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Heart tail lights lenses not fitting
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jpaulnewman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:30 am    Post subject: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

My new heart lenses do not seem to fit between the bulb holder and the housing.
The current heart tail lights on my 1954 Oval appear to have been painted black, so I purchased some new (sold as NOS) glass heart lenses.
But when I've tried to fit them I have found that my existing hearts are plastic unlike my new glass ones which are thicker and do not fit between bulb holder and the housing.

Can anyone tell me what may be the problem?

I've attched some photos showing the glass lens compared to the plastic lens:
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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

Bulb holder:


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D. Haviland
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:27 am    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

Heart lenses are supposed to be plastic. I have some if you need some.
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finster
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

if your plastic ones are intact and not cracked then I would clean and use them. they can look quite dark if that's what you mean by painted black?
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banana split
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 10:52 am    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

I assume you bought the new Kaefer-Nostalgie versions ?
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2464271

Glass sounds neat but VW never made glass heart shaped lenses - they are all plastic.

Since they interfere with your bulb holders, I assume they have a design flaw that Kaefer-Nostalgie didn't catch before releasing them.
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jpaulnewman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

finster wrote:
if your plastic ones are intact and not cracked then I would clean and use them. they can look quite dark if that's what you mean by painted black?


These are my current lenses and they look much darker than others I have seen.
I'm not really sure what to clean them with that will not damage them.

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

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

Previous owner also fitted the eyebrows.


Last edited by jpaulnewman on Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:09 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jpaulnewman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 12:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

D. Haviland wrote:
Heart lenses are supposed to be plastic. I have some if you need some.


banana split wrote:
I assume you bought the new Kaefer-Nostalgie versions ?
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/classifieds/detail.php?id=2464271

Glass sounds neat but VW never made glass heart shaped lenses - they are all plastic.

Since they interfere with your bulb holders, I assume they have a design flaw that Kaefer-Nostalgie didn't catch before releasing them.


Mine look the same as those Kaefer-Nostalgie, but I bought them from a seller in Germany.

The seller told me that the glass lenses he sold me are genuine NOS and that original VW lenses were glass and only later replacement lenses were plastic.
Can you confirm this is not true before I take this up with the seller and ask for a refund?
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Brezelmeister
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 1:49 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

Heart lenses were never made of glass. Always plastic.

Looking at the lenses from Kaefer-Nostalgie it looks like the edge is far to thick.

And I also found that lots of the stuff Kaefer-Nostalgie sells are usually somewhat off.
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banana split
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 2:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

jpaulnewman wrote:
I'm not really sure what to clean them with that will not damage them.

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


I've polished tons of automotive plastic lenses etc over the years - tail light lenses, oval sunvisors etc. Just use some automotive wax/polish. You can get a decent shine by hand but if you have a high speed buffing wheel, even better.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 6:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

x2 on the original heart lenses always having been plastic. Both the original Euro-market amber lenses and the U.S./Canada market red lenses are very dark. The light-colored lenses are always either later (1960s) replacement stock or reproductions.

Any good plastic polish or headlight lens cleaner will work. Metal polish will also work, but you do not want to cut so deeply into the plastic that any markings wear off.
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Matts Bug Parts
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 19, 2021 9:18 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

I have bought and sold many 100s of NOS heart lenses, oval bottom lenses were always glass and the top hearts always plastic.

To bring your original heart lenses back to life simply wet sand them with 1000 and then 2000 grit sandpaper. Follow this with hand polishing with a cotton cloth and Maguires plastic polish. They will look like new. Never use machines due to risk of creating too much heat. Due to shelf wear I do the above with most Heart lenses although sometimes I might only use the polish.

All repro heart lenses are very wrong colour wise. If you polish lenses as described above using a white cotton cloth the residue on the cloth will be quite brown, not bright red.

Matt
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finster
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 20, 2021 1:38 am    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

as suggested above - go carefully. I've used a polishing product called 'peek' which was good but even some toothpaste and spit with a cloth will work.

do not use any paint removal fluids as these will likely damage the plastic.
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jpaulnewman
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 5:12 am    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

janerick3 wrote:
x2 on the original heart lenses always having been plastic. Both the original Euro-market amber lenses and the U.S./Canada market red lenses are very dark. The light-colored lenses are always either later (1960s) replacement stock or reproductions.

Any good plastic polish or headlight lens cleaner will work. Metal polish will also work, but you do not want to cut so deeply into the plastic that any markings wear off.

Thanks, I didn't think any hearts were amber were they?
I will have a go at polishing them.

finster wrote:

as suggested above - go carefully. I've used a polishing product called 'peek' which was good but even some toothpaste and spit with a cloth will work.
do not use any paint removal fluids as these will likely damage the plastic.
Thanks, this was my concern.

Matts Bug Parts wrote:
I have bought and sold many 100s of NOS heart lenses, oval bottom lenses were always glass and the top hearts always plastic.

To bring your original heart lenses back to life simply wet sand them with 1000 and then 2000 grit sandpaper. Follow this with hand polishing with a cotton cloth and Maguires plastic polish. They will look like new. Never use machines due to risk of creating too much heat. Due to shelf wear I do the above with most Heart lenses although sometimes I might only use the polish.

