Supra Forums banner

1 - 20 of 36 Posts

·
Letterkenny
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey Gang,

Seems to be alot of pre 97-98 headlight restoring going on, so I took the plunge and decided to do mine.

Here was the before. Not rough by any means, but I thought the car is off the road for winter, let me give it a shot.



Here was my 5min ghetto paint booth setup, complete with heater and fan :)



Here's the lens after being wetsanded, and polished. I used the Meguires PlastX as a last step.



Here's the newly painted inners.



And a quick shot of them prior to re-assembly.



The red arrow is pointing to the old glue from when the headlights were pulled apart after being taken out of the oven. I am not sure if 'this' part has been mentioned, but I used a tool very similar to this



to remove the old glue from that crease. It's similar to a pottery tool to work with clay. I simply heated it up with a candle till it got real hot, and started following the crease. Think of it like a paint scraper. It took out pretty much all the glue with several passes. Just keep it hot to make it easier. I thought this tip might help others if they choose to mod their own lights.

Once all that was done, I reapplied some new 3M windshield butyl tape into the crease and put the housings back into the oven. I let them warm up for 10-15mins @ 150-200F. It makes the tape much softer and alot easier to press the lenses back together.

Here's a few pics of the finished product. I am very pleased with how they turned out.






Thanks to those who gave me advice on this project. If anyone has any questions, I'll try and help out with answers.

Thanks. :wavey:

Mike
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Those look real good! What paint did you use? What did you use to tape off the chrome rings so well? Just normal painters tape?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,437 Posts
Those look real good! What paint did you use? What did you use to tape off the chrome rings so well? Just normal painters tape?
ditto, My chrome ripped off when I tried to tape it (I used very weak tape).

It would lhave looked great if you had polished the little metal plates that go under the low beams, Im really happy with how mine turned out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
274 Posts
what kind of paint did you use?..your success story inspires me to do mine :)
 

·
Letterkenny
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Hey Guys,

I'll try and answer the questions you posted.

First, in regards to the chrome rings. I didn't have to do any restoring really. The rings were in good shape to begin with, and had very tiny flaking on the very underside of them. One can't really see it, unless your looking at the very back edge of the rings. Now I did buy that chrome paint, just in case, but it doesn't really turn out to be chrome. More of a slightly shiny/ more flat silver. The paint I used was Krylon Flat Black High Temp Paint. This was a preference as some may prefer a more glossy look. I preferred the matte look.

As for the tape, you guys are correct, I did use 3M automotive tape with a very weak tack to it. But I was still worried that even with low tack it will rip the chrome off. So what i did was wear off some of the adhesive even more. You can do this by touching the sticky side with your fingers till you feel that the tape is barely sticking, or even lay out a flat sheet of fabric, like a towel, but one that doesn't give off too much lint/fibres. Apply the tape to the fabric and peel it off a few times. This is what i did, and I reduced the tack even more. You can get these auto tapes in various sizes. The thin ones are easiest to apply. You can use painters tape as well, just apply the same practices as what i did, and it should be fine.

Try not to apply too much pressure when putting the tape on the rings. Obviously the harder you push, you run the risk of it getting a better bond, and peeling the chrome underneath. Don't let the tape get too warm either. The glue will again stick more to the chrome. And when you do pull the tape back off after painting, TAKE YOUR TIME! :) There's no need to rush it. I removed the tape very slowly (mm by mm). If your patient/steady handed, it should be fine.

Here's a pic of the butyl tape I used. It's basically windshield adhesive. It's much better than RTV or silicon. Those are messy and a pain to keep clean. The butyl tape is crazy tacky and responds well to being knead (like bread/pizza dough) into a smaller string like piece so you can slide it into the crease on the headlight housings.




Hopefully that helps answer some questions. If you guys got more, let me know. I'll be taking pics of them installed in the car this weekend, depending on weather, and post them here.

Thanks. :wavey:
 

·
A zone of danger.
Joined
·
1,175 Posts
MR. VSR -
The pictures look great, but do they look that good in person? I only ask since I recently just did my '98s and after wetsanding with 2000 grit, and using the Meguires Plastx too, it was definately not what I wanted. I ordered the Novus system ($17 shipped on eBay) shortly after...and it was a HUGE difference in clarity - damn near perfect. Just wondering if your experience was better.
 

·
Single Turbo
Joined
·
711 Posts
That came out great! Paint job looks right on target.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
538 Posts
kill me i did my lights last night but the chrome was all flaky and ripped of before i even got to paint...

should i paint the chrome rings black..cause i dont know what else to do to make em chrome again
 

·
Letterkenny
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
How did you prep the inners.

Parrot,

If by 'inners' you mean the plastic housing that has the chrome rings, then it's pretty straight forward. Once the lights were apart, I used 150 sand paper to get all the chrome off (except the rings area, of course). Once that was done, I used some higher grit paper like 800, to smooth it out. If you don't, you run the risk of seeing the scratch marks from the 150, even when spraying it with the black paint. I took my time, about 30-45mins per side. Once that's done, I washed them in water to get rid of all the dust/particles. I dried them off, and then used isopropyl alcohol to clean off any grease from hand prints etc. The next stage was paint, and you can see from the pics above my little paint booth with heater and ventilation :) About 3-4 coats of even paint with some heat (baking time) from a space heater and you should be good.

Javi1012,

I posted in your original thread with info and pics. Check it out.


Thank you 4CEDFED22, Twinn, GA*Red*Supra for the compliments. I wanted to create this as a project for myself, and to help anyone else thinking of taking on the job. I try to be a perfectionist with any mods/projects that I do. The Supra and Corrado I owned prior, deserve nothing less :)

Dego Red, Thanks for the compliments. To me, the headlights look great in person. From my original picture above, my headlights weren't in bad shape, so maybe my plastic lenses didn't need as much attention. I would have went with the NOVUS system too, but couldn't find a local dealer at the time. Of course, this week a part supplier in my area is now stocking it... :1poke:, just my luck. I will be ordering the NOVUS glass cleaner this week, to use in between car washes.

As a special treat for my SF friends I will be mounting the lights this afternoon, and taking pics of them on the car. I can't get the car outside today (battery on order), so hopefully it will show them a bit better.

Thanks :wavey:
 

·
Letterkenny
Joined
·
272 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Hello again, everyone

As mentioned before, I now bring pics of the headlights installed on the car. I would have posted earlier, but I went to pick up my hood from the body shop. I just had the euro hood scoop installed/painted. It's been a busy few weeks here. :)
Thanks to those who are subscribed/read this thread. I'm a new guy here, and it means alot.

Supra Natural,

The chrome rings do not come off. If you have a 94-96 Supra you will notice that the entire inner part is chrome. If you want to achieve the relative same look as the 97-98 style headlights you will need to open your set, and paint the inner part black. It's your choice if you want to paint it a glossy or flat black. I prefer flat black. In order to keep the chrome rings you need to mask off the area you don't want to turn black. For example if you want the rings to stay chrome, you tape the rings, so no paint will get to that area. If you haven't already, check out the whole thread it will give you a better description of what is involved.


Now for the pics on the car. Please excuse the finger prints on the hood or near the lights. They take some convincing to get back into their spot, but a little sweet talking always helps :agreed:







Hope these help show what a difference it makes. Some photos I took, I turned off the flash because it was being a pain. They may have a tiny blur, so I apologize. Once the car has a battery, I'll pull it out of the garage and take some pics with true sunlight.

Thanks :wavey:
 

·
Big D of da 253
Joined
·
148 Posts
Very nice job. Like how they turned out.
 
1 - 20 of 36 Posts
Top