgive me if this is somewhere in the forums, but i can't find it. does anyone have a procedure for putting spacers, shims, etc, in the 8th gen sedan tail light to "space them out," i.e., make them closer to flush with the body panel, without having to take out the whole assembly (dropping the bumper, etc) by going in through the trunk maybe? and what specifically would you use as spacers or shims? much thanks for any info.
01-08-2009, 09:01 AM
there isn't a way... without disassembly
01-08-2009, 09:38 AM
i believe some people used business cards
01-08-2009, 10:52 AM
ok then, assuming i get the bumper cover off, etc, what could you use, besides a business card (?), as a spacer to "push out" the tail light, mainly the pointy part that meets the panel, as a millimeter or two push outward and the whole thing would pretty much be flush with the panel. thanks again.
01-09-2009, 01:23 AM
try cut teflon washers...
01-09-2009, 05:09 AM
Indeed... you can use card stock to space the unit outward to maintain gap. I tried this sans bumper removal... it didn't work well for me. I think the crux of the biscuit is that the units might need a washer on the studs prior to seating them against the chassis. you can not do that without dis-assembly
01-09-2009, 08:45 AM
i went by the shop this morning and while i waited they dropped the left side bumper cover, pulled the trunk lining around the tail light, and removed the assembly. the consensus of the tech and shop manager was to put washers in there. frankly, not sure if they used teflon or metal as i had to step out a couple times. but it put a decent space between the plastic of the assembly and the paint on the panel, so this should avoid future chipping issues. of course, now one tail light is not quite symmetrical with the other, but whose going to notice this but me. now that i see how it's done, i may take and hour or 2 out of my weekend to fiddle with this, i.e., try some different thickness washers, etc., to close the gap a hair. or i may just leave it alone. i mean, who cares, right? my only other concern is that there is a good seal so that water won't get into the body. anyone familiar enough with these assemblies to address whether or not if the bulk of the assembly, i.e. the biggest part towards the rear of the car, is tight to the body when you press it, that's enough to keep water out? the only part that has any play is the point of the assembly itself, that if you push on it will flex inward a millimeter or so. i want to make sure water can't get into the body from this spot. thanks for your interest and any additional info.
01-09-2009, 01:33 PM
Pics would be great, as always. Would like to see where washers need to be installed, and how all that area looks without having to disassemble anything. Mine have basically no gap, but no chipping yet. Need to run a piece of paper to see if the gap is down to nothing in some places. My other question is if a paper-thin gap is enough to avoid chipping. Thanks.
01-09-2009, 01:46 PM
if i happen to decide to take this appart and give it a shot, i'd be happy to post some pics. i used a business card as the test, although i really can't address if that's enough to avoid the chipping problem, given the driving stresses. someone else with the technical knowledge might be able to address that question. right now just eyeballing it, i'd say the side with the washers installed is about 2 mm gap all around the tail light assembly, and the other side maybe 1 - 1.5 mm.
the shop manager mentioned this morning that he's supposed to be having a meeting with some honda corp guy next week, and might call me for pics of some of the other cars i've seen with this same problem. he said that honda will pay for repainting, but won't pay for any trimming, sanding, shaving of the tail light itself to provide additional clearance, or even for the readjustment of the tail light to avoid contact with the panel. makes no sense to me, nor does it make any sense that by now the OH plant wouldn't have been somehow adjusted to simply avoid this problem on future cars produced.
01-09-2009, 03:54 PM
Okay, just scrutinized my taillights. They're only touching at the top, like an inch long, almost where they meet the trunk lid. A thick piece of paper folded in 3 slides the rest of the way, but with a bit of friction, not freely. The 'triangular' edge of the taillights, which is the only 'corner' on the sheetmetal, has the most space, probably 1 to 1.5mm (thickness of a credit card, more or less, but can't insert it since it's not flexible).
Here are my questions:
-Does the chipping occur anywhere else other than the sheetmetal corner?
-At what mileage does this show up? Have 1,500 myself so far, and no damage. Taillights look great with that small gap, by the way.
-Can't just 'rounding', or sanding smooth the edges of the taillight solve the problem?
-Has anybody figured out yet where is the taillight being pushed to cause chipping? If damage is in the 'tirangle', it seems the bumper must be doing the pushing (up) when car is torsionally loaded, no? If taillight is not touching the bumper, I don't see how the taillight can move when it's mounted to the same sheetmetal that's causing the damage. Something not attached to the sheetmetal must be pushing the tailight, and only the bumper fits the bill. Just thinking out loud. I'm not going to put spacers, but if I could remove the taillights without removing the bumper I'd certainly give them a smooth sanding job (to remove the 'flashing'). If they were touching there, I'd do that for sure, and possibly install very thin washers (as recommended) just to create a small gap like I have. I might insert a 400-grit sandpaper facing the taillight to create a gap where it's currently touching on top of the trunk... unless it doesn't chip there. Thanks gang.
01-09-2009, 04:56 PM
The entire reason for having to remove the bumper in the front or rear is that the light housing has a mount point/bolt underneath. you can not loosen them enough to do much of anything without getting to that bolt. I personally tried to loosen all the other bolts in the trunk area and shim the housing then re-tighten the lights... it didn't work. the best is to remove the bumper and remove the light housing, place a washer or series of washers on the studs and remount the housing.