hi all, i’ve been considering this mod for some time now and finally got the spare time to do it yesterday, so i took some piccies and put them up here for everyone.
the mod in question makes your vx executive, acclaim, lumina, berlina, calais (?) etc head lights look like ss ones. the difference is in the matte black surround around the reflectors.
You're reading: DIY – Painting inside your headlights
the only caveat i put on this is that i take no responsibility if you ruin your headlights by doing this mod.
stuff: can of matte black paint sheet of 1200 grit wet & dry paper some tape
tools: 10mm socket phillips head screwdriver large flat blade screwdriver
step 1 remove your front bumper. there are plenty of guides out there, but if you can’t find them; remove two screws in each wheel arch, one at the top edge of the bumper, and another underneath the bottom edge. remove 3 screws across the top near the top of the radiator. gently pull the bumper off by pulling each side out of its clips then pulling the whole thing forwards. put it somewhere safe.
now, remove the headlights. there are 3x 10mm bolts, one on the inside edge of the headlight on the front, one on the bottom behind the back of the headlight and another on top. pull the headlight out and disconnect the wiring loom.
this is what you end up with. i suggest you remove the indicator bulb and its holder now, to avoid breakage later. remove the large black screw and the small silver screw either side of the indicator bulb hole. now you need to heat the headlights up. put them in the sun or in an oven at about 100 degrees c. this is because there is a sikaflex-type sealant that holds the back and front together, and the softer this is, the easier it is to pull apart. once it’s warm, get your flat blade and slowly but progressively pry the clear/silver front from the grey back half of the headlight. you will need to navigate over the clips that also hold it together.
put the rear half of the headlight (with reflectors etc) aside for the rest of the project, and try not to get fingerprints, dust etc in it.
you’re then left with the front half in the above photo. remove the 3 small silver screws and ease the silver frame out.
pop the indicator lens out gently by sticking your finger through the indicator bulb hole.
now you need to rough up the surface with the wet & dry paper. make sure all of the shiny area is dulled, especially the edges. don’t sand in the indicator reflector (behind where the indicator lens used to be.) wrap the indicator lens in tape and put it back in. this masks the indicator reflector off so it isn’t painted.
clean the whole lot with some turps, then paint! i applied five light coats of matte black.
when finished, pop the indicator lens back out and remove the tape (clean any sticky residue off.) this is what you’ll have at this stage:
now comes reassembly. clean the indicator lens, the black frame, and the headlight front cover with plexus or something similar. any fingerprints left at this stage will be inside your headlights forever! now pop the indicator lens back in and ease the frame into the front cover and screw back into place.
clean the reflectors and the back half of the headlight.
put the two halves together but don’t try and close it up yet. you’ll need to heat the light again, in the sun or oven, then squeeze the two halves back together. make sure the rubber flange on the outer egde is lined up correctly then put the big black screw and the smaller silver screw back in.
now put the headlights back in, and test that all the globes work before going further.
you can then put the front bumper back on and enjoy the results of your handiwork!
the result is two ss headlights. total cost for me was $7. compare that to a pair of ss headlights on ebay for $260. worth doing!