Here's how to seal headlights, long form, step by step.
This is Retrorubber (Amazon Link):

Got a set of headlights, i took the lens off, i made some changes to things, and now i need to seal it up. What do you do? How do you do it? What parts do you need and what kind of materials should you be using for it? That's what we're gon na cover in this video? What's up, i'm chris you're back at fly ride and i'm going to show you how to reseal your headlights. Now i was just asked the other day from somebody in jamaica. Hey is there another thing that i can use instead of what you recommend the rubber butyl sealant, because it's kind of hard to get it here.

It takes a while, i told dude. No just wait, don't do it the wrong way, because it's faster. Do it the right way, even if it takes more time because then you never have to mess with it again, you won't have to go back later clean up a bunch of silicone mess. I don't know have a bad leaky headlight just do it the right way off the bat and keep doing it the right way, every single time and you're not going to have anything but success, a great success, moving forward and learning how to work on custom lights.

We are going to reseal these older gt-r headlights and because they've been opened, i'm not going to trust that this rubber butyl sealant right here that's been broken. Now i've separated the lens from it. That means there's some glue. That's still here in the little channel and then there's some glue, that's here on the actual lens itself.

So, as you can see, it can be pushed back together using just what's already in place and it will look pretty and it will look. You know nice all that stuff problem is if it rains, there's going to be all sorts of little air pockets in here. So there's no guarantee that it's not going to leak. Sometimes people get lucky and they're, like i never add extra sealant, my lights never leak dope.

Sometimes people get lucky other times. Someone does a bunch of super dope custom work and then they reseal the lights, and then they get water in them and they leak and they're destroyed and they're worse off than when they were just stuck. So that's a total waste of time money, energy, all that stuff, we're just gon na, take the extra step to add a little bit of rubber butyl sealant. I'm gon na show you exactly what to use, which is called retro rubber from the retrofit source.

I've got some in the oven, it's heated up just a little bit and it's ready to stick in this channel, so i can reheat and reseal these lights the proper way, let's just get to it. So first off i've got my retro rubber. Now this stuff comes in black or gray, and you can get it from other companies. It doesn't have to come from the retrofit source, aka morimoto, but if you happen to buy it from them, this is what you can expect.

There'll be a little bit of uh like a little clear piece of paper on this, so it doesn't stick to things, but this stuff is crazy, sticky, right and the reason that i heated it up is so that, as i stick it into place right now, i Can stretch it a little bit and thin it out and it'll be so tacky that it'll stay in place on the housings. So without further ado, i'm gon na turn on a bright light. So you can see the channel and i'm going to start putting this stuff into place right now and working my way around the housing and look at how much of the sealant is missing from just right here. Imagine if i didn't add more - and i was just relying on whatever glue was left over on the lens itself.
I have a pretty strong suspicion that that's where a future leak would occur on these lights, so i would advise to try to keep like no big seams, no like chunks of sections where the stuff can shrink back while you're trying to run this. This little uh rope around the headlight, but i'm also knowing how giant these gtr lights are. I'm not gon na go too too big of a chunk at one time just so we can make this video instructional it's hard to work with it's super sticky, and so, if you need to, you can actually get a little cup of water with some soap in It if your hands have the the water and soap just on your fingertips. This stuff won't stick to it and you can still work with it in this case.

I want it to stay as sticky as possible for this video, so we're going to start right here in the corner start pushing it into place and i'm just going to work my way up and as i go, i want to make sure that it's one continuous Path without getting too thinned out or anything like that - and i know that this is missing so much - i'm gon na not stretch it as much in this little. This little section we're just gon na keep working our way all the way up and after i've gone completely around the whole light. That's when i'm gon na be able to start messing with my lens again and then we're ultimately going to stick this thing back in the oven. So you can do this and even heat gun it to see if it's going to shrink back any because what you don't want to do is stretch this stuff out, especially when it's cold and it hasn't been warmed up at all like we did and then stick It in the oven and have it actually shrink away from itself a little bit if there's any like seams any parts where you've got one long piece that is going around, let's say half the light and then it's meeting the other long piece.

That's going around the separate half, we want all this stuff to stay in place, so i will hit it with the heat gun before it goes back in the oven, and i am going to preheat the oven to 220 degrees fahrenheit so that i can reseal these Lights by cooking them for about seven minutes, so it's gon na be the exact opposite of when i open them up. It's just got a lot more steps because i'm gon na have to use clamps and go back around the whole light. So there we go. We got roughly halfway around a little bit more than halfway, because we did this long upper section, so i'm gon na come through grab a little bit of extra, and let me know if you like these longer videos that i'm not cutting.
I'm just talking my whole way through it because i know i could edit this down. I know i could chop it up. I know i could show you exactly how to do what i'm doing right now in 15 seconds on tick tock. If you don't know that go watch my tick, tock i'll, show you there too in 15 seconds.

