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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I didn't see any other writeups on this, so here is what I did.

First off, park the car somewhere level and set the e-brake.
Pop the hood and jack the front of the car up (place jack under tow hook).
Place jack stands under each jack mount behind each front wheel.
Using a 10mm ratchet, take out the bolts holding the plastic splash shield under the front of the car. This will

make it much easier to remove the lights from your turn signals/fog lights/sidemarkers.
Make sure you got these 3 bolts out so the bumper will come off:



Pull down the plastic shield from the front of the wheel well on one side of the car. Reach up and twist the bulbs (to the left) on the side markers, turn signals, and fog lights if you have them.

With the hood popped, remove the two 10mm bolts and two plastic retaining clips from the plastic upper grille.

Remove the plastic grille.
Now the fastners that hold the bumper in place should be exposed:



Remove the plastic clips. They come off easily, just pop the center up with a flathead screwdriver then pull it out.

Continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
Now its time to start removing the bumper. On each side, there are two clips at the top of the bumper and a bolt or screw (I can't remember) on the end where the bumper meets the fender at the wheel well. See picture for exact locations:



First you will need to remove the bolt on the end, then pull the side of the bumper outward and it will pop out of the clips. They should come out fairly easily but you may need to pull a little - don't be afraid, its just plastic. Repeat for both sides.
Now you should be able to pull the bumper straight off, but first lay some old towels down on the floor so you don't scratch the bumper. Pull the bumper straight off. It should come off easily with no resistance. If it doesn't want to come off, you probably missed a bolt or a clip. Set the bumper to the side. If you have a body kit, you may want to set it upside down like so:



And your car should look something like this:



Continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Now you need to remove the headlights. There are 3 bulbs you need to unplug. The parking light (small one on the corner) needs to twist off to the left then pull it out. The other two just pull straight out.
Next you need to unbolt the headlights. There should be 3 bolts for each headlight and they should be 10mm bolts.

The driver's side is easy but the passenger side can be a pain but just bare with it. One bolt on top of the light, and one on either side:



You will need to tilt the lights around a little to wiggle them out but they should come out easily.

Now comes the fun part. Get a flat head screwdriver, both headlights, a towel, and some oven mitts and go in the kitchen. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, spread the towel out on the counter and set the headlights on the towel. Take the lights out of the headlight (I'm not sure if cooking them would harm them or not, but I removed them anyways). Make sure you put the racks in the oven down as low as they will go and place a pan on the lowest rack to dissipate the heat. Direct heat would be bad for your headlights. After the oven preheats, TURN THE OVEN OFF! Then promptly place one of the headlights in the oven. Set a timer for two minutes.
After two minutes of cooking, take the headlight out of the oven and set it on the towel. Make sure you use the oven mitts because it will be very hot.
Holding the light with one hand with an oven mitt, use the flat head screwdriver with your other hand to gently and slowly pry the housing apart. You will notice that there are clips all around the headlight and you need to pop the clip up and out then pry the clear lens away from the housing. Pry around the entire headlight and once you get about halfway around it should start to come off fast and easy. By now the clear lens should be cool enough to touch, so set the screwdriver down and pull it off. Repeat for each headlight.

Continued...
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Set the housing to the side and place the clear lens face down on the towel. You will notice there are two screws holding the silver plastic piece to the clear lens, this is what you want to paint. Now cuss at me for not telling you to get a phillips head screwdriver, then go out to the garage and get a phllips head screwdriver and remove those two screws from each light.

