Proper headlight restoration? - Maxima Forums



5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) Learn more about the 5th Generation Maxima, including the VQ30DE-K and VQ35DE engines.

Proper headlight restoration?

Reply
 
 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 05-09-2018, 09:20 AM   #1  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Proper headlight restoration?

Hello, I plan on restoring my headlights following this tutorial:



However, all I have is 400 & 2000 grit sandpaper. Should I be fine with 400 & 2000 or should I also get 600 as well?

These are my headlights now:






mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 09:43 AM   #2  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
That tutorial is great. Here are the results on the 2003 that I had. In a year it didn't fade at all. Get 600 or 800 and work your way up. I loosly followed the tutorial based on the sand paper I had. Started at 400, then 600, then 1000, then 1200, then 1500, then 2000, and after clear coat fullly settled, wet sanded with 3000grit carefully (also all the sanding should be wet sanding obviously)
Attached Thumbnails
Proper headlight restoration?-same-light.jpg  

Last edited by flames101sully; 05-09-2018 at 09:47 AM.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 09:56 AM   #3  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
What the car looked like after https://imgur.com/a/hxekb3O
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 10:05 AM   #4  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by flames101sully View Post
What the car looked like after https://imgur.com/a/hxekb3O
That looks good! Would there be any issues if I go 400 - 600 then straight to 2000 like ChrisFix?
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2018, 10:46 AM   #5  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo neenja31 View Post
That looks good! Would there be any issues if I go 400 - 600 then straight to 2000 like ChrisFix?
Since the results he got were great, probably not, it's my preference to put some inbetween as I feel 600-2000 is too big a jump all at once.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #6  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rust belt :-(
Posts: 39
Forget sanding...
NotYou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 08:21 AM   #7  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 809
Sanding vs replacement

I initially did the sanding/polishing on my lights but you have to repeat the process, at least the polishing regularly. I eventually gave up and ordered a set of aftermarket lights. Sure it costs more but then you have several years without having to do the polishing. Just a thought.
ajahearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #8  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajahearn View Post
I initially did the sanding/polishing on my lights but you have to repeat the process, at least the polishing regularly. I eventually gave up and ordered a set of aftermarket lights. Sure it costs more but then you have several years without having to do the polishing. Just a thought.

Did you spray clear coat? I believe that step stops it from yellowing again.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 11:19 AM   #9  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotYou View Post
Wish I saw this before I bought everything lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajahearn View Post
I initially did the sanding/polishing on my lights but you have to repeat the process, at least the polishing regularly. I eventually gave up and ordered a set of aftermarket lights. Sure it costs more but then you have several years without having to do the polishing. Just a thought.
Aftermarket lights are something I can't afford right now lol
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 12:02 PM   #10  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: NYC
Posts: 1,510
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajahearn View Post
I initially did the sanding/polishing on my lights but you have to repeat the process, at least the polishing regularly. I eventually gave up and ordered a set of aftermarket lights. Sure it costs more but then you have several years without having to do the polishing. Just a thought.
I read that aftermarket doesn't throw the light as far as OEM's.
TallTom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 05:07 PM   #11  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo neenja31 View Post
Wish I saw this before I bought everything lol.



Aftermarket lights are something I can't afford right now lol

Don't worry, the chris fix method is great and it lasts.



And I am skeptical of that "3 minute" method. Before this method which I think is the best, on the 2000 at one point I did buff them similar to that video. The initial results weren't as good as the sanding and spray clear coat method, and it began to yellow again in a couple weeks...also his light in the video looks no where near as bad as ours.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 09:25 PM   #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,056
Don't waste your time polishing. The yellow will return very fast.
spraying with the normal stuff will also not last very long because it can be wiped/worn off over time.

look for the 2k stuff on amazon this stuff is forever. hard as a rock an looks bling af.
i'll post some before and after. The thing is it's really hardcore stuff you need a mask from homedepo or it could damage your lungs.

Amazon Amazon
Donkeypunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2018, 09:42 PM   #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,056
ok.

This is a before / after clear coat.
on top of that the before is the fog light just after polishing
with a polishing wheel so it was as good as it was going to get with just polishing.









3 years later this is my car maybe a week ago lights still blinging like jewels.

