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Old 07-08-2002, 10:23 PM   #1
clsmooth71
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babyblue on pinkTuff II's

Smile Directions & PICS for CL Light Conversion for 2002+ WRX & RS

There are supposedly other threads with directions on how to do the "headlight mod" on 2002 up WRX's and RS's, but a bunch of guys have emailed me requesting pics and guidelines. So, here are the directions on how to perform a CLsmooth71 headlight conversion!

A Few Pics of the Finished Product (I'll try to take some clearer shots and close up views soon)









I didn't follow any "official" directions while doing my lights. I pretty much just did it on the fly. The mod is easy to figure out, but here's the procedure I followed.

The complete process--removal of lights, disassembly of housings, cleaning/prepwork, painting, reassembly of housings, & reinstallation of lights onto vehicle took me about 10 hours, but I am very picky and took my time to make sure everything was done right.

Just take your time and feel free to contact me via email if you have any comments or questions.

I hope this helps, and I wish you good luck!

Peace

CL

LIST OF MATERIALS & TOOLS NEEDED

---1 Can of High-temp Spray Paint (Engine paint can be used too. I used PLASTIKOTE High-temp Paint in Low Gloss Black. Color is up to you.
---1 Tube of High-temp & Waterproof, Black, Silicone Sealant (to reseal light housings after painting and reassembly)
---Windex-type cleaner (to clean clear, outer headlight housings)
---Rubbing Alcohol (to clean inner housings for clean painting surfaces)
---Lint free Cloths (to clean inner housings)
---Adhesive or Bug & Tar Remover (to clean up any excess silicone or other residue on housings)
[b]---10mm Socket & Wrench (to unbolt headlights housings from vehicle)
---Flathead Screwdriver (to separate light housings)
---Small Phillips Head Screwdriver (to remove screws holding housing pieces together)
---Regular Size Phillips Head Screwdriver (to remove wiring harnesses & bulb housings from backside of light housings)
---LOTS of newspapers or drop cloths (to prevent getting paint & silicone sealant all over the place. Pi$$ed off parents, wives, g-friends, b-friends, etc. are NOT fun!
---Oven (to heat up light housings & soften silicone sealant for disassembly & reassembly)
---Baking Sheet or Aluminum Foil (to set light housings on when heating in oven)
---Well-lit and Ventilated area (to paint housings)

DIRECTIONS
[list=1][*]Disconnect turn signal & headlight harnesses & unbolt light housings from car. (about 2 10mm bolts per side)[*]Use some Windex-type cleaner or just some soap and water to clean dirt & grit off light housings[*]Preheat oven to 225-250 degrees (You can do this before cleaning lights to allow time for the oven to heat up)[*]Put one light at a time on a cookie sheet or sheet of aluminum foil & "bake" for 20-25 minutes to soften up silicone adhesive that's holding lights together. (It's easier to do 1 at a time to minimize mess & make sure each one is done carefully).[*]Remove heated light from oven. (Use oven mitts. DUHH!) Use a flat-head screwdriver to carefully separate the light housings from the backside. You only have to do this at the 2-3 attachment points on the top edges of the housings. Then carefully pull the halves of the housings apart.[*]Set aside the headlight portion of the housing (black part where you attach the bulbs & harnesses)[*]Take other half of housing (clear outer headlight shell & shiny reflector) and remove screws (about 2) holding the aforementioned pieces together and separate them.[*]Clean any dirt, silicone adhesive, or any other residue off the shiny housing frame (the one that you just separated from the clear, outer headlight shell). Use some mild degreaser or bug & tar remover (what I used).[*]After you clean gunk off the frame, use some rubbing alcohol to make sure that the surface is clean and that the paint adheres well. IMPORTANT: Use a lint-free rag when doing this final prep step or else you will get lint and other particles stuck on the surface when you paint the frame!!)[*]Next, you can either paint the whole frame or mask off part of turn signal's reflective surface, which I HIGHLY RECOMMEND!! (I painted the whole housing, and while it does look sweet, it make the turn signal harder to see when operated because of the lack of the reflective surface).[*]Make one last check to ensure that the frame's surface is clean and free from lint, dirt, etc, and then spray a thin coat of paint. Follow the directions on the back of the can & hold can 6-10 inches away from frame to avoid drips[*]Repeat painting process & apply several more thin coats. ( I used 6) ALLOW AT LEAST 20-30 minutes between each coat to make sure paint is dry and avoid drips & runs)[*]After last coat of paint is applied to frame and dry, gently wipe surface clean w/a slightly damp rag. (It's a good idea to wait at least 2-3 hours to make sure paint is completely dry)[*]Reinstall clear parking light bulb cover onto painted frame. You can also reinstall orange turn signal bulb cover or leave it off for a "clear headlights/corners" look. (I left mine off because I think it looks cleaner).[*]Clean clear outer headlight housing (inside AND outside) again to ensure that no dirt or dust gets caught inside the light when you reassemble it.[*]Preheat oven again to 225-250 degrees, and after oven is warm, put the other part of the light housing (w/the UNPAINTED reflective portion for the headlight) in the oven for about 15 minute-20 minutes to resoften the silicone adhesive for reassembly.[*]After removing the housing from the oven, apply a thin bead of silicone in the seam of the housing. DO NOT put too much silicone because it's easy to make mess, and you don't want to get it all over the housings.[*]While the housing & silicone is still warm, firmly but carefully, press the halves of the housings back together and keep pressure on them for a minute or two to ensure a tight seal.[*]Clean any excess silicone off the housings and let the adhesive dry for 1-2 hours.[*]After silicone is dry, reattach bulb housings & wiring harnesses to back of headlight housing.[*]Repeat entire process on other light[*]After both lights are painted and reassembled, reinstall lights onto vehicle and sick back and enjoy your hard work.[*]Congratulate yourself on completing a
CLsmooth71 headlight conversion. Admire the fruits of your hard work, and then take your WRX or RS out for a cruise!!


