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Old 02-04-2010, 11:14 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

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The first step is to remove the grill. The plastic fasteners are easy to remove. If you have two small flat blade screwdrivers, like I didn't have, you put each one on one side of the center part and pull it up. Then grab it and pull the whole fastener out. Put the grill aside somewhere where you won't step on it.

Now its time to remove the whole front bumper cover. You will need a Phillips screwdriver and your small flat blades. Start on either side of the cover. First you need to have access to some of the fasteners and screws. These are hidden behind the fender well plastic covers. Remove the fasteners that hold the fender well plastic. Remove enough of them that you can pry it open to get your arm in the TIGHT space to remove the screws.

Once you get the fender well trim open, there are two screws that hold the cover on. They are hard to get at, but try. Unscrew the two screws. Then go underneath and see many fasteners that hold the underside plastic tray to the bumper cover. These were harder for me to remove. But I got them undone. Now do the other side.

The front cover drops down exposing the lights. These are held on by 10 mm screws. Find them and remove them. Here is a pic of the car with cover removed and one headlight out:
Click the image to open in full size.

Scary, but its ok. The headlights are HEAVY so be careful. I pre-heated the oven to 225 degrees. Also, the area I was working in I wanted dry. So I cranked up the floor heater to 75 and really dried out the air.

Unscrew and remove the turn signal light. This is the easy part. Next, remove the metal box from the assembly. There is a bag of desiccant under the box inside. Remove it too. Unscrew the headlight cover and remove the wires from the cover. Unscrew the 4 screws that hold the headlight in place. Magnetize your screwdriver to help you. There are two other screws that hold a metal plate in. Loosen those and remove the headlight. Here is a pic of the headlight:
Click the image to open in full size.

Put it in a plastic bag and seal it. Do NOT touch the bulb. Handle this as little as you can.

The fog light is difficult to remove. Unscrew one of the screws holding this spring wire in place. Carefully remove the spring and remove the bulb. Here are pics of the fog light:
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Remove all brackets and anything with a screw. Do not touch the headlight adjustors. Now its time to bake it - 225 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Here is a pic of the light in the oven:
Click the image to open in full size.

Remove light assembly with glove and use a putty knife to CAREFULLY pry apart the cover from the assembly. Do it cleanly and keep the sealant intact if u can.

Remove the chrome trim from the clear cover by unscrewing two screws. Here is a pic of the chrome trim:
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Sand it with 1000 grit wet sand sand paper under running water until the chrome is scuffed. Tape the orange reflector. I tried to remove it and BROKE the chrome trim. Here is a pic of that disaster:
Click the image to open in full size.
Next, prime the trim. I used black Plasticote from Pep Boys. I primed the DRL lense because I was not going to use it. Its up to you if you want to or not. Here is a picture of it primed:
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.


Then I painted it with gloss black paint using the Plasticote paint. I clear coated it also, I waited about 15 minutes for each coat to dry. Here is the trim after clear coat:
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

Now assemble the trim in the cover. Bake the assembly again for 15 minutes and put the cover back on. I used a damp towel to clamp the cover back on the light. I waited until the light assembly was totally cooled down before I put the headlights back in. Use the other light to help you to put back the lights and wiring.
Here is a picture of one light completed next to the other one:
Click the image to open in full size.

Big difference, especially in person. The glare from the camera doesn't show how nice the darkened light looks.

Do the other light and then install the lights in the car and reverse the order of removing the bumper cover and grill. Here are pictures taken after the lights were installed:

Before/After
Click the image to open in full size. Click the image to open in full size.

A couple of tips:

Let the oven get completely preheated before putting the cardboard in.
Make sure there is no tape on the piece of cardboard you use.
Use the 2nd from bottom oven rack position.
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:12 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

is there any diff on 07-08?
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Old 04-14-2010, 10:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

yes there is not but nothing huge, there just a couple extra clips on the headlight themselves its pretty simple
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:20 AM   Thread Starter #4
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

^^^ Yeap. Same routine.
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Old 04-14-2010, 11:21 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

sweet... one thing i hate doing is paint! but im managing lol
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Old 09-25-2010, 07:44 PM   Thread Starter #6
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Bump for Chris!!
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Old 09-26-2010, 12:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Thanks man, that's the one I was talking about.
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Old 10-23-2010, 04:49 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

This is one of my all-time favorite threads. My car was new and no one had done this before to a 6th Gen. The risk of damaging 900 dollar headlights made this project scary. One thing I want to add is that you should let the lights air out for at least 24 hours before sealing them back up. I was not able to wait and I developed a hazy coating on the inside of the clear lense. If I crack em open again, Ill fix this as its pretty bad. I also plan on painting a small red accent stripe around the ends on the headlight and foglight area.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:34 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Did doing this affect light output / performance? Did it diminish the amount of light that is spread to the sides? Probably gonna do this when / if I get better lenses for the projectors.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Well, it depends on whether you have a 6 or 6.5 gen. For the 6th gen then it shouldn't effect it too much but as for 6.5 gens than yes. This will decrease light output, especially for the cornering lights due to it's dependence on the reflector for maximum light output. BUT, this can be avoided by not painting your reflectors.

