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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Is the glue on the typical ebay (Eagle Eye/JDM) headlights heat-softenable like the OEM ones?

Will I do damage to anything (like the faux chrome) by heating them and will heat even get them apart?

Anybody ever successfully been into one (and got it back together) without damage?

I rinsed out a headlight (happens to be black diamond, but should be assembled like regular ones?) with alcohol on a brand new one I had stored away and am ready to use, and the black paint reacted/curled/wrinkled, so I need to get inside and repaint that. (This one happens to be for a Concorde, but they likely would have used the same assembly techniques/glue to put them together as for the Intrepid ones.)

HELP!
 

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As far as I know the "glue" is the heat softened Butyl that's used on most headlight assemblies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
OK - thanks - I hope you're right. Once these are gone, that's it. Any damage from the heat - game over.

You're a good person to ask: What's the best paint to use for this - Krylon? Would you say the color is typically something like a semi-flat black?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Tom. In this case, it's not a matter of what I might think looks good - because I need to match the other headlight of the pair (that's what's going to look good). That's what I'm looking for - what paint matches typical black trim (and headlights) on our cars? I should have asked my question differently. :)
 

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Anybody ever successfully been into one (and got it back together) without damage?
There was a thread where someone did this and was successful. I will look for it.

Peva cried help. :ahh: the world is ending!
I would be curious to know if you succeed. Mice used mine as bathrooms and I get to pull mine apart too.. :glum:
 

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I've repainted the inside of factory lights where they were once chrome. I scuffed it all up with a red scotch-bright pad, cleaned the dust off and used Krylon semi-gloss paint. The semi-gloss should be a close enough match but I've never examined concorde black diamonds before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
There was a thread where someone did this and was successful. I will look for it.
That would be great especially if it was an aftermarket one.

Mice used mine as bathrooms and I get to pull mine apart too.. :glum:
I had stored them in their shipping boxes (opened), and left one bulb out of the one. As luck would have it, some grass seed got spilled into the box, and - yep - right into the bulb hole! I thought it was a good idea to slosh rubbng alcohol around in it to get the seeds and dust accompanying it out. Wrong!

Whoever said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure had it wrong - it's worth a ton of cure! LOL!

...The semi-gloss should be a close enough match but I've never examined concorde black diamonds before.
That's probably right. Typical car rubber and black trim stuff is close to the same color, so Krylon certainly would have mada a color that is close to that.

Thanks for the tips, guys. Putting it in the oven has me the most worried. Paintung it and getting it back together should be the easy parts. I'll search for the "recipe" for temperature and time (300°F for 20 minutes?) - unless someone wants to post that. :)
 

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Gearhead was the one doing the project here.

Paintballdude's recipe here.. "Heat to 160* in an oven for 5 minutes or so, then start prying open. Repeat until you get it apart. Just be careful with everything and don't touch the chrome if you can."
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Bless you my son! Great confidence booster.
 

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160 is a pretty safe temperature. 5 minutes is good for the first run, then go 3-4 after that because the lights are already hot. I've used butyl rubber that you get at the hardware store as filler for adding extra sealer in the seam. I roll them into strings and insert them in before baking them together.

I've had a similar experience with special headlights as you are having. They had slight water spots on the chrome so I decided to clean them out with water and achool. Turns out I got more spots than I started with so I had to open them up and clean by hand.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
Actually, the chrome on these is holding up and staying shiny following the alcohol rinses.

I get a little confused with the comments, not knowing what applies to the OEM and what applies to the aftermarket ones. I get the impression that the OEM chrome is delicate - maybe vapor deposited - you touch it and it's ruined? From what I can tell, the aftermarket chrome is more like a paint or plating, and though in some ways would be considered inferior by designers, is not easily damaged simply by touching it. I don't know - this is based on nothing more than impressions - which could be wrong. Any help that might straighten out on my thinking on that would be appreciated. Be sure to specify if your comments apply to OEM or aftermarket - or maybe I'm wrong in thinking that they are that much different from each other (for the chrome parts).

Beyond the heating part, my concern is how to mask off the chrome without damaging it for when I spray the black. I may have to construct a floating barrier of tape, but not sure of potential for overspray drifting onto the chrome.

