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  • Unsealing Headlight

    I bought some aftermarket headlights for my 2012 Mitsubishi Lancer, and before I start taking them apart I wanted to confirm a couple of things so I don't completely destroy them before I even begin. I've read about unsealing headlights by putting them in the over, and although that does make me a little nervous, it's been tried and tested so I'm willing to do that, but I have a couple of questions. First off, my new headlights have a ton of wiring inside the housing, since they have an LED bar inside, as well as a sequential 5-led turn signal. Is it still safe to put that into the oven, or will it destroy the wiring? Second, I'm not 100% sure if they are permasealed, or sealed with butyl rubber, is there an easy way to tell?
    Thanks in advance for the help!

  • #2
    Should be butyl, as they're cheaper than the other methods of sealing. In the oven will be fine, but if you're worried you can use a heat gun instead, takes more effort though.

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    • #3
      I figured it would be butyl as I unsealed a broken taillight from the same set as the headlights and it was butyl. Just to clarify, the wiring and circuit board inside the headlight will be fine in the oven?

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      • #4
        Pinch the sealant of the headlight with a knife. If its soft then its butyl, If its hard then you have Permaseal. Like niZmO_Man mentioned, aftermarket headlights use butyl, most of them that is. I have always used a heat gun with a long flat head screwdriver to pry them open. Start prying open on the inner side where the turn signal is at and work your way to the outer corner. Let us know how it goes and post pictures.

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        • #5
          Thanks for your input THEONE45. The one experience I have had with using a heatgun to unseal headlights ended up with the housing itself deforming, so I'm kinda nervous about doing that, but it makes sense that heating up sections and not the whole headlight at a time would probably be safer for headlights with interior wiring.

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          • #6
            Yeah my MY10 Subaru headlights have pissweak plastics. I bought a cheap heatgun and spend the extra effort heating up the joint. Still, some of the plastic bits slightly deformed, sigh.

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            • #7
              Update 1: Heat gunning the sealant, at least with the cheap heat gun I had, didn't seem to do much in terms of loosening up the butyl. I managed to find someone who worked on the headlights I was trying to open who suggested that I put each light in @ 240F for 15 minutes, and it worked perfectly. The three sections are now separated, now I'm doing my best to get that damn butyl off of everything. It spread all over the inner section of the housing as well as the part that's visible from the outside, and removing it is proving to be quite a pain. If anyone has any advice on how to get the stuff off, it would be greatly appreciated, because at the moment it seems like it's gonna take absolutely forever to get it off of the lens, housing and the channels in the back housings.



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              • #8
                Yeah you really can't touch the butyl to the lens or components, if you do, you're kinda screwed

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                • #9
                  For butyl that managed to get to the housing lens; try to roll them off when cold. Using something like a fingernail, pry the edge and try to roll it into itself. After a while, you can collect enough for it to roll onto a small screwdriver of pencil, and keep on rolling it off. Use the rolled butyl to make whatever is stuck on the lens adhere to the rolled butyl. If it gets warm, things will stick all over the place more.
                  Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

                  3-way quad wiring; foreground limiter; squirrel finder;

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by fiveword View Post
                    now I'm doing my best to get that damn butyl off of everything. It spread all over the inner section of the housing as well as the part that's visible from the outside, and removing it is proving to be quite a pain. If anyone has any advice on how to get the stuff off, it would be greatly appreciated.
                    next time cover the lens with paper masking tape before removing it from the headlight's body, this will help you hold the lens without being afraid of messing it up with butyl

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