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Old 09-09-2005, 09:40 PM   #1
GTWagon_Phreak
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Default Clean Headlamp assembly on 97 Legacy GT Wagon -- UPDATED

Hey everyone,
New here hoping to find some helpful information, and share what I can

Just got a '97 Legacy GT Wagon and the headlights are fogged over. I've found replacement parts @ $137 a piece, but I'm wondering if its possible to clean them.

I've got some "plastic polisher" from Meguiars, but of course I would need to get to the inside of the headlamp cover. When you remove the headlamp assembly, is it possible to get to the inside of the headlamp cover itself? Hopefully I'm using the right terminology and everyone knows what I'm talking about

Thanks in advance
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Last edited by GTWagon_Phreak; 09-26-2005 at 01:57 PM.
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:42 PM   #2
Patrick Olsen
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You sure it's inside the headlights. Check this thread that I started long, long ago, in a galaxy pretty darn close to this one... http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/showthread.php?t=158315 . My "fix" isn't permanent, but it certainly makes a huge difference in how the lights look, and lasts for a while. Although that thread talks about my foglights, I ended up doing the same thing on my headlights and it worked just fine. As you'll see in that thread, there are some that have had problems with my technique, but I don't know what the deal is.

Pat Olsen
'97 Legacy 2.5GT sedan
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Old 09-09-2005, 11:59 PM   #3
GTWagon_Phreak
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No I just kinda assumed it would be on the inside, "fogging" and all. But that makes sense. I will give that a shot, hopefully this weekend I'll report back my results too!
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:22 AM   #4
Subiverted
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Thumbs up

I actually removed a deep (~1/8") gash across the red translucent red plastic piece that says subaru on the back of my '97 wagon starting with 400 grit sandpaper and working up to 1000 grit followed by rubbing and then polishing compound. It worked perfectly- the gash is completely gone and no scratches remain.

With that success I quickly moved up to the yellowing headlights and, although they took a little more effort (they were REALLY bad) just a quick pass with the rubbing compound made a huge difference. One of these days I will have to get back to them and give them a proper finish. I have no doubt I can make them look brand new. Add a little rain-x when I'm done and presto! New headlights!

By the way Pat- that is an excellent writeup that is in the link you posted. I just had a comment about someone who was looking for plexus plastic polish: it is EXACTLY the same as pledge furniture polish but costs 4 times as much. I used to use it on the plexi windshield on my airplane before I was "informed" by the other pilots that I was an idiot... Gotta love that lemon fresh scent...

EDITED: Just polished out the headlights tonight. They look better than new! Crystal clear. Used wet 600 wet/dry sandpaper, wet 1500 W/D, wet 2000W/D, dry polishing compound, some meguires plastic polish and a coating of rain-x. Took about 20 minutes per side. Have before/after pics but can't figure out how to post them...

Last edited by Subiverted; 09-11-2005 at 01:48 AM.
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Old 09-10-2005, 06:25 AM   #5
Patrick Olsen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Subiverted
I just had a comment about someone who was looking for plexus plastic polish: it is EXACTLY the same as pledge furniture polish but costs 4 times as much. I used to use it on the plexi windshield on my airplane before I was "informed" by the other pilots that I was an idiot... Gotta love that lemon fresh scent...
Really? That is pretty funny. I've actually never even seen the stuff, just other guys in that thread recommended it. Now I know - and knowing is half the battle!

Pat
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Old 09-10-2005, 12:48 PM   #6
elwood91
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I've heard from volvo people that Brasso metal polish does a pretty good job of removing the oxidation that yellows/fogs the plastic headlight lenses.
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Old 09-11-2005, 10:05 PM   #7
toxicavenger70
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Default also do this too

u need to use a clear coat paint on ur headlights when u are done or else they will go back to the way they were
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Old 09-12-2005, 12:51 PM   #8
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this trick really works good with a little time my jdm projectors are better than new i would post pics but it won't let me

javier
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:57 PM   #9
GTWagon_Phreak
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Just thought I would post a little update.

I have this Meguiar's Clear Plastic Cleaner stuff and using it definitely helped the headlights out a little; not huge, but decent. I found some 800 & 2000 grit sandpaper w/sanding block @ Adv Auto like Patrick suggested. Going to tear up the headlights sometime this week and will report back results

After I get it sanded down and all pretty, should I wax it up with some Meguiar's Gold Class liquid wax that I have? I heard you need to do that to prevent the same fogging
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Old 09-26-2005, 02:47 PM   #10
subiekid
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Legacy777 had a great write-up on refinishing the headlights.
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Old 10-01-2005, 09:31 PM   #11
GTWagon_Phreak
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Well I took the plunge today. It went well, no problems to report. The headlights are a lot clearer and combined with these Sylvania Silverstar bulbs overall lighting is improved. I'm not wowed by the increase, I really wish the headlight designs of the Legacy's were better. There's just not a huge field of vision. My gf's 2002 Saturn's daytime running lights are almost as good as my regular headlights, and her regular headlights blow mine away

Anyway, the bulbs+sanding was a worthwhile venture
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Old 10-01-2005, 10:07 PM   #12
Wiscon_Mark
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uuuum, I thought DRL was just a system to turn the headlights on when the car was on, so you're more visible, and don't forget to turn your lights off...

Do you mean her Driving Lights??

I did the headlight clearing thing a month or 2 ago, and it worked great
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Old 10-01-2005, 10:59 PM   #13
GTWagon_Phreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiscon_Mark
uuuum, I thought DRL was just a system to turn the headlights on when the car was on, so you're more visible, and don't forget to turn your lights off...

Do you mean her Driving Lights??

I did the headlight clearing thing a month or 2 ago, and it worked great
These DRL's are actually a dedicated set of lights that are on all the time; I guess you could call them driving lights. She also has the "parking lights" that are yellow, in case you are referring to those. Either way, her headlights kick mine's ass
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Old 10-01-2005, 11:16 PM   #14
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nope wasn't referring to parking lights. I know the headlights are bad, but not that bad

That's an odd setup, but I kinda like it

if you still want more light, look at some Hella Driving lights
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Old 10-01-2005, 11:32 PM   #15
GTWagon_Phreak
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Do those replace your stock lights?
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Old 10-02-2005, 12:10 PM   #16
Wiscon_Mark
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nope, hella makes a whole bunch of different light designes (driving and fog) and you add them onto your lighting system. Some states have laws that say," You may only have your driving lights on when your brights are on, and only fogs when your dims are on" or some such statement, so you should check out NC's laws pertaining that.
The only stock lighting replacements are JDM projector (or regular) headlights which have glass lenses, or you could invest in an HID kit.
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Old 10-02-2005, 12:15 PM   #17
GTWagon_Phreak
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Projector's sound like they may be the way to go in the future. I assume those are cheaper than HID's? What's a good place to get them?

Thanks for the help!
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Old 10-02-2005, 12:53 PM   #18
Wiscon_Mark
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projectors merely refer to the style of headlamp...I'll post a picture of the subaru proj. headlights. I don't know if they're actually better...

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Old 10-02-2005, 12:58 PM   #19
GTWagon_Phreak
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Ah, I gotcha. Really I'm looking for whatever provides the greatest field of view. Brightness is okay as is; the lights just don't illuminate a large enough area!
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Old 10-02-2005, 01:02 PM   #20
Wiscon_Mark
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I know what you mean. With our headlights (the earlier ones more so) the light sort of just....stops. At a certain defined area, the light runs out, instead of fading, it seems like. That's what I would like to improve on.

I think HID kits are in the area of 200-500 bucks, depending on if you get in on a group buy, where you buy from, etc.
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