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Old 20-09-2006, 12:06 PM   #1
Ripper323
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HOW TO: Paint the inside of your BJ headlights

This mod is reasonably simple, and done right gives the car an awesome look.
It involves taking apart your headlights and painting the chrome parts that aren't part of the reflectors for the lights.

Tools and equipment needed:
Phillips head screw driver
10mm spanner/socket
8mm spanner/socket
Flat blade screwdriver
2 normal dinner knives, or flat, thin tools for prising open parts.
Various grades of sandpaper, ie 180, 360, 800 or
Dremel etc with sanding head to reach in tight spots.
Plastic primer
Masking tape
Enamel paint preferable - whatever colour you choose. I've used black.
Household oven
Rags for holding hot lights, and for resting lenses etc on.
About 6-7 hours of time, maybe more.
6 Beers for moral support.

Removing the lights:

You don't need to take the whole front bar off to take the lights out.
1. Undo the 3 plastic clips that hold the front outer edge of the splash guard to the front bar. Driver and passenger side.
2. Undo the 2 screws 8mm/phillips head that are inside the splash guard that hold the front bar to the body. They are facing upwards. Driver and passenger side.
3. Undo the 3 8mm screws under the front bar on either edge, they hold the under body splash guard to the bottom of the front bar. Both sides
4. Take out the 2 plastic clips and undo the 2 screws that hold the grill in. Pull the grill off, forwards, and upwards, and it comes off.
5. Now you should be able to pull the side of the front bar away from the body, and forward, and this allows access to the 3 10mm bolts that hold the headlights in. One bolt is on top of the light, one is underneath the parker, and one under neath the indicator. Pull the light forward and take off the 3 terminals for each globe in the headlight assembly. Do this for both sides and you should have two headlight assemblies free from the car.

Taking the lights apart:

This is a bit tricky, would help to have a second set of hands, but is achievable by your self.
1. Pre heat your oven to about 70 degrees C.
2. While the oven is heating, take all the globes out of the lights, and take out the 3 phillips head screws in each light that assist in holding the lense to the body of the assembly.
3. Have some rags spread out so you don't scratch the lense while working on it, and have a couple extra handy for taking the light out of the oven. Do one light at a time.

Light in Oven
4. Put the light in the oven for about 10-15 mins, take out and sit upright on the rags. Start by lifting up the clips that hold the lense to the body, and as you lift one up, prise the lense away with a knife. At this point you only need to prise it far enough that the clip doesn't re-engage. continue around the light and do all the clips. You may need to put the light back in the oven if it cools down while you are doing this.
5. So you don't break the clips, as they are fragile, use 2 knives, or screwdrivers on each end of the clip to lever, not in the middle as it will break.
6. Once you have all the clips disengaged, continue to pry apart the 2 halves of the light and eventually you will have 2 seperate pieces. It may require a reasonable amount of force to pull apart the glue that seals the lense, but as long as it is fairly warm it will come apart.

The 2 halves seperated

7. Put the body aside, and concentrate on the lense. It will have a silver piece attached to the inside of the lense. This is the piece you want to paint Undo the 2 screws that hold it to the lense, and with a bit of jiggling it comes out of the lense. Put the lense aside.

Preparing and painting:
1. The only part of the chrome piece you don't want to paint is the dish reflector for the parkers. Mask this up first, as it will not only protect it from over spray, but also from scratches from sanding.

Reflector masked
Reflector masked 2

2. Get you elbow grease ready, cause this is the boring part. Start with 180 grit sandpaper and sand off as much of the chrome plating as you can. There are a few little corners that are nearly impossible to get into, but try as best you can. Once you have as much chrome of as possible, sand over it with the 360 grit sand paper, and then the 800 if you think it needs to be smoother. I only used 360 and it came up fine.
3. Once you have finished sanding, wipe the surface down with a wet cloth, or rubbing alcohol to get rid of all the dust and dirt etc. The cleaner it is, the better the finish. Wait until it is thoroughly dry.

Sanded before painting
Sanded before painting 2

4. Using the plastic primer give the piece a light coat, ensuring you get into all of the nooks and crannies. Normally the can will have directions on it, so follow them, I waited about 5 mins then gave it another coat. Allow to dry as per instructions on can and now it is ready for a top coat.
5. Using your paint colour of choice, paint several light coats on the piece, leaving 5 mins between coats. 3-4 coats of paint should be sufficient. If you want a really really nice job you can sand in between coats with 2000 grit wet and dry.
6. Allow the topcoat to dry thoroughly before reinstalling. Repeat the above steps for the other light. REMEMBER TO TAKE OFF THE MASKING TAPE BEFORE YOU REINSTALL THE PAINTED PIECE TO THE LENSE

Piece painted
Reflector after tape has been removed

Assembling the light:
1. It is basically a reverse of pulling the light apart. Ensure there are no finger prints on the inside of your lense before you begin.
2. Reattach your freshly painted piece to the lense, being careful not to scratch the paint. It is a tight fit, but with a bit of patience it will go in snuggly.
3. Sit the lense and body together and press together as much as you can while it is cold. Make sure your oven is still at 70 degrees and place the light back in there for about 15 mins.
4. Take it out, and press the 2 halves together, lining up all the clips and making sure they engage all the way. Once again if it gets a bit cold, put it back in the oven for a while to get the heat back in.
5. Once all the clips are engaged, put the 3 screws back in, and all the globes. That is the light complete. Repeat for other light.

The finished product

Reinstall the headlights onto the car in the reverse order in which you took them off.

Re-installed on the car


If anyone has any suggestion on this How To, ie, something is not explained clearly, then let me know and I'll change it, as this is going to be a sticky.
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Last edited by Ripper323; 26-09-2006 at 10:40 AM.
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Old 20-09-2006, 06:41 PM   #2
chicaboo
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Do you think using a dremel with a sandig paddle would be better (or atleast quicker) for the sanding process? I figure there would be some dremel tips that could do a tidy job of those hard to reach corners, aswell as speeding up the whole process.

The only thing I would add to Ripper's how-to is: Make sure you have left no finger prints on the inside of the lens prior to resealing.

It looks like you did a really tidy job there. Is that satin black?

Gav.
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Old 20-09-2006, 08:46 PM   #3
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How-to updated as per Gav's suggestions
I used K&H gloss black enamel for mine, but you could do it in any colour, I did throw the idea around of doing it in starry blue, same as the body, but thought better of it.
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Old 20-09-2006, 09:13 PM   #4
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I'm not sure about the glossy black (flat for me most likely), but I am glad you didn't paint them blue! Atleast your headlights match your taillights now.

Now your a pro at sanding and painting, I have a suggestion for you. Why not sand and paint the chrome on your grill black to match? This will complete the tough black look.

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Old 22-09-2006, 08:03 PM   #5
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How to updated with pic of light installed on car.
Gav, I have thought about doing the grill. I have heaps of left over paint, may do it this weekend.
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Old 10-12-2006, 09:24 PM   #6
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Question, Has the paint lifted due to heat from the headlight beams themselves? This is just a thing that has me held back, cause once i do it, they aint coming apart again Any specific black paint that u can recmommend?

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Old 11-12-2006, 05:35 AM   #7
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Na the paint is fine. As long as you prep it as best you can, and give the paint every chance of sticking, it shouldn't lift off. If you are worried about the heat, use some VHT engine paint.
I don't think any brand of paint specifically, as long as it is black enamel, not acrylic I suppose. I just used a can I bought from Repco, can't remember the brand, but it is fine, and that has been 3 months since I did mine.
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Old 11-12-2006, 04:34 PM   #8
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ok sweet thanks ripper!
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Old 26-12-2006, 02:13 PM   #9
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Can this be done on the BA Hardtop headlights as well?
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Old 26-12-2006, 11:41 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyKaos
Can this be done on the BA Hardtop headlights as well?
you could, but you wouldn't due to the fresnel - unless you have open headlights like on the BJ
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Old 27-02-2007, 07:58 PM   #11
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i went the more expensive option and bought the protege sports edition headlights. got em at cost but still pricey
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Old 27-02-2007, 08:11 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RustyKaos View Post
Can this be done on the BA Hardtop headlights as well?
The BA headlights don't have the big reflective surfaces that the BJ has.
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Old 28-06-2007, 06:53 PM   #13
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where are the three screws?!
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Old 28-06-2007, 07:26 PM   #14
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where are the three screws?!
Could you be more cryptic?
They are the the screws numbeing three that prevent you from removing some part of some assembly.
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Old 28-06-2007, 10:36 PM   #15
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yeh its cool i got it.. (two screws)
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Old 28-06-2007, 11:31 PM   #16
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Don't paint them black, buy my proper black BJ headlights!

Gav.
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Old 05-06-2008, 12:53 PM   #17
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To save time, and seeing its basically a clean surface already, couldnt you just spray the chrome over with plastic primer?
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:35 PM   #18
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nap...i dont think it would stick over time...its needs to be a smooth but rough surface if you know what i mean...well for it to be done properly...
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Old 05-06-2008, 01:40 PM   #19
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Im going to be ripping into one of Tash's spare altezza lights from the lancer on the weekend, might see how I go with that...
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Old 17-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #20
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does anyone know if this would be the same proces if i want to pull the BA hatch headlights apart?
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