Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 9 Old Nov 5th, 2013, 8:32 pm Thread Starter
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Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

I've tried baking the LT headlight, as seen in various on line videos, to remove the glass lense--no luck.

anyone know of a solvent that will loosen the sealing compound without harming the plastic head light housing?

Best from tucson
Bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #2 of 9 Old Nov 6th, 2013, 9:52 am
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

That adhesive is extremely tenacious, as you found out. I once tried removing pieces of glass from a broken headlight just to see if it could be done, no luck.

The housing I believe is ABS, which is not resistant to very many solvents, so I would imagine finding a solvent that would tackle that strong adhesive and not the housing is unlikely.

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post #3 of 9 Old Nov 6th, 2013, 1:22 pm
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

You can remove the glass from the adhesive mechanically however it is very easy to damage the plastic in the process. When I removed my lens I cracked the plastic housing in a couple places, after putting everything back together a little black silicone and the only one that knows is me.

I would recommend something thin, metal and somewhat flexible for 'cutting' through the adhesive because the adhesive is in a kind of U channel. Start at one point cutting straight in from the front with a knife (don't go too deep and push through the plastic), work you way around, then take that flexible metal whatever you have and work it into that channel behind the glass and work your way around a few times going a little deeper each time.

It might not hurt to use the oven treatment ahead of time to gently warm everything up, it might make the adhesive and plastic a little more pliable.

Another thought: you might be able to start at a corner cutting in to the adhesive, and use thin guitar string (or something thin and strong like that) like floss and floss the lens off (pretty sure dental floss wouldn't have the strength to withstand that adhesive). I have no idea if this would work but it seems to me that it might.

-Steve

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post #4 of 9 Old Nov 7th, 2013, 5:29 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

Thank you for your time and the information.

I chisled out most if not all of the adhesive, but it looks as if there is adhesive under the glass also?

When baking it in the oven i'm concerned about melting the plastic--don't have any idea how much baking at a certain temp is too much?

I'm guessing that since I want to install projectors, see if there is enough room for projectors, cutting the plastic right behind the glass where I've removed the adhesive won't matter as long as I can re seal the glass back to the housing?

Bob

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post #5 of 9 Old Nov 8th, 2013, 2:50 pm
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

Quote:
Originally Posted by BecketMa
...cutting the plastic right behind the glass where I've removed the adhesive won't matter as long as I can re seal the glass back to the housing?

Bob
I would be very cautious with this, I fear there would not be enough attachment point left or that alignment of the lens would get messed up.

Have you done any research into what effect the pattern of the lens will have on the retrofit of the projector? I'm thinking that it might screw up the dispersion of the light out of the projector. Have you looked for an '05 low beam? That might be the way to go since it is just a clear glass without any diffusion. Of course the next question would be whether the '05 lens would fit the pre '05 bikes, I can't answer that one.

-Steve

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post #6 of 9 Old Nov 8th, 2013, 10:12 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

Thanks for the tip! I've never looked at low beam on the newer bikes.

I've been assuming that since the you-tube videos show people using the stock glass lense that I'll be able to do the same.

Bob

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post #7 of 9 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 1:49 am Thread Starter
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

I removed a strip of the rubber like material that is between the housing and the glass, placed it inside a glass and into a ore-heated over at 210. Left it there for a good wile, removed it to see if it was more plyable--NOPE!. the heat didn't effect it at all.

Guess thats why repeated heating of the headlight housing didn't accomplish anything.

Bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #8 of 9 Old Nov 15th, 2013, 8:42 pm
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

I haven't looked at an LT light but in other stuff that adhesive is usually a 2 part butyl rubber or similar and you will not find a solvent. Its heat and mechanical or nothing. You might want to procure some junkyad bits even from cages so you can experiment a bit without risking yours.
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post #9 of 9 Old Nov 17th, 2013, 1:59 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Solvent for the sealer on plastic headlight housing

Thank you for your time and the info.

I suspect the LT's head light is different from what the auto headlights I've watched being taken apart on you-tube.

I tried heating the LT head light on two different occasions with the same results, the sealent hadn't changed consistency. Baking a strip of it for 20 mins or so just below the melting point of ABS 220F produced the same result, no change.

Next time i'm out running errands and remember it, i'll poke around for different solvents.

What I've been day dreaming about is simply cutting a panel out of the housing to gain access inside the housing. Since a projector won't need the reflector, cutting through that shouldn't matter. As far as I can tell what matters is keeping the adjustments to the assembly inside the housing, and, once aimed correctly, making a water tight seal when placing the panel back on.

Soon i'll be taking the nose off and looking to see if it matters where an entry panel might be cut? And, what room can be made if I remover the front speakers since I really only need music and audio inside my helmet.

Best from tucson
bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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