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WTB: Glass headlight lenses

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Glass headlight lenses for the Golf are conistently available through ebay sellers at around $50 a set, including ones that claim they are Helix brand. US VW aftermarket parts suppliers often carry the same Chinese market lenses (at higher prices). Glass Jetta lenses are now quite hard to find, but they do pop up on ebay now and then. Mike at Volx Tuning used to be the main point of contact for glass lenses, he might be able to add more information.
 

quartersaw

Veteran Member
Joined
Sep 20, 2005
Location
Albany, NY
TDI
2002 Jetta Wagon, '96 B4V,'99 2 door Golf
I've heard you can buy just the glass lens off ebay.
But you have to glue them to your old headlights.
The lenses are secured with stainless metal clips. It's not a difficult installation. I did use some Silicone, to completely waterproof them.
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Yes, when replacing lenses you heat the assembly and remove the old lens. The lens is held in by buytl rubber "rope" and metal clips are generally redundant. If careful, and if the condition warants, many owners find there is no need to remove the old butyl rubber, and it can be used again with a new lens. The butyl rope can be ordered from many locations, and some aftermarket lens resellers will add it to your order.
 

Biggles48

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Location
Springfielf, IL
TDI
MKIV Jetta and a military diesel, used to have a MKI rabbit N.A.
What the heck? These are showing available now? Wonder if they're "really" available. FYI, I was able to get in touch with the fella out of Canada and I do indeed have a set of the glass covers sitting in the garage waiting for me to not be a lazy POS.

https://www.ecstuning.com/b-helix-parts/glass-headlight-lens-set/hvwj4hl-gd~hlx/

James
I did the same thing.
Mine are sitting in the garage as well......
Basically same story.

I didn't think they'd ever be available again.
 

jmodge

Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 18, 2015
Location
Greenville, MI
TDI
2001 alh Jetta, RC2 5speed daily commuter and 2000 alh Jetta 5spd swap, 2" lift, hitch, stage 3 TDtuning w/502's backroad cruiser
Is there something incompatible about Glass Lenses and projectors?
 

Biggles48

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2012
Location
Springfielf, IL
TDI
MKIV Jetta and a military diesel, used to have a MKI rabbit N.A.
I hope not. I have retrofit projectors now and I'm putting glass lenses on as soon as I get around to it.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
$80 on ebay...but you know hwats better than glass lenses???? retrofited projectors!
Retrofitted projectors won't help a whole lot if the plastic lenses are so clouded up they look like this:


The sweet spot of course is retrofitted projectors *and* glass lenses. 😃
 

dhangejr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Location
PNW is my home
TDI
mk4 Jetta
Is there something incompatible about Glass Lenses and projectors?
not to my knowledge. I think that it changes the focus And cut off. I don’t like glass lenses they put and get ‘frosted’ Sure you can put Laminex over em,


Retrofitted projectors won't help a whole lot if the plastic lenses are so clouded up they look like this:


The sweet spot of course is retrofitted projectors *and* glass lenses. 😃
of course if they look like this buffing is a little harder, you’d be best just to take some thousand grit wet paper to them and step up to 3k then buff and wax them. They be almost as good as new if the reflectors are clean.

Again I don’t like glass lenses. They pit and they break. Then again I think I’m a rally driver to Where I live there’s a lot of traffic, semi trucks kickin up gravel and sand rocks too. The hod snd fenders all get rock chips, Sometimes the windshield too, my E 36 eyeglass lenses. I loved him but I hated them. The lamb and eggs helped a little bit they were paid and when I got them. I don’t wanna deal with changing my lens every year. That laminate stuff does fail . I’d rather buff and once in a while
 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
Only chiming in again because my experience is 100% the opposite of dhangejr, although I couldn't understand all of the post.

Once the UV coating on VW (and aftermarket) polycarb lenses has frosted, buffing and renewing them typically provides about 6 to 12 mos of clarity before they need to be done again, depending on your driving conditions, location, and storage of the car. I've refinished about six cars over the last 15 years, with good initial results, followed by a need to re-do the job about every 6 mos. In most cases it's cheaper, easier, and more effective to replace the lenses (with either poly or glass).

In terms of glass vs poly lenses, for me there's little advantage to polycarb except cost. Both will pit, scratch, and fade if left exposed. The poly is more prone to scratch and frost, the glass (especially if not covered) has a chance of cracking if hit. I can't speak to cheap films, but Lamin-X and other 3M quality films have already provided more than a decade of use (for our cars) with no fading, yellowing, or signs of "falling off." The glass lenses on our '03 Golf look brand new, and you have to closely inspect the film to find marks left by road debris. Lamin-X adds $30 to the cost, so yes, ploycarb is cheaper (and the light output generally inferior).
 

dhangejr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Location
PNW is my home
TDI
mk4 Jetta
Only chiming in again because my experience is 100% the opposite of dhangejr, although I couldn't understand all of the post.
You agreed with me for saying your exp is 100% opposite.
I enjoy the topic and have a good amount of knowledge to share and im a nerd :)

To be clear, I agree I had great luck just polishing most of my friends headlamps with a rotary and some cheap plastic polish. Once the uv has started peeling you do need to scratch it off and make the scratches smooth. I have lots to say about that too too.

