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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello everyone!

People have done some great write-ups on this process but some posters had expressed a need to see a definitive pic of the overhang on the 04 taillights installed on an 00-03 so I thought I would show that and include a diagram showing the area that needs to be cut/banged in an effort to save people some time and guess work.

Installing 04 tails on a 00-03:

What you'll need:
1. '04 taillights (duh): $99-from Nissan, $80-from Leeauto, $??-from E-bay or Classifieds (I paid $27 each)
2. Sealant: Included- if tails purchased new, $20-from Nissan (per roll), or silicone-$2.88 at Wal-Mart
3. Angle grinder or/ Heavy duty dremel tool or/ big hammer
4. Socket Wrench
5. Drill
6. Possibly 2 washers
7. Permanant marker

Steps:
1. Remove grocery net plugs and pull back inner carpeting around taillight
2. Remove the 4 nuts from the back of the tailights
3. Unplug lighting harness
4. Push taillight out from back, may require a bit of force to free it from the Nissan sealant strip (dont drop stock taillight onto garage floor, should be a given)
5. Scrape any remaining Nissan sealant off of the area around the hole (a apint scraper works best) and dont get that crap on your car.
6. Using the Angle grinder, make the hole larger until there is plenty of room for the '04 tail to fit snugly in the hole. This may take some experimentation to grind down the right places, here is a diagram showing the area needed on mine. *DO NOT just go by the diagram, it's just to give you a rough idea so you dont grind unneccasary sides. Grind and then fit the taillight in and see if any sides are scraping the back of the taillight housing, if they are, grind some more.

6. **Alternate Method**- some people bang the hole out using a hammer instead of the grinder, it's up to you. I'm not responsible for any damage you may incur if you choose to bang on your car with a hammer.
7. When the taillight fits in to the point that the screws touch metal, take a marker and carefully mark your drill spots.
8. Drill the marked spots (2 holes) - The top/inside holes on both of mine were touching the original holes, this is where the washers come in.
9. Apply the sealant to the back of the '04 tails around the area that will touch metal immediately around the hole.
10. Push the tailights in until they are flush.
11. Using the socket, put the nuts on the 4 screws. DO NOT overtighten, I heard this can crack the plastic. I tightened until I heard a small squeak then stopped.
12. Plug the lighting harness into the bulb array. If you purchased the '04's used you can pull the array off of your old tails and use it, you wont have the side marker light but I doubt you'll lose sleep over it. (I'm told that the 00-03 harness will fit the 04 array, but if someone that has done it would like to back that up I would appreciate it.)
13. (optional) use the silicone around the area on the inside of the hole for extra leak protection.

14. Put the carper back in place and push the grocery net place holder back in.

Running:

Braking:


After your done someone suggested hosing down the back of your car thoroughly with water. This will have the dual effect of washing off any metal shavings and will let you know if you have any water getting through the sealant into your trunk.

And (drumroll please) the overhang:


Hope that helps, and If anyone has anything to add- Please do :D
 

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Im saving to have that done to my car, and also put on an 04 bumper so it'll match. I wanna get the smoked ones from the SE-R instead of the bright red ones like yours.
 

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Great write up! :) Two important tips were to definitely use extra sealant behind the lights around the enlarged opening to prevent leaking, it happened to me. And another is that if you buy the '04 tails new they will have new bulbs in them with the sockets and they will plug into the stock '00-'03 plug....no splicing of any kind, plug and play :)
 

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Iknowyoulovereadingso..
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oh shoot! i didnt even realize there were two versions of the 04 tails. the regular ones look like crap but the smoked out ones are nice. i assumed the over hang as at the side or something. it doesnt look THAT bad.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
christian691 said:
Sweet, thanks for the write-up and pics. Too bad about the overhang though :( It's just too noticeable for me...
Thanks, glad to help :) I should mention I had to lay flat on my back on the ground to even get a noticable pic of the overhang, I'm sure those that have done it could back me up on this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
diwun67 said:
if you buy the '04 tails new they will have new bulbs in them with the sockets and they will plug into the stock '00-'03 plug....no splicing of any kind, plug and play :)
Thanks for the info Diwun!! :D :D I'm glad we got a definitive answer on that question.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
FuLIsh said:
oh shoot! i didnt even realize there were two versions of the 04 tails.
Me either, those look hot on Diwun's car with those black rims! :cool:

FuLIsh said:
the regular ones look like crap
Opinions are like Civics... ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
02SoFloSE-R said:
Im saving to have that done to my car, and also put on an 04 bumper so it'll match.
That would be the ultimate way to do it. Any idea what the bumper runs, That would be a helpful addition to this thread. Maybe one day all of us 00-03's will be rid of the maxi-pad turn signal :)
 

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its a very good idea to read this guys write up. i have an 04 spec v and I originally installed altezza lights that obviously didn't fit but i obviously didnt care. So the newb i was, i installed them, drilled holes, didnt put ANY back on the back of the taillight, and what did i find 3 weeks later? I found a small resevoir of water sitting actually where my spare tire and jack was, and boy did it smell like complete SH1T :( . Well since then i've taken the altezza's out and reparied the leak, and put my smoked 04 stockers back on. I enjoy my smoked 04's more than i enjoyed my altezza's, complete waste of time to even install them.
 

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Former14 said:
Thanks, glad to help :) I should mention I had to lay flat on my back on the ground to even get a noticable pic of the overhang, I'm sure those that have done it could back me up on this.
Hmm...an 04 bumper to match the tails would be the best solution, but out of my price range at the moment. If the overhang isn't as noticeable as it seems in the pic, I just might have to pick up a set of the tails :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
christian691 said:
Hmm...an 04 bumper to match the tails would be the best solution, but out of my price range at the moment. If the overhang isn't as noticeable as it seems in the pic, I just might have to pick up a set of the tails :D
I dare say it's not noticable at any normal viewing angle, I'm sure Diwun could tell you. I had to show that extreme worm's eye view because I'm a fair and balanced reporter. If anyone does try to lay down behind your rear bumper just yell "look theres Elvis" and then peel out :D

With your Blackout I'll bet either the smoked or red would look good, with tinted windows the smoked might look awesome though. Heres a leftover pic if it helps:

 

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a 04 rear bumper from LeeAuto is $123.90, and i got an estimate to have it painted for $150.00

so im estimating the whole 04 rear conversion to be about $460.00 (including price of 04 bumper, 2 04 taillights, paint, shipping and tax). And maybe on top of that price the body shop may charge like 50 bucks labor to install the 04 lights for me, since i dont have tools to do it myself.
 

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you can only notice the tails overhang if you literally get down on the ground and look up...i have the same ones (non-ser), got em free as a prize from some dealership thing, and i dont mind them at all. nice job man, looks good
 

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Former14 said:
I dare say it's not noticable at any normal viewing angle, I'm sure Diwun could tell you. I had to show that extreme worm's eye view because I'm a fair and balanced reporter. If anyone does try to lay down behind your rear bumper just yell "look theres Elvis" and then peel out :D

With your Blackout I'll bet either the smoked or red would look good, with tinted windows the smoked might look awesome though. Heres a leftover pic if it helps:
True, but it is noticeable (to me at least) from this angle:



but since I have a blackout it might not be as noticeable...it's just stupid how the taillights are flush with everything else except the bumper :mad:
 

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El Burro
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Excelent write up. Oh and I don't know if you mentioned it, but I suggest you put some sealant over the original holes that the studs of the '03 taillight went through. I got a lot of leaks coming from there.
 
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