Faded Headlamps

The headlights on my 96 Grand Marquis are seriously faded, enough that the car is getting unsafe to drive at night now. So I call up my friendly ford
dealer and ask about the pricing on a new set of headlamps. He quotes me nearly $1100 (canadian) for the pair. After the laughter stopped, I called UAP/NAPA, who can order them in for about $500 for both.. Getting better.. I also checked out rockauto.com, and their price is about $290 for their economy line (for both) including shipping, exchange rate and pre-paid duty to Canada.
This seems to be a massive price range.. Is there something amiss here? Are rockauto's economy headlamps garbage? Are the dealer ordered lamps trimmed in gold? What gives?
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the dealer lights are gold plated, the rockauto lights are made in china, and the quality will show when you try to put them in the car.
save yourself a few hundred dollars, and get some mechanics waterless hand soap with grit in it, like orange clean, and a rag. put a good amount of hand soap on the rag, and rub the lenses of the lights with it. or if you have a hand buffing machine, use that. you will be surprised what a good cleaning with waterless hand soap with grit can do to faded lenses.
in some cases, it will make then as clear as new, in others, it will clear them up enough to get a few more years out of them.
i have done my mothers 97 G.M. 4 times now. i have to do it every 4-5 years, but for the 1/2 hour it takes, it is better than replacing the lights.

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Tom wrote:

i have used mcguiers rubbing compound with success as well -- done them about 3 times in the last 2 years... i too wouldn't want to replace them.
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says...

You can also use the liquid plastic cleaner and polish made for, "obviously" cleaning and polishing plastic. I see my local Novus windshield store carries it.
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what can i say. i am cheap. mcguires cost big bucks, but i always have a few gallon of orange clean waterless hand soap laying around in the garage and house. ;-)

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Teknical wrote:

eBay...
found two deals for my Grand Marquis headlamps (Brand new stuff)
One sells each for 75$ (US), the other one has both for 90$ .
Even if he charges 100$ shipping, it's still an order of magnitude cheaper than going for the dealer's price...
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On Mon, 04 Jun 2007 18:41:11 -0400, El Bandito

The deal on ebay is better than the one I found.
Lugnut
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I used Meguiars PlastX on a 98 Chevy Metro with headlight lenses so cloudy that high beam was useless. Just one easy application and it was amazingly clear. I tried the same stuff on a Dodge D50 pickup with almost no effect. The Dodge almost looks like the problem is on the inside of the lens.
Meguiars was on the shelf with the rest of the auto polish at Kragen's. http://www.meguiars.com/?clear-plast...Cleaner-Polish
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I have a bottle of PlastX actually lol. My problem is on the inside of the lens too, water vapour has fogged and discoloured the inside of the lens to crap..
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The US MSRP is about $250 a piece - $500 total. Not sure about the exchange rate and duty, but that $1100 quote sounds totally off. Online discount Ford dealers have them for about $185 each. Don't know if they ship to Canada.

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Are
The plastic on the headlamps is coated with an UV blocker. After a number of years the UV blocker disintegrates, then the UV starts destroying the plastic.
Polishing it will not, of course, restore the UV blocker so the plastic will discolor again. After polishing, coat with a good plastic wax that has UV blocker and they will last longer.
And be sure to file a safety complant with NHTSA. As long as the automakers used glass for headlights, we had no problem. When they switched to plastic then people started reporting this problem, and it is definitely a safety issue. If NHTSA gets enough complaints they will pressure the automakers to either switch to glass or use a better plastic that doesen't do this.
Ted
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Have you ever tried Good flouride tooth paste. Seems to last longer than wax's and polish. maybe the flouride stops the filming and dis coloring from re` occuring so fast.
PP
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On Sun, 03 Jun 2007 14:40:49 GMT, "Teknical"

Look here: http://catalog.headlightswholesale.com/buy.php?make_text=mercury&ml=gran-ls-003&model_text=grand_marquis&year 96&part_name=headlight_assembly&brand_name=replacement&repcat=true&s=1
Or here if it wraps: http://tinyurl.com/345soz
I bought these 4 years ago for my old beater CV. They are probably not as good as the OEM but, I won't pay the half the value of a vehicle just for marginally more utility. These seem to work well and they are not starting to discolor as I write this. BTW, it helps to keep them waxed and out of direct sun.
Lugnut
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