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  • Indepth How-To on Headlight Baking, improved Hightower mod

    Well way back when, when all of arguing was going around about whether this could be done I said I would do a how-to the next time I performed it. Now that I'm working on building an add on to allow installation of projectors into factory housing I've been taking apart a number of headlights. So here you are...

    Tools Needed
    -Pair of gloves, mechanic gloves worked fine for me
    -T10 torx bit or torx screwdriver
    -7mm wrench (if you plan to take entire headlight apart)
    -Multiple flat head screwdrivers (I mainly used two a small length #1 head and a medium length #2 head)
    -2 flat cookie sheets or equivlent
    -Standard kitchen oven
    -High temp black silicone RTV
    -4 wood clamps, 2 for each headlight



    Procedure

    Step 1 - preheat oven to bake at 275 deg F



    Step 2 - Remove all rubber, plastics and brackets as possible to prevent possibly melting and ease handling. This includes mounting brackets, weatherstripping across top, bulb retainers (T10 Torx), rubber seals and vent hoses.




    Step 3 - Place headlight in oven and set timer for 3-4min. Remove headlight promptly after this time and begin prying lense away from housing. You will need to repeat this step multiple times until the lense is comes free from the housing. This process for me was repeat 4 times. Here is the progress from each reheat...

    Round 1 - I was able to loosen the top of the lense from the housing. (I apoligize for the blurryness of this one shot)


    Round 2 - The lense was loosen completely on the top and I unlocked all three tabs across the top as well.




    stupid 10 image rule...
    Last edited by CSVT#49; 11-22-2006, 11:57 PM.
    -Mike
    If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
    98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
    85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

    Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

  • #2
    Round 3 - With the top loose I worked my way along each of the sides and loosen the first part of the bottom, unlocking one of the tabs.




    Round 4 - Finally the lense came free.






    Step 4 - Now that the lense is seperated you will need to remove the inner cover to paint it. The cover is held in by 3 T10 torx screws





    ... this may take a while
    -Mike
    If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
    98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
    85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

    Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

    Comment


    • #3
      Step 5 - With everything seperated now is a good time to clean out all of the excess sealent on the lense/housing.





      Now if you want to continue removing the rest of the housing parts follow along. However to finish off here you may paint the inner cover with whatever color you wish. Reinstall it using the three T10 torx screws. Take the hightemp silicone RTV and put a generous bead along the edges of the housing where the lense meets up to the housing. Make sure you fill the locking tab cavities with a enough RTV as to ensure a water tight seal. Once the lense has been snapped back into place use wood clamps with rubber ends to hold the headlight together and allow it to cure overnight. In the morning remove the wood clamps and install your spiffy new looking lights back on your car!
      Last edited by CSVT#49; 11-22-2006, 11:38 PM.
      -Mike
      If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
      98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
      85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

      Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

      Comment


      • #4
        To disassemble further, like to install projectors possibly...

        Step 6 - There are three bolts that hold the inner reflector housing in place. They are somewhat tough to get at. You will need a thin 7mm wrench to loosen these bolts, which can be accessed through the bulb openings on the back side of the housing and on the inside edge, which would be towards the side of the car.




        Step 7 - Pull the reflector cover up tilting it down and pull out as the level for the light is attached to this on the top.






        Step 8 - There are no more stinking steps your done!

        Last edited by CSVT#49; 11-23-2006, 12:06 AM.
        -Mike
        If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
        98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
        85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

        Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

        Comment


        • #5
          I suppose this works for both glue types (the old, yellowish glue) and the newer (crash test) lights that are using black sealant.



          If you look at this picture, those rings in the middle are a rare item. One of my old headlight sets had them, two did not. None of the 3 crash test sets ive gone through have had them. The one Depot set I messed with did have them

          They are not necessary, they just put pressure on the rubber seal.


          US23

          Comment


          • #6
            So there were also a few suprises along the way.

            I found a little guy that decided to make home the inside of the headlight housing. I guess he didn't survive the oven treatment...



            Then also I believe someone tossed this headlight in some open flames, because I noticed before I started that the top of the lense above the low beam appeared to be scorched. When I disassembled everything I found bubbled up hardened plastic on the inside below the level and also the top near the level was brownish...

