View Full Version : Front Cladding Removal and Headlight Gasket Install

Mile High VX
09/17/2018, 09:02 PM
This is a recap of my experience with replacing my headlamp gaskets. I accept no responsibility in your efforts to do this yourself and your experience may be different than mine.

Tools/Items needed:

Phillips head screwdriver
10 mm socket
Socket driver
3" extension
10" extension
Hex key that fits the cladding bolts
10 mm box end wrench - smaller is best
Headlamp gasket or gasket material
OEM part numbers are 8-97212448-0 - Driver side
8-97212447-0 - Passenger side
Adhesive/Adhesive silicone
A "can do" attitude...it's really not that hard but it will take 10 - 12 hours to complete.

Overview of the steps you are about to take

Remove the grill
Remove the front license plate/license plate delete block
Remove the front skid plate (if you don't have one you need to contact Rowhard and get one...they are AWESOME!
Remove the fog and turn indicator lamps
Remove the front cladding
Remove the headlamp assemblies
Install the gaskets

Before starting I like to disconnect the negative battery cable. You'll need to reset all your electronics when you're done, but working around the sensor for the airbags isn't worth the risk for me to leave it hooked up.

Also I like to have some plastic bags and sticky notes to label my parts from each step:


Remove the grill:

Held in place by 4 10mm bolts and 3 Phillips head screws. Place these in a labeled bag and place the grill in a place where it won't get damaged. Put the hardware in a labeled bag.




Remove the front license plate/delete block:


Remove the front skid plate
(Contact Rowhard if you don't have this AWESOME additon to your VX!) Two bolts at the top are the same ones that hold the license plate on, and then two underneath. Put it out of the way and the hardware in a labeled bag.


Remove the Fog and Turn Indicator Lights:

Fog light can be removed by twisting counterclockwise. Connector is a simple click connector that needs to be pressed down on the housing side and GENTLY pulled apart. Put them up and out of the way.



Turn Indicators are removed by taking out the two Phillips heard screws and sliding it out and disconnecting the click connector in the same manner as the fog light above. Put them out of the way and the hardward in a labeled bag.




Remove the front cladding by taking out 4 hex cladding bolts (do not remove the ones on each side of the grill area, the are for decoration only), 4 10 MM bolts up front, 2 10 mm bolts one each in the turn indicator lamp recess, 210 mm bolts/phillips head screws one in each wheel well. If you don't have the ROWHARD skid plate there are also 2 10mm bolts at the bottom of the cladding; one right and one left. Take out the two 10 mm bolts on the top near the grill area LAST so that you can safetly handle the cladding piece and put it out of the way.






Now it looks like this...


Remove the headlamp assemblies

Three 10 mm bolts hold these in, one on top and two underneath. Be careful when removing the bottom bolts as you may find some spacers (washers) there from the alignment of the headlights. If they are they MAKE CERTAIN that you put them back exactly as they came out. You will also need to disconnect the connector for the headlamp and the "horn" lamp. For the horn lamp wire you need to slip the connector from the holder at the bottom of the assembly, unwrap it from the screw in the middle of the assembly (do not remove the screw) and remove the bulb/holder from the assembly by twisting counterclockwise.






Wow you did it!



While you have it apart be sure to clean it up good and take care of any signs of rust on the bumper support or other metal pieces. It's also a good time to do any of those cool turn indicator mods that are posted in other places on the Forum. We've got some really smart guys and gals that have done some really cool stuff! It's also a good time to upgrade your headlight bulbs if you're thinking about it.

Headlamp gasket installation

If you have remnants of the old gasket be sure to remove it and clean them good. If they are really hazy and discolored might be a good time to go use the search function and get them cleaned and polished up good.

To install the new gaskets or gasket material if you're not using the OEM ones listed above you'll need some adhesive designed for rubber. I used black adhesive silicone by PermaTex. There are other options that can be found by using the search function and typing in "headlamp gaskets". The OEM gaskets have a preapplied glue that works great for holding them in place, but won't last long if that's all you use.

I peeled the safety strip from the OEM gaskets and installed them at the edge of the headlamp assembly as shown in the picutures. The cut ends come together at the bottom of the assembly and you'll need to strech them just a bit to get a full wrap. I then coated the gasket with the adhesive silicone so that a bead was formed that covered the gasket and overlapped onto the headlamp housing. I let this dry for 8 hours before reinstalling them. If you're using a silicone product don't try and clean it up too much, it's easy to do once it's dry tomorrow.







If you revese these steps you can put it back together, but a few things to note:

Headlamp assemblies go on first. Be sure to check the fit with the fender and hood to be certain your satisfied with the gasket application.


Make sure the gasket on the fog lights are on right:

This is wrong:


This is correct:


Small tabs on top and large tab at the bottom



Make sure the gasket on the turn indicator is in place:


When putting the cladding back on put the top bolts in first and then the rest. Put all bolts, cladding hex, and fender well bolts in only hand tight until you get them all started. Make certain that when you put the cladding in place you are careful to watch where the cladding and gaskets meet at the headlamp housings. Don't get in a hurry and tear up your work here.

Before you get everything all tightened up, reconnect your battery to test all of your lights and signals, then disconnect it again.

If all is working finish the reassembly and reconnect the battery.

Let this dry for a day and then clean up any overlap of silicone.

See, not all that hard and you earned a cool glass of lemonade!

09/21/2018, 06:13 AM
Nice write up! I'm admittedly not very handy myself, which is one of the reasons I went with GTS light covers. Since they "cover" any haze on the stock lamps and mask the gaskets.