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After several failed attempts and broken lenses, as well as my first complete installation, I've learned by trial and error what needs to be done to ensure a top-flight job on this mod.

First, before attempting to take them apart bake each lens in an oven for 20 minutes at 225 degrees F. Work on one lens at a time. Remove the lens from the oven and work with a pair of light gloves to avoid burning your hands.

Set up a work surface with your tools handy and a soft towel to protect the lens from scratches. Several devices for prying are useful -- a stiff spatula and a large flat head screwdriver.

I found the best way to separate the clear cover from the black plastic body was to use a large flat head screwdriver. Start at the bottom corner (near the black lip on the end of the lens) and use the screwdriver to pry apart the two pieces. Insert the screwdriver and twist gently. The pieces should come apart at that point. Work along the bottom, separating a small section as you go. Work around the sharp corner and along the curved side.

Don't rush and work patiently. Brute force is not a good technique as it will break the lens. If you face too much resistance, pop the whole thing in the oven for another ten mintues and continue where you left off.

Once the clear cover is removed the red plastic piece is next. It's glued to the reflective base in about eight spots along the edge. Some of these points are visible under the red piece, as they have a slight discoloration. Before you begin this stage of work, pop the assembly back in the oven for about 10 minutes. Then use your hands to bend the black plastic assembly away from the red piece along the top and bottom first. It will make a snapping noise as it breaks loose. The great risk of breakage is at the wide part near the black lip and at the narrow tip. You must work extremely carefully here. I had the best success by sliding the screwdriver under part of red piece that was already separated and gently twisting it back and forth until this end was loose. But work very slowly and gently, or you'll break the red piece.

Once the red piece is removed you're ready to mount the LEDS. But before you do that it's essential that you prepare the black base for reassembly. If you don't take this step, the clear cover will not fit tightly on the base and when glued black together the reinstalled lens will not be flush with the back surfaces of the car that surround it. This is because when you separate the the clear cover from the base, glue residue is left in the channel around the edge of the base. This glue residue, if not removed, makes it virtually impossible for the clear lens to sit tight and flush on the base when you glue it all back together.

You'll also find also a small strip of glue residue along the outer edge of the clear cover. As this cannot be easily removed, the glue residue in the base channel has to be completely removed to provide clearance. This is done with a Dremel tool with a Dremel 199 3/8" High-Speed Cutter 1/8" Shank. It's a very messy and unpleasant job, but it you want a perfect install it's essential. And don't ignore the small glue residue at the very point of the base. If you miss this it will prevent the tip from sealing perfectly when you reassemble the lens. If you don't have a Dremel tool or equivaltentl, this step will be very hard to complete. It's impossible to do with hand tools -- believe me, I tried.

Here's a photo of the base with the glue residue removed from the channel around the edge. Note how residue has been removed from the sharp corner. If this isn't done the tip of the clear lens will not sit flush on the base, and the reinstall will not look professional. The tip will also catch on towels when you wash and dry the car and could thus be broken off.

Also, note the wavy small rectangles around the edge. These are some glue spots for the red cover.

Here's a complete overview of the base with the glue removed from the entire channel with the Dremel.

Here's the back of the clear lens cover. Note the glue residue forming a strip around the edge. This cannot be removed without damaging the lens.

And here's a shot of the red plastic piece that covers the reflector. Note the tabs -- these are glue spots and they're obvious once the clear cover has been removed. These are where you bend back the base edges with your fingers to break the bond with the base/reflector.

Once you removed the residue from the channel, test the fit by pressing the clear lens onto the base. The strip of residue on the lens should fit into the channel you've opened up with the Dremel tool and the edges of the clear lens and the base should fit flush without any gaps. If they don't, remove more material from the channel areas where the fit is not perfect and test again. Keep working until the two pieces fit perfectly.

Next: Mounting the LEDS and wiring
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