            Last edited by CSVT#49; 11-23-2006, 12:07 AM.
            -Mike
            If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
            98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
            85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

            Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

            Comment


            • #7
              hmm, interesting really

              However i think everyone will have different oppinions on baking (I think its FTW)

              Did you experience any cracking on the chrome in the reflector from the heat?
              '12 Infiniti G37xS Sedan 7AT (never get an automatic )
              ex's
              '08 Infiniti G37S Coupe 6MT (oh how I miss her ;))
              '07 Infiniti G35 Coupe 6MT
              '98 SVT Contour (THE #0009)

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Goonz SVT View Post
                hmm, interesting really

                However i think everyone will have different oppinions on baking (I think its FTW)

                Did you experience any cracking on the chrome in the reflector from the heat?
                Nope. I also didn't see it on the other 4 sets I've done.
                -Mike
                If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
                98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
                85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

                Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

                Comment


                • #9
                  Im pretty new to the CEG world.. i cam from a slightly different breed. SHO-

                  But anyways, what exactly is the "Hightower Mod"? please enlighten my CSVT noob Arse...
                  thanks alot..

                  Bret J.
                  Im a scammer.
                  yes i am

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bloostd View Post
                    Im pretty new to the CEG world.. i cam from a slightly different breed. SHO-

                    But anyways, what exactly is the "Hightower Mod"? please enlighten my CSVT noob Arse...
                    thanks alot..

                    Bret J.
                    painting the inside black to make it look like this..

                    '12 Infiniti G37xS Sedan 7AT (never get an automatic )
                    ex's
                    '08 Infiniti G37S Coupe 6MT (oh how I miss her ;))
                    '07 Infiniti G35 Coupe 6MT
                    '98 SVT Contour (THE #0009)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Exactly as Goonz pointed out, simply taking the headlights apart, removing the chrome insert, painting it whatever color you choose and putting everything back together.

                      Thanks for whoring my car Goonz :D

                      Originally posted by Goonz SVT View Post
                      painting the inside black to make it look like this..

                      -Mike
                      If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
                      98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
                      85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

                      Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        mike, thats so hott!!!!
                        -Jon
                        99 SVT Contour T-Red. #2437 Sold 11-18-14
                        08 Mazdaspeed3 Crystal White

                        R.I.P Scott Frost 4/27/07. I will never forget you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Goonz SVT View Post
                          hmm, interesting really

                          However i think everyone will have different oppinions on baking (I think its FTW)

                          Did you experience any cracking on the chrome in the reflector from the heat?

                          That cracking is likley from having the heat too hot. Ive only had one set come out with what looked like grease spots on it that streaked when rubbed.

                          Also, those of you with non silverfrost cars, please paint the edge of the lense thats silver frost! scratch it off, and paint it black


                          US23

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by SVTJON87 View Post
                            mike, thats so hott!!!!
                            Thanks. Maybe that shot will make it into the CEG calendar too :D

                            Originally posted by Pudmunkie View Post
                            Also, those of you with non silverfrost cars, please paint the edge of the lense thats silver frost! scratch it off, and paint it black
                            Haha. Sorry to bother you, but I guess I just liked it on there Never really thought of scrapping it off or painting it another color. I guess it wouldn't look bad if it was color matched. Painting it might be difficult. I think I would ask Parkedcar if he could possibly match the color, but something tells me matching a paint color on our cars would be difficult for him to do.
                            -Mike
                            If you are wondering where the avatar came from look here... Link
                            98 SVT Contour - HoK TruBlue|CF roof|#49/6535 DOB 3/25/97|550whp here I come|Follow my extremely slow 3L/turbo build here Link
                            85 Camaro - 1969 350ci, 503BHP

                            Owner - RIES PEFORMANCE

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Actually mike I think it might be pretty easy to do. Since you didnt body color the bezel on the inside, you just did black...

                              Try to scrape off the silverfrost and then just take some touch up paint (black) and paint it on there with the brush. Its on the underside of the lense, behind the foam trim peice. It should be pretty easy to do, and while subtle should do alot for the look because it takes out that one little peice of silver


                              US23

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