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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been doing some reading on both HID kits and vacuum forming. One led to the other. Point being that HID's behind our fluted glass lenses, according to common wisdom, is pointless. And, nobody makes aftermarket headlights for FWB's.

OK, vacuum forming isn't that tough, and I believe I see how to make the molds to do it. So...has anyone else tried this? Tried to market just replacement lenses on a small scale? If so why didn't it work out? And if not, why not? I mean I can't be the first person to think of this?

Hell, between wood for the interiors and clear lenses I might have my own business aborning... :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Riiiight...

There has to be a reason there's nothing about anyone having done it on a limited basis (even after several Google searches). Lack of market, obviously, for any company trying to make a profit. But not even one guy saying "Lookee what I did!"?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was looking at the devil eye thread. Those look good, but that damn fluting...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is that a clear cover? On a FWB lens? I have a poor monitor.
 

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Is that a clear cover? On a FWB lens? I have a poor monitor.
Scott-, I have a good monitor and I still don't know WTH that is. I'm still in this thread though, - yes, and interested.

Edit: Ok, cross thread. --> ::big frown::
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, another thought, why couldn't I use the outside of a glass OEM lens as the mold and form the clear plastic over that. It's smoth on the ouside, right(I'll havta run out and check) It would be slightly taller and larger, but there's a lip at the bottom of the glass and the formed piece would be the size of that lip...

I'd need a vacuum table, two OEM lenses and the correct grade (ABS?) plastic. Buff it, glue it and voila...

I need to go read more and then buy a couple FWB headlights. Then we could all do whatever the hell we want just like the Chevy guys...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In the process of trying to find some cheap used FWB headlights I can tear up...
 

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You fleetwood guys have one good option that will get you close to HID output and at the same time use no more wattage than stock bulbs. These bulbs are $25.00 each, and put out 2600 lumens (what the SSTreetlights bulbs put out). Modding them is very very easy to fit in the socket.

http://store.candlepower.com/hirlighting.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It still leaves us with those damn fluted lenses. More than anything else that's what I'd like to eliminate. Once that's done anything becomes possible. But I am tempted to buy a set of those. I could always stick them in the Ram if I wasn't happy...
 

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OK, another thought, why couldn't I use the outside of a glass OEM lens as the mold and form the clear plastic over that. It's smoth on the ouside, right(I'll havta run out and check) It would be slightly taller and larger, but there's a lip at the bottom of the glass and the formed piece would be the size of that lip...

I'd need a vacuum table, two OEM lenses and the correct grade (ABS?) plastic. Buff it, glue it and voila...

I need to go read more and then buy a couple FWB headlights. Then we could all do whatever the hell we want just like the Chevy guys...
I have a PS headlight for $65 shipped.

I believe you will be disappointed with the vacuformed parts. They will not withstand much heat, and they will probably produce some distortion.

You can make a mold out of fiberglass on the outside of the lens. Yes they are smooth on the outside. You have to make some holes to allow the vacuum into the space between the mold and sheetgoods. Along the edges should be sufficient, and get you the least distortion on the front of the lens. Clamp/bolt the edges of the sheetgoods, so that they can not pull in when the plastic is sucked into the cavity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, reading on things that can withstand higher temperatures. Of course they require higher temps to make them pliable, and cost more...
 

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You can get polyester tooling resin for fiberglas that will withstand 500-700 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yellows rapidly though, doesn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I found an interesting polycarbonate Lexan for a good price that I can get delivered cut to size even. This should deal with the yellowing, be almost unbreakable and handle heat issues. But does anyone know how thick I need to go? What is the lens thickness on a quality aftermarket headlight for an Imp, for example?

And Fred, do you still have that headlight?
 

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i don't know if you have try HID'S on your fleet, but i have them on almost all my cars, and i can tell you that the fleet lense by far i the clearest of them all and i'm only using the 5k.
the problem with trying to modify them with plastic would be that it has to be thick for it to be sturdy, so they won't start to vibrate with speed and road condition, not to mention the pitting from debris on the road
 
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