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Let’s discuss taillights


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So I’ve been working on several reproduction pieces for the MJ (hope to bring them into production soon). I was wanting to see what it would take to get the taillights remade. Most of the manufacturers I reach out to will not return my request. I finally found a Chinese company that said they would do it. $5700 for the molds and about $3 per light with a minimum order of 1000 units. I’ve also looked into silicone molds, 3D printing etc. I’ve been thinking that the easiest thing to do would be to just reproduce the actual lens. I’ve seen several threads where people say they are either working on them or have a lead on some way to get them made but nothing comes from it. What is the most viable solution you’ve come across?

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What would be relatively simple to produce is a universal tail light bucket that would allow you to install your own leds. I could 3D print those and they would mount at all factory points but would use led panels. I can work on some renderings of what that would look like. It would be much nicer than those rustys tail light setups

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What I am thinking here is a metal "frame" that people can buy aftermarket LED lights and mount them into.  Similar to what many of the aftermarket companies have done for XJ's but it seems they could be so much simpler for the MJ's because it doesn't have to be a "box",  My thought for mounting is you would need to mount the frames using the holes the lights would slide into for the outside mounts, and the inside mounts are simple enough. 

 

Shouldn't be hard to make as they can probably be mostly pressed/stamped.  Just need a U shape, asthe structure will be added when they are mounted.

 

Those would sell...

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Yes, there is a compound radius. And the top is not the same as the bottom either. 

You don't have to like what I did to my tail lights (I'm not certain I like what I did) to appreciate the difficulty of it. 

 

Not sure if you are fully aware of whats going on today with China, virus not to mention a diminishing supply chain and slave labor....? When this S--t all shakes out I believe there will be some backlash against China, to some degree. 

Enough is enough with the cheap S--t, look elsewhere.

You won't get this done for $10K and if you do, I doubt you'll recoup 20%.  

 

 

Ask Krusty how many hitches he sold, 20 maybe? I know for a fact is was not profitable to him, maybe satisfying to some degree, but certainly not profitable. 

As will be with any attempt you make, or anyone. There is no market here to reward your effort. 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Jeep Driver said:

Yes, there is a compound radius. And the top is not the same as the bottom either. 

You don't have to like what I did to my tail lights (I'm not certain I like what I did) to appreciate the difficulty of it. 

 

Not sure if you are fully aware of whats going on today with China, virus not to mention a diminishing supply chain and slave labor....? When this S--t all shakes out I believe there will be some backlash against China, to some degree. 

Enough is enough with the cheap S--t, look elsewhere.

You won't get this done for $10K and if you do, I doubt you'll recoup 20%.  

 

 

Ask Krusty how many hitches he sold, 20 maybe? I know for a fact is was not profitable to him, maybe satisfying to some degree, but certainly not profitable. 

As will be with any attempt you make, or anyone. There is no market here to reward your effort. 

 

 

 

fnEjecMmjtvAQTNLNzb5sqDdFtoPQbVoFNwJi34zbjaAyQszqNoE-GEgXoUUuNugy0c5wfRD4geuytt5FWAOgOF36QXICacea_CrDQMw7m957Ic34D3XPjprotPW8H87UfI6OULatJ5q-b8eYahOsX4QBexMUK5252M0WYldmpomeonIT8CeSSzp1wSgOJ9TKpcMGADJ9mIDQTGDrW49OLEawtUK_SC84PfcXAfu8jYVe5pzjuuHB-5LsxgH29Ymgl8CroFEDcgrhCik9ymdZtLCEAeQTTGVbxVxkXxk2v3a81tpNZzYaYDJHMzVnE3XwKjhzV8XjgPBSEW_WWnzeLewWdIAzhk976rynTa23Fn2fBsR8wtSB8EydoTjBJzwKHP-SQR8witLa-kJM-_D0d28_UPbrdCBznBm0ffEBG5eRMec6zZPa6AcWkINAaVwmnh427HDEjGvNVvlZHZdW2p-BgD-zkpZhGppvrjK87SdZlj5qpO26br1XliI87Qj9ArtctuC6UVmtzlcrlGeEhMTUL-F9jsWgLeHts-bilv3iduEj3TnguRr52JMyYyj-IQvEBqC3dNRu7Q6w3_jo5hg_DOeaUAWSPswzraH21AbrrvMOPOsBI92CsvcVesf6cVur88_EQKGNa3kEVL-QpAGbwgGT3x56ZphG9Dz7lnavike9biMT9k=w1536-h937-no

Completely agree, it has to be a labor of love.  For this reason it has to be a simple design.  Compound bends are not simple, so square it off and see how it looks.  It may not look perfect, but it may have that hardcore "custom" look that some like. I designed my own taillight boxes for my XJ before any of the aftermarket was doing it.  They did not look as good as what the aftermarket companies put out there, but worked perfectly in my hardcore application.

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I wasn’t planning on saying anything until I’m close to releasing them but, yes I’ve been working on the tail lights haha. Here’s one of my first crude prototypes. I still have a lot of work to do and am doing this in my spare time but I’ll keep the community updated! 
 

