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#1 2020-08-25 14:29:18

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 74

Headlight swap question

I picked up some HID headlight assemblies from car-part.com, they are pretty rough and one appears to have been flooded.  I have them disassembled and cleaned off the sealant pretty well from the lenses and the assembly body, but I don't think I can polish the lenses enough, inside and out, with what I have to use them. 

Since the full assemblies are an easy swap (wiring aside), is it safe to assume the halogen lenses could be used on the HID assemblies?

I've read through several swap threads, but didn't see anything specific to the lenses.

Last edited by Rich-N-AZ (2020-08-25 18:29:03)


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#2 2020-08-25 15:12:39

mbandi
Mmmmmmm Scooby!
From: Transfer, Pa
Registered: 2011-01-31
User Number: 5179
Posts: 308

Re: Headlight swap question

The lens on both types are exactly the same. To my knowledge, even the reflector area is the same. it was just a matter of what the body of the headlamp was wired for. The HID unit also had a 3 position headlamp leveler that would need to be accounted for.


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#3 2020-08-25 16:54:19

snowphun
Member
From: Central CT
Registered: 2005-11-09
User Number: 890
Posts: 610

Re: Headlight swap question

Yep, lenses are the same, wiring is different MY05 vs MY06 but can be swapped without much trouble. I have OEM HID units in my car that came with halogens, the leveler is a non issue, just set them manually and done.

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#4 2020-08-25 17:38:54

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 74

Re: Headlight swap question

That's good news at least, so I could swap with what I have, but removing the sealant wasn't much fun.  Helpful tips in the archives here though.

I have the pigtails from the original cars which will hopefully make it easier to do and look cleaner.

Thanks for the quick responses!


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
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#5 2020-08-26 08:05:58

saabroo
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Registered: 2015-07-02
User Number: 31977
Posts: 342

Re: Headlight swap question

If you are not in a rush, I would find the tools to polish out those lenses, since they are all apart already. A bit of cotton wool at the end of a chopstick can get into the corners. Do it while watching tv so it will be less of a chore.


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#6 2020-08-26 09:07:09

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 74

Re: Headlight swap question

saabroo wrote:

If you are not in a rush, I would find the tools to polish out those lenses, since they are all apart already. A bit of cotton wool at the end of a chopstick can get into the corners. Do it while watching tv so it will be less of a chore.

That’s actually a really good idea.  I hadn’t thought of taking the slow-and-steady approach and that something as simple as a chopstick and cotton wool would polish them sufficiently.

Would you recommend using a compound or just the dry cotton wool?

Thanks for the suggestion!


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
05 Aero | ~Satin Gray Metallic --> Matte Blue Metallic | 5MT | 2.5 hybrid | Delicious FlexFuel | Pro tuned Stage III  | Invidia Q300

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#7 2020-08-26 11:40:32

krazykarguy
Worst ninja editor, ever.
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From: South of North Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8653

Re: Headlight swap question

Any damage to the inside of the lens should not be major. You will not need to polish the insides of the lens - a thorough cleaning and reassembly when clean (no polish, cleaner residue, etc.) on the inside remains.

After reassembly, leave the bulbs out and the caps off to cure the adhesive/sealant for a couple of days, with the LENS FACING DOWN. The offgassing of the sealant will stick to the glass of the bulbs and potentially fog the inside of the lens you just cleaned.

For the outside of the lens - to remove yellowing, scratches, failed UV protectant - you want to get a headlight restoration kit. I recommend the 3M kit with the drill attachment. Afterwards, coat the cleaned lens with a UV protectant, I just used a Sylvania kit I got from Amazon with great results.


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#8 2020-08-26 15:29:28

saabroo
Moderater
Registered: 2015-07-02
User Number: 31977
Posts: 342

Re: Headlight swap question

Since the insides will be a "one and done" thing, I'd use a compound made specifically for polishing/restoring plastic headlights. Since all polishing compound is some sort of abrasive powder, I'd thoroughly blow out the insides with compressed air and perhaps even using some tack cloth. I'm a bit OCD and the bits of leftover dried up polish dust sealed inside would drive me nuts.

Rich-N-AZ wrote:

saabroo wrote:

If you are not in a rush, I would find the tools to polish out those lenses, since they are all apart already. A bit of cotton wool at the end of a chopstick can get into the corners. Do it while watching tv so it will be less of a chore.

That’s actually a really good idea.  I hadn’t thought of taking the slow-and-steady approach and that something as simple as a chopstick and cotton wool would polish them sufficiently.

Would you recommend using a compound or just the dry cotton wool?

Thanks for the suggestion!


