Current progress so far
Links to parts and information websites
Where I will be building my diablo
Where most of the important bits come from
The stuff it all bolts to
What makes it go
What makes it pretty
The cars nervous system
Where you sit
The gubberment bit
Who really cares?
Stuff that will not fit anywhere else
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Rear lights

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 is installed.

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.