, on Flickr

Last edited by Donkeypunch; 05-15-2018 at 09:45 PM.
Donkeypunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2018, 04:44 AM   #14  
Senior Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: SE PA
Posts: 4,358
i maintain mine with meguiars plastix

but it is a maintenance kind of thing.
Prophecy99 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-17-2018, 10:47 AM   #15  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rust belt :-(
Posts: 39
Anyone tried ceramic coating after polishing or sanding?
NotYou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 08:41 AM   #16  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 809
Quote:
Originally Posted by flames101sully View Post
Did you spray clear coat? I believe that step stops it from yellowing again.
Never tried that - probably would have worked.
ajahearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 08:42 AM   #17  
Senior Member
iTrader: (3)
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 809
Quote:
Originally Posted by TallTom View Post
I read that aftermarket doesn't throw the light as far as OEM's.
I ended up buying two separate headlights. The first I could not tell the difference. The 2nd there was a slight difference but only visible if you want to a wall to see the light pattern.
ajahearn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 04:10 PM   #18  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
I followed ChrisFix's tutorial to a T but I messed up severely with the clear coat. I didn't realize I had a matte finish (I used Dupli-color Acrylic Enamal - Clear coat with matte finish instead of glossy), so my driver's side headlight is mucked up. I'm assuming the only way to remove this is to wet sand the headlight all over again.

I'm also skeptical of the 3 minute restoration but if this doesn't work out, I might try that later
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2018, 08:35 PM   #19  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Rust belt :-(
Posts: 39
The three minute video works great unless there was clear coat already applied or there is yellowing. I should have mentioned that.
For those issues then yes, you must wet sand. I dont like the idea of clear coating with regular spray paint. Maybe with a 2K. Either way, no matter what method you use, you need to do some sort of upkeep like wax, uv protectant and polishing. Otherwise you will have to eventually sand them again. Obviously everyone has their own opinion and YT video about this. Hear what people have to say and then make your own decision. :-)
NotYou is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2018, 03:45 PM   #20  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkeypunch View Post
Don't waste your time polishing. The yellow will return very fast.
spraying with the normal stuff will also not last very long because it can be wiped/worn off over time.

look for the 2k stuff on amazon this stuff is forever. hard as a rock an looks bling af.
i'll post some before and after. The thing is it's really hardcore stuff you need a mask from homedepo or it could damage your lungs.

https://www.amazon.com/Spray-High-Gl...70_&dpSrc=srch
Is there an alternative to the 2k? Can't find it in any store and Amazon says they may not be able to ship it due to shipping restrictions
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2018, 08:12 AM   #21  
Got Retrofit?
iTrader: (34)
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: NY
Posts: 14,354
ChrisMan287 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-29-2018, 07:10 AM   #22  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Finally got the 2k clear coat, just need to pick up a respirator (those sanding ones by 3M should do the job)
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2018, 12:56 PM   #23  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
How long do I have to wait until I can drive the car again? I want to park it in my uncle's garage since it's gonna rain tomorrow.
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-03-2018, 05:23 PM   #24  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo neenja31 View Post
How long do I have to wait until I can drive the car again? I want to park it in my uncle's garage since it's gonna rain tomorrow.

Video says a day until waxing, so I think a day is fine after the clear coat.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2018, 01:10 AM   #25  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
This is what it looked like before my dumbass sprayed 2 more coats


Ended up driving to the garage, had to drive super slow lmao. I think I have to re-do the passenger side headlight unfortunately since I got over ambitious and applied too many coats. I never leave things alone lol, my cousin said the driver's side was a bit shinier than the passenger side so I thought applying 2 more coats on top of the 3 it already had would do the trick, but unfortunately it looks milky. Kinda sucks because I really don't want to have to deal with 2k stuff again, stuff is hazardous

Last edited by mo neenja31; 06-04-2018 at 01:13 AM.
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2018, 05:35 AM   #26  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,056
^ did the bubbles clear up?
Donkeypunch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2018, 07:55 AM   #27  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo neenja31 View Post

Ended up driving to the garage, had to drive super slow lmao. I think I have to re-do the passenger side headlight unfortunately since I got over ambitious and applied too many coats. I never leave things alone lol, my cousin said the driver's side was a bit shinier than the passenger side so I thought applying 2 more coats on top of the 3 it already had would do the trick, but unfortunately it looks milky. Kinda sucks because I really don't want to have to deal with 2k stuff again, stuff is hazardous

Even with the orange peel, looks fantastic especially when compared to before. You could try to wetsand with a high grit sand paper and see how that turns out. I did that step for both the headlights and it did help. By the end if held up to a certain light and a certain angle you could still see some orange peel, but it was for the most part gone when looking at it from most directions. Re-doing this stuff would never be fun after the first time.

