SAAC Forum

Off Topic Area => The Lounge => Topic started by: SNAKEBIT on December 12, 2018, 07:24:01 PM

Title: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: SNAKEBIT on December 12, 2018, 07:24:01 PM
Hello. I ran across this video on YouTube. See if it works for you all. I've tried several different ways and this looks like he knows what he is doing. He says he has a background in plastics manufacturing. I'm going to try it on my CR-V. Let me know how it turned out as I will, too! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2ZRKPshPVM
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: Bill on December 12, 2018, 09:20:28 PM
Do not use acetone on a modern headlight assembly under any circumstances, not matter what you see on Youtube  ::)
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: 427heaven on December 12, 2018, 09:47:37 PM
Why not ,looks easy enough? ;D
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: mark p on December 13, 2018, 04:20:15 PM
I used the 3M kit (goes on end of electric drill) on our old Taurus... all abrasive/polish, no chemicals. I was pleased with the results.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: cbrown on December 13, 2018, 06:28:39 PM
Sand them with 400 on bad spots then 800 da   and then clear them .  We do it everyday in shop. 

chris
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: SNAKEBIT on December 16, 2018, 11:48:43 AM
I took them from like 1000 grit, to 3K and then 5K and then I used a white polishing compound, but it didn't seem to get to that glass-clear stage, like new. Btw, why not use acetone? He used it in his video. He said he worked in the plastics field. Was he lying you think? I don't know. I just want factory bright lenses again. I found some new ones for under $200. I might just buy new ones and clear-coat them and keep up with the clear twice a year, to keep them from getting scratched up from use.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: Bill on December 16, 2018, 01:49:44 PM
Btw, why not use acetone? He used it in his video. He said he worked in the plastics field.

Acetone can weaken and cause modern day polycarbonate plastic (which is what they use to make headlight assemblies) to become brittle and crack. Modern day headlight restoration (this is not a permanent solution in any way shape or form, no matter what you read on the web or see on late night TV) starts with 1,000 grit "automotive" wet/dry sand paper (wet, always wet), then jumps to 1,500 grit, before being polished with both a buffer using 2,000 grit rubbing compound, and 2,500 grit polishing/finish glaze. Some will want to clear over this, I do not recommend spray clears for modern day headlight assemblies as they will yellow over time due to the heat from the headlamp bulbs themselves, and will chip off from the road debris it encounters.

But then again, what would I know  ;)

PS: If purchasing new headlamps, they make clear overlays, similar to race visor tear offs that you can put on to protect the headlamps themselves. Replace as needed.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: pmustang on December 16, 2018, 02:16:14 PM
my wife had our body guy do her 2006 CRV lights,  they were FRIED on the tops,  milky brown

He sanded them smooth and clearcoated, came out brilliant.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: stangman39 on December 17, 2018, 12:51:29 PM
I recently did similar to what Bill suggested (prior to seeing his post) on a Boxster and it made the lights look much better.
It was my first attempt at doing this.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: SNAKEBIT on December 22, 2018, 04:50:29 PM
Bill, everyone, thanks for the good advice. I also have some 3K and 5K auto wet/dry, to take it higher. You said to use glaze after you finish polishing them? I have a white stick, which I guess is used for polishing aluminum. I used that with a cone-shaped buffer. It came out pretty good, but in my estimation, it just didn't seem clear enough. Bill, you said do not used an clear coating on them. I wouldn't mind lightly going over them once a year and re-applying a clear, so long as they turned out great each time. Hmm . . . thinking.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: CSX 4133 on December 22, 2018, 08:39:23 PM
Rather than a Glaze, use a Sealant with a UV protectant. The sealant will last for approximately six month's and can then be reapplied as needed.

This product works extremely well at protecting optically clear plastic/glass.

https://www.chemicalguys.com/JetSeal_16_oz_p/wac_118_16.htm?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIj_Kw8Oi03wIViMBkCh1uMQL_EAQYBCABEgL8WfD_BwE
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: SNAKEBIT on December 23, 2018, 08:07:28 PM
Oh, I've heard of this company. I've never bought any of them, but I will check these out. Thanks, mac! :P
I checked it out. For $39., it sounds like a good buy. I'll get some, use it and get back to you all, at a later date this early Spring.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: 98SVT - was 06GT on December 23, 2018, 10:24:25 PM
Clear coat is a quick fix to hide scratches from not taking the time to go through all the steps. A lot of the aftermarket lights are Chinese and a far cry from OE both in quality and the amount of time they'll last.
Title: Re: Modern Car Headlight Restoration
Post by: SNAKEBIT on December 27, 2018, 11:06:22 PM
I believe that and that is probably why I found some replacements for under $200. This CR-V I have, has been ok. Its had several electrical problems, one of which may be of my own making, since I caused a spark while trying to insert a new bulb into the light pod. Oops! :o :-\