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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone who has ever thought about opening up their headlight housings/lenses , either to do a retrofit for HIDs or for Angel Eyes/DDEs/Halos , has had serious thoughts of denial and many have backed-downed (including I) and decided to just stay away from a project like this ! And with good reasons - fear of the unknown . Hopefully this thread will encourage members to do this with more confidence .

It's now been a year (yes a year !) and I'm about ready to take the step with the whole works - a HID retrofit + DDE Raptors along with H3 HID Apexcone Kit ....

What could prove to be useful here , would be to gather up all the info on the subject in one place , in this thread .
What would be even more practical is if everyone , who has ever done this mod of opening up the headlight housing/lense , to relate their experiences for all to benefit .
You could mention tips , do's & don'ts ; to spare us co$tly disasters ! Answer related questions . Show us how your personal recipes , which perhaps , you improved upon or saved you time - taken from other known DIY's & How-To's out there . Who knows we could all learn something here , something new , a different alternative , and gain better confidence to tackle this intimidating mod , which , when all things considered ; is a relatively easy mod - to many who have done this - if done attentively & correctly , with the right information !

I have found and been told different ways to bake - from oven temperature settings , to lenght of time baked in oven , to wrapping method , to which way to settle the housing ... on cookie sheet or not , heat gun heating methods , etc.
Then comes time to re-seal (not much info on that out there) , how do you go about it ? I've been told to just re-heat with old seal left on the housings when knifed , others will remove it all and re-apply a new kind (unknown ?) sealer . Let'S share the details together and make this complete !

Here's what I have found & gathered up for us all via these links :

First of all you'll need to Remove Your Front Bumper - Mazda6Tech

Here's one 6Club member who hasn't used any kind of heat !

RPM / Donny's own personal & detailed DDE mod

A most detailed How-To with a lot of Pics using a Heat Gun for DDE mod

Another Projector Retrofit using Heat Gun method

Baking recipe from Mazda6Tech at Step # 13 , but do read all steps before modding !
At the same time , this link shows you How-To Tint Your Headlight Housing

t_mo_t 's Pinned Electrical How-To on his first Retrofit

monkeyboydrew's dated How-To on Xtec 6000K H1 and H3 Install

HID Planet Website to learn all you can - be sure to check out University Forum

Automotive FAQ Lighting - Very resourceful site !

Retro-Solutions.com - Check it out and learn about this world !

Time for you people who've done this before , to share below with us your ingredients to your baking recipes :)
For those who are on the verge of doing this and have acxcumulated intel , please do share your finds and post your links .
Thanks for your hoped-to-be cooperation in this thread .
 

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Personally, I used a heat gun. My oven's too small for 1 headlight, and the whole thing made me feel uneasy. Using the heat gun, you just wave it all around the seal for a few mins, and shove a flathead screwdriver in there. Keep repeating until the housing separates. Granted, I have a few nicks around the edge from the screwdriver, but it's not like anyone's gonna see it anyway.

It was a bit of a pain in the ass to put the housing back together though, cuz the sealant was still extremely tacky. If I was just trying to line up the 2 parts, they'd stick together immediately, and I'd have to rip them apart, causing me to lose what little I was able to line up. I'm actually thinking of buying the Nissan sealant many people talk about, and just re-doing the whole thing. (The first day it rained right after my retro, my headlights were a little foggy, but after that time, it didn't happen again).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks a lot for relating your personal experience Angel !
Ya I've read about that Nissan sealant as well, although not much . My buddy Benz30 got some kind of sealant at the local hardware store , think it was for houses . If he sees this he'll confirm it . Another good acquaintance of mine who modifies cars aa a living & who baked over 200 , told me over the phone that the sealant needs to withstand high temperatures on the label and that some sealants stay soft while others harden . We didn't go into it more though .

He mentioned that the way he does it is heat them around 275 in the oven wrapped in foil on a cookie sheet for up to 15 min. then uses a Exacto Blade and with some prying cuts all around , and when comes time to reseal he re-aligns them with the original seal left on and reheats'em to bond them , needing no additional application of sealant since none was removed (just cut) with no comebacks from customers with fogged lenses .

