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Front lenses

Discussion in '365 GT4 2+2/400/412' started by Arvid, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Arvid

    Arvid Formula Junior
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    May 28, 2012
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    Arvid Andersson
    After 37 years my front lenses are not what they should be. The clear side still looks like new but the amber part is starting to loose its glory. A year ago I ordered a set of $900 new lenses from a US manufacturer but they where a huge disappointment. Did not fit at all and I suspect rest of the stock is the same.... Well,back on with the originals.

    Can the remaining amber laquer be "washed" off without damaging the plastic ? I have tried to refinish one of them with correct amber spray paint but that sure does not look good enough.

    I for one think a black 400 looks better with all clear lenses so I would really like a reasonable set of those. But buying new production sets is not an option.

    What to do ?
     
  2. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    Parts house sells amber plastic. I bought some for a LaForza worked perfect. Very cheap
     
  3. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Arvid,

    I know that you mentioned that repos are not an option... but in case you have not found these ... Squadra Nuvolari sells repos for $976/$856 USD (remember this is for a set). Interestingly Ebay vendors are trying to sell new/repos(?) for $985 USD each or $1400 USD for a set... argh... Even worn out ones have ebay listing prices around $400 USD.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  4. Arvid

    Arvid Formula Junior
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    Mitchell,do You mean this store : Automotive Parts by The Parts House | Wholesale auto parts and truck parts by TPH in the US and Puerto Rico

    And what did You do ? Bought a piece of amber plastic or a front lens ??

    Greetings Sam. The ones I bought was from Squadra and they where way off allthough they say the lenses are test fitted on an empty housing to ensure perfect fit. Maybe I was just unlucky and got a worped set,I don't know... But test fitted ? No way...

    I do not know of any other sources for these lenses than the ones from Squadra. Lyle Tanner also have in stock but they are also from Squadra.

    Are there any other options ?
     
  5. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    Ital-spares, Germany. they show two for breaking. I bought a piece of amber plastic. worked for my Laforza. will not for a ferrari
     
  6. squidmark

    squidmark Karting

    Sep 11, 2011
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    Howard Dent
    Hi Arvid,
    When I rebuilt my 365 I stuck with the old lenses - I cleaned off all the old peeling orange lacquer with cellulose thinners and a toothbrush (do all start as clear from the factory?), but be careful not to leave it on for long as it will 'melt' the plastic! I then masked up very carefully and sprayed the inside with a Tamiya orange lacquer - very light coats and the same number on each one. Results were quite satisfactory :)
     
  7. Arvid

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    Thanks Howard,

    Sounds touchy :) Did the plastic dissolve ? If I could get rid of all the amber I might keep them all clear if the plastic doesn't get white-ish and non-transparent.

    Personally I think a black 400's best suits clear lenses and it would still be considered original. I might do that if it's doable :)
     
  8. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Arvid,

    That is terrible! I hope you returned the lenses and Squadra returned your $$$, otherwise that would not speak well for them!

    Other options? ... well... after I posted I took a closer look at the lenses to see how much effort it would be to make a new set of lenses myself (I need some new lenses too, as my lenses are so-so at best ...a crack in one and a few chips in another. After examining the lenses I can see that creating a suitable mold would be really, really tough. I have not given up, but recreating these lenses will be difficult (for me anyway). I will follow up should I make some progress on this.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  9. full_garage

    full_garage Formula 3
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  10. Arvid

    Arvid Formula Junior
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    Jay, apparently I am not the only one who struggled with these and apparently mine where worse than yours. I thought they where s..t and for $900 + shipping + 25% tax I was really really dissapointed. The amber corner was bent downwards so the hole for the screw was 5mm off alignment along with the lens itself beeing to big to fit inside housing. As I said,I really hope these where a bad example that never should have been sold.

    Sam, Yes,they willingly agreed for me to return them,no problem there,but package arrived US totally flattened and insurance was only valid in Europe... Total loss.

    So I need new ones once again but I will not go through the same cutting,grinding and forcing. I want them to slot into place as the originals do. If there is currently only one manufacturer for these I'll wait it out until there are others.

    Go for it Sam :) Maybe You have a set for sale in a while ;-)
     
  11. samsaprunoff

    samsaprunoff F1 Rookie
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    Good day Arvid,

    What a horrible experience! ... As for the fitment issues... wow, this is not good that both you and Jay had issues. Squadra really should have sent you a replacement pronto. Adding to this mess, I am shocked/disappointed that Squadra would not have worked with you in some way given the disaster in return shipping the lenses...

