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Guest Message by DevFuse

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restoring headlight lenses

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30 replies to this topic

#26 JPX


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Posted 07 June 2012 - 01:14 AM

7 years ago I took the headlights off my 96 Legacy to polish them. I had to break through the factory clearcoat which was a big pain since it is gummy and loads up the sandpaper. Once I broke through that, I used finer grades of wet-sanding to 2500 before machine polishing.

I sprayed them with clearcoat from a rattle can. It has held up okay but is beginning to show signs of starting all over again.
Posted ImagePosted Image

Question I can't remember if I asked this before but.. OK so you wet sand lights or if it's not that bad polish it and all.. now people say to use a clear film over the lights.. but then I hear people say the lights will still haze and yellow over time?

it's like I hear two different opinions over this.

I have the 3M paint protection film on my Suburban. The installer did the hood, bumper and mirror edges. I used the scraps he left behind to put them on the truck's headlights. No sign of yellowing or damage - but maybe the plastic quality is different - and maybe the film is doing a great job preventing the problem!

I think if I went through another round of headlight polishing, I would install the 3M paint protection film to the headlights of the Legacy.

Edited by JPX, 07 June 2012 - 01:16 AM.

#27 Fairtax4me



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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:17 PM

I have to polish the headlights on my car about every 6 months. I just go at them with some PlastX on a rotary buffer with a polish wheel and they come out nice and shiny. I did a write-up with pics.
http://ultimatesubar...cleaning thread

And I just realized how old this thread is. :-p

#28 1-3-2-4


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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:19 PM

I'm going to do the Spar urethane on my headlights big huge discussion on it (just search on google, holds up way better then those headlight restore kits or polish.

And since my car sits facing the sun like 4-5 hours a day this is good for me.. I already have the stuff sitting on my table I'm just not going to do that until the lights get sealed up.

#29 Frank B

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 12:22 PM

You have to get the old plastic off, no matter what you use to polish it. The old, damaged plastic has to come off first. It will always come back since the type of plastic used can't hold up to the UV rays, but your work will last much longer if you sand off the top layer of plastic first. Then the polish or whatever you use, may help protect it longer. I haven't had to redo mine, yet, and it's been a year now.

#30 Ruben


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Posted 08 June 2012 - 04:38 AM

One thing that did the trick for me in pinch was to grab a sock and then dip it brake fluid. I then rubbed the hell out of that headlamp for a much improved immediate effect.

Please dont try this unless its a last resort. It's a trick I learned when your in college and cant afford the $20 for a kit as that was my weekly laundry budget money. An old shade tree mechanic told me to try it. It worked just fine, but you gotta rub the hell out that headlamp.

Worked though.

#31 davebugs


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Posted 08 June 2012 - 06:24 AM

Rereading this thread I too used to use Ultra Brite for this before kits were available.

I have used a few different kits. And am aware that I don't need a kit. And that some folks including mothers and others make "compounds" "specifically" for this if you don't wanns use a compound you already have and/or very fine wet/dry paper.

I have settled on a kit from "Crystalview" I believe. The plastic bag it comes in looks silver/mirrorist and is like 20 bucks. I believe it also says "myheadlight.com"

2 grits, then a compound, then sealer.

Cleaning them up isn't the trick. Keeping them clear is!

FWIW this is all I use now.

Edited by davebugs, 08 June 2012 - 09:48 AM.

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