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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Name:</font></b>
<p>Cleared Headlights Installation DIY</p>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Parts:</font></b>
<p>Silicone Sealant, Oven, Tin Foil, Damp Towel, Screwdriver, T20 Torx Wrench</p>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Total cost:</font></b>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Estimated Time:</font></b>
<p>2 hours</p>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Notes:</font></b>
<p>I assume in this FAQ that you have standard tools for working on cars. I'll be honest...this one takes guts. Make SURE to reseal the housing well or you will get water leakage, and that may blow your lights.</p>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Background:</font></b>
<p>Cleared headlights one of the cheapest mods you can do, with the most consequences. You could rub off the reflective coating, melt or crack your headlight housings, or not reseal the housings properly and blow out your headlights from moisture (and for those of us with HID's that could be costly). Once you've cleared them and passed those hurdles, you could still get pulled over for not having your reflectors in, and your resale value will probably be less without them in.<br>
Have I scared you off? No? Good. Because this mod was pretty easy. I would rate it with...installing new spark plugs...because it takes time, but not from a difficulty point of view. Some people do this with a heat gun or hair dryer instead of an oven. Let me tell you, I tried both and NONE work as easily as the oven, and you really risk cracking stuff with those two. If you use the oven method...this whole thing is a piece of cake.<br>
Now why would you do this? Uhm...because it looks SO much better without the reflectors I can't even begin to tell you. I was at first really worried because I didn't know if it would look better or not...but it definitely does. Once you put in silver bulbs that burn white it's even better.</p>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Summary of Process:</font></b>
<p>1. Remove the front bumper:</p>
<p>     a. Remove the screw inside each front wheel well</p>
<p>     b. Remove the plastic fasteners on either side of the bumper.</p>
<p>     c. Remove the remaining four fasteners at the front underside edge of the bumper.</p>
<p>     d. Remove the 7 fasteners under the hood above the grill.</p>
<p>     e. Unhook the two fog lights.</p>
<p>     f. Pull the bumper directly out and set it down.</p>
<p>2. Remove the headlight housings:</p>
<p>     a. Unhook the HID ballasts, the highbeams, the turn signals, and the corners.</p>
<p>     b. Remove the two bolts on top of the headlight housing.</p>
<p>     c. Remove the bolt on the outside edge of the housing.</p>
<p>     d. Remove the two bolts underneath the housing.</p>
<p>     e. Pull the headlight housing directly out.</p>
<p>3. Remove the metal clip on the outside corner of the housing.</p>
<p>4. Remove the HID lights, the highbeams, the turn signals, and the corners.</p>
<p>5. Remove the yellow reflector:</p>
<p>     a. Line an oven with tin foil (anywhere that the housing may touch) and place a damp towel down on the lowest rack of the oven.</p>
<p>     b. Broil (top burner, furthest away from the housing) the headlight housing at 200 degrees F (or around that temperature) for 5-6 minutes or until the sealant is soft.</p>
<p>     c. Slowly pry apart the housing, using a flathead screwdriver or knife at one corner to start. Keep any of the sealant from slipping down into the housing.</p>
<p>     d. Remove the two screws holding the reflector apparatus to the housing lens.</p>
<p>     e. Remove the reflector apparatus and pop out the reflector through the corner bulb hole with a screwdriver, or pop out from the front.</p>
<p>6. Reassemble the housing:</p>
<p>     a. Reassemble the lens/reflector apparatus. Carefully and with light pressure clean the reflector and inside of the lens with rubbing alcohol as needed.</p>
<p>     b. Reheat the back of the housing in the oven until the sealant is soft, and clear out the channel on the edge with a flathead screwdriver. Remove any excess factory sealant if necessary.</p>
<p>     c. Apply a thin bead of silicone sealant to the newly cleared channel and press the two housing pieces together.</p>
<p>     d. Reheat the whole housing apparatus until sealant is soft, and press the housing together and hold it until the sealant cools (3-4 mins). Reattach the metal clip.</p>
<p>7. Reinstall the HID lights, highbeams, turn signals, and corners.</p>
<p>8. Reinstall the headlight housings and reconnect the lights.</p>
<p>9. Reinstall the front bumper and reconnect the fog lights.</p>
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Step-By-Step Process:</font></b>
<p><a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights01b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights01s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
With all that said here is a look at my car before I have begun taking it apart
and clearing the headlights. You see the reflectors prominently on the sides of
the car.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights02b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights02s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
A closeup of that reflector I will be taking out shortly. Wow and this looks so
easy so far =).<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights03b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights03s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
So now we start taking out screws to remove the bumper. First up are the two
screws under the front fenders seated about 8" forward of vertical center
from the wheels. There is a recess that these are inside, so just feel for a
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights04b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights04s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Next I went under the car to remove a few more screws and fasteners. There are
two screws toward the edges of the bumper, you see a somewhat blurry shot of it
a little right of center here. There are also four plastic push fasteners spaced
evenly under there that must be removed.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights05b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights05s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
The plastic push fasteners you see here must be removed also. There are 5, the
four by the grille and the one a little further back. There are two more located
one in each corner of the top plastic piece you are looking at now.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights06b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights06s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Once these are removed the bumper can be taken off, the fog lights unhooked, and
the bumper placed carefully on the ground.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights07b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights07s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
My brother laughing because we just ripped the face off my luxury sedan. We have
already unplugged the 4 harnesses going into the housing: the HID's, the
highbeams, the corners, and the blinkers. Now you see the headlights are
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights08b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights08s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
When you've removed the bumper you will be able to see the metal bars on either
side pictured here. Remove the two screws (I already have) holding the top of
the housing in place...<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights09b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights09s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Plus the bolt on the outer side of each housing...<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights10b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights10s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Plus the two bolts underneath the housing (the ones that are facing you, not the
ones facing up). These two bolts and the one above hold in not only the whole
housing but also a metal supporting bar underneath. You can see this bar here
clearly. Don't be scared when the two come out together.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights11b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights11s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
And here's the fruit of that headlight housings. These look beautiful
right now...I sure hope they do when they come out.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights12b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights12s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Oh my God where are my eyes! My eyes!!! I mean...ahem...back to modding.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights13b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights13s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
You need a T-20 Torx socket to get those HID's out...which you will have to do
before you bake them (yeah we'll get to that). Go pick em up at your local
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights14b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights14s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
This is the back of the headlight housing. From left to right is the highbeams,
the HID's, the blinkers (top) and the corners (bottom). I've gone ahead and
removed the top that covers the HID bulb and taken the HID's out by unhooking a
clip that holds them in. I removed all the bulbs in preparation for clearing.
You'll also notice the ballast on the bottom. As scary as this sounds...that
ballast can be put in the oven without any problems.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights15b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights15s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Ha ha ha...okay yeah so I had to improvise on my oven. To take the housing
apart, you have to heat it so that the silicon rubber that Honda uses to make
them softens, so that you can pull them apart easily. You can do this two
ways...first, with a heat gun or hair dryer, and second with an oven. I tried
the first does NOT work very well and you are very liable to crack
your casing. So I chose the oven method. To prep for this you will coat the
inside of your oven with aluminum foil...anything that the housing would touch.
After you do that, take a large towel, soak it down then wring it out just a
little, fold it up, and place it on the bottom tray in the oven. If you put the
housing on the lowest rack you will want to put it on broil so it will turn the
top on, not bake which turns on the bottom. Additionally I decided to place a
rack above the housing covered in foil to keep too much radiant heat from
hitting the housing. My oven wasn't large enough to close so I used aluminum
foil to extend the door somewhat and had to turn the temperature all the way up.
Normally you'd only turn the temperature up to 200 and make sure to let it
preheat beforehand. But again...don't let the housing touch anything but foil or
towel. Leave it baking for about 8 minutes or so, then quickly take it
should be hot to the touch but you should be able to hold it for about 4-5
seconds before letting go. Also make sure to remove the metal clip on the corner
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights16b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights16s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Immediately after taking it out of the oven, before it cools, find a place where
the silicon rubber is visible and insert a screwdriver or spackle (as shown). It
will be difficult to pry apart, I assure you, especially in the beginning. Once
you pry for a little while and can stick your fingers in the crack you've made
between the sides of the housing, what I would suggest (and against everyone
else) is just start pulling them apart like you would a bear trap. I say this
for two reasons. First, prying the housing with a screwdriver at all will bend
the plastic around the seal. That just happens. So if you use your hands to pull
instead you won't have this problem. But will have to bake it
more than once because it cools so quickly. It took me two bakes on one and
three on the other.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights17b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights17s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
So here is one of the housings finally pried apart. Notice all that silicon goo
around the edges. I would suggest you bake the reflector side (on the right
here) one more time and the use your fingers to push all of the silicon to the
outside of the lip. I say that because when you pull out the reflector, you
don't want that stuff to be in your way or to get on the reflector.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights18b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights18s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
I have already done this...but you have to remove two small screws that hold the
lens onto the reflective housing piece. Be very careful NOT TO TOUCH ANYTHING
REFLECTIVE! If you think you will wear latex gloves. But do not touch it with
bare fingers, you will ruin the chrome. Now the reflector is finally exposed.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights19b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights19s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
The reflector is easy to take out. You can use your fingers and lightly pull it
out by its edge or push a screwdriver or similar object through the corner hole.
