DB7 Rear Lights - modifications

DB7 Rear Lights - modifications

Author
Discussion

GTDB7

Original Poster:

958 posts

123 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
quotequote all
The only bug bear I ever had with a DB7, especially the later models were the rear lights.

Throw backs from the late 80's Mazda's and never changed or updated for such a high end car such as the DB7.

We had the round conversions available but the JAFFA style looked as though the lenses were from the 70's, there are some nicer ones available but at almost £3k are a bit extreme for something that should have been done on the production line.

So I chose to tint my lenses yesterday, I didn't want a Black look, just something to tone them down as having a dark colour body the light were just "TOO" in your face.

I'll post a few photo's showing Before, After and and an extra image that I did in photoshop to test out a surround modification to split the lens.
I think the split mod would look ok especially if LED lamps were used to replace the filament bulbs.

BEFORE



AFTER



SPLIT MOD IDEA


The split can be any shape, straight or curved as the whole surround could be reworked if needed.

Thoughts and ideas??

CraigW

12,248 posts

237 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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the last pic makes it much more contemporary imo

Murph7355

25,143 posts

211 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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IMO the split's a step too far. It's like you're trying to bring them in line with the DB9, which doesn't work.

The tinted ones look good though.

Could you use the round lamp housing with alternative lamps? (That said, I'm not sure the shape of the rear necessarily suits round lamps either).

simonpieman

341 posts

141 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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I like the split verson. It looks great.

CraigW

12,248 posts

237 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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I think the circular light conversions look awful

Ballistic Banana

14,691 posts

222 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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I Like the tint , unsure on the split though. I think it may look better if you had the innermost side that goes down from the new horizontal going up too. Would give it more of symmetrical finish rather than maybe the split looking more like an added on part?

BB

M@H

11,217 posts

227 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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Definately liike the split yesthumbup

There was a DB7 knocking round for sale a while back (3-4 months ish) with a "DB9 style" back end - did anyone see that?

Cheers,
Matt.

V8VKK

354 posts

156 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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Another thumbs up for the split look

LordBretSinclair

4,056 posts

132 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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I think the tint looks great Phil. Would you like to share an insight into exactly how you carried out the mod?

williamp

16,970 posts

228 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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Looks Ok, but I'm a purist when it comes to the looks of Astons...

Jasandjules

64,391 posts

184 months

Wednesday 1st September 2010
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Last one looks cool. It shouldn't, but it does.

t1blk

778 posts

135 months

Thursday 2nd September 2010
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I like both, and like the above comment, it shouldn't work but it does. I doubt it would work so well on lighter cars though. I too would do the mod if I bought a DB7 GT as like the OP I've never much cared for the rear lights especially on the darker cars, however I understand the purist, Aston road cars are not the type of cars to be enhanced too heavily cosmetically. This mod is quite subtle though.

GTDB7

Original Poster:

958 posts

123 months

Thursday 2nd September 2010
quotequote all
Firstly, just to be totally clear I did the tint to blend the lights in, rather than to make it look cool.

The first photo at the top doesn't quite show how bright the lenses were as that was taken on an overcast day, but the lights did look almost out of place on a dark coloured car, I'll try to find a photo showing them on a brighter day.


Right with that said... how I did it.

Quite simply really, though you do have to remove the light units completely.

Open boot
Remove the 4 cover thumb screws from the rear of the lights which holds the sound proof covering on.
Peel back the boot lining to expose two 10mm bolts below the light pod (this holds the bottom of the exterior surround)
Carefully lift the black plastic trim on top of the lights in the boot recess to expose a screw (this holds the top corner of the exterior surround)
With both Bolts and one screw removed carefully jiggle the surround free, it might be stuck in places to the foam seals.
My foam seals were looking tired and some had fallen off so I re-glued them back on and coloured the edges with a marker pen (worked well)
Now remove 6 small nuts from the rear of the light units.
Remove 6 plastic washers and 6 rubber washers (be careful with the rubber ones as they can split if stuck in place)
Disconnect the wiring plug from the socket.
Gently ease the light unit rear ward and off the car, be careful of the foam surround behind the light unit as it can grab on the studs.


With the light unit removed I washed the lens off with Isopropanol.
Then using a spray can of tint (charcoal colour) I sprayed them one at a time using the second as a guide as to how dark the first was going.
Once satisfied I then used the first one as a guide for the second to match up the shades as best as possible.

One thing to note I think as it dried it went a little darker, this is NOT mentioned on the can!!
So best to stop a few shades lighter than your needs and then allow to dry fully before adding more.

It takes a good few hours to air dry fully though after 30 minutes I refitted them to the car and left the surrounds off for a further hour or so before refitting everything else.


Just to be clear the bottom photo above is a fake, the light split was done on the computer to see what it would look like.

Personally I like it but the end where it dips down towards the front could do with some tweaking, maybe a rework on the actual end shape so the split ends in the centre rather than at the bottom corner...... shame I don't have the skill to knock a few up and practice :-)


Although there is a DB7 Vantage in a breakers yard 3 miles from here ;-) hmmmmm



Edited by GTDB7 on Thursday 2nd September 10:54

LordBretSinclair

4,056 posts

132 months

Thursday 2nd September 2010
quotequote all
Thanks for the info Phil. My car is Dubonnet Rosso so the red rear lights don't "clash" quite so much but I do think the tint looks really good so I may give it a go
regards LBS

DB7 pilot

458 posts

136 months

Wednesday 8th September 2010
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I liked the look of the rear light split idea, so with that in mind, I tried this:



It's a 9mm X 3.2mm mill finished aluminium strip, hand formed to the light body and temporarily secured with a neoprene seal with adhesive on both sides. A bit like draught excluder, but stronger.



I tried it on one light only. I'm more interested in a slightly bigger version that tapers toward the indicator section of the lense and that finishes with a rounded edge to follow the bodywork, like the current DBS, say starting at 15mm tapering to 12mm, then rounding off. I'll try this as work allows and post up the next attempt.

Does anyone know the regs. on visible areas required by law for the various sections of the lense?, i.e. brake light, fogs, reflector and indicator sections, as this will obviously determine how wide I can start the taper element when I try the next lash up.

Edited to add a link to more images. http://aol.pixum.co.uk/viewalbum/id/5120945


Edited by DB7 pilot on Friday 10th September 22:31

GTDB7

Original Poster:

958 posts

123 months

Thursday 9th September 2010
quotequote all
To me it looks as though the strip bends down along the horizontal, to me it would look better if it were more horizontal at the boot lid end before bending downwards... or as you say a wider strip that narrows towards the end.

Maybe try some plastic too and paint to match the bodywork.

At the end of the day it's down to personal taste so what ever you like best will work best for you.

I like the split idea and have wondered about it for many months now, some cars will look better with it, some without it.

I was also thinking about removing the actual lens from the lighting unit and masking off the edges (corners) to give them a more simulated round lens effect.

This would be an internal mod and would only be noticeable when the lights were on. I would then be looking at fitting after market LED lamps to replace the filament bulbs.


rb5230

11,657 posts

127 months

Thursday 9th September 2010
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i like the strips.

DB7 pilot

458 posts

136 months

Friday 10th September 2010
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A second attempt:


This one's out of 6mm aluminium, tapering from 15 down to 8mm with a bull-nosed end.



I think I'll try the next one a little wider and maybe a little longer to finish further around on the indicator lens.




Zod

35,295 posts

213 months

Friday 10th September 2010
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I think that looks surprisingly good.

LordBretSinclair

4,056 posts

132 months

Friday 10th September 2010
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Brilliant, when are you going to start full scale manufacturing??