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Project Rolla 2.0, Taillight Upgrade

One difference the Pre-Facelift Carib has is that the taillights are big solid colour blocky things. I didn’t really like them, so off they came.

The original taillights always looked dated to me, which made the car look older than it is.

The facelift model of both the Carib and Corolla wagon got a slight upgrade in the taillight department. Removing and replacing the lights is very easy on these, so I grabbed a pair of facelift lights from a Corolla wagon at Pick A Part and finally got around to replacing them today.

With the tailgate open, it’s just two screws to remove the lights. I guess this was designed to be easy as this is also how you change the bulbs.

Remove the screws and then the light just pops out. There are two plastic pins on the opposite edge of the light, but these are often broken.

In typical fashion, the lights on the Carib were loose, so that wouldn’t be helping. With the light removed it uncovered a haven for grot

A quick clean, and then it’s just a case of swapping the bulb holders to the new lights, and slot the light into place.

Rinse and repeat on the other side, give them a polish with some PlastX and that’s the job done. They came up really well with a polish, and fit better than the old lights.

Much better

Nice and easy.

I also gave the paint a quick going over with Bowden’s Own, to get rid of more of the sunscreen on the paint.

I was initially very sceptical about this, as it’s well known how hard it is to remove sunscreen, but checking out reviews and Youtube videos of this stuff convinced me to give it a try. The difference to most other options is that this is oil-based and lifts the oil-based sunscreen out of the pores in the paint.

Just over a month ago I gave it a quick test on a small spot that had some clear and obvious finger spots.

Pour some on a microfibre, rub it into the paint and buff off. It’s not rocket science.

But sure enough, there was no trace left at all. And over a month later, there is still no trace.

Despite what I’ve been told, I’m not an idiot, I know how bad sunscreen is for paint, but the results speak for themselves so far. If it lasts, awesome, if not, I’ll try again.

With that success in mind, I went around the rest of the car today and just spot polished where I could see sunscreen marks. The car looks a lot better now, with a more uniform shade of black. I still need to give it a clean and a proper machine polish and wax but that will come in time. The paint has a really nice flake, so should look great when polished.

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