He has never done Mazda 6's . Now since I've seen on Mazda6Tech (link in 1st Post) that they do it at 350 for up to 6 minutes - we're ready to go up to 300 with more minutes up to 15 (principle of less intense heat with more time) .

As for the heat gun , like you said ; just roam it around and help it along with the screwdriver. What setting on the heat gun you used ? Today I saw one for sale with 2 settings 600/1000F . Me it's the heat gun I'm uneasy with - worried to have too intense heat in one place too long to discolor the plastic ! Unlike the oven distributing heat evenly with covered aluminium foil protection . Disadvantage is though that you're heating THE WHOLE HOUSING including the black backing which is more prone to melt vs. just the edge of plastic lense & sealant w/heat gun .

When I see the link I put above with the member using no heat and just a knife , makes me think it's not that hard to open up .

I'd like to hear more Angel & from those who've done this ...
 

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6Pack... I used a combination of the above two methods. I followed the instructions in the 6tech article above and also found that if I sharpened a putty knife (spackle knife) with a bench grinder, that I had the perfect tool to open up the headlights (and also to slice open one's hands if you're not careful).

Yes, you can probably get away with not using heat the first time you open the headlights, if you've got a nice sharp putty knife. Heat does help soften the sealant.

I've baked open my headlights about 6 times now. The first time was the easiest, since I was dealing with factory sealant. I've been re-sealing using standard silicone gel from the hardware store and that stuff definitely requires heat the next time you decide to bake open the headlights.

Also be careful not to damage the "channel" that the sealant sits in... carelessness/rushing things when prying apart the two halves can easily result in pieces of black plastic being broken. Nothing major, because you won't be able to see the damage, but still.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks so much zoomzoomfan for contributing your personal experience ! :)
I took the liberty of including your other testimonial quote in the other thread , before you knew of this one heheh

I've done it both ways and I find the heat gun is a better choice, once you put the head lights in the oven you risk the change of the head light burning and the internal wire's melting. You have no control over the heating of the oven and you cant see anything if something goes wrong. You have full control over the heat gun on where you want to apply heat. I have a 1000 watt heat gun but I turn it up to about 350 degrees and it works fine. I had to open up the head lights twice in 24 hours, not adding any extra silicone and not having a leak or condensation in the head lights.

You start at the top where the high beam is and you apply heat on the silicone with the gun for about 30 seconds on both sides only going down about 6 inches

Then you pull the two sides apart, now you are not going to try to pull the whole thing apart you just want to get it started and then add more heat (pull hard for about 10 seconds then give heat). Once you start to hear the silicone giving stop and heat another section on both sides and continue to pull the two sides untill they are apart.

Putting it back together is just as easy, take the heat gun and heat the silicone from top to bottom and put the to sides together push them in at the edges. Before I put the clips on I take a set of pilars and bend the clips in so they fit on the head lights a little tighter to give the silicone a good seal.
[/b]

When you pull apart for 10 sec. and continue give heat , do you keep it pried open with something , or you let it settle back together ? So 6 inches of heat at a time , pry open then move forward all over again hey hmmm I think I get it and prefer the heat gun now !
Does the silicone get messy the first time when you pull it apart , like hairs overlapping on the lense ? If so what do you use to clean it ? I've heard that WD40 is wonderful .
So when putting it back together the first time do you suggest re-using the original silicone by re-heating it soft or removing it for a hardware brand ?
How did you remove all of the original sealant using what product and was the silicone warm or ambient ?

I've heard that the interior clear lense is a PITA to keep clean / scratchless - very easy to scuff when cleaning . What is your recipe on that ?

I am happy to see detailed info coming in for this mod as the info out there is only basic . No details are given and the subject isn't discussed . Thx to all who share their experiences to give us a visual of what's to be expected when we decide to tackle this first-shot !
 

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When you pull apart for 10 sec. and continue give heat , do you keep it pried open with something , or you let it settle back together ? So 6 inches of heat at a time , pry open then move forward all over again hey hmmm I think I get it and prefer the heat gun now !
Does the silicone get messy the first time when you pull it apart , like hairs overlapping on the lense ? If so what do you use to clean it ? I've heard that WD40 is wonderful .
So when putting it back together the first time do you suggest re-using the original silicone by re-heating it soft or removing it for a hardware brand ?
How did you remove all of the original sealant using what product and was the silicone warm or ambient ?

