View Full Version : Headlight repair

11-01-2005, 10:30 PM
Hey all, after the deer hunting incident, I had to have my left headlight replaced. Well, now it doesn't match the right one, which has yellowed over time. Has anyone used that stuff that Late Model Restoration sells, the headlight kit? It is $31.95 vs. a lot more to replace that one headlight.

11-01-2005, 10:36 PM
I have that kit so if you want to use it then you can come over and we can do both of our headlights as mine have yellowed too. :)

11-01-2005, 11:08 PM
that sounds cool. I will have to find the time to come down there. I am supposed to come down to Charlotte for the Southern Christmas Show sometime this month.

11-12-2005, 01:20 PM
I tried that kit several years ago. Didn't work for me. As for another alternative, you could try Ebay for used clean OEM Ford headlamps. I had good luck with this route.

As you know, new OEM Ford headlamps for Cobras are no bargain. Last time I checked, they were around $500 a pair for 96-98 Cobras. I have no experience with the aftermarket units, but they are quite a bit cheaper.

Some folks have claimed that they were able to polish their Ford headlamps and get them looking good. I don't see how that is chemically possible.

I went through the same drill with my 91 LX. The buffing and polishing seemed to work for a while, but the lenses would dull over in a few weeks regardless of whatever protectant I applied.

Here is why: Your headlamp lenses are made of polycarbonate which scratches easily and will oxidize and crack when exposed to the atmosphere. Because of these properties, polycarbonate lenses are hard coated to seal them from the elements. Polycarbonate is used for lenses because it can be molded into complex shapes and has good optical properties (and because it is probably cheaper and safer than using glass).

When you aggresively polish or sand the lense, you can strip this protective hard coating off. The exposed polycarbonate then begins to weather and micro-cracks form. Congratulations, you have now accelerated the deterioration of the lense! This is not good.

My headlamps didn't re-yellow after sanding the hard coat off, they hazed over with a white film. I presume that is the polycarbonate weathering.

I went through the practice of monthy hand wet-sanding and polishing the haze off and applying a plastic protectant. The haze (oxidation) looks white and does a good job at reducing your headlamps' range. You can see through it, but is not crystal clear. If you can find a sealant that can keep the elements from touching the freshly sanded surface, you might keep the outside semi-clear for a while longer.....

However, if the inside of your lense is yellowing (like mine were), the best option is replacement. Plus, if you added up all the time you spend polishing and all the chemicals/materials you buy to perform the polishing routine, it is more time and cost effective to just buy new headlamps. That is, unless you just live to polish things.

11-12-2005, 03:37 PM
thanks for the advice, all I need is one headlight to match the new one. Ugh, $200+ for that, I might just live with the oddball headlight

11-12-2005, 11:57 PM
thanks for the advice, all I need is one headlight to match the new one. Ugh, $200+ for that, I might just live with the oddball headlight

I was in the same position. I just needed a driver's side headlamp. I managed to find one on Ebay for less than $80 shipped. It was a near perfect match for the passenger's side unit.

11-13-2005, 08:24 AM
I will look on ebay