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7" retrofit (GDAA WRX)

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  • Originally posted by satrya View Post
    And the heat-folding begins. The plastic piece as is, marked with the necessary bend and notch points. I found that with the heat gun I'm using, the low setting is all I need. The high setting puts too much uncontrolled heat and can warp the plastic piece too quickly.


    First bend; follow the left-right curvature of the oem bumper corner:


    Bend that area more than the oem bumper's left-right curvature to make up for the recovery when the up-down curvature is made later. Also, bend the inner area (i.e. towards the lower center grille opening) to add some memory to the material. This helps the cantilevered portions to "hug" onto the oem bumper cover. Hopefully this makes it not look a simple tack-on job.


    And now the center portion. This makes the curvature on both left and right sides flow better, and makes the opening that will later touch the 7" glass lens surface look more circular than oval, making the trim piece opening transition from oval on the outer surface to circular once it contacts the glass lens.


    Fingertips burning... must.. stop... now...
    Leather gloves ftw


    OEM halogen reflector headlights | Osram Rallye H7 65W low beams | Philips Vision H1 55W high beams | Pre-facelift orange indicators

    Retrofits in progress: MDX LED retrofit | RX350/EvoX-R quad w/'moto HD relay, Mitsubishi gen4 ballasts and selectable quad wiring (needs lots of fixing)

    My retrofits

    Comment


    • Originally posted by gold94corolla View Post
      I recall in a previous picture that the other side didn't look as protruding as this side. I think just trimming the bottom to look better from that angle would help, without necessarily needing to reform anything. Just make it follow the bumper a little further in.
      Both sides are similar, and is more or less visible depending on the angle of the camera. I generally take these pictures quite close to the car instead of using a tele lens. It amplifies some of the bulbuousity (if there is such a word).

      Originally posted by csjoh View Post
      Leather gloves ftw
      I use kevlar heat and cut resistant gloves. It gives me more tactile feedback. But they still transmit heat.
      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

      Comment


      • This picture.

        It was taken plenty far away....


        ^^^eh .................................................. .................................................. ^^^better

        Comment


        • Originally posted by gold94corolla View Post
          This picture.

          It was taken plenty far away....
          ^^^eh .................................................. .................................................. ^^^better
          I stand corrected.
          I like your metric by the way; "eh" and "better".
          Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

          Comment


          • just wanted to point it out since you were redoing it anyway

            Comment


            • ^
              True
              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

              Comment


              • Top-bottom curvature

                Heat gun time again. This time to make the top-bottom curvature. The amount of extra left-right curvature previously made will reduce a bit because of this. If done right, hopefully the left-right curvature will match the left-right curvature of the oem bumper cover after the top-bottom curvature is done.

                Trim excess pieces and leave just enough past the desired amount of "edge" material so the pliers can grab onto a piece that will eventually be thrown away or unseen when done.


                First pass of the top-bottom curvature. Bend the edges by hand, and then grab the extra edge with a pair of pliers to encourage sharper curvature close to the edge. Notice that the left-right curvature had straightened up quite a bit (since material has to flow somewhere).


                At this point, unless the plastic piece is heated further, getting more "3D' deformation is nearly impossible without introducing wobbles or blisters. This is where those notches come in handy.


                Now the same amount of heating can make the edge curve further like so...


                The next steps are going back and forth between adding top-bottom curvature and left-right curvature to get the desired "3D" curvature. Pretty tedious; and nothing new from a picture pov.

                Fingertips burning again... must... stop... now...
                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                Comment


                • A look back at when one side was just marked off before the start of heat bending vs another side that already went through the process. The curves on the edges look much flatter in the picture below..


                  A picture of the top edge of the plastic piece. The previous attempt (painted yellow) doesn't extend inwards as much compared to the newer attempt, and the edges are more like a fileted flat surface than a gradually curving surface. Hopefully, this will give the newer one a beefier look.
                  Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                  Comment


                  • Looks nice.

                    It's always good to learn from first pass prototypes.

                    Originally posted by cthunder
                    The more you mod your car the moodier it gets.
                    Avalon Dual Lens | Rogue LED | Mori 3800K | Mori 3Five | H11 PnP LED

                    Comment


                    • Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
                      Looks nice.

                      It's always good to learn from first pass prototypes.
                      Thanks. Yes, but for an amateur (like me, which doesn't expect to see much more number of retrofits than a handful), some of that learning goes away again over time.

                      When I started my retrofit, it had been about 10 years since I've applied clear headlight & paint film as well as window tint. Working on the headlight film on my retrofit feels like I've lost all that experience a decade ago. I don't think that would be the case for pros that keep on doing it on a regular basis.

                      What I'm trying to say is that much of my learning from this will soon be forgotten (by me).
                      Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                      Comment


                      • On the spot adjustments

                        The next step of adjustments have to be done on the oem bumper cover's foglight opening. Top and bottom clearance adjusted by adjusting where the sharp bend happens. Outer edge needs to be curved inwards more.


                        Outer edge heat-bent further. Inner edge needs adjustment.


                        Similar process for the driver's side
                        Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                        Comment


                        • yeah it does need adjustment

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by gold94corolla View Post
                            yeah it does need adjustment
                            Indeed. What I meant was that at that stage, there are more adjustments that can only be done when placed right there instead of sitting comfortably inside the house and hope that the bends match 100%.
                            Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                            Comment


                            • Upper tabs

                              Redoing the upper tabs that will mount the black plastic piece to the slots in the oem bumper cover shown here (blue pen points to one of them):


                              First, make a cardstock replica of a galvanized steel plate, replete with the steel plate's holes.


                              The tabs are spaced closer than the length of the plate. Cut the replica to span the width between the tabs. Two tabs will be on the edges of this bracket.


                              The plan is to bolt the bracket with the tabs bent upwards, and the rest of the bracket sitting flush with the portion of the black plastic piece that "folds" inwards into the bumper cover opening. In this case, it is to the right.


                              The point is to move the (cardstock) bracket around such that the black plastic piece sits just right. I did this by taping the bracket onto the plastic piece, checking the ensemble by inserting the tabs into the slots in the bumper cover, and seeing if the black plastic piece is in too deep our juts out too much. Like so.
                              Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                              Comment


                              • Bending the plastic piece instead of the tab

                                To avoid clearance issues with the screws that bolt the metal bracket (with the two tabs), I decided to bend the inward portion of the plastic piece instead (see left side, taped off). This means that the metal bracket doesn't have any bend. This is a deviation from the initial plan when I used the cardstock.


                                Transfer the cardstock bracket onto the metal piece. I drilled pilot holes along the cut lines, and clamped the metal bracket onto a vise grip and bent the piece on the cut line until the material yields and breaks. Then, re straighten the metal plate. After a lot of filing and smoothing, it mounts like so:


                                From the outside, only the two tabs can be seen, and the rest of the bracket tucks in neatly.
                                Jul 2012 ROTM (3-way quad headlight) ; Sep 2015 ROTM (custom muli-lens 7" fogs)

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

                                Comment

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