This is just something that i want to have like a long form behind the scenes, really showing all the steps and not making. You think that i'm leaving out some sort of magic or some little tip that i want to make you pay me to take an online course or something i'm just trying to give you some value on some stuff. That's going to get you started, so you can build lights, seal them up and even use this as a way to make some money for yourself building lights for other people that are not down to stick. Some headlights in the oven - or you know just be tinkering around with all the right tools and the clamps and the correct glue like my guy in jamaica.

My advice for him was: don't try to skip out on getting the right stuff just so that you can serve somebody faster. If you're going to do some sort of custom headlights for somebody, you want to make sure that you use all the right parts so that their and end result is better and you don't have anything that you have to go back and fix later. That's that's! Just going to take away from any money that you might be making all right, i have a couple of sections here that i'm seeing kind of get thinned out, and so what i'm going to show you next is adding a little bit of extra sealant, just where I feel it could serve better if there's too much it'll just spill out the bottom. When i go to seal these things, so there's literally no harm in doing that.

There are certain types of lights like a genesis: coupe older genesis, coupe light. If you load it down with too much sealant, there are sections where it has nowhere to spill out the edge and it can actually hinder the light from being sealed up properly. So just make sure that you're paying attention to what the housing looks like itself and if there is gon na be that space to have any overflow spill out. Okay, so here we go looks like everything looks good.

It's pushed down to the edge that's on the outside, as opposed to the inside edge right here, which means that if there's excess, it's going to get squeezed between the clear lens and the outside of the light it'll spill over and that's going to. Let me know that i've got a perfect seal all the way around, as opposed to it spilling over to the inside and leaving a gap on the outside between the lens in the actual housing. Okay, so i feel pretty good about this. Let me now, for the first time, take a little gap in filming, i'm gon na grab the heat gun plug it in right here, and we will resume i'm just going to heat this up.

Oh actually, i skipped a step. The most important step, never stick lights in an oven that is heating up. That's in the preheating process make sure it's all the way heated up. First, so turn it on.
This thing is currently sitting at 110 degrees fahrenheit, not celsius. It needs to get to 220. So in the time for this thing to double its temperature, i'm gon na do all the stuff that i need to do with this and i'm gon na prepare because i've got clamps here. I've got gloves here.

I don't have the screws that i'm gon na use to seal these things back up, so i'm going to get everything completely dialed in and ready to go so that when i stick this thing back together, i don't have to run around looking for tools or realize. Oh crap, i don't have the clamps, i don't have this. I don't have that and kind of get frantic. That's a huge tip for you.

If you're going to steal lights up, don't do things in the last second frantically. You could drop a light. You could accidentally be trying to get tools down and drop them and it hits the lens and scratch like all sorts of stupid stuff. I know i've done it all.

I've messed up in every way that you can so anyway, let's get this seal heated up and ready for the lens cool all right. Well, nothing looks like it's shrinking back. Sometimes, when you do that, you'll notice that the sealant will like thin out a little bit and that can tell you that you're gon na have a weak point in your seal. Everything responded really well, so we're good with this.

For now, until the second light, i'm going to now make sure that i blast off any dust that happens to have landed in here. In the time that i was working on the lights, i've got the lens already sealed, there's no dust in it, so this is literally the last step before i commit to putting the lens back on - and i will say this too, if you go to put the Lens on and then you notice something stop, don't wait until later or be like oh eff, it i'm just gon na seal it up and we'll deal with that, like it'll, probably be fine. If you need to fix something after you've done what i'm about to do and stick the lens on, stop what you're doing and undo it now, it's gon na save you time and it's definitely gon na save you frustration with the customer that paid money. If that's the case, if you're building lights for somebody, don't seal up a problem that you see right in these last steps, just drop everything just assault the problem now, because it's only going to get bigger and bigger later and be much harder to do it and Potentially damage and scratch parts of the light that would have never happened if you didn't have to get back inside.

So i think i'm good all right that thing is set on goes the lens. Now, with this i know i have to just feed it in just perfectly, all different headlights have little things that you have to learn about them, so that you don't scratch things up. This is one where i just know that it has to be aligned really well. When you're sliding the lens into place, but that's pretty much it at this point, i've done as much as i can really do.
I can't clamp it. I can't do too much because the glue is not soft enough yet, but at least it's soft enough that i can push it into place kind of to roughly get it where it's going to align. If i didn't do this step, let's say i just tried to go after it right off the bat got everything super hot. Before i tried to slide, the lens on problem is you'll start getting it into place up at the top and it'll just slide into place.

