Yellow Headlight Repair

Yellow Headlight Repair

Have your headlight lenses turned yellow & cloudy? These tips are only for the 1987-up plastic headlight assemblies that use the 9004 h Halogen bulb.

In an effort to help save you time and money I am writing this tech article. First of all DO NOT USE HARSH rubbing compounds or abrasives on your plastic headlamp assemblies! This will only scratch and make them look worse. In most normal cases your lamps are yellowing from oxidation.

The only commercial product I have found is called Nu-lite. Heres what they say about it:" It will not make them look brand new but you will be able to see at night" Price is 12.95 U.S. dollars.

Now before you go running out to buy this product let me share some more info with you. I have not tried these techniques personally however others have had success with them.

One mustang enthusiast used West Marine brand fiberglass boat cleaner/wax he said, " I figured I had nothing to lose, so I tried polishing the lenses with fiberglass boat cleaner/wax. I used West Marine brand, not sure it really matters, just don't use fiberglass cleaner for heavy oxidation removal (it's too coarse of a polishing compound). A soft cloth, a little polish, and some elbow grease made my headlights look like brand new again" Steve W.

Some of our 50tech members have suggested using Scrubbing Bubbles household cleaner and some elbow grease to remove the yellow oxidation. It has been brought to my attention that it is important to keep this chemical off the paint!

Now here is another suggestion that I have seen pictures of the results. You use 1500-2000 grit sand paper and water. Wet sand the headlamp lenses carefully and rinse. Dry thoroughly and use a good plastic polish and buff by hand or with a buffer. Note: If you use a buffer it is important not to get the lenses to hot they will melt!

The results of this method were outstanding. You can do this process with the lamps in the car however it takes a lot of work and attention to detail so as not to scuff your cars finish.

Another problem can be a leaky headlamp. Water inside will cause a fog/or green fungus to grow. Bleach water will help here but you will probably have to remove the lamp to empty out the solution and dry it out. Not to mention caulk up the assembly to stop the leak.

If you are to the point of considering spending a couple of hundred dollars on new lamp assemblies why not try these suggestions you may be surprised at the results.

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  • Ever look closely at that clear plastic cover over your gauges? If you look close you'll notice that there are tons of very fine scratches on it, which dull its look. Have you ever gotten dash cleaner/polish on that plastic? I did, and the cleaner stained the plastic. No matter how much I scrubbed I couldn't get the stains off of the plastic.

    There are kits that you can buy which include some type of polish to get those scratches out, but why spend money when you probably have everything you need to polish your gauge cover already?

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    1. Open Trunk.
    2. Remove four (4) "Christmas Tree" pushpins that hold plastic trim panel at striker plate and remove plastic trim.
    3. Remove two (2) plastic speed nuts (phillips head) one per side, directly behind each taillight in trunk. Remove trunk panel.
    4. Remove four (4) nuts per taillight housing (11 mm).
    5. Unplug wiring harness (one connection per light).
    6. Push grommets (one per light) with wiring harness through the sheet metal from inside to outside of trunk.
    7. Remove taillight housings from vehicle.
    8. With taillights on bench, remove bulbs and sockets from lights and remove harnesses completely.
    9. Install bulbs in modified harnesses (make sure to wipe bulbs with isopropyl alcohol to avoid bulb burnout from hand grease).
    10. Connect backup light bulbs and sockets to the lamp bodies first, then connect bulbs/sockets marked 1, then 2, and then J.
  • Vehicles Equipped with Stock Fog Lamps:

    1. Remove the stock fog lamp assembly from fascia, save stock bolts for reuse.
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    Tools Needed:

    1. Razor Blade
    2. 9/16" Wrench
    3. 9116" Socket
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  • Contents of Box:

    • Aero Shield, Molded Urethane, 27" x 66".
    • Installation Instructions.

    Installation Steps:

    1. Paint Aero Shield with flexible paint of the same type used for Mustang bumper covers & Classic Side Pipe Covers. [The Aero Shield can be effectively integrated if it is two-toned to match the rear bumper insert. Consider low gloss black, like the GT series, for light colors, or light argent (silver) for dark colors.]
    2. Your fuel gauge should read 1/8 or less. Gas is heavy; a light tank makes for an easier installation.
    3. Raise car. The Aero Shield can be installed on a driveway apron, jack stands are better, a hoist is best.
    4. Remove the two rear wheel/tire assemblies.
    5. Remove the black vacuum formed plastic tub from under the fuel tank: