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HID/Retrofit Expert
2002 Camry LE
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4,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Materials Needed:

Headlight
Oven or Heat Gun
Flathead Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Fine Grit Sandpaper
High Heat Spraypaint (For Plastics)

Step 1:
Remove headlight from vehicle.



Step 2:
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. While its heating up, there are two screws on the back of the headlight near where the turn signal is. Use the Phillips screwdriver to remove them. Then put your headlight on a pan and stick it in. After 2 minutes, turn off the oven and let the headlight sit inside for another 5 minutes. Then pull it out. WARNING: The headlight will be hot, so either wear gloves or make sure your hands can handle the heat. Start working away at the little tabs along the length of the headlight, and use a flathead screwdriver to pry apart the headlight at the seams. Use the screwdriver to "cut" through the silicon glue. Once you have one corner mostly apart, you can just grab both halves and start pulling them apart and it should be fairly easy to separate them at this point. Make sure to do this part fast, because the glue hardens quickly.

You can also do this step with a heat gun instead of an oven (I recommend this method because there is less chance of damaging the headlight). Instead of heating the entire headlight, you can just aim the heatgun at the seams and once it heats up, start at it with the flathead.

Once you have the two halves separated, the housing will be attached to the lens by a small screw and 2 tabs. Take out the screw and release the tabs, and you can remove the housing. This is what you will have:



Step 3:
Remove the side marker (you can replace it later on if you like, but I decided to remove it permanently.) You can just pull on it and it should come off. If it doesn't, then just release the two small tabs that its held on by.



Step 4:
Remove the amber housing for the turn signal. This was a real pain in the ass. The two tabs that its held in by are really tough to remove. I had to use a small flathead to pry on the side of the amber housing until it finally came free. Some force was involved, but you have to be careful not to break it because this part has to be put back on at the end.



Step 5:
Take your housing and using the fine grit sandpaper (about $2 for 5 sheets at any hardware store), sand away as much of the chrome as possible. The fine grit will keep the smoothness of the housing, but it will haze away the chrome.



You will end up with something like this:



Step 6:
Take the housing out to a well ventilated area with your paint and spray on multiple light coats (with about 10 minutes in between each) onto the housing. Then let dry.




Step 7:
Put everything back together, and stick it in the oven/hit it with the heat gun again to make the silicon gooey again ,and then put a lot of pressure on it for about 10 minutes or so until the glue hardens to keep from having moisture leak. You'll end up with this:

 

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The Cool Guy
Toyota Camry 02
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2,564 Posts
oh dang...that looks really clean man, Great job Mike!
 

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The Greek....
96 Camry
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1,471 Posts
that is badasss :thumbup:
 

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HID/Retrofit Expert
2002 Camry LE
Joined
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4,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
leasaunce said:
WOW, looks very easy to do it. Great work Mike! :thumbsup:

got pics of the headlights on the car before & after the work?
Hehe, not yet. This was a test run on a used headlight that I got on ebay for $10 to make sure that I wouldn't screw up the ones that I've got. I'll be working on mine sometime after finals. The reason I say in the DIY that I recommend using a heatgun instead of using the oven is 'cause on this one, even though you can't see it from the pics, I actually messed up a little. I kept it in the oven for too long, and part of the plastic on the back half of the headlamp melted :lol: . With a heatgun, you don't run as much risk because you can aim it directly at the seams isntead of heating the entire lamp.
 

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Registered
toyota camry
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1,793 Posts
nice job:thumbup: , i also did this but i bought new headlights and did it with them and i tried other things with my old ones and i put one of them in the oven at 300 degrees and i went on tn and forgot all about, yo the plastic melted and got stuck to the bottom of the oven:lol:
 

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Registered
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684 Posts
It melted because the head (flame) was too close to the headlight. Use the separators in the ovens to put in as fas as possible from the flame and do it at low heat. It you put it too hot, it will melt, thats why its best to leave it at low temp. Good gob though, but if you want it to be a SE look- dont forget to leave the sinside of the light chome and the ring around it. If i would do anything it would be not to paint those parts.
 

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HID/Retrofit Expert
2002 Camry LE
Joined
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4,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JMSinMD said:
Im a little confused as to why you had to put the amber plastic back in?? Jon.
Well, you don't HAVE to. But it looks kinda ghetto with just the bulb there. It gives it a nice look with the amber housing back in (not the reflector) because it doesn't look all that amber anymore. Its nice and dark because of the black behind it.
 

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684 Posts
Next time i reopen the housing to paint it clean, i muh do a DIY, with projectors too, so when u decide to do it u have some reference. =D
 

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FJ nut
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2,185 Posts
I thought u were going to pain the insides GOLD.... as one picture suggests... :D

ONE QUESTION......... do u think ur headlight is as well sealed now as the manufac did so no moisture will leak in?
 

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HID/Retrofit Expert
2002 Camry LE
Joined
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4,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks guys.

Yeah, its well sealed. As long as you heat up the silicon nicely before you put it back together, and then clamp down on it nice and tight to close it as tightly as possible, the silicon won't leak. I just bought 2 new headlamps off of ebay so when I get them, I'm gonna paint them and install those on my car. :D
 

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HID/Retrofit Expert
2002 Camry LE
Joined
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4,304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Ok, so I bought two more headlights off of ebay ('cause I don't want to screw mine up) and as soon as they get here, I'm going to paint them and remove the corner reflectors, and I'm gonna slap them on the car. So installed pics will be coming soon. :D Stay tuned, dudes.
 
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