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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently changed my tails. Although I found the DIY in the DIY section of this forum helpful, I think it could be better. It was lacking one thing. Pictures. I am a very visual learner. I am willing to bet other people out there are that way too. So here it is, my new and improved DIY to tail light removal.
The Original:

I got tired of the amber turn signals. I thought the tails with smoked turns would better suit the overall theme of my car. So i changed them. Here is how I did it.
The tools you will need (or atleast i used):

1. 3/8 inch drive extender
2. 3/8 inch ratchet
3. 10mm screwdriver bit
4. 10mm 12 pt socket
5. 8mm 12pt socket
6. 10mm wrench
7. 1/4 inch ratchet
8. 1/4 inch drive extender
9. screwdriver thing
10. toothpaste
I am going to assume that everyone knows how to undo the carpet in order to expose the backs of the tail lights. If you don’t, it is really easy. Looks in the hatch, and you will figure it out. Once you have removed the carpet flaps, you can start to work.
The passenger side:

There are 3 bolts holding the tail light to the car. Two of the bolts are visible (circled in green) and the third bolt is hidden behind the flap of carpet. All the bolts are 8mm. I had to use an extender to get to the bolts. Once the bolts are loosened, I recommend removing them by hand. This way you don’t run the risk of dropping them down into the body of the car. If you do drop a nut, it is ok, just reach down and grab it.
Once all the nuts are removed, you pull the tail light off the car. When facing the hatch, you are going to pull the tail to the right (away from the wheel) straight out. This is to avoid breaking the rivet at the end of the tail. You may have to pull rather hard.
The tail light removed:

Peel off the black foam-rubber thing. Don’t discard it. You will need it for your new taillights.
The driver’s side:

The driver’s side is a little more complicated. Make sure to remove the tail light bulbs. Unbolt the two bolts (in pink) that connect the taillight to the car. These are two of the three bolts that hold the tail light in place. These two bolts are 8mm. Be careful not to drop them down inside of the car. Once this is done, you will have to do a little work to remove the third bolt.

The first thing that you need to do is to remove the CD changer holder. Remove the 5 bolts (circled in yellow). They are all 10mm. I used a wrench to remove bolt number 5 because it was a tight fit with the ratchet and extender. Once you have removed the CD holder, peel back the carpet. Be careful to not rip the carpet. It is help into place by a plastic rivet. Remove that and peel the carpet to expose the body of the car. Once this is done, you will see some wires and a square cut out in the body of the car.


This is where the third bolt is located. Everyone stresses that you do not want to drop the bolt down inside of the car. This is true, you don’t. If you do, it is OK just reach down in there and get it. It does make things a little harder if you do drop it though. To prevent from dropping it, many people suggest the “sticky nut” idea. This involves using some gum to stick the nut to the end of your socket. I didn’t have any gum, so I used some toothpaste. It worked very well. Use tools number 9 and 3, along with some toothpaste, and fish around inside of that hole until you can loosen the bolt. Remove the taillight just as you did on the passenger side. To avoid dropping the nut, I just left my screwdriver in the hole. I didn’t want to risk pulling it out and dropping the nut. Once the new taillight was in place I just fished around until I lined the two up once more. It was easy. Once you have the new taillight bolted in, just put everything back together the same way you took it apart. There should be nothing left over. Don’t forget to put the black foam-rubber thing on your new tails if you need it. It is a pain to remove it all again. If you have any questions or problems with this DIY, feel free to pm me. Total work time is about an hour, assuming nothing goes wrong.
The finished product:

~z000m http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

Modified by Z000M at 11:49 PM 6-7-2005


Modified by Z000M at 12:08 AM 5-22-2006
 

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Re: DIY tail light removal (Z000M)

Actually the easier method is not to remove the cd changer or anythiogn like that. Just take off the bracket that is meant to hold the fire extiinguisher in eyro cars and then use a socket set that has aflexible wire like shaft found in hardware stores, easy as pie , you just bend the tube like socket around the cd changer wire and set in your socket with gum on it and bam your hardest socket is done. leave it there and remove your taillight. PLace in new one and reattach the hard to reach nut and then the corner nuts and you can do them all in less then half an hour including cleaning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Re: DIY tail light removal (pest)

i didn't know they had bendy sockets... i will have to check that out...
 

