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Old 06-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #1
Overland04
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Default 08+ WRX/STI Headlight Split | DIY Painting | Baking

I’ve decided to give my headlights a little facelift by splitting them and painting some of the inside components. The headlights are out of my 2011 WRX and they are already considered “black housing” as opposed to the 2012-2014 “chrome housing”.

The procedure will be exactly the same for both versions and the splitting technique will be same for both halogens and HID versions of your headlights. The difference will obviously be the harnesses, ballasts, and bulbs. Please use caution when removing the bulbs, as they are sensitive.

For more information on the complete car, visit my build thread (HERE)

Completed procedure:





Here is a step-by-step image assisted procedure. Please ask your questions in the thread instead of PM’s, thanks!

Start the procedure by removing your headlight from the car. You will need to remove your front bumper and unplug the main harness to your headlights.
This is the light before:





Start by removing all the hardware. If you have OEM HID's your pile of removed parts should look like this:





After the parts are removed, prepare your oven's racks so you can fit the light in there BEFORE you turn it on. Once the light fits, turn your oven on to BAKE on 210-220 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes AFTER the oven reaches temperature. I left the lights in during pre-heat so there is less of a shock to the light when adding it at full temp.





After the 15 minutes, take them out and use a large flat screwdriver to lightly pry the lens from the housing, starting at the tapered corner (the corner closest to the center grill)


You will notice the glue will start to give enough where the pieces start to separate. Should look like this:



Once you get it started, you'll need to slowly pull the rest apart by hand. You'll need to hold the light, release the clasp tabs, and pull apart, all while trying not burn yourself with a 200 degree blob of plastic, lol

Picture of one of the 6 tabs that has to be released to separate the lens:



Once you get the lens separated for the housing, it will look like this:



While the glue is still warm, you will need to remove the inner plastic from the lens if you are painting that section. Remove the small 4 small screws that hold it to the lens and separate it. It will look like this:



I used Rust-Oleum Plastic spray paint in Satin Black to paint this:





After I painted the inner plastic, I let it air dry for 30 minutes than placed it in the oven at 150 degrees with the door open for 2hrs.
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Last edited by Overland04; 03-01-2014 at 06:09 AM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #2
Overland04
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Next up is painting the side reflector. To remove the side marker, you will see 2 screws that hold it in. Once you remove the 2 screws, you will be able to remove the marker and the turn/park housing.

Here is the before and after painting of the side reflector. I painted the backside only with the same plastic paint as I used with the housing. I painted two coats and baked to dry.





Next will be painting the Park/Turn housing. I wanted to keep the reflectivity of the chrome but dull it down a bit or convert it to a black chrome look. To do this I used Dupli-Color metal cast "shadow".
I sprayed two very light coats and let dry. Here is the completed look:



After the Park/Turn housing was done I switched to the high beam housing. For this I used Dupli-Color metal cast "yellow". I wanted to emulate the look of the yellow bulbs in a chrome housing but without actually having yellow bulbs in there. For this, the easy way is to leave all the components together and tape off the housing. This way you won't be messing around with the headlights and their alignment. Like the Park/Turn housing, I sprayed two light coats of the metal cast. Once complete, it'll look like this:





Now it's time to let every dry. Overnight would be best if you can keep them in a clean, dust free environment. If not, you can carefully place each of them in the oven to bake. I did one headlight a night so I was able to place the separate items in the oven to dry for 2 hrs each before I assembled them back together.

Once every piece is 100% cured. You will need to re-assemble. To do so, you will have to carefully place the inner lens housing back in the lens and tighten the 4 screws. Next place the park/turn housing back into it's spot and slide in the painted side reflector. Replace the two screws for them. Clean or blow off any dust that has fallen on the painted surface. It will be your last chance to do so.

Place both halves in the oven set to 200 degrees for 12-15 minutes to get the glue softened again. Once the glue is soft enough to be slightly tacky or gummy, then it's ready to be married with it's opposite partner.



Take both pieces out and place the headlight housing down with the mating surface pointing up. Put the two pieces together, starting with the park/turn side and work your way towards the tapered side (opposite of removal). Once they are mated, squeeze them together and replace the screws that hold them together tightly.
Let them cool off while you are reassembling the lights, harness and brackets.



If for some reason you notice you missed a spot, see dust, or left something inside like a cookie or screwdriver. You can put them back in the oven and split again.

Once completely cooled, you should try them out and test all your lights BEFORE you put your bumper back on. If they check out okay, re-install your lights, bumper and enjoy your hard work and new lights!





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Old 06-07-2013, 11:30 AM   #3
Overland04
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tinyurl.com/ovng2nd

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Dupli-Color Metal Cast Smoke - MC206 (used to black chrome turn signal and or high-beam reflector)

Dupli-Color Metal Cast Yellow - MC202 (used for high-beam reflector)

Rust-Oleum Paint for Plastic - Satin Black - 260770 (used for housing and side reflector)

Copy and paste part number into your browser, eBay or Amazon.

