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Discussion Starter #1
Hi:

Caring for plastic headlight lenses is new to me. The headlight lenses on the G35 are a prominent feature and would significantly diminish the appearance of the car when/if discolored. I have seen many cars that are only a few years old where the headlight lenses have turned yellowish or opaque from sun exposure. My only ideas to reduce/prevent this are:

1) Keep the lenses treated with a wax or automotive topical treatment containing UV protectant.

2) Consider having the lenses covered with the 3M “clear bra” product which is guaranteed not to turn yellow.


Does anyone have any proven suggestions on how to prevent this yellow opacity?

6MT DP

<font color="blue">Here is a reprint of what someone else did to clean the headlight lenses on their Supra.</font id="blue">

“I cleaned my 94 headlights this weekend following, with a few minor exceptions, the mkiv.com tech article and got great results. Here are a few comments and observation about my experience which I hope those of you who are thinking about doing this detailing will find helpful.”

“First, it's not hard, doesn't take a lot of time and, IMO, is well worth the effort. Once the headlights are removed, it's only about an hour per assembly to heat, separate, clean/polish (by hand), and reassemble.”

“I set the oven at 200 which was at the high end of the recommended temperature range (175-200). I left the intact headlight unit in the over for about 15 minutes which is a little more time than the recommended 5-10 minutes. Neither variation caused any problem and I am sure it made the rubber sealant softer and easier to separate the two pieces. I also set the unit on a towel rather than directly on the oven grate. This made handling the heated unit a lot more comfortable. “

“The tech article said to separate the two parts of the headlight assembly (lens and housing ) beginning at one end. I found that the lens has a metal lip all the way around it that slips into a groove around the housing. As the tech article said, a large, blunt screw driver worked well to separate the two pieces. I started on the bottom of the assembly near the fog light end. The technique I found that worked best for separating the two parts was to put the screw driver into the seam between the two parts and push it from the lens side towards the housing. I went under the plastic lip of the housing and along the top of the metal lip of the lens. When I could tell I was at the end of the metal lip (about a half inch) I lifted up on the screwdriver prying the lens and housing apart slightly. I did this along the seam until a got enough separtation between the two parts to allow me to just pull the rest of the lens off.”

“I was able to find Novus (the scratch remover) but couldn't find Plexis (the cleaner/polisher). I has some Blue Magic brand metal cleaner/polisher on hand which you can use on plastic and substituted the Blue Magic product for the Plexis. It seemed to work fine. I did all of the scratch removing/cleaning/polishing by hand because I don't have an electric polisher and couldn't find a bonnet for my drill that was small enough to fit inside the lens. I don't think the time to do it by hand was more than 30 minutes.”

“I didn't wet sand the outside of my lens as the tech article suggests because the Novus and Blue Magic got my lenses very clean and clear which was my primary goal. But, I did notice the outside of the lenses had some small pits from road debris which probably would have come out had I wet sanded. I may even try that with the hedlights still in the car. “

“Before reassembling the unit, I reheated the parts for a little longer and at a slightly higher temperature than the tech article recommended.”

“I used a 1/4 inch bead of the recommended silicon sealant when reassembling the unit in addition to leaving in and reusing the factory rubber sealant. But I don't think I got a good seal. Within several hours of doing this detailing, I drove in the rain and afterwards notice very minor moisture fogging inside both lenses. I don't know why the moisture is there, but it is. So, you may want to use more, rather than less, of the silicon sealant than I did to try and get a better seal.”

“Over all, it's a very good home remedy for yellowed headlight lenses. Even though I still have some moisture inside the lenses, that is probably due to not using enough sealant and a fairly easy fix.”

<font color="blue">Another person wrote:</font id="blue">

“I pre-heated the oven to 185* and put the light in there for 6 minutes. I got it out and pryed the corner off with a screwdriver, and just pulled it right off. I would def recommend doing the oven way, it was much easier and faster. Once, I had them apart, I rinsed the lenses off, and then applied Blue Magic Plastic & Plexiglass Cleaner that I got at AutoZone for 4 bucks. Once I polished them with that, I just waxed them with Eagle One Wet wax, which I think makes them look good for the final touch. Then put them back in the oven at 185* for 6 minutes again to heat up the adhesive, then applied a new bead of silicone sealer, and they look brand new. Not bad for about 7 bucks or so.”
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<u>Just an observation</u>
I believe the Supra's had glass covers and the G35 has plastic ones. This may account for the discoloration you are talking about. In any case if I were you I wouldn't be that concerned, I have a 4 year old Honda Civic with plasitc covers and they appear to be as clear as the day they were made, save for some bugs.

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi:

Thanks for the reply and assurance :) The ones on the Supra that discolor are the plastic ones. Glass ones don't discolor, but are very expensive. I have seen a lot of cars that have this problem, both domestic and imports. Maybe they have solved it on the newer cars? :)?

I have located a product called Plexus Plastic Cleaner and Protectant. It has been used to clean and protect aircraft plexi-glass windshields for some years now. They have begun marketing it for protection of automotive plastic lenses. This looks like the best product for this purpose and may be of benefit for use on "clear bra" ect.


Found these sites on car care

http://www.autopia.org/forums/index.php
and
http://properautocare.com/exteriorcare.html

The Plexus can be bought through each of them if any one is interested.

6MT DP<font face="Andale Mono"></font id="Andale Mono"><font face="Andale Mono"></font id="Andale Mono"><font face="Andale Mono"></font id="Andale Mono">
 

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The sales guy at Audi bragged to me about their lenses not discoloring like BMWs. Clearly, the technology exists. Whether or not the G includes this technology, we'll have to wait and see, I suppose.
 

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Be care what you use on them, as many products such as Rain-X are not for use on plastics and can discolor or stain the plastic cover.

Personally, I am more worried about rock chips (as I already have one or two) in the plastic than discoloration. The 3M lens covers will work to reduce rock chips, and will not turn yellow, but I do not know they prevent the headlight cover from turning yellow.

Jarrett
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Discussion Starter #6
Hi:

Many thanks for the info. I just came back from having "clear bra" put on the headlight lenses of my car. Cost = installation was $96.00. Here is what they claim: "exat fit; D.O.T. approved scratch resistant material; UV stabilized - Will not discolor; Does not distort light; Resists impacts up to 120 MPH; No special maintence required; 4 year limited warranty from road debris; $1,000 headlight replacement guarentee." The application will take several weeks to dry and placement over the lense was accurate. [^]

The installer said that the headlight lenses on the G35 are the kind that won't discolor from the sun. How valid his info is, I don't know, but Infiniti must have attended to this as otherwise it would be "bad advertising" in a few years.

Also, re Plexus, they say to get it at a motorcycle parts store. It is also used to clean & maintain the plexiglass windshields on motorcycles.

6MT DP
 
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