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Old 12-22-2010, 10:32 AM   Thread Starter #1
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Default How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Courtesy of http://www.focusfanatics.com

---------------------

Tools used:
-Cordless drill w/ extra batteries (I went through 3 of them)
-3M Headlight restore kit (Use the instructions!!!)
-Plastx rubbing compound
-Shop rags
-Lots-o-tape
-Spray bottle filled with water
-A good shop stool!

Here she goes..


Before:

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After 400-grit:

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After 800-grit (forgot to take pictures) and 3000-grit wet sand:

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After the rubbing compound:

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Success! After one more pass with the 2000-grit wet sand and rubbing compound:

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The final product (after a good washing):

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The 3M kit really does work! It also ended up being a few bucks cheaper at my local Autozone than buying all the sandpaper and rubbing compound seperately. And it's soooo much easier than doing it by hand. All you need is a cordless drill (as seen in some of the pics.) Although their instructions say to only do one row of tape, just double it up (one strip on top of the other.) But I HIGHLY recommend doing about 3 or 4 rows of tape wide jusssst in case. In order to hit some of the corners, you have to get in very close. And my paint around the headlights ended up catching some 800-grit in a couple places, all because there just wasn't enough tape. And another thing, make sure you're not sanding areas of the headlight that you don't have 100% visual of. It sounds like common sense, but after a while you just don't think about it. In order to hit the bottom lip of the headlight, you really need to get down there and look underneath the sander because I went over the tape without even noticing I was that close. So, just put in the extra 5 minutes for more tape.

Also, I was told this could be done in about 40 minutes..now, either I'm just slow, too anal retentive, or else that is just complete bullocks. I spent well over 2 1/2 hours on this tonight. And I really didn't even get the fog lights as well as I could have. So definitely give yourself some time to complete this.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:16 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Do you have any idea of how long this treatment lasts before the lens clouds up again?
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

It's not really a treatment but more of a helluva buffing/polishing. As long as the compounds don't seep into the plastic and degrade it, it'll rely upon your road/driving conditions. Less debris will make it last longer.
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Old 12-22-2010, 03:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Autogeek.com sells some UV protector for plastics. I bought the Wolfgang headlight restore kit, and it has the UV plastic "sealer" in it. Supposedly the UV rays from the sun will "age" the headlight assemblies, causing them to yellow. The "sealer" is supposed to block the UV rays and help protect the plastic.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:16 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

I bought a plastic polish kit from an airplane supply store (Spruce in Corona, CA). It cost about $15 and it has flexible sand pads ranging from 400 grit to 16,000 grit (yes 16,000!!) It also includes a plastic polish and a couple of very soft cotton clothes, one for application of the polish and one for buffing the polish. I used it to polish a motorcycle windscreen that had some damage on it and it came out great. Any how, I just thought I would share this info.
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #6
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

so its jus the outside of the light housing that needs the cleaning???i thought it was inside and out....
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Originally Posted by Kevinw11 View Post
so its jus the outside of the light housing that needs the cleaning???i thought it was inside and out....
Just the outside. You are sanding/buffing the exterior of the housing.
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:42 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

I've tried a bunch of different sanding kits and even had them professionally done. Nome of them worked as well as the Macguire's (sp) headlight kit. They look like new, almost!

Always good to have alternatives, nice work Mark! I know yours needed some love!


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Old 01-17-2011, 03:03 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

I used a buffer toothpaste and glass cleaner!
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Old 01-20-2011, 04:33 AM   #10
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Here is a pic when I did one of my sons headlights:

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Old 01-20-2011, 06:28 AM   #11
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

This is what I used:
http://www.autogeek.net/plastik-lens-cleaning.html

I got it on sale, and didn't spend anywhere near that much on it.
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Old 01-20-2011, 08:01 AM   #12
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Now what if you have scratches? instead of hazing does this work the same
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:36 PM   #13
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Originally Posted by TSAVO View Post
I used a buffer toothpaste and glass cleaner!
Actually tried that before and it did a decent job.

I usually go with some scratch x, polishing compound, and then finish it off plastx. All using a buffer obviously.
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Old 01-20-2011, 06:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: How to Restore Headlights & Fog Lights (New Version)

Originally Posted by Hmax View Post
Now what if you have scratches? instead of hazing does this work the same
For very light scratches. Anything too deep, and you're probably looking at wet sanding first.
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