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Clean INSIDE of headlights!? It can be done!

 
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Old 04-20-2016, 03:25 PM
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Clean INSIDE of headlights!? It can be done!

So my '08 CTT came with roached headlamp lenses. Oxidation and yellow outside were laboriously restored, which was a process in and of itself, but then there was the inside crud...annoying haziness ruining my work. After tons of research, I found a guy that had used methanol inside plastic lenses on a restore, some other brand auto. I tried it and it worked amazingly well. BUT
FIRST...read about methanol and flammability and safety using it. Gloves, good ventilation, no smoking, etc.
SECOND- it must be ultra pure methanol (>99.9%), or you risk getting H2O mixed which can give water marks.
THIRD - no substitutes or you are way on your own. Ethanol WILL DESTROY THE PLASTIC (YouTube it and see).
FOURTH - I was at a point of paying $2,000 for replacement or laboring 4-6 hours and paying for restoration kits outside and methanol inside. Desperation brought me to this. 😊

Outside headlamps I used one Megiures kit plus one 3M kit. I had to sand about ten minutes at each grit level with corded power drill. The outside was near perfect but the grunge inside the lenses spoiled it. I followed the following plan. Know, too, that I had a professional lense restorer tell me he couldn't help me...& I got them to near original.


I poured about 6-8oz of 99.95% methanol with Pyrex cup and inverted the lense sloshing it around gently for about a minute. I then siphoned as much of the methanol out with gas siphoning setup that I got at DrugMart. Position the headlamp with the lense perpendicular to the ground and let the remainder evaporate. It will take about 2-3 days to fully dry, but you can plug it back in once there is no pooling of methanol.
Read about methanol safety and keep it far from flames.
It worked for me. Saved me about $1850!





Sloshing the methanol gently around.



Ready to pour methanol into housing through bulb opening.





Siphon tube in headlamp housing getting as much methanol out as possible





No less than 99.9%!!!





After...





After...
 
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Old 04-20-2016, 07:33 PM
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I was considering removing the lens off the headlight unit with a heat gun to soften the adhesive, polish and clean it. While I'm at it paint the interior of the headlight unit black then reassemble.

Blacked headlights
http://content3.eu.porsche.com/prod/...D0002_huge.jpg

http://content3.eu.porsche.com/prod/...X0002_huge.jpg

Was there dirt and particle in the headlight unit?

So the methanol removes the haze inside the lens?
 
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Old 04-21-2016, 07:48 AM
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Awesome job. Do you have any before pictures? My GTS headlights have slight hazing which annoys me when I detail it. I will have to give this a try. Where did you purchase the methanol? When you siphoned out the methanol after sloshing was the fluid very dirty? Were there any leftover particles or residue?
 
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Old 04-21-2016, 09:02 AM
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Additional info...

I got the methanol on Amazon:

Amazon.com: Torco RC Nitro 100% Methanol gallon: Toys & Games Amazon.com: Torco RC Nitro 100% Methanol gallon: Toys & Games

A few little particals were present on the one side and floated, so when I siphoned they got sucked right out. The methanol visually didn't change appearance.

The second headlight had particals after adherent to the lense, so I repeated the wash, making sure to keep the remnant solvent clear of the front lense once I siphoned it.

I may have gotten even better result with repeat wash on the side I did once, but it's really good and I didn't feel like repeating it.

Unfortunately I don't have good before pics, but they were easily as bad as this:





Mine were like this...

After the outside restore, I realized that inside was hazy, grungy. I took pics to try and show it, but it is very hard to photograph...

I'll post those pics in another thread reply...
 
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Old 04-23-2016, 08:55 AM
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Wow. Very interesting. I've heard the silver paint is very delicate. I guess it's unaffected by the methanol? Your results are impressive.
 
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:04 AM
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After pics


Originally Posted by Brainz View Post
Wow. Very interesting. I've heard the silver paint is very delicate. I guess it's unaffected by the methanol? Your results are impressive.


After. I noticed no change in the silver.





It looks basically new. I'm so pumped!
 
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Old 04-24-2016, 07:11 AM
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One additional point...

Pointers for future attempts:
1. I would remove bulbs first...simple to do and takes seconds. Potential there to needlessly damage one.
2. I could have removed methanol more easily by inserting paper towels in behind the Xenon component where there is a large area...a communication from inside the lense to this area is under the focusing lense.
3. Having an assistant is always a help.
4. i may have treated both sides 2-3 times...but remember that the enemy of good is better.
5. I would have done it a long time before now...I'm still amazed how they turned out.
 
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Old 04-24-2016, 10:00 AM
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Nice. So this can clear the foggy haze from the inside of the lens? I've had ok success polishing the yellow from the outside of the lens, only to have there be a haze/fog on the inside that spoiled some of the results.

Looks like I'll have to give it a try.
 
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Old 04-24-2016, 01:52 PM
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Before pics...

I forgot to post these. The second picture shows decently the grunge...it's where the exterior light source is reflecting. The after is the same area which is grunge free.



Inside haze accentuated by external light source





Streaks and water run lines





Haziness...very noticeable to naked eye, difficult to image.
 
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Old 07-20-2016, 04:21 AM
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Perfect


It worksThank you very much
 
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:47 PM
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Thanks for your post on this. I did mine a couple of weeks ago with similar results!
 
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Old 11-17-2016, 01:47 AM
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As far as the outside goes, how do you keep it in good shape? I had a pro come out and do it and it looked decent (still issues inside). But after about a year, it looks bad again. Maybe you have to repeat it frequently?
 
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Old 11-17-2016, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by compositeguy View Post
As far as the outside goes, how do you keep it in good shape? I had a pro come out and do it and it looked decent (still issues inside). But after about a year, it looks bad again. Maybe you have to repeat it frequently?
You need to add a sealant/ clear coat of some sort. Or Have it done again and then have the headlights wrapped in a clear bra.
 
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Old 11-23-2016, 08:58 AM
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Next Question:

Where do I get the "good" methanol? Will SLX Denatured Alcohol be a viable substitute?
 
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Old 11-23-2016, 09:00 AM
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