Looking across to the snow capped alpine mountains seen from the back seat of a motorcycle

Home Repair And Restoration

Sharon's Headlamp Saga Continues

Post Received 19th May 2021

By Bogger

Indeed it does continue, but the end is in sight. Possibly.

Ren/Bren/Ed has been bleating on for ages about the headlamp in Sharon's Kawasaki. Basically it was a mess. Personally I put it down to lack of care? But Ren refuted this claim and pointed out the error of my assumptions.

He’s tried to get a freebie out of Kawasaki UK, but they are obviously wise to his Northern tricks and basically palmed him off with some excuse or other as to why they could not replace the headlamp free of charge. Anyway, because I’m a nice bloke(?) I somewhat foolishly offered to ‘have a go’ at rectifying the problem. Like a rat up a drain pipe he was round our house in a flash. Copious amount of tea were drunk and Mrs Bogger bought out the posh biscuits. The headlamp was left in my care. The fool.

I had a good look at the lamp and it seemed that the lacquer coat was lifting from the lens itself. I took the lamp to work. The first thing to do was to sand down the lens in stages. I started (Oh, when I say I, I mean one of the painters) with a 180 grit sanding disc. This took off most of the lacquer coating and underneath the plastic lens actually looked OK. We had been wondering whether the plastic lens was also fracturing. It wasn’t. Happy days.

The lens of the Z250SL after the sander he has attacked the surface The plastic of the lens is cloudy as the old lacquer is removed As the grit gets finer the lens clears up

The next stage was 320 grit sanding discs. Then onto 500 grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit, 1500 grit and finally 2000 grit. That sounds like a massive amount of work but in reality took about twenty minutes. This was using an orbital sander.

The finish on the lens was now very dull but scratch free with a good proportion of the original lacquer sanded away. When the lens was de-greased and the lens was wet with the de-greaser, you could see that once the fresh lacquer was applied the end result would be OK as long as the ‘finish’ was good. I.E. no runs sags or dirt inclusions.

I and I really do mean me this time, fine lined and masked the upper portion of the headlamp. This section was originally silver but had also started to suss up and flake. I gave it a few coats of an aerosol silver we had knocking about. The lamp was then de-masked and re-masked so as the complete facia of the lamp including the silver part could be lacquered.

The silver portion atop the lens

I left this for a painter to do. He didn’t let me down, he managed a really good flat finish with just a couple of very small dirt inclusions. The lamp was baked for forty minutes at 60* C.

The only thing left to do was to de-nib the dirt inclusions first with 2000 grit then 3000 grit and finally 6000 grit soft pad flatting discs and buff up. I did that bit, honest.

Personally from what we started with, I think it’s come up rather well.

Bogger

The clear lens and polish means the headlamp is better than new.
The lens plastic is crystal clear, bright and fresh

See also Z250SL Headlight Crazing


If you want to fix all of Ren's bodges contact ren@techsolus.co.uk

Reader's Comments

Bogger said :-
Fix all of Rens bodges? There's not enough time in the world, ever.

Bogger
27/05/2021 07:22:30 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Thanks to you and your team for the fabulous functional light. Now, about these handguards...
27/05/2021 19:13:37 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
Well done Bogger.
Upt'North.
27/05/2021 23:04:26 UTC
Bogger said :-
I fear I may have made a rod for my own back.

Bogger

28/05/2021 13:38:33 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
I think the "Rod" probably started Bogger when you gave him your address.
Then posh biscuits.
Then apparently good work.
But of course a large bill + VAT may scare him away.
Half an hour of your time +
Half an hour of painters time +
Paint and materials +
Scare Ren away tax +
VAT.
I'm thinkin £350.00 + VAT. If paid within 14 days.
Seems fair.
Upt'North.

28/05/2021 16:40:42 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
£350 + VAT?!?!? Do you mind Upt' I'm trying to avoid heart attacks at my age. A new headlight is around £315 - this being said I daresay since the old one's been "Boggered" it's likely better than new.
29/05/2021 17:31:26 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
What did I miss? I thought you replaced the headlight with one from a Z125?
29/05/2021 19:49:43 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
We did CrazyFrog, we did. However I remained curious as to whether the lens itself was cracked or simply the top layer, the lacquer. Bogger answered my question and also provided Sharon with a spare headlight to boot!! Oh, and lots of tea n biscuits and a tour of Bogger's shed.

