As I said I would do, here's a quick write up, DIY, on how to paint your headlight housings, with ease.
A few things first; Don't attem
pt this if you're afraid you're going to break something, or mess up. Although, if you mess up, you can always remove the paint and give it another go! Also
, I am NOT responsible for any damage you cause to yourself, others, or your head lights/tail lights.
Now, on to the fun!
Est. Completion Time: 1 1/2 days
Difficulty: Intermediate - Hard
What you need:
- Various ratchets/screwdrivers
- Flathead screw driver
- Rubbing alcohol
- Microfiber cloth
- Door panel tool
- Duplicolor Engine Paint "Heat Tested"
- Adhesion Promoter
- Wet Sandpaper (1200-2000g)
- Painters Tape
1. Gather everything you need for this project before you start. This makes it so that you aren't running around while you're in the middle of something important.
2. Remove your bumper to access your headlights. If you are unfamiliar with how to do so, an easy tutorial can be found here: How To: Install HID Headlights & Foglights with Relay Harness
3. Remove your headlights by first unplugging all of the electrical wires located in the engine bay directly behind the headlight. Again, a tutorial on how to remove the headlights can be found here: How To: Install HID Headlights & Foglights with Relay Harness
4. After you get your headlight out, you're going to want to remove the bulbs, as well as the wires, depending on how anal you are. I personally removed everything as I was nervous about something going wrong. It's personal preference.
4a. If you choose to remove the wires, you need to unclip them from the headlight, and unplug them from each other. The wire that connects to your low beam/HID can be pulled through the housing. There is a small rubber grommet located by the turn signal bulb hole. Pull on the wires carefully and the grommet should pop out. Then you need to push the grommet back through the hole, as that's the only way the wire can be pulled out. Put your hand in the low beam hole and gently pull the wire out.
4b. There is a plug on the light housing itself that is clipped on by a blue clip. If you look at it, you just squeeze the bottom, or push the tabs in and pull through; and you then need to remove the blue clip from the end of the low beam wire so that you can pull it through the housing. To do this, stick a small flat head in the little hold closest to the red and black wires and get under it and push it up, while pushing/pulling on the blue clip.
4c. It should look like this if it's done correctly.
5. Now that the headlight is removed and all of the wires are removed as well, we can start the fun part! Before you get all excited and bake your lights, you must first remove the 5 screws holding the light together.
6. Now we can get to baking! Sadly, we aren't talking about brownies.
First, make sure your light will fit in your oven then go ahead and preheat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. You can make it a little bit more, or less hot, depending. I didn't need it that hot, as my sealant was already soft. After your oven is preheated, put your light in there (one at a time) for 8-15 minutes, again, depending.
7. After your headlight is done, remove it from the oven. CAUTION: IT WILL BE HOT! Begin to pry along the edge of the housing with a flat head screwdriver. I recommend using
a door panel removal tool as it's less dangerous and you're less likely to break the light or stab yourself violently.
7a. Along the edges of the plastic, there are 5 tabs that need to be released before pulling the light apart, or they will snap. Just get under them with a small flat head and pop them up. Easy peasy.
7b. You may need to re-bake the light 1 or more times. The way I see it, it's better to bake it more times to get it off easier than to bake it once and rush taking it off and end up cracking something. (spoiler)
8. After breaking the sealant all around the edge of the light, you should be able to pull it apart. I started pulling from the corner closest to the projector and it came off pretty easily that way.
8a. WARNING!: Pull VERY gently on the light, or...
9. Congratulations! The hard part is over with! From here on, it's a breeze, and the outcome depends on your level of patience. Anywho, after you get the light apart, the part you're going to paint is inside of the cover. It's held in by 3 screws. The blinker cover is held in by 2 screws. Remove this and put it somewhere safe. Also, don't touch anywhere inside the actually head light. I put mine in my closet covered in saran wrap, just to be safe. This is also when I put on gloves, to avoid leaving oil/fingerprints everywhere.
10. Gently remove the chrome innards of the light cover. I didn't realize until after I painted the first one, that it's 2 pieces. The projector housing is one piece, as well as the rest of the cover. So that helped the second time around. There is a tab on the back of the cover that holds the projector housing in place. Easy!
11. This part can run in a few different directions. A lot of people wet sand the chrome away. Some people don't do anything. Deep down, I didn't think wetsanding was necessary. So, with that being said, I went about it by just wetting a cloth with rubbing alcohol, and I cleaned the entire cover, and let it dry, then did it again. My conscious felt good, I didn't feel like I was doing anything wrong, so I went with it.
12. When ever you feel you're done with the last part, however you went about doing it, you can begin this step. Which, again, can be gone about a few different ways. You can prime it, you can do nothing, or you can promote. I decided Duplicolor Adhesive promoter was the best route. Whether you're using primer, or promoter, go over the cover 2-3 times waiting about 3 minutes between each coat. Don't put it on to thick or it will run.
13. After you have your 2-3 coats of your choosing, done, it's time to move on to what we've been waiting for! The paint itself! I went with Duplicolor Matte Black Engine Enamel. Whatever brand and color you go with, it MUST be heat tested. To begin, start out with 2 light coats, making sure not to spray to heavy, or it will run; and trust me, this stuff RUNS. Apply 2 or 3 light coats, then follow up with a medium coat to finish.
TIP: Apply the paint no longer than 10 minutes after you get done applying the primer/adhesive promoter.
14. After you're done painting your covers, put them somewhere safe to dry. I put mine in my basement because it's empty, animal-less, and a good temperature.
2009 Mazda 6i
Blacked out emblems, 35w 6000k HIDs, 2 MTX Terminator 12's, 1200w Kenwood Class D mono amp, Painted headlight internals, Megan Racing M-Spec II muffler, 19" Stance SC6 wrapped in 225/35/19 Federal 595s, H&R Lowering springs, red tinted tails, red interior led swap, rising sun engine cover, red calipers;
Soon to come ;
CS Intake, vinyl roof, tinted windows, D2 coils, vinyl wrap, spectrum silver wheels, fogs;