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Old 08-04-2003, 10:24 AM
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Tunnel for frenched '59 Caddy tail lights

Here is a tip. the outer shell from 2" in/out DynoMax glasspack mufflers (get mine fron Jeggs) is a perfect fit as a tunnel for frencing '59 Caddy tail lights. All muffler lengths are the same price, about $17 right now, so I get the longest 33" for max tubing. Thickness is about 18 ga so it is substantial. I know they sell pre-made tubes for this with the end welded in and baloney taper cuts but they cost $40/pair. I can cut and weld in a couple of circles and do a baloney cut for a lot less than $23. Plus I have a couple of neat bullet ends, a nice perforated 2" pipe I will use for something some day and a 10 yard length of mono-filament fiberglass. Such a deal!

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Old 08-06-2003, 11:02 AM
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Willys, that's a good tip. My big question is how you get the hole cut in the body properly? Say if it's on a corner or something - do you just pray and try to hold the drill/holesaw steady?

Once you get the hole cut, you slide the new taillight bezel in, weld it and cut off the excess, right?
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Old 08-06-2003, 03:03 PM
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I took one of the muffler tubes and cut and ground it until the end laid against the outside of the fender and was level ans square with the body. This guaranteed the resulting tunnel in the fender would be square. I then drew around the perimeter of the tube onto the fender and cut the metal out following the line. Finally I slipped the tube into the hole so the light mount end was 1" inside the deepest spot on the fender which wil conceal the base of the light. I drew around the tube, cut it with my 3" cut-off grinder and voila - a perfect fit. I'll post some pictures soon.
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Old 08-07-2003, 10:18 AM
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OK, that makes a lot of sense. Now, how do you keep the tube straight and square once you cut the outer shape and slide it into the body?
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Old 08-07-2003, 12:03 PM
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If you cut carefully so the tube slides in snuggly - that isn't very hard to do if your outline is accurate - then the tube sort of locks itself in place, especially if you are placing it in the 'corner' of the fender like I am. Even if you are installing it in a relatively flat panel, by using an extra long tube so there is enough sticking out to plumb and square, when it is cut off and fitted back in for welding, it will be square by definition.

I'll try to take a series of photos tonight which will make it all clear.
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Old 08-07-2003, 02:40 PM
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Ran across this site for frenching products. It looks to have a little bit of everything. If you don't want to make it yourself or even if you do this has some good pics to go by. http://www.goodtimeproductions.com/catalog.html

Kevin
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Old 08-07-2003, 06:15 PM
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Yep. Those are great items if you don't want to fool with making them yourself. The method i mentioned above is for us do-it-ourself-or-die types! Plus it costs a third of the ready made units and MAN am I tight.
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:16 PM
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When it comes to fitting frenched lights like above I sometimes use a small section of PVC that is the same as the pipe I will be using. It is easier to grind and cheaper than messing up the body panel. You just have to make it fit the body then trace the hole.

I also use PVC pipe to make the proper angel cuts for roll cages and cross members. It is cheaper than the pipe and easier on the notcher.
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Old 08-07-2003, 08:33 PM
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Here is a photo essay.













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Old 08-08-2003, 10:34 AM
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Thanks, Wiilys.. I had a good idea of how it worked, just figured it wouldn't take much to get those tubes welded in crooked. With my luck, the vehicle would be painted before I noticed the taillights were c0ckeyed.

BTW - that looks like your AD pickup getting the Caddy lights. That will look cool! I was thinking of something similar on my 'Burb but my rear fenders aren't as wide as the pickups. I was considering letting part of the tube extend outside the hole, making a bulge on the side of the fender. Put a little curve in it and it would look pretty good, I think.
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Old 08-08-2003, 11:55 AM
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Willys...very nice explanation. I hope you have that saved in the Knowledge Base. You can't beat a photo explanation for how to do something. Thanks.

Kevin
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Old 08-09-2003, 01:41 PM
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Willys36
That is a very good photo howto article.
The craftsmanship looks top notch. I was in another thread a few days ago on door handles, wish I had photoed the process.

Again your post is the best one I`ve seen on this board, keep up the good work.

Troy-curt
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Old 01-20-2011, 10:05 PM
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59 caddy light

wow you did a great job showing how to french those tail lights in!! What size is that muffler tubing?
thanks
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Old 01-21-2011, 09:31 AM
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Kind of look like cherry bombs or thrush glass packs.
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Old 01-21-2011, 10:35 AM
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Been many years since I did that job so memory has rebooted many times. From the tape measure in the picture it looks like about 3 1/4". I'll measure them tonight when I get home and let you know for sure.
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