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Headlights starting to yellow '87 year

Posted: Sun Sep 21, 2014 5:31 pm
by yellow3800
Do I have the oldest car here? CL interior, built in 5/'87 for the '88 model year. ...also as most know, it came into this world as a 2.0 I4 and 3spd auto trans.

IF SO, I just lost my pax side headlight lens to yellowing and that means everyone else is next! could be a fluke.... my 89 gt has donors that will be rehabbed and swapped in place. I just separated the lens from the housing [caulked-split the two plastic pieces] AFTER sanding DRY 40grit paper reducing it 1/16" of thickness. It did not improve. After cleaners, polish inside and out, with no improvement, this message serves as a warning, to keep those lights polished and maybe they'll last longer. This hit my car 2wks before bfest and looks like a yellowing river flowing through it as opposed to the yellowing of the entire plastic.

Also, don't shoot a hose in the bulb sockets hoping to clear a fog from the light. Yes it will clean the clear plastic at expense of removing the chrome! Don't do it!

Andy<---been restoring plastic lights 10yrs before restore kits became mainstream

Re: Headlights starting to yellow '87 year

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 12:41 pm
by whiteretta
My car was in an accident long before I purchased it, one headlight would always cloud up on the outside after a while so I'd have to keep going back every few months to clear it up again.

Easy solution? Euro headlights, lol.

Re: Headlights starting to yellow '87 year

Posted: Thu Oct 30, 2014 7:26 pm
by Money pit Beretta
Not sure if you want to try this, but engine oil helped me once. That was after a ton of sanding and polishing. Those lights had crust and were not yellow.
Seemed to me the lights were dried out in the first place. Then the sanding and polishing kept them just as dry. They went from a bit hazy to almost fully clear. I was checking my oil at the time and dripped some on one light. Went from "oh crap" to "what the hell?" after it was wiped off.
Never got a chance to see what it would do on my yellow Beretta lights(housings). Took them off and put some crusted ones on(still a work in progress). Damn 3M kit is still in the package!

Put in my fair share of years on yellow lights. Sure makes you feel like a fool over time.

Re: Headlights starting to yellow '87 year

Posted: Fri Oct 31, 2014 1:30 pm
by whiteretta
Toothpaste works as well, just not quite as nice as restore kits. Supposedly bug spray does a killer job at de-fogging lights too, but something about that just doesn't seem right!

Re: Headlights starting to yellow '87 year

Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:19 pm
by Nivek Rekrap
I've used a variety of things to polish clear plastic lenses using an orbital polisher. Some mediums work better than others but the one most important constant is to mask off all the painted surfaces around the light. I use that green masking tape designed for the purpose that peels of easily without wrecking whatever paint or surface is underneath it.