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Thread: How to clean 360 headlights in 90 mins

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Simon
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    Default How to clean 360 headlights in 90 mins

    Thought I would share my experiences in the hope that someone will benefit.....

    Just had my 360 Modena paintwork corrected by Paul Every who has done a fantastic detail on the car, but it was let down by the usual debris in the headlights and water marks on the inside of the headlight lens.

    We tried to vacuum out the crud using a small tube connected to a vacuum cleaner but just succeeded in moving it around.

    I spoke to Tim Walker who was very helpful and offered to part exchange my lights for a set that he had. However his were Grigio metallic and my car is Rosso Corsa, so he arranged to have his set split, cleaned and repainted. I booked my car in at Rardley to have the light units swopped over.

    Unfortunately, Tim was beset by the usual problem and one of the lights cracked on splitting, so we were back to square one. Mike at Rardley suggested that even if we remove my lights and try to clean them out of the car, the likelihood is that we will do more damage than good and we agreed that I would leave them in place and ponder on a solution.

    So. today I implemented plan D and set to it myself, with surprisingly good results in only 90 minutes.

    So here goes with the instructions...

    Firstly, you will need a pack of lint free, open weave dish cloths, a 15 inch (8mm diameter dowel - the length is critical) and a retrieval tool to pull the cloths back out (This is a flexible tube with and actuating rod down the middle and a retractable claw grip on the end).

    You don't need to remove the wheels or even jack the car up, but it will help if it is parked on a level surface.

    The procedure is the same for both sides.

    1) Turn the steering to full lock with the wheel pointing inwards on the side that you are working on.

    2) Remove the access panel inside the wheel arch - two small bolts

    3) Remove the full beam light bulb as described in the manual and let it hang out of the way

    4) Using the dowel, carefully introduce one of the cloths into the light housing through the bulb hole

    5) Once the cloth is inside, use the dowel to sweep it around from side to side - the open weave will pick up the debris beautifully

    6) Once the cloth has picked up some dirt, remover the dowel and gently retrieve the cloth with the retrieval tool and bin the cloth

    7) repeat steps 4-6 with a new cloth each time to remove as much as you can, or until the cloths come out as clean as they went in

    Check for remaining debris as you go and once it is all gone you can replace the bulb, refit the access panel and move on to the next side

    This method has removed all of the debris from the lights and some of the smears and watermarks from the inside of my lenses.

    They are not 100% perfect, but they are more than acceptable and probably better that a split and re-assembled pair.

    I elected not to wet the cloths as I felt that this would only result in smears and watermarks so did the whole thing dry and happily it has worked a treat.

    Hope this helps and good luck!

  2. #2
    hedge's Avatar
    hedge is offline Only 37 known common faults - The Ferrari 355 Club Member
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    Nov 2005
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon View Post
    Thought I would share my experiences in the hope that someone will benefit.....

    Just had my 360 Modena paintwork corrected by Paul Every who has done a fantastic detail on the car, but it was let down by the usual debris in the headlights and water marks on the inside of the headlight lens.

    We tried to vacuum out the crud using a small tube connected to a vacuum cleaner but just succeeded in moving it around.

    I spoke to Tim Walker who was very helpful and offered to part exchange my lights for a set that he had. However his were Grigio metallic and my car is Rosso Corsa, so he arranged to have his set split, cleaned and repainted. I booked my car in at Rardley to have the light units swopped over.

    Unfortunately, Tim was beset by the usual problem and one of the lights cracked on splitting, so we were back to square one. Mike at Rardley suggested that even if we remove my lights and try to clean them out of the car, the likelihood is that we will do more damage than good and we agreed that I would leave them in place and ponder on a solution.

    So. today I implemented plan D and set to it myself, with surprisingly good results in only 90 minutes.

    So here goes with the instructions...

    Firstly, you will need a pack of lint free, open weave dish cloths, a 15 inch (8mm diameter dowel - the length is critical) and a retrieval tool to pull the cloths back out (This is a flexible tube with and actuating rod down the middle and a retractable claw grip on the end).

    You don't need to remove the wheels or even jack the car up, but it will help if it is parked on a level surface.

    The procedure is the same for both sides.

    1) Turn the steering to full lock with the wheel pointing inwards on the side that you are working on.

    2) Remove the access panel inside the wheel arch - two small bolts

    3) Remove the full beam light bulb as described in the manual and let it hang out of the way

    4) Using the dowel, carefully introduce one of the cloths into the light housing through the bulb hole

    5) Once the cloth is inside, use the dowel to sweep it around from side to side - the open weave will pick up the debris beautifully

    6) Once the cloth has picked up some dirt, remover the dowel and gently retrieve the cloth with the retrieval tool and bin the cloth

    7) repeat steps 4-6 with a new cloth each time to remove as much as you can, or until the cloths come out as clean as they went in

    Check for remaining debris as you go and once it is all gone you can replace the bulb, refit the access panel and move on to the next side

    This method has removed all of the debris from the lights and some of the smears and watermarks from the inside of my lenses.

