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      09-16-2018, 11:38 AM   #1
4momica
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Blacked-out OEM tail lights

Iím outta ideas. My son just bought a 328i a few months ago and had the tail lights blacked-out. I advised against it given that itís not legal in CA. Within a month heíd gotten a speeding ticket with a fix-it clause for the tail lights.. big surprise.

Now he is finding that replacing them is not as easy as he had expected. Dismantle yards donít have 2016 tail lights ó ďtoo newĒ they say. Online they are min of $400 and those prob arenít even OEM. There are ďblacklineĒ tail lights all over eBay but tbh I donít really know if those are CA legal.

We posted all over FB trying to find someone with the same car who wanted ďblack-outĒ lights. I see them all over and I know people pay to have this done and yet we canít seem to find anyone who wants to swap for free. Perhaps we arenít looking in the right places.

The OTHER option is chemically removing the paint. Can anyone here tell me if there actually IS a way to do this that does not wreck the plastics? Iíve heard carb cleaner may work, gasoline, some kind of lacquer-thinner.... anyone have ANY suggestions?
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      09-16-2018, 02:38 PM   #2
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You should be able to fit any non lci tail in the car.
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      09-16-2018, 02:40 PM   #3
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https://rover.ebay.com/rover/0/0/0?m...2F323406188646
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      09-17-2018, 12:47 AM   #4
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Does your son have LCI or pre-LCI lights? I have pre-LCI lights sitting in my garage if you need them.
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      09-18-2018, 03:47 PM   #5
4momica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailec View Post
Does your son have LCI or pre-LCI lights? I have pre-LCI lights sitting in my garage if you need them.
Really? Iíve tried to figure out what the difference between LCI and pre is. Is there an easy way to tell? I have pictures but I donít know how to attach them...
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      09-19-2018, 01:03 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 4momica View Post
Really? Iíve tried to figure out what the difference between LCI and pre is. Is there an easy way to tell? I have pictures but I donít know how to attach them...
Pre-LCI are halogen in the rear I believe. LCI is LED. They also look completely different. What year is his car? I'm going to assume 2016. But do his lights look like the tip of bottom pic here:

https://cdn.bmwblog.com/wp-content/u...-1024x1024.jpg
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      09-19-2018, 01:40 AM   #7
4momica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailec View Post
Pre-LCI are halogen in the rear I believe. LCI is LED. They also look completely different. What year is his car? I'm going to assume 2016. But do his lights look like the tip of bottom pic here:

https://cdn.bmwblog.com/wp-content/u...-1024x1024.jpg
I think they look like the lights in the top pic. Are those pre-LCI then? His is a 2016.

Last edited by 4momica; 09-19-2018 at 02:33 AM. Reason: Clarification
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      09-19-2018, 09:29 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4momica View Post
I think they look like the lights in the top pic. Are those pre-LCI then? His is a 2016.
Top pic is LCI, bottom Pre-LCI
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      09-19-2018, 03:04 PM   #9
4momica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kailec View Post
Does your son have LCI or pre-LCI lights? I have pre-LCI lights sitting in my garage if you need them.
Kailec - are you looking to sell you pre-LCIís? Iím definitely interested if the price is right. As long as either set of lights will work on his car, I donít car which I use to get his tail lights back to stock...
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      09-19-2018, 03:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4momica View Post
I think they look like the lights in the top pic. Are those pre-LCI then? His is a 2016.
Those are LCI so I can't help sorry. At this point you can try your luck cleaning it off, but if it doesn't come off there are those who sell the LCI tails regularly around here. The alternative is ebay, as they regularly have 15% off promo codes. I got my blackline tails for $491 USD for example. Maybe he may even wanna look into that if he wants darker lights?
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      09-19-2018, 04:46 PM   #11
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Just out of curiosity, what did he black them out with? Also, the wiring harnesses for pre-LCI and LCI are different. I know many people with pre-LCIs upgrade to LCI, but it involves some rewiring and coding of the module that controls the lights. Going the other way might not even be doable.

You can find some aftermarket taillights or keep hunting on this forum/eBay, but it'll still set you back hundreds of dollars.

Last option, if you do successfully strip the blackout off and whatever solvent you use fades the plastic, you might be able to polish it back to a shiny finish with one of those headlight restore kits. At the very least, they'll be red again to get the fix-it signed off on, then you can take a little more time looking for replacements.

