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  #1  
Old 10-07-2011, 03:17 PM
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Default Headlight Refinishing Question.

I would like to remove, disassemble, clean and repaint/reseal my headlights. They function great but look ugly, (and let water in), the paint inside the cover is flaking away. I bought some silver high-temp caliper paint which should look nice and return the plastic to its original silver colour. Any suggestions and/or pitfalls to doing this? Has anyone attempted this before? Any ideas would be great. I went to the Jaguar wrecking yard, no headlights for sale right now.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:02 PM
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Do you have the JTIS? It has instructions on how to remove the headlight assemblies, and then how to remove the lens from the rest of the assembly.

And I LIKE the look of the shiny chrome headlights, although when I asked about that in another thread most people said they preferred the black headlights. Maybe I'll buy some of that chrome paint and try to paint the inside of mine.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:09 PM
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What is the JTIS? Where can it be found? I have high-temp black paint too. Was thinking of running an LED strip in front for "daytime running" lights, and they look cool.
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Old 10-07-2011, 04:40 PM
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No paint will duplicate the chrome finish, even if you can manage to get it apart to paint and then reseal. If you are OK with black (like the later models), you can just remove the chrome.

Otherwise, the lens and refector unit is actually available separately from the Jag dealer for around $200 apiece...MUCH less than the whole headlight.
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2001 XKR White Onyx conv., Mina Exhaust, Nameless Cats, 2.6"/+3 PSI Supercharger Pulley, Video Gauge Display + Garmin GVN53 nav. w/XM radio/traffic on orig. Nav Screen,Key Fob Remote Control Convertible Top, RealGauge

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Old 10-07-2011, 04:43 PM
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Here is a link on Headlight removal: Removing Headlight Assy

JTIS is the servicer manual CD...you can find instructions to download it in the FAQ sticky (one of the first posts in this forum)
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2001 XKR White Onyx conv., Mina Exhaust, Nameless Cats, 2.6"/+3 PSI Supercharger Pulley, Video Gauge Display + Garmin GVN53 nav. w/XM radio/traffic on orig. Nav Screen,Key Fob Remote Control Convertible Top, RealGauge

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Old 10-08-2011, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteXKR View Post
No paint will duplicate the chrome finish.
Agreed. No matter what it says on the can, or how shiney the cap looks, you will never get more than a light metallic grey finish. Practical Classics magazine tested so-called chrome-in-a-can products a few weeks ago and concluded they were all pretty much a waste of time.
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:36 AM
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There are kits available, I don't know the cost or the results, but you may look into it. I've seen these kits for sale for a few years. One of the most important part of the chroming process, just like body work is the preparation. Here's a link to one company below I'm sure there are many others.

Caswell Inc. - Triple Chrome Plating Kit
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Old 10-08-2011, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCSign View Post
There are kits available, I don't know the cost or the results, but you may look into it. I've seen these kits for sale for a few years. One of the most important part of the chroming process, just like body work is the preparation. Here's a link to one company below I'm sure there are many others.

Caswell Inc. - Triple Chrome Plating Kit
Looks like they are for plating metal, not plastic...plus the kits cost more than two OEM replacement lenses with reflectors!
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2001 XKR White Onyx conv., Mina Exhaust, Nameless Cats, 2.6"/+3 PSI Supercharger Pulley, Video Gauge Display + Garmin GVN53 nav. w/XM radio/traffic on orig. Nav Screen,Key Fob Remote Control Convertible Top, RealGauge

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Old 10-08-2011, 10:37 AM
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Twenty-five years ago, when I was 20 years old and into "bling", I got a can of chrome spray paint and painted the wheels of my Datsun 210 (Yes, it was a Datsun, not a Nissan ). The chrome spray paint did a remarkably good job of making the wheels look chrome. It dried to a glossy, chrome looking finish except where there was some corrosion on my wheels that caused the surface to be rough. But everywhere the surface was smooth, the chrome spray paint looked pretty much like chrome. I would think it would do a pretty good job of making the black parts of the inside of the headlight look chrome.

I know some of you like the black look better than the chrome on the headlights, but I just keep thinking back to when I parked next to the other XK8 with the chrome headlights a few weeks ago. My car looked dingy and dull in comparison. The only difference, other than the color of the two cars, was that theirs had the chrome headlights and mine were black.

I might try to paint mine chrome. I'll primer them first just to give the chrome paint a good "bite". If it doesn't work I'll just repaint them flat black.
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Last edited by Reverend Sam; 10-08-2011 at 10:39 AM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 12:35 AM
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My brother thinks black with the LED strip on front is the call, I am leaning toward doing a high-temp silver metallic. I will take some before and after pics too. They really look bad, so I think anything would be an improvment at this point.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:40 AM
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The idea to do the silica gel inside the light it so good!
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:12 PM
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Well I have started, the chrome paint looked bad, I will post pics of the finished look.!
Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by XK8Paul; 10-15-2011 at 12:19 PM. Reason: wrong pic
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:13 PM
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that first pic was start here it is in process...
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-2011, 12:17 PM
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this is what I started with, really ugly...
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-2011, 09:39 PM
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It was a process, but it looks very presentable, and now it does not leak. It is not original, but looks decent. I recolored the lens, put colored indicator lights, and new small driving lights in. With everything I spent about $35, and 6 hours of work, although most was waiting for things to dry. I think it works.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-2011, 10:05 PM
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Steps for refinishing Jaguar headlights
  • Buy some high-temp silver brake caliper paint. This seemed to work well and look ok, and some Locktite all-purpose adhesive, and some superglue, and silicon window sealer, have some sandpaper ready, and some Turpentine substitute, and some blue painters tape.
  • Remove glass over each light following JTIS procedure.
  • Take out bulbs and tape over and cover the rest.
  • Take out turn signal reflector lens; I used an orange highlighter for color on the bumpy side. Tape up and cover front end, so not to get over spray.
  • Sand down lightly and clean with Turp Substitute.
  • Let dry thoroughly and then paint, the paint has a ceramic element to it so use it lightly and make sure to dry between coats. Do this to each light.
  • Replace bulbs and turn lens cover, removing tape.
  • First using superglue, glue black rubber around glass lens.
  • Then I used Locktite around other gray seal in light assembly.
  • Replace glass lens. Using locktite and the window sealer to seal to housing.
  • Use painters tape to secure lens to housing.
  • Take tape off and lights are secure, non-leaking and look good!
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Old 11-25-2011, 03:53 PM
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Here is the front with both lights in picture, they look great for $35...
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:08 PM
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Hey Paul, how on earth did you remove the glass plate without breaking it into a million pieces? Trying to do the same now..
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Old 10-01-2012, 09:08 PM
 
 
 
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Tags
1997, assemblies, chrome, covers, headlight, headlights, inside, jaguar, paint, refinished, removal, spray, water, work, working, xk8, xkr



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