I've heard that the interior clear lense is a PITA to keep clean / scratchless - very easy to scuff when cleaning . What is your recipe on that ?

I am happy to see detailed info coming in for this mod as the info out there is only basic . No details are given and the subject isn't discussed . Thx to all who share their experiences to give us a visual of what's to be expected when we decide to tackle this first-shot ![/b]
Once you have pulled and the silicone has separated it will still be warm and there is no need to use anything to keep it open. You will see at this point after heating the middle and you pull, the len and the housing will come apart like butter.

When you pull the lens apart do it slowly so when the silicone spider web's it will be very soft and coil back to the lens and housing.
Don't touch it at this time wait until it cool down. Once its cooled, with your finger lightly tab it down to the lens and housing, there's no need to push, try to form it back into place or scrape it. Both sides have enough silicone so you don't have to add more. Spider webs when getting on the lens do more damage and I find that its a lot less of a mess doing it this way.

I have opened and closed the head lights 4 times in 1 year and never used more silicone:
1. Halos and paint bezel
2. Insall retro e-46
3. Install fogs
4. Found a screw and thought I forgot to put it in but it was from another project.

When you put it back together make sure the silicone on the lens and the housing is heated it needs to be warn not very hot so that it is melting. Put the 2 sides together and push hard, then from the top pinch/squeeze the edges together and apply the clips (don't forget to bend them a little to hold and give a good seal).

The lens is very fagile and why it is very important to keep the silicone from getting inside of the lens, finger prints and dust can be wiped with a moist (water) dust/lint free clothe and dried with a dust/lint free clothe. I used something like WD-40 that left a smudge on the lens so I don't put anything on the lens but water.
 

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wow i just read alot of these posters comments and indeed my experience is the same.

1. take out all bulbs....its not a must, but the 194's and low beam h3's dont take alot of heat well sometimes they blow sometimes they dont.
2. pre-heat oven @ 350 degrees farenheight.
3. wrap 1 headlight completely in foil.
4. stick headlight in oven ON a cookie sheet or backing sheet. [MAKE SURE IT DOES NOT TOUCH SIDES OF OVEN]
5. cook for about 6 minutes check up on it, but dont worry its not a whole lot of heat to melt anything, so dont be peranoid like me and keep opening and closing the oven every 30 seconds.
6. when you take the headlight out [wear gloves] get cracking fast, take a flat head screw driver, wedge a flat thingy they use to patch holes in the wall, painters use them, like a big wedge thingy. Stick it in and just pry. Work the ends, or middle, its up to you, either way do make sure you dont chip the outer plastic layer.

after your work is done rebaking

7. MAKE SURE...I REPEAT MAKE SUREEEEEEEEEEEEEE the inside lens is clean. I thought mine was but when i sealed it up i found a good amount of dust in there and it pisses me off everytime i look at my headlights.....<sigh> ah well just dont make the same mistake i did. I recommend turning off the lights, and taking a flashlight and just shine it through to make sure you dont see any dust in there, or else you'll be just as upset as i was.

8. trow some sealant into the wedge, canal, grove what have you of the inner headlight outer layer where the clear lens cover will insert into. i put a good amount around the whole thing, and then mushed them together. Throw it in the oven for about 3 or 4 minutes just enough to heat up the sealant, pull it out and mush them together hardcore.

9. keep pushing together, than i went around the outer layer to make sure there was no space left, or any gaps. Fill in sealant where needed, and you can even break out the hair dryer at this point and make sure the sealant covers up the whole outside.

10. do the other headlight, and you should be all done.