Btw, kudos for trying to get this resolved for him, but you could always use it as a "learning experience" and tell him that he did it, he needs to fix it or replace them out of pocket. Obviously all while gloating that you told him so.
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      09-19-2018, 05:30 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4momica View Post
Kailec - are you looking to sell you pre-LCIís? Iím definitely interested if the price is right. As long as either set of lights will work on his car, I donít car which I use to get his tail lights back to stock...
I'm not Kailec, but I do have a set of pre-lci tail lights for sale. Here's the thread I made: https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1507624 Let me know if you have any questions!
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      09-19-2018, 08:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
Just out of curiosity, what did he black them out with? Also, the wiring harnesses for pre-LCI and LCI are different. I know many people with pre-LCIs upgrade to LCI, but it involves some rewiring and coding of the module that controls the lights. Going the other way might not even be doable.

You can find some aftermarket taillights or keep hunting on this forum/eBay, but it'll still set you back hundreds of dollars.

Last option, if you do successfully strip the blackout off and whatever solvent you use fades the plastic, you might be able to polish it back to a shiny finish with one of those headlight restore kits. At the very least, they'll be red again to get the fix-it signed off on, then you can take a little more time looking for replacements.

Btw, kudos for trying to get this resolved for him, but you could always use it as a "learning experience" and tell him that he did it, he needs to fix it or replace them out of pocket. Obviously all while gloating that you told him so.
I donít know exactly.. some type of automotive paint Iím sure. His brother did it and he seems to think it will never come off with any type of solvent. I donít think he has tried though tbh so Iím hoping something out there will work (as it looks like this may be his cheapest option).

Yeah, it should be a learning experience for him but heís probably thinking he can just pay the fee and not really have to remove them. He might be able to get away with that but as a parent, I really want it off. Heís just asking for more tickets. Itís like tinting your side windows with limo tint. Theyíll always have a handy reason to pull him over and itís just not worth the trouble.

Last edited by 4momica; 09-19-2018 at 08:44 PM.
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      09-19-2018, 09:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4momica View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jh_f30 View Post
Just out of curiosity, what did he black them out with? Also, the wiring harnesses for pre-LCI and LCI are different. I know many people with pre-LCIs upgrade to LCI, but it involves some rewiring and coding of the module that controls the lights. Going the other way might not even be doable.

You can find some aftermarket taillights or keep hunting on this forum/eBay, but it'll still set you back hundreds of dollars.

Last option, if you do successfully strip the blackout off and whatever solvent you use fades the plastic, you might be able to polish it back to a shiny finish with one of those headlight restore kits. At the very least, they'll be red again to get the fix-it signed off on, then you can take a little more time looking for replacements.

Btw, kudos for trying to get this resolved for him, but you could always use it as a "learning experience" and tell him that he did it, he needs to fix it or replace them out of pocket. Obviously all while gloating that you told him so.
I don’t know exactly.. some type of automotive paint I’m sure. His brother did it and he seems to think it will never come off with any type of solvent. I don’t think he has tried though tbh so I’m hoping something out there will work (as it looks like this may be his cheapest option).

Yeah, it should be a learning experience for him but he’s probably thinking he can just pay the fee and not really have to remove them. He might be able to get away with that but as a parent, I really want it off. He’s just asking for more tickets. It’s like tinting your side windows with limo tint. They’ll always have a handy reason to pull him over and it’s just not worth the trouble.
Agreed, not to mention the potential safety risk of having darkened taillights. There was an entire thread about this not too long ago. The consensus seemed to be that not only is it not a good look on a BMW (leave it for the boy racer/rice rocket Civics and the like), but also if he gets rear ended, the person could have reasonable deniability of fault due to the modified taillights. They might be fairly visible at night, but on a bright, sunny California day, I want to make sure the person behind me knows full well when I'm braking.

Anyways, good luck! Let us know how it goes.
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      Today, 01:27 AM   #15
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me thinks your son should be here posting this question and not you :-) - if he doesn't get it well.....he'll learn - as I tell my kids sometimes helping is not really helping

I loved it when my Son at 17 got his first ticket (passenger under 21 in car and looking at phone to snap a pic of a car he liked) - I wasn't mad - I simply told him I can't help you....it's between you and the court and they don't care what your Dad has to say - a great teachable moment that cost him nearly $500

We had a deal early on - get a ticket for something avoidable and it's on you - get a ticket for something that was beyond your (reasonable) control - and I'll take care of things

Last edited by RTPenland; Today at 02:36 AM.
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      Today, 09:44 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RTPenland View Post
me thinks your son should be here posting this question and not you :-) - if he doesn't get it well.....he'll learn - as I tell my kids sometimes helping is not really helping

I loved it when my Son at 17 got his first ticket (passenger under 21 in car and looking at phone to snap a pic of a car he liked) - I wasn't mad - I simply told him I can't help you....it's between you and the court and they don't care what your Dad has to say - a great teachable moment that cost him nearly $500

We had a deal early on - get a ticket for something avoidable and it's on you - get a ticket for something that was beyond your (reasonable) control - and I'll take care of things
#parenting

Thank you for teaching your kid not to be an idiot. Lord knows there's lots out there..
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