Audi TT Forum banner
1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've got a set of headlight inserts that I'm in the processing of spraying gloss black (not on my car). So far I have:

-Sanded/Keyed the plastic using 160 grit (in hindsight I think this may have been a bit to coarse?)
-Cleaned part using isopropyl alcohol
-Primed using grey plastic primer (about 3-4 coats)
- Let dry for 24 hrs
-Wet sanded using 1500 grit paper (too fine? I read 600grit is better for this?)

So far I am fairly happy with the results; although there are some faint lines from the keying, showing in the primer that I may go over again with the wet and dry (or will these be filled in slightly by the paint?).

Next I plan to:
-Wash part with water only and let dry.
-Apply 3-4 coats of gloss black paint
-Then 3-4 coats of lacquer
-Fit clear corners, ccfl and reassemble test headlight, hopefully with a big smile on my face! 8)

What I really want to know is if I am going about this the right way. Browsing the internet has brought up several different approaches, but what I'm looking for is a definitive guide/checklist for painting parts like this with spray cans - If I had a pound for every time I've read "It's all in the prep" without further clarification. [smiley=bomb.gif]
Also, I've sprayed parts before, but I only want to have to do this once, so I need it to look good, and want to do it myself.

Lastly, if you have any pics of gloss black headlight inserts please post them up, especially with clear corners on a dark green tt, I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT!! :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,096 Posts
It's all in the prep :)

Any marks you see now will be visible through the paint. I did mine and used 1500 wet and dry between each coat of primer and paint, remember that once they are on the car they won't be as visible as when you have them right in front of your nose.

Charlie
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,665 Posts
I used 800 and 1200 wet/dry grit on mine. my body shop said 1200 was too fine and the paint might not stick, but it's been fine. they recommended keeping it below 1000 grit.

i sanded and primed (3 coats) with sanding after each coat. the primer was specifically for plastic. normal primer can cause problems as neither primer nor paint will adhere to the plastic. Then, applied the paint in three coats. As long as you use plasti-primer, any paint should work. Again light sanding between coats to remove dust etc but not enough to remove the coat of primer or paint. i also 'washed' with gentle running water following each sanding and let air dry before painting.

there's a few pics in this album:

http://public.fotki.com/TTQ2K2/tt-exterior-mods/painted-light-inser/

cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
582 Posts
How long roughly do folks reckon it'd take to do from start to finish (remove+prep+paint+fit)?

I think i'm probably too impatient to do it myself :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
Jakalus said:
How long roughly do folks reckon it'd take to do from start to finish (remove+prep+paint+fit)?

I think i'm probably too impatient to do it myself :(
this is a 'how long is a piece of string' question - depends on so many factors [1] your comfortable removing front bumper [2] how long it takes to split the lights [3]the preparation stage for painting the lights [4] trying to put it all back together again without any spare bolts :lol:

@ adajason - your approach sounds good. I am currently doing the same job (had a slight delay for holiday and waiting for parts to arrive)....i am contemplating clear corners too - where did you get yours?

Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,665 Posts
In my case, it depended on how fast the paint/primer and the washing between sanding dries. I let my final paint coat dry over night before I reassembled the lights but then I was in no rush. I started on a saturday morning after lunch and finished sunday before lunch...maybe 5-7 hours total if the clock is running.

cheers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
262 Posts
hi
for future referance ;for prepping plastics a scotchbrite pad is best either red or grey( me personally prefere red it has a bit more bite). if u get a scotchbrite pad get a tack rag at the same time.
the scotchbrite is better for prepping because you can get into the edges and harder places better aswell as giving a smoother finsh it doesnt feather up the plastic.
you can use scotchbrite either wet or dry . dry save time no need to dry of just blow dust off or tack or both.
the tack rag is used just before paint application to remove unwanted particles like dust by wipe over the surface you want to paint.
less particles in it less, rubbing just a nib if required

plastic primer is best ,however you can use normal primer on the headlamp insert because its inclosed and not open to factors like the elements and stonechips damage is unlikely.

spray cans for best results place in just boild water between 30 and 60 seconds dry can then shake then paint.this helps by making paint thinner which gives better pressure for application. and also the can doesnt die on you with a third of a tin of paint left.

to save more time if the primer is clean you can apply your colour before the primer has dried this called wet on wet.
i would only really use this method if a clearcoat is going on last. as the colour tends to lose some of its shine
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for your responses so far guys, they have been very helpful!
I feel more confident now, that I am going about this more or less the right way.

