Easy GU Patrol Headlight Upgrade

Easy GU Patrol Headlight Upgrade

I like to be unique, do things a little differently, like own a Subaru L Series! But since I’ve bought another GU Patrol I’m looking for ways to set it apart from the sea of other GU Patrols getting about. To give the beast a bit of a face lift, I decided I was going to fit a set of series 3 headlamps into my series 2 Patrol, and paint a few select parts of the lights to make it stand out even more.

You can get the whole lot off eBay for around the $430 mark. That’s for both headlights and both corner lights. You need to change the corner lights as well if you want it to look any good, as you’ll see in the picture further down. I am also doing an LED headlight globe upgrade, and decided to purchase some T20 LED wedge globes for the park lights to keep it matching. They are really cheap, like $10; and eBay is the only place I was able to find these. The LED headlight globes are supplied by Supercheap Auto; follow THIS LINK for a better look at them.

After a little reading on various Patrol forums I discovered that you can pull the glass away from these head lamps by heating them in the oven. I decided to try this with the cheaper corner lamp before doing the more valuable headlamp assembly. Sounds like a good idea right? Nope….turns out you can’t separate the clear cover from the corner lamps and the whole thing turned to a blob of plastic in the oven. Good thing I was doing this in mum’s oven and not my own!

It’s a little scary putting the headlights in the oven. But trust me.

I ordered another side lamp and had a go at the headlamp instead. First up, remove the steel clips holding the glass to the plastic. Don’t worry, it’s not going to just fall off; that’s why we need the oven – to soften the glue. Whack the whole assembly in the oven on 120 degrees Celsius for a good half an hour, then be ready with a heat proof surface to put it on, a flat head screwdriver, and a couple of oven mitts. Gently work your way around the light prying between the glass and the plastic to separate the two. Try not to get the soft glue all over everything as it comes off the glass easy enough, but you’ve pretty much gotta sand it off anything else.

Now obviously you don’t want to paint the reflector, but the piece of chromed plastic trim that surrounds it is fair game! Do like I did and spend more time than seems necessary masking everything off – light output will suffer if you accidentally paint the wrong bit; and it will look hideous. Lightly sand the chrome trim so that the paint can get a good key, and give it a good clean up with wax and grease remover. Apply a plastic primer before your colour of choice, and don’t get lazy by skipping the clear coat. I gave mine a week to dry completely before I reassembled the light.

 

I had to settle with a can of Night Shades paint to tint the corner lights so as they would match the headlights. This stuff is easy to use; don’t sand the light, just make sure you use wax and grease remover before you spray it, and only spray a few light coats. I believe this was three.

Just like most things, assembly is the reverse process of disassembly. Stick the glass back onto the light and place it in the oven at the same 120 degrees for half an hour. When you pull it out, press the two pieces together firmly and snap the metal clips back over the glass. Don’t do the bare handed of course.

See what I mean about that side marker light? The old side marker profile doesn’t quite match the new light

What you are left with should be a pretty snazzy looking light! From here I dropped in the new LED headlight globes, they fit in the same H4 socket and have the same H4 plug so it’s just like changing a regular globe. It’s a good idea to do this while the headlights are still out of the car, the left hand globe on a Patrol is notoriously a pain in the arse.

I reckon they look pretty shit hot myself! My father on the other hand, he reckons it looks like the Pansy Patrol now…haha. Each to their own! You can make up your own mind, how about that?

Thanks for reading, and if you’re intending to take on this mod yourself then good luck and remember to practice patience 🙂

 

Cheers,

Alex

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4 Comments

  1. siringo
    June 01, 11:54 Reply
    Been thinking of doing this for a while Alex, so the article was timely. Good to see you back in a Patrol as well.
  2. slowboat
    June 01, 20:00 Reply
    looks pretty good Alex, how do the new globes perform?
    • Alex Garner
      June 09, 07:58 Reply
      The LED globes are great! Gotta adjust them down a bit though, was getting flashed ALL the time until I did that

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