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Through some great advice by a few members on this forum I was very easily able to change my tails easily. I'm proving a very detailed procedure for non-handy people as myself:

First thing you need is painters tape, plastic car audio pry tools, screw driver or #4 hex key, and the new lights...




Last look at old lights:



Make sure spoiler is down and you turn the auto lights off.

Pop trunk and on bilateral sides there are rubber stoppers (grovets)



Underneath is the top of the screw


You can use a hex key #4, screw w piece, or a wrench to get the screw:





Leave the screws and rubber stopper on the water or oil cap for easy finding:



Once undone, raise the spoiler so you can grip the most backside of the light (near middle and most posterior where the spoiler would be). In the meantime use the pry tool on the front most side of the tail lights near the sides of the car. Pull straight back and the lights will slide out. Be careful not to pull too hard bc the tail lights are still attached by the by the light cables. (seen below)



This part is the hardest in my opinion bc it's hard to wiggle the cable off whole holding the light and trying not to scratch anything. Feels like there is a clasp under the cable to hold it in place



Once removed you're good




Now place painters tape as shown bc when you plug the new tail lights into the cable very carefully so you don't scratch the new lights / car.



Slide the tail light while carefully watching the bottom of the light bc there are two round "studs" (As seen in the pick below on the right side=bottom of the tail light unit) that slide on the two black tracks (as seen on the pic above):



Carefully and evenly push the tail lights into place. You can also tap the unlock button on the remote to check the lights.

Now lower the spoiler and from the trunk put the screw in place and replace the rubber stopper.

One thing that slowed me down on one of my tails was this silly screw / nut seen below (someone know what it's called?). If its not all the way down (in this picture its up which it should not be) then you won't be able to screw the tails in. This piece actually screws into the unit in a counterclockwise fashion.



Now enjoy!

Here is one of each: Driver's side is the new, passenger side is the old



New tails:


Total time: about 10 mins a light

Hope this helps!


Special thanks to:
K-man S, aemjr, and finally @ 57 for their help!

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A few more helpful tips:

When I put my tinted tails on my Cayman S, I had to apply significant pressure to get one side tail light off and the other side tail light popped off easily. The one that popped off easily was because the plastic seat/bushing in the car that the end pin of the taillight seats in was split and came out with the light (Had to be installed broken by the factory). Be careful to check the location to make sure that the plastic seat/bushing is in the car before you put the tail lights back in or else the tails will be loose and at best rattle. If it comes out and is split, It should be OK to just push back together and into the car frame. The pin will force the sleeve/bushing and hold everything into place. Just be looking for each half of it - mine was halfl attached to the light and the other halve of the bushing fell to the ground.

You can see the bushing location in the upper left side of the cavity in the original posters photo:




The retaining screws in my Cayman were Torx, not Hex. Once you get the retaining screw removed raise the wing. Next, cover the bumper below the tail with towels/tape to protect the paint (very important). The far side of the tail is held in place with a ball point which snaps in/out. I used a wide flat head screw driver wrapped in a towel to pull the taillight away from the body. DO NOT PRY against the paint, just pull away from the body. With your other hand at the wing side apply even pressure pulling out. Stand in front of the tail as it could fly out under the pressure exerted. You must pull at those two points evenly to get the tail to release.
 

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Thanks very much for posting this as this is my next project


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Thanks for posting, my next project as well.
 

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Thanks for the write-up, changed mine out today!

Tip, get on your knees and make sure the bottom brackets line up and slide in otherwise you will have a gap and tighten the nut pretty tight (more than I thought). Otherwise they will be loose.
 

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Just put the tinted tails that I bought from Suncoast into my recently purchased CPO Agete Grey CS. Easy to do after reading through this article. Thanks RADONCulous and the other posters for your input.
 

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This job was really easy thanks to the original post. Thanks Radonculous.

