1. Welcome to Tundras.com!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tundra discussion topics
    • Transfer over your build thread from a different forum to this one
    • Communicate privately with other Tundra owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

How to: Plastic Repair (broken headlight tab)

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by MikeyMTBs, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Aug 15, 2018 at 7:03 AM
    #1
    MikeyMTBs

    MikeyMTBs [OP] New Member

    Joined:
    May 30, 2017
    Member:
    #7924
    Messages:
    359
    Backstory:

    I purchased a set of 2018 LED headlights, fogs and iHacker harness from @trooper669 last week. The lights were packaged well and shipped in separate boxes, however one of the mounting tabs broke on the passenger side light; it was the upper, inside tab. Trooper and I worked out an arrangement that included A) an attempt at repairing the tab, B) mounting with the broken tab and, C) splitting the cost of a new headlight if A & B didn't work. So, off to youtube to learn about plastic repair...

    The good news is that where this tab broke was right in the crease of the tab. It was a clean break and provided for a smooth surface for repair. There were plenty of videos on using JB Weld but, it's really messy and looked somewhat unprofessional. After all, I just spent a shitload, I didn't want to see a broken, janky ass setup when I opened the hood.

    With research, it looked like a combination of plastic specific superglue and plastic welding would provide the results I was looking for. The plastic superglue would be used to hold the parts together and in place and, once set, allow for a semi-rigid platform for plastic welding. The plastic welding requires the use of a low wattage soldering iron with a flat blade tip and a process by which you melt the halves of the joined plastic together in what looks somewhat like a weld bead. Once the plastic sets, my plan was to take a black zip tie and use that as an inert welding stick and add material to the "bead". If you want to stop reading now, I'll cut to the chase and tell you that this worked perfect! Read more for details.

    This is the youtube video that I used to learn the plastic welding technique. As he does, I also used a paint roller tray to practice on and get the feel for what I was doing.



    I was able to find the plastic-specific superglue and low wattage soldering iron at O'Reilly's auto parts. The soldering iron had a pointed tip, which I then filed into a flat tip - like a flat tip screwdriver.

    Next was to clean both parts with alcohol, let dry and with a small amount of superglue, fit the two broken pieces together. After letting the set for an hour, they surprisingly held together pretty well with just superglue.

    Next was to start the plastic weld using the technique in the video above. I only welded the underside as I didn't want to see it on the top. If I had needed to, I would have done the same on the top. After laying down the weld bead and letting cool, I knew this would work well. I then took a plastic zip tie and added material while smoothing the weld bead to cover both sides of the crack. See pics below. This took about 15 min total and, after cooling, was quite flexible and secure.

    **Note**: the plastic and superglue emitted some harsh and noxious fumes. I caught a whiff once... just once and was immediately light headed. I then turned my garage fan toward the work area and made sure I had sufficient ventilation - I hope you'll do the same if you try this method. Once I had good airflow, it was no problem.

    After letting the repaired light sit and cool for awhile to allow the plastic to fully re-harden, it was time to install on the truck. If you've installed these lights, or removed, you know that you have to somewhat flex the tabs up/over the plastic rivnuts that are fixed in the body of the truck. As such, I figured that if I could survive the flexing of the tab during install, I'd be good. Not only did the repair hold, I had to remove the light as one of the harness wires was snagged, so off it came and then back on again with no issues.

    Lastly, after checking again this morning with 3-400 miles on the repair, all appears to be well and holding good. So, if you break a tab, give this repair method a shot. I think it'll save you some money in the long run. It sure saved @trooper669 and me a further headache!

    Mike

    Edit: pics added since I can’t figure out how to embed pics in the post.

