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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I came across this build on the CRZ subreddit and had never seen anything like it! This is the sickest taillight mod I have seen for the Z. It’s actually the only one I’ve ever really seen like it. I guess the guy who owns it doesn’t speak English as their first language so, I was wondering if someone here might be able to explain how this mod was accomplished. The only thing that they really could explain was that they removed the red reflector pieces. Are the reflectors inside a separate piece? Would I just add red lights for break lights? Is this legal in the US? Don’t really no much about modding but I’m sure this is not easily accomplished. Here’s a link to his Twitter post about it! Thanks!
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I believe that you can buy them and they were not made by the poster although there was this thread All clear tail-lights?. They are called Euro lights? Not legal In the US or many places. To be legal my understanding is they have to have red bulbs and have reflectors.

Many postings on this forum about alternate colors for the lights around the car. Only colors allowed for rear are Red for all lights except license plate and backup lights which are required to be White ( some have yellow turn signals). In front White or Yellow. There is a posting on here that quotes the actual law from one of the states. It is very detailed about lighting. I can't find that posting here but found this web page with a summary for many states but it is written badly.

Here is a Summary from VA similar in other states.

Similar from CA

Doing a little more searching I found this but not sure where it is from. It appears to reference Federal regulations.

In summary Illegal to have any color in rear other than red for brake lights and turn signals(Turn signals can be yellow). White is only allowed for back up lights and license plate lights. For front only permissible Colors are white and yellow. All other colors or modifications are Illegal.
 

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Not legal In the US or many places. To be legal my understanding is they have to have red bulbs and have reflectors.
That was my first thought when i saw them. With the understanding that you are going to make it road legal, it would be a very strange mod because you are redoing what the manufacture did but with colored LEDs. Which inherently isn't a bad mod just redundant if you aren't subjectively improving on the original design.
 

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I haven't seen any aftermarket headlights or tail lights for the CR-Z and I'm confident that it's custom made in fact I've considered doing this and painting parts of the light black.

Most likely the person disassembled the rear light and simply removed the red covers on the LEDs.

This, as far as I know, would still be legal in the US, as long as you leave the red retroreflectors at the bottom of the headlight untouched.

The LEDs are red, they don't get the color from the red plastic, so your tail lights would still be red, which is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah he definitely removed the reflective pieces. I too thought that leaving the red on the bottom might work as well. Do you think you could get away with led bulbs that look white but have red nodes on them? Something like this
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Yeah he definitely removed the reflective pieces. I too thought that leaving the red on the bottom might work as well. Do you think you could get away with led bulbs that look white but have red nodes on them? Something like this
View attachment 64248
His car probably didn't come with them. You can see them mounted on the bumper. In other markets, the retro reflectors are on the bumper, and the bottom area is a fog light. The U.S spec cars got the retro reflectors on the tail light itself, but if you look closely you can see a reflector behind it.

You don't need to replace any bulbs, the CR-Z already has red LEDs from the factory for the brake lights. In fact, you can't replace the brake light bulbs, at least not easily without special skills and tools. You could replace the turn signals with red LEDs as well, and while it would be legal, I don't recommend it because red turn signals are less safe. If you want to do this to your car, the only thing you need to do is to disassemble the tail light housing and remove the top red pieces. As long as you leave the bottom reflector in place, you should be fine, regulation-wise.

Edit: red turn signals are only legal in the U.S. In other places, only amber turn signals are allowed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I actually just got the reflectors for the rear diffuser put on. Would that be enough legally in the US? Could I presumably remove all the red from the taillights and slide with just the reflectors on the bumper?
 

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I actually just got the reflectors for the rear diffuser put on. Would that be enough legally in the US? Could I presumably remove all the red from the taillights and slide with just the reflectors on the bumper?
Probably not, since that's not how the car came from the factory, but it would still meet the requirements though. I think you should be fine doing that, especially if you live in a state that has no inspections. If anything, I think putting reflectors closer to the ground is better, since they're more likely to be under the cutoff line of other car's headlights, making them much more visible than of they're mounted high up in a tail light. Plus, even if you did live in a state with inspections, I don't think it'd be a huge deal. In my 05 Civic I replaced the amber side reflectors on the headlights with clear ones, which is illegal, but I've had no problems whatsoever. We have no inspections in Florida.