***please make sure there is NO dust in there...thats the only thing i can tell you guys from experience that i'll make sure i'm super anal about that next time***
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Hey FICHSTIX thx man ! I'm still unclear what to use if silicone needs to be wiped off the lense to clean it ?
Also what is better - Re-use the original sealer and risk having some missing upon re-install , or , scrape it all off and use new sealant ?

sexy6s , thx for the write-up man :) Did you leave on the original sealant , or took it off completely , when you added some (#8) ? I'd like this to be clear for me as I'm wondering if you can mix the original sealant with some from the hardware store - as for compatibility issues ? Also when you sealed with extra sealant on the outside how did you get the excess to come off with what product ?

Can you guys mention what brand sealant you used and what characteristics (ex. temp) it holds on the label ?

I guess the fact that we cannot put the lense down because of the sealant and the fact that we make it sit upwards (like a bowl) - that it catches all the dust from its immediate environment ! Too bad the inner lense is very fragile for scratches as we could rest its inner face downwards on some kind of homemade stand - this way dust would not fall into it . I guess even then rinsing it would be of the essence .

I think it was Spidy who wrote that he used water with dishwasher dry-products (like Jet-Dry) that we add in it to keep the lense from spotting .

Anyhoot , keep the info coming in guys .... the more things are mentioned the more we might think of questions to discuss .
 

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I baked the whole headlight in the oven. The Mazda6tech writeup is what I used and it definitely works. The lens was a piece of cake to take off after 6 minutes in a 350 degree oven. You do need a decent size oven to fit the entire headlight in it though.

One thing I'll throw out is that some people try and rush the installation of Halos. This is a very slow process. After attaching the halos with silicone, I also used two pieces of tape to secure them to the bezel until the silicone dried (which I set aside a good 10 hours for). After that amount of time, you can cautiously remove the tape and let the silicone take over from there.

When reassembling the headlight, I would use a knife to remove all factory silicone from the grooves, and use new silicone purchased form a hardware store to reassemble. I just wouldn't trust the original sealant to get a perfectly tight seal the second time around. And like Sexy6s said, please make sure you clean your headlights before reassembling. It'll really piss you off if you get everything back together and see a smudge on the plastic.
 

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I followed the directions from from over at mazda6tech.com on what to do. Except I wrapped the entire housing in foil just to be safe on anything melting. I've heard of a few members melting corners not realizing they was touch part of the oven.

Afterwards I stripped off all of the old silicone and put new on, I just clear high temp silicone or whatever.

Those are basically my directions. Just make sure to seal it good
 

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Well lots has been said already that I dont need to repeat. One thing I did differently and never read about it anywhere (I did this with another friend who has done it before) was that I reheated my headlight after applying the new sealant (I didnt strip off the old sealant). I put it in the oven for about 4-5 minutes at 220 degrees. I guess this allowed the new sealant to fill in any holes. After I took it out I squeezed them together for a while until it cooled down.

I have no leaks in my headlights :D
 

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So far my housings have been baked/cracked open twice. Still no problems with them!
No leaks, warping of any kind. Just beautiful DDE's, 6000k HIDs, and Eyelids mountd inside them!

---Aloha
 

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for a second i thoguht this thread was for making pillsbury chocolate chip cookies.
 

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Thx GraphiteM6 :)
Did you insert your tiny Halo/DDE balast inside the housing or outside (where?) ?
Can you post your Halo pics here or the link to your thread (if any) .... which versions are they - DDE Raptors ?[/b]

If you look at the back of the headlight assembly there is a flat part just large enough to fit the small ballasts. I just used the supplied two-sided tape and a little extra that I had lying around the house to attach the ballasts to that part of the headlight assembly.

I don't have any pics of the halos uploaded onto this computer but I'll make sure to get some up this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thx guys , this is just perfect , good enough to complement what's already been said by filling with what's not been said :)
Nuances in methods used that worked for you , and thought by others , seeing it brought up here gives us choices to go with .
There is not only one method that works , as proven in this thread , with some new alternatives .... but all lead to the same goal .

I know I feel more confident than ever before now - getting there heheh plus the fact that I can 'see it' better now in a visual sense thx to all of you . :thumbup:

I still want to know what you guys use to clean excess silicone off the lense without smudging it permanently - like the WD-40 mentioned in an earlier post above ?