    47ECCE33-35C9-4E74-9A5F-3C9055976A55.jpg
    93DD7180-F467-4CAD-A380-712013D6F6F2.jpg
    FB8A04AC-2D86-4C71-AE04-B51423CD29C9.jpg
    E0D1AE79-642D-4052-A251-772B1468BABD.jpg
    482801F8-2463-45EB-89EC-843670DDD40A.jpg
    440C9720-D7A8-4E29-9D63-0CAD6BF766AF.jpg
    7AC612F3-89A0-4629-9020-2FA53D07D242.jpg
    A6B07D05-37F0-453B-BE3D-B21808A724BF.jpg
    0216826F-A6DA-41FE-8A8C-7F4655498A55.jpg
    FDACE595-381C-43AB-B7DA-0D59F0BEB2A7.jpg
    C3D1D918-06E8-4227-8197-D20C73F9AA4B.jpg
    91A69735-2677-4735-80DC-F11FFC202BBB.jpg
    77270494-624A-4FD6-895F-4F7553715981.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  2. Jul 12, 2022 at 6:26 PM
    #2
    gkelm

    gkelm New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2021
    Member:
    #56926
    Messages:
    88
    Gender:
    Male
    DFW
    Old post, but wanted to give a big shout out. Bought a couple used upgrade headlights, and each arrived with a broken tab. This worked brilliantly! I ended up using a tiny nail in each for "rebar."

    Thanks again!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2022
  3. Jul 12, 2022 at 7:29 PM
    #3
    Tundra234

    Tundra234 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    Member:
    #22402
    Messages:
    13,044
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    George
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2020 Tundra DC SR5 Barcelona
    Alot of them
  4. Oct 22, 2022 at 3:21 PM
    #4
    Lemuel1

    Lemuel1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Member:
    #37360
    Messages:
    171
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Samuel
    Vehicle:
    2020 Tundra
    Eibach stage 2 kit,Wheelers superbumpstops, JBA UCA’s, 8 inch BA muffler kit,
    Awesome write up I’m doing the same thing but I ordered a plastic welder kit off Amazon should be in tomorrow
     
  5. Oct 22, 2022 at 4:23 PM
    #5
    Tundra234

    Tundra234 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    Member:
    #22402
    Messages:
    13,044
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    George
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2020 Tundra DC SR5 Barcelona
    Alot of them
    Those are pretty cool. Which one did you get?
     
  6. Oct 22, 2022 at 7:03 PM
    #6
    Lemuel1

    Lemuel1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Member:
    #37360
    Messages:
    171
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Samuel
    Vehicle:
    2020 Tundra
    Eibach stage 2 kit,Wheelers superbumpstops, JBA UCA’s, 8 inch BA muffler kit,
    JOUNJIP Plastic Welding Kit Deluxe - UL Certified - 17 Pc Aluminum Repair Tape, Sandpaper, 2 Triangle Welder Tips, 2 Welder Boot Tips, 4 Wire Mesh, 20 PolyPlaz Rods, 40 PP Rods, 80W Iron https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BFB6HFH7

    hopefully that link works I’m not the best with all this.
     
  7. Oct 22, 2022 at 7:28 PM
    #7
    Tundra234

    Tundra234 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    Member:
    #22402
    Messages:
    13,044
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    George
    Florida
    Vehicle:
    2020 Tundra DC SR5 Barcelona
    Alot of them
    Nice. Link works just fine :thumbsup:
     
  8. Oct 23, 2022 at 5:20 AM
    #8
    gkelm

    gkelm New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2021
    Member:
    #56926
    Messages:
    88
    Gender:
    Male
    DFW
    The kit looks cool, but any cheap soldering iron and zip ties can get it done!

    4C33C5A7-91DB-4958-9DDF-4A243961EF1E.jpg
     
  9. Oct 23, 2022 at 7:20 AM
    #9
    Lemuel1

    Lemuel1 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2019
    Member:
    #37360
    Messages:
    171
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Samuel
    Vehicle:
    2020 Tundra
    Eibach stage 2 kit,Wheelers superbumpstops, JBA UCA’s, 8 inch BA muffler kit,
    Well shoot, too late I went high and right already.
     
  10. Oct 23, 2022 at 7:46 AM
    #10
    Ely010606

    Ely010606 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2017
    Member:
    #9286
    Messages:
    4,003
    Gender:
    Male
    SPARKS, NV
    Vehicle:
    2017 QS SR5 CM TRD 4x4
    This is great info.
     

Products Discussed in

To Top