WARNING!! Mod may cause severely sprained necks of innocent bystanders and other drivers, as they take double-takes of your freshened ride! [/list=1]
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Last edited by clsmooth71; 07-09-2002 at 11:22 AM.
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Old 07-11-2002, 05:48 PM   #2
ATX25RS
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Default Re: Directions & PICS for CL Light Conversion for 2002+ WRX & RS

Quote:
Originally posted by clsmooth71
The complete process--removal of lights, disassembly of housings, cleaning/prepwork, painting, reassembly of housings, & reinstallation of lights onto vehicle took me about 10 hours, but I am very picky and took my time to make sure everything was done right.
fisrt off, looks good.....although not to scare everyone from this mod, it does not take 10 hrs...we did four sets of headlights in about 4 hrs....so depending on the set up, it should take about 15 minutes to 2 hrs..

andres
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Old 07-14-2002, 02:24 AM   #3
RidinLow
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Default

Oh, for a second I thought this thread was about putting Acura CL lights on a WRX.
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Old 07-17-2002, 02:57 AM   #4
WRX USA
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I too thought that this was about swapping Acura CL headlights on too a WRX.

But after reading this I think I may do this to my OEM headlights. I have Morettes so my OEMs are just sitting around. Well written instructions CLSmooth. Your car looks niiiiiiice, not at all rice.
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Old 07-21-2002, 02:43 AM   #5
rwjcp721
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Actually my favorite part is the yellow 911 turbo parked next to you...*drooool*
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Old 07-22-2002, 02:52 AM   #6
sicminded
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Nice looking car. Where'd you get your wheels? Those are Volk TE37s in gunmetal right? Love those wheels.

sicminded
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Old 07-22-2002, 01:54 PM   #7
Poe
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hey! it's FOCUS!!!
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Old 07-25-2002, 02:55 PM   #8
e_a_olson
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Did you make a template to mask the areas you dont want painted? Or did you just mask it off with tape?

Also, has anyone done this to a PSM WRX/2.5 RS yet? Pics?
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Old 07-30-2002, 12:41 PM   #9
Gypsum2
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have u noticed any water or like hazy fog buildup in the inside of your headlights after you did this?

anyone?
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Old 07-30-2002, 05:06 PM   #10
Koji
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Default Its all about the seal...

If you didn't seal the light properly it will get that hazey buildup of water on the inside. Then you have to go through the remove/disasemble/reassemble/install mess again.

