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Discussion Starter #1
Good brand or headlights restoration kits? I want to try and do it myself.


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I used Meguiar's in the Summer of 2018. It's been almost two years and holds well (marketed to last at least 12 months):

However next time I'm going to try a non-polishing method, where you just use sand paper (3 different grits) and then you simply apply good clear coat on top of fully clouded headlights. I've seen results and those are awesome! And much simplier to do.
 

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Save your money, you don't need a kit. Plus none of the kits provide true lasting protection. They will be cloudy again in several months to a year depending on your garaging and daytime sun exposure.

I've been playing with several sets and have pretty much dialed in the process. Get some wet/dry sand paper in 400 and 800 grit variety and a can of clear spray paint with UV protection. I used this. Begin by taping off around the headlight and then cut a hole the right size/shape in a large garbage bag and use that to protect the area around the headlight. Using the garbage bag is much better than newspaper or similar because of wet sanding and rinsing. Start with 400 grit and wet sand the headlight until the oxidation is removed and you have a uniform appearance across them entire surface. Rinsing during the process occasionally to view progress is a good thing. Then progress to 800 grit and wet sand until you have the entire surface once again uniform and smooth. It can help to make the last pass with the 800 grit in a horizontal motion to create light ridges to help the clear coat to grab better and not run. Rinse well, blow out any water in the crevices around the light and dry off then wipe with a micro fiber cloth soaked with acetone and give it a minute to dry. Now you are ready for clear coat. The real key is very, very light coats, especially the first couple. Resist the urge to spray heavy enough to leave a smooth finish. Over applying will cause the paint to crack as it dries. Wait 10 minutes between coats and apply 4-5 thin coats and the last coat you can go a tad heavier to smooth out the finish if you want, just don't get carried away or it will run. Again, I can't emphasize enough the light coats and 10 minutes between coats. It's harder than you think to wait lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I used Meguiar's in the Summer of 2018. It's been almost two years and holds well (marketed to last at least 12 months):

However next time I'm going to try a non-polishing method, where you just use sand paper (3 different grits) and then you simply apply good clear coat on top of fully clouded headlights. I've seen results and those are awesome! And much simplier to do.
Thank for the video as always! I just purchased the 3M brand from amazon but it doesn’t include the sealant/clear coat.


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Discussion Starter #6
Save your money, you don't need a kit. Plus none of the kits provide true lasting protection. They will be cloudy again in several months to a year depending on your garaging and daytime sun exposure.

I've been playing with several sets and have pretty much dialed in the process. Get some wet/dry sand paper in 400 and 800 grit variety and a can of clear spray paint with UV protection. I used this. Begin by taping off around the headlight and then cut a hole the right size/shape in a large garbage bag and use that to protect the area around the headlight. Using the garbage bag is much better than newspaper or similar because of wet sanding and rinsing. Start with 400 grit and wet sand the headlight until the oxidation is removed and you have a uniform appearance across them entire surface. Rinsing during the process occasionally to view progress is a good thing. Then progress to 800 grit and wet sand until you have the entire surface once again uniform and smooth. It can help to make the last pass with the 800 grit in a horizontal motion to create light ridges to help the clear coat to grab better and not run. Rinse well, blow out any water in the crevices around the light and dry off then wipe with a micro fiber cloth soaked with acetone and give it a minute to dry. Now you are ready for clear coat. The real key is very, very light coats, especially the first couple. Resist the urge to spray heavy enough to leave a smooth finish. Over applying will cause the paint to crack as it dries. Wait 10 minutes between coats and apply 4-5 thin coats and the last coat you can go a tad heavier to smooth out the finish if you want, just don't get carried away or it will run. Again, I can't emphasize enough the light coats and 10 minutes between coats. It's harder than you think to wait lol.
Thank for the instructions! Is this manual sanding or you used cordless power drill? Is that a good clear spray you recommended?


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Thank for the video as always! I just purchased the 3M brand from amazon but it doesn’t include the sealant/clear coat.


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Don't try to clear coat after using that kit. Ask me how I know.

I didn't used a kit because I have a good buffer and could do the polishing a lot faster than using the contracption in the kit with a drill, but the result is the same. I got a nice, clean, smooth finish by finishing with 2000 grit sand paper then polishing, but then the surface is too smooth for the clear to grab. It literally slid down the headlight as I was spraying it. The videos showing the same process I described is the way to go. I followed up a week later and wet sanded the painted headlights with 800 grit then 2000 grit then polished them out. Wasn't that much better than I had with just paint, but I like to play lol.

Replying to your next question, all the wet sanding I did was by hand. Too many tight spots to use a sander. Yes, the UPOL is really good stuff. You can order from Amazon, but I got mine from a local automotive paint store. They really aren't geared toward retail and typically just supply local body and detail shops. It's the stuff that the local detailers use, much better than anything you can buy at Walmart or the like.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Don't try to clear coat after using that kit. Ask me how I know.

I didn't used a kit because I have a good buffer and could do the polishing a lot faster than using the contracption in the kit with a drill, but the result is the same. I got a nice, clean, smooth finish by finishing with 2000 grit sand paper then polishing, but then the surface is too smooth for the clear to grab. It literally slid down the headlight as I was spraying it. The videos showing the same process I described is the way to go. I followed up a week later and wet sanded the painted headlights with 800 grit then 2000 grit then polished them out. Wasn't that much better than I had with just paint, but I like to play lol.

Replying to your next question, all the wet sanding I did was by hand. Too many tight spots to use a sander. Yes, the UPOL is really good stuff. You can order from Amazon, but I got mine from a local automotive paint store. They really aren't geared toward retail and typically just supply local body and detail shops. It's the stuff that the local detailers use, much better than anything you can buy at Walmart or the like.
Ok. I canceled the kit and ordered the clear coat you recommended. And get the sand paper from Home Depot. Just to be clear, you wet sand by hand from 400, 800 and down to 2000 grit?


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Ok. I canceled the kit and ordered the clear coat you recommended.


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You won't be sorry. I've been experimenting for several years and finally stuck on this procedure. Obviously there are others out there that figured it out before I did, but after you've done a few sets you figure it out. Hopefully you knock it out of the park the first time. Like all things paint related good prep is the key, so don't skip or skimp. The sand paper can be had at any Walmart, Lowes, Home Depot, etc.

PS - the one oddity of the UPOL paint is it doesn't have a rattle ball inside. Just shake well and it's fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks! I have been wanting to do this a long time ago but not sure where to start because there so many kits out there. Now I know what I will need.
Thanks gentlemen!


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My son has had good and long lasting results with the kit Griot's garage sells. The trick with any kit that has a spray on coating is you want a surface with some "tooth" in it for the clearcoat to adhere to. The Griot's garage kit must be sprayed when you have 30 minutes or so of direct sun since the coating is UV cured. But it still looks very good after several years, unlike the sand and polish solutions that don't last but 3-6 months.
 

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I have 5 vehicles, spent $132, and did the headlight restoration myself.
I bought the 3M refinishing kit $18 at Amazon, 7 years ago.
Since then, I refreshed my 3M kit's sandpaper via E-bay for $30. I bought looped 800, looped 1200, looped 1800, looped 2500, looped 3000, and looped 5000 grit sandpaper. Later, I found the same looped grade sandpaper at a auto paint shop.
After I used the 3M looped attachment with my drill and the sandpaper, I used the 3M foam attachment with my drill and some Meguiars Plast-X polish $14 at Amazon, then I wiped it clean with water, let it dry and used McKee's Headlight Coating $40 on sale. I applied the McKee's Headlight Coating with a McKee's applicator $15. NOTE...Wipe the McKee's Headlight Coating off right away, using a Wine Glass Cloth $15
The most important thing to take from my method is the Wine Glass Cloth.
I did my 5 vehicles - 7 years ago - zero yellowing as of today.
 

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Simple, do it ol' skool.......Just use WD40 sprayed on a piece of paper towel. Wipe over the plastic. Looks good as new. Takes all of 5 - 10 minutes. Yes, you may have to repeat monthly.....but it's simple and easy.
 

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I vote for polish and Ventureshield Ultra by 3M film on top.
2nd place clear coat.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Simple, do it ol' skool.......Just use WD40 sprayed on a piece of paper towel. Wipe over the plastic. Looks good as new. Takes all of 5 - 10 minutes. Yes, you may have to repeat monthly.....but it's simple and easy.
Hahaha I tried that believe it or not and it looked decent for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes it’s back to where it was! It was a decent 5 minutes trick!


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I used "Mothers 07251 NuLens Headlight Renewal Kit", currently $18.79 on Amazon. Got it an the end of October of 2019 and used right away. It took me about an hour to repolish lenses on my MDX. The plastic on the lenses was all pitted, I assume from winter deicer damage over the years. Everything that was needed was in the box, with the exception of electrical drill and painters tape and a water hose to periodically rinse lenses in the process. Result was excellent - lenses are clean and shiny again!

I took pictures in the process, but I need to search for them. As you start sanding with lower grit sandpaper, lenses start looking worse and even less transparent, but one has to take a leap of faith and continue with reducing grits as instructed, and everything works out very well.

I cannot tell if it is a "good brand" or a "bad brand", it worked fine for me, instructions were clear, and the process is not rocket science, normal step by step sanding and final polishing with compound provided in a bottle.
 
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