Once you remove both screws, the plastic piece should come out easily, you may want to start from the corner with the sharpest angle first, I found it comes out easier if you pull from that corner.
Now you should have something like this:



You will want to scuff it a little with some 600 grit sandpaper so the paint will stick good. Then take it outside and put 2 or 3 coats of paint on. Make sure you cover all of the areas that will be visible but don't spray it too thick or it will run and look bad. Repeat for the other light. If your clear plastic lens is dirty, this would be a good time to clean it. After the paint is dry (drying time will depend on what type of paint you used) then screw the painted pieces back to the clear housing. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, TURN THE OVEN OFF, put the headlight back together and press down a little (it won't snap together because the sealant is dried up and hard). Now place the unit into the oven for 2 minutes. When it is done, take it out with the oven mitts and press and hold it together firmly. This step is crucial because you don't want moisture to get into your headlight. Make sure it is sealed back up good all the way around and the clips are all back in place.

Now put everything back together the opposite way you took it apart, and you're good to go.

Congratulations! You're done :)
 

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Very nice write-up, & good clear pictures.

I'm wondering, would new sealant be in order? Does the reheating stage restore it enough for long-term durability, or would a thin bead of silicon all around work better?
 

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Daemione said:
Very nice write-up, & good clear pictures.

I'm wondering, would new sealant be in order? Does the reheating stage restore it enough for long-term durability, or would a thin bead of silicon all around work better?
you could use the old sealant by reheating it that's what andookc would tell you too but to be safe, i would just use some extra sealant either rubber cement or silicone
 

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Thanks for the great write-up on removing the front bumper. I've been wanting to take mine off b/c I have a slightly larger gap on the drivers side: What do you think would be the best way to solve this? It seems like the clips aren't holding it on tight enough (i've tried pushing it back it). I don't suppose there is any type of adjustment once you have it off?? (like the rubber hood height adjusters that screw in).
I'd show you a picture, but stoopid azz aol is down

:mad:
 

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i say stick with teh butyl rubber sealant....the ONLY objection i have to silicone is that the oven method doesnt reopen it b/c you would end up melting the plastic before you would melt the silicone. I used silicone on my headlights and sheesh...i must not have done a good job b/c it got condensation....but on all my customers i use the oven method and so far no reports of condensation even from my first custeroms back in february.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
jtown said:
let's see some pics of the final product.
There are some pictures about halfway down this thread.

Mr Ludecrs: You can use a few screws in the top of the bumper to pull it up tighter. My bumper was a little low on the passenger side, so I took the turn signal out on that side and put a screw up through the bumper into the metal brace. It seems to be working fine and the turn signal covers up the screw :)
 

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Ok, just thought of something... if I screw thru the metal it'll leave the metal bare which will certainly rust. I wonder how I can seal it? Maybe drill the hole, and then use globs of touch up paint. Instead of a screw, I'll use a small lock nut and bolt. It'll be a PITA, but it'll be solid. Ahh, and I'll use rubber washers to keep it from rubbing the paint away and shrink tubing on the threads. :D

Any better ideas?
 

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good detailed write up

mite i suggest putting the "tools required" in ur first post.. so u dont have to mention cussing at u for not gettin a screwdriver ;)
 

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do you get water or mist in the headlights?

also - do you think the oven is safe for my european headlights? they are the ones that u can adjust in height

what did you use to apply the paint? now that you've seen the final product yourself, do you wish you went with a flat black paint instead (a la JDM ITR front)?
 

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nuro said:
do you get water or mist in the headlights?

also - do you think the oven is safe for my european headlights? they are the ones that u can adjust in height

what did you use to apply the paint? now that you've seen the final product yourself, do you wish you went with a flat black paint instead (a la JDM ITR front)?
I imagine there is a motor in your headlights that adjusts them, I wouldn't chance it by putting them in the oven. I would however consider trading my USDM headlights for yours, that way you can get yours painted ;).

Realistically I would suggest using a heatgun (be careful, these get hot), or maybe a hair dryer would do the job and heat up around the edges to soften the plastic up. It might be hard though, since you can't heat the whole thing up at once. The heatgun probably would if you move fast enough, but most people don't have a heat gun.
 

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Thanks for the DETAILED write up, i will def be using this if i paint my housing:bigthumb: PLZ faq this:)
 
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