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Discussion Starter #1
Where have people gotten headlamp lens & housings for the '96-'97 T-bird that were good quality? The sources on Amazon seem to have mixed reputations when you dig deeper.
 

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Back in 2006, I rear ended Jesus (I'm serious) and had to replace headlights. I ended up putting in new aftermarket clear corners and aftermarket headlights. The aftermarket units were easy to gry ahold of and came with bulbs. I saw no fit ENT issues at all and other than having a tan housing, they looked factory and after 5years of being parked outside, they showed no clouding.


*scored mine on eBay. There is a dude on the bay selling a full set of heads and corners for $200.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback. I stumbled onto some NOS lamps at Silver State Ford and am buying them rather than aftermarket parts.
 

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are yours broken? if their just yellowed you can get a $20 3M handdrill restore kit that will work wonders. super easy instructions, comes with everything needed to do probably 4 of our lights.

i use them all the time. just did my sisters 00 jetta, and they look like glass again. once your done you can shoot some UV resistant clear coat on them and they should last forever.

otherwise good find on a set of NOS. i have some aftermarkets on mine since they were soooooo yellow when i got the car and i hadn't herd of the restore kits at the time. :rolleyes:
 

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This works well; I bought a can of the signpainter's paint, and it really is special. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
nall_one,

No, they aren't broken or especially yellowed. They are just pockmarked and a bit cloudy.

I'm going to keep the NOS lamp housings for when I can do a complete repaint in the future. Will also replace the windshield then, as it is really pockmarked but unbroken.
 

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I kept checking eBay for NOS 96/7 headlights when I wanted to do my conversion. I paid substantially more but they fit like OE parts because they are OE parts - I also didn't want repolished lenses which to me always look, well, repolished.
 

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they are still available from your dealer but they have to get them
from Vintage Parts. i sold my 96 and have an nos set. they could be
for sale if i get out of them what i paid. not cheap but oem.
r side-list264.80--cost 172.12
l side-list-322.37--cost-209.54
hefty little buggers
 

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I was tempted to polish my originals, but upon closer inspection I see thousands, hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of micro fractures on them.
Are these fractures in the actual transparent plastic or instead in whatever coating Ford applied to them (if any)?

There's also a 3/8" (approximated, eyeballed) crack in one of the lenses. That might be fixable with windshield-type clear silicone caulk (the thin, runny stuff) or windshield crack repair glue. But, I'll probably just get new ones to save labor and aggravation (upon realizing all that polishing effort was pointless).

There are occasionally NOS available out there for a decent price, let your fingers do the walking.

Here's an inexpensive aftermarket set (no idea how well they fit, though): eBay
 

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I was tempted to polish my originals, but upon closer inspection I see thousands, hundreds of thousands or maybe millions of micro fractures on them.
Are these fractures in the actual transparent plastic or instead in whatever coating Ford applied to them (if any)?

There's also a 3/8" (approximated, eyeballed) crack in one of the lenses. That might be fixable with windshield-type clear silicone caulk (the thin, runny stuff) or windshield crack repair glue. But, I'll probably just get new ones to save labor and aggravation (upon realizing all that polishing effort was pointless).

There are occasionally NOS available out there for a decent price, let your fingers do the walking.

Here's an inexpensive aftermarket set (no idea how well they fit, though): eBay
I had the same headlights and put on clear corners. They fit perfect! Even came with new bulbs, i switched everything out for silverstars, though.
 

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If someones looking for 96-97 clear lights and corners, PM bigmike on these boards. I know he has some he's looking to sell
 

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I had the same headlights and put on clear corners. They fit perfect! Even came with new bulbs, i switched everything out for silverstars, though.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll consider this set now that I know it's a good fit.

One of my adjustment nuts is loose, causing the classic bouncing beam on that side due to vibration. It probably annoys other drivers almost as much as it does me.
I'll have to find a new one or I still won't be happy even with new lenses.
I know I've seen these online, but can't for the life of me find them for the '96 now.
Oh wait, the new lamps don't come with new adjusters, do they?
 

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If anyone has new aftermarket lights (from ebay, Rockauto, etc...), it would be helpfull if you talked about the light output and the cutoff pattern.

I plan to buy new ones and would like to get the brand that has the sharpest cutoff pattern.

Thanks
 

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Dunno bout aftermarkets. Last month I purchased L&R NOS OEM's off eBay, which include new retainers and mounted bulbs, for a total cost of $144.99 shipped.
They arrived in Ford labeled boxes, had the blue protective film stuck on them and have the OEM adjuster fasteners, so they're the real McCoy.

If you want OEM quality & fit, better grab 'em while they last, folks! There are still some left, just search 1996 Thunderbird OEM headlight.
Why buy aftermarket when you can get OEM for the same or lower price? One OEM bulb retainer alone runs $12-20!
 

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Dunno bout aftermarkets. Last month I purchased L&R NOS OEM's off eBay, which include new retainers and mounted bulbs, for a total cost of $144.99 shipped.
They arrived in Ford labeled boxes, had the blue protective film stuck on them and have the OEM adjuster fasteners, so they're the real McCoy.

If you want OEM quality & fit, better grab 'em while they last, folks! There are still some left, just search 1996 Thunderbird OEM headlight.
Why buy aftermarket when you can get OEM for the same or lower price? One OEM bulb retainer alone runs $12-20!
looked them up . great price !!
 
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