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Old 08-22-2016, 12:58 PM
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Headlight restoration?

What do you use for restored cloudy headlight lenses? Were you happy with the results?
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Old 08-22-2016, 01:32 PM
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There are a number of non gimmick headlight lens chemicals/solutions/compounds that work well. I use a product called Blue Magic its about $6 and applied with a medium/heavy cutting pad on a buffer.

The problem is its just a temporary fix as the coating on plastic lenses is gone and re-polishing frequently is necessary. What I have started to do is polish back the lens to clarity and then apply a clear lens coating. Lamin-X makes a pre-fit lens cap for "almost" every car. There is some protection too with the product from chips and cracks. Don't waste $$ on these products that claim UV protection, etc. .02
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Old 08-22-2016, 06:20 PM
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I've had OK results with a bit of lacquer thinner on a rag and rubbing to remove the haze. Fresh thinner is then applied without wiping to leave a somewhat smooth finish. Be sure to keep thinner away from other plastic / paint.

It's a pretty brutal method that may leave streaks so I would not use it on a light / car I care much about.
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Old 08-22-2016, 10:23 PM
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Saw someone use the Sylvania restoration kit, the results were amazing. It required sanding, polishing, rinsing and clear coating.
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Old 08-23-2016, 07:24 PM
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used the Triplehorn kit as reccomended by the Daniel Stern lighting website on the much missed e300. I removed the lights from the car for the work. Skimped a bit on prepping the work area (bathroom of my apt) but was satisfied with the result, all things considered. way cheaper than wholesale replacement, aftermarket or otherwise.
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Old 08-23-2016, 10:59 PM
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I used the Blue Magic headlight restore on my friend/neighbor's old Passat and it came out pretty good. Not perfect, but it was just a quick 5-10 min hand application. I'm sure with a little more effort they would look new, but that's up to her to complete.
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Old 08-24-2016, 09:27 AM
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baking soda and vinegar to make a paste cleans fast.
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Old 08-24-2016, 01:29 PM
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Aren't you removing a sprayed application of clear lacquer or something; ie you must respray it with a clear coat????
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:00 PM
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I used 800 grit wet sandpaper, followed by 2000 grit and then 4000 grit. finally rub down with the "paint clarifying compound" (kind of a final polishing compound) from Turtle Wax auto paint scratch remover kit $14. Finally 2 coats of auto wax.

Yes you may be removing some old yellow protective coating but I doubt you would have to redo my process again for a couple of years.

Abut one hour per headlight. Looks awesome.
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Old 01-22-2017, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by tyl604 View Post
Aren't you removing a sprayed application of clear lacquer or something; ie you must respray it with a clear coat????
The factory applies a clearcoat that is UV resistant for a long time. But once that get's cloudy there is no quick fix. You have to sand the old clearcoat off starting with about 400 grit to remove the existing coating. Then finer and finer grades until you get the lenses super smooth. They now look good, but what to do to protect them?

I used a Meguires product called Past-X for the final finishing. Without a coating, that lasts about a year for us. Car is in garage about 50% of time. Mequires have a Keep Clear coating that they say lasts for a year. Haven't seen it in our Canadian stores.

Meguires also sell several kits - a heavy duty one for drill type removal and subsequent finishing as well as some lighter duty kits. They contain most of what you need.

I have heard good things about the Sylvania product, but haven't found it in our stores.

By the way - Mercedes warn against using solvents. They can cause damage to the polycarbonate lenses. Lexan is a polycarbonate similar to lens material. This is what GE said back in the day when they still made Lexan:
• Never use abrasive or highly alkaline cleaner on Lexan polycarbonate materials.
• Never use aromatic or halogenated solvents like toluene, benzene, gasoline, acetone or carbon tetrachloride
on Lexan polycarbonate materials.
• Use of incompatible cleaning materials with Lexan sheet can cause structural and/or surface damage.
• Contact with harsh solvents such as methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) or hydrochloric acid can result in surface
degradation and possible crazing of Lexan sheet.
• Never scrub with brushes, steel wool or other abrasive materials.
• Never use squeegees, razorblades or other sharp instruments to remove deposits or spots.
• Do not clean Lexan polycarbonate in direct sunlight or at high temperatures as this can lead to staining.
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Last edited by Graham; 01-22-2017 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 01-30-2017, 08:50 AM
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I've had good results with the SEM line of products.

The curing lamps are available. All the way from $45K to these.
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Last edited by Mike D; 01-30-2017 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 03-01-2017, 03:47 AM
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To me, the best method to restore headlights is to wetsand, polish and apply some sort of clear coat.
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