How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights) - Nissan Titan Forum
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#1 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 12:04 AM
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Exclamation How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Hey guys, decided to make this how-to after many requests from the thread I posted about my headlight mod(Here)

Disclaimer: I used THIS Thread from ClubTitan.org as a step by step guide for my lights, however I'm merely providing a second source of info for us members of Titantalk.com, any wording or steps provided in the other thread that are duplicated or reflected upon are given full credit to the author of that thread

Headlight Mod How-To
By:RyBo


Supplies Needed

- 2 Tubes gasket Maker (Any Auto store Has This)
- 220, 400, 600 Grit Sandpaper
- T10, T15 Torx bits (or really small flat head screwdriver)
- Flat head Screw Driver
- Gloves
- 1 can Primer
- 1 can colormatched paint
- 1 pair needle nose pliers
- Optional 1 Can Clearcoat
-


Step One: Suck It Up
Ok, before you even begin, I'd like you to pay attention to this paragraph below. Also note that you'll need at LEAST 2 days free from using your headlights to do this perfect...otherwise a day with MANY hours under a heat lamp.

So by reading this, you're planning to (or thinking about) spend(ing) a good chunk of your day taking apart 1/2 of the front end of your truck, baking your perfectly good OEM headlights, then working your @$$ off sanding, prepping and painting your lights, then reverse order of everything all to have a set of b!tchin' headlights? Yea, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this, but to reassure you a little bit let me tell you how EASY this mod really is, and if you pay really close attention to this write up, you'll do just fine. Sound like fun? Lets get to it...

Step 2: Dissasemble Your Baby
1.Ok, start by doing the obvious, get those headlights out of your truck, and into wherever your fancy high tech oven is hiding.
2.Start by popping your hood (Move to Step 3 if you're capable of taking out your lights without reading this) and locate your drivers side and passenger side headlights, remove the bolts holding the headlights to your engine compartment and unplug your wiring harness via-pressure connector. Apply force to the tiny tab with a flat head screw driver and pull connector apart.
3. Woohoo, lights are out, now take your bulbs out of the light, simply by twisting the various (Think there's 4) bulbs in your headlight and place those bulbs in a safe place...Now lets move on to baking!

Step 3: Its Like EasyBake® For Grownups
1. This is where everyone puts on a Jim Carey face and says "I don't wanna put my headlights in the oven"...well sorry to burst your pretty little bubble but this is the most risky part of the mod...and the easiest ...
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^The Work Station

2. Preheat oven to 275 Degrees. Next, grab a fairly good sized cookie sheet and set it on your workspace. Also, a good sized hand towel and dampen it with cold water. Ring it out and place on the cookie sheet.
3. Grab your first headlight, right or left whatever floats your boat, and place it face down on the towel-covered cookie sheet.
4. Once the oven's heated up, place your headlight in the oven and set your timer for 7-10min depending on your oven. I used my regular bake mode, as I have no idea how the convection mode would heat up the plastic. I don't think it really matters, but for us with those two options, simpler is better.
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^Here's how tight my light was in the oven, CHECK to see if it even fits before firing it up...

5. When the timer goes off, grab your light and move it onto a good chunk of counter space, I placed a large towel on my counter top to prevent scratching or damage to both my counter and headlight. get some gloves on (just cause plastics hot right out of the oven) and start prying between the clear cover and black housing. You'll see a nice line of gasket, but just focus on getting the two parts separated. You'll notice various clips and such, we'll bend those back in place in a sec, though note, be very "smart" with all the plastic pieces, as in, too much, it'll break...too little, your watching grass grow kinda thing. Be patient, and carefully get those two pieces separated.
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^Separated Pieces

6.Once you have the two pieces separated, you'll notice that there's still gasket in the trough around the black harness. Get as much off as you can now, but if it becomes too cool or wasn't hot enough before hand, you're going to have to put that black housing right back in the oven.
7.Hopefully you left the oven on, place the black housing face down again on the cookie sheet and put back in the oven for 6 min. and remove from the oven when the timer goes off. Use anything from an exacto knife to a really small pair of needle nose pliers(I found these to be the best) to get ALL of the old gasket out. Once you've gotten it all removed, put the black housing and the clear lense off in a safe location. You can Seran wrap those clear covers now, but i chose to wait until just before I reassembled them to clean both inside and out with window cleaner, careful not to get any streaks on the inside.
8. Repeat Steps 3-7 for the other light, once your finished, grab both sets of the chrome housings w/ reflectors and move to your work station again. remove the clear lenses from the chrome housing by using a T10 Torx bit (or really small flat head screwdriver) for the four screws holding it it place. After separating the clear lense from the chrome housing, its time to remove the orange reflector. Removing those reflectors is such a PITA but so well worth it, be very careful when removing those and take your time. There's 3 little pressure tabs behind the reflector, push them down and out to release them. Again, MAJOR PITA. Once both reflectors are removed take both your chrome housings and reflectors to your prepping/painting area.

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^What the main housing looks like all separated. Note the Chrome Housing, Clear Cover and Orange reflectors

Step 4: Inner Artist
1.Alright now onto the fun part, the hard labor. Lets focus on those reflectors first...
2. If your looking to tint your reflectors, I suggest only the best VHT Nightshade from Modern Performance. The stuff is as easy as more layers, the darker the tint. Fairly easy to use and the outcome is phenomenal. Simply spray numerous LIGHT coats onto your reflectors. I used about 4-5 SUPER light coats to prevent overspray and splotching.
3. Set aside your reflectors and give them 5-10 min. between coats. While those are drying, get out your sandpaper (I had 220, 400 and 600 lying around) and get ready to start sanding as much of the chrome away as you possibly can. However, if you wish to maintain your blinker, mask off the upper section like shown in this picture below...
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^After sanding up to 600 grit, and upper mirror masked off to retain stock driving light and indicator looks.