Here, but if it's not perfectly aligned down here on the bottom, that can actually create something that then you have to tear the top part back off, creating gaps in your seal. It can go bad, so do like a preliminary line up before you do what i'm about to do, which is stick it in the oven for a few minutes to get it extra hot, then really kind of give it that initial clamp down on there, so that You know it's sitting perfect and then go for your final heating, where you're gon na put the clamps on the screws. All of that and you'll commit to the seal. All right here we go.

I've got two pieces of wood instead of a cookie sheet. I don't think that sticking a metal cookie sheet into a hot metal oven makes a whole lot of sense, because it's just going to transfer that heat right to the plastic and i'm working with big headlights, and so i've got a big oven. It's kind of hard to do this in a tiny, little oven, all right so we're at 220, and i get asked this all the time. What about the bulbs? What about the things that are inside of the light? Do i have to remove them because they're gon na go in an oven, that's 220 degrees so like? If we look at this little dude, this little glass bulb tell you something if it got messed up, because it was in 220 degree heat in an oven like what would happen if this thing actually turned on and it was that weak, it's a bulb.

It's a hot glass bulb if you've ever taken. One of these things out that's been flashing. They get hot as balls, so don't worry about your bulbs. They're good they're made to get super hot, don't take them out.

The only reason that you would ever take something out is because you think that you need the airflow, particularly. I don't like to remove a bunch of stuff. This has the the ballast removed that has the back cap removed and i could stick this thing in in the oven and it'd cook. Fine it'd be good, but the one that's in there.

It still has the ballast on there. I don't recommend you heating ballasts. If you can remove them, but in some cases i've cooked a lot of headlights like for lexus, and you can't even disconnect the ballast, so it has to be heated on there and i've never destroyed a ballast by putting it in the oven to 220 degrees. Here's another little tip while we're waiting.
It's been in the oven for about, let's say two: three minutes: i'm about to take it out and to do that, i want to have on some gloves now. I i don't know i roast people all the time when they like complain in the comments somebody was so mad at me recently because i didn't have the proper gloves on and they wanted me to have big giant gloves if i was going to be working with My glue machine well that guy's an idiot he doesn't actually know because he's never done it, but he's giving me advice on it. Here's my advice to you: if you're going to wear something like short, sleeve shirts and work with something with hot glue, you might consider getting the longer version. The long cut gloves this guy was all worried about ppe, proper protection equipment, cool man.

I just want to say, do be safe, wear something but wear something. That's thin enough that it protects your fingers and you can still feel put screws into place. Use the drill all that stuff and a little hack grab yourself. Some gloves that aren't so bulky that you cannot also sleeve them with some disposable gloves on the top, because we're gon na be working with glue.

So if you get some super expensive, nice leather ppe, like dude, was telling me i needed to do otherwise. I must not know what i'm talking about. You wouldn't be able to feel the lights and work with them and if any glue got on there goes your expensive gloves. This butyl does not go, go away easily.

So get yourself some normal gloves. Some gorilla grip, gloves or something from home depot make sure that it's got the nice little bit of protection that at least just that little bit of rubber coating on there is going to keep my fingertips safe. While i'm taking these nice hot lights out of the oven lights are coming out of the oven and all i'm gon na do really quick is check the alignment. I can go through and clamp a couple little parts right now, just to kind of demonstrate what i'm gon na do when they come out completely.

But once i've checked to make sure this is all going to seat properly and i'm making sure that now the top right here isn't coming undone. If i wanted to, i could take the extra minute to kind of clamp down. Let's say one little section on here like this: be like okay, cool, it's sitting, it's applying constant pressure, same thing right here, that's applying constant pressure! Great now, when this thing comes out of the oven, those little sections will already be cinched up pretty tight, but i don't really feel like. I need to do that right now.

Everything looks like it's going to go together super well. So i'm going to heat this. The remaining five minutes to make sure that it's nice and hot and goes together easy we're looking at, like 200 degrees, this thing's, probably off by about five percent, so the lights they get hot. They get too hot to touch with your fingers.
But again, not so hot that they're gon na melt into a puddle, so don't worry about that people freak out about is the light gon na be safe. Are the wires gon na be safe or the bulbs gon na be safe? It's fine! All we're heating up right now with that 200 degrees is the glue. That's the only thing that matters. I've got this pad, because when i put the light down here and i go to reseal it - i don't want to slip on the slicker surface.

