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post #1 of 7 Old July 8th, 2016, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Headlight lens turned white

Headlights are 99-04. I bought a set of OEM ford lights that were in bad shape. My intention was to completely restore them. Sand, separate, reseal with butyl rubber/rtv, then clear with a 2k clear coat.

I spent some time sanding off the coating. After that, I separated the lenses from the housings. The first lens came off easily using an over as a heat source. The second lens came apart no problem but the plastic has become discolored from the heat. It is white towards the top. Solvents, sand paper, more heat/cooling have not brought back the plastic. Seems that I have permanently damaged the plastic by overheating it.

Have any of you ever experienced this? Also is it repairable? Lastly, can OEM lenses or just the headlight lens (even after-market) be purchased? I'd hate to spend $50 on a single junk-yard headlight. This pair cost less than $50 altogether.

The housing is in good shape. I'd like to get another lens and continue with this project.
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Last edited by mahomeless; July 8th, 2016 at 04:14 PM. Reason: typo
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post #2 of 7 Old July 9th, 2016, 01:22 PM
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Cant tell you about that white spot is as i have never seen them do that before, but i never used solvents when sanding headlights, and never stuck them in the oven as you risk baking any oils that may have been missed back into the plastic. That is part of the reason they yellow in the first place. Shouldnt need to seperate the lenses either. Plastic parts inside an oven? Think about that for a second.
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post #3 of 7 Old July 9th, 2016, 03:28 PM
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Honestly it doesnt look like that'll come out, it looks like when you stretch a plastic bag and it gets discolored. I have a set of oem head lights from my 00 gt sitting around if youre interested.

Fb93, I assumed hes doing a projector retrofit and thats why hes removing the lenses.
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post #4 of 7 Old July 12th, 2016, 12:33 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07gtS197 View Post
Honestly it doesnt look like that'll come out, it looks like when you stretch a plastic bag and it gets discolored. I have a set of oem head lights from my 00 gt sitting around if youre interested.
That's exactly what's going on. It's called crazing. The crystalline structure of the polymer has been damaged and light is now scattered rather than passed through. Seems impossible to fix without remelting (down to a puddle and remolding).

I just bought another light from the junk yard.

The lights currently on the car are aftermarket.
---
Side note

All three lights are OEM ford. I cannot stand the aftermarket housings. They have endless issues with fitment, condensation, and longevity.

The junk yards lights all had water spots/dust in them. I cracked them open to clean the insides out. Removing old glue was the hardest/longest part. I have sanded the outsides of the lenses and I plan to just reseal and clear them. I'm in a very good position to do a retro-fit.

Legitimate projectors pretty pricey, right?
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post #5 of 7 Old July 12th, 2016, 02:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mahomeless View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 07gtS197 View Post
Honestly it doesnt look like that'll come out, it looks like when you stretch a plastic bag and it gets discolored. I have a set of oem head lights from my 00 gt sitting around if youre interested.
That's exactly what's going on. It's called crazing. The crystalline structure of the polymer has been damaged and light is now scattered rather than passed through. Seems impossible to fix without remelting (down to a puddle and remolding).

I just bought another light from the junk yard.

The lights currently on the car are aftermarket.
---
Side note

All three lights are OEM ford. I cannot stand the aftermarket housings. They have endless issues with fitment, condensation, and longevity.

The junk yards lights all had water spots/dust in them. I cracked them open to clean the insides out. Removing old glue was the hardest/longest part. I have sanded the outsides of the lenses and I plan to just reseal and clear them. I'm in a very good position to do a retro-fit.

Legitimate projectors pretty pricey, right?
I apologize for my lack of knowledge of the word crazing.

Anyway, legit projectors arent necessarily pricey but can be depending on which one you get. You can get a set of mini h1's from the retrofit source for I think 100 bucks and theyre of good quality. All parts involved arent that expensive but its all dependent on what brand parts you get.
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post #6 of 7 Old July 13th, 2016, 12:19 PM Thread Starter
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Oh no worries. I found that out after making my initial post here. I'll consider the retro fit. I'm a couple weeks (an hour at a time every 3rd day) into this. So hopefully I can complete them before I put it away for winter haha.
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post #7 of 7 Old July 13th, 2016, 01:14 PM
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I have a set of ebay projectors, they are well liked, Ill sell you if youd like. I was going to do a retrofit but then I found these other projector headlights on ebay that a few members got and liked so I have no use for them.
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