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-   -   Blacking Out Headlights, How to (http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/lighting/2327-blacking-out-headlights-how.html)

spencer_hong 07-31-2007 10:23 PM

Blacking Out Headlights, How to
Blacked out my headlights yesterday.. one of the sweetest mods on my truck.

I have an 07 Black Double Cab Pre-Runner

You'll need some tools and materials for this.
Phillips screwdriver
Flat-head screwdriver
Socket wrench
Baking oven
Black Krylon spray paint
600 grit sand paper
Rubbing Alcohol
Electric Tape

I am not responsible for anything you do to your truck! Although this is fairly simple, there are some things that could go wrong and if you don't think you can do this, dont try!

1. Removing grille and side parts under headlights.
First you'll need to get under the hood, undo all the pinch screws and philips screws to take the grille off. Then undo all the screws and one bolt for the headlights. Two of the screws are right on top of the headlight, while one is on the inner-bottom of the headlight. All these screws are grey. The last bolt is a pain in the ass, you'll have to go under the front bumper, and its way up on the outside part of the headlight. You won't be able to see it, but you can see a part of the grey headlight holding onto a bar. If you stick your hand up you'll feel two bolts, the highest one up is the one you'll need to undo. Get your socket wrench and take that sucker off. PS when you put your headlights back in you won't need to put this bolt back in.

Make sure you unplug all the lights connecting to the headlight. The running lights twist and pull, headlight socket disconnects just by pulling, and the blinker socket pushes in and disconnects.

Pull the headlights out.

2. Baking the headlights.

Make sure you take off all the little plastic and rubber pieces on the back of the headlights along with three small hex screws and take out the main headlight. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F. I know the oven part sounds sketchy, but as long as you do everything right it'll work out perfectly. Stick the headlights in one at a time for 8 minutes. When you pull them out let them cool for a very short time then start pulling the lens away from the plastic backing. The sticky stuff between the plastic and lens is really strong, and trust me it might get frustrating (it definitely did for me) but remember, take your time. A flat-head might be useful he to help pry the two apart.

3. Once you get the lens away from the plastic.

Once you pry it open, you'll have to unscrew two hex screws attached the plastic chrome frame. Detach the frame, and pop out the two light panels. This chrome frame is what you will be painting.

4. Prep and paint.

To prep the frame, use the sand paper and get off as much of the chrome as you can. Then clean it using rubbing alcohol. Lay out the frame on newspaper or something, and get the spray paint. I suggest doing 3 or 4 light to medium coats and letting it dry 5 or 10 minutes in between each coat. After this you can pop back in the light panels, and screw the frame back into the lens.

5. Putting the headlight back together.

Put the lens w/ the frame back into the plastic holding of the headlight. Stick it back in the over (preheated at 200 degrees F) for about 5 minutes. When you take it out, immediately push it back together and get the silcone to stick as much as possible. The headlight should have a sturdy hold and not seem like its going to fall apart. It should be completely glued back togther. I reccomend using electrical tape to seal all around the lens, just so no moisture gets in (i had this issue). Put the headlight and grille back in, and enjoy!

spencer_hong 07-31-2007 10:24 PM

I'll put pictures up if anyone comes on this forum and asks.

007Tacoma 08-01-2007 07:54 AM

Hey, tcBob, can we make this a sticky?

Great article spencer_hong. I would love to see some pics on this one. :D

nd 08-01-2007 08:45 AM

I think this is the same mod that i have seen on this site before, but someof the procedures sound a little different, i'd like to see the finished product if you dont mind. Great post though, very detailed. Welcome to TW!

spencer_hong 08-01-2007 02:38 PM

I don't have my digital camera with me right now, but I'll get pictures up by tonight if I can.

spencer_hong 08-02-2007 12:26 PM

Alright guys, heres some pictures of the finished headlights.

UPDATE PIC 1/25/08 of black emblems and blacked out tail lights

nd 08-02-2007 01:29 PM

the lights look good, i'd love to do it i just dont trust myself enough. What chrome are you painting black? thats the only part i'm really unclear on.

BTW, i have seriouslly considered blacking out all my chrome emblems but i wasn't sure how it would look. but i really like the way it looks on yours. how did you get the emblems off (specifically the one inthe grill)? and what kind of paint did you use?

