Hi fellow 6ers,
I recently replaced my headlight lenses, and would like to share with you my success. After much worrying about failure for nearly a year, I decided to just go ahead and do it with faith and courage. My lenses were so opaque that not only was it nasty, but was starting to become a driving hazard. I researched heavily on the matter for a long time, yet no posts were found on the net. So i had to prepare myself before executing this task.
Btw, I tried to restore the headlights on multiple occasions, but the plastic was damaged through and through, and nothing improved.
The job took me approx 8 hours, mainly because i was walking back and forth to my tool box, and was extremely cautious during the separation and replacement phases. It was a pain in the behind but well worth it. I did sacrifice some quality time with the wife, and therefore, she held a grudge against my 6 until i lent her the car for a day - she's at peace with it now.
In a nutshell:
1 - I bought the lenses online
2 - I used a heat gun (black and decker), not the oven technique
3 - I sealed the units with black rtv automotive silicone (Permatex)
I bought the lenses at oemxenonshop for $120.00 shipped to Canada. It was a simple matter of emailing the contact with the car details, and voila, 2 weeks later they were in my possession. They hibernated in my basement for nearly a year.
I decided to use a heat gun instead of the oven because A) they didn't fit in the oven B) I don't want to mess around with the removal of the wiring C) I don't want toxic fumes in the house.
1) I secured the unit to the table with zip ties / tie wraps, lens facing sky.
2) I removed the retaining clips
3) I ran the heat gun across the entire seam over and over gradually for 5 minutes approx
4) With a long flathead resting on the edge of the lens, I started pushing upwards while still running the heat gun along the side seams of the lens.
5) As it started to separate, i kept pushing and heating the adhesive until the lens was completely loose.
* I had to be careful as the stretched glue was going to fall onto the insides parts. I used my fingers to pull that away.
6) Dismantled the parts secured to the removed lens, and refit them back onto the new lens.
7) Removed the old gunk from the base of the unit and applied the fresh silicone in the groove. I didn't remove all of the old adhesive, but as much as possible. Flattened the adhesive in the groove by sliding a flathead in the groove at the end.
8) Inserted the new lens and pressed in a bit. Then distributed the excess silicone back into the gaps that needed some to complete the seal. Re-attached the clips.
9) Back on the 6, then big grin with beer in hand.
* I discovered that alcohol safely removed very easily some silicone smears on the lights and body of car.
Without further ado, here are some pictures. Good luck and enjoy!