Author Topic: DIY: Paint your headlight housings  (Read 1651 times)

August 14, 2014, 10:30 AM #0

TeamSX4 Offline

  • Posts: 376
  • Join Date: Apr 2014
    Location: Roland, MB
  • Real Name: Matt Wall
  • Vehicle: Suzuki SX4 AWD, mk3 Supra, H22 EK Hatch
  • Reputation Power: 16
  • TeamSX4 has no influence.
This is a great mod if you are unable to find aftermarket headlights for your car or if you are on a budget. It makes your car look more aggressive and gives it a stealthy look. Aftermarket lights aren't available for my sx4 around here, so I had to make my own.

First you need to remove your headlight assembly from the car. Carefully remove all the bulbs from the assembly, then remove all the bolts and clips holding it in place. In my case I had to remove the front bumper to access all the bolts. If you don't need to remove your bumper, you can skip to the next step. Removing the bumper is just a matter of finding all the bolts and clips holding it in place. In my case I had bolts on top, in the wheel wells, and under the car. There were two clips in the wheel wells to remove. Once all the hardware is gone, carefully remove the bumper. If you have fog lights, be sure to disconnect them first. Once the bumper is removed, you can remove the last bolts from the headlights, and remove.

Next you'll need to open up the headlight assembly. You'll need to heat up the glue sealing the headlights and gently pry apart. Some guys put their lights in the oven at low heat around 200 degrees for a few minutes, I didn't trust that so I used a heat gun on low setting. Work in one section at a time, heating and prying until it pulls apart. I found using an old butter knife worked best for prying.

Once open, you can tape off the areas you want to leave unpainted, such as the reflectors behind your headlight bulbs. Once masked off, give it a good cleaning. Wax and grease remover is recommended. Let it dry and then use a microfibres cloth to remove any lint and residue.

Now you are ready to paint. There are a few different methods, first, you can sand down the area you wish to paint, clean it, prime and paint. This is recommended if you want to use a different colour than black. I wanted a black chrome look, so I used VHT Night Shades directly on the chrome to achieve this. It's a very durable paint normally used for tinting tail lights, but it bonds to any smooth plastic surface. Only use night shades on a smooth surface. It will not bond properly to a textured surface and you will need to start over.

Once dry, you can unmask your housings and reassemble. Pretty much reverse what you did taking them apart. If the lights are still fairly new, you can reuse the sealant still on the light assemblies. It will bond back together when heated up again. If you wish to replace the sealant, I recommend using a butyl tape sealant. It's easy to use and leaves no mess. Once you have the assemblies together, use a heat gun on one section at a time and squeeze the assemblies together with either a clamp or I carefully used pliers. Then they are ready to reinstall on the car.

This is the way I did it and am very happy with the results. If you want to get headlight work done professionally, I highly recommend Winnipeg HID!

Note: keep a close eye on your lights for the next few weeks, if you notice moisture starting, you will need to reseal them. An easy way that I've seen to reseal without taking everything apart again is to use a window sealing caulking and use a syringe to apply it. This makes it a lot more controllable and leaves minimal mess.

Last Edit: December 11, 2014, 10:52 AM by Ænimal
Check out more MT Garage projects here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyhOCbO0kLDuVIAILbYdIQg

    Top Tier Imports

    DIY: Paint your headlight housings
    « on: August 14, 2014, 10:30 AM »

    August 14, 2014, 10:57 AM #1

    slipstreamconversion Offline

    • Posts: 4,778
    • Join Date: Sep 2012
      Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    • Real Name: Darcy
    • Vehicle: 1997 Toyota Aristo / 1993 Toyota Camry
    • Reputation Power: 82
    • slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.slipstreamconversion is a force to reckon with.
    Can confirm, painted headlight housings look better.  Heat gun is the method I used.  Good write up!

    Just never paint where the light gets reflected, only paint where it doesn't alter the light output :)




      August 14, 2014, 11:53 AM #2

      Dan

      Will be doing this on the weekend, or next weekend.  using the oven isn't as bad as people think. you just gotta keep an eye on it.

        August 14, 2014, 01:27 PM #3

        Winter Beater Offline

        • Regular Member
        • Posts: 2,386
        • Join Date: Jul 2012
          Location: Winnipeg
        • Real Name: Al
        • Vehicle: 03 350Z Track Edition, 05 4 Runner, 98 GMC Shitbox
        • Reputation Power: 95
        • Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!Winter Beater has great potential!
        If you aren't comfortable doing this yourself, Winnipeg HID offers this service as well.

          August 14, 2014, 02:45 PM #4

          carterjalil Offline

          • Posts: 643
          • Join Date: Jan 2014
            Location: Winnipeg
          • Real Name: Max
          • Vehicle: 2010 Maxima SV - Sport
          • Reputation Power: 29
          • carterjalil barely matters.carterjalil barely matters.
          looks good guys! I may try the heat gun way!..too chicken to bake my headlights

            August 14, 2014, 02:57 PM #5

            DonR Offline

            • Posts: 2,901
            • Join Date: Jul 2013
              Location: Roland Manitoba
            • Real Name: Don Reimer
            • Vehicle: 83 CAMARO Z28/94 K1500
            • Reputation Power: 80
            • DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.DonR is a force to reckon with.
            may have to try this in the future, when i have a car that it would actually make an improvement on anyways.
            [Sep 19 13:42:06] alexatwork21:I just want to rub butter on my body and dance the night away. Probably drink, maybe jack off a donkey. I just want to get lost in the moment.

