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View Full Version : Aggresive headlight cleaning



crymson
02-29-2012, 02:27 PM
I was riding with my friend last night, and thought that his headlights were out and he was on DTL's. Turns out that the bulbs are all good, but the covers are *extremely* oxidized. I went at it with the meguires plastic cleaner that I had handy, but it was utterly futile. The caveat of this is that the polisher I had gave up the ghost at the end of last summer, and has yet to be replaced, so this was done with old school shoulder power.

So... Short of replacing the polisher with something nicer (say a PC7424XP) what are so good ways to get headlight covers back in working order?

METDeath
02-29-2012, 04:46 PM
Buy a cheapo kit that's designed for use in low speed drills. You can find them at auto parts stores and Wally world

4thgenceli
02-29-2012, 04:57 PM
How do those work though? I've tried like 3 or 4 differnet kinds and the Mazda still has oxidized lights ...

MCcelica
02-29-2012, 08:42 PM
Wetsanding helps. Then use the mirror cut glaze. I periodically do that on my 7th gen. Never used a buffer as it was never needed.

METDeath
02-29-2012, 11:46 PM
They work if you catch it early... if you don't. Find a headlight restoration shop and take it in, and I'm not talking about some random auto parts store. I'm talking about a place that takes your headlights for two days and then you get them back. Which doesn't really work for everybody.

CollapsedNut
02-29-2012, 11:51 PM
I've had luck with rubbing compound, just like what you use on a car. Then wax it, again just like you do a car.

MCcelica
03-01-2012, 12:30 AM
I've had luck with rubbing compound, just like what you use on a car. Then wax it, again just like you do a car.

This, but with wetsanding first.

CriScO
03-01-2012, 12:58 AM
There's a little kit by 3M that comes with drill pads(sanding and buffing) compound and sealer. $20, but worth it.

Azzazzyn
03-01-2012, 01:07 AM
Bake them in the oven and crack them open, clean them out and reseal them. Plastic headlamps tend to get funky on the inside.

celica9303
03-01-2012, 05:00 AM
The 3m kit we use for our headlight restoration service at walmart TLE works awesome.

crymson
03-01-2012, 05:31 AM
I decided to start with CollapsedNut's suggestion, since I already have body compound (both buffing and rubbing), and thought, what the heck? Stepping from Turtle rubbing down to the buffing, then down to Meguire's plastX worked wonders. There is defiantly a little bit of oxidization on the inside of the light, but the general care of the car has been somewhat lacking. I'll want to hit them again tomorrow when I can see, but it's defiantly an improvement. I may try wet-sanding tomorrow too. what grit do you recommend, something like 2.5K?

4thgenceli
03-01-2012, 04:08 PM
Pics would help greatly to show the difference.

I tried the rubbing compound and it was full of phail for me. We drive around at night with the high beams on.

UtahSleeper
03-01-2012, 05:41 PM
I might have to try the 3M stuff. I tried the Turtle Wax head light restore. Looked good for the first couple weeks then just got worse.

Car_Barn_Bandit
03-01-2012, 07:51 PM
I might have to try the 3M stuff. I tried the Turtle Wax head light restore. Looked good for the first couple weeks then just got worse.

Why the hell is that? I've had a similar experience using Turtle Wax. 2 weeks later it was even more cloudy then before I cleaned it.

Sent via Imperial Comlink

UtahSleeper
03-01-2012, 09:19 PM
I am guessing cause its crap. I may try something I heard of before. The wet sanding the blue magic then buff. Just have to get off my lazy ass lol.

Hipster Lawrence
03-02-2012, 02:33 AM
1000 then 2000 grit wetsanding. The. Buff with some heavy cut compound like meguiars ultimate or 3m perfect it 2. Depending on how that looks you can follow the compound with a fine compound/polish like swirl-x or something like that. Don't wax them. You could try a synthetic polish/sealer.

You don't NEED a buffer but it sure would make life easier.

crymson
03-02-2012, 11:38 AM
Pics would help greatly to show the difference.

I forgot to get any before pics, but I'll get some after's when I get off work tomorrow. The best I can do to show the before is to say that you could not see through them, at all. So any improvement is massive improvement.



You don't NEED a buffer but it sure would make life easier.

Lol, so would a million dollars.

Lonestag
03-03-2012, 04:49 PM
My company sells a headlight resto kit that seems to do a much better job then the cheap retail kits. (I know we pay more then $40 for it as a company, and it's our in-house finishing products company that makes it, so I trust the quality of the materials).

The big thing is using a product that replaces your headlight's UV coating after you wet sand. It makes headlights look almost new and the ones I have seen done have lasted at a year so far of daily driving and still look very nice.

So my take away is to make sure you use a kit that replaces the UV coating, other then that, wet sanding like caveman suggested is the best method i've seen used.

crymson
03-04-2012, 09:54 AM
Any recommendations on a UV sealant?

Hipster Lawrence
03-04-2012, 06:37 PM
Lonestag, it's not the kit that goes from 600 straight to the clear uv coating is it? We had that kit at the Goodyear I worked at. And while it worked ok the scratches from the 600 were still there just hidden by the clearcoat. it looked ok but I'd imagine the light still has to pass through those scratches regardless of the finish on the outside of the lens.