Saturday, April 4, 2015

Klearz Datsun S130Z Pre-Facelift 79-81 Rear Taillight Lenses

The pals over at Klearz sent me the smoked versions of their brand new S130 upper lenses for the Artisan GS130. I highly recommend Klearz for anything from reproduction lenses, to clear/smoked/red alternatives to what you have on the car now. The lenses are direct replacements and the fitment is absolutely perfect. They're direct molds of the factory lights, so they won't look out of place like some of the "altezza" style lights available for other cars.

Check out Klearz here:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see their options for S130 chassis cars. Everything from side markers, turn signal, to the new taillight lenses.

NOTE: You need 79-81 taillights in order to install these lenses on your cars. The 82-83 facelift lights are different in design and you will not be able to fit new lenses. 79-81 lights are a direct swap into later cars with the actual lights and backing plates, no wiring differences. 

Here is a small how to guide in installing the lenses on any 79-81 280ZX. 

You have to start out with the 79-81 style lights, there's no way around it. These taillights have three individual lenses (the reverse section is glued to the turn signal section). Late 82-83 taillights are a single lens, so you won't be able to use these lenses on those lights.

Here's where all the action will be happening. I used an old light for this purpose as the actual taillights I'm going to use these lenses on have LED panels in them. 

Do yourself a favor, remove these two small philips screws and remove the taillight harness from the light. You don't want to be playing with the light with a bunch of wires banging around and potentially cracking the plastic backing. 

Two screws and some playing around with the bulb holders and the entire taillight harness is removed. Take note which bulbs go where, you don't want to have your turn signals where the reverse lights go. I took the old bulbs out of the taillights and wrote T for tail, R for Reverse, and P for Park (or turn signal) on the individual bulbs. A small step now will save you the headaches later. 

Now you may have the old taillight seal stuck to your lights like this one was. The small philips screws around the rim of the light are what remove the black trim piece from the light. The trim piece keeps the lenses from falling out and is also an aesthetic piece. 

Here's the gasket peeled off the light. It's crusty and will be getting replaced. Before you start this project, get yourself some replacement gaskets. You'd be surprised how much moisture and exhaust fumes these gaskets let into the cabin. 

Look for these screws along the rim of the whole taillight. There's about 6 in total on the light.

So you've got all the screws out and the trim piece still doesn't want to let go? 

Well if you look on either side of the light, there's are these small black plastic pieces that are still holding the trim piece to the plastic backing. 

I've ground it flat with a dremel. You can use a file, or snip it off, it is no longer going to serve a purpose and breaking it free from the trim piece is a guarantee, so don't fret if you break it off when removing the trim piece. 

Here it is all empty and broken free. 

Now you're ready to start getting these lenses off the backing. 

I highly suggest you heat the edges of the lenses with a heat gun for a bit to break the bond of the glue that's holding the lens. I skipped that step since the lenses on this particular light are ruined anyway. This is what it'll look like once you've got the lens removed. 

I used my gasket scraper and door trim remover tool to work the lens free. Start at one of the ends and work your way down to the other end. Be patient, you don't want to be breaking anything. After I got the end lifted off, the whole lens actually let itself free, so not heating in this case actually worked out decently. 

Here's a pic of my lens test fit into the lights. They're direct copies of the factory lenses. The quality of the lens is absolutely fantastic and the fit and finish is superb. 

These are how NOS taillights look on an S130 chassis. I'm waiting for new gaskets to install the Klearz lenses, so I'll update the post with updated pics once I get them in! 

Run a bead of clear silicone along the base of where the lens sits in. I actually kept a bit of the old glue in place, because it gave me a great template to position the new lenses. 

Fit the lenses in place and reassembly everything the opposite of what you did to take everything apart. The end result will make you giddy. 

I have the smoked versions. Klearz offers everything from stock coloring, to dark smoke, smoked, totally clear, red, dark red, or if you want rainbow with sparkles just let them know! 


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