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Cloudy headlight cover needs HELLLP...

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by drummerfc, Nov 29, 2010.

    drummerfc guest

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    Do any o' youse guys/gals oot there know how to clean-up/clear-out the cloudiness on the plastic thingys covering my '02 E39 headlights? I've done lots to this car to keep 'er looking as new as humanly possible - but the mysterious fil-um on these headlight covers really bugs me :mad:.

    Any suggestions are welcome...thanx!

    alstroberg guest

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    3M (& I bet several other mfgs) makes a kit for just this issue. It's about $23 and contains a sanding disc with several different grits. fluids & instructions. It takes a hand held drill & about 30 minutes for both sides. The local auto supply store had them in stock. The results are impressive & doesn't seem to accelerate further deterioration.

    drummerfc guest

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    Thanks...I'll look into that. My local car wash will do it but of course they want your left arm and half your right...
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    John in VA

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    I don't believe the E39 lights have separate covers, but our '00 E46 has replaceable covers for the lights for ~$70 each. As mentioned, everybody and their brother has a polishing kit - 3M, Mother's, Meguiar's, BG... Our local indy shop polishes them for $75-125, depending on the time required. Most detailers offer this service as well, if you don't feel confident to DIY.
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    You can't buy replacement covers, but you can buy new housings if you feel like dropping too much money. You can fix them by sanding them with progressively finer grit paper then polishing them. A body shop guy did my wife's E36 at a tech session and the results were amazing.
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    westech

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    Helping the economy

    You can do, as this fool did, and get so sick of the broken self-adjusters that you take all your "butter & egg money" and buy new lights. They look great....but then, they better.

    drummerfc guest

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    Thanks. I could...but I'm sure those puppies aren't cheap. :rolleyes:

    My daughter was driving my 2000 Infiniti I30t (car I had prior to the 5-er) and had an accidental meeting with a deer last summer. Luckily the only result of that was a broken headlamp cover (similar to the ones I have on the E39 - thank god it wasn't anything else, those bastards can total cars and injure/kill people!).
    Replacement cost?? Anywhere from $1000-$1200!! :eek: Today, the car itself isn't worth much more than that on the whole...so fugeddaboutit!
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    westech

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    You want HOW MUCH?

    Got the pair through an independent shop for $1650. including install and adjustment. The 'ol hand trembles when you write the check.
    For sicko-fun I called a local dealer for a quote....$2200. the pair PLUS $175. for the adjustment. Sweet
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    CRKrieger

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    That's why God invented junk yards. ;)
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    westech

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    Nothing there, I looked..

    The junkyard, like Mother Hubbard's Cupboard, was bare.

    drummerfc guest

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    +1...same in my case. Car ain't worth diddly anyway, so I'm tradin' it in (the Infiniti that is, not the E39!);)
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    bluewagon

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    Cloudy headlight cover

    Have you tried polishing??? Start with Bar Keepers friend.and a small pad. then try tooth paste. Then go to a plastic polish They will clean up.
    bluewagon

    drummerfc guest

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    No, haven't tried that either. All good suggestions including yours will be attempted (once we get above 40 degrees, too damn cold to clean headlight covers now... LOL!)

    Thanks...
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Polishing headlights

    Since the beginning of this thread, I have been noticing that many, many vendors carry various "kits" to polish headlights, the most prominent being the 3M package. Actually, I have much of the stuff among my archival crap already-very fine sandpaper, polishing ball, plastic polisher in various "grits," etc.-so you may find that just by using what you have on hand, you can work wonders.
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    westech

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    What Satch said.......

    After abusing my checkbook by purchasing new headlights, I took the old lights, various sandpapers & polishes fron the garage and some Sam Adams (fo' me, not the headlights....they can buy their own) to task.
    It works. Actually the resuts are better as you're not restricted by instructions. Start with the course stuff, work through the fine stuff and, polish, polish, polish.
    As long as you don't expect, factory, out-of-the-box, showroom, then you'll be happy with your efforts.
    Good luck!

    drummerfc guest

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    Thanks Satch...this is still on the docket to try when this snow mercifully melts.
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    CRKrieger

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    Oh, believe me, if you're willing to take the time, you can get showroom quality results. I build model cars and, to get a shiny finish in scale, you have to work with stuff an order of ten finer than you would on your 1:1 street car. Think 12,000 grit (!) sanding cloth. Our final polishing compound is talc.
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Krieger and the talcum powder

    Back in the days when I painted cars in search of a decent high from the urethane fumes, the Hot Set-Up for a show-car finish was a final buffing with. . .

    . . . wait for it. . .

    . . . cornstarch!

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