Gen 3 Headlamp Experience

Stray Cat

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I had a Gen 3 in the detail shop this past week. They removed the old PPF from the front bumper and I believe the Lens of the Headlamp. I now have headlamp lens's that are checked/cracked. I can not figure this out. I know that they were perfect before they went in. I'll find out today, but I do know he used hot steam and a product called Super Sol liberally to remove the glue.


My questions is, could high heat cause the lens to crack, looks like an impact. I can post pics, but I have pictures from the weekend before I took it there, and the cracks are not in my lens's. I'm just heartbroken knowing what these lights cost. The cracks/checks are in the bottom part of the lens by the hood, and runs up and down that part of the lense closest to the hood. Again, all I can figure out is if high heat causes the plastic to crack/check. Or chemical.

Thanks,

John
 

Steve M

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I didn't get a good look at them on Saturday...I'd like to see the pics of what you are talking about.

I'm curious to see if they look anything like what I see on my daily driven, 17 year old truck that has sat out in the sun pretty much every day of its life.

My guess would be excessive heat, but it's hard to tell. I'd expect a chemical reaction to make them cloudy, but again, who knows.

Edit: surely someone in one of the Viper clubs out there has reasonably good connections at Dodge/Chrysler...does the tooling still exist to make new production runs of these headlights? Clearly all generations would benefit, although it might cost the scalpers/gougers business on Ebay (they can all eat shit as far as I'm concerned). I get that the OEM doesn't really care, but surely someone is still left in that company that loves Vipers and is willing to do at least something?
 
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MoparMap

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I get the impression that the tooling might still be out there from some of the stories I've heard regarding other parts, but hard to say whether it might be worn out or not. I would guess not with the low volumes of cars they made, but then again they might have made less durable tooling as well due to low volumes.
 
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Stray Cat

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I'll try and upload pictures. Steve, I can send to your cell also. I spoke with the gentleman who did the front end. He noticed it as well.
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Stray Cat

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The Gentleman who is producing the Gen 1 and 2 lenses is also making Gen 3. No word on when they will be available. But I'll be a buyer. Thanks - John
 
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Stray Cat

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Would agree, but here is what is weird, its only that corner. The lamp bottom where it meets the front facia, is just fine. And they had to steam that off as well. The hood, which is the top body piece of that picture, still has the PPF on it. They did not steam that yet, only worked on the facia. So a lot of that damage is in a place that should NOT have been steamed.
 
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Stray Cat

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See attached. No damage on the bottom of the lens. So my thought is that area is possiblly a high stress area that cracked due to heat. But these cars get hot and thosnone was from TX so its seen heat. Also note the corner where the paint is damaged ( bad touch up) . Could this area have been previously damaged? I dont think so but whatever, im goingnto have to replace the lenses whennthey become available.
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Stray Cat

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PS. There IS some light damage on the bottom, by the corner and its actually like scraped. How? It was not there. I promise you that.
 

MoparMap

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That is pretty weird. You don't suppose PPF could possibly trap more heat inside the housing when the lights are on and cause damage over time? Seems kind of unlikely, but it's about the only other thing that I could possibly think of that might cause damage aside from an impact of some sort.
 
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No Idea - the PPF was only removed from the front facia. Not the headlamps. And not the hood, yet. There was no PPF on the headlamps.
 

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My driver side lens is doing the same thing
 

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Stray Cat

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Bummer. Never noticed mine was cracked like this until they applied the steam and pulled off the PPF. And I clean my cars a lot. What do you think caused yours ?

John
 

MoparMap

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No Idea - the PPF was only removed from the front facia. Not the headlamps. And not the hood, yet. There was no PPF on the headlamps.
Ahh, sorry, misread your original post. Thought you said you only noticed the cracks after PPF was removed from headlights. That is super weird. You'd think they'd would be tough enough to take some fairly extreme conditions given where they are and what they go through in normal driving. Almost seems like an adhesive "corrosion" kind of thing, like maybe over time the glue that holds the lenses down weakens the plastic so it cracks more easily? Just throwing out wild ideas now. Feels like there must be some component of age to it, just by the way the cracks look to me.
 
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Stray Cat

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PM me but how much? I've been told they are extremely expensive. And rare!
 

Badsnek

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PM me but how much? I've been told they are extremely expensive. And rare!
Gen 1/2 headlights are still bringing $8k+ even though new lenses are available. Gen 3 seem to be selling between $5-$6k a set. Sometimes cheaper if you can find the right deal. Supposedly a company is close to having replacement lenses ready for Gen 3's. Will be nice for people who just need the lenses.
 

MoparMap

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Gen 1/2 headlights are still bringing $8k+ even though new lenses are available. Gen 3 seem to be selling between $5-$6k a set. Sometimes cheaper if you can find the right deal. Supposedly a company is close to having replacement lenses ready for Gen 3's. Will be nice for people who just need the lenses.
Seriously? Wow. I had my right side get broken when I picked up a chunk of concrete on the highway that rolled around the wheel well and shot through my fog light panel into the back of the lens. I know the repair shop said they had a moderately difficult time finding a replacement, but I thought it was only $500-600, not thousand. That was also probably 5+ years ago at this point though.

