DIY: Elise/Exige headlight Restoration/Seal delete - Page 3 - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #41 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 04:25 PM
Back to the Future, again
 
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What did you do to your headlights? Wash them with a brick?

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post #42 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-16-2012, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
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I see that a lot on weathered Loti's. I think its caused by breaks in the original clear coat (Aforementioned UV coating) by rock chips. This makes weak spots that moisture, pressure washing, and overall wear and tear to eat it away.

When sanding, be sure to remove ALL of this coating.

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post #43 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 04:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChazz View Post
I see that a lot on weathered Loti's. I think its caused by breaks in the original clear coat (Aforementioned UV coating) by rock chips. This makes weak spots that moisture, pressure washing, and overall wear and tear to eat it away.

When sanding, be sure to remove ALL of this coating.
yup, you need to go pretty deep into that layer... if you don't you will still notice patches of faded plastic & they will stick out even worse next to a nicely polished piece (unfortunately when the lens deteriorates it doesn't do it uniformly)

when wet sanding mine we had to do it twice since the first time we didn't go deep enough it certain spots (it was easy to tell once we started polishing)... its been a few months since the restore & there are a few small spots on the edge that are starting to appear again (just not sanded far enough) but the rest is holding up great & its its been through many washes & bugs slaughters








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post #44 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 06:39 AM
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Did you spray UV protectant after you were done?

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post #45 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-17-2012, 07:32 AM
Such moderate
 
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Quote:
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What did you do to your headlights? Wash them with a brick?


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChazz View Post
When sanding, be sure to remove ALL of this coating.
Will do.
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post #46 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 03:54 AM
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omg 1 headlight was a lot of work. Here is how it started as posted earlier:



Getting started:





Ended up with this:



(I'll post better after pics when the sun comes up today)


The first part was the hardest with mine. Sanding with the 500 grit. It took FOREVER to get that first layer all the way off. Even though I was slapping the sand paper every minute or so and even wiping it off with a paper towel like the 3m instructions said, they stopped working fairly often so I went through 4 of the 500 grit pads just on 1 headlight. But after getting to the 800, it was smooth sailing from there. Took me about 3 1/2 hours for one headlight which included a wash of the car to get all the polish and dust off of it. I will do the other light tomorrow probably after I get my sanding discs.
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post #47 of 71 (permalink) Old 10-18-2012, 07:22 AM Thread Starter
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Sounds right. You can also wetsand with 400 and a foam block by hand to get rid of most of the old coating.

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post #48 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-07-2013, 09:14 PM
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Can this be done to the turn signals as well (the gasket delete)? Or is the turn signal gap too large?

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post #49 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 08:51 AM Thread Starter
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Sorry about the late reply.

No, well technically yes. The seal would work, however there is no need for it as the turn signals are sealed units anyway. Unfortunately the cutouts in the clam for the signals are not as close a fit to the signals as the headlights. Without the seal it only looks worse.

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post #50 of 71 (permalink) Old 01-10-2013, 08:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheChazz View Post
Sorry about the late reply.

No, well technically yes. The seal would work, however there is no need for it as the turn signals are sealed units anyway. Unfortunately the cutouts in the clam for the signals are not as close a fit to the signals as the headlights. Without the seal it only looks worse.
Thanks, that's what I wanted to know. Too bad.

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post #51 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 02:13 PM Thread Starter
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So curious, has anyone else done this mod and care to share? I know there were a few others but I see no photos!

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post #52 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 02:21 PM
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How are these?

Granted, my bodyshop matched the body to the headlight rims, but the look is spectacular. We also painted the headlight housing to match the body.

Many thanks to the author of this thread!!

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Last edited by apexdc; 04-09-2013 at 02:23 PM. Reason: brainfade
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post #53 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-09-2013, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
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Way to shop up the OP (me) on his own idea! lol

looks GREAT!

Im cutting into my clam, maybe I should work on cleaning up my fitment as well!

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post #54 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 03:25 AM
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I plan on trying this at some point' but your drivers side access panel is not on right

I do it al the time'


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post #55 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 08:33 AM
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Quote:
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I plan on trying this at some point' but your drivers side access panel is not on right

I do it al the time'


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Yeah, that was an earlier photo. I now have all the front grills in. I also did the mesh side intakes from the 2011.

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2006 Elise, Graphite Grey/Red leather, Sport Elise Suspension, Cup airbox, ECU ref lash, MonoBalls, etc. etc.
1992 900SS Ducati Race Spec Built by Ferracci
2006 KTM 950 SuperMoto, a work in progress

Old stuff gone: Ferrari 275GTB/4, '69 1275 Cooper S. '72 500 Fiat, old Jags, etc. Never bought a boring car.
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post #56 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 09:57 AM
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How did you seperate the clear part of the headlight assembly from the lower black part? Arent they glued together? How did you seperate them?
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post #57 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
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How did you seperate the clear part of the headlight assembly from the lower black part? Arent they glued together? How did you seperate them?
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post #58 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-10-2013, 12:50 PM Thread Starter
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How did you seperate the clear part of the headlight assembly from the lower black part? Arent they glued together? How did you seperate them?
Here you go:
Quote:
As for separating the lens from the bezel, I used a Plastic paint scraper and X-acto knife. You can usually find a weak spot between the two to slip the scraper in between, then just start carefully working around. I use the Knife to cut any stubborn adhesive. Once the lenses and bezel are apart (Took me 30-45min per lens) then you can peel away most of the old adhesive by hand.

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DIY: HID Install | DIY: Clear Side Signals | DIY: Headlight Restore | Composite Worx SP-1 Seat Install
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post #59 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 02:12 PM
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Thanks for this post, Chazz ...

Found this thread when I was facing the challenge of installing a new headlamp and new seal. The seal was an incredible pain.

I took the OEM-seal delete approach and was very happy with the outcome. Saved $75 and didnt have to be institutionalized. The Chazz approach was very easy and looks really good too.

Notably, I was tracking at Sebring last Saturday and came across a beautiful Lotus Cup Car and notably absent from the car were the OEM headlamp seals per the pic below:

Name:  cup.JPG
Views: 2480
Size:  120.9 KB

And here is how mine turned out:

Name:  mine.JPG
Views: 2139
Size:  105.2 KB

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post #60 of 71 (permalink) Old 04-20-2013, 11:45 PM Thread Starter
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Badassness!

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05 Elise First Year|Winter Rebuild
| 95' Previa (Mid-Engine)LE AWD S/C
DIY: HID Install | DIY: Clear Side Signals | DIY: Headlight Restore | Composite Worx SP-1 Seat Install
Sold my Elise! R8 up next!
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