160 is a pretty safe temperature. 5 minutes is good for the first run, then go 3-4 after that because the lights are already hot.
By that, you mean 160 for 5 minutes, pry a little, then heat some more (3 or 4 minutes) and pry some more, repeat until separated?

I've used butyl rubber that you get at the hardware store as filler for adding extra sealer in the seam. I roll them into strings and insert them in before baking them together.
What form does that come in? Not tubes of glue? Some kind of chunks or solid form? Not something you buy in the auto parts stores?

I've had a similar experience with special headlights as you are having. They had slight water spots on the chrome so I decided to clean them out with water and achool. Turns out I got more spots than I started with so I had to open them up and clean by hand.
So maybe the impressions I've formed about the OEM chrome are wrong - you can actually rub ligthtly and clean/wipe dry? But both OEM and aftermarket might be scratched very easily - never to be made shiny again?

Thanks for bearing with me guys - I just want to get my mind right about this knowing that one mistake means a junk headlight assembly.
 

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Thanks for bearing with me guys - I just want to get my mind right about this knowing that one mistake means a junk headlight assembly.
The main reason why I haven't messed with mine yet. I was going to pour alcohol in mine, but you stopped me. :D I wonder what kind of impact bleach will have. In Gearhead's thread he was talking about a "squirrel finder" and how is impacts the lights' cutoff. Do you have plans to look into and possibly remove that piece? He talks about it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
...Do you have plans to look into and possibly remove that piece? He talks about it here.
I saw that. I do believe that that is part of the DOT requirements - it is to bounce some light to overhead signs. I don't plan on making any changes on that.

Bill, you got a broken junkyard set you can test on? Maybe pickup a shattered lens to play with?...
I did 3 or 4 years ago, but finally threw it out. And it was OEM, so, again, I'm not sure if any experiment results would be applicable to the ebay aftermarket crap - err - I mean stuff.

QUESTION ABOUT PAINTING PLASTICS: The Krylon can doesn't say anything about suitability for plastics - and I saw the Duplicolor Adhesion Promotor to be used as a primer for plastics.

In your experience painting plastics, would it be better to use the Krylon by itself, or should I use the Adhesion Promotor for prep?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
OK - Pretty much all good news so far:

Got it apart no problem. See photos below.

All chrome is one piece of plastic attached to the back shell, and the black is a separate piece of plastic attached to the front clear lens.

The rolled over front edge of the black plastic is right up against the clear lens so I can't paint it like that - *but*, it is attached to the clear lens with three posts headed over by melting. I can melt or grind off the heads of the posts, remove the black plastic piece, prep it, paint it, then re-attach it.

The only remaining questions are:
1. Krylon with no primer, or Krylon over Adhesion promoter.
2. Butyl from hardware store - what form does that come in - as a tube of caulk? Probably Lowes would have that?


Thanks for all the help. Making lemons out of lemonaide.
 

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The krylon I had was meant for all surfaces and said you didn't need to prime the plastic. So, I'd follow the instructions on the can. One thing to remember is that you don't want to out it on too thick and then get rid of the texture that might be in the original finish.

The chrome plating in the oem lights is pretty durable when it comes to the reflector. The chrome trim piece that goes around the turn signal area of an intrepid headlight is pretty fragile. It discoloration easily by just touching it with your finger.

The butyl I had came in a 1" wide roll. It was grey in color and looked like what was existing in the light's seam. I'd imagine lowes would have it, probably in the window section.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Steph. I will have to re-read the Krylon can again.

Yeah - I'd already thought about the texture. I believe the base plastic is black, so keeping it thin should not be a problem.

Will check Lowe's on the butyl, and I plan to run some clear RTV around the outside of the seam when finished too.
 

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I also used a clear adhesive on the seam of my intrepid's custom headlights after resealling them with butyl. I haven't had problems with water coming in, only a bit of condensation in the winter which I plan to fix with some better venting.
 

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doesnt krylon make paint specially for plastic?

why not use a heatgun instead of the oven? or just demil the seam and use epoxy?
 
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