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swynn97

Restoring headlights with chrome washer cap

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I have some pretty dingy headlights on my 2004 996, and I plan to use a 3M kit to restore them. My plan is to remove the headlights and place them in a jig to hold them while I preform the restoration.

 

One question though - has anyone done this on headlights that have washer with the chrome caps, see photo? Should I try to remove these first, and if so, how?

 

I've looked in the forum regarding the chrome caps and there are generally instruction on how to install replacements, but not on removal. I don't want to break anything, since that would mean I need new headlights.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Simon

post-25987-0-09891200-1438187198_thumb.j

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I just masked the caps with a couple of layers of tape and had at it.

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I would (and did) remove the headlight washers first.  It only takes a minute once the headlights are out.

 

There is a plastic tube that extends down from the headlight washer that has a rubber seal that plugs into the washer fluid line.  The headlight washers pop up with a little pressure.  If you apply about 20 psi with a small compressor or bike pump (slowly) to the tube the washers will pop-up and you'll be able to easily remove them with a small screwdriver.  They are held on by plastic tabs.  If the tabs break you can always reconnect them with a little goop.  I broke mine before I knew how to remove the washers properly...and the goop has held them on for a few years without any issue.

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It's also easy to remove the caps while the headlights are still on the car. Have a helper activate the washer and grab the tube when it pops out of the headlight. You want to remove the caps via prying up on the ratcheting mechanism and pulling outward (toward front of car), off the tube. Do not try to remove the caps by prying on the chrome tabs that attach to the swivel, as this is how the caps break.   

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post-25987-0-69120800-1441673843_thumb.jpost-25987-0-79217700-1441673859_thumb.jGreat advice kgoertz - I used a small AC compressor using one of the inflatable toy adapters (See photos) - hit the compressor for about 1 second and the washer pops up. Leaving the compressor connected, but not on, keeps enough back pressure to keep the washer popped up as I removed it. The best way is to lightly compress the tabs on the main shaft, then the chrome cap just pops off.

 

btw I completed one light - for me I needed one 3M kit per headlight, so the passenger side is next weekends project....

 

Simon

Edited by swynn97

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