|Here I have begun work on the rear lights. The
body supplied for my car is a generic one. Up until you begin
fitting the body and things like boot lids etc, it could be
any number of different models. The rear lights hence are formed
for the earlier models, and so the later style Diablo 6.0 surrounds
do not fit without some rework.
The first thing to do is to place one of the surrounds roughly
into the right place, and draw round the inside of the two circles
with a marker. I then used a dremel with a plasterboard cutting
tool, to cut these circles out. You should make sure the holes
you cut are much larger than the actual holes you drew. I made
mine at least a centimetre larger all round. You don't need
to be too tidy, as this will not be seen once the light surround
The next thing to do is once again taking a dremel, remove the
raised section on each recess. You can see one at the top left
hand corner of the light recess in the picture. Once I had carefully
removed the unwanted material, I taped the back of the open
hole with electrical tape, and filled the void with fibre glass
bridging paste. Once dry, it can be sanded down, and you now
have something to fill against to tidy up the rest of the surround.
I completed both sides, but have only taken a picture of one,
The process is identical for that side.
|Here I have made brackets from lengths of stainless
steel, drilled and bent them to hold the rear lamp holders into
the light surround.
The brackets are glassed into the sides of the surround, after
first roughing up the metal and the surround to ensure a good
bond. Stainless steel is a good choice for parts embedded in
fibreglass as it cannot corrode. When steel rusts, it expands
and this can cause cracking and distortion.
I have bonded strips with 6mm bolts welded
to them into the surround here to facilitate mounting to the
body. There are six mounting points in total to ensure the
surround is pulled nice and tight against the body. I did
consider bonding the surround directly into place on the body,
but I wasnt sure I could get a good enough fixing for what
is a fairly exposed location.
The surrounds do not look very pretty from this angle, but
thats not so much of a problem as the reverse part will be
totally covered when the surround is installed. I am currently
on my third tub of fibreglass bridging compound, its just
too useful and much stronger than body filler. Its useful
for building up big differences and is less messy than conventional
fibreglass. Its difficult to sculpt it however, and provides
a pretty rough finish when compared to fibreglass matt. The
other thing I like about it is its cure time. When mixed correctly,
you can be grinding it back down after 15 minutes, although
I usually wait until its stopped giving off heat which indicates
its stopped curing (i.e. going hard).
|I have bolted the surround into place here. The
glass fibre paste is very strong stuff, and it needs to be because
the bolts pull the surround to the body distorting it to match.
This isnt actually a bad thing, and once the surround is pulled
directly against the body, everything matches up pretty perfectly.
These surrounds are a new type different to those parallel usually
supply. Its overlong to allow you to trim it to size. I have
not finished the edge on the left because I am not sure how
the grille will locate between the light surrounds, so I will
leave this part for the time being and move onto other things.
||One thing that is apparant is the light surrounds
are very highly finished. If you wanted black surrounds, you
could leave almost them as they are and they would pretty good.
Unfortunatley mine need to be the same colour as the rest of
the car so the first thing to do it to give them a good sanding
to remove the glaze so that paint will adhere to them.