How To Choose The Right Tail Light For Your Vehicle

Lights are considered to be the most important part of cars and other vehicles as well, because these are the components that ensure safety through visibility all the time and in certain bad conditions too. These conditions include foggy weather, rain, heavy snow and storm. Tail lights are of utmost importance as they show the cars coming behind you the actual position of your car.

People seldom pay attention to the tail lights of their cars and do not give them as much importance as they do to the headlights. You should immediately replace the broken or damaged tail lights or should replace their bulbs if they are fused.

A lot of options are available when it comes to the replacement of the taillights. You will find LED lights and euro lights that will not only improve the visibility but will also enhance the beauty of your car. There are different sections in a tail light and all the sections have their own importance and functions to perform.

There is a turning indicator in a tail light which tells the drivers behind when you are changing your lane on the road or want to take a turn. Now imagine if your turning indicators are not working and the dangers they pose to you while you are on the road. Similarly, they let the people know if you put your foot on the brake pedal in emergency or want to reverse or park the car.

Here are a few options available to you if you want to replace the tail lights of your car.

Altezza Lights

This is rather a style than a manufacturer name so you should not be deceived by it. The design emerged from a Japanese car called Toyota Altezza and since then significant improvements have been made in the design. The chrome is now replaced with the black color and carbon fiber look is given to it to make your car stand out from the rest. Some of these lights are manufactured in Asia and are not good in quality. Make sure you inspect them before you spend your hard earned money.

LED

These are the latest in trend and certainly give life to the rear end of your car. Traditional lights are not effective when the weather is not in your favor but these LED lights glow fiercely and let everybody know that you are on your way. These lights come as plug and play so you just need pick the right design and the type of light for your car.

Other Options

There are Euro and Fiber Optic tail lights available as well but they cost a bit more. They are unique and will add to the beauty of your car. If you are a truck owner then you can install a third brake light to give your car a more customized look.

These are some of the options for you to consider and by spending some money on these tail lights, you will turn your car into an instant head turner.

The 1969 Ford Mustang 4 Speed Shifter Linkage Explained

The Ford 1969 Mustang 4 speed shifter linkage was only made for one year. The control box was completely different from the earlier 4 speed shifters Ford made. One big reason was the reverse lock out feature was in the shifter body and not the handle. Which was the reason for it’s short life span, the reverse detent was a spring steel piece that was very brittle as was the main spring inside the housing. The life span of these parts was probably about 65,000 miles before failure depending on how many times the car was put in reverse. When this happened shifting from 3rd to 2nd gear without resistance became an adventure, sometime resulting in engaging in reverse while going forward.

Cars being restored today using replacements parts rarely will reach 65,000 miles or be put in reverse very much. The overall shifting of the linkage has never been a big problem, some drag racers may argue this point but for everyday driving the linkage performed well. The rods and levers are similar to the earlier Mustang and Torino style cars but with different bends. Mustang levers are longer and Torino levers are the same as the earlier models.

The 1969 4 speed shifter control box for the Ford Galaxie is basically the same but the rods and levers are different. The forward gear rods are tubular and the levers are in a tear drop shape but both have the same reverse feature and had the same problem.

All replacement parts for these shifters are available and are of equal or better in quality than the originals. Finding them can be tough, they are not available at dealers or auto part stores but are available online by at least two sources that I know of.

Skills You Need to Restore a Classic Car

Restoring a classic car can be a scary topic for some people. There are a lot of different types of work that goes into a classic car restoration and most people are not skilled at all of them. When you break the process down into the types of repairs that go into your classic car restoration, it’s easier to come to grips with what you really can or can’t do yourself.

An accounting of your skills can help you decide how much work you can do yourself, and how much of the restoration work you should get done by a professional.

Your classic car restoration can be broken down into a few repair categories.

  • Knowing your car,
  • Mechanical repairs
  • Electrical repairs
  • Interior or upholstery work
  • Sheet metal or rust repair
  • Surface preparation and refinishing
  • Auto body and painting
  • Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Some of these categories are self explanatory. Allow me to clarify the ones that aren’t so obvious.

Knowing your car

Cars have always been available with options like sport trim packages, air conditioning, V8, 6 cylinder, or 4 cylinder engines, and the list goes on. As the car gets on in years, some of these options get removed from the vehicle, replaced with something substandard, or never replaced at all. Option codes and shop manuals are generally available for most American classic cars that detail this information.

Mechanical repairs

This covers a lot of what makes up a car and would be most of the moving parts. You’ll find the engine and transmission will need rebuilding, as well as all the regular maintenance repairs like brakes and suspension, and rebuilding components parts like starters, water pumps, and generators. Other components that rarely get considered are the under dash parts like heater or vent controls, window parts inside the doors, hinges, and latches. I’m only touching on the subject, but you get the idea.

Electrical repairs

Electrical can be the scariest of them all. On an old vehicle the sheathing on the wiring can be dry rotted, and cracked and brittle creating the risk of an electrical short. Switches wear out and even fall apart. On some vehicle where these parts are impossible to find, you’ll need to be creative and improvise by using parts from another vehicle make.

Interior or upholstery work

Cloth, vinyl, leather, threading, and stuffing or padding materials all dry rot over time and need to be replaced. Colors fade really bad as well.

Sheet metal or rust repair

Any metal made with iron will rust, even aluminum will oxidize and even disintegrate under the right conditions. The body sheet metal will need to be replaced or patched. This means knowing how to work with sheet metal, how to weld, and even how to shape metal.

Surface preparation and refinishing

Other than the exterior of the car body, there is a lot of sheet metal surface that will need to be stripped of old paint and surface rust, then prepared so it won’t rust anymore, then painted again. This includes the car frame, suspension parts, differential, fasteners and more.

Auto body and painting

Aside from the sheet metal work the exterior of the car body will need to be smoothed and painted. This is an enormous amount of work which is why it can be so expensive.

Trim or molding repair and refinishing

Classic car trim and molding was made mostly from metals. There are steel chrome plated parts, chrome plated pot metal parts, aluminum, stainless steel and even brass or copper. until recently, some parts can’t be fixed and re-plated, pot metal is on of those. In extreme cases, you’ll need to weld new metal into your trim or moldings, grind and sand them down, polish them and get them ready for re-plating.

That’s a lot to know how to do.

Luckily there are some really good how-to DVD’s available that cover all these topics. Even still you might want to specialize in only 2 or 3 of these skills, and get a professional to do the others.

Learning how to do something like this can be entertaining. Even you if you don’t plan on doing some of this work yourself, you’ll want to know how the work is done so you can recognize a job well done.