I'll add a couple of tricks I discovered:

I used a piece of string to pull the corner of the light. It worked like a charm. Also, there is a small tab on the electrical connector. Just insert a small screw driver between the male and female pieces and the connector comes apart easily. Lastly, there are two round connectors on the bottom of the light that slide into the channels on the light housing. When you install the new light, just make sure you align the tongues in the groves and push. With the knowhow, this is easy peazy, but without the original information, this would have had me scratching my head. Thanks!
 

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O.M.G

Johnny Quest (and B737) --- Thank you.. thank you thank you!

The string tip is sheer genius.

After an hour of prying and pulling (10 mins per side-my-***!) I scrolled down and found your rope trick... Worked like a charm!

I'll bet Porsche has a tool that looks like a nylon rope with a handle on it that costs $500 to do this!

Subsequent readers -- if you've scrolled down this far and are similarly in trouble:

1. Get out the string. I attached mine to a piece of pipe that I could grip

2. Listen very carefully to Radonculous who said to mask off your paint and put some towels on for padding (when these things come out, they come out fast and they can scratch -- got a very minor blemish the first time, second time everything was masked off.

3. Thread the string and have a help ready (he/she should pull on the light near the raised spoiler) while you YANK on your string - The light will come flying off, tethered only by the electrical. If you have not masked off and padded your bumper, be prepared for a scratch. (but you read #2 and followed those instructions... right?

Thanks to the OP (RADONCULOUS) who took the time to document all of this.

I'll add my own tip on my MY13 S the nut holding in the light is a 10MM socket.
 

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Done!

Thanks again everyone!


Capture.JPG

The change is more impressive "in person" than these pics show. On a dark car, they give it a much more "serious" look and get rid of those enormous red blobs at the rear :)
 

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Thanks Rich. Glad I could help. I agree, they look great.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Looks great you guys! I'll edit my post to talk about the string...


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Just curious - was anyone able to sell their "red" tail lights? If so, where? I listed mine on Ebay.
While I'd like to recoup some cash, the biggest problem is that my wife limits me to amount of "useless junk" I can hoard int he basement :)

Those 2002 BMW snows are heading to the curb if they don't sell this season!
 

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I typically keep any lighting upgrades that I do to my cars for a couple of reasons. First is that in the event that I get a stone (front) or bumped (rear) or the light gets broken in some way I have a replacement I've already paid for I can use until I can get a replacement (safety). Second, if I ever decide to sell it is nice to give prospective buyers the option of putting the car back the way it came.

I don't have any advice for your wife, but I feel your pain. ;)

Re: Tires. I will often change out my tires long before they are on the wear bars so I take them to a local discount tire place. They often get people who come in who don't have a lot of money but desperately need better tires. I've never had much success trying to sell used tires and I figure they may end up making some folks a little safer.
 

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O.M.G

Johnny Quest (and B737) --- Thank you.. thank you thank you!

The string tip is sheer genius.

After an hour of prying and pulling (10 mins per side-my-***!) I scrolled down and found your rope trick... Worked like a charm!

I'll bet Porsche has a tool that looks like a nylon rope with a handle on it that costs $500 to do this!

Subsequent readers -- if you've scrolled down this far and are similarly in trouble:

1. Get out the string. I attached mine to a piece of pipe that I could grip

2. Listen very carefully to Radonculous who said to mask off your paint and put some towels on for padding (when these things come out, they come out fast and they can scratch -- got a very minor blemish the first time, second time everything was masked off.

3. Thread the string and have a help ready (he/she should pull on the light near the raised spoiler) while you YANK on your string - The light will come flying off, tethered only by the electrical. If you have not masked off and padded your bumper, be prepared for a scratch. (but you read #2 and followed those instructions... right?

Thanks to the OP (RADONCULOUS) who took the time to document all of this.

I'll add my own tip on my MY13 S the nut holding in the light is a 10MM socket.
Nope, no $500 tool! :)

The service notes will tell you that there is an access hole (rubber plugged) behind each light accessible from inside the rear wheel well, once removed a screw driver or other suitable tool can be used to push on a metal pin the move the light out of it's location... No danger of scratching the paint this way!
 