As far as I know, the tail light itself doesn't have to be red, it just has to emit red light. The Honda Civic Hybrid and some Toyota Prius models have all-clear tail lights from the factory (with red reflectors, of course)
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Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer and am not qualified to give legal advice. Any modifications are performed at your own risk.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Probably not, since that's not how the car came from the factory, but it would still meet the requirements though. I think you should be fine doing that, especially if you live in a state that has no inspections. If anything, I think putting reflectors closer to the ground is better, since they're more likely to be under the cutoff line of other car's headlights, making them much more visible than of they're mounted high up in a tail light. Plus, even if you did live in a state with inspections, I don't think it'd be a huge deal. In my 05 Civic I replaced the amber side reflectors on the headlights with clear ones, which is illegal, but I've had no problems whatsoever. We have no inspections in Florida.

As far as I know, the tail light itself doesn't have to be red, it just has to emit red light. The Honda Civic Hybrid and some Toyota Prius models have all-clear tail lights from the factory (with red reflectors, of course)
View attachment 64249



Keep in mind I'm not a lawyer and am not qualified to give legal advice. Any modifications are performed at your own risk.
Cool thanks for the write up my friend! Might buy a spare taillight and give it a shot!
 

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Are you sure about that? I am in US and my turn signals are red in rear I doubt the US would have something that is illegal elsewhere. Every article I looked at said red or amber for turn signals in the back But I am in the US using US sources. I debated swapping them to yellow when I do my light upgrade but decided against it. Many vehicles for decades have had red turn signals in the rear. I found one article that mentions that red is less safe than yellow but listed the reasons why red was chosen and is legal by US Manufacturers. It comes down to cost.

My personal thoughts on this "modification" is why bother depending on the LEO that pulls you over and what area you are in it will cost you a lot of money and time to swap the lights back. According to what I posted the lenses and the bulbs need to be red for the brake light and you need to have the reflectors in the light housing not elsewhere on the car. Extra reflectors and anything we can do to make the car more visible is good but you need to meet the minimum Federal and state requirements for lighting. Other countries are even more strict than here. You may also have a problem getting the car inspected.

But your car, your choices , your money and yours to deal with if there are consequences.

It is obvious it did not come with the clear lenses whether s/he made them their selves or bought them we will never know. S/ He is also not in the US so wherever s/he is may have lax laws or s/he may not care.

There are all kinds of car modifications that are not legal but are sold all over the world. The vehicle owner takes the chance of liability issues when they do these kinds of things there are many lighting options that are for off road or show use only to get around the laws.

His car probably didn't come with them. You can see them mounted on the bumper. In other markets, the retro reflectors are on the bumper, and the bottom area is a fog light. The U.S spec cars got the retro reflectors on the tail light itself, but if you look closely you can see a reflector behind it.

You don't need to replace any bulbs, the CR-Z already has red LEDs from the factory for the brake lights. In fact, you can't replace the brake light bulbs, at least not easily without special skills and tools. You could replace the turn signals with red LEDs as well, and while it would be legal, I don't recommend it because red turn signals are less safe. If you want to do this to your car, the only thing you need to do is to disassemble the tail light housing and remove the top red pieces. As long as you leave the bottom reflector in place, you should be fine, regulation-wise.

Edit: red turn signals are only legal in the U.S. In other places, only amber turn signals are allowed.
 

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According to what I posted the lenses and the bulbs need to be red for the brake light and you need to have the reflectors in the light housing not elsewhere on the car.
The LEDs are red because white LEDs through colored plastic looks awful. If you've ever seen a car where the brake lights have more of a washed-out pinkish tone rather than a nice red, it's most likely because it has white LEDs behind a red lens. If he removes the red lens, the light will still be red because the LED emitters themselves are red.
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AFAIK you just need red reflectors on the rear and rear corner, and amber on the front corner. It doesn't matter if they're inside the headlight or not. Most new cars, like the civic I showed, have the reflectors on the bumper.

