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Old 08-05-2007, 08:14 PM   #1
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Aesthetics questions

I'm probably in a huge minority here, but I'm obsessive compulsive about the aesthetics of my car. There are a few things that I am dying to fix on it, and I'm just curious if anyone here has experience fixing them.

Passenger airbag - sticks up at the top, likely from sun damage. It can be pressed back down, but it will always come back up. Any suggestions on a particular glue or adhesive to keep it down permanently?

Headliner - sags and has come down in several places from humidity. How can I repair this? Will it be easier or cheaper to simply have someone else put a new one in? How much does this usually run?

Headlights - slightly yellowed and waterlogged. I have read to use toothpaste to remove the yellowed spots. Is this effective, or is there a better way? For removing water, I have read to remove the assembly, drill a hole in the bottom and place it over a dehumidifier. Is this effective, or does the mist simply come back again?

That's all I can think of for now. Anyone else feel free to ask questions about aesthetics... since I didnt see a thread devoted to it.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:21 PM   #2
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I would suggest looking into just replacing your headlights. These can be bought really cheap online. Just do a quick google and you will come up with lots of different vendors. Do be sure to compare prices (including shipping) as the prices DO vary from vendor to vendor. You might also need a commercial shipping address. Brand new headlights REALLY do look nice, and if you value the looks of your car, it may very well be a great investment.

I personally wouldn't touch the airbag. These things are designed and manufactured to go off in a certain fashion. Modifying parts of it could lower the effectiveness of it. Sorry I didn't really answer your question, but it is my opinion that things like this should be left as is.

Peeling headliners are a pain in the you know what. I have absolutely no idea what to do with that.
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Old 08-05-2007, 08:36 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Erdick
I would suggest looking into just replacing your headlights. These can be bought really cheap online. Just do a quick google and you will come up with lots of different vendors. Do be sure to compare prices (including shipping) as the prices DO vary from vendor to vendor. You might also need a commercial shipping address. Brand new headlights REALLY do look nice, and if you value the looks of your car, it may very well be a great investment.
Definetly. Headlights are really important to how your car looks. As soon as I either fix or replace the assembly, I am going to buy xenon bulbs for it. Our Volvo has them, and they're amazing. It sets the car off from all others on the road, and provides nice crisp light for driving.

I am just a bit weary of purchasing aftermarking headlights. How does the quality compare to original? I really dont want to spend that much... all that I have ever seen are at least $100 apiece.
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Old 08-05-2007, 09:06 PM   #4
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This is the short and sweet of it since I'm kind of tired, lol.

1) Headlights They are plastic if they are yellowing...600 grit sand paper, then 800 grit, then 1000 grit, then 1200 grit, then 1500 grit then 1800 grit, then 2200 grit sand paper...your arm should feel like it's going to fall off after all that sanding (wet sand with all those grits). Then get a product called Plast-X or any of the Mother's brand plastic cleaner/polishers. The headlights will look like new....same for bumper/turn signal lights.

As far as the moisture in the headlights...take the bulbs out and let them sit in direct sunlight, or take them inside an air conditioned house and dry completely. Seal the edge where the clear plastic meets the backing with a layer of clear silicone to prevent further moisture entrance.

2) Headliner Take it out (get a manual if needed) get some 3M Super99 adhesive in the aerosol can (it's not really aerosol but you know what I mean), pull the old fabric off, soak the fiber board with the adhesive and the back of the fabric and re-stretch the fabric (or get new fabric from walmart, like $5 investment) and put it back on.

3) Air Bag Don't mess with it! They are designed to act a certain way and just having the eye sore of it curling is better than it not working properly in the event of a crash.

I'm pretty anal about the aesthetics of my car as well, but I put up with the same deal on my passenger side airbag. 94 was the first year that Civics had passenger airbags, and it seems that honda just cut a hole and threw them in there.

As far as cost for doing what I mentioned earlier, you're only looking at a financial investment of less than $30 for everything, a time investment of a weekend, and a feeling of accomplishment that is priceless. In fact, others might be impressed with your work and have you do some work for them. That is how my Golf Cart fixing business took off this summer for me.
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Old 08-05-2007, 10:03 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice on the headliners and headlights. I'll have to try that out sometime tomorrow or the day after.

As far as the airbag... most all of the time, I am the only one in the car so the airbag is not necesary. I would disable it if I could but this car doesn't have the option to do so. Would Gorilla Glue be strong enough to hold it? I'm not sure if it dries quick enough though.
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Old 08-06-2007, 06:43 AM   #6
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Gorilla Glue takes about 4 hours to cure.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:28 AM   #7
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TomO's right about the headlights. If you go all the way to 2200 and polish the plastic they'll be better than O.E.M.

As for condensation, I drilled the TOP of the housing and glued a two-sided vacuum fitting to the plastic, then put a 1/8" vent hose that is pointed toward the ground. Seems like the natural draft from the car's motion sucks any moisture right outta there.

My folks' F.O.R.D.'s headlights would fill with condensation so much that I had to replace the bulb sockets after only a single Southern California winter.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:55 AM   #8
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Check with your dealer about the airbag. I think seatbelts and airbags are warranteed for the life of the car even if your regular warranty has expired. The rest have some great ideas for the headlights and liner.
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Old 08-06-2007, 08:26 PM   #9
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Check with your dealer about the airbag. I think seatbelts and airbags are warranteed for the life of the car even if your regular warranty has expired. The rest have some great ideas for the headlights and liner.
We picked this car up off the side of the road. I've never seen a Mitsubishi dealership before.

Could I just call up a dealership? Or is there a way I can find out where the car was purchased at?
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