How to bake a headlight

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Technical Discussion' started by jelloslug, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    Or how to remove your headlight lens.
    I had a problem. I had 2 headlights, one with a good lens and a broken housing, and one with a good housing and a broken lens. The solution to my delima may seem obvious but to the inexperienced headlight chef the task can be daunting. Here is a step by step guide for proper headlight lens removal for pleasure or personal gain.

    Step 1: Remove the headlight from the car and clean it thoroughly. Make sure to not get any water inside the headlight assembly.

    [​IMG]

    Step 2: Remove any bulbs, covers, screws, and metal bits. They stay hot much longer and can burn you.

    [​IMG]

    Step 3: This is only if you are replacing your lens. Make sure your replacement lens is clean in the inside and there is no excess glue on the edges.

    [​IMG]

    Step 4: Place the headlight on a suitable sized baking tray and place the headlight in the oven. Make sure that the headlight is not touching the sides of the oven or the element.

    [​IMG]

    Step 5: Set the oven for 200° F (about 95° for you Celsius guys) and bake the headlight for 15 to 20 minuets.

    [​IMG]

    Step 6: Remove the toasty headlight with oven mitts (or welding gloves for you manly types) and quickly start prying all the way around the edges of the lens with a flat bladed screwdriver. It would be a good idea to have a box cutter handy because after you have the lens pulled away from the housing the glue will get very stringy. The box cutter is great for slicing the glue. It is VERY important that you DO NOT get the black glue on the inside of the chrome housing because it WILL NOT come back off. You may even want to have a helper make sure that the glue is not flopping into the wrong spots while you pull the lens apart.

    [​IMG]

    Step 7: To reassemble the lens pop the lens in the oven at 200° F again and let it warm up (if you are swapping lenses just put it in just after you take out the headlight). This will make it so the glue can flow along the edges and seal the lens.

    [​IMG]

    Step 8: Quickly press the lens into the groove on the housing making sure to snap in all the tabs. While it's still hot install the 3 screw that go in the corners of the lens. This will help seat the lens better. After it's cool reassemble all the bulbs, covers, screws, and metal bits and then install it on your car.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    Wow.....I don't think I'll every do that, but that's some cool cooking!
     
  3. Patrick Wong

    Patrick Wong DIY Enthusiast

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    Fascinating. Regarding step #7, did you add a bead of glue (if so, what type of glue) or are you reusing the existing glue bead?

    Is this a halogen (not HID) assembly?
     
  4. sdtundra

    sdtundra Senior Member

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    Patrick Wong, i think its a halogen seein as he has a Package 2

    Thanks for the writeup, now to find an extra set of headlights and try to remove the orange pieces to get a complete chrome look like on my Tundra
     
  5. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    I did not add any new glue. There is more than enough to reseal the lens after you put it back together. The headlight is a halogen type but the process would be the same on an HID style. Just make sure to remove the ballast when you are taking it apart.
     
  6. dwreed3rd

    dwreed3rd New Member

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    Great thread!
     
  7. rooster

    rooster New Member

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    Jelloslug, when you removed the lens, do you think you could have also removed the orange parts of the housing and still put the whole thing back together again? I brought my Prius from the US to Europe and here the parking lights have to be white. So, I need to somehow remove the orange plastic that make the light orange. Or, if that's not possible, buy a new headlight assembly.

    Did you need to disconnect the battery, remove the fender liners and the bumper to remove the headlight assembly? I found some manual online for a 2006 Prius and that's what it says you have to do.
     
  8. Rokeby

    Rokeby Member

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    jelloslug,

    Whoa! I am taken aback, dumbfounded even!

    How did you come to believe that this could be done?

    How did discover that 200 deg F. was the right temperature?

    Do you think that it would also work for the rear light assembly?

    [Edit] I take it that you used an electric oven...
     
  9. thedutchtouch

    thedutchtouch prius is my SUV

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    HiDPlanet.com :: Index has a wealth of info on HID retrofits, LED taillight modifications, and how to open housings etc.

    it depends on the taillight. when i made the LED taillights for my taurus SHO, my SHO's taillights came apart with some heat and gentle prying. some cars, however, are plastic welded (ie they can't be heated apart. i don't have a prius yet so i wouldn't know.
     
  10. ekpolk

    ekpolk What could possibly...

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    Alas, if I ever tried this at home, I'd need a HEAD replacement, as my wife would surely remove mine... ;)
     
  11. Genoz World

    Genoz World ZEN-style living

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    this is a very "heavy" thread!

    fascinating indeed!
     
  12. Flying White Dutchman

    Flying White Dutchman Senior Member

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    wow some cooking haha
     
  13. toyotechwv

    toyotechwv Toyota Technician

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    Do you think you could seperate the lense and paint parts of the headlight housing?
     
  14. jeffsf

    jeffsf New Member

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    Sorry for reviving an ancient thread.

    Is there a way to remove the little translucent strip/piece between the turn signal and low beams?

    I'm trying to make my housing look like the JDM headlights without spending $375 for brand new housings. I will probably use some flexible led strips (those that have minimal space between each LED) that can hopefully fit between the translucent piece and the housing behind it.

    Since I'll be opening the lens, I might be removing the orange pieces as well as painting parts of the headlight just to get it over with.
     
  15. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    The orange parts will pop off once you have the lens off the front.
     
  16. kohnen

    kohnen Grumpy, Cranky Senior Member

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    Yup yup! My wife has a hard and fast rule - if it's "hers" and (she finds out that) I use it for the car, it becomes "mine" and she buys a new one.

    I got a turkey baster, large pot and a stock pot that way. I really wouldn't want to be the proud owner of my very own garage oven.:focus:
     
  17. krzysboron

    krzysboron New Member

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    The black thermal glue could be removed from chromed parts of headlight with use of WD-40 or something similar with benzine and oil.
     
  18. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    The chrome will come right off if you touch it with any solvent. Ask me how I know!
     
  19. xs650

    xs650 Senior Member

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    Jelloslug, you mentioned a "replacement lens". Can you actually buy replacement lenses for Prii headlights?
     
  20. jelloslug

    jelloslug It buffed right out!

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    Not that I know of.
     
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