Just some things to think about before you make your decision to paint your headlights. Hope that helps.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:43 AM   #11
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

It does. I have a 6th gen, 2005. I was thinking it might do something to the light output. Maybe I could tape off that concave area that I assume reflects light out to the side. Might look a little goofy with the rest painted black. I'll think about it and look at the lights more closely.
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Old 10-26-2010, 02:51 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

If you have a 6th gen than your fine. Like you said, you could always leave the single reflector on it unpainted or use some Duplicolor Shadow black out kit (black chrome effect).

http://www.amazon.com/DUPLI-COLOR-PA.../dp/B003E2AC0E

There's no light besides the one on the bumper that lights up to the side on a 6th gen. In my opinion. you could paint your headlights whatever color you want and you don't have to worry about decreased light output.
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:30 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

I finally said F it and painted mine today. Pics to come...
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:32 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Finally! Can't wait to see what color scheme you came up with man....
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Old 10-26-2010, 04:40 PM   #15
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by maximus View Post
If you have a 6th gen than your fine. Like you said, you could always leave the single reflector on it unpainted or use some Duplicolor Shadow black out kit (black chrome effect).

http://www.amazon.com/DUPLI-COLOR-PA.../dp/B003E2AC0E

There's no light besides the one on the bumper that lights up to the side on a 6th gen. In my opinion. you could paint your headlights whatever color you want and you don't have to worry about decreased light output.
The black chrome turned out good for me. I do have a little haze on the insides. I'll be taking them apart again and clean them with alcohol vs Windex this time.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:58 PM   #16
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by KCMAXX View Post
I finally said F it and painted mine today. Pics to come...
yeah well after 3 years I want to do this BUT, I must be a pu$$y cause I dont want to break the headlights,

i baked them and and I honestly dont see where the heck to pull from,

I stuck a flat head and just pry it a little to see where it acutally comes apart and I bent the plastic.

to think I can do other things like motor build and fiberglass but im scared of opneing my headlamps.

Imma try one more time later tonight with a heat gun,

KC did you place it in the oven as well ? or heat gun ?
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:02 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by KCMAXX View Post
I finally said F it
I said the same thing, but had Owen did mines, and I love them. Again props to my boy Owen!
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Old 10-26-2010, 06:34 PM   #18
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Ima do my headlights most likely next week, but i purchased a broken one from ebay to practice on it first, im scared to mess mine up
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Old 10-26-2010, 07:02 PM   #19
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Come on guys, if I can do it I know you can. Just try not to touch the inside of the clear lens so you don't have to worry about cleaning the finger/hand prints. That's the only thing that I screwed up. Well I should have used alcohol to clean.. Good luck.
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:13 PM   #20
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by maximus View Post
Finally! Can't wait to see what color scheme you came up with man....
I did flat black but I dont think im going to like it. I guess i'll clear the side marker while they're open too. Im going paint shopping tomorrow...



Originally Posted by NiZMo1o1 View Post
KC did you place it in the oven as well ? or heat gun ?
I used a heat gun. Really wasn't too bad. Just make sure to have a razor blade and a butter knife handy. (I forgot to tell the wife I ruined one of her knives)
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Old 10-26-2010, 08:59 PM   #21
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by KCMAXX View Post
I did flat black but I dont think im going to like it. I guess i'll clear the side marker while they're open too. Im going paint shopping tomorrow...





I used a heat gun. Really wasn't too bad. Just make sure to have a razor blade and a butter knife handy. (I forgot to tell the wife I ruined one of her knives)
alright , sounds a bit more clearer about the butter knife..

probally going to pull a all nighter on this one
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:20 AM   #22
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by cgoss View Post
The black chrome turned out good for me. I do have a little haze on the insides. I'll be taking them apart again and clean them with alcohol vs Windex this time.
Windex is horrible for any window or clear lens on a car IMO. Should've used something better...I'll give you a pm about what I think is the best product.

Last edited by maximus; 10-27-2010 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:03 AM   #23
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by KCMAXX View Post
I did flat black but I dont think im going to like it. I guess i'll clear the side marker while they're open too. Im going paint shopping tomorrow...
Oh ok, so what are you changing it too. I think either white, black, gunmetal, or maybe even light grey will look nice on your ride.

Last edited by maximus; 10-27-2010 at 04:05 AM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:06 AM   #24
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

Originally Posted by NiZMo1o1 View Post
alright , sounds a bit more clearer about the butter knife..

probally going to pull a all nighter on this one
IMO the oven is WAY easier.....
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:26 AM   #25
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Default Re: How to Take Apart and Paint Your Headlights

mmm i might try this mod one these days... pretty cool in black.
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