Last edited by flames101sully; 06-04-2018 at 07:57 AM.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2018, 01:53 PM   #28  
Senior Member
iTrader: (5)
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 1,130
I would just get a pair of aftermarket headlights at Ebay for $150 or so and use the lens only, then wax it or apply UV protection (not clear coat) every wash and call it good. This should last several years. Stripping it down and do clear coat are option, but its not going to look like new anyway.
Genes1s is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2018, 02:03 PM   #29  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkeypunch View Post
^ did the bubbles clear up?
Most of it flattened it out but some of the bubbling remained on the driver's side towards the the grill. Not noticeable from a distance

Last edited by mo neenja31; 06-04-2018 at 03:26 PM.
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-04-2018, 02:06 PM   #30  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by flames101sully View Post
Even with the orange peel, looks fantastic especially when compared to before. You could try to wetsand with a high grit sand paper and see how that turns out. I did that step for both the headlights and it did help. By the end if held up to a certain light and a certain angle you could still see some orange peel, but it was for the most part gone when looking at it from most directions. Re-doing this stuff would never be fun after the first time.
I was thinking about doing a final sand to remove any orange peel but knowing me I'd sand the Clearcoat away, might just throw on the coats and put some turtlewax on and call it a day.
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 09:27 AM   #31  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Ughh just noticed that there's like 3 or 4 streaks on the driver's side headlight, not sure if it's because I haven't put any wax on yet. I let the headlights dry for a day Will applying wax work?
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 10:09 AM   #32  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo neenja31 View Post
Ughh just noticed that there's like 3 or 4 streaks on the driver's side headlight, not sure if it's because I haven't put any wax on yet. I let the headlights dry for a day Will applying wax work?



You can apply wax, but the streaks will stay. For touching it up 2500-3000 (to play it safe) grit wetsand the headlights then you can polish and wax.

To be honest, even though the light from your picture has the streaks, it looks 100% better than before, and even just putting a final step of wax would be good enough.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 02:59 PM   #33  
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Apr 2015
Location: NY
Posts: 62
Quote:
Originally Posted by flames101sully View Post
You can apply wax, but the streaks will stay. For touching it up 2500-3000 (to play it safe) grit wetsand the headlights then you can polish and wax.

To be honest, even though the light from your picture has the streaks, it looks 100% better than before, and even just putting a final step of wax would be good enough.
OK that's good to know. When I wetsand with 2500 or 3000, should the headlight be slightly hazy again? And I have Turtle Wax polishing compound as well, is it worth applying that too?
mo neenja31 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-06-2018, 07:32 PM   #34  
Member
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Alberta Canada
Posts: 204
Quote:
Originally Posted by mo neenja31 View Post
OK that's good to know. When I wetsand with 2500 or 3000, should the headlight be slightly hazy again? And I have Turtle Wax polishing compound as well, is it worth applying that too?

Shouldn't be hazy again, make sure that when sanding there is always a good amount of water and don't wet sand too much. Wipe the light down after. Then yes, you can apply the polisishing compound, and then the wax.
flames101sully is offline   Reply With Quote
 
 
Reply

Related Topics
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Turtle Wax HeadLight Restoration Kit RESULTS! Dondon321 Detailing 10 05-04-2010 03:44 PM
3M Headlight Lens Restoration Kit Professor 5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) 8 08-22-2009 10:37 PM
3M Headlight Restoration STILO 5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) 9 07-31-2009 08:39 PM
Headlight Restoration Kit? Country24 5th Generation Maxima (2000-2003) 16 04-11-2009 05:39 PM
Review: headlight lens restoration kit ItchyRichy 4th Generation Maxima (1995-1999) 6 12-11-2002 05:38 AM


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:01 PM.


© 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.