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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just some curious info about Headlamps

I took this one out to polish it due to about 25% less light as measured in F/c . Surface not too good. I decided to remove the fixture and polish it on the bench. Only 2 clips hold this in the car. However, the spring clips shown have to be lifted to let the wires out. You would have to do this just to replace the amber marker light. The 3 spring tabs have a bridge where they were all made in one piece. You have to cut the bridge or you cannot get the wires out.

In the pic ..Lvl you see these have a level and adjusters. Wonder if anyone actually ever used the levels? These aren't cheap and they are held in by security screws.

And for a real OT, the Intech engine, real FULL HOUSE. Plastic shroud removed for the headlamp work.

And one more curiosity. The hood insulator has wires in it and grounded on both sides. No spark plug wires, so doubt there is any radio interference to get out anyway.

And one more thing: If any of you polish your headlamps with the turtle wax kit. If you use rubbing compound between the fine #4 abrasive and the polishing compound, it improves the finish. Use car guy told me he uses paint rubbing compound and a buffer on the used cars, quick, makes them shine.

-chart-
 

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First off, the polish on the headlights. Most kits will make the headlight look better, but the act of polishing it strips away the protective coating, leaving the headlight vulnerable to UV damage. Most damage that caused them to fade and yellow the first time is just the surface, unprotected lenses can have deep UV damage.

To protect the headlight, make sure they are clean and have no oily or waxy residue, and then coat them in a UV blocking, UV curing clearcoat made for Polycarbonate. I recommend a product called Solaray. It cures when exposed to UV light.

If you polish the headlights without restoring the protective coating, they will fade quite quickly, and will be harder to restore next time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
UV headlights

First off, the polish on the headlights. Most kits will make the headlight look better, but the act of polishing it strips away the protective coating, leaving the headlight vulnerable to UV damage. Most damage that caused them to fade and yellow the first time is just the surface, unprotected lenses can have deep UV damage.

To protect the headlight, make sure they are clean and have no oily or waxy residue, and then coat them in a UV blocking, UV curing clearcoat made for Polycarbonate. I recommend a product called Solaray. It cures when exposed to UV light.

If you polish the headlights without restoring the protective coating, they will fade quite quickly, and will be harder to restore next time.
The kit comes with a coating to put on after polish. Mine were not yellow, but sandblasted, so unlikely much original coating left. On my Sable, polishing raised the measured light output peak at 10 feet from 70 to 105 f/c. Same light, car not moved. Can't say the appearance is all that much better, but I posted a picture earlier with the lights off the car, and you can make out some difference in the picture. They also were not yellow. Of course we do not get all that much UV in the North Country, country of weather gloom. The sandblasting comes from that stuff they put on the roads all winter. They even put that stuff on the roads if there is a prediction of snow. And if we get no snow, it grinds into dust.

On the Lincoln, I do not know why the right lense was more damaged than the left. Obvious to the eye, and when the lights were against the garage door, it was like the light was diffused more and less bright. Will see tonight what happens.

-chart-
 

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That InTech really fills up the engine bay, wow. And look at all the additional front end bracking. Strut tower brace. Dog bone to the header panel, and even bars connecting the header panel to the inside of the sidewall of the engine bay.

Fancy headlights too, I've seen that adjuster on early Gen 3 Tauruses before, but that's it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Lincoln

That InTech really fills up the engine bay, wow. And look at all the additional front end bracking. Strut tower brace. Dog bone to the header panel, and even bars connecting the header panel to the inside of the sidewall of the engine bay.

Fancy headlights too, I've seen that adjuster on early Gen 3 Tauruses before, but that's it.
Added a pic of the belt. I keep this as it needs a new belt about every other year. About 2 hours of pain. The weak link is the PS which gets less than 90 degrees of wrap. When the belt gets age, it slips. Real help is to know the tensioner faces the block. Real trick is you have to take a yard stick and long screw driver and push it between the block and pulley and then not let it get back out. It has maybe quarter inch clearance and you can barely see it. They replaced the PS pump under warrenty and had to drop the engine. Really nice car to drive as it has massive low end torque and goes with only the slighest throttle. Rarely need to downshift for anything, except for some fun. Redline 6500. Progressive throttle plates. I just hope to never have to work on it.

-chart-
 

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Had the chance to drive the prior generation version, a 97. Very quick cars. Nicely appointed as well. I imagine the revised late 90s ones are even more entertaining to drive.

What a nightmare to do any work on it though. That must be real entertaining changing the belt out. How long does it take you to change it out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Belt

Had the chance to drive the prior generation version, a 97. Very quick cars. Nicely appointed as well. I imagine the revised late 90s ones are even more entertaining to drive.

What a nightmare to do any work on it though. That must be real entertaining changing the belt out. How long does it take you to change it out?
How long? Well I could likely do it in an hour now. My problem is, I did not realize the tensioner pulley faced back toward the block. I kept trying to get the belt around the fender side of the pulley, and you cannot see the pulley. I finally got the flashlight just right and could see it facing the opposite of the other pulleys. Thus my reminder arrow, however, I will likely not forget.

I had a 96 I got used at 15K and drove it to nearly 100K and then bought this one new. Very little difference, except the 96 was a factory ex car. Had a car phone built into the arm rest. Mike over the visor and audio came in over the radio. Had voice recognizing, but I never tried to teach it anything. The phone in the arm rest clipped out and could be used like a regular phone. Engine different only in it had motor driven secondary throttle plate while this one is mechanical progressive. The motor driven closed for shifting for a very brief power reduction at shift time for hard accel.

Happy motoring.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Belt

Nick, I believe he said ''two hours of pain''.
Yea, have to take the coolant tank off, tire, inner fender just for starters. The engine misses the inner fender by about a quarter inch. I did get a nice trick from someone. Use masking tape to keep the belt on each pulley as you get it around one. Thus keeping it from falling off or getting out of the proper grove. In this case, having to do it from on top, under the car, and through the tire well: keeps one moving around if the belt comes off one you have already wrapped.

This one has a huge air cond, and also alternator. It has 13 lights in the back. Called redundant lighting. Rear lighting has two bulbs in each use. I guess there is 4 in each headlight fixture. With 7 pulleys and a standard belt width, it is overworked. Thus the dealer service guy told me 2 years max for belt life.

But it rusts in the North Country, just like all the other cars-chart-
 

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The kit comes with a coating to put on after polish.
The Turtle Wax kit comes with a cheap micro polish/wax sealant. It is not a UV cured sealant and does not significantly block UV rays, all it can do is help slow oxidation. You really need to put of a proper clearcoat any time you polish. Its not a lot extra, and not really a rush. I'm just saying. One of the headlights I polished in the past before I knew better was also just sand pitted because it had been replaced, the other was older and yellowed. After a couple months, they were both yellowed. I'm serious, you've done a great job polishing those up and they look awesome. Take some care to keep them looking nice.

The best stuff out there is called Solaray. It sprays on like paint, and cures within a few minutes of being exposed to UV light. You can use the sun, though a UV lamp is recommended. If you use ordinary clearcoat, it won't look as nice, and it might peel off since ordinary clear coat doesn't stick to polycarbonate that well.
 
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