Headlight restoration suggestions

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pennzy
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Headlight restoration suggestions

Does anyone have a home brewed method of shining car headlights?

everydaysurvivalgear
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Hey mate try tooth paste use the grity stuff it works well but probably works out the same price as using cut and polish that works better. I’ve only ever cleaned plastic headlights.
Either one let dry a bit and try and rub it in if its to wet it doesn’t work as good.
Clay bar will also work but might be more expensive.

goshdogit
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You might instead consider replacing the headlamps.

I bought a pair of aftermarket ones on eBay for one of my vehicles for $75 shipped. They still look great a year later.

I was even able to recoup nearly all of the expense by selling one of the factory headlamps I removed. The other had some damage and wasn’t worth selling.

AdrianWA
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1500 grit sand paper and mothers cleaner car wax should do the job.

mcherry
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The 3M kit worked well with a drill Thumbs Up

L4M4
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Do you know ChrisFix?
Well, now you do Wink
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEJbKLZ7RmM

pennzy
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Tried baking soda and vinegar . Worked pretty well. Now I need to wax them if it ever stops raining .

freefly
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You can wet-sand starting with +/- 400 grit (or even 220 if they are really bad/pitted), and work your way up to 1500/2000. Once you are happy with the finish @ 1500/2000 (should still be a bit dull), clean with IPA and shoot them with a a few coats of a quality 2K UV clear coat. Once cured, wet sand again w/ 1500/2000 to remove orange peal from the clear coat, then polish . If you just wet sand and polish the plastic without using a clear coat, they will haze/yellow again in no time. Also, beware this is a fairly messy job!

pennzy
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That clear coat worries me that future sandings will be much harder.

freefly
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pennzy wrote:
That clear coat worries me that future sandings will be much harder.

If you you sand them, you will be removing (what’s left) of the factory UV coating, so they will oxidize much quicker, and require frequent “upkeep” afterwards. The best way to mitigate that is to spray them with a quality clear coat when you are done with the sanding process. If you don’t want to shoot them with clear, you can apply a good Clear-Bra type material instead (some people do both clear coat and clear-bra film). Or, you can even do a clear vinyl wrap on them. Although, most wrap material is typically thinner (less protective) than true clear-bra material.
pennzy
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Does wax protect the plastic?

AdrianWA
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pennzy wrote:
Does wax protect the plastic?

 

 

It does. I always put Meguiars cleaner wax once a month.

AdrianWA
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freefly wrote:
pennzy wrote:
That clear coat worries me that future sandings will be much harder.
If you you sand them, you will be removing (what's left) of the factory UV coating, so they will oxidize much quicker, and require frequent "upkeep" afterwards. The best way to mitigate that is to spray them with a quality clear coat when you are done with the sanding process. If you don't want to shoot them with clear, you can apply a good Clear-Bra type material instead (some people do both clear coat and clear-bra film). Or, you can even do a clear vinyl wrap on them. Although, most wrap material is typically thinner (less protective) than true clear-bra material.

 

 

If it gets hazzy that means the factory clear coat is already gone. Putting a clear coat on it will just make it harder. Cleaning the headlights once you do the sanding process is a scheduled maintenance thing a not a repair and forget about it. 

Paul321
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I plan to restore mine soon as well, with my previous car I sanded and polished with a 3M kit but did not apply a UV protectant (unaware at that time). Those headlights fogged again over in the course of a year.
I plan to use a kit with UV protectant this time around.
I will most likely get one of these kits, if available locally.
The Best Headlight Restoration Kits

I have watched a bunch of you tube home-brew methods, I am not convinced with what I viewed

Paul-

bibihang
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freefly wrote:
You can wet-sand starting with +/- 400 grit (or even 220 if they are really bad/pitted), and work your way up to 1500/2000. Once you are happy with the finish @ 1500/2000 (should still be a bit dull), clean with IPA and shoot them with a a few coats of a quality 2K UV clear coat. Once cured, wet sand again w/ 1500/2000 to remove orange peal from the clear coat, then polish . If you just wet sand and polish the plastic without using a clear coat, they will haze/yellow again in no time. Also, beware this is a fairly messy job!

Thanks for the great advice. Any recommendation for the good clear-coat product?
freefly
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bibihang wrote:
freefly wrote:
You can wet-sand starting with +/- 400 grit (or even 220 if they are really bad/pitted), and work your way up to 1500/2000. Once you are happy with the finish @ 1500/2000 (should still be a bit dull), clean with IPA and shoot them with a a few coats of a quality 2K UV clear coat. Once cured, wet sand again w/ 1500/2000 to remove orange peal from the clear coat, then polish . If you just wet sand and polish the plastic without using a clear coat, they will haze/yellow again in no time. Also, beware this is a fairly messy job!

Thanks for the great advice. Any recommendation for the good clear-coat product?

SprayMax makes a quality 2k (2 component) clear, as well as a “primer” (polycarb adhesion promoter).
They also sell both together as a set specifically for headlight restoration (smaller cans). Thumbs Up

EDIT: Found the part numbers for each:

SprayMax 2k clearcoat: P/N: 684066
SprayMax 1k polycarbonate sealer/primer: P/N: 684098
SprayMax sealer/clearcoat set: P/N: 684099

Beer
bibihang
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freefly wrote:
SprayMax makes a quality 2k (2 component) clear, as well as a “primer” (polycarb adhesion promoter).
They also sell both together as a set specifically for headlight restoration (smaller cans). Thumbs Up

EDIT: Found the part numbers for each:

SprayMax 2k clearcoat: P/N: 684066
SprayMax 1k polycarbonate sealer/primer: P/N: 684098
SprayMax sealer/clearcoat set: P/N: 684099

Beer
Thank you! Beer