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So I'm new to the forum and I don't really know my way around it just yet. I have seen a few posts talking about the self-leveling HID headlight assemblies in the 06-08 SGs.

I think you see where this is going...

I have a blue 2007 5MT FXT with about 150k km on it. Its had a condensation filled headlight from about 2 weeks after I bought it...

This is the second car I've ever owned and I don't want to get rid of her, but I also can't afford to drop $1300 (AUD) on a headlight.

Does anyone have another option for me that won't cost an arm and a leg and will keep it looking some what stock (trying to keep it looking stock in case I have to sell)

I've tried taking it out and drying the assembly, but that only worked for a week or so before it filled up again. Now my headlight is all yellow and cloudy.

I have noticed that the high-beam and parkers still work, just the low beam that has gone out. Does that mean good news? Please tell me it does 馃槵

I love this car, and I've spent a bit of money fixing her up already. However I am also a university student, which means I have no money to throw at a money pit.
 

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G'day & Welcome aboard @UniStudentFoz

Initially I would take the bulb/s out and aim a hair dryer at it on warm. I have had success by removing a headlight and leaving it in the sun.

Otherwise there are threads here about resealing the headlight where you bake it in an oven, take it apart, dry it out and reseal it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Cheers mate, glad to be here.

Okay I'll give that a try again, I'll also look into resealing it and see how that holds up. I wouldn't mind replacing it but obviously thats not my prefered solution.

Still I think there have to be some that are cheaper from Japan or something right?
 

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08 Forester AT
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Just browsing through and saw this! I had the same issue. Didn't want to spend hundreds on a new one. What I did was replace the gasket in the headlight. Put it in the oven for 10-20 minutes then the gasket melts enough to pry it open, cleaned it, put the new one in. Done. Good as new. I made sure to clean it and dry it too while I was in there. Let me know if you need specific instructions and I'll pull it up. There was a certain time frame and temp to get it right.
 

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2006 Forester XTen Auto
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Hi Allan,

I have this job to look forward to, any advice and times / temperature etc would be most welcome. (y)
 

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fyi.... Both headlamps in my wife's '08 started leaking years ago (would fog up with condensation). It got so bad that i removed the back covers to allow them to air out. While they will still fog up a bit from time to time, this actually worked.

For the record, I would not recommend removing the back covers and leaving them off. This is something I did but I would not suggest others to do. I was planning on replacing these headlamps anyhow if we were to keep the car but we are getting rid of it this weekend.

btw, I recall during my research that OEM replacements were very expensive. However, I also remember that I discovered that the price I was constantly being told by people was for the entire assembly. IIRC, I found a cheaper solution buying just the housing. They were around $200 each USD if my memory serves me right which was a huge difference. .....boy, I wish I could find all that information I spent a few hours looking up.
 

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Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

My left hand side (n/s) has also been 'repaired' in situ and has a load of badly applied sealant, so I think I'll have a go at removing it just to clean it up!

Did your research show if you can replacement gaskets or seals?
 

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Thanks for the reply, much appreciated.

My left hand side (n/s) has also been 'repaired' in situ and has a load of badly applied sealant, so I think I'll have a go at removing it just to clean it up!

Did your research show if you can replacement gaskets or seals?
Nothing as far as "OEM" solutions is concerned. .....just DIY processes. AFAIK, you can only buy the housings or full assemblies, etc. ....so essentially, the solution would be to replace the headlamps all together, not repair them. There's no "official" process to reseal and so on that I'm aware of.
 

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That's what I thought.

I was going to go for some clear sealant but another thread recommends Amazing GOOP Automotive Adhesive. So that's winging it's way to me as we speak. :D
 

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That's what I thought.

I was going to go for some clear sealant but another thread recommends Amazing GOOP Automotive Adhesive. So that's winging it's way to me as we speak. :D
Yeah, it's usually some form of butyl rubber glue or tape / rope that's used. It softens when heated. There are even companies that sell it specifically for resealing headlamps. Personally, I'd do a little more research on the type of adhesive before using it. .....not saying the stuff from GOOP is not appropriate.

