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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
robare99
Senior Member
robare99 Mar 8, 2:27am - #118823 

Senior Member
2003 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
Alberta, Canada
Painted my headlights gunmetal yesterday! Here's a writeup...

Here's a writeup of my headlights paint job. I'll include tips and things I learned along the way. I did them in gunmetal, using Duplicolor wheel & rim paint. The color was "graphite" I chose wheel & rim since it was the only one at that store that came in graphite. Looking at the can, it says for wheels and PLASTIC hubcaps, so I knew I was in business. First off, wear gloves, they get hot, being in the oven & all. And wear some old junky clothes because you'll probably get some epoxy on you.

Here's a pic of the can of paint I used. It might be different in the USA, but I picked it up at Canadian Tire for like 7 bucks.

Linked Image


So here I am in the garage, first order of business is taking the bumper off, and then removing the lights.

Linked Image
Linked Image

Tip#1: undo the silver screw on the side by the fender last, it supports the light while you take out the top & bottom screw.

Everyone knows about the 3 brass screws, but there's also 2 little rubber nozzles with sponge filters I was NOT expecting to see. Take these off too since they probably wouldn't fare too well in the oven. In the top pic, one is shown along with the DRL which I also removed. Second pics show's them removed. (obviously)

Linked Image
Linked Image

And the top one, along with the lowbeam rubber seal which should be removed along with the bulb, as in the next pic (yeah the bulb's still there but I did take it out)...

Linked Image
Linked Image

Take out the 3 screws on the lowbeam seal and it comes right out. I'm not sure what the hell those other 2 things are but they didn't seem to be going anywhere so I left them. Survived the oven fine so no big whoop.

Linked Image

Next comes the oven.

Tip#2: place the towel on the rack and "pre fit" the light in the oven with it off. Then you have an idea how far into the oven it has to go.

Turn on the oven to 300F. When it hits that temp, open it up, stick in the towel, and place the light on the towel so it doesn't melt on the rack. Have the rack on the lowest one. I used "bake" instead of "broil". Turn it off, close the door and start the timer. I left it the full 15 minutes before I took it out.

Tip#3: don't be afraid to get some help. I had my kid help me take them apart, his job was to unclip the clips on the side of the light with a butter knife while I pulled. ALSO, VERY IMPORTANT... Start at the top, when you get the top opened a bit, stick the knife in between and jimmy it open. The rest should go as smooth as can be. The sides of my light didn't get wrinkled at all like you sometimes see. I just kept pulling and pulling. Only had to do it once, didn't have to reheat the oven. But leave it in the full 15 minutes. Use an old butter knife as it gets some gunk on it. Here's one of the lights apart...

Linked Image

Tip#4: to take the insides out, remove the 2 screws, the jimmy it apart. Start at the top, be careful since you don't want to break the damn thing. When you put them back together you'll notice it just sort of drops in from the top and snaps into place, so do it reverse to take it out. The side opposite the screws has a little tab. Note it's path, it needs to be pulled up. It will take a little fiddling but it comes out. Then bend up the tabs carefully on the reflector and take it out. The single tab will lift up first, and then you can pull it out. Don't get carried away bending it up and down since it will get weaker each time you do and eventually break.

Next up...decide if you are going to paint the top or the underside. I wanted the ribbed look, so I decided to paint the underside. This being said, it's wise to totally mask everyting on the top, since as you spray it goes pretty much everywhere. Take your time, do a good job, we're only going to do this once... right? Don't worry, if you fcuk it up, you can always paint the top. grin

Linked Image

Flip it upside down, paint it someplace dry and not dusty, if you're doing it in a garage, pull any vehicles out since paint might get on it. Stands to reason right? But you never know. When it's upside down, you can see if you missed any spots.

Linked Image

Tip#5: On the first one, I tried to follow every curve perfectly with the masking tape. On the second one I let it overlap, with the overlap hanging in the air. I made sure that it was on tight by running my fingers over top and pressing it down really tight. By spraying light coats, it sholdn't wick paint under the crack. It didn't for me, but again, I pressed it down really well.

Next, paint the mofo. Use light strokes, again, take your time and do a good job. You don't want it running all over. I did 2 coats. Took a while on each coat to get it all, and then waited oh, about 1/2 an hour between coats. Then let it dry a couple of hours or so.

Linked Image

Wait until it's dry and then peel the tape off. Take care as some paint on the tape might be wet. You don't want to get it on your hands or on the light. Once it's off admire it. Damn that's a thing of beauty.

Tip#6. If there's little bits of glue from the masking tape, or epoxy on the outside, use duct tape to remove it. Yup, duct tape, is there anything it can't do?? Take a little piece and stick it over the leftover adhesive. Then peel it back. You'll see it pick up a bit. It will take some time but it will totally remove it. It's better then wiping it off with windex, or rubbing alcohol, or what-have-you, since it takes it off clean instead of spreading it around.

