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Exterior guides and mods

Roadster Headlight Protectors

Replacement headlights for the Roadster cost about £90 from smart, there is an easy way to protect them instead

Modification Details

I have heard a few people saying that their Roadster headlights have been destroyed by
stones and I have sold quite a few second hand ones that I had acquired to help these people out.

As much as I like making money selling replacement headlights, I'd rather take
a lot less money and help people protect their headlights in the first place.

This is what we have. 4x pre-cut circles made from Lexan.
Lexan is also known as bullet proof plastic. It won't be at this thickness but it will stop a stone.

Remove the
headlight covers and modify the clips whilst you are at it.
Sand down and clean the lip and external aperture of the headlight surround.
This is all parts that you can't see when fitted so key the area well.

Peel off the clear protective layer from the disc.

Carefully create a bead of super glue around the inside lip of the headlight cover...

...and gently place the disc central. Hold it in place for 20 seconds to allow the super glue to work.

You now need a polyurethane banding agent like Sikaflex, Tigerseal, Stedflex etc.

The super glue is there just to hold the disc in place whilst the PU adhesive sets.
Draw a thick bead around the edge of the aperture...

...wet your finger and smooth it out making sure it makes good contact with both surfaces.

After 24 hours in a warm house you can pull off the other protective layer.

Realigning Your Headlights

The headlights need to be wound back on their 7mm hexagon head adjusters to make room for the protective discs. Obviously, as you move the adjusters you will put your headlights out of alignment.

You can either do exactly the same number of rotations to each adjuster per light so the whole
light moves back the same amount (adjusters have a 0.75mm pitch so 10 full turns on all 3
posts will move the headlight back 7.5mm), or you can get some digital callipers out.

The bottom headlight of the 2 should be the dipped beam and measurement "A"
should be between 17mm and 20mm on both lower posts. The single post above
"A" should be approximately 1.5mm less than "A".

So if "A" equals 18mm then the upper measurement should be 16.5mm 

Move to the upper headlight which should be the full beam. Measurement "B" should be 26mm 
on both lower posts. The single post above "B" should be between 24mm and 25mm.

Refit the lights and see what the beam setting is like, fine tune if necessary.

Carefully place the light covers with the protectors back on the lights.
Tap the protector with your finger nail, you want to hear a TOCK noise.
TOCK means that the protectors aren't touching the headlight units.

If you get a TICK noise then you'll need to adjust the headlights out a bit more.

With TOCKs all round you can screw the covers in place and test them out.

Why TOCK And Not TICK?

There are 3 reasons we don't want the protectors touching the headlight lenses.

1- It could stress the headlight mount or misalign the beam.

2- The air gap acts as an insulator between the hot headlight and the plastic.

3- If a stone hits the protector it needs to be able to flex to distribute the energy. If it's touching
the headlight lens it will just pass the shock through to the lens and break it.

Where Do I Buy These?

They are available for purchase from Smart Mods Ltd.

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