View original topic: Split tail lights on a later car pics Page: 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
type1vwjapan Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:35 am

I just bought some nice split tail lights with German glass lenses from Kafer Nostalgie. I also got the rear fender dimple /recessed pieces I need to mount these lights on a later fender. Plan on having all of this put on relatively soon.

Just out of curiosity I've been searching everywhere for some pics of a later beetle with split tail lights, but to no avail. Split tail lights are so beautiful and definitely give your bug a nice vintage look, so I'm shocked that I haven't found any pics of cars with a split tail light mod.

However, given the cost of split tail lights, the scarceness of split fenders, and it being a real pain in the ass to weld on those fender dimple sections to house the split lights, I can see why very few or if anyone has ever done this before.

If anyone knows or has any pics I'd really appreciate it. Just trying to get a clear image of how this will all look. I'm pretty Excited since I know it will come out looking nice. i will make sure to post pics once I have everything finished.

Thanks again guys!

type1vwjapan Fri May 02, 2014 6:50 pm I really must be the only one to ever do this. guess I'm not that crazy because split tail lights on a later car look a lot better than those cheap custom tear drop lights.

type1vwjapan Sun May 11, 2014 6:00 pm

i still can't find any pics that I'm looking for exactly. oh, well. Just makes me that more excited to get all of this on my car. should be getting my tail lights and glass lenses from Francisco at Kafer Nostalgie relatively soon.

However, I might have to hold off a bit on getting all of this put on my car, since I dropped quite a bit on my fenders, dimple sections, split tail lights, back up lights and mounting hardware, and rear hot rod indicator lights. Plus, I had to pick up a bunch of supplies to prep and paint all of this stuff with.

Then I have to factor in having all of this put on my car, plus just the expense of owning a classic Beetle in Japan. not cheap! Yearly taxes, overpriced car insurance, every two year car inspection and road worthiness test (about $1,200 -$1,500 (DAMN!), plus maitenace costs. It really sucks that in Japan that you have to regulary pay more for 5 passenger cars, the weight and size of your car (a Beetle is not considered a small car in Japan, lol), and for foreign cars. What a scam!

hopkin Sun May 11, 2014 7:06 pm


Wow, and I thought $40 for an emissions test every 2 years was a rip-off (which it is :evil: ).

I'm interested in what you doing with the lights, do the new rear fenders mount easily to your car?

Any pics on what have done so far?

type1vwjapan Sun May 11, 2014 7:26 pm

nice to hear from you again Hopkin!

the rear fenders should mount failry easy to my car. appears to have the same amount of bolt holes and in approximately in the same spot. if not, I'll just have my shop drill some new holes and mount them. not a biggie.

the expense will be getting my dimple sections welded onto my fenders so that I can house my split lights correctly. Then I have to weld up the predrilled tail light holes on my fenders since I obviously wont be using them.

Here are some pics of my progress so far. I took the bumpers, head light rings, mirrors, and got me some new wheels and smoothie caps and painted them all with a high quality primer, flat black, and a light clear coat. I know you are not supposed to clear coat flat black, but I wanted the extra protection, even though the paint i used claims to be high UV protectant. sorry for the fuzziness. ipad takes pretty bad pictures if you ask me. more details later!

type1vwjapan Sun May 11, 2014 9:40 pm

and sorry, I know this might be posted in the wrong question. I was told to check with the "split" guys for the pics I was looking for. sorry to be talking about a later car in this thread. if this thread needs to be directed somewhere else then that fine. thanks guys!

usariemen Mon May 12, 2014 10:08 am

Oh Boy, I canīt resist. No offence meant but I have to say it.
Do you know why you did not find any pics with split taillights on such a beetle? Because nobody ever did that. It will look awful.
Just imagine putting the huge taillights you actually have on a split.
Would that look any good? No. So it doesnīt the other way round.
You bought them already and you can do with your car what you like.
But I keep asking myself how someone can get that idea.
My advice, keep your car stock and if you want an more vintage looking one, try to find an older body or car and build something out of it that looks at least halfway authentic.

type4split Mon May 12, 2014 1:30 pm

are you trying to make car look like this?

your fenders are a totally different shape. you would need early fenders, with the early (split) dimple. I'm not sure if fenders will bolt up and line up with body. lots of differences in that 20+ years in the type 1.

