Headlight restoration tricks

Discussion in 'Paint / Body / Detailing' started by Mildphil, Jul 24, 2018.

Are you interested in a detailed write up on this?

  1. Yes

  2. Not really

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  1. Mildphil

    Mildphil Newbie

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    Just finished restoring my headlights quick and easy. These are the finished results. If anyone would be interested, I could make some detailed threads about the three areas I attacked: lenses, reflectors, and bulbs. My reason for restoring the OEM housongs is the fact that they are much better than any aftermarket housings in terms of longevity and light outpit. The common misconception out there is that these ebay/amazon chinesium housings will give better output than stock. But in reality, anything looks better than 20+ year old housings with dull yellowed lenses, faded reflectors, and tiredd dim bulbs. BUT it doesn't have to be that way;)

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  2. Mildphil

    Mildphil Newbie

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    More pics

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  3. Slime

    Slime Newbie

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    Yes, but how do you keep them that way?
     
  4. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder B31-3 (6-G) certified

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    Yes, you should do the write up.
     
  5. Bob L

    Bob L I'm Awesome

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    Clearcoat will protect them. When I did my wife's Grand Cherokee I sanded till I got to 2000 grit then sprayed with clear. They have held up very good for over a year now.
     
  6. kennythewelder

    kennythewelder B31-3 (6-G) certified

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    I wax my truck every few months, sometime more. When I do, I also do my lights. All of them. Headlights, tail lights, turn signals, and side markers. As mentioned above, I sanded mine with some wet sand paper. Only with 400 grit, then I buffed them out with my buffer and some polishing compound, then waxed them. I also striped my tailgate banner, and rims with some paint stripper, and buffed them out too. You can see my reflection in the rims.
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    Last edited: Oct 21, 2018
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  7. Eveready

    Eveready I'm Awesome

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    This stuff does the trick pretty well. Goes on clear and has a UV resistant component.

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  8. TechNova

    TechNova Newbie

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    we do many headlights every year. We had a process we used and then improved on it after I attended a school at 3M.
    We start with 500 or 800 grit, depending on condition and then follow with progressively finer grits such as 1000, 1500, 3000 Trizac.
    We then buff with compound on a foam pad with a 3" DA and polish with another foam pad on a 3"DA.
    We were using Presta UV cured clear on the but I recently bought a new clear that I have not tried that will eliminate masking.
    Unless there is damage to the interior of the lens, common with Mopar and Pontiac, they will appear as new.
    My 400 parks and tails will probably be the next ones I do.
     
  9. MSCustoms

    MSCustoms Its not just a Truck

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    X2 on the clear coat. Ive done many and i believe i have picks in my build and it will last as long as the quality of the clear coat. A cheaper clear coat wont last as long. I sand with 400 or 600 until all the old coating and or yellowing is off and then clear coat it. I did all my vehicles 4 years ago and only the honda is starting to peel at the corners
     
  10. BNielsen

    BNielsen I'm Awesome

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    @kennythewelder, how hard was it to strip your tailgate banner? I'd love to do mine sometime as it's old and faded.

    I'd enjoy a write up of this as well, there's only a few headlight options that are really worth the upgrade, but they can get costly. I know the lights on my GF's Tahoe are almost dangerously yellowed, and the restoration kits from the parts stores don't seem to get them back to the OE look.

    Plus it might be a decent way to make a buck or two taking old worn out lights from the junkyards, restoring them and reselling maybe?
     

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