Corvette Forum : DigitalCorvettes.com Corvette Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was curious to know if these two lens' that I just bought are an anomoly or if they're all this bad. I would think with all of the advances in plastic technology since 1970 this shouldn't be an issue, but apparently it is. It might be easy to say this are Chinese junk, but I have no indication on the baggies where they came from. I ordered them from Ecklers and just got them the other day.

The problem I have with them is the air bubbles between where the light comes in and where it exits to the fiber optic cable. The 2 in the middle are the new ones, the outside ones are my originals:



Is it a ground-shaking problem, no, just an irritant. Will they work, maybe fine with a bit of reduced light going through. Was just wondering if anyone else has had this problem with these lens' specifically. I'm thinking about trying Paragon Corvette, but I'm guessing they all come from the same supplier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,002 Posts
Have you tried the bubbled ones to see if the FO are impaired because of the bubbles?

FWIW: your two originals look like they could be polished back to good use.

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Have you tried the bubbled ones to see if the FO are imparied because of the bubbles?

FWIW: your two originals look like they could be polished back to good use.

:thumbsup:
I originally tried that, and that's why you see they're kind of milky. I used the highest grit count of sandpaper I had available but as you can see that didn't work so well. I think it was 400 grit or close to that.

I know car parts stores sell a headlight kit that is supposed to bring back your clear plastic lamp covers but I've never used it. Did I just not use a high enough grit? What I used was probably way too low, as I saw some YouTube videos of guys using 1200 rubbing compound.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
Did I just not use a high enough grit?
That would be true! You can easily get sandpaper up to 2000 grit and rub it out from there. I use the 2000 grit on woodworking chisels and end up with a bright mirror finish. On airplane windshields I did the same and finished with a diamond enhanced micro-polish for a crystal clear result.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
bummer

You can easily get sandpaper up to 2000 grit and rub it out from there.
So all hyped up that I'd get my originals back in shape, I went over to AdvanceAuto and picked up some 3M 2000 grit wet/dry paper and went at it by hand. It cleared it up some but nowhere near as clear as the brand new ones I just bought. I might just go with the new ones and I'll have to accept that this part is just not 100% produced correctly for reproduction.

Maybe it's the type of plastic used in headlight covers (polycarbonate or lexan?), but these plastic parts don't seem to shine up nicely. Or there's some super secret magic to getting any plastic to shine like the new ones that I don't know about.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,002 Posts
I polished mine to reasonable quality with fine grit rouge, followed by a final go-round with plastic polish.

:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I polished mine to reasonable quality with fine grit rouge, followed by a final go-round with plastic polish.

:thumbsup:
I didn't even know that there was a thing such as plastic polish. Googled it and looks interesting, however it will probably never be quite as clear as my new ones even with those bubbles in it.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
10,261 Posts
I didn't even know that there was a thing such as plastic polish. Googled it and looks interesting, however it will probably never be quite as clear as my new ones even with those bubbles in it.
that headlight restoration kit you mentioned should have a few pieces of 2000 grit paper and some polish as well. Should be just the ticket for those little guys.

FWIW I've had a lot of good experiences ordering parts from Paragon. They seem to have higher quality stuff than a lot of the other parts houses :huh:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
29 Posts
SL,
Try a little dab of toothpaste as polish.Will also take scratches out of dvds,sunglasses,most plastics..thardu..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
244 Posts
Not trying to Hijack your thread but "lsejlowe" is that your bumper....:thud:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I had the same problem with the repro lense in my console. The original tail lamp lense was broken so I ordered a reproduction one, there was a bubble and flaw in the 90 degree driver's side tail lamp connector. It was over a year after I ordered this $20 POS part and I had a deadline to finish the car for a show. I used that piece of junk and the tail light transmission isn't very bright.

I would go to Ace Hardware and look for some plastic polish and use a Dremel tool on my original lenses if I were you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
366 Posts
So all hyped up that I'd get my originals back in shape, I went over to AdvanceAuto and picked up some 3M 2000 grit wet/dry paper and went at it by hand. It cleared it up some but nowhere near as clear as the brand new ones I just bought. I might just go with the new ones and I'll have to accept that this part is just not 100% produced correctly for reproduction.

Maybe it's the type of plastic used in headlight covers (polycarbonate or lexan?), but these plastic parts don't seem to shine up nicely. Or there's some super secret magic to getting any plastic to shine like the new ones that I don't know about.
You can't go from 400 to 2000 grit sandpaper and expect to get good results. I'd recommend 400 - 600 - 800- 1000 - 1500 - 2000 followed by a polishing compound. Each finer grit sandpaper has to remove the scratches from the coarser sandpaper. With plastic you might want to wet-sand instead of dry-sanding.

:cheers:

Rick B.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
final results

So I read everyones success with polishing theirs. So I took some more goes at it. I looked on YouTube for some hints, and one showed how to polish several different kinds of plastic. One showed how to smooth an edge using a blowtorch to every so slightly melt it to give it a new sheen. That was absolutely a bad idea with this plastic. Instead of shine I got a new new layer of crusted plastic. :(

So I got out my 1500 and 2000 grit paper I bought and went at them for a while. After doing that, they didn't still seem all that great. Then I saw in my dremel case of small tools I had bought years ago, there was a buffer with some wax. So I took that at the tip and wow what a difference that made.

So here are the results. I tried to take some pictures of holding each of the new and old directly up to a light trying to gauge the amount and brightness of light coming through. Maybe you can tell which one, new with bubbles or old without, in the picture below (it's the two round pictures on the left side:



It's clear, pun intended, that the one with the bubble loses! So much for newer is better. I sent Ecklers tech service people an email telling them of my dissatisfaction with this part, but probably won't do much good.

Jeff
 

·
They call me, Hugh Huffner
Joined
·
584 Posts
Wrecklers and their Chinese crap strike again.....

Mid America seems to be going the same way. Wait till you try ordering a new Dash, or Door panels...you'll get a flimsy piece of junk that doesn't fit the car, and will look worse than the old beat up one you were trying to replace. Even better, the Dash is $600.00.:WTF (Saying thank you to Al Knoch, Wrecklers and Corvette Central with a giant middle finger!"

Better to refinish the old original parts as much as possible.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top