Are your headlight lenses getting cloudy?

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worked just fine here lol

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You can find Meguia's Plastx (as well as their other products), 3M's plastic cleaners & Mother's at AutoGeek.net http://www.autogeek.net/vicotopmapr.html
I never tried Meguia's, is it better then Crest?

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For some reason, the link, when seen on Google groups tacked my signature "Rick" at the end of the link URL. Probably Google's way to save space. It should end with /ivoq as in: http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ .
Rick wrote:

Your link does not work. Did you try it before you posted or is it only good during daylight hours when headlights are not needed? Oh well, time to buff my headlights. I think I'll start using very abrasive toothpaste since most auto stores don't care the plastic stuff like Meguiar's PlastX.
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turtle wax seems to work for me. not a permanent solution but cheaper then new fixtures

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In addition to the lenses, reflector efficiency is very low in these molded headlamp units. My Explorer has some of the worst lighting I've ever driven with. Bad enough on a good night, dangerous on a rainy night. The need to engineer highly efficient reflectors and change the lens formula so that it remains clear. Or maybe go back to glass with evaporative deposited aluminum reflectors on aircraft aluminum housings. If ever there was a good reason for a recall, this would be it.
-- Take care,
Mark & Mary Ann Weiss
VIDEO PRODUCTION FILM SCANNING DVD MASTERING AUDIO RESTORATION Hear my Kurzweil Creations at: http://www.dv-clips.com/theater.htm Business sites at: www.dv-clips.com www.mwcomms.com www.adventuresinanimemusic.com -
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On Mon, 5 Sep 2005, Mark & Mary Ann Weiss wrote:

H'm. I'm interested to know how you arrive at that conclusion.

I'm guessing it's a pre-2003 model. The '03 up Explorers actually have rather efficient and well-focused low beams, but the previous models have three generations of really awful headlamps.

I'm still curious how you arrive at the idea that the reflectors in your lamps aren't efficient. Generally, reflective efficiency is not a problem in even poorly-performing headlamps. The common problems are insufficient active optical area (lens and reflector too small), poor beam pattern formation and focus, and low-efficacy light sources.

There's nothing wrong with nonglass, nonmetal reflector substrates *per se*. Of course, "plastic" covers a lot of territory. Cheap thermoplastic is ill-suited to the job, but it has been used in a great many North American-market headlamps, because beam focus requirements are lax and it is, well, cheap.
On the other hand, some of the very best headlamps have "plastic" (thermoset phenolic) reflectors.
All of them use vapor-coat aluminum reflector "shiny stuff".
DS
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

My '92 Explorer had the best headlights I've ever seen, and my '99 is only slightly less impressive.
Of course, the '92 Explorer did catch fire and burn up, but that was after I owned it, at about the 150,000 mile point. I don't think it got any more TLC after it left here.
Even the '99 Explorer's lights are about 200% better than the crappy lights on our '97 Sebring convertible. The convert's have not yellowed, either, though come to think of it I don't even know if they are glass. It mostly just sits in the garage. It's got 15,000 miles on it since we got it new in Sep '96.
The '99 Explorers "fog" lights, make pretty good corner lights -- the Sebring's might as well not be there. The beam is so low and narrow they only illuminate stuff you're just about to run into, or over.
Jack
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Jack wrote:

The problem with all the vehicles you claim have great headlights is that they piss *everyone else* off. Ford trucks/SUVs in particular I find to be painfully glaring when following me, the low beams still have enough stray upward light that I can't even glance at my rear view mirrors.
nate
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On Wed, 7 Sep 2005, Nate Nagel wrote:

That's true, but secondary. The problem with the vehicles he claims have great headlights is that they *don't*. I hesitate to imagine what-all headlamps Jack has driven behind to have such low standards that the '92 and '99 Explorer headlamps, both of which are objectively poor, are the best ones he's seen. He mentions a '97 Sebring, and that's certainly got bad lamps.
But y'know, if you've been eating dirt all your life and somebody offers you a bowl of grass clippings, you'll probably say the grass clippings are the best food you've ever tasted!
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Is there a publically available headlight comparison?
Ed
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C. E. White wrote:

Yeah, stop by my house and I'll take you for a ride in the Porsche with the Cibie E-codes, then every other headlight you sit behind for the rest of your life will seem wussy and ineffective by comparison, unless you've got some pretty nice hardware of your own :)
nate
(unless, of course, I get the '55 coupe together, in which case I'll probably swap the lights over to that car.)
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:
>> The problem with the vehicles he claims have >> great headlights is that they *don't*. I hesitate to imagine what-all >> headlamps Jack has driven behind to have such low standards that the >> '92 and '99 Explorer headlamps, both of which are objectively poor, >> are the best ones he's seen. He mentions a '97 Sebring, and that's >> certainly got bad lamps.
A lot of very mundane cars, just like everybody else except the esoteric gurus here, of course.
Now you've made me want to see if I can even remember all the cars I've owned, let alone the ones I've driven in the past ~50 years. Let's just say...a lot. But the 92 Explorer's lights were the most satisfying. Hey, I LIKE it when they put a lot of light everywhere, and I got very few complaints.
Of course sitting up high in a 4x4 will put the lights in a smaller vehicle's rear view mirror, so I stay further back at night stops.
Maybe my lights are adjusted properly, and I don't usually drive over 100 mph -- suppose that could be it?
Jack
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On Thu, 8 Sep 2005, Jack wrote:

Fascinating.
No, not really. Most likely what's going on is that the aspects of beam distribution that tend to influence subjective opinion of headlamp quality are generally not the same aspects that influence actual beam performance (i.e., the degree to which you *can* see at night, vs. the degree to which you *think* you can see at night). Gurus and geeks will tend to squawk about objectively poor beam patterns, while most people seldom comment one way or the other, and a few people praise poor beams. The opposite is also true: Subjectively-poor beams can actually give extremely good objective performance. It's a question of how safe you *are* vs. how safe you *feel*. The human visual system is a very poor judge of its own performance, and is easily "fooled".
The headlamps in question ('92 Explorer) have low overall output, poor focus, a low peak intensity, narrow beam width and high levels of upward stray light. All of those factors add up to an objectively poor beam.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

Now, THAT is fascinating!
Of course I don't have the ol' '92 around anymore so further discussion of it's headlight performance would be worse than subjective. I ran them day and night and changed bulbs perhaps two times in the 11 years I owned it. I put better-than-OEM Halogen bulbs in it, so maybe thats why I was happy with it -- or maybe they were holographic and gave only the appearance of projected perfection.
I went from a '81 Chevy pickup to the '92 Explorer, and believe me -- the Explorer lights were infinitely better than those of the Chevy PU.
The '99's low beams are average, the "brights" are pretty good, focus could be better, and I like being able to read the graffiti on the under-side of the over-pass, but the "narrow" comment above is absurd -- subjectively speaking -- but like I said, my everyday comparison is the '97 Sebring. I have yet to change a headlight bulb on the '99 Explorer. I can hardly wait to see what it will do with AM bulbs -- probably have to get a special license for it.
My first car (and my only other Chrysler product) was a '47 Dodge, and with the lights and the tin-foil body work, I think I've had my last Chrysler, if the rest are like the Sebring. Don't even get me started on its electrics and ghost-ridden alarm system.
And 25 mpg -- BFD.
Jack
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I think they work so well that's it's difficult to tell if you have one not working unless you go out and look.
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Jack wrote:

Well, the 81 Chevy would have had good old sealed beams. Now 99.9% of the sealed-beams I've ever had were about 100 times BETTER than 90s vintage plastic Explorer headlamps (or pretty much ANY 1990s plastic specific-to-a-given-model headlamp). But its always possible that you had some really, really, really poor non-halogen sealed beams in the Chevy, or halogens with a cracked outer housing that allowed moisture to darken the reflectors, or a wiring problem.
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Steve wrote:

My '92 Explorer headlights were glass.
Jack
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On Sat, 10 Sep 2005, Jack wrote:

Ummm...no. They weren't. Not unless you bought your '92 Explorer in Germany, where glass-and-metal standard-format 200mm x 142mm rectangular lamps were used (same size/shape as the large rectangular sealed beams in your '81 Chev pickup, but in Europe they were a replaceable-bulb H4 unit).
North American-market Explorer headlamps used a plastic lens and a plastic reflector.
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Daniel J. Stern wrote:

OMG! They were plastic -- and I loved them?
Eeeeuuuuwwww.
Jack
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On Sat, 10 Sep 2005, Jack wrote:

Y'know, Jack, I'm beginning to get the sense that you *might* be mockin' me... ;-)
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