AutoZone sells the paint for plastic but the Metal Cast will most likely have to be ordered.

If you are not comfortable baking and painting your lights, message me for pricing, color options, Bi-Xenon HID upgrades, TSX clear Lenses, and LED turn signals at:

facebook.com/overlanddesigns or overland-designs.com

Cheers!

- Jason


Here are a few customer headlights that I have done as reference:




















Last edited by Overland04; 05-03-2014 at 12:53 PM.
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:47 AM   #4
xluben
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What lip do you have?
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:48 AM   #5
Overland04
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Jesus... hahaha
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:49 AM   #6
thetikler1
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Damn good write up! I've done a few headlights myself but never thought to paint the reflectors. Thanks for answering my questions and then some
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:57 AM   #7
cwayda
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Awesome write up! Will be following this as soon as I get the balls to bake my lights
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #8
ScoobyFreak86
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Nice write up man. Definitely will be helpful for anyone looking to tackle the project!
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Old 06-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #9
BrendanTheGreat408
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Fantastic write up thank you!
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:09 PM   #10
Scnsaracer
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Great write up. You make it look easy. I have a friend who did this and he seemed to always have an issue with his lights fogging up. Is this just something one has to live with after splitting the headlights or no?
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:15 PM   #11
Overland04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scnsaracer View Post
Great write up. You make it look easy. I have a friend who did this and he seemed to always have an issue with his lights fogging up. Is this just something one has to live with after splitting the headlights or no?
Well, unfortunately any time you touch the inside of the headlights you have the chance of breaking the seal that causes the inside to fog. Good heating practices during assembly will limit the chance of it happening, but there is definitely no guaranty that it won't happen. using a heat gun to do this is one way to almost be sure it'll fog. Time is the only way to tell though.

If you do get the fog inside, you can always re-split and seal with a bead of the same glue. I'm working on finding the p/n of the glue as I've been asked about it already a couple times.

Good question, thanks!
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:18 PM   #12
rosedaleny806
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it looks great! i used the glass stain on my highbeam bowls, but the gold works too
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:27 PM   #13
Drowner
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Those are bad ass. Back in the day i did two previous sets of headlights on other cars, and as much as i would love to do this, I don't have the time anymore.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:57 PM   #14
cliff_11WRX
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Looking good Jason! Any reason you decided not to do the TSX-R clear lens while you had the headlights opened for that sharper more colorful cutoff?
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:02 PM   #15
ixwrxxi
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Thanks for the write up.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:16 PM   #16
Overland04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cliff_11WRX View Post
Looking good Jason! Any reason you decided not to do the TSX-R clear lens while you had the headlights opened for that sharper more colorful cutoff?
I have no excuse, lol.
I can split them again if I decide to get them. I guess for $50 I should have

I think If I do them it would open up a can of worms. Than I'll have to do the bulbs, ballast and lenses... It'll never end, haha
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:19 PM   #17
theEZV
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Great write up. Thank you.
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Old 06-07-2013, 01:38 PM   #18
luan87us
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Very nice write up. Was going to doing this first then HID retrofit later but I'll wait to do both at once lol.
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:50 PM   #19
besthaticouldo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xluben View Post
What lip do you have?
this post made my day. omg busted out laughing at work!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Overland04 View Post
Jesus... hahaha
hahahahahaha
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Old 06-07-2013, 03:52 PM   #20
WickedRX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luan87us View Post
Very nice write up. Was going to doing this first then HID retrofit later but I'll wait to do both at once lol.
My exact position right now, I want to do this but also want to do a retro fit at the same time.
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:12 PM   #21
BarTmaN
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You're the man! Thanks for this!!

Quick question...what bulbs are you using for the blinkers?

Could you post a pic with the DRL actually on? I'd like to see what that looks like. Thanks
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Old 06-07-2013, 04:28 PM   #22
gclifton
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Great Write Up I'm going to be trying this shortly. I also have the same question about the blinker bulbs.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:12 PM   #23
gtnutz
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Very good write up, this might have to be the first thing I do to mine.

Love all the steps and pics.
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:18 PM   #24
Overland04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BarTmaN View Post
You're the man! Thanks for this!!

Quick question...what bulbs are you using for the blinkers?

Could you post a pic with the DRL actually on? I'd like to see what that looks like. Thanks
Quote:
Originally Posted by gclifton View Post
Great Write Up I'm going to be trying this shortly. I also have the same question about the blinker bulbs.
Thanks guys!

(HERE) is the link to the LED's. You will also need
(THIS)(THIS)
to stop the hyper blinking from happening from using the LED's.
Don't have any night images yet... It gets dark at 9:30 here and I'm sleeping by then during the week, lol. Probably this weekend I'll take some.

Cheers!

- Jason
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Old 06-07-2013, 05:48 PM   #25
BigRob74
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top notch stuff as usual jason, looks awesome!
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