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3M makes a small kit for making your headlights "like new." It's called a headlight lens restoration system. It's a four step process that includes three grits of sandpaper, polish, along with a small buffer that all attach to the end of a drill. By far the best thing I've come across because like most, I've tried everything possible to clean my headlights up. The kit sells for $20 but my headlights went from yellow and dim with residue that would not come off, to practically brand new. I apologize if this has already been covered but I am highly impressed. Starting five speed swap next weekend, anyone that decides to do it themselves, I'll have the major problems we run into for you.
 

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I tried to buff out my headlights and the residue was on the inside. If that is the case just melt the seal glue with a hairdryer and just pry off. Worked like a charm for me.
 

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That looks like an interesting product I might give that a try when the weather warms up.

Last summer I used toothpaste on the lenses and it worked great, with a bit of elbow grease of course.
 

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I just went to the store (Wal-Mart) and bought a kit from turtle wax that does the same as the 3M kit, but you have to do it by hand instead of using the drill. Personnaly I prefer doing it by hand to avoid sanding out of the headlight area, and because you get a better "feel" of what you are doing.

The process is fairly simple:
1- Wash the lense to remove any bugs and dust
2- Apply some masking tape around the headlight to avoid sanding the clear coat off of the body parts surrounding the headlights.
3- Spray some sanding lubricant (I guess plain water could do too) and start sanding with the stage 1. I sanded for a good 5 minutes because my headlights were very, very foggy and yellow. I had to spray some more every minute or so.
4- Same things with the stage 2, but at 90 degrees compared to stage 1, then again, add more lubricant to keep the surface wet. I did this for 2 minutes
5- Stage 3, 1 minute, stage 4 1 minute.
6- Clean all the excess liquid off of the lense and polish with the paste they supply for 1-2 minutes. Let it dry there and wipe it after using a cotton cloth.
7- Wipe the lense with the protective product they supply.

Here are two pictures before and after, the result is pretty sick, it completely changes the look of the car.
 

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Unfortunately this did not work for my headlights. I tried the rain-x product though. Im thinking I might have to take my headlight apart and clean out the inside though.
 

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Unfortunately this did not work for my headlights. I tried the rain-x product though. Im thinking I might have to take my headlight apart and clean out the inside though.
Did you you sand them with different grits? Sanding is what makes the difference, just using the product itself won't do anything if your headlights are as in bad shape as mine were.
 

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Did you you sand them with different grits? Sanding is what makes the difference, just using the product itself won't do anything if your headlights are as in bad shape as mine were.
Yea I sanded them three times. First diagonally then up and down/ sideways then diagonally again. It did clear up some but i thinkits also yellow on the inside. So I will have to take them apart. I heard if you bake them in the oven for a period of time that helps too? Has any one else heard that?
 

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Yellowing does not occur from the inside and you will be wasting your time. Yellow happens on the outer surface of the headlight lens that is in direct contact with sunlight. The plastic contains a UV inhibitor which breaks down overtime and begins to yellow as the plastic oxidizes.

Sometimes headlights get so yellowed that they're beyond repair. People dont take care of their headlights and they oxidize badly. Simply washing and waxing your headlights occasionally can prevent yellowing completely.

You'll need to try and sand them again. It also seems that you're not using a polishing compound after sanding. Buy some 3M Rubbing Compound and try the sanding steps again.
 

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Yellowing does not occur from the inside and you will be wasting your time. Yellow happens on the outer surface of the headlight lens that is in direct contact with sunlight. The plastic contains a UV inhibitor which breaks down overtime and begins to yellow as the plastic oxidizes.

Sometimes headlights get so yellowed that they're beyond repair. People dont take care of their headlights and they oxidize badly. Simply washing and waxing your headlights occasionally can prevent yellowing completely.

You'll need to try and sand them again. It also seems that you're not using a polishing compound after sanding. Buy some 3M Rubbing Compound and try the sanding steps again.
I did have the polishing compound also. Maybe I should try a different brand of the cleaner and see if that works better. I know I will still have to take them apart tho because even if they are not yellow on the inside they still need to be cleaned. And I would have taken care of the headlights but I just got the car about a month ago. Im hoping they are not damaged beyond repair :(. The more expensive cleaning kits have you hook up something on the end of a drill instead of sanding. Would these work better than sanding?
 

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I don't think you want a power sander

I got great and good results with the Mothers Powerball system. It comes with numbered sanding pads as well for tougher oxidizing. Mine were worst case. Even after a few tries I could not get one of the head lights crystal white. It might be because of a previous failed attempt when I may have melted it trying to polish it with a power sander.
 

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I tried hand sanding, then the drill attachment thingys. They didn't work worth a crap, so as a last attempt to fix them, I used a big ass R/O sander. Still no luck, even with a sander that had enough power to melt the lights into mush.

New lights = Fixed. :)
 

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^my headlights look a lot worse than that lol. Even after I sanded and polished them. I think I'm just gonna go and buy some HID's or something.
 

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+1 for the turtle wax kit, worked really good on my JDM one piece headlights. People who couldn't get it to work either have never washed their car and headlights are just too far gone or are doing it wrong.

Only thing was there was a coating on the lights that was flaking off and the sanding didn't take it off so you can see that, dunno what I'm gonna do about that.
 

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the problem with most of the fifth gen preludes is that the clear coat on the top starts to come off due to sunlight, so does anyone have a solution for this problem? I realize that you need to sand and reclear, but what grits of sandpaper would be good to use?
 
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