4. Alrighty then spray away, I recommend using a plastic primer before laying a base coat. Make sure its covered evenly and let cure for about an hour. Using as many coats necessary to completely cover the housing.
5. Once the primer is set, move onto the base coat of your choice. Note however, if you like the color of the primer, go with that if you'd like. I chose to use the 1/2 of a can of colormatched paint I had lying around, and after a few light coats of that, i set the housings under my heat lamp and let them dry for about an hour to an hour and a half.
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^Heat lamp was working strong that day...

6. You may choose to put a layer or two of shiny clear coat if you'd like, but that's all up to you. Let dry for 1 hour under heat lamp before moving on to the final steps.
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^After the primer and base coats were applied, and after a good chunk of time under the heat lamp.

Step 5: End Of The Hard Road
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^This is where you should be before proceeding, looks pretty good huh?

1.Let Paint Cure 24hrs, if not, the water molecules in the paint will cause condensation in the inner lenses of your light! Learned this the hard way...
2. Gather up all of your pieces and take them back into the area around your oven, fire it back up to 275 and grab the good ol' cookie sheet and damp towel (re-dampen if dried up). Place the black housing face down on the cookie sheet, and heat for 6 Min. While that's heating up, grab your clear lenses and spray them down with any glass/window cleaner, but make sure there's no streaks whatsoever. Screw the newly painted housing onto the clear lense and move over to your work area.
3. Once the black piece is out, grab your tube of gasket maker and apply a generous bead around the entire trough, once filled, grab your clear lense and place it in the trough, aligning all clips and applying a good amount of force for a few moments. I used 2 bungie chords to keep a tad bit of pressure on the lights, feel free to use this method if you'd like.
4. Repeat previous steps with the other headlight, let the headlights stand for at least a full 24 hours before even thinking about installing them.
5. Once the headlights seize the gaskets, remove the bungie chords (If you chose to use them) and take a good look at your hard work!
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^Finished Product!

And finally the install pictures!





Good luck, PM if you have any trouble whatsoever!

-Ryan


"No offense Titantalk, but I'd rather be on a beach..."

Last edited by RyBo; 03-09-2011 at 08:42 PM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 04:51 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Nice job Rybo! Thanks for taking the time and posting here on T/T.
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#3 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 06:49 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

So how much to do mine? LOL!

Looks great. Nice touch with the color match!

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#4 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:07 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

What are the pros and cons of masking off the blinker and anywhere there is a bulb? Is there a significant difference if you were to sand the entire housing and make it completely black?

2008.5 SE Galaxy Black KC

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#5 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:08 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkknight View Post
What are the pros and cons of masking off the blinker and anywhere there is a bulb? Is there a significant difference if you were to sand the entire housing and make it completely black?
Your bulb wouldnt beam off

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#6 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:16 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by vilim12 View Post
Your bulb wouldnt beam off
Yea, but some of the aftermarket headlights are completely blacked out. I just didnt know if it was a huge difference. I would like to have it completely blacked out.

2008.5 SE Galaxy Black KC

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#7 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:23 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by darkknight View Post
Yea, but some of the aftermarket headlights are completely blacked out. I just didnt know if it was a huge difference. I would like to have it completely blacked out.
not really sure then, do the aftermarket lights have a shiney reflective black surface or just a matte finish?

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#8 (permalink) Old 12-22-2008, 09:24 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

and do you guys think its the same process to get my atv headlight apart? I got some mud inside id like to clean

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#9 (permalink) Old 12-30-2008, 05:04 PM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

^Most likely V...all headlights have a gasket around em =)


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#10 (permalink) Old 12-31-2008, 06:29 AM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

So when are you going to do mine RyBo? LOL!

2010 Dodge Ram Power Wagon
ICON sponsored, going to SEMA 2011, lots of mods

2011 Dodge Ram Quad Cab Sport
Ground Force 2/3 drop, 24" BOSS 330's, true dual exhaust with 11" Magnaflow muffler and x pipe, Volant intake

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#11 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 06:09 PM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

^Why pay me when you can do it yourself man lol?


My mom got REALLY mad at me for borrowing her oven, might hve to wait for her to cool off a little b4 I ask if I can do this again hahahaha


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#12 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 09:08 PM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

One of the best do it yourself mods if seen. Could you post a picture of what it looks like, looking at it from the front? Thanx
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#13 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 10:32 PM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by TITANBOY View Post
One of the best do it yourself mods if seen. Could you post a picture of what it looks like, looking at it from the front? Thanx
As soon as I get home tommorow I'll get you one!


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#14 (permalink) Old 01-01-2009, 10:39 PM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

Quote:
Originally Posted by RyBo View Post
^Why pay me when you can do it yourself man lol?


My mom got REALLY mad at me for borrowing her oven, might hve to wait for her to cool off a little b4 I ask if I can do this again hahahaha
My oven is one of those old school micro ovens. I cant fit the headlight housing in there. Otherwise I would have done it by now.

2010 Dodge Ram Power Wagon
ICON sponsored, going to SEMA 2011, lots of mods

2011 Dodge Ram Quad Cab Sport
Ground Force 2/3 drop, 24" BOSS 330's, true dual exhaust with 11" Magnaflow muffler and x pipe, Volant intake

2007 Nissan Xterra Off Road
PRG Mini Lift
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K&N Drop In
CB Radio

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#15 (permalink) Old 01-27-2009, 01:56 PM
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Re: How-To: Headlight Mod (Painting The Inner Housing Of Our Lights)

looks like it might be time to have a So Cal BHLM day lol
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