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Proper headlight restoration?

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Old 05-09-2018, 09:20 AM   #1  
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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:






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Old 05-09-2018, 09:43 AM   #2  
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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)
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Proper headlight restoration?-same-light.jpg  

Last edited by flames101sully; 05-09-2018 at 09:47 AM.
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Old 05-09-2018, 09:56 AM   #3  
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What the car looked like after https://imgur.com/a/hxekb3O
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:05 AM   #4  
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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?
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Old 05-09-2018, 10:46 AM   #5  
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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.
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Old 05-10-2018, 10:22 AM   #6  
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Forget sanding...
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Old 05-15-2018, 08:21 AM   #7  
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:09 AM   #8  
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 11:19 AM   #9  
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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
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Old 05-15-2018, 12:02 PM   #10  
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 05:07 PM   #11  
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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.
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:25 PM   #12  
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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
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Old 05-15-2018, 09:42 PM   #13  
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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.
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Old 05-16-2018, 04:44 AM   #14  
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i maintain mine with meguiars plastix

but it is a maintenance kind of thing.
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Old 05-17-2018, 10:47 AM   #15  
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Anyone tried ceramic coating after polishing or sanding?
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:41 AM   #16  
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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.
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:42 AM   #17  
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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.
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Old 05-18-2018, 04:10 PM   #18  
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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
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Old 05-18-2018, 08:35 PM   #19  
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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. :-)
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Old 05-22-2018, 03:45 PM   #20  
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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
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Old 05-23-2018, 08:12 AM   #21  
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