I'm guessing you could probably find some good salvage options as well through a place like Don Scharf or one of the other specialty yards as another option. Obviously not new, but if it's good enough it might not matter. I know mine really don't match well anymore since the one was replaced. The driver side is definitely more hazy and worn when you stand back and look at them both in the light.
 
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Yes, people are asking silly prices for those replacements, because there are not much left. And like my Prowler Windshield, if it gets broken, the insurance companies HAVE to pay to replace. I will wait for the lenses. It is the same gentleman who is reproducing the Gen 1 and Gen 2 lenses. Will be ready within a few months I understand. $750 bucks. The guy who removed my PPF has offered to take apart, and put together the lights when the lenses are available. He does this all the time - now the issue will b taking the existing ones off - understand the front facia will have to be removed.

John
 

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Someone decided to game the market on Gen1-2 and stupidly price headlights, people followed with same pricing and that trickled down 6 months later to gen3 ones just because you can.
 

Badsnek

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Seriously? Wow. I had my right side get broken when I picked up a chunk of concrete on the highway that rolled around the wheel well and shot through my fog light panel into the back of the lens. I know the repair shop said they had a moderately difficult time finding a replacement, but I thought it was only $500-600, not thousand. That was also probably 5+ years ago at this point though.

I'm guessing you could probably find some good salvage options as well through a place like Don Scharf or one of the other specialty yards as another option. Obviously not new, but if it's good enough it might not matter. I know mine really don't match well anymore since the one was replaced. The driver side is definitely more hazy and worn when you stand back and look at them both in the light.
Just to be clear, those crazy prices are for used headlights. I know a guy that has a brand new in box set of Gen 1/2 headlights. He was offered $20k last year and said no. It’s complete insanity. However there is a finite number of headlights/housings out there and no plans to remake the entire headlights or housings. I physically sold my spare set of used Gen 1/2 headlights last year for $8k myself. Figured doesn’t do me any good sitting on a shelf and used the money on one of my other Vipers.
 

Badsnek

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Someone decided to game the market on Gen1-2 and stupidly price headlights, people followed with same pricing and that trickled down 6 months later to gen3 ones just because you can.
They stopped making the Gen 3/4 headlights and that’s instantly when those prices went bonkers as well. At the time it was said they were not going to do any more runs of them. However I’ve heard random grumblings that they might. But have not heard it from a credible source. I’m kicking myself for not grabbing a spare set on that last run, just to have, since I drive my Gen 3 and 4 the most.
 

Badsnek

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Yes, people are asking silly prices for those replacements, because there are not much left. And like my Prowler Windshield, if it gets broken, the insurance companies HAVE to pay to replace. I will wait for the lenses. It is the same gentleman who is reproducing the Gen 1 and Gen 2 lenses. Will be ready within a few months I understand. $750 bucks. The guy who removed my PPF has offered to take apart, and put together the lights when the lenses are available. He does this all the time - now the issue will b taking the existing ones off - understand the front facia will have to be removed.

John
I’m super excited that lenses are being made. Even more excited they will be doing them for Gen 3/4. I’ve taken Audi headlights apart before and removed the lenses and that was not easy and super nerve racking. I did manage to slightly warp the housings but was able to seal them up with silicone. I’d even say I’m moderately mechanically inclined. The thought of attempting it on Viper headlights makes me sweat. I pray anyone thats buying replacement lenses have at least done this before or have someone who knows what they are doing. Would hate to see someone destroy their housings trying to do this.
 
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I own 13 cars. These types of issues and Insurance costs, and the absolute insanity of drivers these days has me re-thinking which cars to keep. Old cars like my GTO or Bonneville ? Lots of parts are made in China and elsewhere. They are cheap, do not always fit great and do not last. Just did a master cylinder and brake booster on my 66 Tri-Power Bonniville convertible. Due to manufacturing tolerances not being adheared to (shaft was off .010 Inch) I almost roasted a set of Completely re-done 8 lug wheels on the front. So much to think about when we decide to buy the cars of our dreams. Even our Pontiac Solstice GXP (over 60,000 Solstices built) does not have rear shocks available. Bilstein made the GXP shocks, they are no longer available. You can put the mushy stock ones on. But not GXP. Sad.

John
 

Badsnek

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I own 13 cars. These types of issues and Insurance costs, and the absolute insanity of drivers these days has me re-thinking which cars to keep. Old cars like my GTO or Bonneville ? Lots of parts are made in China and elsewhere. They are cheap, do not always fit great and do not last. Just did a master cylinder and brake booster on my 66 Tri-Power Bonniville convertible. Due to manufacturing tolerances not being adheared to (shaft was off .010 Inch) I almost roasted a set of Completely re-done 8 lug wheels on the front. So much to think about when we decide to buy the cars of our dreams. Even our Pontiac Solstice GXP (over 60,000 Solstices built) does not have rear shocks available. Bilstein made the GXP shocks, they are no longer available. You can put the mushy stock ones on. But not GXP. Sad.

John
That’s wild! I know another Viper owner who is obsessed with solstices. He always has a couple.
 
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Stray Cat

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Its my wife's, has the GM Tune on it and it is a fun little car. Around 290 HP or so. Geared right, she keeps up with me pretty nicely on the twisties. Its a quick fun little car that won't break the bank.

John
 

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