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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Baking your headlights is an easy process that will need to be done in order to do any serious modifications to the headlights - some examples may be installing strobe lights (police kit), projector retrofit, angel eyes, or simply removing a reflector. However, many people don't do it because they are afraid they will mess up the housing; and rightfully so - the cost of headlight housings can be pretty outrageous. But maybe I can alleviate some fears about baking headlights with this write up.

What you'll need:
Screwdriver
Standard size oven or larger
Gloves (optional)

Step 1:
First, you'll need to remove the front bumper. A write up on this can be found here: http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/64-diy-appearance-body-modifications/28465-front-bumper-removal.html

Step 2:
After the bumper is removed, disconnect the headlights. This step and step 3 can be interchanged - If you cannot disconnect the headlights without removing them, then go ahead and remove the headlights (Step 3)... just becareful to not pull too hard, or pull the lights too far from the car while the headlights are still connected.

Step 3:
Remove the headlight housings. On the top of the headlights, you will see two 10mm bolts. Remove the bolts and the headlights should pull right out.
HeadlightScrews.jpg
You might have to give it a little tug because the bottom of the housings are held in place by some clips (as shown below). A little tug should easily pull the housings out of these clips.
HeadlightClips.jpg

Step 4:
Remove any removable piece from the housings -
HousingBacks.jpg
  • Two dust caps (Shown in the top left pic, circled in blue).
  • All bulbs (Shown in the top left and right pics, circled in red).
NOTE: Be careful to not touch the bulbs themselves... the oil in your fingers can reduce the lifespan of the bulbs).

  • One rubber vent piece (shown in the bottom left pic).
  • Two screws (Not pictured... I believe the only screw that needs to be removed is the one on the outer edge, but removing both doesn't hurt).
CAUTION: The two screws referred to look like screws... they do not look like bolts. Do NOT attempt to remove these bolts (shown in the bottom right pic, circled in yellow).

NOTE:
These are the only things that should be removed. The connector does not need to be tampered with (it won't come out, even if you try).


Step 5:
Heat oven to 200-225 degrees. Once the oven is heated, place the light in the oven (do one light at a time).

NOTE:
Higher temperatures, will require less time the light needs to be in the oven, but as temperature increases, danger of ruining the light also increases.


I recommend 200 degrees for about 15 minutes, but these lights are rather large and might not fit in a standard oven all the way. You can tell from my pics that my lights did not fit all the way. Because of this, I had to leave the door open, which let heat out. So I turned up the heat to about 225 and baked for 15 minutes. You may be able to get away with less time, but the more time you give it, the easier it is to pry apart the lenses.

InOven.jpg
It's okay if the housing touches the sides of the oven - in fact, in a standard oven, you probably wont be able to prevent this from happening. Just try to not allow any piece to be pressed HARD against a hot surface.
Touching = okay. Mashing = not so okay.

Step 6:
Remove light from oven and pull the lens from the housing. You will first need to lift the tabs around the edges of the lens to make sure it will come off.

CAUTION:
You may want to use gloves during this part as the housings will be HOT.
NOTE: You WILL hear cracking and creaking - it will sound like things are breaking - this is normal!


Once you get the lens to start peeling, don't stop. The cement will stretch and string out (kind of like hot cheese on pizza). Cut this "string" or pull it apart and put it back where it came from as best as you can. Try to keep this stuff off of your lens, but if this isn't possible, some goo-gone can remove it.

LensPull.jpg


That should be it.
LensRemoves.jpg

To replace the lens, put the lens in place and compress as best as you can (without heat). After you are comfortable with the lens placement, put the housing back in the oven for the same duration at the same temperature as before. Remove the housing from the oven and compress again. The lens should slide right back in place. While the plastic is hot, press down the tabs around the lens to keep it in place. Finally, replace all the parts removed from step 4.
 

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Premium Member
2011
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4,415 Posts
Hmm, it actually looks easier than it sounds and MAYBE later on when I actually have the balls to do it then I might give it a try. Thank you very much for a very nice and detailed write up. That should help out members with wanting to change the amber reflector to white and that includes me lol.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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Registered
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1,878 Posts
AWESOME & Subbed for reference!!!!

U really make this look and sound easy!!!
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I've done it a few times... the first time I was very scared to do it cause I didn't have the money to replace parts that I may have broken. But after I did it, I was like "... that was easy.... where's my 'Staples' button when I need one?!"

jtrade, you are gonna be referenced in the next write up. It's coming shortly!
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Did you and sarah collaberate on this? I know she just did this recently and yall are in the same state. lol
Great write up!
LoL. No, we did not. I have talked to her, but we didn't work together on this. She is doing some great work on her ride too, but I beat her to the write up (actually, I think technically she beat me to it, but she posted her write up in someone's thread).
But, collaborating with her on some of these isn't a bad idea... If she's up for it.
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
AWESOME & Subbed for reference!!!!

U really make this look and sound easy!!!
I've done it a few times... the first time I was very scared to do it cause I didn't have the money to replace parts that I may have broken. But after I did it, I was like "... that was easy.... where's my 'Staples' button when I need one?!"

jtrade, you are gonna be referenced in the next write up. It's coming shortly!
As promised jtrade - http://www.optimaforums.com/forum/22-optima-diy/28537-front-reflector-led-switchback-mod-parking-lights.html
 

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1,407 Posts
Sweet, I've been dying to try and fit quad projectors in my Sonata housing.

Like you said, afraid to try. It's an expensive attempt to order the morimotos and have to replace headlight housings. But I would be so proud of myself for pulling it off.

Sounds like a good winter project to me.
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
awesome write up i will be using this!!!! thx i have been scared but now that i see the steps looks easy enough


btw who doesnt have an oven that will fit a head light ?
Uh... me. The apartment complex that I live in has mini stoves in the kitchen. It's a good size kitchen, very open and spacious, so it's confusing to me why they chose to have a small oven and stove top. It does have 4 burners, and an oven, but it's compact.
I had to go to the clubhouse to use their stove - the office personal kinda got irritated that I was there for so long, even though I asked permission. lol. They are kinda cranky old hacks anyway. And even a standard oven (such as the one I used in this write up) can't fit the whole headlight inside of it. The Optima's headlights are fairly large.
 

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06/2013 ROTM
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251 Posts
I used my standard size oven to do mine.
I just took out the racks and put it in there sideways
220 for 5-8 minutes
This mod sounds so much harder than it realy is.
With the right amount of heat, and patience.
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
I used my standard size oven to do mine.
I just took out the racks and put it in there sideways
220 for 5-8 minutes
This mod sounds so much harder than it realy is.
With the right amount of heat, and patience.
You're not the first person that has given a lower time frame... I think less time is fine, but with a few more minutes, the cement is more pliable. My thought process was the less strength I have to exert to pull them apart, the less likely I am to break anything. If someone does 5 minutes and it works, that's great. But I would like to point out that leaving it in for 15 minutes won't hurt anything. Leaving it in for 30, however, just might.

So... in a nutshell... time may vary. :rolleyes::laugh:
 

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Premium Member
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160 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
Very nice write-up. I've been considering doing this with my spare headlights, I may install angel eyes. Thanks.
No problem! Thanks for the front bumper removal video. I cited it in one of my write ups.
I think Angel eyes would look really good in this car. Please keep us updated on how that goes.
 

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Premium Member
2012 Kia Optima
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1,684 Posts
wait... but i'm curious. To assemble the headlights back, you don't need to put any additional silicon or anything? You just push it in after it's been heated?
 
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