Linked Image

Put it back together now. Before you do, take a bit of windex and clean it up. ALso make sure the painted part is totally clean and everything is clean. I got the second light together and was giving it a once over before I stuck it back in the oven and wouldn't you know it. There was a damn HAIR on the inside of the light. REALLY look at it at this point, since you REALLY don't want to pull it apart again.

Insert the reflector and bend the tabs back down. Do the double tab side first then set it down on the single tab. Next, slide the painted part into the clear light cover. If the light were on your car, slide the painted part down, and you'll see how that tab clicks right into place. Then press the other sides down and put the screws in.

Next, place the 2 halves together, be careful and line them up properly. Even though it is cold, the epoxy still sticks together pretty good. I heated the oven back up to 300, and this time put them in for 8 minutes since I didn't want to melt the paint or anything. (I don't know if that would happen but I didn't want to take the chance) When it comes out press it together and the pieces should slide in nicely. Put the 3 brass screws in at this point and it will really suck the whole thing together. Here's some pics of them done...

Linked Image
Linked Image

And both lights together, completed.

Linked Image

Replace all the little rubber filters, the DRL's and the rubber seals for the lights.

Tip#7: put your lowbeams in before you install the lights back on the car. WAY easier.

Slap them back on the car...

Linked Image

Put the bumper back on and voilla. Easy mod, I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Set aside a day to do it, since the painting takes the time. But don't be afraid. I was hesitant at first but it was a piece of cake. Having a helping hand when you take it apart might be all the difference in the world.

A couple more pics of the final product. Oooooooooooh... Aaaaahhhhhhh. Yeah it looks great, and will go great with my Carbon Fiber hoodscoop (which is in getting 6 coats of clearcoat) and my gunmetal rims which I should be buying any day now. Really, like ANY day now, I mean it, like totally. grin

Rock and roll. Hope this helps out with some of the details and tips & tricks.

Linked Image
Linked Image

Rob
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 254
aykut
Member
aykut Mar 8, 2:39am - #118824 
2000 black Toyota Celica GT
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2000 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 254
maryland
great guide smile thanks man , still afraild to mess it up
Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,716
celicafourotwo
Specialist
celicafourotwo Mar 8, 2:40am - #118825 

Specialist
2000 Toyota Celica

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 1,716
Nebraska
That's a nice job you did. The light luk awesome. Is that an Injen Intake i see you had hook up??

Good job

Originally Posted by pesho01
Question:
Whenever my car is at a full stop or even in park the RPM never sits on 0. what does this mean?
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,129
Sultan
Speed Omen
Sultan Mar 8, 2:40am - #118826 

Speed Omen
2002 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,129
Philadelphia, PA
very nice... good job with the guide thumbsup
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 306
round2gts
Member
round2gts Mar 8, 2:49am - #118827 

Member
2000 Toyota Celica

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 306
New Hampshire
first off rob they look sick. they look awsome painted against the yellow. and thanx for putting out all of the steps out with pics of exactly wat you did. because i am planning on doin this too and had no idea where to start. thanx a lot grin

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Joined: Jun 2003
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RoMkApOmKa
Specialist
RoMkApOmKa Mar 8, 2:52am - #118828 

Specialist
2002 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Jun 2003
Posts: 1,307
Maryland USA
Nice! thumbsup
Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 946
PnOyGtS
Senior Member
PnOyGtS Mar 8, 3:07am - #118829 

Senior Member
2000 Toyota Celica

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 946
Nassau,NY
Looks good!
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,372
Speed4TheNeed
Caleb
Speed4TheNeed Mar 8, 3:45am - #118830 

Caleb
2000 Toyota Celica

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 6,372
New Orleans, LA
Originally Posted by round2gts
first off rob they look sick. they look awsome painted against the yellow. and thanx for putting out all of the steps out with pics of exactly wat you did. because i am planning on doin this too and had no idea where to start. thanx a lot grin


ditto.

now THAT is awesome and a very nice job with the pics & install. great job, i can't say enough.

although we already have a similar guide on here about painting your headlights, it definately wouldn't hurt to give isaac a pm and ask him about taking a look at your guide to see if he can put this up as well.

again, great job. thumbsup
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
robare99
Senior Member
robare99 Mar 8, 3:57am - #118831 

Senior Member
2003 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
Alberta, Canada
Quote:

ditto.

now THAT is awesome and a very nice job with the pics & install. great job, i can't say enough.

although we already have a similar guide on here about painting your headlights, it definately wouldn't hurt to give isaac a pm and ask him about taking a look at your guide to see if he can put this up as well.

again, great job. thumbsup


Sure man, he can put it up with the other guides. The more information, the easier it gets for the next person. Whoever was the first person crazy enough to even think about it had some balls man! grin

Rob
Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 10,123
VSGTS14
05 WRB
VSGTS14 Mar 8, 4:05am - #118832 

05 WRB
2005 Subaru WRX STi

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 10,123
Milford, NJ
that's so fuckin awesome eek grin

SUBARU TECNICA INTERNATIONAL
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,296
bmw52786
Specialist
bmw52786 Mar 8, 4:08am - #118833 

Specialist
2001 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: May 2003
Posts: 1,296
Orlando/Gainesville, FL
thats sweet! maybe a ill set aside a day during spring break to try that... lol

IF YOU POST IT -- THEY WILL COME
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 416
GTStick
Senior Member
GTStick Mar 8, 4:10am - #118834 

Senior Member
2000 Toyota Celica

Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 416
New York
holy thats sooo niceee thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup
Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,658
Evan
Rebel
Evan Mar 8, 4:54am - #118835 

Rebel
2003 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 4,658
Washington
Originally Posted by Sultan
very nice... good job with the guide thumbsup

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Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,061
carbon_blue_gt
Specialist
carbon_blue_gt Mar 8, 7:02am - #118836 
2001 carbon blue Toyota Celica GT
Specialist
2001 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,061
Wyoming
VERY nice! Good work! I've been thinking about doing that, but i'm afraid to mess up the headlight housings...

Oh what the hell... i've already started painting my interior, might as well do the headlights too rofl

By the way, for people who have any other questions about painting, you can refer to my paint guide, which should answer your questions. Paint away!

robare99, Keep up the good work!

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Posts: 269
Warlord786
Member
Warlord786 Mar 8, 7:09am - #118837 
2000 Silver Toyota Celica GT
Member
2000 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Feb 2004
Posts: 269
Atlanta, Georgia
Great job, and thanks for the guide!

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Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
robare99
Senior Member
robare99 Mar 8, 8:09am - #118838 

Senior Member
2003 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 914
Alberta, Canada
Yeah man, go for it. Remember, God hates a coward. LOL it's easier than it sounds, but I think the key is an extra set of hands when you take them apart. Then a little time & patience.

Rob
Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,276
DJ_Curtiz
Specialist
DJ_Curtiz Mar 8, 4:45pm - #118839 
2001 Liquid Silver Toyota Celica GT
Specialist
2001 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Jul 2003
Posts: 1,276
Orange County, CA
BAT should make n overlay for this maybe is he could... confused

DJ CURTIZ - taking over the world one record at a time
Live life on the edge, otherwise you take up too much space.
Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,926
celicaTRDgts
Specialist
celicaTRDgts Mar 8, 7:39pm - #118840 

Specialist
02 Toyota Celica

Joined: Aug 2003
Posts: 2,926
Arizona
thats sickk dude...good job thumbsup

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Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 610
Spread Eagle
Senior Member
Spread Eagle Mar 8, 9:26pm - #118841 

Senior Member

Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 610
South Sweden
Yaah. Nice work. Still scared to take mine apart. I really do not want to f... it up wtf


Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 896
element_celica
Senior Member
element_celica Mar 8, 9:31pm - #118842 

Senior Member

Joined: Apr 2003
Posts: 896
Michigan
sweet dude! they look like the 03 headlights now thumbsup

rip celi...
95 240sx

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Unregistered
Anonymous Mar 8, 10:21pm - #118843 
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excellent man i hope i can do mine as well as yours...great job! thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup thumbsup

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Anonymous Mar 8, 10:28pm - #118844 
Unregistered



here is a contrast...
1869866056-405708_61_full.jpg

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Anonymous Mar 8, 10:29pm - #118845 
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and the other...
1869866059-405708_76_full.jpg

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Anonymous Mar 8, 10:30pm - #118846 
Unregistered



oooo, thats nice, much easier to compare!
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,373
AZZKIKR
SHO - NUFF
AZZKIKR Mar 8, 10:41pm - #118847 

SHO - NUFF
2003 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 2,373
ATL GA
just wow!!! that's super clean, but not something I think I'd have the brass to do...headlights in the oven scares me...incredible job tho.
Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 411
vietnamese2004
Senior Member
vietnamese2004 Mar 9, 5:41am - #118848 

Senior Member
2003 Toyota Celica

Joined: Dec 2003
Posts: 411
Canada - B.C - Vancouver
That's crazy man thumbsup
hope you don't mind if i copy u... rice
...just looks to dam good to pass up grin
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 8
JDK504
New Member
JDK504 Mar 10, 6:54am - #118849 
2000 SILVER Toyota Celica GT
New Member
2000 Toyota Celica GT

Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 8
CA
Anyone planning on doing this make sure you have lots of time, i read this yesterday 7th of march and decided to do it, i was out there from 430 pm to 1230 am, lolo... but the end result was way worth it no doubt. i also installed my TRD front bumper and fogs, and my TRD plate from bullet racing (thanx that shiz is tite)... so that took some time... but his directions are dead on balls accurate, ill post some pix soon, i just want to say thanx for posting that install guide you gave me a lot of direction in something i had no idea in doing... my gf also helped me the whole way, she was a big help except when she was complaining, as women do..lolo jk or not..

to those who try this good luck, just remember in the end it will be worth it!
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