    As for my attempt at this... The only issue I am finding is how to construct some suitable molds for a reasonable $$$. Usually I would make a silicone mold, etc. but the lens(es) is(are) large, complex, with undercuts which can creates issue. Consequently, I am going to try a 3D Laser scan and see how that works (I have access to a 3D scanner... but this is my first time using it). If the scan turns out, then I will forward the scan data (which some tweaks) to my machinist to see if can to make a mold for me. If so, then I am confident that I can replicate these lenses... As I said, I will keep you posted.

    Cheers,

    Sam
     
  12. galbert

    galbert Formula Junior

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    #12 galbert, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
  13. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    two new sets! not re-production. $1,500 plus freight.
     
  14. squidmark

    squidmark Karting

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    #14 squidmark, Apr 17, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    Here's a before and after of mine - it did take quite a while and one was so bad I had to replace it with another 'used' one (thanks Russell and Greg), but they came out ok I think. I made and fitted new aluminium spacers at the same time as only one was still in place, and probably the most important thing was to find an epoxy to stick them in that stays clear - after 6 months I had to 'do' mine again :-(

    Mitchell, I'm jealous...

    Howard.
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  15. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    they look beautiful! the talent of his group never stops amazing. I only asked for two sets there may be more. anyone interested?
     
  16. Highmiler

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    #16 Highmiler, Apr 19, 2015
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    I had mine apart, decided they looked too awkward for me to work on and sent both lenses, cans and all, to Squadra. They came back restored internally and assembled. They fit the car as they originally fit. The photo of the front shows the original lenses and the one on the bench the before and after the Squadra trip.
    When I installed the refreshed cans I realized the left front sheet metal had been repaired. This caused a bit of a struggle but was no fault of Squadra's.
    From the tales of woe above I'm glad I did it the way I did.
    Greg
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  17. bundas

    bundas F1 Veteran
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    Good for u
     
  18. Arvid

    Arvid Formula Junior
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    Greg,looks like they did a good job. Looks very nice indeed.

    Squadra offered to install mine as well but the thought of shipping my fairly un-obtainable light assemblies seemed to scary. I've sent a few items in my time and not all of them did arrive in one piece...
     
  19. DaveO_48

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    #19 DaveO_48, Oct 23, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2015
    It looks like I'm following the rest of you down this slippery path. When I worked on old Dodges and the unobtainable lenses weren't cracked but the paint mask was faded or peeled we would put dot 3 brake fluid in them and it would lift the paint off. No we did not soak them over night. It was short stints of pour in the brake fluid, move it around and as the paint lifted dump out the brake fluid and wash out with water. DOT 3 can absorb water as such it can be neutralized.
    Here's my question. Has anyone attempted this on Ferrari lenses? I'm a bit gun shy diving into these rather difficult to source and expensive lenses . I would be a bit more cautiously optimistic if anyone else had tried it too. Or has anyone used another tried and workable method for removing the amber tint?
    I have one assembly apart. It wasn't that difficult to separate the lens from the housing. I will be looking for a suitable sealer to refit the lenses when done.
    Next I am guessing that an egg shell white will make a suitable repaint for the interior. Then there are the reflectors. Have them polished and chromed or use some sort of silver/chrome spray paint? The chrome would be ideal but I'm worried about them disappearing into the chromer's chemicals and dissolving. So, I'm leaning toward one of the newer chrome like aerosol paint products after I polish out the rust pits and sanding marks.
    And I had better ask, because while I searched for this in the forum I didn't find it, has this been in a thread before. It would be helpful to review what others have tried and the results. I saw the thread that dealt mostly with reproduction lenses and the problems they have. But nothing on restoring the entire assembly.
    I'd appreciate any help, ideas, input, that might be available to keep me from ending up looking for NOS lenses at some astronomical price.
     
  20. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
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    Dec 26, 2001
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    Ive used the foil hvac tape you see on steel ducting as a reflector to go over pitted or rusted reflectors. Sticks like poop to an army blanket too.
     
  21. nota400

    nota400 Karting

    Nov 21, 2015
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    Arvid, Eurospares.uk have four Ferrari 400i's in the "Breaking for Spares" section.
     
  22. Arvid

    Arvid Formula Junior
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    Hi :)

    It's been a long time since I searched for new lenses. I have sort of realized that the ones I have are good enough - but not perfect.

    I will buy if I by chance come across really good original ones for an ok price or the reproductions come up to par. I fear the chance me waking up younger and slimmer is greater...

    Maybe there is a way to clean off the amber ? Howard earlier mentioned cellulose thinner. I might give that a try one day.
     

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