    They are not 100% perfect, but they are more than acceptable and probably better that a split and re-assembled pair.

    I elected not to wet the cloths as I felt that this would only result in smears and watermarks so did the whole thing dry and happily it has worked a treat.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
    Amazing - I will try this. Been bugging me for ages!!! Thanks.

  3. #3
    JohnJStewart's Avatar
    JohnJStewart is offline Only useful for school runs - The Ferrari 308GT4 Club Member
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    Default 360 headlights

    I'm also going to give this a go - such a stupid problem and so annoying to fix.

  4. #4
    JohnJStewart's Avatar
    JohnJStewart is offline Only useful for school runs - The Ferrari 308GT4 Club Member
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    Default Tools?

    Quote Originally Posted by Demon View Post
    Thought I would share my experiences in the hope that someone will benefit.....

    Just had my 360 Modena paintwork corrected by Paul Every who has done a fantastic detail on the car, but it was let down by the usual debris in the headlights and water marks on the inside of the headlight lens.

    We tried to vacuum out the crud using a small tube connected to a vacuum cleaner but just succeeded in moving it around.

    I spoke to Tim Walker who was very helpful and offered to part exchange my lights for a set that he had. However his were Grigio metallic and my car is Rosso Corsa, so he arranged to have his set split, cleaned and repainted. I booked my car in at Rardley to have the light units swopped over.

    Unfortunately, Tim was beset by the usual problem and one of the lights cracked on splitting, so we were back to square one. Mike at Rardley suggested that even if we remove my lights and try to clean them out of the car, the likelihood is that we will do more damage than good and we agreed that I would leave them in place and ponder on a solution.

    So. today I implemented plan D and set to it myself, with surprisingly good results in only 90 minutes.

    So here goes with the instructions...

    Firstly, you will need a pack of lint free, open weave dish cloths, a 15 inch (8mm diameter dowel - the length is critical) and a retrieval tool to pull the cloths back out (This is a flexible tube with and actuating rod down the middle and a retractable claw grip on the end).

    You don't need to remove the wheels or even jack the car up, but it will help if it is parked on a level surface.

    The procedure is the same for both sides.

    1) Turn the steering to full lock with the wheel pointing inwards on the side that you are working on.

    2) Remove the access panel inside the wheel arch - two small bolts

    3) Remove the full beam light bulb as described in the manual and let it hang out of the way

    4) Using the dowel, carefully introduce one of the cloths into the light housing through the bulb hole

    5) Once the cloth is inside, use the dowel to sweep it around from side to side - the open weave will pick up the debris beautifully

    6) Once the cloth has picked up some dirt, remover the dowel and gently retrieve the cloth with the retrieval tool and bin the cloth

    7) repeat steps 4-6 with a new cloth each time to remove as much as you can, or until the cloths come out as clean as they went in

    Check for remaining debris as you go and once it is all gone you can replace the bulb, refit the access panel and move on to the next side

    This method has removed all of the debris from the lights and some of the smears and watermarks from the inside of my lenses.

    They are not 100% perfect, but they are more than acceptable and probably better that a split and re-assembled pair.

    I elected not to wet the cloths as I felt that this would only result in smears and watermarks so did the whole thing dry and happily it has worked a treat.

    Hope this helps and good luck!
    Great post - any chance of borrowing the tools? Happy to pay postage and send back once done?

  5. #5
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    Jul 2008
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    London/Denmark
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    Brian
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    Default

    Any photos of the tools used, and the exact towels? Excellent post - we all suffer from this.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
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    Sussex
    Name
    Paul
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    Hi Demon,

    Glad you were happy with the detail I gave your car

    I can vouch that after his efforts, his headlights look so much better. Well worth having a go if yours are as bad as his were.

    Paul

  7. #7
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    Jul 2011
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    Rosso Man
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    70

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    can understand the condensation problem.. but if these are sealed units how does the debris get in in the first place, careless bulb changes perhaps

  8. #8
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    Aug 2011
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    Paul
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    Whilst the headlights are classed as sealed, they are not 100% air tight.
    There is the usual tiny gaps around the headlight bulb assembly and there is also a very small breather tube that is "supposed" to aid circulation of air so you don't get condensation when it is cold outside and you turn your lights on.

    Demons lights looked like they weren't 100% clean from the factory to be fair as there were fingerprints on the inside of the lenses

    Paul

  9. #9
    t1grm is offline It's basically an old car with a stripe - The Ferrari Challenge Stradale Club Member
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    Thumbs up

    Great write up Are these the type of cloths you used?

    http://www.lakeland.co.uk/21699/Lake...48550BE0F.app1
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  10. #10
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    South Manchester
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    Lee Griffiths
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    this is great.

    Lee

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