I didn't plan to make this into an instructional or DIY post on headlight modifications for the Infiniti Q50, so I don't have too many detailed photos. However due to high demand and lots of questions from my instagram account I'm creating this based on the photos I took throughout the process.
As a side note, please understand you are responsible for the outcome of this project. This is not a step by step guide to modifying your headlights. It is just a helpful reference for anyone that wants to do this by themselves. Proceed at your own risk.
Before you begin, here are a few things to know:
This will take about 2 days to complete.
You will need sandpaper, primer, spray paint and a clean working environment.
Make sure to wear gloves at all times as you don't want to leave fingerprints or grease on any of the parts, especially the glass. Having compressed air handy is helpful to clean any dust inside the headlight housing before sealing it back up.
Ok, let's get to it.
Before you do anything, decide on the look you're going for. If you want to do clear side markers, or other colors, check out DK Moulds to get them. Make sure you have them before you start your project, as you will need them after paint to assemble the headlights.
Marking your headlight position:
- The first thing you want to do is mark your headlight position.
- Park your car on a level surface, in front of a wall and put a piece of tape infront of your front wheel, marking the position of your car.
- Now turn on your headlights and put a tape where the headlights are hitting the wall. In my case, I parked it inside the garage and put the tape on the garage door.
- The reason you're doing this is to help you readjust the headlights back to it's original state, since taking the headlights apart requires removal of a bolt which is also used to adjust the light angle.
I will not get into headlight adjustments too much as there is already a great post about it here.
Now that you've done the easy part, let's get to business.
Taking off your bumper:
- Check out this image for reference.
- The main screws are located on the sides. There are a lot of clips on top, and a bunch of screws on the bottom of the bumper. Make sure to remove them all for the bumper to come off.
Removing the headlights:
- There are four (4) screws holding the headlight together. 2 on top, 1 on the side, and 1 tucked under the headlight. You will need a size 10 ratchet head to remove these, and most of the other screws.
Now that the headlights are off, let's pop open the headlight housing.
- Before you begin, be patient, this takes time. Don't apply too much pressure and don't break it!
- Remove all screws, even the one thats hidden inside that plastic pocket.
- Using a heat gun, evenly heat up all around the edges of the seal.
- Now, apply more heat to the top half of the headlight, once you can smell the glue, and once you feel it's pretty flexible, apply pressure and separate the clear side from the back side of the headlight. Don't apply too much pressure. Use heat as needed and take your time with this step. Last thing you want to do is break any of these pieces!
Disassembling the headlights:
- Take your time and unscrew the screws and place everything in a safe place.
- IMPORTANT: You do not need to remove the high beam reflector. Also, do NOT paint this reflector.
- Remove the 2 big screws from the back of the headlight. The one that doesn't have the plastic cover on it is the one that adjusts the headlight angle, just an FYI. Remove the plastic cover off the bottom screw and unscrew it. These screws will not come off, but the content inside the housing will.
- If you look closely, you will notice it is being held in place by the corner. This is not a screw. The easiest way to remove it is by popping it off using a clip remover.
Prepping for paint:
- Once all the pieces are removed, sand them with a light sanding paper to prep it for primer.
- IMPORTANT: Do not paint over the reflective part shown below. Make sure to tape it off! (before sanding)
- When taping, don't tape right to the edge. Tape 1/8 of an inch below the chrome so that the plastic cover can overlap the black paint once you are putting it all back together.
- I applied 2 coats of primer. If your first coat of primer was smooth, apply the second coat in 30 minutes or 1 hour.
- I let the primer dry overnight to make sure it was fully cured.
- Once the primer was cured, I painted it gloss black. Paint in lightly. Don't spray too close or hang around the same area too long to avoid runny paint. Take your time and let it dry before applying multiple coats.
- After you've applied a few coats and the paint looks good, let it dry overnight.
- Putting back the clear markers and the clear top pieces
Resealing the headlights:
- When installing the main parts of the headlights, make sure to pop the corner in! Remember that part that needed a clip remover? You need to tap that part to make sure it clicks into place.
- Once everything is connected, and BEFORE you seal it back up, TEST your headlights. Connect it to the car and make sure it works properly before sealing it.
- Before resealing, make sure there are no dust or fingerprints inside the housing, or on the glass/magnifier.
- I highly recommend having clamps handy.
- Using a heat gun, heat up both sides of the headlight edges.
- Once the glue is warm, put the sides together.
- Using a clamp, slowly tighten areas that are hard to get close. Once they are flush, put back the screws. It's very important to make sure the seal is perfect to prevent water or condensation from getting inside.
- Now that the headlights are back on and the bumper is installed, you need to adjust your headlights.
- Remember measuring the headlight direction before getting started? Now park the car in the same exact location, match the headlight direction and you're good to go!
When you're done installing the headlights and put the bumper back on it should look like this: