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Jeremy airjer W

Restoring Headlights

15 posts in this topic

For the past year I have been experimenting with different ways of restoring hazy and yellow headlamps to there original crystal clear appearance. This is an easy project for the do it yourselfer and would take approximately an hour or two to make them like new.

First step is to clean them with any mild detergent. Glass cleaner will work just fine. Next I tape off all of the painted areas that I don't want to accidentally hit with the sand paper. Now the fun begins. Starting with 800 grit wet/dry sandpaper I wet sand each lens until all of the degraded plastic is removed. You will see what I am talking about once you start to sand. I then clean the area again to remove any grit left over from the sanding. Then I go to 1000 grit wet/dry sandpaper and generously sand each lens again. You will start to see the lens get clearer as you sand. After wiping down the lens again I finish the sanding with 3000 grit. Again you will notice the difference as you complete this step. Now its time to polish.

There are many kinds of plastic polishes available. Maguires and 3M are pretty good, I personally use a product that Cornwell Tools has. This will be the most labor intesive part of the job. I have a mini polisher so it go pretty quick for myself but it can still be done by hand with the same results. Polish until crystal clear! You may notice a few places that you missed after polishing, just repeat the above steps and they will look like new.

Here are the latest before and afters. This was a 98 ford contour and took me about an hour to get them 99% perfect!!

Before

HRrightbefore.jpgHRleftbefore.jpg

After

HRrightafter.jpgHRleftafter.jpg

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Awesome, I have this problem on an older Dodge caravan and figured I would have to buy new replacements. Thanks for the great tip!

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Airjer have you seen any of the ones you did after 6 months? I did this on my taurus, it worked great. Then about 3 months later they started to cloud up again. Mayby I did something wrong? I then just went on hsolist bought some new aftermarket ones for $40 each, then I sold the car!

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Yes I have and they still look good! The reason why is a trade secret! However maintenance polish and waxing every once in a while will prolong the finish greatly.

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There are a lot of after-market kits that will help. The biggest trick is the final finish polish/sealant. No, I don't know which is best, but the longest lasting use the best sealants.

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I used this kind of product on a mid 90's dakota my lights are much brighter now. all I did was stopped into advanced auto and ask q's and theynpointed me to the three kinds and then they said this one is the best so I took thier word and it worked it took about forty min per light by hand but I am impressed with the out come. my dad asked me if i bought new lights and I told I just cleaned them. and he went and got the same stuff.

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That's an awesome trade secret. How about something for the windshield?

A rock grin

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LOL.

There are products to remove minor scratches in windshields. My beater could use it but I can have a new windshield installed for $200. Hardly worth buying the kit and spending the time. As far as pits in the windshield I have not run across anything as of yet that deals specifically with them.

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I tell you what. I resoldered those connections for the 9 volt in the foot pedal. Purchased a group 27 battery from fleet farm. Hit the river Friday morning trolled for 6 hours straight no problems. Been out every weekend and a couple of weekdays and can't complain!! I had forgotten how nice it is to be able to concentrate in an area without having to anchor!!!

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Glad to here it buddy. I was really concerned that you wouldn't be happy and then I would be "that guy" who sells lemons.

Keep it on the water we are running out of open water season!

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great tip air jer, I will definately have to try this out on my truck and ATV.

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