Also Bogger has indeed made a rod for his own back while shooting himself in the foot. He'll soon learn to dread the sound of a 471cc twin outside his house as that blasted annoying website plonker hangs around in search of biscuit, tea and mechanical assistance. Poor Bogger.
29/05/2021 22:20:31 UTC
CrazyFrog said :-
Oh, I see, all in the interests of scientific investigation, well done Bogger...
30/05/2021 18:54:22 UTC
Bogger said :-
I'm gonna keep my head down.

Bogger
31/05/2021 13:51:29 UTC
nab301 said :-
Excellent job Bogger , a quick technical query , when you removed the lacquer did you polish the plastic lens until it was clear and then lacquer it ? I'm thinking car headlamp restoration kits here , where you polish cloudy lenses until clear .
Nigel
09/06/2021 21:33:50 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Yeah I'll second that nab301. For those readers without access to their own team of sanding and polishing and lacquering minions, for those who don't have a heated paint bay and for those who don't have a local Bogger willing to do the work.
10/06/2021 08:30:41 UTC
Bogger said :-
Nab it was as described. Keep flatting it back with ever finer wet or dry. Then lacquer it. The third image down on my write up it just prior to de-greasing and Lacquering.
You could easily do this at home. This is as long as you use a 2k, as in an activated lacquer. You can buy proper full on 2k from the likes of Evil bay. The one I have used and had really good results is named 'Pro-XL'. Each tin costs about £25.00.
I'll say it again, make sure it is the full on 2k product (they do a 1k lacquer and the tin looks almost identical). The Pro XL one has a twist and pull ring on the bottom of the can. This punctures the hardener contained inside the can. Thus the activation of the lacquer begins. Sounds a bit complicated, but basically it's pull, twist, shake then spray.
The only thing I will say is that the Pro XL lacquer is VERY high build. If you try and get a 'finish' in one hit it will run and sag for Britain.
So two light coats with a ten minute flash off in between. Then finally a wetter coat to get the finish. If you take your time the results are excellent.
There is a lot of product in a can and it's surprising how much you can lacquer. You could easily lacquer a full bumper off a car. If you want any more info let me know.

Bogger

10/06/2021 13:23:13 UTC
Upt'North ¹ said :-
What a knowledgeable chap this Bogger lad is.
Seems quite out of place here.
We need to keep him on board Ed, any ideas?
Free life BATTIE membership perhaps?
That's a threat obviously not a gift.
Upt'North.
10/06/2021 14:33:11 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
I'm afraid I have nothing of use to keep Bogger here Upt'. The best I can suggest is a threat - if he doesn't return I'll go and camp on his lawn. I know where he lives now...
10/06/2021 15:11:00 UTC
nab301 said :-
Thanks Bogger
Nigel
10/06/2021 22:57:38 UTC
Sharon said :-
Bogger what magic is this that I hold now in my hands. Thank you I am totally amazed by your wizardry. You deserve a gift so I have made you a little BAT gift. It is nothing to get excited about but just wanted to say thanks. It will be delivered to your abode at your convivence. In other words Ren will get in touch to arrange a day we can pop round. I am afraid the gift will not cover the costs of tea consumed by Ren etc so apologies in advance.
Sharon x
14/06/2021 13:15:35 UTC
Bogger said :-
Sharon, I read you first sentence and to be honest I really worried about the content of the second sentence. All to no avail, thankfully.

This small BAT gift. It's not a pair of Rens homemade handguards, fashioned from an old washing up liquid bottle. Is it?
No? good!
I await with baited breath and the kettle is on standby with the finest Doulton crockery already set out. Mrs Bogger is at Waitrose in the biscuit and cake aisle as I type.

Bogger

p.s You couldn't just come on your own, could you?
14/06/2021 15:11:59 UTC
Ren - The Ed¹ said :-
Would you like me to simply deliver Sharon to your place Bogger and then I'll sod off for an hour or two? With enemies like this who needs friends?
14/06/2021 21:08:32 UTC

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