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Old 06-16-2023, 10:04 AM
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Default is it feasible to convert 1963 Lemans to Tempest tail lights?

Has anyone performed this conversion? I really like the round tail lights and would like to do the swap, but looking at the differences it appears that it would be an involved process or am I missing something that would make this conversion simple and easy? I'm not skittish when it comes to fabricating and welding, but would not want to get into something that will be a major undertaking.

Any advice/tips are greatly appreciated.

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Old 06-16-2023, 10:24 AM
tom s tom s is offline
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Not simple even if you can weld.Tom

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Old 06-17-2023, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by procharged 79 View Post
Has anyone performed this conversion? I really like the round tail lights and would like to do the swap, but looking at the differences it appears that it would be an involved process or am I missing something that would make this conversion simple and easy? I'm not skittish when it comes to fabricating and welding, but would not want to get into something that will be a major undertaking.

Any advice/tips are greatly appreciated.
Like you I like the Tempest tail lights better than the Lemans. Another factor is that nice Lemans rear potmetal is impossible to find and is too hard for any restoration shop to redo nicely. And I'm not sure it would be very hard to switch. All you'd have to do is get the quarter panel tail light extensions both sides, which are on ebay off and on, weld in some sheet metal to close off the cuts in the rear panel where the Lemans tail lights go, and replace the Lemans gas door handle with a Tempest handle.
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Old 06-18-2023, 08:42 AM
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Thanks Gentleman. I'm going to study the situation closely. I'm one that's not shy of such modifications. I think the biggest hurdle would be sourcing the needed parts. Welding in a patch to cover the rectangle hole wouldn't be hard for me.

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Old 08-06-2023, 07:59 AM
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That would solve the impossible to find lemans bezels in near or close to NOS condition

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Old 08-09-2023, 12:14 PM
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Its not that simple, you have to have the whole rear panel along with extensions. Been there done that. To much work so I sold the extensions.

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Old 08-09-2023, 01:04 PM
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Well this is refreshing...
More than one has said exactly what Ive been thinking for years.
Had a 63 Tempest and loved the look vs the LeMans.
Ive been looking at 63s but seems they are all LeMans.

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Old 08-11-2023, 03:25 PM
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Its not that simple, you have to have the whole rear panel along with extensions. Been there done that. To much work so I sold the extensions.
I hear what you're saying. Understand I'm not all about having it look factory correct, my car is anything but. However, I do want it to look good without it looking like a hack job. I saw someone who did a very tasteful mod to the tail panel with Tempest taillights by deleting the chrome trim that runs lengthwise across the tail panel and made a simple gas door pull that looked great. It was clean and simple and looked appropriate for the car. Granted, it's still an involved process welding in holes and adding filler panels, but this is well within my skill set. I'm still studying it and haven't decided if I want to pull the trigger yet.

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Old 11-17-2023, 03:18 PM
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Did you do this conversion yet? I'm almost finished doing this conversion myself. The main problem is finding a good donor tail panel for a 60 year old car. I actually found out that the quarter panels are not exactly the same. The Tempest has a slight radius / hump above the tail light. It isn't much and can be made out of some body filler. I ended up piecing mine using 4-6 inches of the donor quarter panel above the tail lights. The angle under the trunk lid where the factory spot welded the tail panel to the quarter is not the same also.

You also have the issue of the Tempest housing gaskets not sealing to the LeMans tail light panel and the studs are in different spots.

Man I sound like a downer. It can be done but is isn't as simple as one would think.

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Old 11-19-2023, 11:31 AM
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RA462, thanks for popping in here with some hands on experience. To answer your question, no I haven't attempted this swap (Lemans to Tempest), but you are confirming what others have said and I greatly appreciate the feedback. I didn't realize that the quarters had been slightly tweaked to accommodate the curvature of taillight housing extensions. that in itself gives me great pause for attempting the swap. Would love to see some pic's of your swap.

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Old 11-19-2023, 01:37 PM
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This may be a superb candidate for a 3D printed extension housing adapter.

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Old 11-20-2023, 11:14 AM
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This may be a superb candidate for a 3D printed extension housing adapter.
I thought about making a fiberglass mold and making a set of fiberglass Tempest taillight extensions. These suckers are heavy! I'm not sure I could sell any. I sure wish I had access to a 3D scanner as I'm a CAD guy and design plastic injection molds.

The hump on the quarter panel is slight and body filler would do the job.

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Old 11-20-2023, 01:08 PM
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Have access to a bluelight 3D scanner!Tom

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Old 11-26-2023, 06:42 PM
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A friend allowed me to cut off the rear of both quarter panels of a '63 Lemans parts car of his. It will take me awhile to get around to doing this, IF I do, but looking at the inside of these and at the inside of these areas of my Lemans I'm convinced this switch will not be a big deal. Folks with '63 Lemans parts cars may want to cut these areas off of them and put them out there for sale. This was done with a Milwaukee M18 grinder mounting cut off discs and took me ?? an hour mebby to cut both off. It may have taken me only 30 minutes it was surprisingly quick.
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  #15  
Old 11-27-2023, 10:43 AM
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I meant to say '63 Tempest parts cars.

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Old 11-29-2023, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 61-63 View Post
A friend allowed me to cut off the rear of both quarter panels of a '63 Lemans parts car of his. It will take me awhile to get around to doing this, IF I do, but looking at the inside of these and at the inside of these areas of my Lemans I'm convinced this switch will not be a big deal. Folks with '63 Lemans parts cars may want to cut these areas off of them and put them out there for sale. This was done with a Milwaukee M18 grinder mounting cut off discs and took me ?? an hour mebby to cut both off. It may have taken me only 30 minutes it was surprisingly quick.
I would certainly be interested in buying these if they became available

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