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Actually the service notes will tell you that there is an access hole (rubber pluged) behind each light accessible from inside the rear wheel well, once removed a screw driver or other suitable tool can be used to push on a metal pin the move the light out of it's location... No danger of scratching the paint this way!
So, when I removed the rubber plug, I tried tapping gently on the 10mm bolt itself (half screwed out) as another poster suggested, it didn't budge so I removed the bolt, tried using a socket wrench extender to gently tap on the area where the bolt came out of....again no result, I was afraid to tap any harder as I did not want to break the lights. I did not see a metal pin or plate that looked like it would respond to more force. The lights were pretty firmly lodged in the socket and required a generous yank on the string to get them out of the socket (and a good push to get the new ones back in). I suspect if your lights are as firmly in place as mine were, even managing to hit the right spot and dislodging them would send them flying so the scratch danger remains.


I did manage to sell the lights on EBAY for $280, but then (OUCH!) $135 in shipping + $28 in Ebay seller charges pretty much ate up any cash associated with the sale (but I kept them out of a landfill and out of my basement).
 

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Nope, no $500 tool! :)

The service notes will tell you that there is an access hole (rubber plugged) behind each light accessible from inside the rear wheel well, once removed a screw driver or other suitable tool can be used to push on a metal pin the move the light out of it's location... No danger of scratching the paint this way!
Two famous quotes come to mind:

1. When all else fails, read the directions.
2. Real men never read the directions!

:)
 
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Nope, no $500 tool! :)

The service notes will tell you that there is an access hole (rubber plugged) behind each light accessible from inside the rear wheel well, once removed a screw driver or other suitable tool can be used to push on a metal pin the move the light out of it's location... No danger of scratching the paint this way!
So, when I removed the rubber plug, I tried tapping gently on the 10mm bolt itself (half screwed out) as another poster suggested, it didn't budge so I removed the bolt, tried using a socket wrench extender to gently tap on the area where the bolt came out of....again no result, I was afraid to tap any harder as I did not want to break the lights. I did not see a metal pin or plate that looked like it would respond to more force. The lights were pretty firmly lodged in the socket and required a generous yank on the string to get them out of the socket (and a good push to get the new ones back in). I suspect if your lights are as firmly in place as mine were, even managing to hit the right spot and dislodging them would send them flying so the scratch danger remains.


I did manage to sell the lights on EBAY for $280, but then (OUCH!) $135 in shipping + $28 in Ebay seller charges pretty much ate up any cash associated with the sale (but I kept them out of a landfill and out of my basement).
So forgive me if I misunderstood your reply, but I think we are talking about different locations.

There are two rubber plugs the one in the trunk that you gain access to the 10mm retaining bolt and the one in the wheel well that you need to access to push on the light assembly, it provides access to the back of the light assembly and applies force in the direction of travel for removal. Pushing or tapping on the area where the retaining bolt is located will do nothing at all.

Here are 4 pictures that should help clarify what I am trying to convey.
 

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So forgive me if I misunderstood your reply, but I think we are talking about different locations.

There are two rubber plugs the one in the trunk that you gain access to the 10mm retaining bolt and the one in the wheel well that you need to access to push on the light assembly, it provides access to the back of the light assembly and applies force in the direction of travel for removal. Pushing or tapping on the area where the retaining bolt is located will do nothing at all.

Here are 4 pictures that should help clarify what I am trying to convey.
LOL -- well, OK, RTFM (If only I had the FM :)

I was not at all aware of what you were referring to and missed your point entirely (also, I reading your post far too fast, you did say "wheel well", and I completely ignored that - a picture being worth a 1000 words and all ) !

I never even thought to look in the wheel well when for something (although I suspect this means jacking the car and possibly removing the wheel ?)

This is, indeed an excellent contribution to this thread -- Thanks!
 
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Thanks Westcoaster for a great post that makes use of annotated photos to clearly show the design, and method to remove the taillights per the instructions (which can be found on the Suncoast site when you order the lenses.) I'd like to second blackmanx's question whether you feel removal of the rear wheels makes the job of pushing on the light back section easier?
 
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