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How to: De-Tango Mk3 Head lights
Please read this guide in its entirety before picking up any spanners. Skipping ahead or rushing could cause you problems further down the line.
The car in this guide is a Mk3 NC1 MX5 2005-2008. Fittings may vay slightly between Mk3 and Mk3.5​

When does it need doing?
It's a mod, when ever you want :)

Here's a before & after... (courtesy of PGD)


What do I need?
-Stubby screw driver - Posidrive
-10mm spanner (I would recommend a ratchet spanner for hard to access areas)
-8mm/10mm Sockets with appropriate socket wrench and short extension
-Large Slot screw drivers
-Oven gloves/ heat proof gloves
-Replacement indicator bulbs (T20 Capless Wedge type) - Either orange or Silvatec

-Jack and axle stands (the whole process is easier with more clearance)
-Carpet (To rest bumper on)
-Tub (To save all the bolts and nuts you remove)
-Silvatec bulbs (Better for de-tangoing- resolves the fried egg look)
-Dremel (I didn't use one but would do again to remove the lens).
-Paint (if you wish to blacken your silver bits)
-Silicone sealant (Not a necessity but you may feel better doing so)

The front bumper needs to be removed, following this guide

How do I do it?
With the front bumper removed, you have a couple of options.
A ) Do you simply wish to remove the orange reflector?
B ) Do you want to replace the orange fried egg indicators to a Silvatec one (recommended for best effect)?
C ) Do want to black house your headlights?
D ) While you're at it replace headlight bulbs for some brighter ones or add silvatec side lights/ LED ones?

1) To remove the headlights from the bumper you need to twist appropriate light fixings away from the light units.

2) There are 3 or 4 bolts/screws that hold the headlight onto the car 2 on the top and 1 on the bottom.

Once the lights are removed from the car it's almost oven time.

3) Pre heat oven to 110 degrees celcius. I gave my lights a good clean with all purpose cleaner at this point to save dirt going in the oven.

4) Remove 3screws in each head light prior to going in the oven.


5) Put lights in oven for 15 minutes (I did mine individually). At this temperature it's unlikely the lights can get damaged… You are aiming to get the glue supple enough to prize apart.

6) After the 15 minutes are up use the oven gloves to remove light and put onto work surface. The glue should be supple enough now to be prized apart. Use 2 large flat head screw drivers to price the glue apart. There are little clips that the headlight uses to pull itself to the other section as well as the glue. These can be just pulled apart.



7) Now you are in! You will notice a couple of small screws that hold the interior parts of the light together. Simply unscrew them.

At this point you may wish to paint the silver shroud black. I contemplated buying heat paint but in the end settled for regular satin black. It has lasted 4 months or so without a flake or chip in site. I simply gave the shroud a good wet and dry rub down. Used white spirit to clean and degrees and painted about 4 thin layers of satin black paint onto the housing.


I did not paint the reflective inner part of the headlight as I believe this aids visibility.

8) To remove the orange lens you will need to carefully pull it away from the housing. The inner housing it attaches too is very flimsy and fragile. It will snap. If I did this again I would grind the amber lens away from the housing using a dremel as it is very fragile. I did actually snap a little bit of mine away but managed to super glue it back on.



9) Screw the inner headlight and black housed bits back together.

10) Pop the lights together again and screw the screws back in. Put them back in the oven fully assembled.

11) Once glue is supple enough again remove from oven and squeeze the 2 sections of the light unit together so the glue seals the unit. Tighten the screws up and they will do a good job of holding the glue together until the glue starts to bond the lights again. Allow to cool down.

At this point you may wish to run a bead of silicone around the join again but I felt there was more than enough glue on there to fully bead and seal the lights up. I have not experienced any fogging yet.




Refitting is reverse of removal, remembering to change the indicator bulbs. From a legal point of view your indicators must appear amber so clear ones will not suffice.

Headlight successfully de-tango'd
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