Here's one thought I had goin' in my head :
What do you guys think if one would heat the lense only enough to barely soften the sealant (like a hair dryer) and then use an Exacto sharp knife/blade and slice/separate the sealant in a precision cut fashion ? You would not heat it too much (oven method)to the point of the sealant getting sticky/mushy . One guy (see link post #1) used a blade cutting the sealant dry/cold - no heat !

I know one thing is that when DDEs are in with them wires - the heat gun/hair dryer method becomes a necessity ! And then again if you use anything other than the original sealant and you re-open them up a second , as mentioned earlier , high heat is required to soften up that aftermarket sealant !

BTW Bigbaddad , how well those DDEs match up to your 6000Ks ? Apparently the DDEs are rated at 6000K according to Donny , but someone else told me 4300K
who knows ? I went with the 5000K H3s for more bright white on the foreground and a touch of blue facing them/flicker-wise . Hopefully my set-up will match good , despite the fact that my retro TSX prjs. do flicker from blue to purple depending upon viewed angle . I plan on color modding them too anywhere from 2-3 washers . Benz30 & I played with his TSXs and on his at 3 washers was just bellisimo ! No loss of crisp output too ! Nice thick blue/turquoise/purple cut-off :love: I've yet to washer mine . Can't wait to have al this done , but I'm not in a hurry to mess up either ;)

Here's a borrowed pic of what I'm aiming for - an across the board illuminated housing - hopefully matches as good as this one below
Let's see if the 6Club owner recognizes/claims his 6 :)
[attachment=26630:DJQuick_...HID_Apex.jpg]

As an example only & for noobs - of what a cut-off looks like in all its possible colors
FX35/45 Projectors with Celica lens cut off
[attachment=26629:IMGP4173_1.jpg]
 

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I will heat gun it when I have my angel eyes installed later this month.

Someone told me to use this sealer from Nissan to close the lights back up. Another person, windshield caulk. :huh:
 

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Here's a borrowed pic of what I'm aiming for - an across the board illuminated housing - hopefully matches as good as this one below
Let's see if the 6Club owner recognizes/claims his 6 :)
[attachment=26630:DJQuick_...HID_Apex.jpg][/b]

haha, I know whose car it is! That pic is what convinced me to go 8000k instead of 6000k. By next weekend mine will look almost exactly the same :yesnod:
 

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Ha...This thread/sticky may have just convinced to do a retrofit with halos...Juts put my HID's in yesterday and I love 'em...But in the true spirit of a 6club member...It's still not enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Guys ! You have so far made this a reference-worthy thread for any future would-be retrofitter and/or Angle Eyes/Halos/DDE modder by providing great info as to how to open up our headlight lenses !

I would like to take this thread up another notch in keeping on the subject - which after all is to open up the housings to mod in some way or another . We have existing threads scattered around on HIDs and Angel Eyes - but very few that will detail the Electrical side of it . How to precisely connect which wire to which stock wire . That stock wire may have a certain color code for a certain model year thus look different . Easily identifying them with pictures and explanations go a long way . Also if one does wish to make a wire harness to add to his kit instead of purchasing an already made expensive one , what parts does he need exactly , how does it need to be assembled together in what order , and how does he go about hooking everything up together with the best methods - soldering / splicing in different areas .

I have seen mentioned on this forum that there isn't a good write-up on the Electrical side of it . I have also seen 6Club members doing good descriptive wiring threads on different subjects with detailed pictures . I have already posted some linked info on this It would be great to elaborate and gather up all information in one place regarding this . If you know of any links that covers the subject , or you have any personal how-to explanations you want to share - this is the place to do so !

Subjects you can tackle here:
- How-to make a wire harness
- How-to connect all related wires (identified) to Halos/Angel Eyes , to an HID Retrofit and/or Kit for H1 , H3 , or H11 , with or without a wire harness
- Identifying related wires with well detailed pics of wires themselves .
- Providing wire diagrams
- Whatever related to complete the electrical side of it , etc. etc.

I'll start with the few wire harness diagrams I've had in my PC , there should be better ones you know of and perhaps could explain more to it
[attachment=27524:Schematic_00.jpg] [attachment=27525:Turbo_Civic.jpg] [attachment=27526:Wire_Values_00.jpg]
 

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