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95.5-2004 Tacomas & 96-2002 4Runners 4th gen pickups and 3rd gen 4Runners

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Old 11-15-2002, 10:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
DuB
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Cleaning inside of headlights

I have the 99+ MSR headlights and a couple days ago, I noticed that the inside of the lights was dirty. Because of the HIDs, I couldn't put the rubber boot back on the back of the headlights because they wouldn't fit over them so when it rained pretty heavily last week, moisture got into the headlights and dirtied them up

Well, I bought a buncha stuff today at Home Depot to seal up the back of the headlights. I took off the passenger side headlights and found out that the glass isn't held in by just those four clips, but a buncha glue as well. That just made my job like 10x harder :pat: The headlight is sitting in the 200 degree oven right now, heating up so I can pry it open.

Well, just thought I'd inform you guys of what's involved if u want to open your headlights if you want to do a HID retrofit or something. Let me know if you want me to take pictures.
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Last edited by DuB; 11-15-2002 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 11-15-2002, 10:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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ok, nevermind. I just took the light out of the oven, and tried to pry the glass off but the sucker wouldn't budge. And it's definately hot enough because I can't keep my finger on it for even one second. It's just that when you pry at one corner, since it's glass and doesn't flex like plastic does, the whole thing tries to come off at once. We took the lens off my roommate's Integra's taillights and it was relatively easy because the plastic allowed you to pry only a small section at a time. For our headlights, I think it would be easier to cut the thing off sorry, I guess this post is of no help to HID retrofitters Now back to your regularly schedule program
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Old 11-15-2002, 11:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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umm.. word of advice, don't let alcohol touch the reflective surface of the headlights. Why? Cause it eats it up :eek:

Cleaning front lens w/ wire hanger and paper towel with alcohol and it bumped the relective surface. try to mop it off, just gets worse.
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Old 11-15-2002, 11:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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lower left in this pic. Augh... I really don't want to buy new headlights
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Old 11-16-2002, 04:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Here's a link all about headlights and HIDs:

http://faq.auto.light.tripod.com/general-faq.htm

Also the direct instructions from the page on removing lense and cleaning headlights:

How do I remove the front plastic glass from headlight?

OEM healights usually have a seal that will soften with heat. The main idea here is to soften the seal, but not heat damaging headlight. This might not work on all headlamps. Do not use an iron, butane torch nor heat gun. It will garuanteed warp plastic. An added downside with warping is that material gets incrased tension inside, and will crack easier when it gets cold. (Herman have tried).
The best is to use an oven. Preheat oven until reaching 400 degrees F. Then TURN OFF oven. Then insert headlight so that it doesnt get in direct contact with anything, by using a few layers of holy tinfoil or cerimc dish, etc. Wait 10 mins. Remove product. Put on hot or welding gloves. Pry carefully with screwdriver or even better, a butter knife, so lense comes off of reflector housing gradually, working your way around seams.

10 minutes and 400F are general numbers, and will need to be adjusted depending on sealant used in headlight.



How do I clean a reflector lamp?

Cleaning the outside of a headlight should preferrably be done with soap and water, and is considered very straight forward.

However, cleaning the inside of a headlamp becomes more tricky since you will face the same challenges as cleaning the inside of a bottle:
Remove the headlight bulb.
Remove the headlight from the car.
Fill the headlight about 1/2 full of distilled water and put in a few drops of dishwashing liquid.
Cover the bulb opening and shake the housing for a minute or so.
Pour out the soapy water.
Fill the headlight about 1/2 full of distilled water.
Shake, drain.
Repeat rinse.
Rinse again with 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol added (promotes drying).
Drain.
Let headlight dry, open end down (overnight), or you can use a hair dryer to speed things up.
Reinstall headlight.
Reinstall bulb.


Not sure if this works....
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Old 09-16-2003, 08:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Any updates on this topic? I just put in a used headlight and noticed a slight haze on the inside as opposed to the other headlight. What's the best method to clean the inside of a headlight?
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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CLR (calcium, lime ,rust) is suppose to work well. Like previous directions, fill, swish, rinse. Repeat if neccessary.
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:57 PM
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