EDIT: I just discovered one of the vendors from this site (Diode Dynamics?) appears to sell the stuff. Again, not familiar with the product(s) they sell but just throwing it out there. The GOOP may work just fine.
 

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Nice one, I'll look into it.

The GOOP states sealing lights etc, but I don;t mind buying something else if there's better. It wasn't expensive and it'll come in handy at some point.
 

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I just did this and had great results. I used 1/4 inch 3m automotive window sealer which was recommended on this site in another thread.
i did not use the oven but i used a simple high heat hair dyer to seperate. When i resealed, i left the 3m seal out in the sun which warmed it up and made it very easy to apply and put back together

 

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Sorry for the late reply. I followed this video, very simple. Oven, unscrew, pry open, remove old seal, oven new sealant, put new sealant on, spread, squish, screw, and done.

And used this sealant, it was $34 when I bought it, recommended by many forums when googling.
 

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Thanks Allan, no problem anyway as my motor is still awaiting some work in the garage. I'll watch the vid later to get an idea. How long roughly did it take you to do this and did you do both lights?

The strip is showing OoS now but there are plenty of alternitves for not much money so I'll mooch about on Amazon and see what rocks up. (y)
 

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What work are you doing on your motor? Headgaskets?

The whole thing took about 35 minutes. 240 degrees in the oven for 20 minutes, 3-5 minutes for the sealant, the rest is quick because it's gotta be quick. One thing to note, you don't actually remove the old stuff, but rather just smooth it down for the new sealant to sit in.

I only did one side as the other side was perfectly fine. I only had enough sealant for 1.5 headlights, so I would have to buy another. Just remember when it comes to parts, you get what you pay for! This is especially true for headgaskets too.
 

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Thankfully no headgasket; just the timing belt and an oil leak is getting resolved.

That's really not that bad time wise, I've seen the video in full now and figure I have a choice; I want to clean my lenses up and can do it before, after or during (and re-heat everything). Currently leaning towards afterwards in case I screw it up!

Got all the bits now, sealant wise.
 

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Nice. What do you mean by cleaning? Like making the lens clear from oxidation, etc? I actually got a smudge on the inside and it annoys me, subtly. Might open the headlight to clean it eventually. But if you're cleaning the outside, it's easier when it's assembled, agree.
 

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If anyone is still looking for options, take a look at Rock Auto. They usually have tiered price options for some of their parts eg Premium, Standard, or Economy.

I鈥檓 not sure which part is leaking, so you have to take this info with caution! E.g. check compatibility with plastics, or confirm parts don鈥檛 have to disassembled in the future etc. An option for sealing/fixing/gluing parts together, is to use a very low viscosity cyanoacrylate (essentially like super glue). Most of the big brands will make a version, however Loctite鈥檚 version is called 120. These glues are fast drying, so experiment with them first.

The low viscosity allows the glue to seep into cracks, and crevices etc by capillary action. This can allow you to seal components where other methods are ineffective, or where you would otherwise have to pull the whole component apart to fix it, but also to seal cracks that you can鈥檛 see.

Theow viscosity glue won鈥檛 seal the big cracks, so you鈥檇 need a different version of glue in that situation. If you look up the manufactures website, you鈥檒l find many different versions of cyanoacrylates for many different purposes e.g. rubber, plastic, glass, metal, difficult to bond materials, high/medium/low strength, high/low viscosity, UV cure, anaerobic cure, low bloom.... etc.

Another option is to look at plastic welding. Find out what plastic your headlights are made out of, and confirm that they are a thermoplastic (see the website of the plastic welding brand company in your area. In Oz, Tradeflame is one product sold at Bunnings). It鈥檚 fiddly, so practice on some scrap first, as you have to work out 鈥榶our鈥 method (they don鈥檛 show you how to do the tricky/difficult jobs, on their website). You can use scrap plastic, of the same type thermoplastic as filler (or buy plastic weld rods from the shop). Zip ties can be used also (so save the cut off parts for plastic repairs).

