Headlights

Teegate

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On the borderline of Electronic Insanity so I am going with it. :D


My plastic headlights were glazing over so I watched a few videos online and worked on sanding them today. I am not kidding when I say in exactly 15 minutes I had the first one looking like glass. It is very easy if you have the elbow grease to sand that long.

Before

IMG_0707a.jpg


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And after.

IMG_0713a.jpg



Just make sure you tape the paint. I didn't and hit one spot. No worse than piney pinstripes so I am good with that.
 

46er

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I used my electric drill at low speed and a spray bottle of water, then finished off with light compound.
 

Teegate

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The video shows the man starting with 400/600 but that is way to course. I started with 1500 and in no time it worked well. Then I went to 2000 and finished. However, if I ever have to do them again I am going to try 3000 because even with 2000 you can see sanding lines if you look closely.

I found that by using the garden hose on a slight spray constantly, it worked really well washing the plastic off and keeping the sandpaper clean. A spray bottle requires constant pumping to do the same.

The video showed the use of clear coat at the end but I found that waxing them looked pretty good. That may not last so time will tell.
 
Last edited:

rc911

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On the borderline of Electronic Insanity so I am going with it. :D


My plastic headlights were glazing over so I watched a few videos online and worked on sanding them today. I am not kidding when I say in exactly 15 minutes I had the first one looking like glass. It is very easy if you have the elbow grease to sand that long.

Before

View attachment 11697

View attachment 11698


And after.

View attachment 11699


Just make sure you tape the paint. I didn't and hit one spot. No worse than piney pinstripes so I am good with that.
There is a commercial product to do the same thing with very little elbow grease. I was told that it is nothing more than brake fluid but I don't know for sure as I've never tried it.
 

Teegate

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There is a commercial product to do the same thing with very little elbow grease. I was told that it is nothing more than brake fluid but I don't know for sure as I've never tried it.

If it is brake fluid you run the risk of getting that on the paint. Years ago I had paint come off when brake fluid was left on it.
 

Broke Jeep Joe

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I have used several versions of those products only to have the haze return. I usually replace the assemblies with a brand from amazon that i have good luck with snd are reasonable in price and include all bulbs, etc. They are called eagle eye i believe, i will verify when i’m im the garage in a bit.
 
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Zach McGarvey

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I do this to my wife's car several times a year-- at first the result looks great but in a month or so the haze returns. The problem is, by removing the outer layer of the polycarbonate lens, you've taken away the UV protection.
 
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46er

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I do this to my wife's car several times a year-- at first the result looks great but in a month or so the haze returns. The problem is, by removing the outer layer of the polycarbonate lens, you've taken away the UV protection.
There is a rustoleum product, 2X ultra cover gloss clear, that will seal and protect the lens from UV, which is what causes the discolorationin the first place. I found it in H'Depot, its in a rattle can in the paint area. I mask the area with half a garbage bag on each lens. I'm pretty sure there is a UTube vid on its use.

Just put the GTI back on the road with clear shiny lenses.
 

Teegate

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There is a rustoleum product, 2X ultra cover gloss clear, that will seal and protect the lens from UV, which is what causes the discolorationin the first place. I found it in H'Depot, its in a rattle can in the paint area. I mask the area with half a garbage bag on each lens.
The 3000 grit was available today at the HomeDepo when it wasn't the last time I did them. So I will sand them again today and do my wife's car also. I also purchased the clear gloss and will give that a try today.
 
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46er

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The 3000 grit was available today at the HomeDepo when it wasn't the last time I did them.
I like using a polishing compound on a small buffer pad that fits the drill, low speed with a lot of spray bottle water. I find it doesn't remove as much of the lens as the sandpaper.

 

Teegate

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From what I see with the lenses on my car I could sand them every year for my lifetime with the 3000 grit and they still would be thick. The first time I did them it took quite a bit off, but this time was quite a bit less.I am going to spray them in a little while after the car dries.
 

Teegate

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I used the spray and was not happy with the results. They looked better without it. Next time I will not use it.
 

old jersey girl

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I just cleaned a friend's 2010 Camry headlights. Didn't want to use radical material removal to start, so used a milder product. headlight lenses much clearer, yellow haze and dirt gone. Product (found at Walmart!): Meguiars PLASTX. Comes in a 10 oz fluid white bottle, contains petroleum distillates, aluminum oxide.
So, a mild abrasive plus cleaner. Will do headlights on my 2004 Avalon today.
Has anyone else applied a polish/UV inhibitor after cleaning the lenses?
Probably will eventually need to replace whole assembly, but this result good for now.
 

old jersey girl

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Jul 26, 2017
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south nj near Delaware bayshore
There is a rustoleum product, 2X ultra cover gloss clear, that will seal and protect the lens from UV, which is what causes the discolorationin the first place. I found it in H'Depot, its in a rattle can in the paint area. I mask the area with half a garbage bag on each lens. I'm pretty sure there is a UTube vid on its use.

Just put the GTI back on the road with clear shiny lenses.
Anyone else used this ?
 

Teegate

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The videos show the lens looking really nice after using it but I got the orange peal look. One video did say you could lightly sand it to remove that but to me that will take it off. I am going to just do them every 6 months and deal with the time it takes.
 

46er

Piney
Mar 24, 2004
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The videos show the lens looking really nice after using it but I got the orange peal look.
Orange peel is usually caused by applying the material too far away from the surface being sprayed; this causes evaporation of some material before it can build up sufficiently on the surface, giving the pock-marked surface. Other factors could be air temp and wind if done outside.
 
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