Plastic Surgery

In an effort to update the look of our "Z" car it was decided that a face lift via the modern blacked out look that is so popular with the Euro racer crowd might be the ticket. In a previous DIY article we showed you how to black out the side markers and equip them with very neat looking LED's.

In keeping with this penny pinching do it yourself mentality we decided to do the same thing to rear lights. It would have been easy enough to shell out a hundred bucks for a set of stick on acrylic covers.  We decided to pocket the change and do it ourselves. The only expense was an eight dollar can of Rust-oleum lens tint. This stuff works great and we highly recommend it versus other brands of lens tint that are available.

When applied correctly the tint will yield a factory look and will not significantly reduce the brightness of your lights. We do have to qualify this by saying that it may be illegal to tint your lights depending on your location. Tinted lenses are only recommended for show and off road vehicles.

It is dangerous to over tint your rear lights as too much product will cut down the visibility and will create a hazardous condition. In other words do this mod at your own risk.

c6 corvette rear lenses                 c6 corvette rear lenses

The first thing you need to do is to remove the four rear lenses. Using a no.15 torx bit unscrew the single screw at the top of each lens. Remove the lens from the body housing and disconnect the connectors. Make sure you keep track of the two outer and two inner lights as they have to be replaced in the same order.


Set up a painting station away from your car, preferably outdoors, with sufficient ventilation. The tinting paint is nasty stuff and will ruin your day if it gets on your car. Clean the lenses with some Windex, don't use alcohol as it will react with the lens coating. Begin by giving the lenses a single light coat. Wait about a half hour and give them a second light coat. Two coats is all you need as more will create a dangerous lack of visibility. Let the painted lenses dry overnight.


After the tint is completely dry give the surface a light buffing with some wet 2000 grit sand paper. After the sanding apply a few drops of Meguiars ultimate compound to the lens and buff it in using a small, six inch, random orbital polisher. If you don't have a polisher start rubbing in circular motions by hand. Keep rubbing until the lens surface is glossy.

c6 corvette rear lenses

After you have achieved the desired surface gloss apply some wax and power buff it in. If you really want to get fancy you can create Corvette logos in the center of each lens by drawing or tracing the logo on some painters tape.  After transferring the logos to the tape cut them out with an exact knife, this creates a template for the logo.  Apply the tape template on the center of the lens prior to painting. The results are amazing.  We also gave the rear back-up lights a coating of tint to round out the look.

                                            Lights On                                                                                               Lights Off                        

After we were satisfied with the cars rear we redirected out efforts to the front end. The plastic front end spoiler on our Z was in pretty poor shape. Close encounters with parking lot tire stops and overly aggressive speed bumps had taken its toll.  At this point we felt that a ZR1 carbon fiber front end splitter would do the trick.

c6 corvette front splitter               c6 corvette front splitter

We contacted RPI Designs , (toll free number for RPI : 888 257 8515), and they sent us a beautiful light weight real carbon splitter. They market a quality unit that is an exact copy of the factory splitter at about half the cost. RPI has an easy to use online shopping cart with one of the most comprehensive and cost effective list of hard to get and one of a kind accessories in the after market industry.

c6 corvette front splitter                      c6 corvette front splitter
use a jacking puck                                                             align the tongue of the puck with the frone jacking hole in the frame and lift                                                                                                     the car a few inches off the ground

The splitter was a snap to install. We used a small race jack to give us some extra clearance  for the job. Start by jacking up the front end of the car a few inches to facilitate unbolting the old spoiler. There are 14 seven mm screws that have to be removed to free the stock chin spoiler. With the car jacked up a bit we were able to use a foldable power screw driver to quickly remove the machine screws and unbolt the old unit.


The new splitter aligned perfectly with the factory screw holes. The splitter came with new screws and some 3M double sided automotive tape. We applied the tape to various contact points on the fascia mating surface of the splitter. We also put a few dabs of clear RTV sealant around each of the screw holes on the mounting surface of the splitter. This is a trick boaters use when drilling mounting holes in fiberglass hulls. After cleaning the under body of the fascia with some alcohol we lined up the splitter and pressed it in place. We then screwed in the fourteen attaching screws.

As an afterthought we removed the stainless driving light covers that were previously installed on the car and gave them a coat of tint followed by a coat of clear to protect them. The blacked out ACC driving light covers compliment the look. An unintended bonus is that the driving lights look black but deliver the same light output as non covered lights.

 c6 fog lights

c6 corvette front splitter      

That's it, a very easy installation. The finished product gives the car an entire new look.

The Vette Nut's

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