spoiler bulb and worn clear coat question - Exterior Forum

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spoiler bulb and worn clear coat question
Sunday, May 08, 2016 4:38 AM

So my year from hell continues. In between the cooling fan motor replacement, brake caliper bolt fiasco, alternator nightmare and s-belt disaster, I thought I would spend 5 minutes doing something safe - where nothing could possibly go wrong.......I should have known better.

Went to change one of the two little third brake light bulbs in the spoiler on my 2001 cavalier. I had done it before a few years ago and don't remember having any problems. Well this time, I unscrewed the two star bolt things to pull the red thing off - nothing. Tried for about 30 minutes cutting pretty much every finger attempting to pry the thing out. Decided to try a flat-head screwdriver and grabbed one of the rags I had used on the brakes. Mistake. It was covered with thick black old grease/dirt. As you may also may have experienced, the clear coat is totally worn off the top the (white) spoiler,so anything like that that gets on it - stays permanently and I haven't found anything that gets it off - ever.

So I gave up with no bulb changed and new hideous black marks on top of my spoiler. Can someone point me in the right direction for how to solve one or both problems?


Re: spoiler bulb and worn clear coat question
Tuesday, May 10, 2016 4:40 PM
You could try to affix some strong extra sticky tape to the lens and try to pull it out. You should clean the lens well before sticking the tape to maximum zen the adhesion. Your may need to try different tapes to get the strongest pull. Maybe denture holder could work as well. Also you could insert longer unthreaded "pins" into the torx screw holes and gently wiggle the lens while pulling with the tape.

Also you could use the tape to pull off the grease stain. Just do it over and over until you get no more stain transferred to the tape. Will it get all of them it? Probably not but it it will get you part way cleaner. You could then try seeing if some peroxide could bleach out the rest. The last of it could maybe buff out. If you can get it back to white, I would try reselling with a clear exterior grade polyurethane. My clear coat has been peeling all over my 99. When a new peeling spot appears, I remove the loose stuff, feather the edge with 600 and then 1200 grit, acetone wipe and then spray to reseal over the dull looking red base with the clear polyurethane. Is it perfect? Absolutely not, but it brings back a gloss, stops the pealing and keeps the car looking decent enough from 20 feet away as opposed to mangy looking at 50 feet.

Good luck!
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