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> Painting the inside of your headlights (XD/XD2) , by therockf150
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Tools needed:

1. 10mm socket, extension, and ratchet.
2. Spray paint of your choosing.
3. Flat-edge and phillips-head screwdrivers
4. Heat gun (an oven works in a pinch)
5. Gloves
5. (optional if needed) Some kind of headlight lens restore kit.
6. (optional if removing orange light cover) Orange turn-signal bulb

Here's a before shot of the headlight:

Step 1: Removal of headlight

There are three 10mm bolts that hold the assembly in place- two on the top, and one behind (sorry no photos, but there are plenty of photos of headlight assemblies on this forum!). Remove them (keep them someplace safe so you don't lose them- I know it sounds like a "duh", but still...

Unplug the two harnesses from the back of the headlight. The low/high beam plug can be reached while the headlight is installed, but you may need to wiggle it out slightly to reach the turn-signal harness. After you've done this, carefully wiggle the light out until it comes free. It might get hung up on the corners; don't be discouraged, just gently work it until it comes out!

Step 2: Removal of lens

This is the part that made me nervous for a long time. It's really not hard though! First, take a flat edge screw driver and gently pry up all the black clips that hold the lens against the assembly. There are a few on each side. Nothing will move yet, so don't try pulling anything apart! The glue is what holds everything in place! BEFORE YOU PROCEED, PUT ON GLOVES! Next, take a head gun and run it along the edge where the lens meets the housing. Don't spend too much time on any one area- it won't take very long. I ran mine for about 2 minutes and that was it! Gloves are important here; you'd be surprised how easy it is to burn yourself with a heat gun!

NOTE: If you don't have a heat gun, you can place the headlight assembly in an oven for two minutes; but be careful! You don't want to melt anything! After you've heated the glue up, it's time to pry the lens off. Find a inconspicuous spot to take a thin flat-edge screwdriver and gently pry up. Once you've gotten it up a little, then you can use your hand to do the rest. Hopefully you were able to pry up all the black clips around the housing, as these are a backup to hold things together with the glue.

Step 3: Painting the inner-housing

There are two screws holding the part you're going to paint against the lens. Remove these, as well as the turn-signal assembly (two more screws). Beware that you don't break the two clips that help hold the inner-housing into the lens. Once everything is removed, it's time to paint! Choose a paint that will compliment your car; I went with a chrome paint since I have a lot of chrome accents. Many people choose the body color of their car. Since my car is black, I wanted something that would pop a little more.

The surface you're painting is rough to begin with, so I saw no need to use a primer. The paint adhered just fine. Plus, since it's a sealed unit, you don't have to worry about it getting chipped/scratched over time. When painting, use smooth and even passes over the inner-housing. I put three light coats on. As always when painting, more thin coats are better than less thick coats. Let the paint dry adequately according the instructions on the paint can, and then prepare for reassembly.

Step 4: Reassembly

At this time you might choose to not reinstall that ugly orange lens cover for your turn signal. I love the look of it off personally; just carefully place the turn-signal reflector plate on the back of the inner-housing and insert the two phillips-head screws! NOTE: You'll have to use orange bulbs! Clear bulbs will just give you a white turn signal, and that's not very visible when your headlights are on!

Take your freshly-painted inner-housing and place it back inside the lens, making sure to line up the two clips that insert into the lens. Screw the two phillips-head screws back in, and make sure your turn-signal reflector plate is secure as well. Line up the lens with the main housing, and gently push them together. It's time for the heat gun once more! Put your gloves on! Run the gun along the edge for another two or so minutes. You should be able to push the lens and the housing back together now. Once the crack in between is sealed, make sure you push those black clips back down around the edge so its hold everything in place while the glue re-sets.

Here's how the headlight looks now:

Step 5 (Optional)

If you have an XD/XD2, it might be time to restore the headlight lenses, especially since you just spent all that time painting. I personally recommend the Crystal View restore kit from Wal-Mart if your headlights are in rough shape. If they're so-so, you might be able to get away with using something like PlastX made my Meguiar's. Follow the instructions per the manufacturer, and they should be looking better in no time!Gently wiggle the housings back into place on the car, reconnect the wire harnesses, bolt in your three 10mm bolts, and you're good to go!


Last update: Aug 21 2011, 07:37 AM by elantragt    Created: Aug 21 2011, 07:33 AM by elantragt    Edits: 6    Views: 4,716
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