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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My OEM lens were washed out and looked horrible. These headlight lens do NOT respond to restore kits once they get bad like mine.

Almost went with an LED/HID type replacement, but so much cheap aftermarket crap out there; plus did not have the balls to go with some $500-type solutions.

So I went with the Depo OEM look-a-likes.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004I0XEI8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Both ordered from Amazon, but one came from a third party vendor; and this was was a goof-up, they sent me a previously returned item with damage. They returned my money and I got to keep the headlight. The unit they sent me was not even a Depo brand! It was made by AVIP but looked almost identical to the Depo one that Amazon sent.

Busted out my dremel tool and two-part epoxy and brought the AVIP back to life. All damage was on the back and no damage to how it throws light or lens. Each one had a fully functional light height adjustment. Now have both new ones installed for the past week.

The Depo one is definitely better made and looks a little better too. Tossed out the bulbs that came with each. Light splash/dispersion is slightly different in each but acceptable. The AVIP ain't too bad. Highly recommend the Depo assembly.

Will replace the AVIP with a Depo at a later date. Lens tint on the Depo is slightly warmer, and is overall better IMHO.
 

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DEPO's are good.
 

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I know what you are going through. I tried and tried to keep my lenses clear but they always yellowed soon after. I got on Amazon and could only get one Depo headlght at the time. Depo only had one listed on their own site. I needed both sides. I ordered from RockAuto and got the TYC brand. What junk they were. Left headlight was aimed all the way to the right side of the road. There is no side to side adjustment as we all know. RockAuto was great and sent me a replacement. Same thing again. They credited my account and told me they didn't want the parts back.

Watched a youtube video from 1A Auto. Called them to find out what brand they carry. They sent me Eagle Eye brand. They worked perfectly and aim as the OEM. Focus looks new again just due to the new headlight assemblies.

My garage looked like a parts room for a few weeks with all the headlight assemblies floating around. Time will tell how they do as far as staying clear.

I am running the SilverStar ZXE bulbs and can see for miles.

Jay
 

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They ALL turn yellow after a while but worse than that is the new plastic used that then begins to fracture inside to spread your light output to be useless. Reworking does not affect that at all.

The plastic used in the mid '90s did not do that and I have some assemblies from back then that still look quite nice.

I'm firmly convinced that just like on other things the OEMs changed the base materials so that the newer ones could not be refinished nearly so good looking as the older ones. To force more dealer sales I'm sure. The newer plastic fractures in less than two years, I've got '88 and '94 Tempo light assemblies that are almost 100% fracture free. One set I've refinished 3 times now and they are still crystal clear when I'm done. Doing that to Focus ones is a waste of time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
...Doing that to Focus ones is a waste of time.
Yeah, there was an older thread where some guys with LOTS of lens restoring experience said they found the MKI focus lens to be impossible/near impossible to clear again. I have done a few other car types before and had good results. When I tried to do my Focus lens I failed, then tried even harder with a better electric drill restore kit, and failed again! Mercy. Might have been sub-surface problems too, but I could not even get the top surface to respond. Wasted time and money trying, bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They don't turn yellow, in my experience, if you apply Lamin-x when they are brand new. Lamin-x also protects against sand and stones.
Are you talking about film or liquid? Any install details or other helpful recommendations? I might wanna protect my super-cheapo new lenses.
 

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laminx is a film that goes on like window tint
pretty straight forward to install, use lots of water and you'll need a heat gun to get the curves right.
 

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The yellow is the outer clear paint layer yellowing, you sand until it disappears to then be white plastic underneath and then paint them again. The paint will clear them to crystal clear but the sun will yellow it again in like 2-3 years.

Look at the lights while they are working at night-get up close directly in front of the lens and you can see the redirection of all the light by the myriad inside cracks and fractures that ruins your refinishing ability there. Virtually no light comes out straight, it all gets broken up to shine sideways at hundreds of different angles from the thousands of cracks inside the plastic. It's inside the plastic, you can work on that forever and it will not go away. Older plastic did not do that at all.
 

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You are so right. I sanded and got mine looking good, but not like new. Then used clear coat. A few weeks later, yellowing. I tried clear coat for wheels and clear coat for paint, no difference. Also, there were a zillion little fractures inside the lens that you can do nothing about.

Just replace the headlight assemblies and be done with it. Fortunately, it is not difficult at all to replace them on the Focus.
 

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My SVT had the OEM pieces replaced with some eBay knockoffs. The light output is pretty much shit, but that might just be how it is with these older Foci. Regardless, I have some BiXenon projectors, E46-R shrouds, and 4300k HIDs laying around that are just calling this car's name.

Hopefully the cheap crap is easy enough to bake and crack open.
 

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It really does not matter how much light output you have in the bulbs if it cannot get through the lens because of the internal fracturing. A lost cause.
 
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