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Old 05-04-2017, 10:56 PM   #1
Gasser64
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Default Buffing out headlights: Whats your process?

I end up having to restore a lot of headlights. I've used the kits, my own methods, even taken them to places that do it for a small fee. Usually I'm not quite satisfied with the way they look.

What do you do when its time to take the drill or buffer, and knock all that oxidization haze off of a set of headlights?

Does anyone here spray them with clear afterwards? I haven't gotten very far into that last step, so maybe that is what I'm missing.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:04 PM   #2
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3M kit, hit with clear.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:08 PM   #3
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is this for that chevy truck or something old? or your chevy cruze?

if its something old like the truck, just buy new head lights.

i know you get bored and do shit, but just install new headlights.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:11 AM   #4
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I've used the kits, but headlights can be found so cheap now that I typically just buy a new set. No need for OEM. If I can get a sub-$100 set that lasts two years, I'm good with that.
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Old 05-05-2017, 06:32 AM   #5
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Off! bug spray

Spray, wipe, and done.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:10 AM   #6
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600 grit and clear. Done
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:59 AM   #7
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Once you use bug spray you won't use another method again. It doesn't work on really badly etched or pitted, just the yellow and haze. It takes about 30 seconds using a few paper towels.
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Old 05-05-2017, 12:13 PM   #8
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I used one of the kits, 3m I believe, and was pretty satisfied with it. It was the one that has 3-4 different grits of paper and buffing compound and the drill attachment. Now after a wash, I just use the buffing pad with some Meguiars plastic restorer.

Unfortunately I don't have any before/after pics but my headlights were pretty bad and this managed to salvage them with decent results.

Prior to this I used another kit that you finish by wiping some clear liquid with the supplied towellette(sp)...not sure what it was. While the results looked really good, I don't know how long it lasted since I got rid of the car.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:01 PM   #9
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Sand, sand, sand, sand, buff, buff, wax / clear / coat whatever method.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by naynay View Post
is this for that chevy truck or something old? or your chevy cruze?

if its something old like the truck, just buy new head lights.

i know you get bored and do shit, but just install new headlights.
Cruz must be somebody else. For the 87 chevy, I'm trying out a new set of LEDs. We'll see how it works out. I'm always flipping stuff. For instance last month it was 01 lexus, 04 land rover. Right now I got an 03 expedition, hope to have it gone by the end of next week. So that's why I'm asking. They almost always have hazy headlights. Looking for that perfect method to make them be all they can be.

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600 grit and clear. Done
Which clear? Autozone rattle can, or clear with a hardener? How many coats, and do you polish the clear and with what polish?
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:56 PM   #11
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Cruz must be somebody else. For the 87 chevy, I'm trying out a new set of LEDs. We'll see how it works out. I'm always flipping stuff. For instance last month it was 01 lexus, 04 land rover. Right now I got an 03 expedition, hope to have it gone by the end of next week. So that's why I'm asking. They almost always have hazy headlights. Looking for that perfect method to make them be all they can be.



Which clear? Autozone rattle can, or clear with a hardener? How many coats, and do you polish the clear and with what polish?
I used a rustoleum clear from wal mart on some jeep headlights. It was UV resistant and non yellowing.

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Old 05-06-2017, 07:57 AM   #12
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Off! bug spray

Spray, wipe, and done.
Yep! http://www.dfwmustangs.net/forums/sh...ad.php?t=58285
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:37 AM   #13
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one of the problems I see from a lot of the kits is people overheat the plastic and cause spider cracks all through them. They usually show up a few days or weeks later, and the whole headlight looks like shit. Also, like some have mentioned, once you polish it out, you should seal it with a UV resistant clear. I use to be against clearing headlights, but since I started doing it they've lasted for years. I use PPG 2002 clear out of a detail gun, but I'm sure there are cheaper methods.
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Old 06-28-2017, 01:25 PM   #14
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Sam's Club does both headlights for $30 with sealant and includes a warranty. Had mine done 1.5 years ago and they still look perfect.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:05 AM   #15
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I recently tried the 3M kit and was very pleased with the results. What sealer are y'all talking about that needs to be put onto the lenses after you polish them?
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:43 AM   #16
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I recently tried the 3M kit and was very pleased with the results. What sealer are y'all talking about that needs to be put onto the lenses after you polish them?
A UV protectant.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:45 AM   #17
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Once you use bug spray you won't use another method again. It doesn't work on really badly etched or pitted, just the yellow and haze. It takes about 30 seconds using a few paper towels.
Lasts a month
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:24 PM   #18
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I recently tried the 3M kit and was very pleased with the results. What sealer are y'all talking about that needs to be put onto the lenses after you polish them?
Clear coat of some kind. Its on there from the factory, and part of the shitty looks on a lot of headlights is simply when that clear begins to be eaten away. That's actually been my biggest problem, because you've got to sand that flat or else it will still show up when the process is done. Simple yellowing is easy to fix by sanding and clear coating. Its when the clear is heavily damaged/partially stripped away, that the problems start.

Still haven't got an old set on a 10 year old car to look new again, or at least close. Just buying an new ebay set works a hell of a lot better. But I still think there is probably a "perfect" method, although I think it involves a lot of work. Well, a lot more work than most people want to put into headlights anyway. Especially when you can get a decent new set for most older vehicles for about $130.

Doesn't seem to be any quick way out with the 10+ year old sets. It basically becomes full on bodywork. Gotta sand, sand, sand. Then hope it looks alright and that there weren't any hidden flaws that made the whole process not even worth it.
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:47 PM   #19
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I tried making an old set look new worked my ass off still not perfect. Ended up buying new ones looks a lot better. IMO don't waste your time trying to restore
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:52 PM   #20
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Lasts a month
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