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Double Eeww Tee Eff!?
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I did a search and read about using Plexus or Novus polish to help restore the headlights. Alot of people also wet sanded them and then used the polish. What I'd like to know is how hard is this to do?

Do you just take sand paper and wet it? Do I need 3 different kinds of grit sand paper in order to do this properly? How long does this normally take?

And the final question.......Any place I can go to incase all else fails (where can I get someone to do this for me)?:D

EDIT | Is there any way to get the housing re-sealed or something? I washed my car today and noticed some condesation in the housing. Mostly around the corner lens.
 

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Here's what the guy who sold them to me said:

Renewing One-Piece Headlights.
You are going to have to remove the lights from your car to do this and it WILL take quite a bit of time and elbow grease. In fact, it's just plain tedious. But here are the steps and things you'll need.

Things you'll need:

1. Bowl of water
2. 2 Sheets 400 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
3. 2 Sheets 600 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
4. 2 Sheets 1000 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
5. 2 Sheets 1500 Grit Wet/Dry Sandpaper
6. Turtle Wax No. 5 (heavy duty/red) rubbing compound
7. Turtle Wax No. 7 (light/white) polishing compound
8. McGuire’s Clear Plastic Cleaner
9. McGuire’s Clear Plastic Polish
10. Soft terry cloth towels

Steps:
1. Remove lights from car.
2. Use the 400 grit sandpaper and start sanding the surface of the lights lengthwise in only a side to side motion. DON'T CHANGE DIRECTIONS (up/down or circles). At first don't use any water, but add water as the clear coat starts to come off. You'll be able to tell where it is and isn't coming off.
3. Repeat above procedure with the 600 grit sandpaper after all of the clearcoat is removed (use water).
4. Repeat using 1000 grit sandpaper with water.
5. Repeat using 1500 grit sandpaper with water.
6. Now use a soft terry cloth towel to work in the Turtle Wax heavy duty rubbing compound using same side to side motion. Work that in for about 5 minutes and rub clean and dry.
7. Get a new terry cloth towel and work in the Turtle Wax Light Polishing Compound. Work it in for about 5 minutes and wipe clean and dry.
8. Examine the lights and see that all of the clearcoat is gone and that most of the hairline scratches from the sandpaper are gone.
9. If it looks pretty good, apply the McGuire’s Clear Plastic Cleaner with a clean terry cloth towel. Work that in until it's clean and dry.
10. Now apply the McGuire’s Clear Plastic Polish with the same towel. After being rubbed in thoroughly, use a clean towel and wipe it dry. The light should look close to brand new.
 

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C.O.D.
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Plexus is a popular choice, but I don't know how well it would go with sanded down plastic. It's mainly used for maintaining plastic. It's not a real plastic polish; try the Renovo Plastic Polish.

Here's a link to it from properautocare.com http://www.properautocare.com/renplaswinpo.html

Anyway, what you said about wet sanding is correct - you're using sandpaper to make the surface of the plastic really smooth. This will then make the plastic cloudy, but will be revived through using the plastic polish. For best results, using a rotary buffer or an orbital buffer is the best.

The process lude_vtec described is pretty much what it is anyway, so I won't go say it again. However, a 400 grit sandpaper might be too rough for the plastic to begin with. Plastic can be either soft or hard, and if you apply too much pressure, you can leave scratches rather than make the surface smooth. Also, soak the sandpapers in warm water and use a solid backing, not your hand, when you sand the surface. I posted this same link: http://www.goodspeedmotoring.com/?page=sanding in the Detailer's forum for color sanding, but the technique is the same. What they're doing paint, is what you're doing on plastic.

Also, the products lude_vtec posted above aren't the greatest - especially the Turtle Wax. If you want to buy products from places like Pep Boys rather than going to a specialty place online, stick with the 3M line, like the 3M Fine Cut Compound. Oh and McGuire's is Meguiar's - in case you might get confused.

Hope you get good results :)
 

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PRelude787 said:
Quick questions..........what do you guys think of Mother's Plastic Polish? Do plastic polishes leave what most people call a clearcoat on the lens?
A clearcoat is a different from a polish. If your wondering what can act as a protectant on plastic, there are very few products, if any, out there that will do so. A wax or sealent can protect the paint, but I haven't heard of a product that's in the market designed specifically to protect the plastic. If anything, platsic polishes like Renovo and the Plexol product do a combination of things - more like an all -in-one kind of product. That's my understanding.

