Welcome to the North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club Thursday October 2, 2014
Home Forums WikiNASIOC Products Store Modifications Upgrade Garage
NASIOC
Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences Home Registration is free! Visit the NASIOC Store NASIOC Rules Search Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Calendar Archive NASIOC Upgrade Garage Logout
Go Back   NASIOC > NASIOC General > Car Care & Detailing

Welcome to NASIOC - The world's largest online community for Subaru enthusiasts!
Welcome to the NASIOC.com Subaru forum.

You are currently viewing our forum as a guest, which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our community, free of charge, you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is free, fast and simple, so please join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact us.
* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-20-2013, 07:10 PM   #1
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default Just polished '04 headlights **ADDED PICS***

My headlight cover plastic was looking beat, so I looked up a method of fine sanding then polishing the plastic. I will get a pic up tomorrow but they look phenominal and I have lightwerkz s2000 projectors; cutoff can be seen for like a mile.

My question is, is there a sealant or protectant I can use that shields the plastic from UV light now that doesn't make the freshly polished plastic look hazy?

Steps; Did it all by hand:

1. Mask off with blue painters tape around headlight trying to cover rub seal around the light as well. I used brown masking paper as well to further protect the paint but if you are careful you won't need it.

2. Use meguiars plastic-x to clean the covers fairly thoroughly. From here on out it gets really boring. Power orbital polishers make it go much faster but if doing it on the cheap by hand, get ready for a loooong day. Wipe clean with a microfiber towel.

3. Picked up some 3M sandpaper from autozone. You can get a 4 pack with 1000, 1500, 2000 and 2500 grit for $5 there. soak all of the sheets in a bucket of water for around 10 min then start with the 1000. I worked counterclockwise with this grit, doing each cover for about 15 min. Keep dipping the paper in water to lubricate. I wipe off with a shop towel after I switch covers because sanding makes a fine plastic dust that will get all over the cover.

4. switch to 1500 but this time work clock wise. repeat the same process as with the 1000 for the same amount of time. If your lamps have any small radii be sure to detail this area carefully always working in the same direction.

5. Use the 2000 as above but switch back to counterclockwise.

6. Use the 2500 as above but switch back to clockwise. I spent the most amount of time on this grit.

7. It still wasn't super shiny so I used a medium polish at this point. Menzerna power finish (pf2500 I think). Polish till you have the desired look then wipe clean with a clean dry microfiber cloth.

8. Take off the masking the if you still want to make it even more clear and wet looking, try a final polish. I used Menzerna Super finish sf4000 or 4500. It'll look nice and clear + have a wet look and water will bead off of it as if it was waxed at this point. If there is any haze on the inside, it will show through at this point.

9...

10. profit

tldr: I ask a question about sealant then I post how to clean your headlights.

Pic:


Re-Edit:

1. Sanded Them again with 1000 (I know waste of a whole day of previous work)

2. Found a local reputable bodyshop/painter and got a quote. Agreed on the price then gave it to them. They took 2 days and did a fine job at handling my request person-ably and expeditiously. Mikes paint and body in Greenbriar if you are in the hampton roads area. Ask for Andy

3. Reaaally like how they look now after re-clear. No polishing required. my only gripe is that, from the lightwerkz job, there seems to be a little residue or something left on the inside of the lens that really shows since the exterior is flawless. See pics below:



* Registered users of the site do not see these ads.

Last edited by A.0.spin; 02-06-2013 at 05:44 PM. Reason: New info
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2013, 07:25 PM   #2
mrchyes
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 294069
Join Date: Sep 2011
Chapter/Region: MWSOC
Location: NE Iowa
Vehicle:
98 Forester
Green

Default

pictures!!!?!
mrchyes is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 02:06 AM   #3
pho_shizzle
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 181064
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
00' 2.5RS
BRP

Default

Theres tons upon tons of threads about this topic already... the questions are already answered. Search for them.
pho_shizzle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 06:14 PM   #4
Thrasherr
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 344381
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default

Hmmm I will have to try that on my faded headlights
Thrasherr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 06:46 PM   #5
LUMBERZACK
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 340009
Join Date: Dec 2012
Chapter/Region: SWIC
Location: Arizona
Vehicle:
2007 STi
48W

