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Old 11-15-2011, 21:22   #1 (permalink)
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Question I need replacement headlamps assys

I have a 2001 P71 and I really need to replace both of the headlamp assemblies since they have gotten so cloudy. Does anyone have any suggestions for a good online vendor who isn't outrageously priced and who won't rip me off? Between the grill guard, the tinted windshield and the cloudy headlamps, night driving is really becoming interesting... so I want to get these quick (maybe to install this week.) THANKS A LOT!!!
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Old 11-16-2011, 07:26   #2 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

Hello:

Try plastic lens cleaner and polish before you replace the units. I use the polish/cleaner regularly (about every six months) and the lenses on my (almost) 20 year old cars are as clear as my newer cars. There are several brands, all available at the usual places that sell auto parts. Look in the car wax sections. Use a SOFT cloth for application and final polishing. (Do not even think of using a power tool for this) Several applications might be necessary initially. Cost? Around $5 and 10 minutes time!

Another tip. Try the bright Sylvania bulbs. They really do make a difference, especially when driving in rural areas, like much of Texas!

Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:18   #3 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

Bajarider is right - go to the auto parts store and use the headlight restore polishes - they work great. I've used the stuff before and the lights look brand new when you are done. Just make sure you do it a couple of times initially, and I wax them when I wax the car
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Old 11-17-2011, 15:03   #4 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

I agree, cleaning them is the best, but if you still want to buy new one's, Rock Auto was the cheapest I found. I learned that the hard way, when I had to buy the cornering light/turn signal housing the wife took out backing out of the garage! I spent $40.00 somewhere else, but Rock Auto was something like $18? I know it was more than half of what I spent!

John
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Old 11-18-2011, 23:39   #5 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

+1 on Rock Auto.

As far as reconditioning the headlights, I have tried the polishing method, Plast-X, Meguiars, etc. I've never liked any of those kits or methods. Call me a non-conformist, but here is the kit I have used:

Buy Crystal View Headlight Restorer/Defogger 101 at Advance Auto Parts


There is a resurfacing agent in this kit as a final step which is a new UV protective coating that is applied to the lens. This is I believe one of the key factors that makes this kit so good. Sanding and polishing your headlights may work good for awhile but what happens when the polish wears off? They're dull again. Think of it as applying wax to a car that has a dull finish. Once the wax wears off, the dull finish is revealed again. And if you have ever sanded a headlight prior to applying a wax of some sort, you notice that the headlight is dull. There is no way around that because you have used an abrasive sandpaper to remove UV damage. This kit I have linked above puts a glossy protective coating back onto the headlights. Think of it as taking that car with a dull finish, doing a light sanding, and putting a fresh clearcoat onto it.
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Old 11-19-2011, 13:27   #6 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

I don't think that I would use anything as abrasive as to "sand" the lens. And the paint analogy doesn't apply to clear plastic. The surface yellowing/clouding common to plastic lenses is easily removed with plastic polish, no sanding required. I haven't tried Stromberg's product, and it must work, but I would hate to be misunderstood and have somebody "sand" their plastic lens. The plastic lens polish is easy to use, it works, it's cheap, and it lasts for at least six months in the California sun.

When it comes to paint, you sand paint to remove surface imperfections after painting or oxidation, but you do not wax it immediately afterward. First, you buff it with a mild abrasive polish to bring out the shine, then you apply wax to protect the now shiny paint. The same principle as with lens polish but WITHOUT sanding.
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Old 11-20-2011, 01:19   #7 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bajarider View Post
I don't think that I would use anything as abrasive as to "sand" the lens. And the paint analogy doesn't apply to clear plastic. The surface yellowing/clouding common to plastic lenses is easily removed with plastic polish, no sanding required. I haven't tried Stromberg's product, and it must work, but I would hate to be misunderstood and have somebody "sand" their plastic lens. The plastic lens polish is easy to use, it works, it's cheap, and it lasts for at least six months in the California sun.

When it comes to paint, you sand paint to remove surface imperfections after painting or oxidation, but you do not wax it immediately afterward. First, you buff it with a mild abrasive polish to bring out the shine, then you apply wax to protect the now shiny paint. The same principle as with lens polish but WITHOUT sanding.
Sorry, not the best analogy perhaps, but I will personally continue to use the Crystal View kit. I have had VERY stubborn yellow lenses where no amount of polish at all will remove the damage. I have even used the Power Ball and an orbital buffer with a polishing compound on the headlight on my Lincoln. Once I wet sanded the lens with the provided sandpaper in the kit, I eliminated ALL damage on the exterior of the lens. I consider the Crystal View kit to be a superior method and I urge you to try it. It's only $20 at Wally World and the results were simply amazing. Since I have used the kit, I have not polished my headlights even once. They look brand spanking new ever since. At one point, I actually considered buying a mass quantity of their product and doing people's headlights at a small cost but I changed my mind because I wasn't too sure of the legalities. I am not a sucker for products with huge claims that don't produce good results, but this stuff was no joke.
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Old 11-20-2011, 06:51   #8 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

Hello Stromberg:
I'll give it a try if my lenses ever get that far gone. I guess the moral to this story is to use what works for each of us.
More interesting is your Lincoln. What did you do to get it into the 13's and still keep it "streetable"?
Bajarider.
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Old 11-20-2011, 12:18   #9 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bajarider View Post
Hello Stromberg:
I'll give it a try if my lenses ever get that far gone. I guess the moral to this story is to use what works for each of us.
More interesting is your Lincoln. What did you do to get it into the 13's and still keep it "streetable"?
Bajarider.
You're right. Just my opinion simply. Do what works best for you and I will do the same.

The Lincoln has 4.30 gears, 3800 stall torque converter, kooks headers with full 2.5" exhaust, "JMOD" valve body modification, Cobra intake, cold air setup with open element K&N, and an SCT tune. The car is far from being unstreetable. I want to get the car into the 11s in the future and at that point it will still be driven daily in he summer back and forth to work. Sorry, I don't know enough about the rules and what makes a car unstreetable, but I'm far from that, so I'm not worried.
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Old 11-20-2011, 15:56   #10 (permalink)
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Re: I need replacement headlamps assys

No rules on streetable, just what makes one happy, unless the DMV gets involved. When I was in HS streetable was a "T" bucket with slicks. Try that in the rain.

I would love to see the look on the Beemer driver's face when your Lincoln shows him what American iron is all about!
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