A butane soldering iron is good. Use an old solder tip (you don鈥檛 want to damage a good one), to stitch the two plastics together. Take note of the temp that the plastic melts at (from website), and try find a heat setting that suits. This may make a horrible looking mess. Then use a blow torch type tip on the soldering iron, to melt (once the plastic starts to fume or lightly smoke, it鈥檚 at temperature), the filler material onto the area, also quite fiddly, and can look like a complete mess. Once you have enough filler plastic on the area, heat the area, and use a piece of metal to form the plastic into your desired shape. To get a nice finish, you鈥檒l have to heat up plastic, then hold metal piece on surface till it cools/solidifies. You could bend/mould the piece of metal to a specific shape if needed, to form the plastic.
 

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Hello mates, it seems that many face-lift SGs were from a bad batch where the butyl sealants were inadequate, hence the leaking.

@UniStudentFoz, do you have a halogen headlight?

When I got my SG, I didn't notice the left-hand headlight was leaking until one night when I realised only the right-hand one was working. The inside had a water party so I had to open it, clean the inside, dry the ballast and seal it again. After sealing it again, I noticed, I didn't clean the lense all that well so I re-cleaned it again recently.

There are no aftermarket alternatives for my factory HID headlight so cleaning it is the best solution. Even if there are aftermarket ones, they are not recommended, according to lighting experts, because of the poor light pattern that they produce. Genuine ones are the only ones that are acceptable.

Here are the steps that I used:
  1. Remove all electrical components including the bulbs.
  2. Open the headlight assembly - This can be done by using a heat gun and a prying tool on one section at a time OR you can bake the headlight assembly in the oven for 100 deg C for 7 to 8 minutes then prying open the lense off of the backing.
  3. Clean as much as you can. The lense, if it had been inundated for quite a while may have deposited a plasticky/mouldy thing that you have to clean thoroughly. This was what I didn't remove properly the first time I did this. If needed, use stronger cleaning materials bleach/70% isopropyl alcohol.
    • If the lense is heavily fogged, it can be sanded using the following grits: 800, 1200, 1500, then rubbing compound and plastic polish. The lense can be restored properly using this method.
  4. Wipe the reflector very, very, very carefully. There is a chance that the optics are already heavily compromised because of the excessive moisture but make sure that this is done with lady-like curing hands. Headlight reflectors slowly lose their reflectiveness over time and moisture just accelerates the degradation.
  5. If the assembly is HID and it no longer functions, there is a chance that the ballast is inundated, so dry it as much as you can and place it in a sealed container with rice for a maximum of 2 days. The ballast will work again, thanks to Koito's fail-proof design.
  6. When everything is dried, reseal the assembly and we have 2 possible materials:
    • Butyl rubber sealant - This is preferred because of the ease of use/coverage. Make sure, though, that the material to be used is of high quality. Cheaper ones don't really stand the test of time. German and Japanese ones are highly recommended.
    • Windshield sealant - This is a silicone RTV and it was what I used as we do not have access to good-quality butyl sealant. Keep in mind that silicone sealants off-gas a lot during curing. If you want to leave it in a dry place and under the sun, it will help a lot in off-gassing as much as possible before the headlight is used again. Even when the headlamp is in the vehicle already, periodically, for the first month of operation after the resealing, remove the high beam bulb to let off some gas.
Note: To those who need reflector rejuvenation, ReflektorKlinik | Neuverspiegelung | Ilsede | www.reflektorklinik.de is the place to go to. Reflectors are not just the ordinary chrome plating. Even the shiniest mirror-looking chrome only have less than 70% reflectivity. The guys at that shop do factory reflectivity which is close to 100%.

Here's my latest properly-done cleaning:

Before


After


Mounted:
 

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Thanks for the responses.

Yes in my case it's exactly as described, the common problem of condensation. I somewhat naively figured I'd buy replacements from a scraper but did not realise they're all the same.

I have the butyl gasket ready and intend to do the oven method followed by a good cleaning (but carefully). I have a headlight restoration kit on hand for such a purpose, initially bought for my Cougar but I'll trial it on here first as it is much more pressing.

Thankfully I have some leave over the next month so intend to make some real progress on several jobs such as this. I'll look into the ballast too as I hadn't considered that. Good to hear they are reliable things.
 
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