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Topic: Cleaning turn signal lenses

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Cleaning turn signal lenses (1/6)
 3/21/11 9:38pm
Marvyn741
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Tampa, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1996 Collector's edition LT4 - 6 speed


Joined: 11/19/2010
Posts: 4

My front side marker light lenses and front turn signal lenses were getting cloudy so I thought I'd try the Meguiars headlight restoration kit.  It worked well enough on the side marker lights but the front lenses are recessed too far for the buffer to be effective.  There also seemed to be a clearcoat on them that had kind of crinkled up on the upper half of the lens and was gone completly on the lower half.  I figured it would be easier if I could get at the lenses so I got out the service manual to see how they come out.  Step one is "Remove the front fascia".  Being just one step, I figured "how hard can it be" and started removing the 525 little screws holding everything together. 
It was easier to work on it with the nose in the air.
Looks odd without the nose.
 
Of course, nothing seems to go as planned.  The crusty coating was well beyond the capability of the polishing compound.  So I got out my box of Micro Mesh, same stuff I used to fix up my roof panel.  Micro Mesh is basically a series of emery cloth of progressively finer grits, it's used to restore aircraft plexiglass windows.  In the kit I got, the coarsest starts at 2400 and the finest is 12000.  The wrinkly coating was too much for even the 2400 so I started with 400 grit sandpaper on the worst parts then moved on to 600, 1000 and 2000.  Then went with the Micro Mesh through all seven grits they have then finished off with a hand application of the Meguiars headlight polish and a coat of wax.
 
It's so transparent that it's hard to get a picture.
 
As often happens, what you expect to be a 30 minute project can turn into a 4 hour ordeal.
 
While everything was apart I was able to remove about 5 pounds of leaves and a couple pine cones that the previous owner had somehow managed to get up under the bumper.
 
Marv Harris - Tampa
96 CE - LT4
 
 
 
 
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Cleaning turn signal lenses (2/6)
 3/22/11 3:14pm
proracr
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Vette(s):
1971 White roadster, 1972 Red coupe, 1971 White coupe, (2) 1977 Red coupes, 1997 Black coupe, 1998 Black coupe, 1994 Polo Green roadster


Joined: 2/3/2011
Posts: 33

Wow!  That's a lot of hard work.  My hat is off to you for being so determined to complete your task.  Hope you can get the front fascia back on and aligned properly.  Looks like a nightmare to remove/replace the fascia.  Clap proracr2011-03-23 11:20:00

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Cleaning turn signal lenses (3/6)
 3/22/11 9:37pm
Marvyn741
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Tampa, FL - USA

Vette(s):
1996 Collector's edition LT4 - 6 speed


Joined: 11/19/2010
Posts: 4

Actually, the 4 hours included getting it back together with the 525 little screws.  The only complicated part is that there's a horizontal plate behind each side air dam that has to go in a thin groove in the bumper cover.  It helps to have a friend there to jiggle it while you slip it into place.  Alignment wasn't an issue since everything it attached to hadn't moved.   I broke both cornering lightbulbs though.  The 15 year old glue that held the glass to the socket had dried out and they let go with just a touch.
 
Whenever I acquire another car I usually like to comb through it to get familiar with it and I had never taken a rubber bumper off before.  I'm glad I did since there were a lot of leaves and tree debris packed in a hole behind the front license plate cover.
 
Marv Harris - Tampa
96 CE LT4
Marvyn7412011-03-22 18:45:39
Cleaning turn signal lenses (4/6)
 3/23/11 6:57am
eddie20890
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lanoka harbor, NJ - USA

Vette(s):
1990 L-98 white/ red/black leather interior targa top auto 1975 L48 blue/black leather interior t tops auto


Joined: 3/22/2009
Posts: 1363

hats off to you for going that extra mile. it is surprizing how easy it is to take the cover off and only a few things that are more of a pain than hard to do. if the glass did not break maybe you can reglue it. i have a 2003 escalade and the lens on the driving lite came off and that was about 3 years ago. great job.



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the dynamic duo


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Cleaning turn signal lenses (5/6)
 3/23/11 12:09pm
redvette89
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Huron, OH - USA

Vette(s):
1989 Red Convertible - 160,000 fun-filled miles -


Joined: 12/5/2009
Posts: 179

You are the definition of a true enthusiast !

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Cleaning turn signal lenses (6/6)
 3/23/11 2:25pm
proracr
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Vette(s):
1971 White roadster, 1972 Red coupe, 1971 White coupe, (2) 1977 Red coupes, 1997 Black coupe, 1998 Black coupe, 1994 Polo Green roadster


Joined: 2/3/2011
Posts: 33

It's nice to know that removing/replacing the front fascia isn't nearly as intimidating as I thought it would be.  Anyone know if the rear fascia is as easy?  I am baby-sitting an 88 convertible for a friend and I have been contemplating loosening the rear fascia on her car and realigning it.

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