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Acura Integra DC2 Tail Light Rebuild

First getting to the tail lights there are 7 clips with flush heads that must be removed to access the taillight studs. The secret is pulling the pin up to remove the fastener. This is the way I did it: Take a jewelers straight slot screwdriver, gently slide in between, find the slots on each side of the top of the pin and pull up after the screwdriver has slid in about a 1/8". There are 4 pins across the top and 3 pins at the bottom. These are factory fasteners and are easily broken. With that said there may be completely different fasteners there on your car.

On the gsr there are two 12mm bolts at the bottom of the rear panel with plastic covers. These come loose from gently pulling outward from the bottom and sliding the cover up and off. If anyone knows what these are for, please share the info.

Now the panel can be removed and set in a safe place. The back of the taillight studs are 6 on each side. 5 are not too bad and an 8mm or 5/16" 1/4" drive and a rachet wrench are good for the outer upper stud. It’s the worst one.

Disconnect the wiring harness and push the light out. Clean it before you put it in the oven to separate the 2 parts.

Dawn, hot water and a 1" paint brush.

Heat the oven to 175 degrees and place the taillight on a cookie sheet with a towel to protect from direct heat. After 20 minutes check with a butter knife to see if the black goo is soft. If it is, remove the tiny Phillips head screw from the outer edge. The reason to wait until now to remove is that the black glue is soft and not holding the screw. It strips the head very easily so wait until the heat has done its job.

Work the bottom edge and you can see where the 2 pieces clip together. Work slow and steady. If it’s not coming apart, put back in to heat up some more. Remember it's not a race. It will come apart.

Now it’s in 2 pieces. You did great! Congrats.

Clean the insides with soapy water. If it had leaks you can spot the weak spot in the seal now. If you have an air compressor blow both pieces and inspect. Repeat.

Now you’re in the home stretch. Tape the edge of the housing with 2" blue tape and shoot the first light coat of silver. Light coats are way better than a heavy coat. With all the angles and cups, it will be hard not to run the paint. Let it dry.

Here's a secret: the black goo/glue is sold at glass/window shops to seal window glass. The type you need is 1/16" inches thick and 1/4" wide. This is the same thing as what Honda uses to make them. Go around the lens. Split it around the edge and set to the side.

About now, pull the tape and turn the oven down to 160. Put the housing in and heat up for 20 minutes. Do not put the lens in there!! Yeah ask me how I know. Without the lens in the housing the lens will warp. After the housing is heated up, pull it out take it off the tray and press the cool lens into the hot housing. It should get almost all the way down. Keep your eye on getting the lens lined up with the housing. The first one is tricky, but the second one will be easier. When done there should not be a gap between the lens and housing.

Last but the most important, is wet sanding the lens. 3M 2500 or 3000 grit. Use warm water, a little Dawn and paper towels. Sand, wipe, dry, see a scratch, sand again, wipe and repeat.

Buff to new and wipe clean. Give it a couple of coats of Turtle ICE wax and install. Replace all the bulbs with new ones.

New gaskets are a must. eBay $20 bucks, 1/4 thick! The are OEM 1/8".

To really keep the water out, you can use rope caulk on the studs also.

Hope this helps!


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1 comment
  • BlackM5 and JDMGodzilla like this
  • BlackM5
    BlackM5  · March 8, 2019
    Hondaman thank you for sharing this!