Are you sure about that? I am in US and my turn signals are red in rear I doubt the US would have something that is illegal elsewhere. Every article I looked at said red or amber for turn signals in the back But I am in the US using US sources. I debated swapping them to yellow when I do my light upgrade but decided against it. Many vehicles for decades have had red turn signals in the rear. I found one article that mentions that red is less safe than yellow but listed the reasons why red was chosen and is legal by US Manufacturers. It comes down to cost.
No, it's actually true. In Europe, Australia, Asia, and most other territories, turn signals must be amber ONLY, because red is reserved exclusively for the tail lights, as it should. On a side note, the U.S also has tighter regulations on sequential turn signals, so that's why they look kinda weird on some Audi or Toyota cars. Red is an inferior design choice that makes both the turn signal and the brake lights less safe. While I do prefer the look sometimes, I always recommend against red turn signals if possible because they make the car safer, especially in today's world of distracted driving. Take a look at this video

When I had the Civic, I spent many hours trying to track down tail lights from another market, and even tried to get some when I went to Colombia, because in other territories the turn signal area is clear, but in the U.S it's red meaning I'm stuck with red turn signals.
 

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It looks like it got its lights punched out. Most people will think it was in an accident and that the red plastic broke and fell off. Makes the poor car have a naked ashamed buttocks. Their taillights have cataracts.
 

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It looks like it got its lights punched out. Most people will think it was in an accident and that the red plastic broke and fell off. Makes the poor car have a naked ashamed buttocks. Their taillights have cataracts.
That's not what I see, but I see why you would think that lol

I just don't like the "everything is chrome in the future" type look it gives them. I'd probably paint the chrome bits black and reinstall the red strips to make the tail lights look darker but in a nice way. Smoked or blacked out lights look very, very bad in my personal opinion, I've never seen one that looks good.
 

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Actually stock my 2013 has Amber rear turn signals I was working on my car today and checked. I thought for sure they were red.

The LEDs are red because white LEDs through colored plastic looks awful. If you've ever seen a car where the brake lights have more of a washed-out pinkish tone rather than a nice red, it's most likely because it has white LEDs behind a red lens. If he removes the red lens, the light will still be red because the LED emitters themselves are red.
View attachment 64252
AFAIK you just need red reflectors on the rear and rear corner, and amber on the front corner. It doesn't matter if they're inside the headlight or not. Most new cars, like the civic I showed, have the reflectors on the bumper.


No, it's actually true. In Europe, Australia, Asia, and most other territories, turn signals must be amber ONLY, because red is reserved exclusively for the tail lights, as it should. On a side note, the U.S also has tighter regulations on sequential turn signals, so that's why they look kinda weird on some Audi or Toyota cars. Red is an inferior design choice that makes both the turn signal and the brake lights less safe. While I do prefer the look sometimes, I always recommend against red turn signals if possible because they make the car safer, especially in today's world of distracted driving. Take a look at this video

When I had the Civic, I spent many hours trying to track down tail lights from another market, and even tried to get some when I went to Colombia, because in other territories the turn signal area is clear, but in the U.S it's red meaning I'm stuck with red turn signals.
 

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Actually stock my 2013 has Amber rear turn signals I was working on my car today and checked. I thought for sure they were red.
Yeah they're amber from the factory but since it's clear you can absolutely put in a red bulb to make them red, and since you're in North America it's legal. I think it actually looks good. As I said, though, red signals are less safe, and amber looks good too.
 

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So I came across this build on the CRZ subreddit and had never seen anything like it! This is the sickest taillight mod I have seen for the Z. It’s actually the only one I’ve ever really seen like it. I guess the guy who owns it doesn’t speak English as their first language so, I was wondering if someone here might be able to explain how this mod was accomplished. The only thing that they really could explain was that they removed the red reflector pieces. Are the reflectors inside a separate piece? Would I just add red lights for break lights? Is this legal in the US? Don’t really no much about modding but I’m sure this is not easily accomplished. Here’s a link to his Twitter post about it! Thanks! View attachment 64246
 

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Here’s a google translation of the tweet. Sounds like the OP fabbed it by revising what was there originally.

“There seem to be many people who want to do it.
It is not an off-the-shelf product, but it is split into shells.
It's not that difficult to say, just split the shell and pull out the red clear parts. It is recommended because it is used and the tail is cheap.”
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Ok so not specific to the CR-Z, but I found this YouTube channel, called Azc Car Style, that does custom headlights and taillights and thought I'd share it here. Gotta admit it's inspired me to make my own custom tail lights. Next time I see a 'Z at a junkyard I'm getting the tail lights.

 
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