LordG71 said:
Jakalus said:
How long roughly do folks reckon it'd take to do from start to finish (remove+prep+paint+fit)?

I think i'm probably too impatient to do it myself :(
@ adajason - your approach sounds good. I am currently doing the same job (had a slight delay for holiday and waiting for parts to arrive)....i am contemplating clear corners too - where did you get yours?

Neil
I got my clear corners from "TT stuff" in the US they were doing an offer (the still might be actually - should have mentioned sooner sorry!)

They were around $92 including shipping, which was about £62 (this was a about 2 or so weeks ago).

For what you get I think they are, overpriced but, I REALLY like the way they look, there is no alternative, and they were cheaper than the "TT Shop" :D

Slightly off topic, this is actually the second set I've bought, the first set I attempted to get delivered ( from ZMax auto sport) to my hotel room when I was in Ney York a few months back (Birthday present from the missus [smiley=party2.gif] ). Basically they said it had been delivered, but no one at the hotel received it? So my word against theirs - I lost out [smiley=bigcry.gif]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks guys.

Can anyone advise me on fiting CCFL rings?

I had a look at waks websie, and altough I got the general gist - cut one of the side light wires and solder the open ends to the inverter (with heat shrink wrap)- I want to know if the polarity matters and how I would test before fitting.

I even asked on someone elses thread but still no response [smiley=bigcry.gif]
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,306 Posts
polarity matters, the invertor must be wired the correct way !!

Inside the headlamp, Grey is +ve and Brown is Earth on the side light circuit.

I assume the inverter has red & black wire?

the only way to test is to remove the OEM side light bulb and supply the side light circuit with 12V (at least 1A)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
was said:
polarity matters, the invertor must be wired the correct way !!

Inside the headlamp, Grey is +ve and Brown is Earth on the side light circuit.

I assume the inverter has red & black wire?

the only way to test is to remove the OEM side light bulb and supply the side light circuit with 12V (at least 1A)
I'm sooooo happy to hear from you Was, a big THANK YOU for responding to my post !!! :p

And there was me thinking one side is positive and the other negative :lol:

Yes, it does have a red and black wire, what I have it is similar to this IIRC ( 2 were purchased a few months ago but I'm not at home to check them right now ) http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/251050482689

Would I be right in assuming that I cut the grey wire, and solder the red wire of the inverter, to the end of the grey wire that leads to the sidelight bulb. Then solder the black inverter wire to the other end of the grey wire that leads away from the sidelight bulb?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Finally getting to the point of finishing this little project, but for some reason the CCFL rings won't fit as before into the painted insets anymore !!???

Initially I thought the paint had added thickness to insert which in turn reduced their internal diameter, however upon closer inspection it seems as if both inserts have become oval-ish shape ... I'm stumped as to what would cause this [smiley=bigcry.gif] .

Any ideas guys?

(Will post pics when I get home)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
mine did not fit into the opening, as you say CCFL perfectly round, the inserts are not. So I used Auto Sealant (same used to seal the headlights). They are solid now and the sealant also covers any gaps - so looks good.

surprised tho, you seem to have already fitted one in the opening - did it go straight in?

Neil
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,496 Posts
adajason said:
Finally getting to the point of finishing this little project, but for some reason the CCFL rings won't fit as before into the painted insets anymore !!???

Initially I thought the paint had added thickness to insert which in turn reduced their internal diameter, however upon closer inspection it seems as if both inserts have become oval-ish shape ... I'm stumped as to what would cause this [smiley=bigcry.gif] .

Any ideas guys?

(Will post pics when I get home)
Heat the insert whit the fan ,than you can reshape it

Send from my Android using Tapatalk 2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
LordG71 said:
mine did not fit into the opening, as you say CCFL perfectly round, the inserts are not. So I used Auto Sealant (same used to seal the headlights). They are solid now and the sealant also covers any gaps - so looks good.

surprised tho, you seem to have already fitted one in the opening - did it go straight in?

Neil
Ahhh I see, I tought the sealant was used in the place of glue. Where did you buy that from?
Me too, I test fitted that one (didn't actually glue it in at the time) and it seemed fine maybe the paint fully dring contorted the insert...
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top