Hello! Log in or Register   |  Help  |  Donate  |  Buy Shirts  See all banner ads | Advertise on TheSamba.com  
TheSamba.com
 
How to clean headlights on the INSIDE
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Forum Index -> Vanagon Share: Facebook Twitter
Reply to topic
Print View
Quick sort: Show newest posts on top | Show oldest posts on top View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 5120
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:46 pm    Post subject: How to clean headlights on the INSIDE Reply with quote

Seeing as how one or two other folks on this list might have 19-year-old headlights.

I was installing my GoWesty 80/100W bulbs+relay kit when.......

....I noticed the headlights had foggy film, and funk inside on the glass and reflector. This would NOT do, for new 80/100 bulbs. I searched the internet for ways to clean them and found no joy whatsoever (for cleaning the inside). Lots of folks were heating them to soften the glue, taking lenses off, all kinds of trouble.

So I took some pipe cleaners and wrapped them around little pebbles and dropped into the lamp, with window washing fluid. I swished the fuzzy pebbles around on the lens top, bottom, sides, and reflectors for a few minutes each lamp each 'side', then dumped out the (now) cloudy washing fluid. I rinsed them with filtered water.

I had to swab a little water out of the corners with a group of 3 Q-Tips clamped in a roachclip. Then placed the lights in the oven at 170 degrees with the opening upward -----> for about 45 minutes.

Headlights are now nice and clear!
----> Onward to the 80/100 bulbs!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
camerahunter
Samba Member


Joined: July 23, 2009
Posts: 567
Location: Tacoma
camerahunter is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's actually much easier then that. Not that your idea was bad or anything. I mean it worked and it was inventive.

BUT

It would be easier to use an old waitress trick for cleaning out the coffee pots.

ICE & SALT

Thank you,

David
_________________
1984 - Daily driver
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 5120
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Sep 23, 2009 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Searching the internet for methods, I must have read a hundred posts all over different forums, never saw that one either.

I wonder if ice would scrub away a very fine film as completely as a superfine brush? Well it's easy to test, if your lights look like foggy plastic, and when you're done they look like sparkling clear glass, then it works.

Anyway TheSamba now has two more methods than hundreds of other forums!


Wink Wink
_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
camerahunter
Samba Member


Joined: July 23, 2009
Posts: 567
Location: Tacoma
camerahunter is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe I should test the theory before spouting off. I have a smashed light here. I will try a piece of the reflector in my coffee pot full of crushed ice and salt and see what happens.
Another way that will probably work well is the old high school toilet bomb.
Vinegar and baking soda.
Makes for a foaming reaction that is good for cleaning out plumbing drains.

Thank you,

David
_________________
1984 - Daily driver
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
bread geek
Samba Member


Joined: October 30, 2005
Posts: 266
Location: fryeburg ME
bread geek is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:00 am    Post subject: headlights Reply with quote

i also just heard that puttin them in the dishwasher works great too.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
larrytrk
Samba Member


Joined: July 22, 2007
Posts: 377
Location: Central NJ & MA
larrytrk is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found that using a piece of blue shop towel ,dipped in windex,and a flexible plastic rod allowed me to clean out the lights very nicely.
_________________
It's all in your mind.
I Hate BAMBI!
87 Westy full camper "Bluie" aka-"busturd"
JUST SOLD HER, WESTYLESS!
Good by cruel world!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Home Team Van
Samba Member


Joined: January 02, 2008
Posts: 465
Location: wilmington, nc
Home Team Van is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used rubbing alcohol and salt with great success.
_________________
_________________________________

82 Diesel Westy
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
PDXWesty
Samba Member


Joined: April 11, 2006
Posts: 5717
Location: Portland OR
PDXWesty is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Warm water and dish soap is all I had to use. Swished it around for a bit and rinsed. Real simple and they look great.
_________________
89 Westy 2.1 Auto
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Franklinstower
Samba Member


Joined: September 21, 2006
Posts: 1322
Location: PNW
Franklinstower is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My headlights look like two black holes - where no light escapes! Honestly they look black in the center like there is no reflection left. I just thought they would never clean up, but maybe they will....Please post your results.

Paul
_________________
'89 Westy - EJ25/22 Frank 4.44 5mt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 5120
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Franklinstower wrote:
Honestly they look black in the center like there is no reflection left. I just thought they would never clean up, but maybe they will....

Sorry no picture before/after

Yesterday I thought: Are these square Vanagon lights actually made out of some kind of plastic? Sort of cloudy, milky.

Today. Just imagine clean glass and sparkling shiny reflectors.

There are only 4 small sheetmetal screws per side, the (dual) lights remain in their left/right frames. No adjustments, it only takes 5 minutes to have your headlights out for cleaning, which takes a little longer....

I used window cleaner, which has ammonia and it worked fine.

Could be other detergents that are OK for the reflectors etc (but somebody has to test them). Automatic Dishwasher detergent is one of the more aggressive household detergents that most people have (remember it cleans by splashing, then rinses off 100%). Try a small spot of dishwasher detergent on your windshield you will be surprised that it lifts black stuff off a perfectly clean window. If you don't use rubber gloves, you will be surprised what it does to your skin too!
_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
zerotofifty
Samba Member


Joined: December 27, 2003
Posts: 390

zerotofifty is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dont get too agressive, that shinny mirror finsh inside the light is not very chemical resistant,a dn it scratches easy. you can esily destroy teh mirror finish.

use care. dish saop is as agressive a chemical I will use now days.

if you heat them, use care, uneven heat will crack them (I know)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
vanaru
Samba Member


Joined: November 02, 2005
Posts: 167
Location: Sykesville, Maryland
vanaru is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 10:29 am    Post subject: easy Reply with quote

Cascade liquid dishwasher soap with very hot water... drop 2 paper towels in with the solution...let sit then swich around and rinse..remove pt and let air dry


no spots....no wiping
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Sodo
Samba Member


Joined: July 06, 2007
Posts: 5120
Location: Western WA
Sodo is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dave menche wrote:
dont get too agressive, ......... you can esily destroy the mirror finish.


