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Old 25-06-07, 00:42   #1
VLT-025
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Restoring your VL's Headlights

I did lot of mucking around trying to find a pair of new genuine lights for a realistic price without any success, so I decided to get some TYC headlights ($99 ebay) and put genuine lenses on them (around $80-130) to give it some of that nice new car feel and retain some sort of factory look, at a reasonable price.

After reading about some common complaints to do with the TYC's general build quality however, (rattling, adjusters coming off etc..) I thought about re-chroming the original lenses but had no luck finding someone who could do this (if someone does, the following may still be helpful).

Someone on here (can't remember who, but full credit to him for the idea) mentioned swapping the reflectors over with the aftermarket ones, so I thought I'd give it a go....

Some of this is obvious stuff, but I wanted to make it real simple

Basically all I used from the TYCs was the reflective lenses and the screws that hold the adjusters and ball joint thingys on, but not the actual ball joint/adjusters themselves.

First you'll need to dismantle and clean the old lights and dismantle the new ones. Begin by taking all the globes out and remove the wiring harness. the park bulb holder and grommet can be brittle so take care not to break it as they can be quite stubborn. It should look like this when its out..



Then remove the lens retaining clips off like so....



Next you'll need to undo the two adjusters all the way. There's 2 little knob things on the back to do this. They also have an allen key socket built in which might make it quicker to undo. When they're off, you'll find a ball joint that is the final thing holding the lens in. Just pull on the back to pop the ball joint off, It may take a bit of effort....now your reflector is out! NOTE: Make sure you handle the reflector as little as necessary! You will want it as clean as possible to prevent little hot spots of dust etc. wearing it prematurely, and it's a bitch to clean anything off it without marking it a little

Give the inside of the housing a good clean and repeat this process with the new light. You should have both reflectors in front of you now. Note the position of the rubber bit and grommet on the top (TYC) one and the quality difference between the two (GM one is heaps better made )



This is what the old one looked like inside though..



Next we remove the three screws holding the 2 adjusters and ball joint...
...and swap them over. Just make sure you use the screws that came with the lens as they are not quite the same thread and size, oh and use the original little bit of rubber that keeps the lens from moving within the body.





Install the reflector the reverse of how it was removed...



...Then you can re attach the glass lens. I cleaned and re-used the original seal but the TYC ones would probably be fine as well. I found that the clips were best fitted by attaching the glass side first, so as to avoid any potential damage to the glass.

Finally, re install the wiring/globes.

Voila! Fresh, original looking headlights.(Whoops, I still need to remove all the ****ty red overspray )



Now is a good time to change the globes to some more modern looking white beam globes if you're like me and hate the yellow that is normally emitted from these things. I bought some led parkers and some (Tungsram?) H4 plus 50's for $35. Phillips bluevision seem to be the best choice but are a fair bit more.

Hope some of you find this helpful. Feel free to add your suggestions and comments
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Old 02-07-07, 17:23   #2
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Re-chroming plastic is very expensive, especially if it's only for a few small bits.. To get it done properly they need strip the old chrome which is normally done by dipping the item in acid, but unfortunately plastic tends to melt in acid hence why it's expensive to re-chrome plastic...

Good tech article though, should save people from spending a fortune on new ones on ebay

Steve.
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Old 02-07-07, 18:29   #3
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costs about $200 to re chrome the plastic chrome reflectors..

if you guys get all together and do a big order it will work out cheaper
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Old 02-07-07, 21:21   #4
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Excellent article, the finished look is nice and new, and most important, mainly genuine bits used!

If only someone could confirm if re-chroming can be done in sydney, otherwise, i might look at this as an option at some stage later down the track.
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Old 02-07-07, 22:42   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vkss69
costs about $200 to re chrome the plastic chrome reflectors..

if you guys get all together and do a big order it will work out cheaper
for $200 you can find a set of pretty good genuine reflectors.... again, costly unless you are planning on building your car with an open cheque book..


P.S. this method (using genuine cleaned up casings with non gen replacement bits) is done by allot of headlight re-conditioners
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Old 03-07-07, 01:26   #6
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for $200 you can find a set of pretty good genuine reflectors.... again, costly unless you are planning on building your car with an open cheque book..

It's not too bad really if you consider thats only about $80 more than the way I did it (but I've got heaps of useless spares now :P) and a lot less than the $800 or so that new genuine sets seem to be fetching on Ebay. I would have happily done this if I knew it was an option.

