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Thread: How do OEM headlight covers mount?

  1. #1
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    Sep 2004
    Portsmouth, Virginia

    Default How do OEM headlight covers mount?

    I have two sets of covers. One set mounts flush with the scoop edge rubber edged aftermarket type). The latter (JDM chrome trim ring) mounts overlapping the scoop perimeter. Is this correct? Did the OEM covers mount this way? Does anyone have pictures of OEM chrome trim ring covers installed?

  2. #2
    Supporting Member EScanlon's Avatar
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    Dec 2001
    Vancouver, WA


    Check my gallery, my car has a set of the OEM.

    The installation instruction sheet I received with mine, was more of a pictogram than a detailed instruction sheet.

    I'll describe it as I interpreted them, corrected by my experience:
    (This is what I learned the hard way.)

    Locate the Plexiglass cover onto the sugar scoop, to determine the position it best fits.

    Make notations on the fender through the holes in the plexiglass, identifying the 4 screw hole locations.

    When adjusting the plastic, look at the way that the edges touch or don't touch the sugar scoop. Use masking tape to "tack" the pieces in place while you make minor adjustments. Look at the position of the bend at the nose, and how it meets the bend as well as the curve on the side.

    Ideally, it will fit very nicely ALL the way around with even edges overlapping the edge of the sugar scoop.

    Do this same fit with the metal trim piece, to determine it's fit to the car. If you wanted you could mark the trim holes also, but the plastic will not accept the pressure of the trim if the holes DO NOT MATCH. (I cracked mine. )

    Place the corresponding metal trim piece and determine if the screw holes in the trim are in line with the marks on the sugar scoop. If everything lines up well (there's not much room for error here.), then do a final fit with the trim AND the plexiglass. This is to make absolutely sure that BOTH sets of holes match.

    Take care not to scratch the plexiglass by moving the trim excessively. If everything is ok, then proceed to mounting the screw plates.

    Important Note: If you do NOT fit these well, and try to use the old tighten the screw and it will "gunch" it into position, you can almost guarantee that one of the plexiglass covers will crack.

    The picture shows that once you've marked these holes, that you should place the rectangular screw plates directly over the holes, and then mark the two mounting holes for those screw plates on the fender.

    If you are using a fibreglass sugar scoop, you drill the center hole (the one that actually retains the trim ring and the cover) only deep enough so that the screw won't bottom out, but not THROUGH the material. In metal, you'll go right through.

    The screw plate mounting holes are drilled next, and depending on whether it's fibreglass or metal, you adjust the diameter of the drill bit.

    In fibreglass you don't want to stress the material by drilling out a smaller hole than the screw shank, nor so large that the thread is only barely into the metal. The ideal would be just slightly larger than the actual center of the screw (the distance between the innermost points of the thread), and small enough that at least 2/3 of the thread BITES into the material.

    In sheet metal, my rule of thumb is to split the difference. That is, roughly halfway between those two. Others may have differences of opinion and if so please post.

    The screws that hold the screw plates onto the sugar scoop are beveled heads that fit flush with the top of the screw plate. Don't loose these. For some reason, they are an "odd" head diameter and you won't easily find replacements.

    Once you have the 4 Trim Retainer Screw Plates mounted on the car place the trim ring and the cover onto the car and use the stainless screws provided to install it.

    That's it.

    As a note to those who would be interested in a variation of the procedure.

    I wanted to be able to remove the covers completely for the car, for those times when I would be polishing or waxing. Additionally, I didn't want the screw plates on TOP of the sugarscoop where they would provide a hazard to my applicator sponge or polisher pad.

    Since I have metal scoops, I decided to mount the screw plates underneath the sheet metal of the scoop.

    Since this would be a very tedious mount and install, if you had to hold the screw plates from below, I epoxied the screw plates to the underside of the sheet metal. (be sure to use a small amount of release agent on the screw if you choose to use the screw to hold the plate in place.)

    Now, other than the holes in the sugarscoop (and only 4 through the metal, instead of 12), you wouldn't readily note that I had had the covers on the car. Additionally, filling 4 holes, should I ever decide to do without the covers, would be far easier and faster than filling 12.

    Additionally, in order to preclude scratches and dirt from seeping into the headlight opening, I added a 1/16th thick layer of closed cell foam BELOW the plastic cover, such that the trim ring hides it. There's also a 1/8th layer ABOVE the plastic that is compressed by the trim ring as it presses the clear cover down. Between these two pieces of foam, and the rubber ring I applied around the headlight, the space in front of the headlight bulbs has stayed dirt and moisture free even in the rain in the Pac. NW.

    Aftermarket Headlight Cover Install:

    The commonly available set of headlight covers available for this car, require a bit of tricky manipulation. At least in my book.

    The trick to mounting these, is that in order to get a very good fit, you need to make sure the gasket that fits around the edge of the clear cover, and the edge of the sugarscoop meet properly. If you don't, you'll have all sorts of gunk inside the headlight area, which will require continual maintenance.

    The problem with locating this, is that in order to mount the covers, you fasten a set of "L" brackets with screws through the cover. The other side of the "L", has a section of double stick emblem tape. Locating these and in turn afixing them to the sugar scoop so that they don't fall off can be an exercise in futility.

    The easiest (though complicated) method I've seen to ensuring a good snug and weatherproof seal to these covers, was to remove the sugar scoop from the car and after locating the plastic and seal in the desired location, to work THROUGH the headlight bulb opening into this area to affix the double stick tape. Lastly, after removing the headlight covers for final cleaning, the L brackets will be stuck to the scoop with the tape, If you want to avoid further problems, drill a hole for a sheet metal screw and your problems will be over.

    Unfortunately, one of the "pluses" of these covers, is that they tout that you don't need to drill holes in the sugar scoop. That's right, if you don't mind buying double stick foam tape by the roll, and replacing it every so many days, hours, ..... Get my drift? After a while, the original locations are lost, and you then have a poorly fit cover that can literally get ripped off the car by a high gust of wind. Additionally, you find that TONS of gunk gets past the "seal".

    Hope this helps, sorry if my bias shows.


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