Headlight Mods

Discussion in 'DIY' started by RileyZ, Apr 13, 2019.

  1. RileyZ

    RileyZ Active Member

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    #1 RileyZ, Apr 13, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2019
    Let me start off with just saying the modifications made to my headlights are upgraded clear projector lens, new reflectors, and just some basic painting. And even though some headlights are easy to work with fords permaseal easily made this one of most difficult mods I have attempted. It was about a 3 day process for me start to finish just because I took my sweet time working on them and the results turned out great. I have listed all of the parts and supplies I used to hopefully help others who attempt this. I'm sure there are probably some parts to this process that I missed but I tried to explain everything start to finish.

    New Parts:
    Dk Moulds Light Smoked Reflectors: https://www.scorpioncoatingplus.net...I0qsuGOCwtdtaolRbdWOrC_QBkGhr07WzAK97WN5Lty-s
    (Dan is not currently moulding new reflectors so here is an alternate company doing so https://speedoflightcustoms.com/shop/ford/2015-17-mustang-clear-headlight-markers/)

    Morimoto 3”:STI-R Clear Projector Lenses- https://www.theretrofitsource.com/sti-r-54614.html

    Supplies:
    SEM Satin Black 15243- https://www.amazon.com/Paints-SEM15243-Satin-Black-Aerosol/dp/B00FMS8N0E

    Morimoto Retrorubber Butyl Glue- https://www.theretrofitsource.com/morimoto-retrorubber-butyl-glue-52001.html

    Permatex Black Silicone 81173- https://www.amazon.com/Permatex-81173-Silicone-Adhesive-Sealant/dp/B000HBGJ8Y

    Gorilla Epoxy- https://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Epoxy-Minute-ounce-Syringe/dp/B001Z3C3AG/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?crid=3PL8B2LLO0NE&keywords=gorilla+glue+epoxy&qid=1555128518&s=gateway&sprefix=gorilla+glue+e,aps,133&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1

    Panel Clip Pliers- https://www.harborfreight.com/panel-clip-pliers-63699.html


    The first step in this process is to lift the front end of your s550 up in the air then begin to remove the front bumper.
    How to Remove Front Bumper:

    Next we need to remove the headlights and light bulbs.
    How to Remove Headlights and Light Bulbs:

    At this point I then moved my work station from the garage to inside the house. After removing the light bulbs from the housing it is important to store them somewhere safe for the time being. Now are next step will be to remove the ballast from the housing by removing the 4 torq head screws then removing the two electrical clips. We also need to remove the four phillips head screws that hold the lens to the housing.
    1.jpg

    At this point it is time to place your headlight in the oven. Personally I bought a couple broken headlights to practice on before attempting this mod on my good lights. In doing so I found the perfect temperature for these headlights to be 250 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 minutes on the first heating cycle with and about a 5-6 minute working time, after which place the headlight back into the oven for another 10 minutes and repeat the 5-6 minute working time when it comes back out.

    Once the headlight came out of the oven for the first time I bent all of the tabs which hold onto the lens upward and then slowly I took a small flat head screw driver and ran it around the entire seam of the housings about 2 times to start loosening the permaseal. After I placed it back in to oven for another cycle and then repeated again by running around the seam with the flat head. Once I had a bit on wiggle room I used my panel clip pliers to help separate the housing and lens, working slowly in small sections at a time and heating as needed until I had the light open.
    2.png

    After separating the lens from the housing I would suggest trying to scrape off as much of the remaining permaseal from the housing channel and edges of the lens otherwise when you go to put your headlights back together they will not fit together nicely nor be able to seal correctly.
    17.jpg

    Next we can remove the headlight shroud from the lens by removing the 4 phillips screws then it will just pop out. At this point to remove the stock amber reflector you need to use a dremel with a little grinding tool to grind away the mushroomed over pins connected to the reflector. After which the reflector will just lift out.
    4.jpg

    My reasoning for removing the amber reflectors is to replace them with oem style light smoked reflectors which I got from Dan at dk moulds 3.jpg

    Now for a quick test fit which was 100% spot on
    5.jpg

    Next up we need to remove the half moon by grinding the 3 mushroomed tabs and releasing the one tab
    6.jpg

    At this point we are have the shroud broken down.7.jpg

    Next I scuffed all of the chromed plastic bits with a scotch brite which for the most part removed it all and now are paint will be able to adhere better
    8.jpg

    Now before I go ahead and paint I want to remove the projector lens holder so I can paint that as well otherwise the silver on it now will be visible. To do this start by removing the four phillips head screws to remove the projector assemble from the housing then unplug the one electrical connector as you pull it out9.jpg
    10.jpg

    Now we can remove the four philips head screws holding the lens holder to the rest of the assemble11.jpg