A86F24E9-B62B-45B2-9E31-E9C45A29F2B5.jpeg.30fa3ee6914ced1637f34fa41f2aefc9.jpeg

 

766960664_lenscloseup.png.2f5708970d0bc9c844f111214e86c47e.png

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I never had plans to have them made in China but was curious how much it would cost to have them made there. That being said, I want them to be a quality reproduction no matter where they are made (anyone who doesn’t take pride in their work produces crap products regardless of where they live imo). Since @carolinajeepman has already created a prototype I will defer to his project and keep working on the rest of these items to bring them into production. 

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 Interesting that someone took some initiative. 

 

Now, what material? Durable? 

 

Left, right, can you reproduce these perfectly every time? Where's the backup light?

 

Pic of housing where the sockets insert? 

 

Cost of production? Price? 

 

One man band? How many can you produce in one week or one month?

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2 hours ago, Jeep Driver said:

 Interesting that someone took some initiative. 

 

Now, what material? Durable? 

 

Left, right, can you reproduce these perfectly every time? Where's the backup light?

 

Pic of housing where the sockets insert? 

 

Cost of production? Price? 

 

One man band? How many can you produce in one week or one month?

 

They'll be just as durable plastic if not more so than the original. Yes, they will all be the same and I am planning on doing the entire assembly for both right and left sides. Obviously there's a lot left to do, the clear reverse light is in the works. This was my first lense prototype just to prove it can be done so I didn't waste too much time and money.

 

As far as pricing, cost of production, quantity, etc. goes, that's all still up in the air as I am still in the early phases of the process. I'll keep everyone updated as I work through this project and know more of the specifics. 

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OK, let me start off by saying this is my area of expertise and my professional career. I am THE North American technical sales rep for a major plastics manufacturer who supplies automotive molding resins globally. We've been supplying molding resins to the automotive industry for decades. I have to be careful about what I say, but let's leave it at it's easier to count the taillights that aren't made using our products. I'll have to double check, but there is a very strong likelihood that we supplied the OG material back in the day (lens only).

My background is injection molding and part design. I'd be more than happy to consult with anyone who is taking a serious look at doing re-pops/service parts. Whether it be about materials selection (there are many with varying degree's of toughness), part design, where/how to have molds made, and contract shops who could do the molding. I won't make promises, but I might be able to pull a few strings at various points to make the process easier and/or reduce costs. I won't lie; doing this the "right way" will be very costly and won't guarantee low cost parts to consumers. Still, even someone wants do a "home brew" in their garage, I'd be happy to share what knowledge I can with seriously builders. 

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  • 6 months later...
On 3/12/2020 at 2:08 PM, carolinajeepman said:

I wasn’t planning on saying anything until I’m close to releasing them but, yes I’ve been working on the tail lights haha. Here’s one of my first crude prototypes. I still have a lot of work to do and am doing this in my spare time but I’ll keep the community updated! 
 

A86F24E9-B62B-45B2-9E31-E9C45A29F2B5.jpeg.30fa3ee6914ced1637f34fa41f2aefc9.jpeg

 

766960664_lenscloseup.png.2f5708970d0bc9c844f111214e86c47e.png

Carolinabeachman are you still with us? Any progress on the taillights?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 9/29/2020 at 9:46 PM, Manche757 said:

Carolinabeachman are you still with us? Any progress on the taillights?

Still with ya, just got a bit delayed. Going through a move and still In the process of buying a house so my workshop is currently in storage. Will be picking back up as soon as I get settled in. 

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36 minutes ago, carolinajeepman said:

Still with ya, just got a bit delayed. Going through a move and still In the process of buying a house so my workshop is currently in storage. Will be picking back up as soon as I get settled in. 

Congrats on your new house.  Your taillight prototype looks as promising as anything we have seen.  We look forward to your completion.

 

If you need assist, I volunteer young Daeson, aka EagleScout526, (without his advance permission).  He would be a great facilitator.

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  • 2 months later...
5 hours ago, eaglescout526 said:

 

 

On 3/12/2020 at 12:28 AM, Pete M said:

what about adapter brackets for using XJ lights?  just something cheap and easy for the guys that aren't looking to restore as much as looking to get back on the road.

 

On 3/11/2020 at 10:58 PM, ghetdjc320 said:

What would be relatively simple to produce is a universal tail light bucket that would allow you to install your own leds. I could 3D print those and they would mount at all factory points but would use led panels. I can work on some renderings of what that would look like. It would be much nicer than those rustys tail light setups

I like this idea, that's what gave me the idea to try this.  The lines are not very far off as you can see by my complete lack of crafty skills.  I'm an engineer, not an artist. :)

 

Jeep8.jpg

taillight4.jpg

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On 12/24/2020 at 2:01 PM, Greentoy said:

 

 

I like this idea, that's what gave me the idea to try this.  The lines are not very far off as you can see by my complete lack of crafty skills.  I'm an engineer, not an artist. :)

 

Jeep8.jpg

taillight4.jpg

 

Those are fascinating.  Do you have more pictures or the design file?  

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5 hours ago, thecodemonk said:

 

Those are fascinating.  Do you have more pictures or the design file?  

They are not printed, I just used a dremel to cut out the stock tail light enough to fit the JK tail lights.  Mounting holes lined up pretty close to internals on OEM comanche lights. In order to blend the 2, I just sprayed the finished product with bedliner after taping the lenses of the new JK tail lights.

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