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Old 07-28-2006, 07:03 PM   #1
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Default Center Taillight Filler Panel

Im sure that a lot of you have the same problem i have, the paint on the center panel wears off and it looks like crap. Anyone know how to remove all of the old paint so I can put new vinyls on? Or where i can buy a new panel thats just blank with no lettering, i saw one but lost it. DAMN. Any ideas anyone? Help a newbie out!
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:08 PM   #2
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I sanded mine down with 500 grit wet sand paper, then 1000 grit wet sand paper, then add some clear paint. Worked great.
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:10 PM   #3
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i just stuck my new vinyls over the faded old one, looked just like new and theyve been on through winter til now and still look great?
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:44 PM   #4
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Any LT1 (94-97) Formula came with an all-black centerpiece. Just make sure you get the Formula one, not the regular Firebird or TransAm ones. Costs around $60.

Or, you can use paint thinner or nail polish remover to get most of the paint off, then use a buffer and automotive wax to polish it up. The paint remover will dull the finish, so it will need to be buffed out.
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Old 07-28-2006, 07:44 PM   #5
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thanks for the ideas, yea i dont know if i want the whole black out type look, cuz its a navy metallic blue color. i could black it all out, or i would probably pick-up some chrome vinyls to go with the whole blue chrome look.
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Old 07-28-2006, 08:06 PM   #6
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'Search' function is your friend, ..., 'Center taillight', 'polish' or 'polished', ..., etc., ...
Follow the directions & you should acheive what you're looking for.
Motorized tools will complete this job much faster than by hand also.

Start with nail polish remover to get rid of leftover red/pink paint.
Then wet-sand, then polish.
And Welcome a'board', ...


(From some of my previous posts, ...)

I've done literally DOZENS of these things over the last couple years, ...

Yes, nail polish remover will remove the leftover red fading ink first.
I start with a 600 grit, keeping it wet, using a small 1/4 sheet sander.
Then on to 1200-1500 by hand, then finish by hand with 2000 grit, keeping them wet while sanding to wash away the contamination.
Then I use a PC7424 polisher with Zaino's Glass Polish first,
You'll get the same/similar description by most anyone else who has done it. Although some may not put that much work into it, .... You can also use other brands of polish. I've tried others, but didn't get the same quality results as I do with the Zaino process.

Good Luck!

(By the way, I do all this with the units screwed down to my temp workbench work surface. Not on the car.)

And yes, you can buy them from GM without the text/bird, or even other colors of the text/bird already. But they'll cost ya a lot more depending on the style you want.

All from GmPartsDirect.com
Firebird tail filler panel (from 93-97 Firebird V6) = 5977293---------------------$105.60 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 93-97 Formula) (plain black - no logo) = 5977294--$102.13 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 94 25th Anniv TA) (white logo) = 5977296--------- (Not available anymore)
Firebird tail filler panel (from 93-94 Trans Am) = 5978095----------------------$100.72 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 95-97 Firebird 3800 GT V6) = 5978095-------------$100.72 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 95-98 Trans Am) = 5977286-----------------------$95.65 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 99 Trans Am) = 5978095--------------------------$100.72 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 99 30th Anniv TA) (white logo) = 16525477--------$97.70 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 00-02 Trans Am) = 5977286 ----------------------$95.65 w/s&h&tax
Firebird tail filler panel (from 02 CETA) (silver logo) = 10312725-----------------$108.09 w/s&h&tax


Send me a PM if yer interested in buying a polished one, ...
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Old 07-29-2006, 10:49 PM   #7
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ok cool, thanks for the advice everyone
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Old 08-16-2006, 12:32 PM   #8
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Send it to me and I'll paint "Formula" on it with a bigger bird than what comes on there stock and the keyhole covered up if you'd like. I'm just starting to do these for people now on a regular basis. I've done mine and a few for some friends. Shoot me a PM if you are interested.

Here's a pic of mine. I can do whatever color you want and it's painted...not decaled on Mine has been holding up perfectly now for 3 yrs

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Old 08-16-2006, 09:05 PM   #9
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Old 09-16-2006, 03:37 PM   #10
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Can you give some explanation as to what you've done there?!?
That's really sharp!

(Any photos fo the construction??)

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Old 09-16-2006, 04:52 PM   #11
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im about to do another one. after the trials and tribulations of the first one i learned a few things, hopefully this new one will be easier to duplicate. if i forget to do a write up keep buggin me
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:36 PM   #12
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Wow, nice work. VERY interested in a writeup on this project since I was looking for something really unique to do with my rear filler.
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Old 10-29-2006, 08:52 PM   #13
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what do you do to fill in the key hole? thats bad ***!!!
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:59 AM   #14
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that brake light is the ****
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Old 11-04-2006, 12:15 PM   #15
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Dang! How much will you make a light like that for. I was trying to figure how to do that to mine a while ago but didn't have the ***** to start cutting. I love how it is white in the center til you hit the break. How can I get one man?

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Old 03-19-2007, 12:56 PM   #16
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Transamin00 did you forget us?We really could use that write up!!!
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Old 07-27-2009, 10:19 PM   #17
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Subscribing, very good information and mods!!!
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:10 AM   #18
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wow, thats a great idea transamin00

i sanded mine down, used some rubbing compound, polishing compound, scratch remover, and some wax. turned out pretty good.
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:23 AM   #19
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Dang, this thread is old.......
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:23 AM
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