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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
If you have a 3000 series with taillights you probably know how expensive these are. I found some new for $75 each shipped on E-bay but most places are $80-100. Bill aka @Kawasaki Old Man was kind enough to send a couple of take offs to me but as per most of them the Left side one was pretty cracked and chipped up.

I had a decent Right side light with the lens detached so messed around and found that the R side lens can fit on the L side base. Puts the back up lens in the wrong place though. What to do?

Since I am cheap and like a challenge I decided to see if I could fit the back up lens into the R lens in the right spot to make it a L lens.

Pile of broken lenses:
Automotive tire Hood Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Automotive design


Cut the outline of the back up lens with a cut off wheel in the dremel leaving it small. Finished it up with a grinding burr:
Hood Wood Bumper Motor vehicle Automotive lighting


Countersunk the back with an end burr in the Dremel:
Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Hood Automotive lighting Motor vehicle


OK. Now all I have to do is paint the outside back up lens with translucent red paint and glue it all together. The R lens fits the L base perfectly. I hope super glue bonds this stuff:
Hand Automotive parking light Automotive lighting Tool Wood
 

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If you have a 3000 series with taillights you probably know how expensive these are. I found some new for $75 each shipped on E-bay but most places are $80-100. Bill aka @Kawasaki Old Man was kind enough to send a couple of take offs to me but as per most of them the Left side one was pretty cracked and chipped up.

I had a decent Right side light with the lens detached so messed around and found that the R side can be flipped upside down and fit on the L side base. Puts the back up lens in the wrong place though. What to do?

Since I am cheap and like a challenge I decided to see if I could fit the back up lens into the upside down R lens in the right spot to make it a L lens.

Pile of broken lenses:
View attachment 2519287

Cut the outline of the back up lens with a cut off wheel in the dremel leaving it small. Finished it up with a grinding burr:
View attachment 2519288

Countersunk the back with an end burr in the Dremel:
View attachment 2519289

OK. Now all I have to do is paint the outside back up lens with translucent red paint and glue it all together. The R lens fits the L base perfectly. I hope super glue bonds this stuff:
View attachment 2519290
That's a good way to save a lens. Maybe invest in a few driving lessons too! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
That's a good way to save a lens. Maybe invest in a few driving lessons too! :)
That L one is the problem child. It gets degraded by the gas filler being above it. Gas gets dripped on it and people lean the can on it.

MTD also had a mold fill problem that left some of the gas necks unsupported under the top edge. The edge is thin and ends up wavy and the cap can't seal on it. Leaks on hills.
 

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Randy, glad you are having fun with the lenses. But aren't the light areas switched also? I thought the larger area that lit the tail light area, would now light the backup lens and some of the red around it.

Bill
 

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That L one is the problem child. It gets degraded by the gas filler being above it. Gas gets dripped on it and people lean the can on it.

MTD also had a mold fill problem that left some of the gas necks unsupported under the top edge. The edge is thin and ends up wavy and the cap can't seal on it. Leaks on hills.
Just pulling your 🦵 there buddy! The JD ones just magically pop out of the recessed area and get run over or lost all the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Randy, glad you are having fun with the lenses. But aren't the light areas switched also? I thought the larger area that lit the tail light area, would now light the backup lens and some of the red around it.

Bill
I'm using the R lens in the L base so the bulbs are in the correct spot. R lens fits the L base perfectly.
Just pulling your 🦵 there buddy! The JD ones just magically pop out of the recessed area and get run over or lost all the time.
No worries. Just letting folks know why the L one is nearly always broken.
 

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Congrats, Steve, that came out looking great! I'm sure it was a bit of a process, though. Glad it went back together as expected!

Polycarbonate is commonly used for lenses, I believe, but it's not great for chemical resistance. I wonder if they could be coated with something, to help protect them. Or maybe even mount some sort of non-obvious deflector above them, to direct any spilled gas away from the lens.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RO do you know of a glue that will bond this together? I tried super glue and PVC glue on a scrap piece and both were a no go. I'm thinking 2 part plastic epoxy
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sounds like urethane glue Bill. Tough stuff
 

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I saw on a metal detecting forum years ago...a guy was trying to fix something and someone recommended getting some dust like material from the piece to be fixed and mixing it with MEK to make a cement paste product to bind them together
 

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RO do you know of a glue that will bond this together? I tried super glue and PVC glue on a scrap piece and both were a no go. I'm thinking 2 part plastic epoxy
I haven't really needed to glue it myself, that I can think of. At work they use some pretty nasty chemicals to weld polycarbonate, as I recall. I want to say chloroform is one that can be used (unless that's for acrylic). Or maybe they use the methyl methacrylate mentioned here:

Which Glues Work for Polycarbonate Plastic - Acme Plastics

I would definitely give that article a read, it talks about several options, including polyurethane glues.

This also lists some options for polycarbonate:
Lexan Polycarbonate Glue
 
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If you think those tail lights for a cub are expensive, you should try the plastic headlight and taillight assemblies on these modern cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I haven't really needed to glue it myself, that I can think of. At work they use some pretty nasty chemicals to weld polycarbonate, as I recall. I want to say chloroform is one that can be used (unless that's for acrylic). Or maybe they use the methyl methacrylate mentioned here:

Which Glues Work for Polycarbonate Plastic - Acme Plastics

I would definitely give that article a read, it talks about several options, including polyurethane glues.

This also lists some options for polycarbonate:
Lexan Polycarbonate Glue
Thanks for the info. Good reading
If you think those tail lights for a cub are expensive, you should try the plastic headlight and taillight assemblies on these modern cars.
Hope I never have to buy one.
 

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I have used The Last Glue on automotive tail lights and has worked well. Dries clear unless the area needs a filler. Glue, cleaner and filler all comes in the kit.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Got these to try. The DAP is ethyl cyanoacrylate with a primer. Says it will bond polycarbonate. I paid the same price for a smaller tube of e6000 to get one with 3 needle nozzles. I'll use it on the lenses and gluing the lens to the base. No luck on the transparent red paint locally. I'll order from Amazon.

 

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Hey Randy, I don't even have a stock tail light to look at, but I'm remembering a slight angle to the lens. If you look at one isn't there a difference in the amount of red plastic from top to bottom?

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'll have to look later as I'm at work. I did assemble it and stick it in and it fit fine.
 

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Good, I'm glad it is working for you. I was just thinking about what I had noticed on some of those I have saved. If there is an angle to the lens it might angle the bulb portion upward slightly and it may interfere with the gas tank.

Bill
 
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