Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: DIY Tinted Headlight Covers for around $50.00

  1. #1
    Consider this a warning Dead Lesbian Goat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    East TN
    VIN
    05609
    Posts
    4,402
    Blog Entries
    6

    Cool DIY Tinted Headlight Covers for around $50.00

    I have had a few people ask me where I got my headlight covers from. Actually I made them from scratch in just a few hours. I think they look much better than the Lund covers because they don't have the beveled edge. Lund covers are rare and when they do come up, they command around 200 dollars or more. These covers also have the advantage of being quickly removed and they are non intrusive, no holes drilled or modification to the car at all.


    Lets get started, what you will need:

    20150104_130823.jpg

    Lexan Available anywhere but I got mine from an online retailer for around 30 bucks. Any color you want, and transparency level. My covers are 1/8" thickness which seems to be the right size. Be sure to get a piece big enough for both covers, 24X24 shoud do it. I would also suggest going dark and not trying to get a light tint so you can run them at night. If they are light enough to run at night then they are too light for the "look" in the daytime, and the mounting brackets will show through. Since they are removable in about 5 seconds, go darker....unless you like the light tint look that is.

    The lexan will also have a protective covering on both sides, leave on long as possible to prevent scratches.

    Here is just one link for ordering your lexan: http://www.eplastics.com/Colored_Ple...et_Transparent

    Poster Board For a template, not so thick that it can't be easily cut with scissors, but heavy enough to stand up to handling.

    Velcro Use the industrial strength if available

    Corner braces These will be your mounts. You will need 8. The ones I got come 4 to a bag and are the appropriate size shown in the pictures.

    3M Double sided tape Don't cheap out here, use 3M automotive tape. It's water and weather proof, and removable when the time comes. You will only need a foot or so.

    Basic tools and access to a band saw A jig saw might be used but it's possible it will split the lexan so go slow.

    Everything can be sourced at Lowes, even the lexan but you are limited to whatever tint and thickness they happen to stock.

    Procedure:

    Start by tracing a rough shape to the poster board and begin trimming to shape. Once you are happy transfer the pattern to the lexan and cut out. Remember you want the edges of the finished cover to NOT TOUCH the fascia at any point. Give yourself a little clearance to account for wind buffeting.

    20150104_130906.jpg

    Next, sand down the rough edges. A table belt sander is ideal but this can be done by hand and a lot of elbow grease. You are just knocking off the sharp edges from the cut

    20150104_131303.jpg

    I went back with a buffing wheel and polished the edges for a clean look:

    20150104_131730.jpg


    Making and installing the mounts

    The small angle brackets must have a slight acute angle bent into them. The picture shows the approximate angle. This is not an exact science, close is good. This is easiest with a table vice, but can also be bent with a large set of grips or channel locks. Be sure to wear eye protection again since they can be forced out while being bent. You will see the reason for doing this soon.


    20150104_130829.jpg 20150104_134003.jpg

    Now you will sand the surfaces of the brackets and clean with degreaser or alcohol. This will give a nice clean surface to stick the Velcro and tape to. Cut small pieces of Velcro and 3M double tape and affix exactly as shown on all 8 pieces. Notice I used the "soft" side of the Velcro for the covers since it doesn't scratch the covers and I will be stacking them when not in use.

    20150104_134239.jpg

    Now with both lexan covers, all brackets and some extra Velcro go out to your car. Clean the fascia and side of the grill and headlights with degreaser and alcohol. If you are like me, the grill gets a lot of dressing so be thorough here. Once clean and dry set your cover in place and notice about where the brackets need to sit to keep the cover flush. The pictures will help, notice how stripped the grill looks where I cleaned it compared to the rest, tape would not stick to that at all without a good cleaning. Also bear in mind that this automotive tape is temperature sensitive so if it's cold out heat up the area and the tape with a hair dryer to help it set. The brackets are placed as well as 2 small points on each headlight.

    20150104_135327.jpg


    This shows the angle at which the brackets attach, now it's making sense isn't it?
    20150104_135358.jpg

    Next, place all the "soft" Velcro squares on the matching sides as shown, then remove the adhesive backing (leaving the Velcro sides together).

    20150104_135640.jpg

    Now with a clean cover, carefully place it into position and press so the Velcro soft sides will transfer to your cover. You want to make sure the bottom edge does not come into contact with the fascia. Again, this is not exact, if you get it slightly out of position, don't worry. The size of the Velcro squares allow for a little adjustment.


    20150104_135908.jpg20150104_135917.jpg20150104_135929.jpg

    Now pull back off, the cover should have all the soft Velcro pieces in place. Press firmly to set them and replace the cover.

    Cover1.jpg

    When installing the covers, always give yourself about 1/8"" of a gap at the bottom so the cover will not rub your fascia when the wind hits it. I don't really know if it actually moves around or not, just erring on the safe side. Repeat for the other side and you are done!! Sit back and enjoy the new attitude your car now has.

    When it gets dark, just peel them off. If your taste changes and you want to remove them for good, the double sided tape will release from the fascia with no paint damage.


    20150104_140516.jpg20150104_140528.jpg20150104_140610.jpg

    I have ran these up to 100mph with no issues but remember I did mine in summer temps. This tape needs to cure in a warm environment for about 8 hours for full strength, so if it's cold where you live, this might be best done in the Spring.


  2. #2
    Sweet. Nice writeup! In v2, could you use a 1" thick piece of lexan milled to match the grill?

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavid View Post
    Sweet. Nice writeup! In v2, could you use a 1" thick piece of lexan milled to match the grill?
    +1

    Those do look good.
    Dave M vin 03572
    http://dm-eng.weebly.com/

  4. #4
    Consider this a warning Dead Lesbian Goat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    East TN
    VIN
    05609
    Posts
    4,402
    Blog Entries
    6
    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavid View Post
    Sweet. Nice writeup! In v2, could you use a 1" thick piece of lexan milled to match the grill?
    It wouldn't sit flush with the outside edge. Instead, just move the brackets on the grill further forward to whatever recessed position suits your taste.

    If you are looking for a "grill look" across the entire front, buy some thin square plastic strips painted black and glue onto the tinted covers. Since you are going to remove them for headlight function anyway it doesn't matter if they are transparent or not.

  5. #5
    Senior Member micmak's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario. VIN 17097
    VIN
    17097
    Posts
    109
    Nice. Looks really good. I have a set. Not sure what make they are - I bought them from one of the guys on Talk a few years ago. But I was never happy with the installation of them. The Velcro never really impressed me and our headlight assemblies seem to differ so much from one car to the next, that what might work on one car, might not work on another. So I actually glued them on with silicone as I rarely drive at night so it didn't matter that they were semi-permanently installed. I peeled them off for the drive to DCS last year because some of the drive was in the dark, and I haven't re-glued them back on. But being able to remove them nice and easily without any hassle is the perfect solution. I might try your idea with those little angle brackets.

    ......Mike......

  6. #6
    Administrator
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Upstate NY
    VIN
    04728
    Posts
    3,680
    Excellent write-up & nice work....HAIL!

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •