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coax
06-20-2011, 03:55 PM
The PS headlight on the 80 is getting towards needing replacement. The glass itself is fine, but the inner reflective surface is getting rusty/corroded. I expect thats because some seal on the housing has, over time, let water get in there. I can see condensation inside the light quite often, unless its been really dry for a long time.

So, does anyone know of a place that may "refurbish" a headlight? The glass and bulbs are still good so trying to figure out if its possible or economically viable to have a shop re-chrome/re-vacuum deposit aluminum.

I did find this site http://www.alclad2.com/index.html but not sure if a consumer type product would adhere or withstand the heat of a headlight.

Or maybe its just not worth the time and I should buy a new light? I just hate throwing stuff away when most of it is still functioning and good.

Maybe there is a shop like this around Denver? http://www.stevesautorestorations.com/headlight.php

Uncle Ben
06-20-2011, 04:20 PM
My gill was that way when I got my 40th Anniversary. I ordered a replacement from Toy and it really wasn't that expensive. If fact I would be willing to be factory replacement is on par or cheaper than re-furbishing.

DaveInDenver
06-20-2011, 04:25 PM
I think he's talking about re-silvering the inside reflective surface, not the external cosmetic chrome. I don't know if it's cheaper to replace the headlight assembly or try to refurbish it, though. My first move would be to see about some sort of cleaning and/or weak solution bath to see if it's just tarnished before recoating the reflectors unless you can actually see damage or pitting on them.

nakman
06-20-2011, 04:51 PM
You can get chrome in a rattle can. If you prep the surface real well I suspect it'll stick and probably look fairly decent?

As for one-off plating, everyone in my world used Repliform http://www.repliforminc.com/ there would likely be a minimum lot charge ($200-$300?) so it'd be something you'd want to pool together a group buy on, but I dunno maybe with 10 headlights it'd be fairly reasonable. I've never separated the glass so not sure what all is involved there..

DaveInDenver
06-20-2011, 05:12 PM
You can get chrome in a rattle can. If you prep the surface real well I suspect it'll stick and probably look fairly decent?

As for one-off plating, everyone in my world used Repliform http://www.repliforminc.com/ there would likely be a minimum lot charge ($200-$300?) so it'd be something you'd want to pool together a group buy on, but I dunno maybe with 10 headlights it'd be fairly reasonable. I've never separated the glass so not sure what all is involved there..
Is spraying the reflectors going to be smooth enough?

Most headlight buckets are steel with a vapor deposited silver or aluminum coating. Also the OE parts have a heat-resistant clear over the silver or aluminum. There are advantages to the OE processes that are tough to reproduce after the fact.

I think chrome plating might be smooth enough and could be buffed super smooth, but realize that chrome has a significantly lower reflectivity compared to Ag and Al, so they might not seem any brighter after all this work. Recall Snell's Law and the relative refraction indexes for materials. Silver and aluminum are both >95% reflective while chromium is about 55%.

nakman
06-20-2011, 05:38 PM
I've seen some pretty shiny parts that were just polished then rattle canned.. but it was a LOT of labor to get them there, not worth it IMO for the 80 I'd likely instead divert that time & $$ to LED's or HIR bulbs or something.

coax
06-22-2011, 03:33 PM
Thanks for the feedback all. Sounds like it will probably just be more cost effective to get a new light. Even if I went with the above link to try and re-silver it, I would be out a headlight for pretty much the whole summer. Searching didn't turn up anything local to get it done.

Looks like a new headlight from Dan would run about 260ish. Definitely not cheap. Doesn't look like depo makes any to fit the lx450. *sigh*

For reference here's teh good light and the more new light. A little hard to tell from the pic but one defintily has condensation inside which caused the rusting/pitting.

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-uvPrSW0aux8/TgJQDYdsYCI/AAAAAAAABLg/FXp1WUPh9BA/s912/DSCF3495.JPG

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-kWl-3z9vHI0/TgJQFlI01zI/AAAAAAAABLo/Ho6nI1yp_U4/s912/DSCF3497.JPG