Headlight lens cover 92 Taurus

The headlight lens cover on my 92 Taurus is slightly cloudy. What is the best way to polish the outside. Also how would I remove it so I can do the inside?
Double Tap
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dbltap wrote:

A mild abrasive. Toothpaste is often recommended.

The outside is probably frosted from collision with road grit. The inside shouldn't have been exposed to this.
I'm trying to think what the 92 has, I think that had the big square headlamps with a plastic shield over the glass, right?
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You are correct, large rectangle with plastic shield
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Try regular auto polish - like the Dupont polish. That usually works great!
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676Pony wrote:

Well, my results have been less than spectacular......
The lens plastic tends to turn cloudy. And no amount of polishing will fix that. Probably due to UV breakdown of the plastic.
Also, the plastic lens develops pinholes or other leaks. When this happens, water gets inside the lens and it has no way out. The mirrored reflective back surface then flakes off. Then all of a sudden you have a light that is much less bright than it was. Or, the bulb will shatter inside from moisture contact. I have it happen more than once on my taurus. You can mess with if all you want. But you will probably end up replacing it. Its had finding a used one that is not trashed. Those spring clip retainers on the lens are a treat to take off too.
Bob
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Stop in at a motorcycle shop and buy a can of the stuff they use to clean windshields. The clouding is the result of poor preventive maintance. You may need to apply the stuff several times, if they are really bad you will need to use a paint compound. Once you have cleared up the lenses you can keep them clear by applying a polymer cleaner/polish, like NuFinish, every three or four month.
mike hunt

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Mike, Thanks..... This sounds like the way to go Double Tap

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Did you try it? If so, how did it work?

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I went to the Harley dealer today and picked up a plastic cleaner/polish called Ovis. It worked very well, not like new lenses but 95% of as new condition

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It may take several application to get them clear.
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

I have my doubts. Having had the said taurus (Gen II), i have been through multiples lens. If the lens leaks and water gets inside the lens, it cannot get out and the mirror reflective coating on the back flakes off. Then headlight output goes WAY down. ANd that's if the bulb does not break first from the moisture.
The plastic degrades from UV light too and gets cloudy. Personally, i thing the government should have had a requirement that the plastic lens last at least 10 years without degradation. This is a safety issue. In the old days , you just got a headlamp for $10. Not anymore. those plastic lens assemblies are expensive.
Ever notice how many cars on the road 10 years old + have very degraded headlights lens plastic? I wish the automakers would go back to sealed beam lights.
Bob
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Bob Urz wrote:

My second car is a '92 Taurus wagon. When I inherited it the headlights were about 1/4 full of water. I removed the lamp assemblies from the back and stuffed an air hose in there and waved it around for the better part of an hour. I eventually got all the water out. No apparent damage. No more water in there either.... It took it 14 years to fill up 1/4 of the way so it may take a while to have more leak in.
YMMV.
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That may be your opinion but it is not based on fact. If the lenses on a vehicle become clouded it is the result of poor preventive maintenance, nothing more. The application of a plastic cleaner, or a polymer polish on occasion, will keep the outside of the lenses looking like new for many years. Most of the moisture inside the lamp can be removed by drilling a small hole at its base. The heat from the lamp will take care of the balance.
mike hunt

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Mike Hunter wrote:

I would like you to point out verse and section on any taurus gen 2 manual that states that Mike. I have a 93 shop manual and it states NOTHING about plastic headlight specialty maintenance. UV breaks down plastic. Causes dashes to crack too mike. Ever seen that on a older car? There are some specialty products for headlight lens out there. Google will reveal them all along with the bit about UV degradation. But you have to seek these products out. Your the stickler for following the manual Mike. But its not there.
Most of the moisture inside the lamp can be removed by drilling a

By the time you realize you have a problem, the mirror coating on the back of the assembly is already flaking off. How do you fix that Mike? Its a sealed assembly. Why there is not some sort of factory drain hole there in the main section is beyond me.
The heat from the lamp will take care of the

If it does not burst first. I could not even find the cracks in the lens that let the moisture in.
Bob

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Use a little logic here, if what you believe to be true were actually true then all older cars would all have clouded lenses covers and obviously, they do not. Proper preventive maintenance includes a lot more than what one finds in the manual.
Generally water enters the lamp when the sealant between the various piece shrinks, a little silicon sealer will keep water from entering the lamp
Among my old cars is a 1971 vehicles that bought in late 1970, that has nearly 300K on the clock. The interior vinyl trim, including the dash, is all original and looks like new. The reason, proper preventive maintenance or the past 35 years.
mike hunt

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