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To start making the plug for our custom head light housing we first started with laying a piece of plastic on top of the bumper. Its purpose was to prevent in sticking of the initial plaster junk that will be laid when making the housing. A partial spare piece of fenders where treated same way around the light housing openings and under where it mounts and extending where possible plaster could expand to.
Mounting surface for the projectors where then attached to the bumpers in place learned from other versions of the housings to give enough clearance for the projectors to the lens covers but more to give enough clearance to the wheel well lining. some pictures of the process can be seen in the gallery. The fenders where fastened to the chassis as it would when finished. With the initial prep work completed we started on laying some plaster. All of the little small chambers and spaces where forced with as much plaster as possible so that it will provide some sort of locating reference when the housings are removed and placed back during contouring process.


Main housing
The main frame of the headlight is what holds everything together and parts mounted onto it. The concept of it is to have a frame that with a help of mounting plates which are used for aligning the projectors and to mount projectors to and them the plates mounted onto the headlight frame. A version of the frame will have small projectors embedded into the surrounding as accent within which LEDs are mounted. Orange LED's on the side are for turn signal and forward facing white LEDs are used as accent for daytime driving lights.
With opening for the projectors a trim ring/plate is mounted into the opening which then is covered with a lens protecting the projectors from debris and water. Cause of the type of projectors used  in the headlights, back side has cover shell mounted to it that is dust and water tight sealed with openings to access light bulbs incase one burns out and a mounting surface for HID driver


Trim ring (s)

To make the headlight look "finished", trim rings are fabricated and mounted on top of the frame projector opening. It has additional embedded forward facing LED projectors for turn signal indicators.


Back cover
To protect bulbs and in general keep the projectors clean from any dust or water. The back of the headlight will be covered with a back cover clam shell that will act as support to the main frame and at the same time protecting the projectors.

Cover lens
As the shape of the headlight is kind of tear dropped and want it to be durable to withstand hits of small rocks. Lexan or polycarbonate is probably the only material that can withstand the impact from road debris. Ideal way to make it would be to have it injection molded. However as this is cost effective alternative is to vacuum form it from a flat sheet.



Making the main headlight housing plug version 3

Main plug

Started with set of HID projectors that we chose for the headlights, one Bi-Xenon main projector for Low and High beams for driving at night and a smaller projectors as fog lights as they had been designed with short wide range just to be a fog lights however most likely will replace the original H3 filament type bulb with LED. Decision is still out as might use them as driving lights provided bumper fog lights will be made. An bi-color amber-white LED will fill in a trim around the housing making dual purpose marker / turn signal indicator

With very short area in front of the wheel, had to figure out placing of the projectors in a way that they would be as far out to the sides as possible and still provide enough clearance to the wheel without hitting it and having enough room for wheel well so that the wheel would not be hitting the housing.

After finding out the spot for each projector and marking a position, cardboard was used taped onto the bumper to make extension to the pumper so that the body of the housing can be made.
With the mounting face of each projectors marked on the cardboard we them fastened a vertical piece of additional piece of cardboard and covered it with masking tape which will peal off after the plaster is cured. With a very short piece of the fender and estimated headlight size cutout from it and taped back side it was fastened to the chassis.  More tape was used to provide barrier between chassis, fender section and bottom cardboard and filled any holes. The cavity was filled with plaster and allowed to dry. It took 3 fillings to build up sufficiently and have enough thickness and mass for the main housing so that it could be pulled out with out cracking it.
Material used for the projector where peeled off and using straight edge, the plaster was marked to surface of the fender and the vertical part of the plaster was trimmed to rough shape. While still relatively soft, front fascia was carved revealing starting shape shape of the headlight
After making mounting plate for the projectors and positioning on the mounting surface on the housings, holes where carved out so that the projectors could fit in and more contouring was done. With the headlights bit lower then version 2 and main projectors sunk bit lower, a bottom plate had to be made to compensate for the projectors sitting lower and the cavity going lower then original plug. Further adjustments tot he front and projector cavity was done, however one thing that was missing was the the upper extension as to where the fender would be mating and provide ledge for it to sit on and to have some good aesthetic appearance. To correct that an extension was added to the back by making sudo overhang over the projectors. To make that, a piece of cardboard was attached covered with nonstick water resistant tape. From the bottom plaster was applied and as it dried the cardboard was pulled off revealing the overhang. This allowed not just an area for the fender to sit on but also space for some attractive visual look. Problem with it was the curvature and thickness as to that it would not be to big but substantial and look good.
Adjustments to the curvature and symmetry continued.
At some point it was discovered that the extra added thickness on bottom of the housing interfered with the bumper. It could had been resolved on couple of different ways however an decision was made to alter the bumper. This does create a re-do to the bumper. however some work was needed to be done to facilitate mounting of fender to it so this could be an option to fix that but also make some sort of mounting for the housings and also to lower the projectors thus lowering position of them with in the fender as the fender needed to be altered considerably to hide the headlights and have more smoother flow.
Re-leave was cut into the bumper effectively lowing the housing an inch. Side effect of it was that the housings now needed some alteration to the front contour.
With the bumper location finalized, further alterations to upper curvature and front trim area was being made and how to add marker and turn lights into the housing.
As plugs of back dust covers where made the main housings where left alone for a while. Coming back to it  more changes where made to further clearance the housing from the wheel and provide further clearance to the fender. Front of the housing where further adjusted around main projector as to ease reflection and allow wider beam from the projector by cutting out some of the side around the projector. This also narrowed the decorative band around the housing. Still not satisfied how to add marker and turn signal light, idea of adding a small band around the outer rim of the lens was added. This raised the main lens by 1/8 inch but it also allowed space to add second tinted lens for the marker / turn signal, unfortunately it did not fixed the problem of how to add light to the ring, so a decision was made to make a continuous cavity with a very narrow ledge for the lens to be mounted and resting on. The idea of the trench though might be a very simple one but it allows flexibility of the lights to be mounted in and a surface mounted led's will work great and still have the ability to have focusing collimators.
Two last minute alterations to the plug was to bit further rave into in front of projectors side wall to further thin down on the trim ring and a flat front bottom. The dipped curved front area in front of the main projector was just not as smooth looking hence lowering all the way across to edge of the outer raised edge.
For more pictures, please look at the headlight gallery


