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Old 06-27-2012, 10:45 PM   #1
anon_az
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Default Headlight refinishing (sanding/polishing) vs. deoxidizer

I see threads with people showing off their freshly-refinished headlights and the great results they get, but I've recently come across a couple of sites (admittedly ones trying to sell their product) stating that completely removing the UV coating on plastics headlights with sanding and polishing isn't the answer and that the lenses will haze right back up.

My question to those who have refinished with abrasives is : how long did the lenses stay that way? Do people see lenses haze right back up? Is the story that the liquid lens restorer companies are trying to sell BS or does rubbing away the UV coating really do damage? I've seen Pittman ALR (Acrylic Lens Restorer) get some good reviews, saying the haze goes right away with no elbow grease. Those liquid restorers aren't cheap but I'll go that route if they definitely fix the problem.

I'm looking to refinish my STi's headlights which are somewhat hazed and want to be sure I'm doing the right thing.
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Last edited by anon_az; 06-27-2012 at 10:55 PM.
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Old 06-28-2012, 12:22 AM   #2
minorc
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Depending on how bad they are I use 1500-2000 grit wetsand paper, uf4000 menzerna polish with my flex then seal with collinite 845 and reload 12 hrs later.

Lasts a few months then I reapply wax and or sealer.

They don't turn yellow a week after or anything don't worry
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Old 06-28-2012, 09:40 PM   #3
pho_shizzle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anon_az View Post
I've recently come across a couple of sites (admittedly ones trying to sell their product) stating that completely removing the UV coating on plastics headlights with sanding and polishing isn't the answer and that the lenses will haze right back up.

If your headlights are already oxidizing and show signs of yellowing, chances are the UV coating from the factory is long far gone.
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Old 06-28-2012, 11:08 PM   #4
DerrickRH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pho_shizzle View Post
If your headlights are already oxidizing and show signs of yellowing, chances are the UV coating from the factory is long far gone.
this is fact
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Old 06-29-2012, 12:04 AM   #5
wantsti
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Sand them and put a shield on them like venture shield. 4 years and clear as new
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Old 06-29-2012, 01:49 AM   #6
Jarvisss
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Use the 3M headlight restorer kit. It's the only kit that works and lasts. I've used it on many cars including my 05 STi with great results and it's under $30 at most auto parts stores.
It takes a little while and you might go through a few batteries if you're using a cordless drill. The key is to take your time and watch out not to stay in one spot too long. If you have an 04 or 05, the little bump can be tricky, but you just need to keep moving and avoid using the edge of the sandpaper. It can also be messy so do it outside, find a chair, put a crappy towel over your lap, and set the headlight on your lap. Keep a spray bottle with water and some paper towel handy, and a few beers

Don't try to do it while it's still on the car, it's really uncomfortable and you'll wind up rushing the job and making a mess. You'll have to take the front bumper cover off unfortunately to get the headlights out
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:42 PM   #7
anon_az
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Cool, thanks for the feedback. I'll look into venture shield and the 3M kit
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Old 07-04-2012, 08:32 PM   #8
joewrx628
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvisss View Post
Use the 3M headlight restorer kit. It's the only kit that works and lasts. I've used it on many cars including my 05 STi with great results and it's under $30 at most auto parts stores.
It takes a little while and you might go through a few batteries if you're using a cordless drill. The key is to take your time and watch out not to stay in one spot too long. If you have an 04 or 05, the little bump can be tricky, but you just need to keep moving and avoid using the edge of the sandpaper. It can also be messy so do it outside, find a chair, put a crappy towel over your lap, and set the headlight on your lap. Keep a spray bottle with water and some paper towel handy, and a few beers

Don't try to do it while it's still on the car, it's really uncomfortable and you'll wind up rushing the job and making a mess. You'll have to take the front bumper cover off unfortunately to get the headlights out
Iv take my lights out many times without removing the bumper. All you need to do is take the grill off and pull it a little bit and you can get the light out.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:29 PM   #9
Fredward
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I also used the 3M kit when I had my Nissan Maxima before getting new headlights. Just remember that after you finish the process, use 3M's polish or something similar to keep that new finish.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:31 PM   #10
emazz104
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There are lots of cleaners that work, but they just shine the headlights.
The 3M works great because you're actually sanding a layer off the headlight, and polishing it, just like buffing a car, it will take out the scratches.
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Old 07-04-2012, 09:44 PM   #11
Down_Shift
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Just used Meguire's and 3M.

The Meguire's is way easier to use.. And it's all wet sand than plastx.

3M has 2 sand pads.. then a wet sand.. followed by a rubbing compound.


Remember to seal them with sealant or good wax to keep the finish..
Even with sealing regularly, I have to buff it every year.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:49 PM   #12
ZIP23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Down_Shift View Post
Just used Meguire's and 3M.

The Meguire's is way easier to use.. And it's all wet sand than plastx.

3M has 2 sand pads.. then a wet sand.. followed by a rubbing compound.


Remember to seal them with sealant or good wax to keep the finish..
Even with sealing regularly, I have to buff it every year.
What sealant is good I want to do this but don't have a clue
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:03 AM   #13
aznburn210
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I just did this with the Meguires Kit today. on 4 cars. The pro-kit I found has the headlight sealant.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:34 AM   #14
Shake-n-Bake
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I used some Meguire's headlight restore with my Porter Cable buffer - took the haze right off. Then I applied a coating of wax.
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:42 AM   #15
Daddy_Digital
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarvisss View Post
Use the 3M headlight restorer kit. It's the only kit that works and lasts. I've used it on many cars including my 05 STi with great results and it's under $30 at most auto parts stores.
i used this kit this past weekend and i am very impressed with the results. very easy to do also. i also put some sealer on the headlights.
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