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Thread: Replacing bad lens

  1. #1

    Default Replacing bad lens

    I need to replace some bad lens on a F350.
    So my question is it safe to use aftermarket replacements or should I just stick with OEM Ford lens?

    Thanks

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  2. #2
    Enlightened
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    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    Ron, your post is a little unclear on what the problem is with your lenses and which model F350 you have. In any case it's highly unlikely that you'll be able to buy just a lens so, chances are that you're looking at replacing the complete headlight. Generally, the quality of aftermarket headlights is lower than that of OE. If you're looking for maximum output then OE is the way to go. At a price premium, though.

    Aftermarket headlight, combined with high quality bulbs might be your next port of call, pricewise. The purists will point out that the lower quality of the lights compromises safety through reduced beam pattern quality, increased glare amongst other things. You may wish to take this into consideration. F350s are about as rare as hens' teeth here so I can't point you to any particular brand. Others might chime in though.

    If you have UV degradation of the lenses (cloudy, yellowing) the first thing you could try is restoration of what you have. There are various kits out there that do a reasonable job for a fairly low investment, certainly less than a new headlight. Downside of this route is that you will remove whatever coating is left on the lenses, meaning that they will then degrade at an increased rate. There are treatments that slow this but certainly don't stop it. It is a low cost option, though, if this is the problem.

  3. #3
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    Quote Originally Posted by NFT5 View Post
    Aftermarket headlight, combined with high quality bulbs might be your next port of call, pricewise.
    High-quality bulbs cannot make a bad lamp good.

    The purists will point out that the lower quality of the lights compromises safety through reduced beam pattern quality, increased glare amongst other things.
    Some of these aftermarket parts don't even fit the vehicles for which they were designed.

    http://www.capacertified.org/press/CAPALighting3.pdf
    This study indicates that a high percentage (100%) of the independently
    manufactured replacement headlamps included in this study failed to conform to the
    photometric requirements of FMVSS 108. This data was developed by testing five (5)
    headlamps of each model and from each manufacturer for a total of fifteen (15)
    headlamps. Because one of the supplier’s headlamps could not achieve “in-vehicle
    position” in the photometric fixture, no photometric data was recorded. This prevented
    us from testing all 20 of the samples. This inability to achieve “in-vehicle position”
    immediately failed the part with regard to the photometric requirements of FMVSS 108.
    If you have UV degradation of the lenses (cloudy, yellowing) the first thing you could try is restoration of what you have. There are various kits out there that do a reasonable job for a fairly low investment, certainly less than a new headlight. Downside of this route is that you will remove whatever coating is left on the lenses, meaning that they will then degrade at an increased rate. There are treatments that slow this but certainly don't stop it. It is a low cost option, though, if this is the problem.
    One of the better ones, but still not all that effective in the long run, is the one from Double Horn Products. It includes a 'hardcoat' spray that is a bit better than any lotions, waxes, oils, ointments, salves, or creams or what have you, but still not anywhere near a factory hardcoat.

  4. #4
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    Accidental double-post. Sorry

  5. #5

    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    More information, please. What year is your F350, and which lens are we talking about here? I'm guessing headlamp, but it could also be any of several other lamps around the vehicle. Starting around 2001, there are multiple different headlamp setups on the big Ford F-series trucks, some of which are better than others. Many of the original headlamp designs aren't all that good, but the aftermarket headlamps are junk -- don't buy them.

  6. #6

    Default

    Its a 97. I asking the dealer thy want $130.00 each headlight lens and $111.00 for the tail light.

    The headlights are really bad yellow color and one has a leak in it.


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  7. #7
    Flashaholic* Alaric Darconville's Avatar
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    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    Quote Originally Posted by ronclark View Post
    The headlights are really bad yellow color and one has a leak in it
    I'd say the reflector is also ruined.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    There's only one kind of headlamp for a '97 F350. Definitely stick with genuine Ford lamps; the aftermarket ones (all of them) are garbage. You might find a better price online, such as here. You may want to consider putting in relays,see here for example, and you'll want to use either these Philips or
    these GE bulbs. And it's very important to aim the lamps correctly with whatever load you normally carry present in the truck.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Replacing bad lens

    Quote Originally Posted by Scheinwerfermann View Post
    There's only one kind of headlamp for a '97 F350. Definitely stick with genuine Ford lamps; the aftermarket ones (all of them) are garbage. You might find a better price online, such as here. You may want to consider putting in relays,see here for example, and you'll want to use either these Philips or
    these GE bulbs. And it's very important to aim the lamps correctly with whatever load you normally carry present in the truck.
    Thanks for the input, i was planing on putting in the philps bulbs, since thy look like thy best.
    So 97s are not new enough for relays, i'll check on that too

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