Rear Fender Reflectors. Why? - Ford Mustang Forums : Corral.net Mustang Forum
 
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post #1 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 04:35 PM Thread Starter
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Rear Fender Reflectors: Why?

Something has always bugged me... Our tail lights already have side reflectors in them ("A" in the attached pic). Why, then, did Ford (have to?) put additional ones in the bumper cover ("B" in the pic)? Was it only to accommodate the export cars that *don't* have reflectors there?

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Last edited by TrickVert; 06-14-2019 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Added USA & Export comparison pic.
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post #2 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 04:52 PM
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Federal law.

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post #3 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 05:19 PM
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1968 was the first year the Feds required side marker lights (front and back) on cars. Back then tail lights did not wrap around.

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post #4 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 05:34 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjm73 View Post
Federal law.
Yes, which the reflectors in the taillights (or rather, on the *sides* of the taillights) should satisfy. You'll notice that there is no separate front reflector for this same reason.

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post #5 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 05:38 PM
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Probably something about the reflector having to be X distance from the wheel well or some BS. You can rest assured that could they have saved that $3 over the entire line they certainly would have.

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post #6 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 05:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Saleen414 View Post
1968 was the first year the Feds required side marker lights (front and back) on cars. Back then tail lights did not wrap around.
Yep. And the side marker light is integrated into the taillight. That's why I don't understand why the integrated reflector isn't also sufficient (unless, as I noted, it's to accommodate the export cars).

EDIT: And are the reflectors required in the offshore markets?

EDIT2: Some cars prior to '68 had wrap-around tails...

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post #7 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 08:29 PM
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I'm not sure how that link is supposed to help. We've already established and agreed that side markers and reflectors are required. Since there is no auxiliary reflector on the front fender, we can safely conclude that the front side-marker/turn-signal assembly meets the requirement with its built-in reflector. Because Ford is not typically in the habit of adding superfluous items (as thadude pointed out), we can also surmise that *for some reason,* the reflector embedded in the bumper cover was a requirement. What I'm wondering is "Why?", when the tail light has *appears to have* the same side-marker/reflector function as the front.
..

EDIT: I decided to do a quick flash-photo experiment. Although the side of the tail light lens' lower section *appears* to be reflective (first attachment), it is not (second attachment). I think we can assume that the tail light area that did reflect the flash is likely not large enough to satisfy regulations, and that THIS is why the secondary reflector is needed. This, of course, now begs another question: Why did Ford not simply make the rest of the lower tail light section reflective instead?

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post #9 of 19 Old 06-14-2019, 11:28 PM
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Not to be a d-hole, but who cares why. Federal safety laws require them and that was how Ford stayed compliant. Seems you are looking for some greater meaning and the answer was given but that's not enough.

Compliance. That's why.
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post #10 of 19 Old 06-15-2019, 04:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjm73 View Post
Compliance. That's why.
I guess "because that's the way it is" is a satisfactory answer for you. I, on the other hand, like to try to understand the "why" and the "how" behind things. I guess that's why I tore things apart and put them back together as a kid.

My world doesn't revolve around finding the answer to this, I just wondered why Ford would add the reflector when a) it cost additional money (in both material and assembly time), and 2) from a styling perspective, it looks like there could have been another (better) solution. If it remains a mystery, then so be it, but there are a lot of people who are enthusiasts who actually *enjoy* learning the small differences and idiosyncrasies of these cars, and I thought someone may know the story. I'm not a fanatic, but I find many of them interesting.
..


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post #11 of 19 Old 06-15-2019, 04:33 PM
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FWIW- they still have the rear reflector. 1994 and up.

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post #12 of 19 Old 06-15-2019, 06:54 PM
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I guess "because that's the way it is" is a satisfactory answer for you. I, on the other hand, like to try to understand the "why" and the "how" behind things.
I'm like that for things that actually matter. When I do get a curiosity like this I dig for an answer. But at some point, you just have to say "ok" and move on.

In this instance you've been given the single most likely reason, but it's not good enough. You can look at things two ways. 1.) there is a big complex reason for it, or 2.) the simplest reason is the reason for it.

Check out the 2019 below still there, as required by US law. Yellow turn signals are required in many offshore locations. That I know. In the UK that reflector is yellow.
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post #13 of 19 Old 06-15-2019, 07:44 PM Thread Starter
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Check out the 2019 below still there, as required by US law.
... And if the 2019 had wrap-around taillights like the SN95, I'd be asking the same question, but it doesn't, so the need is obvious.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrickVert View Post
... And if the 2019 had wrap-around taillights like the SN95, I'd be asking the same question, but it doesn't, so the need is obvious.
They have to have a rear light and a reflector.
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post #16 of 19 Old 06-16-2019, 06:01 PM
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Is this legal?


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post #17 of 19 Old 06-16-2019, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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Is this legal?
Absolutely not. (But who cares?)

..

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post #18 of 19 Old 06-16-2019, 06:13 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by HYBRED View Post
They have to have a rear light and a reflector.
I KNOW *a* reflector is required. I just wondered why Ford decided to....


..

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post #19 of 19 Old 06-16-2019, 06:38 PM
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Because the exports had to have an amber turn signal in the lower portion of the tail light, and would still require the reflector ...

The lower portion of the US tail light is not a reflector, even though it does refract “some” light from the side

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