Default

Definitely going to save this thread. A car with yellow oxidized headlights make the car look so old and beat regardless of the vehicle and paint condition. As soon as you tidy up them lights, the car looks new!
LUMBERZACK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-21-2013, 11:54 PM   #6
a3ng25
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 341599
Join Date: Dec 2012
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Rockville, MD
Vehicle:
2013 WRX Base
Black

Default

Toothpaste. Water. Rub. Youre welcome.
a3ng25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2013, 12:50 AM   #7
pezcore
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 178045
Join Date: Apr 2008
Chapter/Region: South East
Vehicle:
06 WRX
CGM

Default

all those words and no pics.... damn shame
pezcore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #8
JCooper702
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 151669
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Dallas, Texas
Vehicle:
2005 WRX
White

Default

For a final sealant, other threads have recommended Helmsman Spar Urethane (from Home Depot) cut 50/50 with mineral spirits. One quart is about $15 plus the cost of mineral spirits.

However, during my last Home Depot trip I spotted the Helmsman Spar Urethane in an aerosol can for about $10. That is what I purchased and I'm going to try and finish my headlight restoration this weekend.

The urethane is supposed to have great UV protection properties and is very rugged. I've polished my headlights countless times before, and unless you seal it they will haze again.
JCooper702 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 10:02 PM   #9
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default

Posted a pic. Hope someone can recomend a good sealant now. Jcooper post back when you let me know how it goes. I don't want to ruin the finish and have to do it all over again
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 10:06 PM   #10
easterbran
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 307359
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Tyrone,GA
Vehicle:
'05 STi Stage II
OBP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.0.spin View Post
Posted a pic. Hope someone can recomend a good sealant now. Jcooper post back when you let me know how it goes. I don't want to ruin the finish and have to do it all over again
Ever consider a clear headlight mask?
easterbran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-23-2013, 11:55 PM   #11
pho_shizzle
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 181064
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
00' 2.5RS
BRP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.0.spin View Post
Posted a pic. Hope someone can recomend a good sealant now. Jcooper post back when you let me know how it goes. I don't want to ruin the finish and have to do it all over again

You will have to do it over again in about 2 months anyways the way you left it.
pho_shizzle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 03:24 AM   #12
Joshinthebox
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 340955
Join Date: Dec 2012
Chapter/Region: SCIC
Location: Fresno CA
Vehicle:
2005 RS
Silver

Default

Honestly the 10$ turtle headlight restoration kit works amazing (fine grit sandpapers with lube) and also comes with a polish, and a little wipe that dries in about 24hours and protects your freshly done up headlights. Even saw it on sale for like 7$ at oreilly's the other day!
Joshinthebox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 05:42 AM   #13
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default

whats wrong with the way that I left it? You talking about without a sealant? That is what I am looking for. Where do I get a clear headlight mask?
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 07:40 AM   #14
easterbran
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 307359
Join Date: Jan 2012
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Tyrone,GA
Vehicle:
'05 STi Stage II
OBP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.0.spin View Post
whats wrong with the way that I left it? You talking about without a sealant? That is what I am looking for. Where do I get a clear headlight mask?
http://www.rvinyl.com/Custom-Headlig...l#.UQErj4l5mc0

3M also makes a clear mask.
easterbran is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 08:19 AM   #15
All4bSpinnin
Scooby Guru
 
Member#: 99102
Join Date: Oct 2005
Chapter/Region: South East
Location: Jax, FL
Vehicle:
08 Corvette Z06
problem Traction?

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pho_shizzle View Post
You will have to do it over again in about 2 months anyways the way you left it.
this... the second the wax goes away, it'll be HAZE city... JCooper hit it on the head... you need brush on a clear urethane or have them sprayed with clearcoat using professional paint.
All4bSpinnin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 06:53 PM   #16
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default

Just heard from phil at detailer's domain and this is what he said:

you can use optimum opti coat on the lenses I believe that will work very nice.


https://detailersdomain.com/Optimum-...t-2_p_326.html


the 22ple is more for paint.