RareAir Mon May 12, 2014 3:03 pm

Are you aware that the "split" era tail lights you plan on using are just that, tail lights.

What are you going to do about turn signals & more importantly brake lights?

type1vwjapan Mon May 12, 2014 5:37 pm

as I mentioned in this post very clearly, I bought some back up lights and turning signals that I'm going to mount on my rear bumpers. As for the brake lights, the units I bought are 2 filament, meaning they can be used as a brake and running light.

Also, I bought the dimple section from Kafer Nostalgie that can be welded onto my other early rear fenders I purchased that I don't have on my car right now. plan on getting these welded and fixed up within the next few months or so. hopefully.

and what I'm doing isn't all that out of the ordinary. looks different, but not bad. I on the other hand didn't like the looks of the custom / tear drop lights, so that is why I'm going with the superior in quality and looks split tail light units.

look at all the people that use the 30's and 40's era tear drop tail lights / custom lights that are much smaller than the elephant foot lights. And Iíve seen some split windows / split window conversions that use these god awful looking custom tail lights that have like 3 or 4 big circular lights.

My long term life long goal is to change things here and there to make it "look" more and more like an earlier car. Yes, I want it to look like a KDF wagen, but I already know and accept that it wonít look exactly / anything like one, but will still look pretty damn awesome in the long run I believe.

I know that it will never look anything like an acutal split beetle to those of you guys that are lucky enough to have a real one. but, it will be more than good enough for me.

no, I canít just pick up a split beetle and have it bolted to my current chassis. Too much money. Besides, I donít have to have an actual split beetle, even though I would like one. Not very practical to upkeep and use as a daily if youíre not exactly loaded. Not that easy to come by and REALLY expensive. Iím just going to buy body parts here and there and gradually swap stuff over a long period of time. Iím pretty happy with how my car looks even now, but will be happier to have earlier fenders, lights, hood, aprons, deck lid, etc. as my budget allows for it.

I canít understand why so many people get offended with someone wanting to customize their ride. People do it all the time. Itís not like Iím hacking my car to pieces and making a baja bug, kit car, or anything like that.

Thanks for the feedback though, although I guess this thread turned into exactly what I didnít want it to. Not that I was expecting any kind of positive feedback though. Lol. Already been there and done that about people on this site telling me, NO! Donít do this! I was just initially checking to see if any pics were floating out there anywhere of what Iím doing.

I say you donít see many people doing this because of the cost. Iím in love with the split tail lights and they will look just fine on my car. More than fine. Great, acutally. Besides, the 60ís and early 70ís model Beetles had smaller lights than those enormous elephant lights, and they donít look ďterribleĒ at all, now do they?

usariemen Mon May 12, 2014 10:28 pm

As I wrote. No offence meant.
Do what you like.
I am just sure youīll look back some day and think, oh boy, what have I done.
Your car and any split part are located in differend sun systems. They donīt work together. Technically and visually.
I did not mean you have to have a real split when I said find something earlier. Find a car around 1960 maybe. Put in an earlier rear window and other older looking exterior parts and you will have something that passes the untrained eyes as something really cool and old.
Your car is the wrong base to start. But maybe thatīs just what I think.
If you are convinced, go ahead.

tisius Tue May 13, 2014 12:48 am

if you desire split tail lights.....then do it :twisted:
Why not buy reproduction earlier (mid sixties) rear fenders so that they aready have the shape you need, and then weld in the dimple sections. The rear fenders for the newer elephant taillights are different in shape, so I'm not sure whether the angle of mounting of the split taillights would work on those newer rear fenders.

