ABT Eyelid Installation

So after a two week wait, I finally received my ABT eyelids. It was a hard decision to pay the $179.00 for them, but once I got them, I understood the price. However, I still believe a $60.00 price tag would’ve been sufficient (come on GTS, get on the ball)….Anyhow first impressions were good. They were very well packaged, even UPS would have a hard time destroying them during shipping. The finish was good, they were already sanded, primed and pretty much ready to paint. ABT is stamped in the top of drivers side eyelid and there were a couple of pinpoint air pockets there, but other than that, I was impressed with the finish. If you wanted to, you could easily fill in the ABT stamp with a minimal amount of bondo. They also came with a sticker to place in your door jam or under the hood indicating the ABT product and part number in case you’re ever in a collision. Of course the first thing I did was to do a quick dry fit. Dry Fit Overall, I was satisfied with the fit. They’re not perfect, but better than the GTS eyelids I had on a 2001 turbo that we used to own. After a few days to dwell over whether or not to have these painted at a body shop or to do them myself, I decided to give it a go myself. Our Beetle is Candy White, so matching the Dupli-Color was easy and a quick trip to AutoZone allowed me to get everything I need to start this project. Supplies One thing that I’m doing a little different than what ABT recommends is instead of “gluing” the eyelids to the headlight lens, I’m using high bonding automotive tape. If you choose to glue your eyelids to the headlight lens, you’ll need to order the two part adhesive from your local VW or Audio dealership. Audi Ag article number 00A 071 785.  Just keep in mind, if you use the glue, the eyelid will become a permanent part of your headlight assembly. So anyhow, I gave the eyelids a quick once over with some 2000 grit sand paper, wiped them down with a prep cloth and let the painting begin. First Coat First coat was a very light coat just to ensure that the paint was going to adhere to the eyelids with no issues. You really need to make sure that your surface area is prepped properly. I gave the eyelids light, even coats, letting them dry for at least 30 minutes in between coats. In total, I gave each eyelid 3 good coats of paint. The paint dried evenly, leaving me a nice smooth surface to apply the clear coat to. Same process with the clear coat, but instead of 3 coats, I gave each eyelid 4 coats of clear coat. Paint and Clear CoatI haven’t decided whether or not they’ll require any wet sanding before applying the polishing compound, but if they do, I’ll use a good 2000 grit sand paper to go over them lightly before applying any polishing compound. That process will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

Continue to Part II