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Re: DIY tail light removal (Z000M)

Images mirrored. (CLick on links)
Quote, originally posted by Z000M »
I recently changed my tails. Although I found the DIY in the DIY section of this forum helpful, I think it could be better. It was lacking one thing. Pictures. I am a very visual learner. I am willing to bet other people out there are that way too. So here it is, my new and improved DIY to tail light removal.
The Original:

I got tired of the amber turn signals. I thought the tails with smoked turns would better suit the overall theme of my car. So i changed them. Here is how I did it.
The tools you will need (or atleast i used):
http://is.rely.net/2-1060-8513...g.jpg
1. 3/8 inch drive extender
2. 3/8 inch ratchet
3. 10mm screwdriver bit
4. 10mm 12 pt socket
5. 8mm 12pt socket
6. 10mm wrench
7. 1/4 inch ratchet
8. 1/4 inch drive extender
9. screwdriver thing
10. toothpaste
I am going to assume that everyone knows how to undo the carpet in order to expose the backs of the tail lights. If you don’t, it is really easy. Looks in the hatch, and you will figure it out. Once you have removed the carpet flaps, you can start to work.
The passenger side:
http://is.rely.net/2-1060-8510...g.jpg
There are 3 bolts holding the tail light to the car. Two of the bolts are visible (circled in green) and the third bolt is hidden behind the flap of carpet. All the bolts are 8mm. I had to use an extender to get to the bolts. Once the bolts are loosened, I recommend removing them by hand. This way you don’t run the risk of dropping them down into the body of the car. If you do drop a nut, it is ok, just reach down and grab it.
Once all the nuts are removed, you pull the tail light off the car. When facing the hatch, you are going to pull the tail to the right (away from the wheel) straight out. This is to avoid breaking the rivet at the end of the tail. You may have to pull rather hard.
The tail light removed:
http://is.rely.net/2-1060-8511...A.jpg
Peel off the black foam-rubber thing. Don’t discard it. You will need it for your new taillights.
The driver’s side:
http://is.rely.net/2-1060-8507...A.jpg
The driver’s side is a little more complicated. Make sure to remove the tail light bulbs. Unbolt the two bolts (in pink) that connect the taillight to the car. These are two of the three bolts that hold the tail light in place. These two bolts are 8mm. Be careful not to drop them down inside of the car. Once this is done, you will have to do a little work to remove the third bolt.
http://is.rely.net/2-1060-8508...w.jpg
The first thing that you need to do is to remove the CD changer holder. Remove the 5 bolts (circled in yellow). They are all 10mm. I used a wrench to remove bolt number 5 because it was a tight fit with the ratchet and extender. Once you have removed the CD holder, peel back the carpet. Be careful to not rip the carpet. It is help into place by a plastic rivet. Remove that and peel the carpet to expose the body of the car. Once this is done, you will see some wires and a square cut out in the body of the car.

http://is.rely.net/2-1060-8512...g.jpg
This is where the third bolt is located. Everyone stresses that you do not want to drop the bolt down inside of the car. This is true, you don’t. If you do, it is OK just reach down in there and get it. It does make things a little harder if you do drop it though. To prevent from dropping it, many people suggest the “sticky nut” idea. This involves using some gum to stick the nut to the end of your socket. I didn’t have any gum, so I used some toothpaste. It worked very well. Use tools number 9 and 3, along with some toothpaste, and fish around inside of that hole until you can loosen the bolt. Remove the taillight just as you did on the passenger side. To avoid dropping the nut, I just left my screwdriver in the hole. I didn’t want to risk pulling it out and dropping the nut. Once the new taillight was in place I just fished around until I lined the two up once more. It was easy. Once you have the new taillight bolted in, just put everything back together the same way you took it apart. There should be nothing left over. Don’t forget to put the black foam-rubber thing on your new tails if you need it. It is a pain to remove it all again. If you have any questions or problems with this DIY, feel free to pm me. Total work time is about an hour, assuming nothing goes wrong.
The finished product:
~z000m http://****************.com/smile/emthup.gif

 

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Nice work - would have been great when I did my tails. One thing about that pesky hidden nut for the drivers side - what I did, was simply have my friend undo it for me, but once it was off the bolt, he just held the socket there - pushed against the hole. I took off the old light, then put on the new one and he tightened the nut again - no need to even worry about threading the nut over again.
 

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Re: DIY tail light removal (GTI1.8)

man i desperately needed this like 2 weeks ago when it took me 2 days to figure out how to install my Hella R/S/S/R tails
 

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Re: DIY tail light removal (VDUBRACER187)

Hey i need help 02 mk4 gti 1.8t
Passager side tail got 3 bolts off 8mm their is a forth that is black and i dont know how to remove it or what it is someone help me.
 

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Re: (oldschool86045)

Wow, this is much harder than what I had to do on my Jetta.
Here it is:
8 mm socket, 8 mm ratchetting wrench.
Open trunk
Open velco flap over lights
Remove the 3 8mm nuts
Unplug lights
Pull lights out.
That is it.
 

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Re: (oldschool86045)

Quote, originally posted by oldschool86045 »
is there a way to pop out the amber and/or smoke the amber part???
or change the amber and paint it somehow?

You can't pop it out as it's all one piece. GTIs come stock w/ it smoked lightly. Then you have the OEM Euro Tails(light smoke) and Hella Tails(heavy smoke) that have the 2 center sections blacked out. There's also the OEM '03 Euro special edition tails that have the amber section as a white/clear color.
 
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