Headlight cleaning - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Jul 5th, 2010, 8:56 pm Thread Starter
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Question Headlight cleaning

Is there a way to clean the inside of the headlight? mine seems to be very dirty inside, makes it look like the lens is smoke colored.
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post #2 of 10 Old Jul 5th, 2010, 9:23 pm
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Re: Headlight cleaning

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Originally Posted by baker
Is there a way to clean the inside of the headlight? mine seems to be very dirty inside, makes it look like the lens is smoke colored.
What year LT?

Pre 2005 bikes had a glass lens and plastic reflectors, no way to separate them. Some damaged theirs by running higher wattage bulbs, this added heat cooks plasticizers out of the plastic parts which fogs the lens and reflector.

One person cleaned his fairly effectively by putting soapy water in it with some small styrofoam beads and sloshed it around hard for quite a while. The soapy water cleaned, the styrofoam added scrubbing action. Then rinsed it out well, and dried it out. Not like new, but much better.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #3 of 10 Old Jul 8th, 2010, 8:45 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight cleaning

Its an 04, so thats probably the case. The cleaning can wait til I have the tupperware off sometime. I did replace the bulb and it seems brighter, although I haven't gotten to ride at night since I changed it. Will HID fog it even more?
Thanks
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post #4 of 10 Old Jul 8th, 2010, 9:20 pm
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Re: Headlight cleaning

The longer you run with the dimmed light, the more damage as it retains more heat.. at least that's been my experience.

I'd clean it out then dry with a can of compressed air inside... stick the tube in and gradually dry..

Then get HID... if you can.. it's brighter an dcooler because of the way the lamp makes light.

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post #5 of 10 Old Jul 8th, 2010, 9:20 pm
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Re: Headlight cleaning

Here is a video using toothpaste ... can't hurt to try first.. might be all the polish your external side of lamp needs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKAsh...eature=related

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Last edited by cfell; Jul 8th, 2010 at 11:46 pm.
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post #6 of 10 Old Jul 8th, 2010, 9:47 pm
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Re: Headlight cleaning

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Originally Posted by cfell
==============================
I bet one of the "automotive" headlight cleaning kit could help.. worth a look.
The automotive headlight cleaning kits I am aware of only polish the outside of the plastic lenses on cars that get clouded by exterior oxidation. Those won't help on interior cleaning of glass lensed assemblies like the pre 2005 LT units.

Have you seen any kit that will clean the interior of headlight assemblies? If so I would like to know about it. I have had automobile units get a little dirty inside if the seal fails.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #7 of 10 Old Jul 8th, 2010, 11:35 pm
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Re: Headlight cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by dshealey
The automotive headlight cleaning kits I am aware of only polish the outside of the plastic lenses on cars that get clouded by exterior oxidation. Those won't help on interior cleaning of glass lensed assemblies like the pre 2005 LT units.

Have you seen any kit that will clean the interior of headlight assemblies? If so I would like to know about it. I have had automobile units get a little dirty inside if the seal fails.
David,
I have seen one kit by 3M... trying to find it now...

Here is a link of a process..
http://www.ehow.com/how_6152158_clea...eadlights.html

and one "patented" process http://www.mdwholesale.com/ Who might have recommendations about cleaning interior.

Some recommend "Brasso" or "Bar Keepers' Friend".... the BKF sounds like the better stuff as Brasso has some serious chemicals... and carefully clean 'em .

Here's a video.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_JfuS8MZM4

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post #8 of 10 Old Jul 9th, 2010, 12:03 am
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Re: Headlight cleaning

I found this video for separating a "lens" assembly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imIig...eature=related

I have NO idea if this will work on an LT... and make no claims regarding the video..

Having the whole lamp warm in an oven as they did... then keeping warm with a heat gun might make it easier.

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post #9 of 10 Old Jul 9th, 2010, 9:56 am
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Re: Headlight cleaning

Quote:
Originally Posted by cfell
I found this video for separating a "lens" assembly

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=imIig...eature=related

I have NO idea if this will work on an LT... and make no claims regarding the video..

Having the whole lamp warm in an oven as they did... then keeping warm with a heat gun might make it easier.
Interesting set of videos for converting a car to projector lights.

I do not believe it would help in getting the lens off a pre '05 LT headlight though. I had the one from my first crash, which had shattered the lens, and tried to get the pieces of glass out of the housing. Proved to be almost impossible, even when only pieces had to be removed. The adhesive holding the glass in is a VERY tough, black rubbery substance (urethane?) that gripped like you would not believe. Even trying to pry out a piece about half inch wide, the glass would break and leave most of what was in the adhesive there. The adhesive in the video seemed to be much less aggressive, and easy to soften with heat.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
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post #10 of 10 Old Jul 9th, 2010, 10:32 am
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Re: Headlight cleaning

I took apart one of the light assemblies on my wife's Concorde that had a lot of brownish haze on the inside. Used PlasticX on it. Cleaned it up pretty well, but not quite as good as in some of the videos I just watched.
Great improvement though. Better than paying almost $200 for what they wanted for a replacement. Never was as bright as the other side though. I don't worry about it anymore, since I traded that car off about three weeks ago. That was a lot more than $200

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