Headlight lens restorer

eddieguy

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I am on here looking for opinions on what products you all think work the best for cleaning restoring your headlight lens
 

NickD

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All of my 1930's vehicles had light bulbs in the headlamp housing that is known as the double Fresnel reflection factor, light reflects back both inside that glass bulb and the external headlamp lens. Another problem is they weren't sealed very well and road dust would get on the inside.

Then I got a 1941 Buick, holy cow, first car with seal beams, finally could see the road ahead. But with this new crap, back in the 30's again and they call this progress. Actually worse than the 30's, the headlamp lens was made out of glass, somewhat stone proof, this new crap recycled plastic bottles that scratch very easy and turn yellow in the sun. Another problem with these with one or even two 65 watt bulbs heat up the interior increasing the air pressure, when they cool down, suck in moisture that further blocks light with water on the inside of the lens.

If the lenses are scratched start off with wet 600 grit sandpaper on a power buffer and work up to 2000 grit wet, then finish off with Turllewax polishing compound. They sell kits for around ten bucks with tiny piece of sand paper and this makes this a manual job.

Don't drive my 88 Supra very much, has those larger sealed beam, but wow, can finally see the road again. Broken? New ones, least last time, have spares were around five bucks with brand new lens. See some of these plastic pieces of crap for over 200 bucks. World is going crazy. Can also make a sealed beam streamlined if that is their goal.

For the lamp socket on this new crap, coat that rubber seal with plenty of silicon. If you don't heat of the bulb will bake them on and never get them off to replace that bulb. Never want to get your finger prints on that bulb either.
 

eddieguy

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I have seen where there are clearlike film pieces that you can cut to fit over your headlights and then when they need to be changed out you just change them out for New pieces that you can cut to fit over them I didn't know if anybody here had any experience with those maybe they would be worth it if your headlights were already in good shape then you would just need to change the film like pieces that cover them not sure how much they cost
 

bob428

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Highly recommend this product. Don't rush through the sandpapering. The more time you put in with the coarser paper will greatly enhance the outcome.


I took the headlight off the car to restore it. This made it easier to manipulate and get right.
 

NickD

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Time goes by, technical name is composite headlight assemblies approved by some federal agency 37 years ago in 1983. Looked at the 3M kit, looks like a portable drill with rotating sanding and buffing wheel,. These are slow turning, best results are with a high speed buffer with very light pressure and keep the lens wet.

Deeper the coarse sandpaper, the more work sure don't want to sand out deep groves with finer grit sand paper, also, sanding has to be even or will distort your head lamp beam.

Depending on the vehicle found new headlight assemblies as cheap as 20 bucks, but some can be over 3
$300.00. Had a Ford where the lens was not properly epoxied to the assembly. Inside was wet, managed to epoxy it in correctly. Said this many times before, if you want problems we've got problem in the automotive field that were never problems before.


Don't get me started on unplated cold rolled steel bolts in aluminum castings.
 

grcauto

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Hit it with 400 grit followed by 2000 grit and buff with polish at 600 to 1200 rpm. It'll be like new.
 

JackC

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I have done what grcauto does many times and it works fine. Maybe I went 500 - 1000 - 2000, and then rubbng compound and polish, but you get the idea.
 

eddieguy

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I have done what grcauto does many times and it works fine. Maybe I went 500 - 1000 - 2000, and then rubbng compound and polish, but you get the idea.
when you guys are talking about the Polish is there a particular polish that you have in mind that you suggest
 

JackC

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I start with rubbing compound after the sanding and end up with finer finishing- polishing material.

In other words, it is the same process as polishing out a fine paint job. Start heavy and end up fine, depending on how bad the paint or lens is.
 

nickb2

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when you guys are talking about the Polish is there a particular polish that you have in mind that you suggest
My co worker who does this day long uses this.

He does all the detail work and he swears by this but is it available to public, I will check that out.

Ok, here is a kit available for public. He buys in bulk so sure get a discount, but he says he loves the stuff compared to wide brand store stuff.

The company name if I remember and link right is silver wax. I have seen first hand what a clean job he does when it comes out, real nice and smooth.

Obviously wont last cuz OEM clear is gone, but if you use the kit once or twice a year, may be a money saver than buying all new lenses.

IDK.

Ok here is that link.

 

nickb2

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But never forget here, elbow grease , whatever the product u use is your best bet, and patience. SO I recommend a six pack and plenty of sun light or indoor light to see what you are doing.

An above poster talked about the 3m kit, that also is a great f ing kit for cost and fits on a good drill and does job, just dont look for long time yr use out of one polish kit. Apart from that, great kit from 3m.

Ok, eddy, that was my $.02

 

eddieguy

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1A auto parts gave me what seemed like a pretty reasonable price foe a couple of replacement headlight assemblys. Thats if i heard the girl right. Just turned 57 recently but i think I still have my hearing. Hey nickb2 what are those french lyrics in your video? most of us Americans are non french-speaking some of us could speak a little Spanish to be able to communicate with all the illegals coming over
 

nickb2

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I like this site for diversity and also for community.

But most of all, what I like about this site, is that I feel that since I joined here in 2008, I found I could be homeless, work up north, find new jobs, get new gfs and still think I was good at helping ppl.

And this sight is astoundingly good at giving out free advice, and I for one totally embraced that.
 
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