So it's nice to have a pad of some sort, especially if, for some reason you have to put it lens side down which i don't recommend, try to do all these next steps without the lens coming into contact with anything, because it's hot so like any little Stickies that might be on here would transfer to that lens without further ado. This should be pretty straightforward and what i want to do is re-clamp the top first, because that needs to be very, very well done into place. Clamp the middle there that middle didn't. Even look like it needed any help, so i'm going to move this to where it can be more useful, just start clamping the bottom and these things.

If they're not really solid, they can pop off. They could literally fly back right at your face. They could also shoot up in the air and then land on the lens, which is not what we want. So i'm clamping a few places that i know need to be pushed down into place and once i'm happy with how it looks, i'm going to push down on the tabs to make sure that the little piece of plastic - that's kind of protruding through the opening on The tab here is aligned where it should be, and this particular place on the gtr light on this.

One is somewhere that i want to have two clamps so that it is totally aligned properly. All right looks like i'm pretty solid there, maybe one more right in the middle right here and then the other thing is there are certain parts that you'll have to learn over time. If you work on the same type of light, there's certain sections that, like this one right here, i know it needs to be pushed down into place a little bit by hand. I can also tell that the light's getting pretty hot, so what i want to do is throw in my screws and start re-tightening everything up now, so that i can go hit some of the other spots afterwards.

Now that did not feed perfectly in like i want it to so i might need to push into it a little bit with my finger to make sure that it's threading into the hole properly and as you tighten the screws, what you'll probably see is a little Bit of the glue start to come out around the edges, if you've added a bunch of extra glue, it should also be kind of popping out the little screw holes there so watch that little gap just tighten a little bit. I love impact drills because they're not going to over tighten but they'll make sure that it cinches up. Okay, as you can tell, there's glue, that's coming out the edges and it's starting to stick to stuff and become kind of problematic. Okay, clamps are coming off and i want to make sure now that i clean up the seal and i push down on any area where it normally has.
Maybe like not a super strong contact point, and so i'm gon na do the very last step. I'm gon na stick it back in the oven which is off right now, but it's warm. I'm gon na go, get some water and soap in a little cup and show you how to smooth out all of the butyl. That's spilling out the edge i'm going to wet my fingers with some soapy water and do it with all all the thumbs and fingers, and then i'm going to push down and i'm going to smooth this out anywhere, where i have my finger dry at all.

This glue is going to want to stick right to it anywhere where it's nice and soapy water on there, it's just going to glide right over this glue. What i just want to do is push everything down to make sure that there's no spot that hasn't been smoothed down, because this is creating the last barrier. The last line of defense. Aside from all the extra glue, that's in the channel, this is going to be like the top little uh little barrier.

So no little water droplets are going to be able to seep down into the seam here and as i work with it, it's hot. So it's drying out my fingers really really quick, so i don't want my fingers to be like dripping wet, but they can't be dry at all. As i do this step, you can even do this with gloves on as well. So i kind of just feel like i need to have like a full full feel, so i can tell exactly what's happening where i'm pushing down on the light now.

Also, if there's a section right here where there's not a bunch of excess that's spilling over, i can even move that from a different part of the light. So, for example, i can go through and make sure that i create any excess that i can from this, and i can just repurpose that glue. That's spilled out to kind of fill in any any gaps or anything that needs a little bit of extra attention somewhere else. Very last but not least, we're gon na use some headlight lens sealer, not to seal.

I don't really know what that ceiling. Part of the name stands for, but it's really greasy stuff. I love this for removing excess butyl from the lens, because this stuff is really hard to clean, but for whatever reason this stuff will make it very soft and it just kind of cuts right through you. Can't do this with rubber, or you can't do this with water and soap, or anything like that that will just kind of go right over it.

As you saw with what i put on my fingers to seal out the seal it all out, this will just cut right through and allow me to just polish it off. So it's kind of greasy, it's kind of gross. I don't enjoy it, but it definitely helps out. So you can see that just eating right through it all and of course it gives you that nice little shine once you're done too.

So i'm just going to go over pretty much everywhere on the lens. A lot of times you'll miss stuff because, especially if the lens has chrome inside like it does on these ones, it can almost like, like hide stuff like that. It's also important. If you can clean all the bug guts off before you heat the lights, why bake them on and do all of that extra if you can avoid it? So here's a weird thing too: if you're working with headlights, sometimes internal parts of the light can come into contact with the inside of the lens.
You can't clean that that there's like a little scratch in there, but that's on the inside of the lens and these particular lights right here have never been open before so sometimes people will want to blame you for stuff, like that. Just take note of if there's ever any sort of marks before you start modifying lights, when you go to seal them up, especially if you're gon na paint them, because now you're gon na know. If i paint this part in the center here black and then that lens, for whatever reason, comes back into contact with the with the part, that's been painted black, it can actually transfer the paint and remove it from the part that was painted. So you just want to be at least aware that things like that can happen, because if you see a mark before you do the custom lights, you cannot guarantee that customer that that is never going to happen once your part has been painted.

