De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

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Adzi11
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De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#1

Post by Adzi11 » Fri May 10, 2013 11:07 pm

I have had my Gen3 coupe for a few months now and I have been pretty keen to throw away the orange! So this weekend I got round to it.

I have written this out as a bit of a guide for you to read if you are thinking of doing the same.

Here is a pic of the coupe before.
PHOTO_20130502_133005.jpg
Before
And here is a pic after
PHOTO_20130510_201536.jpg
After
To get the headlights out there are 3 bolts on each headlight that require a 10ml socket to undo. The indicator bulbs just twists out and the dipped beam plug just slots out with a bit of wriggling.

Now here is the fun part...getting the headlights apart. I used a heat gun to melt the sealant. Took about 20 minutes for each headlight. To make it easier I had a mate heat the sealant whilst I prized the headlight apart, just to speed things up.
PHOTO_20130502_145147.jpg
Once apart, the inside chrome bezel and orange reflector are just held in with small screws so are dead easy to take apart. If you are keeping your headlights chrome then just screw the bezel back in once the reflectors are out. Re heat the sealant and squeeze headlights back together, pop back on the car and you done! Or if you choose to paint then your weekend just got longer...

Firstly, sand down all of the bezel parts that you are painting. I used 600 grit wet and dry and then wiped the parts down with paint preperation wipes to get rid of any dirt and dust. Now, if you still want your headlights to reflect orange light from your indicator because bare in mind that you have now thrown away your orange reflectors then what you'll need to do is mask off a strip across the indicator bulb. This means you will still have a strip of chrome to reflect the light.

I used satin black spray for the job and did 3 light coats and left to dry over night. If you mess up a coat, like I did on my 3rd! Then white spirit will strip off all the paint and you can just go for it again.
PHOTO_20130504_192036.jpg
You'll notice the rings are still chrome. These unscrew off so you dont need to mask them off. Looks good if you keep them chrome too in my opinion.

When the paint is dry its time to piece back together. As mentioned earlier you can just re heat the sealant. I actually used a little top up of sealant because I bought some thinking I would need it but to be honest you wont need it. There will still be plenty of sealant left from when you take the headlights apart. If you do buy some extra sealant here is a tip that will save you a lot of time...you'll find it in the roofing section in b&q its called LapMastic, its non hardening meaning you can get the headlights apart again if you need to and its black like the original sealant. This took a long time to find! If you do use some new sealant, just a thin bead will do. Re heat with heat gun and squeeze the headlights back together.

Now you will find if you spray your headlights that the lacquer lines on the lens show up more. Mine were pretty bad so I went to town to clean these up but if yours are not too bad the some t-cut scratch remover and a bit of polishing will make them look nice and clear. However, for mine I decided to sand the plastic down first. If yours are bad too and are going to try this then follow this, this worked a treat for me. Soak the light in warm soapy water and sand down with a 1500 grit wet and dry. Keep applying water whilst you sand. Once down, go over and sand again with 2000grit and then a 3rd time with a 2500 grit. Always keep applying water. Your headlights will now look really misty but you should rubbed out any lacquer lines and scratches that you have by now. Dry the lights of and then get polishing! T-cut is good but if you can find any Meguiars PlastX then you'll find this will do the best job. It is purposely made for removing oxidisation on your headlights and will make the headlights look nice and clear :)

I noticed my indicator bulbs were not flashing orange, they were fine before because there was an orange reflector. So I swapped these over for some Chrome Amber bulbs. Problem solved!

Thats it, thats all! Worth doing. Makes the coupe look much fresher and was good fun too. Now time for the side repeaters!



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Re: De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#2

Post by petrolhead_rob » Fri May 10, 2013 11:43 pm

Looks much better! :handgestures-thumbupleft:
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Re: De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#3

Post by JuddAllen » Sun Mar 15, 2015 4:12 pm

This is what I've been looking for!
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Re: De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#4

Post by JuddAllen » Fri May 01, 2015 6:15 pm

By any chance, what bulb type is it for the orange indicator bulbs??
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Re: De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#5

Post by Mike.Lawre » Fri May 01, 2015 7:29 pm

For a gen 3 it's Silvatec 382 Opposite pin 21W AFAIR
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Re: De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#6

Post by paulcounsell » Fri May 01, 2015 7:30 pm

Great right up I did mine when I had her, the hardest part is to pluck the courage up to attempt it, and like anything really the second one will be much quicker :handgestures-thumbupleft:

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Re: De-Ambered and spray painted headlights

#7

Post by bex » Fri May 01, 2015 10:23 pm

yep just done mine too.
I notice the same thing with the indicators as it's the orange plastic that makes it flash yellow. so new bulbs and all fine again.. :)

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