Some people like these tail lights, others hate them. Personally I really like them a lot. I didn't at first, but every time I see them, I like them more. Its good that they're smoked.
Before Installation Installation Process Final Pics
These lights are manufactured by Hella, the company that makes the OEM lights. That means that they're very good quality and should hold up well and give off good light. I liked that they keep the stock light pattern. There are LED tails out that sort of follow this design, but I don't like them very much.
One of the really cool things about these tail lights is that at the time of installation, they are the only set of the smoked version of these lights in North America.
Out of the Box
The installation process isn't difficult. You just need to be patient. It helps to have one of those "magnet on a stick" tools for when you drop stuff down behind the wheel well. :) I found my install on Roadsleeper's page.
As he identifies, the most difficult part is getting the last screw out of the drivers' side tail light (the one furthest forward). It is even harder on my GTI because there was not only the carpet in the way of the little hole, but there was also some kind of tube inside the bodywork that was blocking access to the nut.
Here's the key: Have someone help you. Make sure this is the last nut to be removed before the light comes off. When you've taken out your monsoon amp and CD changer (if you've got them) get your socket on the nut that needs to be loosened. Loosen it until your friend can lift off the tail light. DON'T MOVE THE SOCKET!!!! Leave it there over the hole with the nut positioned just right. Have your friend set down the old tail light and carefully replace it with the new one. Start tightening the nut. Once you feel it grab, you can start breathing again. If you move the wrench, you're dead. You'll have to go to the auto parts store and get a spare nut or two. I dropped my socket down in the well at least 3 times while learning this technique. You can easily get something as big as a socket out of there, but you'd be hard pressed to get the nut out. It took me 3 tries to get the nut threaded onto the screw. I was patient (and so was my wife) and we just kept going until it threaded on. It didn't help that we were working in the dark. My projects always seem to be that way though. :)
Here are some pics taken at night.
Here are some daylight shots.
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