Volkswagen Passat Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
question to those who have done it-

how hard is it to remove and replace the plastic lenses from headlight housings? In looking at the info forum- scuba's joey-modded HID-looks, i basically found that you heat up the edges to get the glue soft, then pry with a screwdriver, is that all? And when replacing the lenses, you just heat them up again to get the glue sticky?

I just got a sweet deal on used HID's (thanks again, rob!), the lights work perfectly, though the lenses look like they could use a little polishing on the inside to make them bright and clear again... just wanted to see how much would be involved in attempting that project....

TIA!

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
You better determine if the insides are foggy before you go and open the headlights. Are the lenses plastic? If the outside is pitted and frosted try and find some 3M plastic cleaner and Plastic polish(that's right two different bottles) I recommend the 3M products. If you can't find the 3M, Meguiars also makes both plastic cleaner and polish. You will have to buy some polish sand paper and wet sand the lenses starting with 1000grit and work you way to 2500grit Between sanding with the different grit paper 1000,1500,2000,2500 wash the lense and thouroughly dry it. Apply some polish and hand buff the lense. this will let you see the progress you have made and you can determine home much more work is to be done. This is a time consuming process but is well worth it in the end. From time to time use the cleaner on all the lenses to remove soap residue, road grime and any other comtaminant and follow it up with a little plastic polish to maintain a like new appearance to to lenses on your car.
Best place to look for the cleaner and polish is a autobody and paint supply store.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,172 Posts
I tried taking apart my B5.5 lenses (halogen-style, not HID), but gave up halfway through. The seal is made using butyl rubber - it's not really an adhesive, it's just very, very tacky. Even after heating to 170 degrees, I couldn't break open the seal without damaging the plastic, so I gave up.

I have considered spraying the inside with plastic cleaner through the high-beam sockets, then using a fish-bowl air pump to dry out the insides. Something tells me this is a bad idea, however.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
thanks for your help guys. Looking real close, i'm pretty sure the haze is on the inside, but i'll try polishing the outside first and take it from there.

:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
So am I correct in hearing that on my 99 B5, I can polish the headlight lens from the outside to remove the hazing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,068 Posts
You can but don't get carried away and use a machine, sooner or later it will burn the lense make discolor (yellow) completely. Right now the discoloration on the lense is cause by the heat of the headlight and particles that stick to it while it is hot. If you was your car more often and ever use a mild wax(if you don't have plastic cleaner) you can maintain the appearance of your headlight lenses for years to come.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
So I can mask off the area around them and polish them in place with 1000 to 2500 grit soundpaper and plastic polish. Sounds easy enough. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
325 Posts
I bought a headlight polishing kit from a company that makes products to reduce hazing on aircraft windows. They released a kit specially for headlight lenses. Mine are fogged and yello, haven't gotten around to using the kit yet. Its been too hot and I've been busy and lazy when I have free time.

The kit came recommended from detailers on Mercedes forums and has really good reviews. Its basically the different sanding blocks, polishing cloths and chemical to remove the haze. Instructions are pretty detailed.

The problem is that I can't remember the name of the company or website for the life of me. Its on the instructions and they're at home. PM if you want details. I will also post before and after pics when I do the cleaning. The thing is that I don't have a hose to wet sand and I live in an apartment complex :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
531 Posts
How tough is it to remove the headlights for this project? Or should I just leave them in and mask off?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
914 Posts
i did the joey mod and taking the headlights out and taking them apart (on a B5) is pretty much a peice of cake. IMO.

To take em out it's just 3 screws (must remove the corner lens to get to the 3rd) the other 2 are on the top. Just diconnect the plug for power and the headlights just pops right out.

As for taking them apart, the write up is pretty good. Just pop the clips off and heat it up. use a heat gun if you have one or you can use a hair dryer. It'll take some mussle...so having a 1nd person there wouldn't be to bad. Just be careful if u use a heat gun and not get it to close or you'll start to melt the plastic cover :oops:.

When i sealed em back up... i took a lot of the gooy junk out so i ended up sealing it with Hot glue as well to make sure i had a solid seal. I've been Joey mod'd for about 10K miles now and no hazing or fogging of HL so i'm confident the lights are sealed.

Geoff let me know if u need some help with that. :wink:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,539 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
MrJackalope said:
As for taking them apart, the write up is pretty good. Just pop the clips off and heat it up. use a heat gun if you have one or you can use a hair dryer. It'll take some mussle...so having a 1nd person there wouldn't be to bad. Just be careful if u use a heat gun and not get it to close or you'll start to melt the plastic cover :oops:.

When i sealed em back up... i took a lot of the gooy junk out so i ended up sealing it with Hot glue as well to make sure i had a solid seal. I've been Joey mod'd for about 10K miles now and no hazing or fogging of HL so i'm confident the lights are sealed.

Geoff let me know if u need some help with that. :wink:
thanks chris, i may call you on that one! :)

one thing though, i was looking at the lenses carefully, and on the projector lenses, there are 3 or 4 places where the chrome reflector part which houses the projector and the high beam section actually screw into the lens, IIRC that may be different on the OEM B5 halogens? That could make things tougher....

I'll try polishing the outside first though (just went to pep boys!), if that doesn't work, maybe we could to a mini-GTG- headlight cleaning and brake bleeding!! :D (no new batteries though.... :roll: )
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I tried QUIXX Acrylic Scratch Remover, $15 at Canadian Tire. The kit came with a tube of polish a couple skimpy cloths and two strips of 1500 sand paper. After about an hour of polishing the headlights the improvement was not worth the effort, nore 15 bucks. Going 1000 to 2500 sounds the way to go...I will look for the 3M products.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top