All repro heart lenses are very wrong colour wise. If you polish lenses as described above using a white cotton cloth the residue on the cloth will be quite brown, not bright red.

Matt

Thanks Matt,
the seller is still insiting they are genuine NOS, so I am having difficulty getting my money back!
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janerick3
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 6:54 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

jpaulnewman wrote:
janerick3 wrote:
x2 on the original heart lenses always having been plastic. Both the original Euro-market amber lenses and the U.S./Canada market red lenses are very dark. The light-colored lenses are always either later (1960s) replacement stock or reproductions.

Any good plastic polish or headlight lens cleaner will work. Metal polish will also work, but you do not want to cut so deeply into the plastic that any markings wear off.

Thanks, I didn't think any hearts were amber were they?
I will have a go at polishing them.

finster wrote:

as suggested above - go carefully. I've used a polishing product called 'peek' which was good but even some toothpaste and spit with a cloth will work.
do not use any paint removal fluids as these will likely damage the plastic.
Thanks, this was my concern.

Matts Bug Parts wrote:
I have bought and sold many 100s of NOS heart lenses, oval bottom lenses were always glass and the top hearts always plastic.

To bring your original heart lenses back to life simply wet sand them with 1000 and then 2000 grit sandpaper. Follow this with hand polishing with a cotton cloth and Maguires plastic polish. They will look like new. Never use machines due to risk of creating too much heat. Due to shelf wear I do the above with most Heart lenses although sometimes I might only use the polish.

All repro heart lenses are very wrong colour wise. If you polish lenses as described above using a white cotton cloth the residue on the cloth will be quite brown, not bright red.

Matt

Thanks Matt,
the seller is still insiting they are genuine NOS, so I am having difficulty getting my money back!


The dark amber and dark red plastic lenses are hard to tell apart until you place them side-by-side and shine a light through them.

There is a remote possibility the lenses you bought are NOS, as the DIN(?) standard for translucence changed in the early 1960s and red plastic lenses produced after that date had to meet the new, lighter shade specified. The standard for amber lenses may have already changed by the late 1950s; being forced by the adoption of amber combination brake/turn signals in Europe.
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Srecko
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2021 9:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

The darker lenses are NOS, I have aftermarket lenses on my tail lights and they fit ok, I think I will put the NOS lenses on for a better fit. If you still have the original lenses clean them up and polish them, they will be a better fit.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

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Matts Bug Parts
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 10:44 am    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

Janerick 3 posted "There is a remote possibility the lenses you bought are NOS, as the DIN(?) standard for translucence changed in the early 1960s and red plastic lenses produced after that date had to meet the new, lighter shade specified. The standard for amber lenses may have already changed by the late 1950s; being forced by the adoption of amber combination brake/turn signals in Europe".

To that I would say NO! NO! NO! NO!

First the question of plastic versus glass for top heart lenses as well as amber versus red top hearts has been discussed for many years in the forums. Amber lenses were made and glass hearts were not.

Second, if VW had them made they would fit perfectly.

Third and fourth, I have been an avid split/oval fan since 1989 - the glass top lenses just appeared recently and Kaefer Nostalgia is clear in their current ad that they are new production.

Fifth, I have walked swap meets in the US and Europe for 30 years, probably walking 1000's of miles, and ZERO top, heart glass lenses found. As well, no one else has located them to my knowledge.

Lastly, all sorts of parts are listed on the Samba as NOS and are clearly not. Some months ago I tried to engage others in a debate about parts qaulity and deceptive advertising her on the Samba with almost no interest generated. Sad nut a reality of our times.
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EverettB Premium Member
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 12:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

I have an NOS one.
It's in the VW bag.

It's plastic.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2021 6:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Heart tail lights lenses not fitting Reply with quote

Matts Bug Parts wrote:
Janerick 3 posted "There is a remote possibility the lenses you bought are NOS, as the DIN(?) standard for translucence changed in the early 1960s and red plastic lenses produced after that date had to meet the new, lighter shade specified. The standard for amber lenses may have already changed by the late 1950s; being forced by the adoption of amber combination brake/turn signals in Europe".

To that I would say NO! NO! NO! NO!

First the question of plastic versus glass for top heart lenses as well as amber versus red top hearts has been discussed for many years in the forums. Amber lenses were made and glass hearts were not.

Second, if VW had them made they would fit perfectly.

Third and fourth, I have been an avid split/oval fan since 1989 - the glass top lenses just appeared recently and Kaefer Nostalgia is clear in their current ad that they are new production.

Fifth, I have walked swap meets in the US and Europe for 30 years, probably walking 1000's of miles, and ZERO top, heart glass lenses found. As well, no one else has located them to my knowledge.

Lastly, all sorts of parts are listed on the Samba as NOS and are clearly not. Some months ago I tried to engage others in a debate about parts qaulity and deceptive advertising her on the Samba with almost no interest generated. Sad nut a reality of our times.


My bad--I had forgotten he said they were glass. I looked at the OP's photos and noticed the glass lenses do not have the sharp ridges on the inside that the plastic lenses do.

I am surprised that VOA was still willing to repackage, tag and keep old stock lenses in inventory as late as the 1970s.

As for Garwood, he assumes heart lenses were dropped at the start of the 1954 model year on U.S. market cars, which we now know is not true.
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