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5th Gen Accord USDM: Lamp Unit LED Upgrade

James Matteu

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How to take this Tail Lamp Housing and replace the clear lenses with an OEM set.





OEM Tail Lamp

After Market Tail Lamp


Instructions Part One: Lamp Unit Disassembly

CAUTION: Be prepared to handle car parts heated to over 300ºF


1. Clips:

Remove all clips from the Lamp Unit.


2. Glue:

In order to separate the lens from the Lamp Unit, the glue holding the two together will need to be softened. Place the Lamp Unit in an oven that has been preheated at 325-350ºF. Leave the Lamp Unit in for 6-7 minutes. Do not leave the Lamp Unit unattended! Monitor the heating process by checking the viscosity of the glue around the edge of the Lamp Unit, it is ready when the glue has a soft consistency. Be sure to pull the Lamp Unit out of the oven should the plastic appear to be melting.


3. Separation:

Start from the top corner; pull apart the Lamp Unit by cutting through the now very hot glue. Taking care not to crack the plastic lens, gently pull apart the Lamp Unit. A heat gun or blow dryer can be used to re-soften the glue should it begin to harden.


4. Repeat:

Repeat steps 1-3 with the Left Lamp Unit and both Aftermarket Lamp Units.



Instructions Part Two: Lamp Unit Hybridization


1. Lens

More to come.



Instructions Part Three: Lamp Unit Assembly


CAUTION: Be prepared to handle car parts heated to over 300ºF

1. Lenses:

More to come.




Reason for doing this upgrade:


These two University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute studies concluded that LED signals provide a braking response time advantage of 0.17 to 0.2 seconds in good lighting and up to 0.3 seconds under poor lighting. Keep in mind that at a speed of 65 mph, an improvement of just 0.2 seconds translates to a 19.1 feet reduction in stopping distance.




Paul L. Olson, Evaluation of an LED High-Mounted Signal Lamp, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Report No. UMTRI 87-13 (Ann Arbor, MI: UMTRI, 1987) 1.


Michael Sivak, Michael J. Flannagan, Takashi Sato, Eric C. Traube, and Masami Aoki, Reaction Times to Neon, LED, and Fast Incandescent Brake Lamps, University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute Report No. UMTRI 93-37 (Ann Arbor, MI: UMTRI, 1993) 8.

Edited by James Matteu
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  • 1 month later...

I have searched the Accord forum (this is how I found TAS Autoparts), but cannot find any threads on LED tail lights for the 96-97 Accord.


This is similar to what I am talking about:





Please do not get it twisted, I HATE the look of these lights in the picture, but the idea is that I want to remove the backing (LED lights) and glue on the OEM lens covers so that I can have LEDS behind my OEM lenses.


And for the record, what I am looking for would have to come with much larger LEDS. I realize on the assembly above, they can use smaller (and fewer) LEDs since they do not have to shine through colored plastic.


I want to know if anyone has done the "headlight adhesive trick" to some tail lights. For those who don't know, you pre-heat an oven to around 220 degrees Farenheit. Place the headlight assembly in the oven until the adhesive is softened and then: remove and seperate. This is the same trick to do the DIY JDM Blackout Headlights.


I guess my real questions are:


1. Are the tail lights are assembled in the same fashion as the headlights (2 pieces of plastic brought together with some epoxy type resin) and,


2. Is the same adhesive used on the tail lights (relative to the headlights).

Edited by James Matteu
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They aren't built EXACTLY like the OEM sh*t but they use adhesives and whatnot for bonding purposes. Sometimes they don't use adhesive at all.. thus the fogging issue's in headlights/taillights.


And by they, I mean aftermarket head/taillight distributors.

Edited by busted ls1
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Good luck with this one... seems like a lot of work. I say either stick with stock, or go wit aftermarket leds that look like POOO....


If you do remove the cover, i want pics of the whole experience...lol..

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If you do remove the cover, i want pics of the whole experience...lol..

You know I owe you guys that much.


The problem I have is that with a clear lens and reflective material inside the housing, you can get a way with fewer LEDs (e.g. Lexus). When you have a lense that diffuses the light from an incandecent bulb (OEM), you need more lumens coming from the housing, hence my desire for a mad number of LEDs (e.g. Cadillac).


These aftermarket units (like the one above) use a design similar to the Lexus/Toyota lines: fewer larger LEDs with a reflective coating on the housing and a clear plastic dyed red for a lens.


The other option, that does not seem feasable at this point, is to create my own housing from scratch, using molded resin. :help:

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  • 9 years later...

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