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Progress pics - JDM Z32 tails on my S130; could use some photoshop help as well

Yay or nay on the taillights?  

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  1. 1. Yay or nay on the taillights?

    • Looks interesting - I can't wait to see it finished
    • Meh, maybe it will grow on me...I'll give it some time first

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Customizing is not as easy to accomplish as one thinks. I think you are doing a good job thinking it through. It is a shame the bodyshop got ahead of you there, but you will just have to work around it. An unfortunate side effect of this type of work is that it is extremely difficult to get things "just right" and more often than not, you need to make compromises (unless you have loads of $$$$/time) Many of the small details may bug you, but most others will not notice, so make sure you can live with it, and don't sweat too much about the rest. There are lots of visual tricks you can use to help you, from a decal/badging to pinstriping, to a hybridz sticker in the right place to "fill up" some of the space above the lamps. "Fake, functional, show, bling, needed, wanted" mods/ideas/parts can be your friend in sorting out any visual incongruities. Kinda hard to explain what I mean, so I'll stop here.


Good luck with it.


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Call me a hater or whatever you want but my .2 cents, you butchered the shiz outta your car I mean why change a good thing. 300zx lights need to stay on a 300zx. This is completely my opinion, t

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So today the shop told me they're ready to spray the first coat tomorrow, but they need me to tell them what portions of the rear I want black. I understand almost half of the poll doesn't care for it much (I'm sorta in this category), but I'm stuck with them at this point. I think they'll turn out decent, but not as good as I had originally predicted. Anyways, I've narrowed it down between two themes - very basic:


Paint the rear black with the bumper, hatch, and rear panel combining with the hatch silver






have it all black except for the bumper, which will be silver, as pictured a few posts before this one:




I think the first picture helps reduce the light's disproportionate "too-low" look on the rear, but the second pic seems decent too. Anyways, just fishing for some last-minute opinions before I tell them what to do tomorrow. Thanks

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 months later...





Sorry for the tiny pic, that's what they sent me. I'm hoping to go to the shop tomorrow to check it out. It looks a little better than I hoped, although I still wouldn't do it again. Plus, they didn't paint the hatch / matching sides of tail panel silver like I had told them to (like in first pic in post 22 of this thread)

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Call me a hater or whatever you want but my .2 cents, you butchered the shiz outta your car I mean why change a good thing. 300zx lights need to stay on a 300zx.

This is completely my opinion, to each their own.


I agree. The concept/drawings looked good on paint, but in reality it didn't turn out near as good as I was hoping. The thing that pisses me off is that as soon as the lights came in, the shop immediately molded them, without my say in it. In my opinion, I think it would look a lot better if they would've at least put them in a bit higher on the tail panel.


I really didn't care for the way the stock lights looked in the rear, but I couldn't come up with a decent substitute either. Not even the dual round lights really fit (ferrari/elise/skyline). This seemed to be the best alternative on paper, but not so much in the real world. I'll see if it looks any better once they've fixed the silver on top.

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If any of you haven't see this, you need to look at Dan Juday's car. This is the only pic i know of, but there may be more out there. I think it looks pretty sweet on this car. Note it is still sitting low like yours, but it is the actual 300zx tail lights versus the ebay knock offs. The main diff may just be the level of finish.



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If you find that the custom work isn't quite what you envisioned, you can add race stripes that go down "through" the tail light area, which will break up the field of color where the taillights are. This may sound strange, but the paint thing really works well. However, if the rest of your car looks too clean for stripes, then forget the suggestion. I am a firm believer in what paint can do, however. I don't think what you did was butchering at all. My $.02. I would have kept it stock or gone R32 or R33 for kicks...




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If you haven't clicked on the link Dan Juday just posted, go back up and do it.


That is one sweet car you have there Dan! Note the way the area around the tail light has been angled/counter sunk/scalloped and the provision for the license plate to be mounted in. I don't know what you paid for that Dan, but it was worth it! I just re-did my tail light section, polished the lenses and painted the chrome trim on the lights black to match, but I may have to follow in your footsteps on the rear lights. :hail::hail:


I know a lot you guys think cutting one of these cars up is a shame, but you gotta appreciate good design and workmanship when you see it.

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About 5-6 years ago I saved a number of photos of Dan's car from his website and also from Eric Nyerlin's website. However, when I tried to view them now, they appear to be only thumbnail size. The following information was listed when I clicked on Properties for the attached thumbnail. It is obvious that I know very little (nothing?) about saving or downloading photos - I am guessing that I should have saved the photos in some way that would allow them to be viewed at full size. I saved 20 of these thumbnail photos from Dan's website and 19 from Eric's website and would be happy to post them if someone knows how to make them viewable in something other than thumbnail size.


Dell Image Expert Picture

Size: 2.02 KB (2,073 bytes)

Size on disk: 4.00 KB (4,096 bytes)





I also managed to save some regular-size photos of Dan's car. Click on the links below.

s TPI-powered  Z_thumb.jpg

Dan Juday #2_thumb.jpg

Dan Juday #3_thumb.jpg

Taillights - Dan Juday #1_thumb.jpg

Taillights - Dan Juday #2_thumb.jpg

Dan Juday’s CustomomiZed 240Z, Kit Car Builder magazine, p1. of 2_thumb.jpg

Dan Juday’s CustomomiZed 240Z, Kit Car Builder magazine, p2. of 2_thumb.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Sounds like the guys at the shop aren't very good listeners. I'm with you on moving them a little higher, like centered with respect to the contour of the sides of the tail. They don't look bad though, 300 lights could work on a z for sure, I'm not crazy about the bumper however.

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Darth - I talked to Dan about his taillight setup before I ordered the lights (I think that was when). But anyways, he had a lot more work done to reshape the rear panel to where it contours with the 300zx tails. He was able to pull it off because a) the s30 is curvy, the s130 is boxy, B) his flares really help add to the look, c) his tails are still proportional to the rear, IMO, and d) he didn't buy knockoffs. I honestly didn't know the difference until someone on here pointed it out. They're molded in, so there's nothing I can do about it now, but I definitely would've forked out the coin to get the OEMs in there.


Davy - I'm hoping there may be some other tricks I can use, but all around I think it'll look a bit goofy. At least the rest of the car makes up for it :-) . I've been toying around with the idea of a pantera hatch, and if I get one, I'll most likely try to convert the rear to round tails. However, I've seen skyline lights on the aerotech zx (I can't remember which generation they were) but I know I didn't care for them...although it looked better than the way these 300zx tails mount.


GOMI - The bumper is a plain jain MSA II fiberglass bumper. I don't care much for the stock bumpers on these, and I don't think it would've looked right without it, given the way the rest of the body is. On a stockish-bodied 280zx, I think the shaved rear looks great. Otherwise, yeah, the bumper is a bit boxy and bulky, but it fits the s130.


I was hoping to get some better pictures by now, but by the time I was able to get to the shop, they were pretty much closed for the night, and had several vehicles surrounding my car, so I wasn't really able to get a clear shot of the rear...just a couple of the sides and front.

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Yeah the late model bumpers were terrible imo. I just don't like bumper bumpers. The real ticket is when they are incorporated into the body shape somehow. Even with the euro chrome bumper, I think they look better shaved, but it definitely depends on the look you're going for. I'm not real aware of your project however. Or should I say projects :P

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