Hell, I might still get it done!
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Old 08-07-07, 18:56   #7
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top idea

if u guys are in a rush or just dont have the time to do all this.
ive got an idea!

all i did was lightly sand down the glass lens (exterior side whilst still on the car ofcourse) with 600gritt sand paper. clean it up with wax and grease remover. then sand with 800, clean, 1000 gritt then clean and finally with 1200 and clean.

once that is done and the lens is nice and smooth, polish it up with autoglym glass polish or something similar!

this way, u keep ur genuine GM lights and lenses, save time and possible some grief with pulling it apart if ur an ameature!
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Old 08-07-07, 19:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bewsh
top idea

if u guys are in a rush or just dont have the time to do all this.
ive got an idea!

all i did was lightly sand down the glass lens (exterior side whilst still on the car ofcourse) with 600gritt sand paper. clean it up with wax and grease remover. then sand with 800, clean, 1000 gritt then clean and finally with 1200 and clean.

once that is done and the lens is nice and smooth, polish it up with autoglym glass polish or something similar!

this way, u keep ur genuine GM lights and lenses, save time and possible some grief with pulling it apart if ur an ameature!
Sounds good also, I didn't know glass would come up like that with sandpaper!

It doesn't address the problem with the reflectors that decay over time though. Most VL's I've seen look a bit dull in that area if they have the original lights.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:19   #9
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I got some head lights of Ebay for $118 delivered DEPO brand perfect fit good quality.i left the lense in as it is my sons car the black plastic i could not see the difference apart from the GM and part number more than happy.look in holden VB to VL parts the sellers name is (collins2443) i dont know him.
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Old 09-08-07, 10:29   #10
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They're the same price and seller I got mine from. There are a few different names this aftermarket stuff goes under but most of it comes from the same factory.

Although they are fine to use as is, the GMH ones are much better made, which is clearly evident when you pull them apart and is the whole point of this article. Also the genuine glass lenses are the only ones that have the correct holden logo on them.
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Old 09-08-07, 13:11   #11
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i pulled mine apart got chrome spray paint, tape all around it and sprayed, dried then sprayed again, and mine look better then ever and that with one globe out.
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Old 09-08-07, 13:34   #12
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surely that wouldnt reflect as well as the chromed plastic ???
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Old 09-08-07, 22:40   #13
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even that cheap chrome paint is 90% reflective... ifyou wanna go nuts get the alsa paint, 99% reflective and you wont notice the difference

i painted my headlights in my falcon, and were perfect
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Old 09-08-07, 23:07   #14
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even that cheap chrome paint is 90% reflective... ifyou wanna go nuts get the alsa paint, 99% reflective and you wont notice the difference

i painted my headlights in my falcon, and were perfect
Alsa Paint? Do tell, sounds interesting......
Is it hard to get a consistant finish?
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Old 09-08-07, 23:28   #15
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Any chance of some before and after or side-by-side pics?
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Old 09-08-07, 23:36   #16
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of mine or the sprayed ones?
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Old 10-08-07, 00:25   #17
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of mine or the sprayed ones?
Sorry, of yours champ
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Old 10-08-07, 00:31   #18
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I'll have to see what i can come up with in the next couple of days...my other old genuine one is in pieces
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Old 10-08-07, 00:44   #19
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Yeah on the car or whatever, you'd have to have some old pics of the car I'd imagine.
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Old 10-08-07, 00:46   #20
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only on photo paper
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Old 11-08-07, 14:24   #21
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i sprayed mine too cos i had some chrome paint laying around. it looks a lot better but doesn't really light up the road any better than before i did it. i'm getting some cash together to get some off ebay. i might do this since the rest of my lights are in good nick. good article
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Old 12-08-07, 01:03   #22
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they got all the special effect paints, glow in the dark pearl, and a wholoe lot of other stuff, their products were used on a murcielago to make it all chrome
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Old 12-08-07, 12:29   #23
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the tyc coppies still have the same problem as the genuin ones in that the chrome burns off over time...
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Old 21-08-07, 13:15   #24
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Just a warning with spraying the headlights, on the chrome paint it says not to expose it to temperatures over 50* Celcius. Im sure it will get alot hotter than that...


That being a given, i sprayed mine...but chucked a clear coat of heat resistant (650*) paint over the top. They look a million times better than they did, and if they melt...they melt.
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Old 24-08-07, 15:42   #25
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Quote:
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Just a warning with spraying the headlights, on the chrome paint it says not to expose it to temperatures over 50* Celcius. Im sure it will get alot hotter than that...


That being a given, i sprayed mine...but chucked a clear coat of heat resistant (650*) paint over the top. They look a million times better than they did, and if they melt...they melt.
Any pics? Sounds like a cheap option..
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