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SolaraGuy.com • View topic - DIY Black Housing Headlights
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DIY Black Housing Headlights

DIY Black Housing Headlights

Postby FLASH » Sat Nov 12, 2005 11:57 am

I wasn't too happy with the light output quality of the Aftermarket Headlight Housing, so since I had my OEM lights around, I decided to (successfully) experiement with them.

Here's a (nonphotographical) tutorial to make your own!

1) Remove Headlight Assembly from the car.
a) Remove bulbs, clean them, and any sticky foam pieces that may be on them.

2) Place one headlight at a time on a cooking sheet and place in the oven.
3) Turn the oven on to 225 Degrees Faranheit. (I did NOT pre-heat it)
4) Let headlight bake for a good 15 minutes.
5) Remove (Hot!) with baking gloves and be very careful when placing on the floor or other working surface.
6) Using a flat head screwdriver, carefully pry the lense off of the actual housing. If baked correctly, it the glue should be so loose that it will come off rather easily.
a) The chrome reflector to be pained is attached to the lense
7) Once the Lense is removed, let everything cool off.
8 ) Next carefully pry out the chrome reflector from the lense. Pop out the "thicker" side first. (part closest to the grille)

So right now you have three pieces. The housing, The lense, and the reflector. With me? Good.

9) The edge of the lense and the inside of the housing where the lense was removed from has lots of sealant. Using a flathead (or other method of your discretion) start peeling off as much sealant as possible, so that the pieces will easily fit back together later.
NOTE: Yes, this should be a very tedious part and will take most of the time.
10) Sand down the chrome reflector piece to be painted and make sure it's all prepped to be painted.
11) Using high temp (I used 1200 degrees) paint, paint it black, making sure to apply thin coats and sanding down if necessary in between. I used about 3 coats.
a) windex and clean the inside of the lense
12) Let paint dry, and pop back in the lense, putting the skinnier side in first (Edge closer to corner lamp)

Okay, we're nearing the end. You should have the housing with sealant "Picked" out, and the lense with black reflector piece with minimal sealant on the edge of the lense.

13) Get some Silicone Sealant. It's up to you how much, but I got 2 tubes of black, 2 of clear, and spray on as well.
14) Carefully apply a generous amount of black sealant in the housing where the old sealant was, and put the lense back in. It should fit rather nicely if you removed enough old sealant.
15) it will dry rather quick once the lense is in, but i clamped it shut for about 15 minutes with my hands to make sure it held nice and tight.
16) Next I got the clear sealant and let loose. Fill in the entire area where the lense goes in the housing, making sure there are NO air spaces at all. This is to prevent any water getting the lense. Don't be afraid to over apply or be sloppy...it won't affect anything. The more the better!
17) wait about an hour for the clear sealant to dry. Tape off the lense and prep for spraying.
18 ) Generously spray the spray on sealant around the area that you just put the clear sealant on. I used about 5 coats as I certainly didn't want to take any risks of water getting in.
a) This spray on sealant is sticky when it dries. That's normal.
19) let it dry over night. I then applied some making tape over it so that it doesn't stick to anything once to re-install the headlight.

Replace bulbs, and re-install headlight assembly to the car! And Viola, you're done!

The most tedious part is removing the old sealant, and the most important and sloppy is re-sealing them.

My light output is now exactly the same as stock, with no blotchy dark spots as with the aftermarket ones. And aiming and adjusting is 10 times more effective with OEM than aftermarket!

Any questions? PM Me!

Here are some final results:
Image
Image
Image
Image
And this is the top of the housing, after i did the layers of sealant and put the masking tape over the spray on sealant (spray on sealant was red):
Image
==FLASH==
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Postby Jon11582 » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:01 pm

How long did the whole process take you?

If it doesnt take that long in labor hours, you might want to consider making a "business" out of this....kind of like how Louis used to make the yellow fogs for people.

I'd give this shot if my oven were working :-?
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Postby FLASH » Sat Nov 12, 2005 1:07 pm

I thought about doing it, but it took me a total of almost 4 days, whereas I could have gotten it done over night one day. (cuz of the drying). I'm too busy with school, work, family, etc (y'all know the routine) to do it commerically lol

Took about a total of 3-4 labor hours and the overnight dryin process. Coulda gotten it done in less if I wasn't lazy too :drinking:
==FLASH==
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Postby Astro » Sat Nov 12, 2005 5:30 pm

Great write up. But, IMO, I think you should paint your grille too...
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Postby LatinDragonXJC » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:09 pm

nice write up, now its all clear, and I agree with Astro, definitely paint the grill. The car will have a pretty cool red/black theme going.




p.s. you should block out your license plate
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Postby hskrsolara » Tue Nov 15, 2005 10:37 pm

Now, if we could get our hands on the matching corners to go with the diy, not the ebay black corners...
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Postby woa_its_j3ff » Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:01 pm

in love with that grill, anyone know if ppl are still making aftermarket grills for the gen 1? read an old thread about it a while ago.. but heard it stopped?
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Postby juggalotus40 » Tue Feb 27, 2007 5:35 pm

can you make a tutorial for black housing corners. that would be great

thanks
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Re: DIY Black Housing Headlights

Postby xcgames » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:06 pm

FLASH wrote:[color=darkred]

1) Remove Headlight Assembly from the car.


how do you do that? I can't seem to get the grill off the car after taking the top 3 screws off...
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Postby Solarafreek » Wed Feb 28, 2007 7:16 am

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Postby akora12 » Mon Apr 02, 2007 2:18 pm

Just as an added tip, butyl can be used instead of the silicone sealant. Butyl is OEM, and used in many auto applications. Using this material makes it easier to disassemble the headlights if you make a mistake or change your mind about the look because you can heat it up, which makes it pliable.

I've used the silicone sealant to trim the gaps once the butyl has been applied. This small amount can scraped off easily if you need to disassemble the headlights again. I haven't had any leakage with this combo.
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Postby Wyldhorse0705 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 6:00 am

great write up!!! i'd love to try it but unfortuneately i don't have the nice clear lights. I have the factory faded ones :( so it wouldn't look too good on mine. But i definitely will be doing that if i get some clears.
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Postby Patrik » Tue Apr 10, 2007 3:26 pm

just sand your headlight plastic cover.. will look brand new
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Postby Wyldhorse0705 » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:08 pm

wet sand? what grit?
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Postby ClassySolaraGuy » Tue Apr 10, 2007 7:16 pm

When I wetsanded my Jeep I used the following:

#1 600 Grit
#2 800 Grit
#3 1000 Grit
#4 1500 Grit

Then I used some plastic polish on it looked awesome. Just like new!
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