If you use automatic dishwasher soap, (Cascade, for example) put it in a cup and dissolve it for awhile first before pouring into the lamp.

I would not leave it in contact with the mirror finish for longer than a few minutes. The stuff starts eating your skin pretty quick too.

.........then flush with lots of water.
_________________


EJ25, Peloquin diff, locker, transaxle oil cooler/filtration system
....KTMs, GasGas, and a Stumpjumper
One apple every 8 hours will keep 3 doctors away - B Kliban
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Gallery Classifieds Feedback
K58
Samba Member


Joined: July 01, 2006
Posts: 1170
Location: Santa Barbara
K58 is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Franklinstower wrote:
My headlights look like two black holes - where no light escapes! Honestly they look black in the center like there is no reflection left. I just thought they would never clean up, but maybe they will....Please post your results.
Paul

try putting bulbs in them Laughing
seriously, you're chrome is probably gone inside the housing.
you probably need to replace your headlights if the cleaning doesn't work.


Last edited by K58 on Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Chuck77
Samba Member


Joined: April 05, 2007
Posts: 170
Location: Brush Prairie, WA
Chuck77 is offline 

PostPosted: Thu Sep 24, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Use 93% Demineralized alcohol from a paint store, and get some distilled water so you don't get weird mineral-water stains. Before you go home, stop by and get a 6 pack of beer, this is the most importatnt part. Pour the alcohol inside the headlight glass, of course it has to be removed and set flat on a table, and let it sit. Crack open a cold one. Wait. Crack open a cold one. Shake it around a little, pour it out. Should take about an hour. Wash out the inside with the water, and let air dry. Crack open a beer. Maybe it is best to do this type of maintenance if you don't have anywhere to go, because if you follow my directions you will probably be buzzed by the time you are done.

http://www.t3nettet.dk/PNphpBB2-viewtopic-t-4183.html

I got it from a friend who translated, and he got it here.
_________________
1988 Vanagon GL 7 passenger, 15" Mercedes 8 hole alloys with Nokian Hakka's (SOLD)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
stl_stadtroller
Samba Member


Joined: June 22, 2009
Posts: 305
Location: St. Louis
stl_stadtroller is offline 

PostPosted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 1:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

All I did was pour in a little Windex, swished it around some, let them sit for about 20 minutes, swished some more, then rinsed liberally with distilled water.

Let'em sit out in the sun for a few hours, and viola! MAJOR improvement!
_________________
Brian W
St. Louis, MO
'64 SO-33 Hatch Top Westy | '73 Thing | '87 Syncro Westy: Subaru EZ30D powered | 2002 VW Winnebago Vista
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Facebook Twitter Instagram Classifieds Feedback
bubbleguru
Samba Member


Joined: January 29, 2011
Posts: 3
Location: Sausalito CA
bubbleguru is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:01 am    Post subject: crushed ice and salt method example Reply with quote

I followed the "crushed ice and salt method"... and had very good results cleaning my 87 vanagon lights...I poured about 2 tablespoon full's of each in each headlight... then added some water... and swooshed around for a min or so.

Here's a video of the end result.*

http://www.bubblecomment.com/id/uvu7e

It's a simple process to take the entire light frame with lights off the van...and carefully pull out/unscrew the bulbs... (do not touch or get grease on the actual bulbs).

I used my lawn hose on full stream to flush the water out.. then just sat them in the sun for the whole day.. until the water evaporated out of them.... Takes a little time to do...but so worth it.

* your mileage may vary Wink
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Twitter Classifieds Feedback
bosruten
Samba Member


Joined: February 11, 2011
Posts: 543

bosruten is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I swiped the magnet thingy my daughter uses to clean her fish tank and diluted dish soap. Outstanding!Laughing
_________________
'87 Syncro Weekender
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Gallery Classifieds Feedback
dubbified
Samba Member


Joined: March 03, 2010
Posts: 1287
Location: Redmond, WA
dubbified is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tossed mine in the dishwasher. they came out lookin real nice.

Sadly.. the chrome flecked off the bottom of the refractor.. not the actual refracting part, just below it.

I think I would do this step, looks great!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Classifieds Feedback
kamzcab86
Samba Moderator


Joined: July 26, 2008
Posts: 6490
Location: Arizona
kamzcab86 is offline 

PostPosted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rubbing alcohol worked on mine:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

_________________
~Kamz Anxious
1986 Cabriolet: www.Cabby-Info.com
Blue Vanagon 1990 Vanagon Westfalia: Old Blue's Blog
2016 Golf GTI S
"I fear the day that technology will surpass our human interaction; the world will have a generation of idiots." ~Albert Einstein
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Gallery Classifieds Feedback
Display posts from previous:   
Reply to topic    Forum Index -> Vanagon All times are Mountain Standard Time/Pacific Daylight Savings Time
Page: 1, 2, 3  Next
Page 1 of 3

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

About | Help! | Advertise | Donate | Premium Membership | Privacy/Terms of Use | Contact Us | Site Map
Copyright © 1996-2018, Everett Barnes. All Rights Reserved.
Not affiliated with or sponsored by Volkswagen of America | Forum powered by phpBB