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Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: United Kingdom
Did the GTA Headlights Mod on the weekend...
Hi all, This one has been done many times I know, but I've wanted to do this for a long time, so here and now, I am going to post my version in detail on how I did the GTA headlight mod and what tools and consumables I used.
Tools I used:
1x 400ml Plasti-kote Multi purpose Matt Black Enamel spray
1x 400ml Plasti-Kote Super Primer (white) spray
1 Pad 3M Scotch Brite
Panel Wipe Fluid
UPol Tac Cloth
Silverline Trim Clip removal pliers
Loctite 595 Superflex clear headlamp sealant
First job was to remove the headlights...
I started by jacking the car up, securing on axle stands, removing the road wheels, the wheel arch liners on both sides to get access to the torx screws that hold the sides of the bumper on. Next is to remove the two grill trims either side of the heart shaped grill badge, each is secured in position by two cross head screws, Then remove the central trim piece with two cross head screws hidden underneath, then fish it around the bonnet release catch.
Once these are removed, you can undo the Torx screws that hold the front of the bumper on. I am forgetting of course the undertray as I, (and I'm sure many of you) don't have one. The bumper should be free. Place a piece of cardboard on ground to rest bumper on whilst the fog lamp loom and headlamp washer delivery tube is disconnected. I clipped my headlamp washer hose to the top of the coolant resivour as the fluid would empty if left on the ground, so hold it up high!
Next job is to unbolt the headlamps themselves. there is a 10mm bolt on top and one hidden underneath. but the tricky part was disconnecting the ball joint in the corner of the headlamps, these are located to the center of the car and there is a clip on the inner of the car that you have to prise off with a flat blade screwdriver. the O/S headlamp clip is behind the radiator bleed screw and the N/S it is under a wiring loom, behind 2 large multi-plug connectors, (See Pics)
Now the headlamps are out the work begins...
To Separate the headlamps you'll need an electric fan assisted oven, If not, a hot air gun or even more painstakingly a hair dryer. Set the oven to 80degC and pop one headlight in for 15-20 mins. with the Trim clip removal pliers, go around the edge where the clear lends meets the black plastic headlamp housing and prise the two apart, I wont lie but it was extremely difficult, the 1st unit I did was easy, but unfortunately I broke some of the black plastic trim on the 2nd, But repaired with JB Weld.
Next stage is to clean the black rubber mastic from the lends and the housing, go around with a thin scraper, or a sharp screwdriver, then for the smaller bits a wire brush thinned out in the bench vise works a treat! or you can buy the sealant removal solvant, but Not sure how well that would work with the plastic.
To disassemble the cluster, I had to undo the bulb holder for the indicator and unclip (from the rear of the unit) the clear indicator light diffuser that clips into the rear reflective part this has two clips. Once it pops out this exposes either a cross head screw or a torx screw (I had one of each on mine), This separates the chrome bezel from the cluster housing but mainly the indicator reflector which some people leave on and mask up. I would suggest covering the cluster that houses the bulb reflectors with cling film till re-assembly.
Next is the Prep, I used 3M Fine Scotch Brite pad and roughed up the chrome Bezel, then with paper towel, went over with panel wipe till it was spotless and then just before spraying i went over the Bezels with Tac Cloth to remove any dust that has settled. I then masked off the section where the screw secures the Bezel to the indicator reflector. (this is a chrome tab that sticks out)
I did 2 coats of Primer, and 4 coats of Top coat (Matt Black). Leave to dry over night then you can re-assemble.
Re-assembly. Wearing disposable gloves to protect paintwork, I re-assembled 1st by fitting the painted Bezel to the cluster housing and checking its fittment, then screwing the nicely painted Bezel to the indicator section. Then slide and clip in the indicator light diffuser lends, I had a little scrappidge in the corner, but it is un-noticeable once the lends is fitted.
Next stage is to re-seal the unit back together, I bought 1 tube of the Loctite 595 and I would suggest getting two as i almost didn't have enough. This stuff goes off in 5 mins so be quick! then I held the lends in place with lots and lots of electrical tape wrapped around the unit.
After an hour or two, its all ready to go back together!
I had to repair the N/S headlamp housing as it was split from the mounting bolt hole to the rear access cap and the Screw mount had snapped off, (this was like it when i took it off the car, so it wasn't my own doings), so JB Weld was used for this.
Took me from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening to complete, I took my time as I wanted to do a good job.
Hope this is the most informative Guide for this Mod, and I must say its a much meaner look at the front end now.