Phil
On Jan 24, 2013, at 11:32 AM, wrote:
[FONT='times new roman', 'new york', times, serif]Hi phil,

I hope you get this soon. I sanded and polished my headlamps this past weekend with good results. I have an 04 sti with custom lightwerkz s2000 projector retrofits and I made a forum post about it on NASIOC if you want to see the results (http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2457837). Anyways, I asked for recommendations on sealant that has uv protection and I heard a couple different ideas and I am wondering what your opinion is? I looked into the Rvinyl headlight protection film and that seems like a decent price but I am also looking at the 22ple VX1 Pro Glass Coat. Would that do the trick?


[/font]
Philip Yiu
phil@detailersdomain.com
www.detailersdomain.com
tel: 201-233-0003




There you have it. I think I'll try this. The vinyl film seems like a good idea but honestly I trust DD more than the Rvinyl company where I saw a mixed bag of reviews. The urethane from home depot mixed with mineral spirits might be alright but I would be worried about the durability. Will let you know what I find out
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 07:36 PM   #17
pho_shizzle
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 181064
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
00' 2.5RS
BRP

Wink

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.0.spin View Post
Just heard from phil at detailer's domain and this is what he said:

you can use optimum opti coat on the lenses I believe that will work very nice.


https://detailersdomain.com/Optimum-...t-2_p_326.html


the 22ple is more for paint.


Phil
On Jan 24, 2013, at 11:32 AM, wrote:
[FONT='times new roman', 'new york', times, serif]Hi phil,

I hope you get this soon. I sanded and polished my headlamps this past weekend with good results. I have an 04 sti with custom lightwerkz s2000 projector retrofits and I made a forum post about it on NASIOC if you want to see the results (http://forums.nasioc.com/forums/show....php?t=2457837). Anyways, I asked for recommendations on sealant that has uv protection and I heard a couple different ideas and I am wondering what your opinion is? I looked into the Rvinyl headlight protection film and that seems like a decent price but I am also looking at the 22ple VX1 Pro Glass Coat. Would that do the trick?


[/font]
Philip Yiu
phil@detailersdomain.com
www.detailersdomain.com
tel: 201-233-0003




There you have it. I think I'll try this. The vinyl film seems like a good idea but honestly I trust DD more than the Rvinyl company where I saw a mixed bag of reviews. The urethane from home depot mixed with mineral spirits might be alright but I would be worried about the durability. Will let you know what I find out

All the tests have been done,... and done.. and done.. and done... and done.. This whole topic has been covered billions of times. Thousands of times on this board alone. The definite answers and solutions are out there.


Now with that said, Opticoat 2.0 is for paint and will not be too sustainable on a plastic surface. That is why Optimum is creating a new solution specifically for plastic, called Opti-Lens. Theres tests done with urethane vs. opticoat, and the urethane blew it out of the water with durability. Opticoat did not stand up.

Seems like you happen to be reading....but you're not reading the right stuff. You were on the right path up until now.. So Im wondering why you know THIS much but do not understand how finish the procedure. Did someone tell you how to sand it and etc? If you know this much, you should have an understanding of why you are doing such procedures.

Ill just paste this here from another board I made a post on:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pho_shizzle View Post

The history:
Automotive headlights used to be molded out of glass. The automotive industry advanced towards newer technologies that were lighter and more aerodynamic and easier and cheaper to mold. Lexan Polycarbonate resin Thermoplastics were chosen to be the replacement material for front facing headlight lenses because rather than shatter like glass, the material flexes and deflects oncoming debris.

What is happening:
Headlight lens are made of Polycarbonate. The material is actually porous on the surface that expands ever so slightly when it is exposed to heat. During the process of expansion and contraption, dirt particles and the debris can be caught in the pores over time. Polycarbonate, being a hydrocarbon, is prone to oxidation and discoloration over time caused by open exposure to heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun and other environmental properties. The heat from light bulbs and HID's will also contribute to the increase deterioration. The headlight lens will start to yellow/brown, have clear coat failure spots, sun spotting, and overtime if not tended to, miniature cracking to decomposition. In short, the "factory" clear coat UV protective sealant/paint layer that had came on the headlight is now slowly thinning out, deteriorating and failing (some areas more quickly than others).

