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Cadillac Escalade, EXT and ESV Forum - 1999 - 2006 Discussion, PROJECT: Making custom clear reflectors for headlights. in Cadillac Escalade Forums; Originally Posted by sfv41901 How's the casting coming along? So far, I have about 8-9 failed attempts. I've learned that ...
  1. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfv41901 View Post
    How's the casting coming along?
    So far, I have about 8-9 failed attempts. I've learned that thinning the resin with acetone gets rid of the bubbles, but makes the reflectors weak and brittle. Putting the molds in the oven cures it faster, but hazes the final product. Since I'm using the plexiglass for the supports behind the mold, it is also worth noting that the oven warps those too. In order to get the unthinned resin into the tabs, I have to pour it directly on to the open mold and use something to push it into the tab hole and then quickly shut and seal the molds with duct tape and try to pour the rest of the resin in before it turns to gel. Right now it has become a race to get the molds together and filled before the resin viscosity changes enough that air bubbles can not escape. I'm optimistic that the ones I did this morning will come out well on Wednesday morning. Of course, I've been optimistic about the 9 tries before that as well...

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    When I did my 1st cast, I had the 2 halfs of the mold together & clamped. I then poured the resin into the mold until it over flowed. That is the lens that had the small imperfections. My next attempt was going to be the same expect that once it started to over flow, I was going to used the syringe to push more resin into all the remaining holes.......but I never got that far to see if it would have worked.

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    I did try using a syringe once and found that it took too long to get the resin into the syringe and wound up not getting it into the mold quick enough and destroyed the syringe in the process as well. I have figured out that once the mold is filled, gently squeezing it helps force bubbles out and then having a decent amount of resin pooled on top when I release the pressure draws resin back in. This really works quite well.

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    Glad to hear that ur at least perfecting ur method.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfv41901 View Post
    Glad to hear that ur at least perfecting ur method.
    I pulled the reflectors out today and they were almost perfect, just a few micro bubbles were left in it. I poured a other set this afternoon with just a splash of acetone to thin it slightly. I don't intend to disturb them again until this weekend to ensure that they have had plenty of time to cure. I did wind up buying those black Depo headlights with the clear reflectors and of course they arrive the same day I finally get a decent pair of casts out of the mold. I poured the last of my total of 48fl oz of resin today and if the reflectors come out well, I will ship them to sfv41901. If they do not turn out well, I will be shipping him the molds and along with the OEM reflectors he has so generously allowed my to use for this project. Thanks again for all of your help sfv41901, and I am really hoping I can send you a finished product instead of an unfinished project.

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    Either way, its me who should be thanking u.

    Since u bought those lights......Ive been wanting to know if the lens on the headlight displays the HID bulb type like the OEMs......"D1R" or something like H11?

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    Re: PROJECT: Making custom clear reflectors for headlights.

    Yes, it has "D1R" on the face of the headlight.

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    Wow......they are a true HID headlight, not just a halogen headlight with a HID bulb.

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    That is nice to know considering how some are about the bulbs claiming that they are factory hid capable but aren't.

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    Looks like the only thing that has to be done to them is to run the ballast wire through the inside of the light.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sfv41901
    Looks like the only thing that has to be done to them is to run the ballast wire through the inside of the light.
    How hard would that be? cause I have looked at the ballast wires on my truck and it looks like there is only so much slack to replace the bulbs

    which is bit of a pain to keep from stressing the bulbs (too much stress can cause the hid bulb to explode not fun)

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    That wire runs from the bottom of the light through a rubber grommet, then it goes between the black housing of the light & the reflector. The hardest part will be to get it in between the reflector & the housing.

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    I have had some usable reflectors though this process, but none good enough that I would want them on my vehicle or be comfortable selling them to anyone else. At this point I think the epoxy resin I have been using has been a major contributing factor to my continued failures. On the advise of another user that makes reflectors, I have opted to try out a different brand and material resin. I should have some results to post within the week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikedyk43
    I have had some usable reflectors though this process, but none good enough that I would want them on my vehicle or be comfortable selling them to anyone else. At this point I think the epoxy resin I have been using has been a major contributing factor to my continued failures. On the advise of another user that makes reflectors, I have opted to try out a different brand and material resin. I should have some results to post within the week.
    Keep trying buddy I know it is a hard process but the outcome will be worth the work.

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    Re: PROJECT: Making custom clear reflectors for headlights.

    Hey man, I don't own a cadillac, but Ive been trying to come up with a solution for my orange reflectors on my 2010 mustang headlights for months. I just stumbled across this thread via google search and im extremely interested in the work you're doing right. I didn't even know where to start as i don't know a damn thing about plastics. They sell a few different aftermarket headlights for my car but Ive always thought aftermarket headlights looked cheesy and not to mention they never come with a true HID projector housing. With the factory HIDs for my car costing $1000+ used, i decided to go the HID projector retrofit route. I Cut open my stock halogen headlight housing, painted the reflector bowl black, fitted the HID projector, and resealed the headlights with butyl tape (as recommended by other retrofitters). I removed the Orange reflector and im using LED switchback bulbs for the turn signals (White until turn signal is flipped on, then it turns orange). Ive been rockin them for about 6 months now, and everything about them is great, im just not quite satisfied with the way it looks with the orange reflector missing and would like to get a clear one in there to make it look more legit. Looking forward to seeing your finished product and hearing about what you did to get it to work right. I've got a few other guys on my forum that have done the same retrofit and would probably be interested in buying a set of clear reflectors as well. Here's a pic of what my headlights currently look like



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