Taillight/corner guards | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Taillight/corner guards


Jack from JackOffRoad
August 26, 2004
Reaction score
City, State
West Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
1993 2dr
Did a few searches but didn't really come up with anything..

Has anyone seen or done customer corner guards, taillight guards, or fab'd your own tail light housings? Looking for ideas..

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You can still get prefab first gen tail light guards, but they are really just brush guards and provide little actual protection. If anything, they can cause more damage and tweak the sheet metal when the damage without them on would just have been the busted lens. Because they stick out to the side, they can get caught on things and then you get damage because you had tail lamp guards.


It wouldn't be too hard to fab up some sheet metal fillers for the tail lamp area and stick two of the universal oval or round LED trailer lamps in there, and you could even stick some mini fog lights below them for reverse lamps that also provide better visibility when backing up. You'd have to use a relay for 55W fog lamps, but maybe you can get some mini LED lamps that are lower power and still bright.

The only thing about fabbing up your own would be the need to stick a side and rear facing red reflector on there, or somewhere else on the vehicle, to comply with federal and state laws.


Haha, what a coincidence! I had this discussion with myself tonight. I managed to puncture a lens backing out of the driveway when I tagged a trash can the garbage guys left way out of place. Suffice it to say, stupidly cold, 20 year-old plastic is just a little bit brittle. :rolleyes:

To the forums credit, spending time on here has managed to change my perspective pretty well; the first thought through my head after seeing the damage wasn't "Oh crap, that looks terrible!", but rather "Huh, that was easy. Bet I could make it tougher."

Lo, and behold, when I hop on the computer, this is one of the first posts I see! I really love the look of the XJ, but I wonder if anyone has custom built bolt-on housings in the same style, but independent from the rear quarter panel? The idea in my head is something that fits in the stock location, but has the independent trailer lights in a beefy steel housing or cage.:scratch:

Ideally, they would be strong enough to fend off rogue garbage cans and recycling bins. Heck, I might even sneak in trail hazard protection, but I'd probably have to convince R&D on that one... :hammer:

There are no pre-made bolt-on metal taillamp filler panels for the Explorer - yet.

It'd be pretty easy to take sheet metal and bend it to the shape of the tail lenses, though. You could even just attach it to the plastic lens-less housing, stick LED lamps on there, and you're done.

Main reason it hasn't been done for the Explorer is price and demand. These would probably cost a bit to be worthwhile to produce and there aren't a whole lot of people screaming for them. If there were a bunch of Explorer owners who wanted bolt-on LED tails for their rigs, and they were willing to put up a good bit of money to buy them, I suspect SOMEbody would make something to fill the demand.

DIY is the way to go for stuff that isn't made, and I suspect these could be made fairly easily with basic tools, even more so with access to shop tools.

I was going to build some into my rear bumper, but have found I haven't needed them yet as the bumper itself has been protecting them thus far. The bumper sides (cut bottom quarter panels off) go down the rear quarter panel and stick about 1/2" from the body.

I went from a swingout tire carrier bumper to something minimalistic and tucked close to the body.. been finding it way easier to knock tail lights and rear hatches

I went from a swingout tire carrier bumper to something minimalistic and tucked close to the body.. been finding it way easier to knock tail lights and rear hatches

Use to have the big swing out tire, but decided to put in the cargo area, as it was just wasted space. I'm not hauling groceries anymore. :D

I happened to remember to pull my truck in after work today, so I took a look and was pleasantly surprised by how simply the housings attach to the body. Two bolts on top, two snap fittings towards the bottom, and she pops right out!

Which leads to my next train of thought: I remember running across a tutorial on building a CB antennae mount that bolted in to the same points as the upper housing bolts, but the process involved replacing the plastic nut inserts with their metal counterparts for a grounding plane. Now while this leads toward a potential side use for the beefier housings (read: built in antennae mount), I'm fore-mostly interested in a more rigid mounting system for the housings. What that leaves is figuring out how to mount (or weld in) a nut insert to secure the lower half. Seeing as the housings and light placement can be somewhat free form, my idea would be to simply bolt them in at the four points mentioned (after modification), with easy access to the hardware in case of the need to remove them. Theft wouldn't be a problem either, because the top bolts are still covered by the lift gate when it's closed, and I will assume that if it's up, you're probably near your vehicle. Should anyone still be concerned about theft, there's always the option to use less common bolt heads, ie: torx, hex, e-torx, etc. Not mentioning that those might look, dare I say, "prettier" than your average grade 8 hardware... ;)

So, anybody think I'm totally crazy :crazy: and asking for to much trouble, or have we stumbled upon the next big first gen craze? :D Are there any other ideas that someone wants to throw in the pot? The more I sit here typing and thinking about it, the more this sounds like a legitimate fabrication idea that I promise is probably not a waste of time... :sawzall:

I don't think you need a nut insert or need to modify the "screw" style lower retainers in any way, simply use screws on the inserts in the same position they are on factory lenses and stick them on the body with LED tail lamps installed.

The stock top bolts can be re-used, or replacements with hex/torx heads instead.

What can be made to fit on what?

I'm a super noob at forums.. But here goes nothing .. Seeing all those xj bolt ons , was wondering if anyone has made prefabbed xj stuff fit on 1st gen explorers ? Like bumpers or roof racks a pillar light mounts ? Just curious , thanks in advance