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The complete headlight HOW TO clean DIY + projector refinishing

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Old 10-15-05, 10:57 PM   #1
O. L. T.
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Default The complete headlight HOW TO clean DIY + projector refinishing

ANY SC owner who has headlights over 2 years old needs to be concerned with the condition of your projector lens. This lens is EVERYTHING to the headlight. If your lens is dirty from impurities gathered from years of use, your light output can suffer as much as 40%.

The reason for this is the simple fact that this little piece of glass must be pure and clean to focus light in a beam. If dirt is present on your lens the light will scatter in all directions which will not only cut your light output as much as 40%, but it will also affect your cut off on your beam and leads to blinding oncoming drivers from all the light being scattered everywhere.

I know what you are saying....... "My headlights are nice and clear". That's great.... but what about your projector glass??? The nice clear lens means nothing if your projector glass is dirty, folks this is going back to simple physics. Your objective goal here is to focus a beam of concentrated light through the purest glass you possibly can so no light is shattered in the beam or reflected and dispersed as noise. When this happens you are wasting light!

If your headlight is over 2 years old you have dirt accumulated on your projector. You are losing light, your cut off isn't what it should be, and you are potentially being a nusiance to other drivers from shatter light dispersion. Wanna know how to properly check your projector? Check this out:

GO OUTSIDE WITH A FLASHLIGHT and shine it into the projector from a few different angles. Is it cloudy? dirty? Can you see contaminents on the glass? Sure you can....... let's fix it!

Here's what it looks like right now:

Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

YIKES! Look at all that nastiness on the projector glass. When you get it apart it is going to be a lot more obvious. the following two pics show not only how dirty my hands are by now , but also how nasty this glass is when you try and look through it..... now remember..... this is supposed to be PURE clear glass for the light to travel through.


Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


OK, that is obviously not going to work. Look at how much light you are loosing just trying to look through it. See all that glow? Thats light being refracted in the glass and dispersed in the wrong direction.

Well let's get started! Pop them in the oven for about 3 minutes @ 300 degrees to loosen up the adhesive that holds them together.

Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by O. L. T.; 10-16-05 at 12:56 AM..
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Old 10-15-05, 11:00 PM   #2
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Remember to use gloves! Bring them out and use a flatblade object to pop them open. A putty knife does well because it disperses the force over a large area and keep you from having 30 spots where you pulled on the soft black plastic.


Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


Once apart, here are your three main components.


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:04 PM   #3
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It's not just the projector that is dirty, everything is dirty. It's hard to tell sometimes, but if it doesn't look brand new........ it's dirty. Here's how dirty the average headlight is inside:


Click the image to open in full size.
Click the image to open in full size.

As you can see this is not a good environment for this sensitive piece of glass. This needs to be cleaned right away.

Remove the two screws that hold the projector glass in place. I choose to loosen one and remove the other - they are a bit hard to turn because they are set in metal and there is rust present from the years of moisture.


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:10 PM   #4
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When I had the unit apart I thought I might could come up with something crafty for the city light, but to no avail........ I put it back in.

This lens on the left (corner lens) pops out with three little catches on it. remember to remove it and clean both it, and what's behind it.



Click the image to open in full size.


Now it is time to direct your attention to the projector lens. I chose to buff the glass to a nice shine to get the impurities out and make certain I have a nice clean smooth surface to blast light through.


Click the image to open in full size.


NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICCCCCCCCCEEEEEEEEEEEEE. Look at that!


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:16 PM   #5
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Now you can get your lighting situation under control. Bolt the projector glass back into the headlight. Stand back and look at it now! It's like brand new and you'll know immediately how much of an improvement you have made. Good clean glass does not reflect light through out it. you should be able to take a high intensity flash of the camera and look directly through the glass with no problem. Then you know it is clean, when it almost ceases to exist and you can look directly into it.


Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.


Look how nice and clear we have it now You remember before, right?


Click the image to open in full size.


Looks nasty as can be in comparison, yes? You now can see how much clearer the glass is and how much better your headlight can project light now. It will be more accurate, and more defined + you will have up to 40% more light concentrated in the right spot!
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Old 10-15-05, 11:20 PM   #6
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Now go ahead and buff your face lens also. You might need to sand it lightly with some 2000 grit sandpaper first, then buff. Depends on how bad off your outer lens is.



Click the image to open in full size.


Next I'll get into resealing the unit. That will be tommorrow and I'll link the two threads together if I make a different thread.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:20 PM   #7
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OLT, YOU DA MAN!!!!! Great DIY!!!!!
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Old 10-15-05, 11:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NPSC303
OLT YOU DA MAN!!!!! Great DIY!!!!!
Why thank you I'll continue tommorrow in a separate thread and link it on how to reseal.

If your headlight are over two years old, look at how nasty the projectors are and how much light you are loosing! If you do one mod this year, make it this one because if you add HID's like some, you are only making the problem WORSE.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:28 PM   #9
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OLT............................. YOU'RE MY HERO!


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Old 10-15-05, 11:28 PM   #10
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thats good stuff man. i gotta be checking mine soon now.

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Old 10-15-05, 11:39 PM   #11
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Check out that clear lens I am going to do some light sanding to remove the fine hair line scratches from the years of abuse, but then I'll rebuff and it will come out just as clear


Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 10-15-05, 11:43 PM   #12
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What did you use to reseal the pieces back together? Where are the vent holes in back?
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Old 10-16-05, 12:15 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MongooseGA
What did you use to reseal the pieces back together? Where are the vent holes in back?
Dude, this post is directly up from yours 2 posts.

Quote:
Why thank you I'll continue tommorrow in a separate thread and link it on how to reseal.

If your headlight are over two years old, look at how nasty the projectors are and how much light you are loosing! If you do one mod this year, make it this one because if you add HID's like some, you are only making the problem WORSE.
Thankfully I'm not tired yet (3:20am) so I will continue and finish the job. (don't get ahead of me)
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Old 10-16-05, 12:17 AM   #14
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Let's get finished with this thing! (so mongoose can rest easy)


Here's how your projector and reflector should look now after your cleaning. You can actually see the pool table through the projector! Now, that's a clean piece of glass


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Old 10-16-05, 12:18 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O. L. T.
Dude, this post is directly up from yours 2 posts.



Thankfully I'm not tired yet (3:20am) so I will continue and finish the job. (don't get ahead of me)
I actually posted somewhere in the middle of your write-up, but somehow my post disappeared. I must have missed the "tomorrow I will..." part of your post.
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Old 10-16-05, 12:18 AM
 
 
 
 
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