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HEADLIGHT RESTORATION
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wwpptc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:43 pm    Post subject: HEADLIGHT RESTORATION Reply with quote

From toothpaste to real high dollar kits. Anybody got any experience with any of the headlight restoration methods?


Jerry
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the3dgm
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've only ever tried one. A Turtle Wax kit from Auto Zone. I tried it on a '95 Dodge Ram I'd bought from a nursery that had no two body panels the same color and didn't have an inch that wasn't dented. Both head lamps were just yellow!

I bought the kit to try just because it was on sale and was under $10. If I remember correctly it was just some pads with different grit sand paper attach, couple of cleaning pads, a polish and a protector. All manual, no tools needed, and it actually worked well on the one side. The other had a crack and was bad on the inside. Sad

I think it recommended a light touch up with the protector every 4 to 6 months, but, my poor truck was T-boned about a month later.
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mcdirtymetal
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had success with fine grit paper and Autosol. Gotta seal them after though.
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wwpptc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 7:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I saw a video recently that a guy first rubbed (cleaned) the headlight with 000 steel wool then once or twice more but using 0000 this time. Then he simply poured acetone onto a rag and carefully wiped the headlight surface with it, being careful to not contact the paint. It showed him simply making a single pass (don't make a second pass over any of the surface) and in only one direction. This all makes sense because he first cleaned and roughed up the surface with the steel wool and then instantly melted the surface into even clear surface with the acetone.

He had no recommendation for long term protection of the lights.

I don't recommend this method. I just thought it was interesting. Very Happy


Jerry
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soonercruiser
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The one time I bought a headlight resto kit, the results were just "good".
Regular clearcoats yellow over time.

So, Since then I've always use DIY methods.

1. Tape off lens.

2. Wet&dry sandpaper....dripping water.....600 grit (more if heavy chips)....1,000 grit......1,500 grit.

3. The only thing I would buy special was a Clearcoat spray with UV PROTECTANT in it....several light coats are better than heavy ones.

4. Wet sand 1,500 again. Dry....x2 light coats of the clear.
***Let stand 48 hours for the spray paint to "cure" well.

5. Buff/polish.

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wwpptc
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 18, 2019 10:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like the method and the results are really good.


Jerry
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rcktpwrd
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the Harbor Freight kit a few times on mine. It worked OK. The lenses would be a lot cleaner and clearer afterwards, but since there was no clear coat/UV protection anymore it would only last so long. Maybe a year or so before needed a touching up. I could have sprayed them with clear paint to help. The other problem was that the plastic breaks down over time, so there were lots of hairline cracks in the lenses that no amount of sanding would correct. Also the chrome in the reflectors was starting to go bad.
The best solution is a new set of headlights. Which is what I did and it's also another way to customize the car!

from this:


to this:

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wwpptc
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 5:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good info so far guys.

Rcktpwrd, I like those headlights!!! Cool


Jerry
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rcktpwrd
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 6:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Jerry!

I also really like the look of them! Very Happy

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GT Bruiser
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had great results using the 3M headlight restoration kit. Well, I bought two, but combined them into one large kit that I've used on 5 sets of headlights. They look nearly new, though takes patience and time.

They have wheel mounted pads you attach to a drill. Only real hassle is the spatter needing cleanup afterward. It takes about 45 minutes per light to restore, but the results are worth it.

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2003 GT #2-This bitch is getting built!
2005 PT Touring Edition Convertible Turbo-Mostly stock. S1 PCM, maybe more.
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wwpptc
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've heard good things about the 3M kit. Does the kit have a product for keeping them clear?

Thanks for your input. Very Happy


Jerry
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06PTElectricBlue
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT Bruiser wrote:
I've had great results using the 3M headlight restoration kit. Well, I bought two, but combined them into one large kit that I've used on 5 sets of headlights. They look nearly new, though takes patience and time.

They have wheel mounted pads you attach to a drill. Only real hassle is the spatter needing cleanup afterward. It takes about 45 minutes per light to restore, but the results are worth it.


I've had good results with the 3M kit:



But the splatter can be a real mess. winking

Since I live in an apartment, I go to a local car wash late at night, or even when raining, to do the process. I figure late at night when nobody else will be there and they won't might if I tie up one of their bays for a while. And it doesn't really matter when raining as nobody else will be there anyway. Then when I'm done, I can spray off the splatter. Very Happy

One time, I even took the time to put a cheap drop cloth over the entire front end to make clean up easier. It took a little bit to put the drop cloth on the vehicle and tape off around the headlights, but in the end it made the clean up easier. You have to tape off around the headlights anyway to keep from damaging the paint should you get too close to the edge of the light. winking





They do have a Headlight Clear Coat pad in the kit as the final step, but I haven't used it.

I prefer to periodically use the 3M Synthetic Wax Protectant to keep them protected.

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Last edited by 06PTElectricBlue on Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:03 pm; edited 1 time in total
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wwpptc
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you mean the Turtle Wax Ice, that's what I use.


Jerry
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GT Bruiser
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wwpptc wrote:
Does the kit have a product for keeping them clear?

Thanks for your input. Very Happy


Jerry

It does. It's 3M's Synthetic Wax Protectant. That can also be purchased separately as PN 39030.

It lasts about 6 months, though I reapply every 4 due to our Minnesota winters.

Sorry about the pics being dark. Taken in the garage with just the old overhead lights on (2 lonely 100 watt bulbs). Paint looks like crap too, but was sitting in the garage for 3 or so months at that time.




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2003 GT #1-Mostly stock, rebuilt engine/trans, Borla dual exhaust, modified TD04, S1 PCM, S2 Coilovers, Brabus steering wheel, K&N Filters.
2003 GT #2-This bitch is getting built!
2005 PT Touring Edition Convertible Turbo-Mostly stock. S1 PCM, maybe more.
2016 Nissan Juke Nismo RS-All stock and staying that way.
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06PTElectricBlue
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 20, 2019 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

GT Bruiser wrote:
wwpptc wrote:
Does the kit have a product for keeping them clear?

Thanks for your input. Very Happy


Jerry

It does. It's 3M's Synthetic Wax Protectant. That can also be purchased separately as PN 39030.

It lasts about 6 months, though I reapply every 4 due to our Minnesota winters.

Sorry about the pics being dark. Taken in the garage with just the old overhead lights on (2 lonely 100 watt bulbs). Paint looks like crap too, but was sitting in the garage for 3 or so months at that time.


That's what I use but I reapply it after about every other car wash.

The last 3M kit that I purchased included a couple packets of this product:



But I didn't use it because I wasn't sure if I could successfully apply it without causing some kind of streaking or smearing. winking

But the wax holds up fine Very Happy

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