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bmw520 04-09-2008 04:02 PM

Headlight Lens Renewal?
Just wondering can you purchase headlight lenses separately. Mine are looking fairly aged. I've been searching and all I keep finding is the entire headlight units. my car is a 2001 E39 facelifted model. All I want are a pair of lenes. Any help greatly appriciated.:)

jieg 04-09-2008 05:20 PM

have you tried polishing first?
or polishing with brake fluid?, if you getting rid of them, give it a go

1bad540 04-09-2008 05:39 PM

no the 2001 doesnt come seperate...:(

jonmcc 04-09-2008 05:40 PM

yep if you want new lenses on the 2001+ headlights you have to buy the entire headlight.

bmw520 04-09-2008 05:59 PM

o well, thanks for the heads up. i can stop looking now. does brake fluid work sounds a bit messy.

lennyd 04-09-2008 07:02 PM

Brake Fluid is a bad idea anywhere near PAINT!

PJB. 04-09-2008 07:15 PM

I would try wet sanding first.

Plenty of people do it. I've done it, and it worked great. Note that the following DIYs are for the old 1996-2000 style headlights (which is what mine were), but plastic is plastic and I didn't even follow those DIYs, I followed one for a VW. Also, note that the DIYs state to remove the headlights, but I did mine whilst on the car, no problems at all:

A general DIY, courtesy of VWvortex forums:

jonmcc 04-09-2008 07:36 PM


Originally Posted by PJB. (Post 3164059)

this is exactly what I did with my 2001+ AE headlights, and I did it without removing the headlights from the car. I just taped everything up around it, and used a water hose instead of the sink faucet :)

pics before, during, after:

Mack 04-09-2008 07:53 PM

Yep I've looked everywhere for facelifted lenses. They don't exist. Still very impressive work there Jon. A slight improvement ;)

ill_kuma 04-09-2008 09:09 PM

Jonmcc, how long did it take for you to do that?

jonmcc 04-09-2008 09:41 PM


Originally Posted by Mack (Post 3164176)
Yep I've looked everywhere for facelifted lenses. They don't exist. Still very impressive work there Jon. A slight improvement ;)

haha yeah it looked a bit better afterwards... :eek:


Originally Posted by ill_kuma (Post 3164400)
Jonmcc, how long did it take for you to do that?

not including gathering everything and taping the lights, it took me about an hour per light. lots of time spent wet sanding, and then about 25 coats of plastX after the sanding was done! just as a side note, you will have to reapply plastX now and then to keep this lights looking good. plastic sealant helps prolong the plastX, but it will need to be reapplied at some point. I put a couple coats of plastX on about every 2-3 weeks.

another tip: while wet sanding the best method (IMO) is to run the water over the lights, take the stream of water away and sand the lights until you see a milky white substance developing, then rinse them. eventually, the milky white stuff with not develop and you will know to move on to the next higher grit sandpaper. someone else told me that and it proved true for me too!

topazbluee39 04-09-2008 09:44 PM

I'm with jonmcc and pjb. I recently "rehabbed" my lenses last weekend. They weren't hazy, but there were a few surface dings that bugged me especially when the lights were on. Personally, I went from 600 to 1000 to 2000 grit sandpaper and finished it off with Meguiar's Plastx polish. The results were great. The lens surface is super smooth and the nicks and dings are non-existent. I do plan on going over it again by hand with the polish. (I initially hit it with the mini powerball) There are some hairline scratches that I notice only when the lights are on. (I may be a little ocd on this one, but aren't a lot of us) Save yourself some bucks and spend an hour or so on polishing instead of replacing! Just my .02!

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