Pathetic Toyota tail-light design engineering

spressomon

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Well...I thought up to now (forgetting about the rear upper shock mounts :eek: ) the overall engineering on my LC wasn't too bad. Well that all changed when I tried to replace the rear outer tail-light bulb! Sheeeeessssssaaaasssss! The bulb assembly, which includes the lense, is attached with two screws that are accessed by dropping the tailgate...simple enough right? Wrong! After removing these 2-screws you then have to pry the lense off, from the body, which is retained by two stubborn, very secure, retainers. In my case the retainer broke away from the plastic lense where it was molded in place. So I now have to figure out how to secure it by epoxying back (won't probably work very well) or buy an entire new outer lense assembly (not going to be cheap).

This is, in the 30+ vehicles I have owned the most stupid bit of engineering I have ever known (alright...the design engineering on my old '70 MG radiator/cooling system was pretty stupid too!). I mean what the f%&^ Toyota? For something that needs to be accessed somewhat frequently (bulb replacement) what the frick were they thinking (or not thinking!)???

Hopefully someone can tell me there is a better/simpler/non-destructive method to replace the outer tail-lights!
 
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You just gotta pry evenly and carfully. Last winter a tree limb fell on my wifes Lexus and broke the outer quarter panel light lense and I had to get a new one. It was roughly $150, so a new housing from cdan shouldn't be too bad.
 
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Josh83 said:
You just gotta pry evenly and carfully. Last winter a tree limb fell on my wifes Lexus and broke the outer quarter panel light lense and I had to get a new one. It was roughly $150, so a new housing from cdan shouldn't be too bad.

Josh: Your signature? FYI: You're already "cooler than Junk". You own a 100! :D Couldn't resist a dig at Junk! :)
 
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spressomon said:
[snip]

This is, in the 30+ vehicles I have owned the most stupid bit of engineering I have ever known (alright...the design engineering on my old '70 MG radiator/cooling system was pretty stupid too!). I mean what the f%&^ Toyota? For something that needs to be accessed somewhat frequently (bulb replacement) what the frick were they thinking (or not thinking!)???

So is this worse than the chevy astro-van, whereby if you need to replace a $15 heater hose you have to completely remove the AC compressor unit, driving the repair bill into the hundreds of $$$? Or how about a friend's Ford mini-van, where the oil filter is located underneath the dash?

There's a lot to be said about older toyota's like the 60's and older mini's w/ manual windows and no fancy electronics....need to replace the tail light bulbs? Remove a few screws from the outside and the lens comes off. Need to replace starter contacts? Reach up through the front wheel well, remove a couple of bolts from the side of the block, and the starter is off. Not to mention one can buy Cibie or Hella e-code round or rectangular H4 headlamps for $35-40/ea on the web.
 
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Now that you have the two screws off, just take the palm of your hand and smack the edge of the light (the edge being the part that is exposed next to the tailgate opening, where you removed the two screws). I like to hold the lens with my other hand to prevent it from pivoting on the snap-pins (and also to keep it from falling). Basically you want to move the whole lens sideways away from the fender, & try to keep it from pivoting or twisting.
I wouldn’t recommend prying against the fender and lens. My plastic keepers on the fender broke and got new ones from C’Dan. The two snap in keepers that hold the lens in place on the fender are pretty tight I would think some dielectric grease will help with installation and future removal.
We probably should put this in the FAQ, before more people bust there lenses.
Dean
 

spressomon

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Jim: You are right it is all relative...although the starter position on the 100...

Dean: Thanks for the removal tip...I will probably get to try that one out on the DS side eventually. Good idea on the grease. I went ahead and replaced all three bulbs while I was 'there'. Epoxied the metal anchor back in the lense housing after a little dremmel work.
 
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Josh83 said:
Yeah, but my 100 is a total pavement queen.:D

Yes, but because you keep it that way. :) No, I'm sure you use the vehicles for different applications so that makes sense. I do the same.

I would fair to say though that if you equipped your 100 like you did your 80, you'd end up taking the 100 on the majority of your trips. :) Challenge? :D
 
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spressomon said:
This is, in the 30+ vehicles I have owned the most stupid bit of engineering I have ever known


I first learned of this tail light engineering from my 4Runner, they seem to use tail/brake lights faster than most vehicles. The plus, no exposed screws. In some countries, petty thieves will steal anything with visible fasteners. Most stuff on modern toyotas you would have to at least break into the vehicle to get at routine, yet expensive parts.

-Mark
 
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I just replaced a bulb on my Ram. It comes off exactly the same as the LC. You have to pry it off gently.
 

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