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Old 06-18-2012, 12:04 AM   #2
Scooby Newbie
Member#: 124118
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Santa Monica, CA
02 wrx wagon


The next part of the retrofit is probably the most difficult of the whole process. You need to separate the two halves of each headlight assembly so you can access the internals. To do this, many people recommend putting the whole headlight assembly into the oven set to 250 F for 10 min. I chose the alternative of using a heat gun to locally heat the factory sealant so it becomes pliable.

First, you should remove the parking light / turn signal wiring harness. Remove the turn signal bulb socket and the parking signal bulb socket by twisting them counter-clockwise until they are free. Then unscrew the plug bracket. You might also have to unscrew the aiming screw bracket (green arrow) in order to free the wires.

Then, remove the (2) small screws that hold the lens to the housing:

Then, either put the headlight into an oven for 10 min at 250F (double check these numbers first!) or use the heat gun. If using a heat gun, slowly move around the edge of the headlight assembly without leaving the gun in one place for longer than a few seconds at a time. As a rough estimate, the total time to apply heat to each headlight is about 3-5 min.

Wear protective gloves and grab a flathead when you are ready to begin prying. Start at one spot and work your way around, minding the few tabs you will need to lift in order to separate the housings. There are 3 or 4 tabs total.

Be careful not to get any of the sealant on anything, especially the inside of the lens. A good way to avoid this is to use a screwdriver to clear away the strings of sealant as you go.

From here on out, I'll be using the terms lens, bezel, reflector bowl, and headlight housing to describe the (4) main components of the headlight.

When you are done separating the two halves of the headlight assembly, the bezel will be attached to the lens via (2) screws. You should remove them and separate the bezel from the lens (if you intend to paint the bezel). In either case, put the lens away somewhere safe as you will not need to touch it until you put everything back together.

The next thing to do is to separate the reflector bowl from the headlight housing. Do this by unscrewing the (2) aiming screws:

The first one turns the screw that rotates the gears:

The second one is hidden beneath a rubber cap that you can pry out with a flathead:

The reflector bowl is also held in place by a ball and socket joint that allows for horizontal and vertical beam adjustment. You have to pop the ball out of the socket using a flathead. Others have suggested a trim panel removal tool. In any case, it takes some bit of force to pop it out.

Pry like this:

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Last edited by nolant; 06-18-2012 at 07:05 PM.
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