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2008 Audi A4 2.0T Quattro Avant
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#9 2020-08-26 15:52:13

krazykarguy
Worst ninja editor, ever.
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From: South of North Carolina
Registered: 2007-04-06
User Number: 1944
Posts: 8653

Re: Headlight swap question

arrow-up Or simply not use a compound or polish on the inside of the lens - it's not necessary. I've never seen damage on the inside of a lens, only the outside, and if allowed to go long enough, crazing within the lens. Never on the inside.

Cleaning the inside with anything other than a mild cleaning agent, or just water is not recommended. The compressed air is a good idea to clean the lens - but again, you run the risk of contamination of the inside of the lens if your compressed air is not being cleaned (i.e. air/water separator).


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#10 2020-08-26 17:05:08

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 74

Re: Headlight swap question

On the passenger side assembly there had definitely been water in it at some point and it seemed like more than condensation since there was some minor debris and grit inside.  No way of knowing if was in a river or if the backside was exposed to the elements in the junkyard.

I realized the bigger issue after I had polished the outside of the lenses with the 3M kit you mentioned (I've used those a few times) when I saw the inside of the lens was hazy.  Once I got everything apart and all the sealant cleaned up I tried using the same polishing process on this inside but with just the finishing pad, although the small section are impossible to get with it.  The bigger areas didn't cleanup as well as the exterior side leading me to believe I royally jacked them up (along with having compound powder to clean up).

There aren't any deep scratches or cracks, just rough haziness, so maybe dedicated polishing with the cotton wool will clear them up at some point.

Since I mentioned the likeliness that at least one of these was flooded at some point, should I expect to need to replace the ballast and ignitor?  I remember reading some older posts that the ballast should be fine once it dries out - which it certainly has here in AZ.

Thanks again for the suggestions.


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
05 Aero | ~Satin Gray Metallic --> Matte Blue Metallic | 5MT | 2.5 hybrid | Delicious FlexFuel | Pro tuned Stage III  | Invidia Q300

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#11 2020-09-14 15:12:53

elislider
accept no substitutes
Registered: 2014-11-30
User Number: 25881
Posts: 507

Re: Headlight swap question

FYI if you have an HID headlight that got water in it, you will likely need to replace the ballast too.
Its a really poor design because:
1. they commonly leak water inside
2. when water gets inside, it naturally collects in the bottom, on/inside the HID ballast.

Fortunately its the same HID ballast used on all the HID Subaru models and other brands too (some nissan/inifiti and toyota/lexus i believe) so they are easy to find used on ebay

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#12 2020-09-14 16:38:30

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 74

Re: Headlight swap question

elislider wrote:

FYI if you have an HID headlight that got water in it, you will likely need to replace the ballast too.
Its a really poor design because:
1. they commonly leak water inside
2. when water gets inside, it naturally collects in the bottom, on/inside the HID ballast.

Fortunately its the same HID ballast used on all the HID Subaru models and other brands too (some nissan/inifiti and toyota/lexus i believe) so they are easy to find used on ebay

I was wondering about that too.  I've seen the posts where members said their ballasts had gotten wet, but recovered after letting them dry.  No doubt soaked or even submerged wet would be entirely different.

Glad it somewhat common at least if it has to be replaced.

Thanks!


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
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#13 2020-09-14 20:00:23

dotmaster206
Member
From: Denver, CO
Registered: 2012-03-10
User Number: 7123
Posts: 2110

Re: Headlight swap question

Yeah the ballast can usually be saved if it didn't have water in it for a long time - eventually corrosion will kill it if it stays there, but if you notice it soon enough and dry it out it's usually good to go. I think the best method is taking the ballast off the headlight and baking it at ~200-220F for ~15-20 minutes or so after shaking out as much water as you can.

I have a spare ballast and I think two igniters as well if you want them. They're not hard to find, though, as previously mentioned a LOT of cars used this exact HID setup (including placing the ballast at the bottom where it collects any water that gets in there).

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#14 2020-09-15 10:39:08

Rich-N-AZ
Member
From: Arizona
Registered: 2013-10-25
User Number: 11897
Posts: 74

Re: Headlight swap question

Thanks for the offer, but since they are easy enough to locate I'll get some if needed.

I have a couple of backups of both ballast and igniters, both used, but haven't gotten far enough along to see if any of them will work or not.

Once I get a little closer to "done" (which my wife has impressed upon me needs to be soon) with everything I'll post photos.  It's @ikbrown's former Aero and it's gone through a few things since getting it.


05 Aero | Black | 4EAT: Level 10 Bulletproof Torque Converter & Valvebody | Pro tuned Stage II | Invidia Q300
05 Aero | ~Satin Gray Metallic --> Matte Blue Metallic | 5MT | 2.5 hybrid | Delicious FlexFuel | Pro tuned Stage III  | Invidia Q300

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