I have seen other cars with this problem. Mine has been ok so far and I live in Seattle. It's all about the silicone sealer
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Old 08-01-2002, 07:45 PM   #11
Somber
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Default

one thing I've noticed...

i was very carefull setting the painted light "surround" back into the clear shell - so that the paint on the edge didn't get chipped... but after 6 months of driving, apparently the "surround" is vibrating against the shell in the middle of the divider between the blinker and the headlight...

basically - the paint is flaking off along that divider - and the chrome is showing through in a few small areas... perhaps I should have spent some more time prepping, or put on some more coats to make the paint a bit more resilient...

but just thought I'd mention that...

Paul
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Old 08-02-2002, 04:12 PM   #12
revelation
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Hi there,

What other problems short term and long term have people seen doing this mod. I want to do it but am scared of screwing up my rex.

Thanks!
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Old 08-03-2002, 08:07 PM   #13
scoobyguy
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I did mine six months ago with no problems. I would also highly recomend painting the turn signal housing. Has anyone done this to match the car color??

~Chaise
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Old 08-08-2002, 02:08 PM   #14
newbie sewbie
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i'm a little confuse.....isn't this the headlight mod that on scoobymod? how's this different from what's been discuss in the past? i've seens lots of post concerning how to remove and paint your headlights......just looking for some clarification....although, the directions are quite detail
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Old 08-08-2002, 09:37 PM   #15
desiwrx02
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Looks Nice! I think Ill try that this weekend.
Ajay
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Old 08-13-2002, 11:37 PM   #16
DAVE ZINN
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I did this mod to my car some time ago and have noticed two problems. the chrome plated part that you paint will eventually chip on the edge that contacts the clear lens. the only way i can see to prevent this is to strip the chrome plating off with ammonia and then prime and paint the part, this will not work for those that wish to only paint part of the piece and not the whole thing as stripping the chrome in ammonia requires submerging the part completely and soaking it until all the chrome has disappeared.WARNING- this process can sometimes take several days to remove all of the plating from plastic. ammonia is a very good stripper of chrome plating on plastic , i have been doing this with model cars for nearly twenty years. the other problem i have noticed is that the clear lens is not perfectly clean from the factory on the inside. on many cars i have seen there is a slight dirty looking film on the inside of the lens, painting the inside black only makes it more noticable. i would recommend checking yours before reassembly and cleaning it if necessary. this is a very low-buck mod that is easy to do and it definitly changes the appearance of the car.
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Old 08-19-2002, 03:05 PM   #17
TNH REX
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hey CLSmooth71, what kind of front lip is that on your car?...sweet ride btw!...
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Old 08-20-2002, 06:07 AM   #18
virulous
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instead of using ammonia could i just sand off the edges of the light? just a thought
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Old 08-22-2002, 05:44 PM   #19
MattJP
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Quote:
Originally posted by virulous
instead of using ammonia could i just sand off the edges of the light? just a thought
I was thinking exactly the same thing...a fine grit sandpaper would be enough to scuff up the chrome for the primer/paint to stick better.

Matt -
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Old 09-10-2002, 12:30 AM   #20
hobbzz
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Hey WRX USA, where/when did you get your Morettes? And have you ever had problems with cops yet? I really want to get them. But I don't know if I'm willing to take the chance at buying 600$ headlights that I could get fined for, and then end up being forced to remove!!
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Old 09-11-2002, 08:12 PM   #21
SonicYellowWRX
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Why not just use some "black out" paint on the outside? Then maybe clearcoat it for chip resistance? You can even make whatever pattern you like by using a piece of paper with the pattern cut out beforehand.
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Old 09-13-2002, 06:06 PM   #22
madmax1
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did you take the bulbs and wires out of the headlights or did you just stick the whole thing in the oven lights wires and all
has anyone else had any problems with chipping
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Old 09-17-2002, 04:11 PM   #23
a z n t a K
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First off, awesome car! second, what kind of lip is that? is it just the front lip? thanks
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Old 11-19-2002, 10:20 PM   #24
Fat Tits
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Default Thanks!

*Bump


Just wanted to say thanks CLsmooth71, i just finished on my 99RS this morning.... i gotta do my corners next.. :/




_b
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Old 11-30-2002, 11:29 AM   #25
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UP
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