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A guide on how to separate your headlights for BHLM or projector upgrade

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by buntcake, May 5, 2017.

  1. May 5, 2017 at 9:13 PM
    #1
    buntcake

    buntcake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys, I just had a hell of a time getting my headlight housings apart, so I thought I would make a quick guide on how I was able to get them apart without too much trouble after ruining one of them. I bought some depos off eBay, so no huge deal I guess, but it was still super frustrating. So after thinking about it for a while and doing some research, I think I found a pretty solid method for getting these sombitches apart.

    What you'll want to do is get clip removal pliers ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WZRLZ2/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )
    and some brake caliper spreaders if you don't have them ( https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B017U4NNC0/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 )

    Q1CaLbA.jpg

    You'll want to get an exacto knife, or just very sharp knife, some gloves, and a towel. There's 5 screws on the back to take out, but that's pretty self explanatory. You'll want to do that before you heat them up.

    Set oven to 300 degrees, bake for 10-12 minutes. You'll want to put the housing on the lowest height setting in the oven, put the lens side up so you don't jack up the lens. I just used a regular baking pan.

    After you've heated it up, take it out and get working on it. I used the towel to be able to set down the headlight housing on my lap without burning myself. Gloves helped with handling the hot headlights.

    So, now the tricky part everyone complains about -- actually getting the housing separated. You'll want to get the clip pliers between the clear lens and the black plastic, and carefully just squeeze it apart a bit. I started on this side, which is the side closest to where the grill is:

    W3649nK.jpg

    And work in those pliers

    vWAWdI4.jpg

    You'll have to muscle them apart with your hands a bit, but just be careful with the force you apply. Try not to grab onto the supports too much as leverage or they'll tear or get distorted which will make fitment on the truck wonky. Once you've gotten a corner free, and enough space is open to put in the spreader, start slowly cranking it open.

    hH71Inh.jpg

    Be sure to undo the plastic clips over the lens and be careful of the interior parts. Then work the pliers along the edges, opening them up and following behind with the spreader to keep getting the housing to separate. It's helpful to use the knife to cut the rubber in spots as you go, as seen here:

    tLT6yEE.jpg

    You'll have to bake it an additional 1-2 times to keep the rubber from getting too hard again. Be patient, don't force it too much, and don't get frustrated. Otherwise you'll end up having to buy a new housing like I did. Here's what it looks like when separated if you're curious to see like I was:

    Dy140wm.jpg xr1v11W.jpg

    Next steps are putting in the rx350s and some painting. I might document that, but I feel like it's been covered pretty well by other guys in BHLM threads. Happy baking!
     

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    Last edited: Feb 12, 2021
    Siblue, mlevinson, boynoyce and 2 others like this.
  2. May 5, 2017 at 9:18 PM
    #2
    MESO

    MESO Major Modder Vendor

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    For my next set I think I'm going to drive down to the factory plant and buy the lens /housing Separately as they come off the production line. Would proabably be easier than doing this again lol
     
  3. May 5, 2017 at 9:19 PM
    #3
    buntcake

    buntcake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I was searching online so long for housings separated already...would make things so much easier
     
    HNLSFO1 likes this.
  4. May 5, 2017 at 11:13 PM
    #4
    inksin

    inksin Well-Known Member

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    Are the Depos or TYCs also permasealed?
     
    1bad2k likes this.
  5. May 6, 2017 at 11:15 PM
    #5
    buntcake

    buntcake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    They're sealed just like the stock ones as far as I can tell
     
    inksin likes this.
  6. May 7, 2017 at 4:13 PM
    #6
    inksin

    inksin Well-Known Member

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    Damn, was hoping it was butyl. Thank you sir for the info
     
  7. May 7, 2017 at 4:44 PM
    #7
    MESO

    MESO Major Modder Vendor

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    Have you cracked open a OEM too? I thought those aftermarkets were all butyl?
     
  8. May 7, 2017 at 5:26 PM
    #8
    buntcake

    buntcake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Nah, haven't cracked open stock ones. I have opened butyl sealed ones for my 2nd gen, and these Depo ones sure as hell weren't butyl.
     
  9. Apr 25, 2019 at 1:41 PM
    #9
    buntcake

    buntcake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    I've opened up some stock ones since this, they're honestly easier to get open than the Depos. Could be easier just because I've done it a few times now, but yeah Depo and OEM both use permaseal.
     
    Siblue likes this.
  10. Apr 25, 2019 at 2:05 PM
    #10
    Rzilla80

    Rzilla80 Active Member

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    Thank you OP for the info. I might actually try this myself. :fingerscrossed:
     
    buntcake [OP] likes this.
  11. Apr 25, 2019 at 2:21 PM
    #11
    Unorgnl-V

    Unorgnl-V Well-Known Member

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    Did this as well over the weekend. I feel your pain.
     
  12. Apr 25, 2019 at 4:13 PM
    #12
    buntcake

    buntcake [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Do it! Give yourself plenty of time, you don't want to rush. Tip from other guys would be to mask off the front of the headlights before you even take them off the truck, then wrap them in plastic right after you get the headlights split. Easy to scratch those clear lenses.

    It really is a pain in the ass isn't it? So worth it though.
     

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