Headlight Restoration

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PATRIOT
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Headlight Restoration

Post by PATRIOT »

Looking to restore my cloudy headlight lens . . . have seen all the kits and commercials but has anyone actually had any success with any process?
Here is a shot of one lens I experimented with using things I had on hand . . . 1500 grit wet/dry hand sanding and then a coat of clear laquer. Spraymax 2K 3684064 seems to get good reviews as a final coat which is why I tried the laquer.
It's not as good as I'd like so I'll sand it off and go deeper with maybe 320 grit especially on the upper half of the lens.
Attachments
SpayMax2K.jpg
2.jpg
1.jpg
Last edited by PATRIOT on 22 Oct 2015, 01:07, edited 1 time in total.

lovedr79
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Headlight Restoration

Post by lovedr79 »

i had really good luck with regular old bug repellant. spray it on a rag, buff away haziness. makes me wonder whats in it that we spray all over ourselves. i have also used one of 3M's kits that uses a drill and buffing pads.
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RiverBottomOutdoors
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Headlight Restoration

Post by RiverBottomOutdoors »

Buddy of mine does this on the side. He just wet sands.

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Bigwrench
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Headlight Restoration

Post by Bigwrench »

RiverBottomOutdoors wrote:Buddy of mine does this on the side. He just wet sands.
What he said !
You don't need to buy any expensive kits , I do recommend you buy the Mini 3M buffing kit you can get at Oriellys or Advance for like $17 or something similar
It will chuck up in a drill or right angle buffer/grinder and will work perfect for headlights, taillights and all sorts of hard to get places on your cars and fiberglass boats (If you have one). I even use it to restore Aluminum wheels. 1500 grit wet/dry sandpaper, you can follow up with 2000 & 3000 if you want too, I do just because I have tons of sandpaper available to me, use a good buffing compound ,I like to use the 3M finesse it products.I always wet sand with water that has a few tablespoons of soap in it , something I was taught years ago here at work. you can even coat the headlights with wax and wipe clean with a microfiber towel. I have done hundreds over the years this way and it works great for a do it yourself project. I do not recommend using that clear coat stuff that comes in those kits , had too many issues with that stuff
This method usually lasts a couple years and then you can do the same process .
Hope this helps some

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Headlight Restoration

Post by ggoldy »

Has anyone used toothpaste? Or is that just an old wives tale?
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Steve A W
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Headlight Restoration

Post by Steve A W »

The 3M kit worked good once I switched to an
electric drill. The cordless didn't have enough RPM's to work.
Cleaned the lenses real good but the reflectors were worn and
it is still dim. :x

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PATRIOT
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Headlight Restoration

Post by PATRIOT »

The "kits" kinda turned me off because it seemed you were paying for sandpaper and buffing wheels. The most important item seems to be the final coat of whatever you use, IMO.
So I sanded both lens back down with 320grit wet/dry, then up to 600grit, then 1500grit. (@$1.00 per sheet)
I wasn't aggressive enough on the first try and starting with 320grit erased all the mistakes.
They came out a lot better and removing them from the vehicle made it a whole lot easier to spray.
Attachments
FirstTry1.jpg
FirstTry.jpg
320_grit.jpg
Final.jpg
Final1.jpg

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Jim
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Headlight Restoration

Post by Jim »

Nice job! Good as new!
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Lowe14owner
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Headlight Restoration

Post by Lowe14owner »

I will also throw my vote in for the 3M kit from O'Reilly's. I think I may have got mine from Wally World. I used it on my wife's '98 Honda last winter. I, too, found that my cordless drill didn't have the speed I needed so I used my corded drill. The lights are still as clear as day.

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Bigwrench
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Headlight Restoration

Post by Bigwrench »

Those look great ! Only reason I suggested the kit is to get the mandrel with the polishing pads , it will last a long time. The sandpaper of course can be obtained a lot cheaper elsewhere. I bought a kit from Snap On once and it was like $70 , it had a few other buffing pad attachments that are useful but wasn't worth that much.
Lowe14owner wrote: I used it on my wife's '98 Honda last winter. I, too, found that my cordless drill didn't have the speed I needed so I used my corded drill. The lights are still as clear as day.
One of my daughters has a 99 Honda Civic and it had the problem the worst. Seems Honda is prone to this problem.

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Jim
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Post by Jim »

Bigwrench wrote: One of my daughters has a 99 Honda Civic and it had the problem the worst. Seems Honda is prone to this problem.
Agree! The Wifes 2005 Honda Pilot is horrible.
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Johnny
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Headlight Restoration

Post by Johnny »

what is more aggravating is when you get the outside lens all polished,
then you notice that the silver on the inside is coming loose due to moisture - - -
thus pops $200 for a new set. ](*,)

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PATRIOT
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Headlight Restoration

Post by PATRIOT »

Guess we'll see how long the lacquer top coat lasts versus the 2-part clearcoat since this was just an experiment. I think part of the problem is the headlight being mounted at such a vertical angle that it gets blasted pretty good while driving. Same goes for the windshield which I've had to replace numerous times.

-CN-
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Headlight Restoration

Post by -CN- »

Tooth paste works, and you don't have to worry about getting it on the paint.
Peanut butter also works (creamy, not crunchy you idiot).

lovedr79
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Headlight Restoration

Post by lovedr79 »

I used to use toothpaste, works alright.
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