Good reproductions of the split tail lights are being made nowadays, including the dimples to mount them, so nothing that is out of reach (unless like you stated already, it would be out of budget, because they do cost a penny or two).

type1vwjapan Tue May 13, 2014 2:14 am

thanks tisius! I'm definitely going for it. already got my 60s fenders, just waiting on my nice split lights and dimple section to come in the mail here soon.

yeah, I don't think mouthing these lights to later fenders would work out very well at all. now that would look "terrible," agreed. :roll: I hope that's not what the others thought my intentions were.

GArBa Tue May 13, 2014 2:29 am

type1vwjapan wrote: as I mentioned in this post very clearly....

now dont't take it wrong, but if you post about your intentions on a public forum people will express their opinions. You remember you had the same kind of feedback in the post '68 forum.

You don't need to convince others of your ideas on aesthetics or bash others' views. Someone may dislike your work like you dislike thos teardrops lights, and it's OK because it's just a matter of taste.

Once YOU are convinced, it's your car, do what you like. But keep a positive attitude towards fellow VW enthusiasts, and they'll be more than happy to provide you advice even if you were building snorkelstang II!

pastellgreen Tue May 13, 2014 3:24 am

Anyhow I understand your plan. You want a useful daily driver looking like a KDF...

I would suggest you to use a beetle - 1963 for basic. Step by step you can change details, even welding a spit window section in and disassemble the little turnwindows in the doors.
But a beetle with big windows in the front, the sides and doors, wrong fenders in front... it looks wrong anyway. If you woud use a pre '63 beetle, nobody would see the difference between a KDF and your modified later beetle from a certain distance.
Better: Buy a pre '60 european beelte (with semaphores) for $5000, put in any transmission and engine you want (You can also make a strong engine look like an early one by using 36hp fanhouse with doghouse without fresh air heater), weld in the dimple sections in fender, weld in a split window section, weld in the right dashboard (repuestosam), use 16" wheels, buy repro bumpers... and you will have sth looking like a kdf...

But big windows are a "no go".
Only my opinion.

And I know people, who have four or five real KDF, up from 1943 and do thousand of miles with these cars without any problem...

hopkin Tue May 13, 2014 5:18 am

GArBa wrote: .... even if you were building snorkelstang II!

Now that I'd like to see!

T1J, I did want to mention, I like the look of your car with blacked out wheels and oversize tires.

What did you do with your other rims?

type1vwjapan Tue May 13, 2014 6:58 am

thanks, I'm proud of my work so far, too. turned out better than I thought it would. granted, the paint job is far from perfect, but its more than good enough for a daily driver.

I still have my old rims that came with the car. I'd like to send them to you, but I'm afraid I need an extra set of wheels for the winter for snow tires. Nearly everyone in Japan has two set of wheels and tires. got a little hairy this past winter, but still my bug managed to do pretty well on the snowy, icy, hilly, and curvy roads over here. Especially since I take my baby around daily. definitely need the extra safety.

as far as I know the tires on my car are the stock and correct size for my car. I made sure. the old tires I was running on it from the PO were too small my air cooled shop told me. intesting.

and yes, yes, yes, I know I should get an older model Beetle. however, this is the car I have and I can't exactly just give it up and get a new one so easily. this is my car that I chose and drive. it's not just a hobby. of course it's crossed my mind to get an actual early car, but that is not what I'm looking to do here.

plus, I like the fact that my car is a newer model and only had one owner before me. I'm the second owner, pretty awesome. I feel like the car has always been mine. and it always will be, too.

Again...I'm not trying to fool anyone into thinking I have an actual KDF/split car, just want it to have some early features that I really like. I'm not entering it into any shows or anything. Just for me to enjoy and drive daily. don't mind the windows being a little bit bigger. but, it's a possibility that I might chop the top and make the windows a few inches smaller all around. yeah, right. maybe once I retire and have the dough.