IMO, the Mother's and Meguiar's line can be rated as a little above average...so you can decide from there on how good/expensive of a product you want to get.
 

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Double Eeww Tee Eff!?
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Discussion Starter #9
I have another question on this. I've read that wetsanding is not good for the housings in the long run. Basically because it gets rid of a certain coating that's on the headlight which protects it from the elements and such.

I have some peeling on my driver headlight and looks pretty bad. I don't have very many nics or scratches on them. Would I be able to fix the peeling without wetsanding it.....just by using the kit mentioned above? Or would I have to wetsand it to take car of that.....cuz it does look pretty bad.

Also, anyone who has done this do you have any after pics of the long term effects from sanding down the special coating (Lexain MR-10 I believe)?
 

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The kit was designed to tailor a variety of headlights as well as different applications. Since most headlights are made of plastic, I would assume that they all would have a film like the Lexain you said, or something similar to it. Yes, wetsanding does have its faults and could damage the film - that is something that you can't ignore. If you're worried about further damage and peeling, then give the kit a shot. I highly doubt it would do any damage. Plexus and Renovo are pretty big names and have a good reputation for restoring plastic.
 

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Hey, quick question. What if I want to open the headlights up and clean the inside of the lens because Ihave a leak and it fogs up during the rain. I need to seal any leaks so might as well clean the lens. How should I go about doin this?
 

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My headlights look different from eachother. One headlight looks as though the clear cover is a bit yellow or opaque. The light doesnt go through it as clear as the other. I was thinking that maybe the cover was dirty from the inside? What are your thoughts on this and how to clean it?
 

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92-h23a1 said:
Hey, quick question. What if I want to open the headlights up and clean the inside of the lens because Ihave a leak and it fogs up during the rain. I need to seal any leaks so might as well clean the lens. How should I go about doin this?
If you're getting condensation in the lense, it's because there is a leak somewhere. And like you said, the solution is to take apart the housing, which won't be easy, and get a towel to make absolute sure that everything is dry. I suppose you could use the same glue compound since I'm not exactly sure what they use for sure, but after reheating the glue it should become stronger than before. It helps to use clamps if you have them. People use a hairdryer, heatgun, or even an oven to take apart the taillights to clear out the orange - you can do the same for the headlights.

Originally postedy by br3ak3r84
My headlights look different from eachother. One headlight looks as though the clear cover is a bit yellow or opaque. The light doesnt go through it as clear as the other. I was thinking that maybe the cover was dirty from the inside? What are your thoughts on this and how to clean it?
It's hard to get the inside of a housing dirty - the seals around it should be pretty tight. If you see condensation when it's raining outside in the housing, then you have a leak. You could go ahead and open it up and clean the insides, but I think that would be just wasting your time. My guess is that the plastic exterior surface is the problem. The opaqueness and yellowing comes from the protective film deterioating from things like ultraviolet rays to just normal wear and tear. Use a plastic polish and that should definitely help out a lot. Depending on how bad the condition of the lense is, the polish on its own might do the trick without any wetsanding needed. try using the kit that I posted in the link above.
 

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KB798 said:


If you're getting condensation in the lense, it's because there is a leak somewhere. And like you said, the solution is to take apart the housing, which won't be easy, and get a towel to make absolute sure that everything is dry. I suppose you could use the same glue compound since I'm not exactly sure what they use for sure, but after reheating the glue it should become stronger than before. It helps to use clamps if you have them. People use a hairdryer, heatgun, or even an oven to take apart the taillights to clear out the orange - you can do the same for the headlights.



It's hard to get the inside of a housing dirty - the seals around it should be pretty tight. If you see condensation when it's raining outside in the housing, then you have a leak. You could go ahead and open it up and clean the insides, but I think that would be just wasting your time. My guess is that the plastic exterior surface is the problem. The opaqueness and yellowing comes from the protective film deterioating from things like ultraviolet rays to just normal wear and tear. Use a plastic polish and that should definitely help out a lot. Depending on how bad the condition of the lense is, the polish on its own might do the trick without any wetsanding needed. try using the kit that I posted in the link above.
ohh alryte... would i apply this polish on the inside of the cover or the outside?
 
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