    Now at this point we are ready to remove the projector lens from the holder. This is done by bending the five tabs outward, now we can removing the retainer ring and pop the lens out. Now personally I opted to switch my oem projector lens to the morimoto 3" STI-R Clear lens (linked above), this is a very popular modification to make to help improve the sharpness out your headlights and for less then $50 it was worth it while I had everything apart
    12.jpg

    At this point after scuffing and masking all of my pieces up I was now ready to paint. I chose to use SEM satin black 15243 (linked above) and gave each part about 5. coats with 10 minutes in-between coats. By applying light and even coats my end product turned out great.
    15.jpg
    14.jpg

    I let all of my parts dry overnight then began reassemble by following the previous steps in reverse. To put the half moon pieces and the new reflectors into place I used some gorilla epoxy (linked above)
    16.jpg

    At this point I placed the shroud back into the lens, put back in the four screws, and
    then test fitted the lens into the housing. Thanks to cleaning 99% of the permaseal out of the channel of the housing the lens fits back in effortlessly18.jpg

    Now at this point it is time to seal the headlights back up. I began by lining the channel of the housing with morimoto retrorubber butyl glue (linked above) then firing the oven back up to 250 degrees Fahrenheit placing the lens back onto the housing and into the oven for 6 minutes to warm up the butyl. After taking it back out of the I quickly screwed back in the four screws that hold the lens to the housing and bent back the tabs on the housing.20.jpg

    Although the butyl glue itself looked like it did a great job at sealing the headlights back up I decided to take a precautionary measure and ran a bead of permatex black silicone (linked above) around the seam just to play it extra safe. At this point I was now ready to get the headlights back in my car and man do they look sweet already
    21.jpg

    Final product! Gives off much more of an aggressive look now! Going on almost a month now and the headlights are still sealed perfectly.
    22.jpg
    24.jpg
     
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  2. Chuck

    Chuck Active Member

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    Any updated cutoff pics with the clear lenses?
     
  3. OP
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    RileyZ

    RileyZ Active Member

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    Here is the cut off with the morimoto lenses. Definitely a noticeable difference from the clear lenses to the factory lenses even with the original bulbs.20190320_140851.jpg
     
  4. KewlWinter

    KewlWinter Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a link to the Dk Moulds Light Smoked Reflectors? I can't seem to find them on their site.
     
  5. CenCalS550

    CenCalS550 Member

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    Great writeup, I did my headlights few years ago the same way, I have tried to see if Dan is making some for the 2018+ for a friend but he wants to crank out a few sets, need some forum members to commit to get it going I guess. I am going to assume you widened out the lens holder of the projector, because when I did mine a while back it did not sit completely flat with those STi-R clear lenses. I had to widen the lens holder more for the lens to be fully seated. Write up is real good by the way, raise the right side headlight a little more??
     
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  6. KewlWinter

    KewlWinter Well-Known Member

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    I would definitely buy a couple sets if they are available. I want them for my 2018 and for a friend's 2018 that is following in my footsteps.
     
  7. KewlWinter

    KewlWinter Well-Known Member

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    RileyZ

    RileyZ Active Member

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    With the lenses I found that I didn't have to widen the holder but I did find that the flat part (See picture) was ever so slightly taller then the oem lens which made it a little difficult to hold the lens back in place since the tabs on the holder are so short. But I did manage to get them in and sitting well. And yes I might have to adjust my headlights a little I just haven't gotten around to it yet.

    Thanks again for all the information you emailed me a while back about all this. Screen Shot 2019-04-23 at 1.39.20 PM.png
     
  9. CenCalS550

    CenCalS550 Member

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    Oh wow, I forgot I helped you out. Someone not too long ago tried to reach out but I was busy at the time and then I forgot. One of my buddies got his projector tuned from a different forum and they look fantastic, I will post photos here if I can find them.
     
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  10. KewlWinter

    KewlWinter Well-Known Member

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    I contacted Speed of Light Customs about the possibility of creating the headlight reflector molds for the 2018+ S550. They can make them in clear, frosted, light smoked, smoked, and smoked amber. The price point would be the same as in the 2015-17 link I provided. They are requiring a minimum of 5 pre-orders before they will create the molds. Mold creation has a 6-8 week lead time and once the molds are created, shipping of lenses would start a few days later. So 2 things; does anyone have any interest in obtaining a set of these for when you open your headlights to upgrade the lighting and does anyone have some busted up headlights with the OEM reflectors intact that could be used for creating the molds?
     
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  11. OP
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    RileyZ

    RileyZ Active Member

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    Best bet is going to be looking on ebay, calling mustang specific parts yards, or taking apart your own light to send in the reflector. Took we a while for me to find a broken 15-17 headlight for the low...still end up spending like 150$ on broken headlights but it was well worth it for practice taking them apart.
     
  12. Black19

    Black19 New Member

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    I’m in for the group buy of clear corner reflectors for a 19.
     
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