For me, far as poly vs glass goes, its up for debate for sure.
What I know is if they are both in good condition they are equal as far as performance. (check HID PLANET)

The MK4 jetta is 80 for glass 40 for poly made by depo on ebay. Im a complete nerd lol did not even have to look that up (EBAY).
Whats a fact is laminx does affect your output be it on plastic or glass.(HID PLANET)
So that makes glass inferior because it bacically needs a cover or you will replace them sooner than the plastic. It resits pitting much better than glass or metal actaully. HOw I know? Two of my cars are salt and peppered badly from speeding and the tiny rocks on the ****ty i5 here, the one with glass lenese needed replaced (e36 m3) due to pitting but the plastic lenses are not pitted.

***Ultimately, to me 80$ for glass lenses then 30$ for laminex is a HUGE waste of money! you will get zero gains!

However, you will get HUGE YES HUGE EFFIN gains from swapping in a high quality projector, with quality bulbs and ballasts...this costs about as much as glass lenses and lamin-x lol...


D2s projector or bust BTW the performance difference is HUGE once again...people cheap out on this part too often haha DON"T DO IT. you get what you pay for. Personally im loving NHK led projectors i have right now but im not sure they will last as long as the high quality HID projectors do.


Just more random BS cuz im enmeshed into the topic in other places right now. lol

I do believe companies like to make money by saving money but companies like Mercedes, BMW and AUDI like to make money by having the BEST tech, so if glass made their headlights have an advantage they would be using it as the norm, but they don't. The fact that they have been steadily upgrading their headlamps for the last 25 years is proof. I still LOVE the OEM hella ballists and many junkies do.

On Older cars glass lens were very common and today there very rare.
BTW most of those lens are fluted and I do believe plastic is inferior for that design. In fact, MY z3 has decent headlights stock TBH old design but inside it there are two plastic lenses they feel like glass tho. THey diffuse the light and the output on that car is closer to that of the bora e-codes, but still the z3 high beam stomps the bora's too. My moms old maxima has glass lights and they SUCK but I think the reflectors are burnt out.

As far as older cars with glass lenses many are still in great condition! so it does depend on the quality. the mentioned maxima being one of em. But in general they break easier than plastic. We have a basement full of older glass headlamps form my grnadpas old cars lol they broke often. all of em are fluted too..

PS
PS hid planet like i said ironically this is mk4 the video is not avalable but read post 6 you get the idea he sent the glass back for his used ome plasic. https://www.hidplanet.com/forums/fo...ons/61971-headlight-lens-clarity-a-comparison

 

hskrdu

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Oct 17, 2003
Location
Maryland and New England
TDI
2003 Golf GLS 4D 5M, 2015 GSW SE 6M
my bad ,this is a FS/wanted post not a discussion....MY BAD
The OP hasn't been back since Aug 7, but yes, we have lots of other threads elsewhere on the topic, so you can certainly start another one. Most of our MkIV experts have moved on from Fred's after the high point between 2000 and 2010.

As for nerd talk about this stuff, I think you're fine. I also know the prices off the top of my head, and have completed two headlight lens projects in the last 6 months, with 2 more coming up. I have 4 sets of Hella Jetta lenses sitting in the garage, two sets of Golf headlamps, and do lighting projects fairly often.

I won't speak to bulbs and housings, since that's a different discussion, but to summarize: The shift to polycarb was not due to quality, it was required by the DOT to reduce broken glass in the case of fender-benders. VW did use glass lenses for long after that in some markets, and even when polycarb took over (read: cheaper), the the highest end VW headlights still received glass lenses.

As for Lamin-X reducing light output, this is not my experience at all, and a quick measurement of lumens using stock VW healights with new aftermarket polycarb vs glass with Lamin-x indicates no measurable difference (well, the polycarb lost, but not by much, and within the range of bulb and housing variables, etc.). Although new VW polycarb lenses are quite good, aftermarket replacements are often lower quality, and refinished polycarb appears, to the eye at least, to diffuse light the most.
 

Nuje

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Feb 11, 2005
Location
Island near Vancouver
TDI
2015 Sportwagen; Golf GLS 2002 (swap from 2L gas); 2016 A3 e-tron
Glass lenses are back - check eBay. I looked up mk4 Jetta glass lenses and bought a set. Definitely aftermarket stuff, but better than polycarbonate.
I bought a set for the Golf (mk4) about a month ago; arrived yesterday. See if you can spot the issue (hazards of shipping from China, of course).
Not sure what the solution - hoping the seller will just send me a new one. Don't have much backing as they did their part in providing and shipping the goods. If they point to the shipper...well, that'll be fun watching everyone from China Post to EMS to Canada Post eschewing responsibility.


 

dhangejr

Veteran Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2017
Location
PNW is my home
TDI
mk4 Jetta
I bought a set for the Golf (mk4) about a month ago; arrived yesterday. See if you can spot the issue (hazards of shipping from China, of course).
Not sure what the solution - hoping the seller will just send me a new one. Don't have much backing as they did their part in providing and shipping the goods. If they point to the shipper...well, that'll be fun watching everyone from China Post to EMS to Canada Post eschewing responsibility.


Well if they break that easily I personally would just stick with poly carbonate. Fading is Easier than dealing with broken lens
 

csstevej

Top Post Dawg
Joined
Aug 12, 2004
Location
north nj
TDI
2001 golf tdi 4 door auto now a manual, mine, 2000 golf 2 door M/T son's,daughters 98 NB non-TDI 2.0, 2003 TDI NB for next daughter, head repaired and on road,gluten for punishment got another tdi 2001NB,another yellow tdi NB
Ohhhh just glue it……you’ll be fine….😉🤣🤣
 
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