Burns 08-02-2007 01:38 PM

Headlights look good man, I am way to lazy to do mine. :D

spencer_hong 08-02-2007 04:10 PM

ndcouch.. when you do the headlights, just follow the instructions i posted, honestly its pretty simple. the only pain is when you have to pry the headlights apart. when you get the headlight open its very clear what you're painting. there is the lens to the headlight, the plastic backing, and then the frame or housing of the lights.. all it is, is sort of chrome painting plastic. thats all your painting.

as far as the emblems go, theres alot of stuff about using a blow dryer to heat the silicone and then using dental floss or fishing line. i tried fishing line and it wasnt strong enough (my tacoma is only about 3 months old so the silicone is probably still strong). first heat it with the blow dryer, then i used one of those flat metal bladed tools that you use for painting.. to sort of slice behind the emblems.


its a fast process once you get them off, just make sure you peel off the remaining silicone.

sand down the emblems with 600 grit sand paper, clean them with some rubbing alcohol, and spray about 3 or 4 light coats with KRYLON GLOSS BLACK paint. make sure you give them about an hour or so to dry after the last coat, i moved too fast and chipped a small piece of paint off from two of the emblems.

use EPOXY GENERAL USE silicone adhesive to put them back on. clean the area on the truck with alcohol, and apply the epoxy to both the emblem and truck. hold it on for a few minutes so it stays in place, then get the blow dryer and heat it while holding it down for some more time. once you get those emblems on with the epoxy, they arent coming off.

as for the grille emblem, just simply pop your hood, and remove the two phillip screws and two pinch screws that keep your grill on. its really simple. take it off and the emblem pops right off from the back

if you have any more questions feel free to ask.. ive been getting into the black lately with my emblems and headlights, and i ordered some tint film to smoke out my tail lights, i havent got them yet but i'll be sure to post some picutres when im done with them


jhodge83 08-02-2007 07:51 PM

that front pic looks just like my truck, except i removed the amber reflector...but the black and the black T emblem look exactly the same

SocalMan22 08-02-2007 09:42 PM

Very nice truck thats exactly what i want to do dont like chrome emblems is that a different grill i notice its all black and the bumper also did you mod that?

jhodge83 08-03-2007 09:23 AM

socal: the trd sports come w/ color matched grille and bumpers. all thats been painted is the inside T emblem

nd 08-03-2007 01:26 PM

Spencer, thanks alot for the tips. I appreciate the time you took to write that up. I definately want to do something with all my emblems, i'm just not sure what color yet. black, red, or gunmetal..... i'll probably never decide

brant_trd 08-03-2007 01:41 PM

Hey guys a shortcut on taking your emblems off is just use dental floss, but get the good stuff otherwise if you get the cheap stuff like me it will keep breaking on you. I learned this technique from a professional and it sure does save you time. Then you don't have to worry about breaking the emblem or chipping your paint.:D

Spencer, your truck looks almost as hot as mine, lol. I highly recommend you to spray tinting your tail lights. Its extremely easy and cheap that looks awesome.
I think that would look damn good on your black Tacoma, it looks pretty good on my silver Tacoma. If you want any more info on the spray tint, just give me a message and I'll hook you up! Its at modernperformance.com.:cool:

spencer_hong 08-03-2007 02:41 PM

hey thanks alot man, i actually just ordered some niteshades spray last night haha. i asked jhodge about it and was chatting with him last night, he actually told me you had the same tail light tint so i went and checked your pictures out. your truck is pretty sweet, im hoping the niteshades comes in before tuesday, im leavin for hawaii

sandie 08-03-2007 04:01 PM

oooooo i need to do this!!!! that looks awesome!

btw, someone needs to post a how-to on tinting tail lights ;) ;) ;)

spencer_hong 08-03-2007 09:23 PM

just buy niteshades spray tint, take out your tail light by the two simple bolts, and spray them lol

jhodge83 08-04-2007 02:52 PM

thats pretty much it. all i did when i did mine was wipe them down w/ soma alcohol pads and let them dry before i tinted them. the tails cme out nice, but my 3rd brake light needs to be redone b/c it started cracking.

Soul 08-16-2007 03:11 AM

4. Prep and paint.

To prep the frame, use the sand paper and get off as much of the chrome as you can. Then clean it using rubbing alcohol. Lay out the frame on newspaper or something, and get the spray paint. I suggest doing 3 or 4 light to medium coats and letting it dry 5 or 10 minutes in between each coat. After this you can pop back in the light panels, and screw the frame back into the lens.

Can someone explain this part for me? I'm COMPLETELY lost.

Sand paper what kind? Can you link to a product on amazon that i can get? Are we trying to use it to rub the chrome off or coat it?
Is the paint spray enough for 2 lights in 1 bottle :]?

spencer_hong 08-16-2007 07:12 PM


When you dis assemble the headlight, there will be the chrome housing. This is what your sanding. You won't be able to get all the chrome off, but just do your best and sand away. Just go to your local Kragen's or autoparts store, and buy 600 grit sand paper. A few sheets is more than enough, the sanding down isnt too important. And yeah, one bottle of spray paint will last both headlight housings. I used one bottle to do my headlights, and then my emblems.

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