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Old 09-26-2002, 02:14 AM   #1
mpower1226
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Plastic Headlight Refinishing

well, my headlights are pretty foggy and yellowed over years.
And Today, I decided to clean it up.
Here is what I did...

Since U.S spec headlight we use, are plastic, I thought I might be
able to wet sand it and compound it. So I did.

I went to pacific mall and grab me a set of ultra super fine sandpapers and compund for modeling use. (Which is usually for
plastic models.) from TAMIYA.

The sand paper package contains, 2000, 3000, 4000 grit fine.

Normaly, you will never find these super ultra finish sand paper at these numbers.
Also grab me a compound from same brand.

First I start up with 2000 wet sanding my headlight. and gradually go up to 3000 and finish with 4000. (4000 feels like a
paper). Now I touch the lense and feel it, really smooth...

Now I go with compound rub the hell out of headlight.

its like brand new.. now, when I touch the lense, reallly smooth,



If you cant afford new headlight or ellipsoid like me, try this method. I thought it was the inside lense that was dirty but..
no, its outside shell thats dirty.

Try, and you will be amazed.


PROCEDURE (added from page 2)

1. SOAK THE SANDPAPER into a bucket of water at least 15 min prior to sanding.

2. Grab a water sprayer bottle. Put a little bit of automotive car wash soap and a lot of water.

3. now grab a sprayer on your left hand and sandpaper on your right. Start sanding and spray the mixture at the same time. Also always sand in same direction only.

4. start from lower grit say 1000. and go up to the highest grit.

5. now clean it up, then use scratchX to remove the sanding marks. The headlight must be hazed but scratchX will remove the marks so dont worry.

6. keep on doing it untill its squeeky clean and until you dont see any sanding marks.

7. now use plasticX to clean it up nicely.
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Old 09-26-2002, 03:08 AM   #2
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Do you have any pictures? and do you mind if I copy this thread and put it in the FAQ?
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Old 09-26-2002, 03:23 AM   #3
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no, I didnot take pic, but I will try to take some pic tomorrow.
and yes you could put it up.
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Old 09-26-2002, 04:04 AM   #4
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Old 09-26-2002, 04:05 AM   #5
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Old 09-26-2002, 09:44 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

wow, mpower1226 that looks brand new. Good job

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Old 09-26-2002, 10:55 AM   #7
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I did the same thing on my old '92 318. I water sanded it then used Scratch X to remove the scracthes and polish the lens. It looked good but I remember Meguires sells some special stuff specifically made for polishing plastic.

Hey Dave, what kind of polish did you use?

Bryan
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Old 09-26-2002, 11:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by MTRD
I did the same thing on my old '92 318. I water sanded it then used Scratch X to remove the scracthes and polish the lens. It looked good but I remember Meguires sells some special stuff specifically made for polishing plastic.

Hey Dave, what kind of polish did you use?

Bryan
I dont remember yours looking that good though.
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Old 09-26-2002, 11:30 AM   #9
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I restored the plastic lenses on my Mazda using 3M Imperial Wetordry sand paper, with 400-, 600-, 1000-, 1500-, 2000-grit and then following up with Meguiar's #17 (plastic cleaner) and #10 (plastic polish). Looks great but requires a lot of elbow grease. Finer grit sand paper would have saved me mucho time for sure. mpower1226, do you remember the name of the store at Pacific Mall?
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Old 09-26-2002, 11:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by jello_g
I restored the plastic lenses on my Mazda using 3M Imperial Wetordry sand paper, with 400-, 600-, 1000-, 1500-, 2000-grit and then following up with Meguiar's #17 (plastic cleaner) and #10 (plastic polish). Looks great but requires a lot of elbow grease. Finer grit sand paper would have saved me mucho time for sure. mpower1226, do you remember the name of the store at Pacific Mall?
Those 2 Maguiars products was what I was talking about. I didn't use the proper polish so mine did not come out as good. Anyways, I think I'll try it again this year.

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Old 09-26-2002, 12:11 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by MTRD


Those 2 Maguiars products was what I was talking about. I didn't use the proper polish so mine did not come out as good. Anyways, I think I'll try it again this year.

bryan
If you get all the right products, we should do a DIY for the forum. We'll take progress pictures.
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:34 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Gamite


If you get all the right products, we should do a DIY for the forum. We'll take progress pictures.
Sounds good, I'll work at it this weekend and let you know the results.

Bryan
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:42 PM   #13
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Trust me people, this compound I used, this is for
plastic use. It is made by TAMIYA. It comes in a small tube.
It wokrs much better then any other car brand.

A lot of AFV modeler,(aircraft), they use this technique, to
clean their air plane canopy. They start with lower grit and
go up to highest grip which is 4000. Then they rub the canopy with copmpound from TAMIYA or "Mr. COMPOUND" from GUNZE.

The canopy(air craft windsheild) are made out of plastic just like
our lenses. So I figure It will work on our cars.

Trust me, this compoud is really good
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by jello_g
I restored the plastic lenses on my Mazda using 3M Imperial Wetordry sand paper, with 400-, 600-, 1000-, 1500-, 2000-grit and then following up with Meguiar's #17 (plastic cleaner) and #10 (plastic polish). Looks great but requires a lot of elbow grease. Finer grit sand paper would have saved me mucho time for sure. mpower1226, do you remember the name of the store at Pacific Mall?

There are alot of modeling stores in pacific mall. but there is
biggest one with alot of displays. They have them.

I forgot the name, they are located at the corner.
You should be able to purchase these sandpaper any modelshop

The key to the whole thing is you have to rub the compound
hard, I mean REALLY HARD.

Until, it becomes clear.

Last edited by mpower1226; 09-26-2002 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 09-26-2002, 01:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by mpower1226



There are alot of modeling stores in pacific mall. but there is
biggest one with alot of displays. They have them.

I forgot the name, they are located at the corner.
You should be able to purchase these sandpaper any modelshop

The key to the whole thing is you have to rub the compound
hard, I mean REALLY HARD.

Until, it becomes clear.
I think it was called Pacific Models.

Bryan
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