            89 240SX- SOLD
            95 GTR- SOLD
            03 RSX-S - SOLD
            08 G6- wrekt
            10 Gen Coupe- WREKT

              August 14, 2014, 03:42 PM #6

              Miguel Offline

              • Regular Member
              • Posts: 927
              • Join Date: Oct 2013
                Location: Winnipeg
              • Reputation Power: 74
              • Miguel has a powerful will.Miguel has a powerful will.Miguel has a powerful will.Miguel has a powerful will.Miguel has a powerful will.Miguel has a powerful will.Miguel has a powerful will.
              I'm tempted to do this... How much does Winnipeg HID charge? Not sure if I trust myself :unamused:
              #DRIVEN2017 #IMPORTSOMETHING2017      

              [Mar 13 11:28:02] Shaun:ur gonna play 20 questions with me like that oil cap arent u

                August 30, 2014, 04:40 PM #7

                BRAUDIO Offline

                • Regular Member
                • Posts: 563
                • Join Date: Apr 2014
                  Location: 1053 St. Marys Road
                • Real Name: Colin
                • Vehicle: Nissan NV2500 x2, Old Astro
                • Reputation Power: 15
                • BRAUDIO has no influence.
                Originally posted by miguel97
                I'm tempted to do this... How much does Winnipeg HID charge? Not sure if I trust myself :unamused:
                1 million dollers!!
                jk i dont know
                Brian Reimer Audio. For all your Home and Car audio needs.
                Pioneer, Focal, Hertz, Illusion Audio, Mosconi, Gladen, JVC, CompuStar, Parrot, Wirez, Clarion, Samsung, Panasonic, Definitive, Boston, Sinclair.

                  August 30, 2014, 08:18 PM #8

                  fruitloops Offline

                  • Regular Member
                  • Posts: 2,440
                  • Join Date: Jun 2013
                  • Reputation Power: 23
                  • fruitloops barely matters.fruitloops barely matters.
                  Originally posted by miguel97
                  I'm tempted to do this... How much does Winnipeg HID charge? Not sure if I trust myself :unamused:
                  Enough to afford a lambo. I'm sure you can do it. Plenty of people have.
                  Bought, not Built.

                    September 17, 2014, 11:09 PM #9

                    Ravermeister Offline

                    • Regular Member
                    • Posts: 31
                    • Join Date: Mar 2014
                    • Reputation Power: 0
                    • Ravermeister has no influence.
                    lol this was one of the first mods I did on my Acura 1.6 EL back in 2007 for the same reason, there are no aftermarket headlights for it. I did a few more after that and got better each time. Resealing the housing is the most important part. I used heatgun x2 to get the goop soft all around at once and pry the lens by hand as one piece, eliminating the butter knife as this can get messy, deform the grooves where the goop sits and cause leaks. To reseal, I simply reheated and reused the goop that was already there, pressed and secured with paper clamps.

                      September 18, 2014, 02:39 PM #10

                      Dan

                      Easy? Depends on the lens.  My mazda was super easy.   The Eclipse i worked on a few weeks ago not so much.   It all depends on the sealant used on the lens.

                        December 26, 2014, 02:01 PM #11

                        carterjalil Offline

                        • Posts: 643
                        • Join Date: Jan 2014
                          Location: Winnipeg
                        • Real Name: Max
                        • Vehicle: 2010 Maxima SV - Sport
                        • Reputation Power: 29
                        • carterjalil barely matters.carterjalil barely matters.
                        @Dan and @Ravermeister would one of you mind working on my headlights? You guys have a bit experience doing it but I never did...send me your price inbox if you don't mind...thanks!

                          December 26, 2014, 02:53 PM #12

                          Rak123 Offline

                          • Posts: 1,081
                          • Join Date: Mar 2012
                            Location: Winnipeg
                          • Reputation Power: 16
                          • Rak123 has no influence.

                          Originally posted by carterjalil
                          @Dan and @Ravermeister would one of you mind working on my headlights? You guys have a bit experience doing it but I never did...send me your price inbox if you don't mind...thanks!
                          What kind of car do you drive?
                          It is super easy man, just use a heat gun, or oven to bake the butyl, and the lenses come right apart.
                          Then use easy off oven cleaner to remove the chrome off of the reflector, then just mask and paint.

                          These are mine I did last week


                          Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                          Adrenaline is an addiction that can not be contained
                          Owning a turbo'd car is a great way to prevent your jack stands from being stolen

                            December 27, 2014, 08:53 AM #13

                            Dan

                            @carterjalil  Id be willing to help come spring time.  When it comes to modifying and repairs i try and keep it on the low side.    If you want to get together around spring time, shoot me a PM. 

                            Keep in mind, if you do this you WILL void the warranty on the headlights, and any components associated with them.   Its very time consuming if you have never done it before, and you should be aware that there is always a chance that something could go wrong.

                              December 27, 2014, 01:33 PM #14

                              carterjalil Offline

                              • Posts: 643
                              • Join Date: Jan 2014
                                Location: Winnipeg
                              • Real Name: Max
                              • Vehicle: 2010 Maxima SV - Sport
                              • Reputation Power: 29
                              • carterjalil barely matters.carterjalil barely matters.
                              @Rak123 it's an 7gen maxima @Dan my warranty expired, and yeah I'll probably wAnna do it around spring
                              Maybe I should get some cheap headlights from the scrapyard just for practice lol

                                Top Tier Imports

                                DIY: Paint your headlight housings
                                « Reply #14 on: December 27, 2014, 01:33 PM »