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Thread: Headlight plastic cover is dull - how do i fix it?

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    The_Sixer's Avatar
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    Headlight plastic cover is dull - how do i fix it?

    Here's some pictures:





    The left head light is completely crystal clear, while this one has a yellow tinge to it.

    Would taking a buffer to the headlight get rid of that god awful colour?

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    The Deported Spectre's Avatar
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    Perhaps you should as in the Q&A forum instead of here?
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    mclarensmps's Avatar
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    Had the same problem with my bimmers. Replaced them with glass ones.

    You can actually shave a layer off of them to freshen them up, though it's kinda annoying to do it properly, and you will eventually encounter the problem again.

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    mclarensmps's Avatar
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    ^ Does that stuff work well? So far the only type of these products that has ever worked decently on my car has been Mothers scratch remover.

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    I think so, I've used it before and got good results it just takes alot of elbow grease. With the condition his headlights are in it should work well, and it's only $7.99 so it's not much of an investment.

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    Nabster's Avatar
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    I've heard the ScratchX works to a degree, and the stuff that comes in a foil bag designed for restoring headlights works even better, but neither of them will bring it back to original crystal clear condition. For that, you'll need to buy two brand new lenses and take care of them- either washing and keeping up with waxing them or get a plastic protective film.
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    Previously known as Currahee474 Bananarama's Avatar
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    1. Sand with 1500 grit
    2. Wet sand with 2000 grit
    3. Buff with orbital sander/buffer with a cutting pad and plastx
    4. ?????
    5. Profit

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    RoamingGnome's Avatar
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    ^ Exactly what I've done on my t-bird's HL's some time ago (tho subbing orbital sander for elbow grease). Night and day difference. Keep in mind that after you're done with the 2k wet sanding (make sure that you end up with a uniform, very smooth milk) you'll get that "oh noez, what have i done" feeling.

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    Previously known as starfox07 Eunos_Cosmo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nabster View Post
    I've heard the ScratchX works to a degree, and the stuff that comes in a foil bag designed for restoring headlights works even better, but neither of them will bring it back to original crystal clear condition. For that, you'll need to buy two brand new lenses and take care of them- either washing and keeping up with waxing them or get a plastic protective film.
    The cloudiness is a molecular thing, nothing to do with keeping them clean. When the headlights are on, or its just a hot day, the plastic (being somewhat porous) expands slightly, and when that happens, small particles in the air will get stuck in the plastic. Its very hard to remove. Wet sanding works well, as does the plast-x.

    edit: pop-up glass headlights ftw
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    Nabster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starfox07 View Post
    The cloudiness is a molecular thing, nothing to do with keeping them clean. When the headlights are on, or its just a hot day, the plastic (being somewhat porous) expands slightly, and when that happens, small particles in the air will get stuck in the plastic. Its very hard to remove. Wet sanding works well, as does the plast-x.

    edit: pop-up glass headlights ftw
    Hence keeping them waxed or with a protective film to keep crap out of them.
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    eddysdaman's Avatar
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    This may seem stupid - but a friend of mine informed me that this happens a lot with Supras, and the best known fix is toothpaste + toothbrush = clean headlight.
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    RoamingGnome's Avatar
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    It's not stupid, since the toothpaste is abrasive (a la Scratch-X or alike) it may do. Still wetsanding+polish works better for severely dulled out covers.

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    British_Rover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddysdaman View Post
    This may seem stupid - but a friend of mine informed me that this happens a lot with Supras, and the best known fix is toothpaste + toothbrush = clean headlight.
    That is an old trick for cleaning up a used car on the cheap and it does work. I have used it several times. The trick is to use old school toothpaste not the fancy gel kind. You want to use the regular kind with lots of grit and chalk in it.

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    rides with Rebecca Black.. in the back thedguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starfox07 View Post
    edit: pop-up glass headlights ftw
    Pop-up headlight crew checking in!

    BTW, glass lenses FTW (and fuck sealed beams, H4/h1> *.old car headlights).
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    Break them. Then they'll be sharp again.

    Sorry. Didant meant to.
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    I tried Plast-X and it did't work but this is what I did 2 years ago, and they still look good.

    My 04 SVT has a set of HID's that were originally on my old ZX-3, and they have gotten rather nasty looking so I have decided to restore them, and here is how I did it.

    Here is the passanger side, you can see they are rather dull and nasty looking,




    So I got some 1000 grit sand wet/dry sand paper to get out everything but the deep nicks, wiping down the plastic every couple of minutes and keeping the sand paper pretty wet.
    Next I removed the 1000 grit marks with some 1500 grit paper, using lots of water and wiping as I went.
    Then I went to 2000 grit, by then the light looked pretty foggy but was very smooth, and to be honest looked better foggy than it did before I started.
    To get out the 2000 grit marks I went up to Wal-Mart and picked up some of this stuff...



    I found out you need to go SLOW with back and forth motions, if you go too fast or use too much power on your drill you will make some burr marks on the plastic and then you will have to resand that section with a bit of 2000 grit and go over it again with the polish pad. This stuff is basically an attachment to an electric drill and some stick on polish pads and you will use 2 or 3 per light.
    I will say again during the entire process go SLOW, it took me an hour and a half to get my drivers light looking like this...







    When you do this you are removing the UV coating (that is what faded) so you need to recoat them with something. I went with some blue Lamin-X





    Hope that helps.
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    rides with Rebecca Black.. in the back thedguy's Avatar
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    wait... the SVT focus was sold as 4 door?

    How does that thing compare to the Maita, I'm thinking of swapping out my Taurus for one of those as It should be usable for work still.
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    Hedgehog Sandwich Matt2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jasonof2000 View Post

    **Stuff**



    **bit more stuff**
    Is that even legal? That's extreme blue.
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    jasonof2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by thedguy View Post
    wait... the SVT focus was sold as 4 door?

    How does that thing compare to the Maita, I'm thinking of swapping out my Taurus for one of those as It should be usable for work still.
    It was offered as a 4 door in 2003 and 2004.

    My other car is a 97 Miata.


    I've had it for about 2 years and it has extensive suspension work.

    The SVT Focus is a sweet handling car that is very practical. It isn't very fast in a straight line (like the Miata) and it requires premium (the only time I put regular in it the engine ran like crap) another weak point was the initial stock clutch was weak, but there is a redesign and most of the SVT Foci should of had them replaced by now. I usually get about 26 MPG around town and 32 on the highway (I go from Virginia to Florida a lot). The car handles better than most FWD cars and I'm more comfortable driving it quick in the corners than I am the Miata (the Miata is the first RWD car I've owned so I'm a bit cautious with it) and the engine isn't governed.
    The interior is love it or hate it, the seats are comfortable (especially if you get one with the Euro-appearance package) and the stock stereo isn't that bad but the layout of the dash and the lack of a center console puts a lot of people off, but I like it.

    Overall I love it and plan on driving it until someone either crashes into it or the wheels fall off and the engine explodes.
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