I do respect the VW enthusiast, as I am one myself, too. just because I want to swap a few body parts doesn't make me an unworthy VW owner who has poor tastes and who is building some kind of unknown or alien car. Funny though, since my car is a 2000 Mexi Beetle, it is labeled as a "Fumei" (unknown) car in Japan since production of the classic German Beetles technically stopped in most of the world in '79. Guess my car really is becoming more and more "Fumei." :o Especially if i put those...Oh, yes. You kniw I'm gonna' say it again. bwah hahaha! those split tail lights on :roll: :twisted:

and yes, naturally people will express their opinions about stuff, this is obviously a forum. its where people have discussions. I'm fine with that, but look what has happened. the original purpose of this thread has been shot to hell and back. I was just asking if anyone knew of any pics that I was looking for, as I've already heard all of this, "Don't do it" and "get an actual old bug" talk already.

this advice isn't very practical or helpful anymore since I've already made up my mind and even got the parts in hand. this wasn't something I just thought up on the commode one morning. I've been dwelling on these thoughts and plans for months. but really, I do appreciate everyone who helped me step in the direction I was wanting to go in.

I love advice and help on what I'm doing, as lots of people on here are great and very helpful people.

as its been said a million plus times, it's all a matter of opinion of what doesn't work together. My car will work 100% fine "technically and visually." yeah, maybe my aftermarket rear fenders will be a little lighter, but not impact performance enough to even notice. I drive sensibly and am not racing this thing and taking curves at 70 mph.

and I wasn't bashing anyone that uses the tear drop lights. guess i should've typed "no offense" or "IMHO" before I wrote that comment to cover my ass. I just said that I thought they looked terrible, much like some of you said my split lights will look on my car.

and someone please explain how these lights will look so terrible and be so much more different from the other dozens of other light mods? i already know these lights are for a much older car, but still a later Beetle still looks like a really old car. it does look a lot like the very early VWs. i mean think, what about all of that 1938-2003 stuff? That is because the Beetle's overall shape and form didn't really change that much over the 65 years it was in production. It's as if you all think I'm trying to do this to a new beetle or something.

Given, I'm not ignorant, as I do realize how different the early VWs and later ones look, since I'm obviously determined to make all of these changes to my car.

I think that it's just you guys are used to seeing these lights on a split car, and that is why you think it won't work, which is fine. that's your opinion. I completely understand.

but, its known that the elephant foot lights are a lot bigger than any of the other tail lights. those later model beetles with the bigger window still look great and "visually" correct with the smaller tail lights. granted they're not split or circular tail lights, but still they are still significantly smaller.

seems like the putting a split window kit is not the only thing that gets VW purists in an uproar and out of sorts. it's just some tail lights for gods sake.

hopkin Tue May 13, 2014 8:31 am

type1vwjapan wrote: far as I know the tires on my car are the stock and correct size for my car. I made sure. the old tires I was running on it from the PO were too small my air cooled shop told me. intesting.
Funny though, since my car is a 2000 Mexi Beetle, it is labeled as a "Fumei" (unknown) car in Japan since production of the classic German Beetles technically stopped in most of the world in '79. Guess my car really is becoming more and more "Fumei."...

The original tires on the Mexi-Beetle were 155R15, the '70s Beetles were 165R15. It appears that the ones in your picture look larger than the 155R15, as I said they look good with the blackened hubcaps.

Here's your picture compared to my car, similiar angle, in this shot my car has the original factory tires (yes from 1996, I put those on for winter storage)

When I have emissions done, they list the car as a Golf as '96 Beetles are not 'in the system'.
My car title lists it as 'BEE'.
In Mexico the cars are known as 'Vocho', VW of Mexico now makes a badge for the rear deck lid:

I like 'Fumei', you should see if you can get a deck lid made up. :lol:

hopkin Wed May 14, 2014 10:31 am


Have a read on this other thread I started, I don't know if it applies to your car with the carb conversion but it's worth a look.

It's about a possible fire hazard with the 1600i engines:

type1vwjapan Wed May 14, 2014 2:52 pm

thanks! I saw this a week or so ago! really appreciate the concern. mw wiring us a little bit diffefferent, but nonetheless I still need to be getting a cover over my ignition wire just in case.

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