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      01-13-2013, 08:13 PM   #1
the_road_less_traveled
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Headlight Restoration Questions

I have my headlamps out and disassembled for modifications and the lamp lenses needs some TLC. I have two problems:

1) A ton of very light rock chip impressions as expected for a car with 47k miles. Could a very very fine wet sanding remove the small impressions? Maybe start with 600 then finish with 2000?

2) The front bumper has been repainted and there's overspray on the lenses. What solvent will remove overspray without damaging, marring, or discoloring the lens?

Thanks
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      01-14-2013, 12:15 PM   #2
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Use 2000 on the headlight lenses. I wouldn't use as coarse as 600. This will take both the overspray off and help with the chips depending how bad they are. I would get a good clear bra after that.
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      01-14-2013, 02:50 PM   #3
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Wouldnt sanding the headlights strip the UV coating? If so, the headlights will yellow and oxidize rapidly requiring annual polishing.
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      01-15-2013, 06:40 PM   #4
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You should sand them down starting with about 600 and gradually going up to 800, 1000... all the way to 2000. Then you would need to buff them out and they should look brand new. Since your taking off the original UV Coating I would recommend just putting 3M Clear Protection Film over them.
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      01-15-2013, 09:06 PM   #5
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Let me start by saying that I have done a dozen sets of lights (other cars though)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xfirer1guy View Post
I have my headlamps out and disassembled for modifications and the lamp lenses needs some TLC. I have two problems:

1) A ton of very light rock chip impressions as expected for a car with 47k miles. Could a very very fine wet sanding remove the small impressions? Maybe start with 600 then finish with 2000?

2) The front bumper has been repainted and there's overspray on the lenses. What solvent will remove overspray without damaging, marring, or discoloring the lens?

Thanks
I would start with 1500 and go to 2000. I polish them with Meguiars 105 to clean up the sanding scratches then used Meguiar's Plastix to get rid of the haze from the 105 for a perfect shine.

If you choose not to wet sand but still want to make them look better and remove the overspray, you can use Plastix by itself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by biggynuts01 View Post
Wouldnt sanding the headlights strip the UV coating? If so, the headlights will yellow and oxidize rapidly requiring annual polishing.
In my experience, you are correct. Some people have come up with ways around this like recoating them with UV resistant spar urethane. UV protective clear vinyl is a good option to. Otherwise, they need to be redone regularly.

Some of the lights I did about 2 years ago still look good. Periodically (every other wash or so) hand buffing them Meguiar's Plastix really helps keep up with the oxidation.
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