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Dust cover
To make the dust cover it was necessary to establish depth of projectors allowing clearance for connectors. Having the mounting plates for the projectors made earlier as part of making the main housing. The projectors where mounted including bulbs and wire connectors onto the main housing plug as and back was covered with some paper napkins to cushion against any possible hits and then covered with plastic sheet sheet guarding against dust while making the cover. Front glass of the projectors was also protect in similar way for the projectors. Once satisfied that the projectors will not get damaged, edges of the main housing where covered with paper and tape so that the rough dust cover could easily be pulled of from the main housing and not causing any damage to it. Plaster was spread on back side of the housing covering the projectors and connectors for the bulbs along edges giving a ridge to that it could be used later as bonding surface to the main housing.

........more to come



Projector trim
With a recessed face, bare exposed projectors frames the face of the hadlight does not look very attractive. To cover up the ugliness a cover sudo trim is made to cover all of the framework behind it. 
........more to come


Marker lights
As the marker lights will utilize LED's for the light source and to provide some flexibility into arengment of the LED it was decided that by simply providing cavity for mounting a circuit board the background lighting can have number of options. An additional lens will be placed on top to cover up the circuit board and to diffuse the light and cover the cavity or the cavity can be left empty all together.

........more to come


Lens cover
  ........not started yet



The Mold
Not having a good experience making brake splitter, was bit hesitant on using regular silicone. However it was the necessary evil that needed to be used of the amount that needed to be used and expense of it due to the size of the plugs. The silicone mold is needed because of the different surfaces and contours on the front of the housing where it would be very difficult to make rigid molds, so with the use of silicone will allow removal  of the mold from the part very easily. A hard shell over it will prevent the soft silicone keep its shape. This will make major part of the mold with second part being bottom and back side. Unfortunately the part will need to be made out of 2 pieces and bonded together later on.

The process started as normal finding parting lines between the mold parts. A cardboard flange was made and taped to the plug. As normal it was waxed and a single coat of PVA was applied to it for easier separation of the mold from the plug. Needing the silicone to have substantial thickness do to different curves and cavities, however to accelerate the curing of the regular silicone, first layer was applied fairly thin so that not only would cure fasted but also to spread it into every corner avoiding of making air packets limiting first later to no more then 1/4 of an inch or less. Enough to cover the surface and thick enough as not to have any breaks in the layer of silicone.
As the silicone cured secondary layers of silicone where applied. Initially building thickness of the walls and filling in cavities for marker lights and around projectors as fiberglass filling most likely will not be made for that section.
The main idea of building up the silicone was to have final smooth surfaces with out any nibbles sticking out and edges that would easily slip on to the hard fiberglass shell. After 3 layers the LED trim and projector cavity were  filled and having substantial thickness.

.........more to come






Making version 4 of main LED headlight housing plug

The Plug
Decided to use F150 led projectors and are physically much smaller then the HID projectors. They are much shorter and lower though the width remains about the same as the main HID projector. Being lower height it meant that they could be pushed forward thus making a larger clearance in weal well. As not to make to different bumper and mountings. It was decided to re-use bottom plate of version 3 but change mounting and profile of the headlight. Unfortunately, the fenders need to have different opening for the housings.

.........more to come




 

 
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