It snaps into place so if you ever want to resell your car keep the
reflectors...and you can put them back in.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights20b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights20s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
As soon as you take the reflector out put the chrome piece back into the lens
piece. If you see any marks on the lens, clean with a cloth and rubbing alcohol.
If you see marks on the reflector then very lightly clean with a cloth and
rubbing alcohol. Very lightly. The chrome will rub off, so check after each rub
to see if you see rub marks...and just avoid touching the piece and having to
deal with this at all.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights21b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights21s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Both headlight housings cleared. Now I just have to reseal the back and the
front and I'll be done!<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights22b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights22s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
So here is what I did to reseal them. I did NOT remove all the extra factory
silicon, as some people suggest to do. Instead, I baked the rear section by
itself, then took a small screwdriver and cleared out the channel around the
edge (there is a very noticeably channel there. This just pushed the silicon out
of the way to the sides. I then got my own silicon rubber and laid a nice
1/8" or so bead inside that channel...enough to fill it most of the way up.
Looking back on it I should have bought the black kind...but this clear kind
works as well...I just have to peel the excess off or it will look bad.<br>
But anyway, after I laid the bead I pressed the two pieces together and
reattached the metal clip in the corner. Then I set the entire housing in the
oven again for another 8 minutes. When the factory silicon was good and soft I
took it out and pressed them together and held that pressure for about 3-4
minutes. This allowed the factory silicon to cool and hold the housing together.
After the silicon cooled, they were resealed and I just had to wait 10 more
minutes for my silicon to dry.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights23b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights23s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Ah success. Here are both of the housings finished. They look so much better
cleared I can't even describe it.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights24b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights24s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
A nice closeup shot of one of the cleared housings.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights25b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights25s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
So now it's time to put these back on. I almost couldn't stand it but I waited
for an hour for my silicon to fully dry (it will take 24 hours to cure however,
so don't let water touch it or turn on your headlights and heat it). Then I
reinserted all the bulbs I had earlier taken out and I was ready to reinstall
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights26b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights26s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
A picture of the cleared housings back on the car. You can really tell how
annoying the amber colored turn signals are once you've cleared out your
headlights. I'll have to change that to an amber blinking silver bulb ASAP.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights27b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights27s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Here is a picture of the housings reinstalled and plugged up. You can still see
silicon at the top of the housing because I have not peeled off the excess. I'd
wait 24 hours before peeling any excess of, then be very careful not to break
the seal. I decided to leave the excess anywhere that wasn't visible because
it's always nice to have an extra strong bond to keep out any water.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights28b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights28s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
The car looks a lot healthier with its eyes back and face on =).<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights29b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights29s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Here's what the housings look like now. That little corner bulb is absolutely
pitiful...I'll be changing that very soon. But the housing itself looks a whole
lot nicer.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights30b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights30s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
And this is the housing in the daytime.<br>
<a href="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights31b.jpg"><img border="0" src="/diy/clearedheadlights/clearedheadlights31s.jpg" width="160" height="120"></a><br>
Wow, what an improvement! This was definitely worthwhile to do, and best of all
it was free! And the reflectors are easy to replace (granted you have to open
the housing again but still) so you can revert back to OEM before you sell the
<td width="100%"><b><font size="4">Questions/Comments:</font></b>
<p>If you have any questions feel free to email me at <a href="mailto:[email protected]?subject=Clear Headlights Install">
[email protected]</a></p>
<p>- Austin519</p>
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