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Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Posts: 576
need help removing the taillight housing

I've been outside trying to remove the taillight housing. and . . . im . . . about. . . to. . . loose . . . my . . . mind!!! the screws just turn and dont come out. Its not a nut behind the screw, just some kind of threded piece that attaches to a clip. As I turn the screw it just turns in the clip.

If your wondering I bought new lenses and gasket. I can see only one of two solutions:

1. Remove bumper (my Bently manual arrives when I get the lenses or

2. drill out the head of the screw and then figure a way to reattach the housing since I wont be able get a nut behind it.

Anu suggestions?

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1986 944 Turbo - Guards Red
Old 10-12-2005, 05:30 PM
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Location: Marysville Wa.
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yes, drill off the head. then deal with the remainder when you can get at it. use a drill about the same size as the threads, of what you guess the thread size will be. it's a captive nut in a cage that is rusted and spinning. just refab the captive nut and you're in.
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Old 10-12-2005, 06:39 PM
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Yeah, I guess thats the way to go.

Can the seal be put in without taking out the housing? Boy, that would make things easy for me.

The only other problem I can see if I drill out the screw head and remove it is when I go back to trying to install a nut or new carriage again I can even see or get my hand up there to put the piece back?
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Old 10-13-2005, 05:58 AM
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I did this a couple of years ago and hope to never do it again. Drilling out the fastners that are spinning freely isn't as easy as it looks. The fastners will also spin when you try to drill them out. It took me two days to finish both sides. The seals were a pain to replace. They wouldn't stay on the housing when I put them back in. I repaced the fastners with parts from an auto parts store using standard body fastners. Taking off the bumper is probably a good idea.
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1987 911 Guards Red Targa, nearing 200,000 miles, lowered, 7's & 8's, 964 grind cams from John Dougherty, A.P.E. Mass Flow Sensor with chip to match, cat bypass, strut brace, dual out muffler. Will consider newer model in 8 years when I turn 75 and then maybe not.
2012 BMW 528i (wife's)
2007 Toyota FJ (rain and off road days)
Old 10-13-2005, 07:05 AM
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Dude- don't forget to search before posting questions. I just went through this problem myself, and there is a post 3 days old where I answered this same question.

Yes, remove the housings to install new gasket. Here are the steps:

1. Apply blue masking tape to all painted surfaces around the housing (especially bumper)
2. Drill out screws with titanium bit
3. Carefully pull housings toward you
4. Use compressed air to blow away 9 lbs of boulders and grit
5. Use water hose if no compressed air
6. Bend half of retaining clip enough so you can remove the "cage" and nut John speaks of from the fender tab.
7. Slide new #8 U-nut (find at any auto parts store) onto tab
8. Shine flashlight around inside body cavity and inspect for rust or debris.
9. Clean outside edges of housing of all old gasket.
10. Slide housing back into place and practice fit with #8 screws (checking U-nut alignment)
11. Unscrew and carefully pull housings toward you
12. Wrap new gasket around housings (helps to enlist a friend)
13. Slide back into place.
14. Screw into place watching for gasket binding on any surfaces
15. Remove all bulbs and inspect/replace.
16. Carefully screw-in new lens- not very tight! They can crack easy!
17. Remove blue tape.

Wash the car, take some pictures, and post. Have a beer, you deserve it!
Old 10-13-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jtratza
I did this a couple of years ago and hope to never do it again. Drilling out the fastners that are spinning freely isn't as easy as it looks. The fastners will also spin when you try to drill them out. It took me two days to finish both sides. The seals were a pain to replace. They wouldn't stay on the housing when I put them back in. I repaced the fastners with parts from an auto parts store using standard body fastners. Taking off the bumper is probably a good idea.
To address these issues:

1. Use a fast drill to make progress on a spinning head. Titanium bit please.
2. Feel free to use a bit of adhesive to help hold the gasket in place on the housing. I used another set of hands.
3. Removing the bumper shouldn't be necessary.

Yes jtratza, this is not a 30 minute job. It took me about 4 days of piddling a couple hours each evening, including clean-up and chit-chat with neighbors (none of whom wanted to help until I was buttoning it up- figures).

It would have been much easier with the list of tasks I just posted! Hope this helps the next guy!
Old 10-13-2005, 07:20 AM
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Glad to see I wasn't the only one frustrated by what I thought was going to be an easy task. Wish I had Carnutzzz instructions a couple of years ago.

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1987 911 Guards Red Targa, nearing 200,000 miles, lowered, 7's & 8's, 964 grind cams from John Dougherty, A.P.E. Mass Flow Sensor with chip to match, cat bypass, strut brace, dual out muffler. Will consider newer model in 8 years when I turn 75 and then maybe not.
2012 BMW 528i (wife's)
2007 Toyota FJ (rain and off road days)
Old 10-13-2005, 07:34 AM
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