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DIY: Startec Replicas!

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    DIY: Startec Replicas!

    DIY Startec Replicas
    Taken directly from Post 237 of my build thread.
    More pictures of the finished lights will be there in future posts.

    I wasn't willing to pay the $800+ for a used set of Startec lights, so I set about making my own replicas!
    I've detailed the process below, so you can attempt your own set.


    Parts used:

    Lenses ($110usd + shipping):

    Sealant ($57cad):
    RetroRubber OEM Grade Butyl

    Bulb paint ($10cad):
    Pebeo Vitrail Crimson

    Two taillight housings (preferably cracked/damaged lenses).

    VHT Niteshades ($22cad)


    1. Paint inside of new lenses with VHT Niteshades.
      • This was my first time using Niteshades. Be aware it goes on quickly.
      • I achieved the pictured darkness on my first coat while only seeking to apply an even layer.

    2. Heat taillight assemblies in oven @ 230f for 10 minutes.
      • I removed all of the metal studs, and placed lights on a block of wood on the bottom rack.

    3. Smash out existing lenses with a hammer. Wear eye protection.
    4. Remove bits of leftover lens from edges while lights are still warm.
    5. Heat RetroRubber sealant in oven for a few minutes to soften.
    6. Stretch sealant thin and apply to all edges on taillight housing. You only need a little bit to make a seal.
      • I used too much on my driver's side (first attempt) and the finished product doesn't look as good up close.

    7. Place lens on top of sealant & housing.
    8. Place in oven on top of wood. I used additional wood on top of lens to weigh down.
      • I followed Morimoto directions and went for 7min @ 270f. This melted/distored my lenses in a few spots.
      • I'd recommend starting at 230f and adding heat/time to melt the sealant if needed.

    9. Paint bulbs red as needed to achieve startec colour reflective effect.
    10. I used wiring from a spare bulb tray to wire my rear fogs in parallel with the brake lights.


    Additional notes and areas for improvement:

    My taillight housings only had a reflective (chrome coated) surface on some of the internals.
    Adding a reflective surface to the rear fog areas would help to improve the lens colour effect.
    I'm not sure the best way to achieve this, as I've used chrome spraypaint before and it sprays out more like silver paint.

    I am also converting my lamps to LED for added brightness. So far I've used the same glass/bulb paint on the LEDs with success.

    (no bulbs)

    Last edited by Panici; 07-23-2019, 03:36 PM.

    '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
    '90 Mazda Miata NA
    '04 Jeep TJ
    '05 Yamaha R6 (trackbike)

    Damn do those look good

    it's a Kenny Powers quote on wheels


      Projects Hartge,Alpina & AC Schnitzer Builds.

      DSC04926 by Raul Salinas, on FlickrDSC03413 by Raul Salinas, on Flickr


        Thanks for that, any way to clean up the black lines between the lenses?


          Originally posted by Mike36 View Post
          Thanks for that, any way to clean up the black lines between the lenses?

          My driver's side was my first attempt ever at resealing a lens, and I used too much sealant. Passenger side lines look better.

          On the car, you can't see any of the imperfections.
          (Or at least they're overshadowed by all of the other faults on my car in particular.)

          You could also attempt to use a different type/colour of sealant.

          '87 BMW E30 325is (restomod)
          '90 Mazda Miata NA
          '04 Jeep TJ
          '05 Yamaha R6 (trackbike)


            I have 5 sets sitting in storage. This is awesome.

            Sent from my SM-G950U1 using Tapatalk