Sun Faded Lens Fix


Technical information and Q&A applicable to all years and models of Goldwings
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Dane
Posts: 7
Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 9:55 pm
Location: Wisconsin
Motorcycle: 1996 GL1500SE

Sun Faded Lens Fix

Post by Dane »



After decades of service and many miles of fun, the lights on the rear bumper of my 96 GL 1500 SE had sun faded and lost much of their red tint. Instead of replacing the bumper or trying to find new lenses, I found a cheap and easy fix that I thought I would share. This fix can also work on brake lights or any lens you want red.

Before Repair
Before Repair


After Repair
After Repair

What you need:
1. Dish washing detergent that removes grease.
2. Masking or blue painters tape.
3. One can of Testors #1605 Gloss Custom Red spray enamel. (It's a transparent red.)
(You should be able to find this paint at most hobby shops. I got mine at the local Hobby Lobby.)

Transparent Red Paint
Transparent Red Paint

I chose to paint the INSIDE of the lens as that is where most of the pigment was located originally. (Also by NOT painting the outside there are much fewer steps required such as clear coating, and polishing the paint to get a good result.)

The first step is to remove the lens and give it a thorough cleaning. I simply used warm water and grease cutting detergent with an old tooth brush, and rinsed well. (Avoid chemicals if you can as it may melt or damage the plastic lens.) I then dried each lens with a micro fiber towel and hung by a wire through one of the screw holes to allow to air dry for an hour or so.

Once completely dry, I taped off the sides and front of the lens that I didn't want painted.
I lined the lenses up so I could paint all four in a steady sweep, giving them a semi-heavy coat.

After First Coat Line
After First Coat Line

It looked like crap, and there was some pooling in the bottom of the ridges, but once it dried it looked great!
After an hour and a half, I gave it a second light coat. I placed the finished lenses in a box and covered for 24 hours to gas out and completely dry.

Once dry I removed the tape, and reinstalled the lenses being careful not to crack them by over tightening the screws. The bumper looks like new again, and the lights are a perfect shade of red when lit and bright. Just that easy!

Here are a couple of before and after photos of the bumper.

Before Repair
Before Repair


After Repair A Nice Ruby Red!
After Repair A Nice Ruby Red!

I'm not sure why all the lights look so yellow in this photo (cell phone camera), but they are a beautiful red in real life.

Lit Up
Lit Up




Good Hondog
Posts: 206
Joined: Sun May 14, 2017 6:56 pm
Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Motorcycle: 1980 GL1100 Interstate
1978 GL1000

Re: Sun Faded Lens Fix

Post by Good Hondog »

Awesome job! That's a neat trick you used to fix those.

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Mh434
Posts: 1512
Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2014 10:24 pm
Location: Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
Motorcycle: 1997 gl1500 SE
Previous:
1981 GL1100I
1989 Kawasaki Concours

Re: Sun Faded Lens Fix

Post by Mh434 »

I'd forgotten about that stuff! I used it, years ago, and it worked surprisingly well. They also make an amber color for signal lenses etc.

Interestingly, I needed some touch-up paint for a "Guard's Red" Porsche I had a few years ago. The "Porsche" brand was ridiculously expensive for what it was, and Testor's actually made (probably still do) make Porsche-licensed bottles of model paint in the actual patented Guard's Red color. It was a perfect match....and only a buck or two for a bottle that lasted me for years.

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Wing--Man
Posts: 87
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2016 4:51 pm
Location: 60477
Motorcycle: Its-A-Wing--Man

Re: Sun Faded Lens Fix

Post by Wing--Man »

Years ago I used Candy Apple Red on the insides of lenses.
Had to count the coats for balanced red color.

Some of the larger brake light lenses and shapes lend themselves to embedded pinstripe for that custom look.


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