So just let people know and then when you're done and it comes out and it doesn't smear or doesn't you know make a mark on there no big deal, but if it does it's not like you're being hung over the fire because, like i don't know, you Didn't change a pre-existing problem somehow so there we are, how to reseal your lights and get them ready to go back on the car. Don't forget, use retro rubber, even if you've got permaseal and you took everything apart, don't use some weird silicone stuff that has to cure and gas out and stain the inside of the lens. These things are ready to bolt onto the car. Now i just sealed them and they're ready to go on a car immediately after there's, no cooling, there's no curing, there's nothing like that.

These things are ready. So that's that's the way that you want to go. Don't cheap out don't be in a rush use the right material use the right tools and go watch a video about how i open these things, because it was way easier to reseal them, because there's no pry marks from tools because i opened them with just my Hands anyway, if you got through this whole video comment below, i watched the whole thing, because i think most people couldn't have stayed all the way through there was just so much here. I hope you enjoyed and i'll see you next time on how tuesday see ya.

By Chris

12 thoughts on “Resealing Headlights with Retro Rubber”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dynamic Auto Works says:

    So the way I do my process Chris is I put the rubber in cold. Run it along the channel. Heat it up with a heat gun. The I get a old flat head Screwdriver and smooth it out and push it in the channel if I have to. Install the lense and heat up in the oven after and clamp it down

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Peter Piccolo says:

    id love to team up and make a set of customized headlights and tailight s for my 09 prius to make it something special… or where could i get some of those electronics so i can diy? thanks a ton,
    -peter joseph

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Bryan Young says:

    Gloves: like the set-up but for anyone whos looking for a pair i used goat skins from Walmart. $5 bucks and high dexterity. Same we use for tig welding and can handle a good bit of heat. And I WATCH THE WHOLE THING. Very helpful tips over any other channels for my mod so far. Thanks

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gary Jon Meyer II says:

    I watched the whole thing! I just picked up my e60 550i and will be separating my first set of lenses. I’ll be wearing my FlyRyde hoodie hoping to transfer some of your Jedi headlight upgrading powers. Wish me luck.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars R S says:

    Love this kind of video. I made my FIRST mistake on my FIRST set of taillights! I didn’t heat up the retro rubber and I, for some reason, put the light in AT 240 DEGREES 🤦‍♂️ for almost as long as I did when I pulled them apart! 🤦‍♂️ silly me but I’m learning… @krimsinxprojects

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Andy Guyett says:

    I watched the whole thing!! 🙂

    Really useful – I'll be splitting my headlights down soon (I'm in the UK and the car is a Japanese import so I can't easily find replacements!!!) and resealing them was a big concern of mine… great information – liking the little sachet of Silica in there to catch any moisture which may occur…. Excellent work 🙂

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Umanng Mittal says:

    Dude I watched the whole thing! I really wanna see a video of you using a hot melt gun or machine to seal up headlights. I need to seal up old school 7” glass sealed beams and there is no way I can use rolls of butyl. Really interested in:
    1. The best machine to use
    2. Whether I can use a hand held gun
    3. Whether I need to find butyl glue sticks or can use ‘bricks’ of glue
    4. The thickness of the melted glue and how fast it flows and how easy it is to control
    Thanks Chris!!

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars TED Friedel says:

    I watched the whole thing, Chris. GREAT, informative video with lil nuggets of info that most people don't know!! Thank you for sharing and teaching us!!

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Jack Moorcroft says:

    Longer videos are definitely better for me, but i thing everyone learns in different ways! just keep doing what your doing, because your doing great 🙂

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars z33_SA says:

    Thank you for this exact video. I got an Set of R35 GTR headlights coming in for an reseal. I know the earlier models have an common problem where they tend to leak.

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars xXSRS24Xx says:

    Here’s a video idea, you mentioned leaky headlights. Why not make a video on how you personally deal with leaky lights, such as steps on how to find a leak, how to repair a leak, different kinds of leaks ie standing water or fog or just droplets.. Or when it’s time to give up on a set that’s not fixable. Side note, this is the best tutorial I’ve seen on dealing lights. Love your vids!

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars bmxfuel007 says:

    I can't stand the shorts. This video is worlds better, and I'd rather watch a video like this with some ads than a short with no ads

    Watched the whole thing!

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