How to fix it:
In order to properly restore headlight lenses, you must first inspect the the pair of lens in question and decide the level of severity the defects are.

There are are light to aggressive repairs. Keep in mind that you only have a limited amount of polycarbonate plastic to work with. Depending on the aggressiveness level of your correction procedure, and how amateur or professional your techniques are, you may have a lot to work with or soon to be very little.

The basic restoration processes known to the general is what's consisted of a polish and seal. This will only correct fairly new to mildly oxidized lens. The lens is cleaned off and polished with a series of liquid compounds/polishes to abrade the top surface clear coat layer in order to return a transparent clear finish. Then it is directed that you apply any type of wax to sealant on the surface to temporarily restore a critically thin layer of UV protect-ant. This method usually will not last longer than 2-6 months depending on the frequency that the person reapply's the sealant. If you want to maximize results this method, you will have to reapply sealant after every car wash (assuming that you wash your car frequently and routinely), if not then at least once every month. Assuming that you use plastic surface formulated chemicals.


The more "long-term" method consists of using #### digit fine grit wet sanding paper/blocks to fully sand off the surface/remaining layer of UV coat and the layer of polycarbonate that has been discolored. If your headlights are all fully hazed and yellow, then most likely the chances are that all the factory UV clear is completely gone.

Depending on the severity of the lens, you start with the more aggressive grit and work down to the finer grit by properly and evenly sanding the whole lens, at the same time keeping in mind of all the grooves and contours in the shape. Clean the lens off then spray on a new layer of high quality UV protective clear coat. You now have a new coat of factory UV protective clear.


The final word:

There is no PERMANENT method of headlight restoration, there can only be lengthened and long-term periods of temporary fixes. The cause is straight forward, and it is because of the nature of the materials and how they react being exposed to the environment. The method you choose for correction will determine how much longer you will have to hold out to do the same thing again next time when the problem arises.

All those DIY kits out there are all the same and will not really be any greater than the other, although their prices do vary. It all depends on what the company decides to charges for their materials. I would only recommend you use automotive purpose products as part of your correction regiment and not alternative and unconventional house hold products leading anywhere from toothpaste, baking soda, carbonated sodas, fruits, and urine.


Im sick of seeing these threads pop up every week.
pho_shizzle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 08:32 PM   #18
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default

Yea I see your point. Did some more research and understand a little better now. So basically what I didn't understand before was that the factor UV protection comes with a clearcoat applied to the headlamps and when this gets worn away which it eventually will on a car as it approaches 10 years, the plastic beneath will start to haze.

So... I now have about a week or 2 before the haze starts coming back? I need to repeat polish or seal for now and then clean again and clearcoat with urethane am I right?

Sorry for not doing the research but does it really matter if one starts his own thread to learn from his own experience? I kind of don't like just taking peoples word for the most part however, professionals and noteable people I will. The way I learned my method was to research it on google, click on the first answers.com post I found and give it a try. I have tried 2-3 of the off the shelf "kits" and didn't understand why that haze kept coming back. Now I do. Sorry
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 08:41 PM   #19
pho_shizzle
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 181064
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
00' 2.5RS
BRP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by A.0.spin View Post
Yea I see your point. Did some more research and understand a little better now. So basically what I didn't understand before was that the factor UV protection comes with a clearcoat applied to the headlamps and when this gets worn away which it eventually will on a car as it approaches 10 years, the plastic beneath will start to haze.

So... I now have about a week or 2 before the haze starts coming back? I need to repeat polish or seal for now and then clean again and clearcoat with urethane am I right?

Sorry for not doing the research but does it really matter if one starts his own thread to learn from his own experience? I kind of don't like just taking peoples word for the most part however, professionals and noteable people I will. The way I learned my method was to research it on google, click on the first answers.com post I found and give it a try. I have tried 2-3 of the off the shelf "kits" and didn't understand why that haze kept coming back. Now I do. Sorry

To tell you the truth, half of this nasioc detailing subforum is of headlight threads. Thats why I am annoyed. Much of the threads all ask the same questions. The first couple of search results from a search engine, especially from ask.com or any of those general public domains...... will not return a specific answer. I suggest going to dedicated detailing forums. AND EVEN THEN there might be some wrong answers because people don't read what they type and people don't learn to understand the procedure. Its a basic problem, yet it is more involved than many would think. Those OTS kits... I would burn and throw them out the window, if you want some long term effect. They do make a killing off those products though, because they are designed to be reused, and reused, and reused, and reused. Toothpaste? Get that **** out of here.



But to get you back on track and moving forward, you may or may not see some immediate hazing/oxidation depending on your environment and driving conditions. What I would do is, when you are ready to apply the type of UV sealant, wet sand again, but this time stop at 1500 or 2000 grit. Then WITHOUT polishing to return the clarity, apply the UV inhibitor/clear coat. Having some what of a porous surface after sanding will help the product stick better, than applying it on a very smooth and polished surface. Now this is assuming that you are using a liquid/spray type of sealant formula. If you are using clear surface sealant or something along those lines (which is more like a sealant and not long term permanent), then that I would apply on a clean smooth polished surface. Anymore questions?
pho_shizzle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 08:52 PM   #20
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default

Ok, well all cleared up. What I was thinking was instead of me trying to do it, Ill go to an auto body shop and having them spray it with clear. I will have prepped and masked it so hopefully they won't charge me for that. Then I can forget about it.
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 09:03 PM   #21
pho_shizzle
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 181064
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
00' 2.5RS
BRP

Default

It'll be easier if you just took off the head lights, sand them, then take it to the shop for them to shoot it with their best clear with the highest UV inhibitors. SO you do not risk FALL OUT and OVER SPRAY over the rest of your car.......
pho_shizzle is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 09:13 PM   #22
A.0.spin
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 222223
Join Date: Aug 2009
Chapter/Region: MAIC
Location: Norfolk VA
Vehicle:
04' STI
blue like the boy

Default

lol that is what I just said. well i guess i didn't say i would take them off but thats what i meant.
A.0.spin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 09:38 PM   #23
bugeyed_Chris
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 344792
Join Date: Jan 2013
Default

Gotta try this. Nice write up
bugeyed_Chris is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-24-2013, 11:25 PM   #24
JCooper702
Scooby Newbie
 
Member#: 151669
Join Date: Jun 2007
Chapter/Region: TXIC
Location: Dallas, Texas
Vehicle:
2005 WRX
White

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by pho_shizzle View Post
What I would do is, when you are ready to apply the type of UV sealant, wet sand again, but this time stop at 1500 or 2000 grit. Then WITHOUT polishing to return the clarity, apply the UV inhibitor/clear coat. Having some what of a porous surface after sanding will help the product stick better, than applying it on a very smooth and polished surface. Now this is assuming that you are using a liquid/spray type of sealant formula. If you are using clear surface sealant or something along those lines (which is more like a sealant and not long term permanent), then that I would apply on a clean smooth polished surface. Anymore questions?
So even if you put the urethane clear over a headlight that has NOT been buffed to be crystal clear, the application of the clear coat on an unpolished headlight should still come out clear in the end? That is my question from another thread in this same forum.
JCooper702 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-25-2013, 12:02 AM   #25
pho_shizzle
Scooby Specialist
 
Member#: 181064
Join Date: May 2008
Chapter/Region: BAIC
Location: Bay Area
Vehicle:
00' 2.5RS
BRP

Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JCooper702 View Post
So even if you put the urethane clear over a headlight that has NOT been buffed to be crystal clear, the application of the clear coat on an unpolished headlight should still come out clear in the end? That is my question from another thread in this same forum.

Yes, this is a body shop method. On certain panels or surfaces, body shops will do a light wet sand with a fine grit, so when they spray with clear, the clear will fill in all the porous space and will return a glossy clear coat while having higher durability.
pho_shizzle is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2014 Axivo Inc.
Copyright ©1999 - 2014, North American Subaru Impreza Owners Club, Inc.