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Headlight lens polishing

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Old 03-17-2019, 09:56 PM
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Default Headlight lens polishing

Have any of you any experience with headlight polishing kits for your Blazer headlights? Any good ones?
 
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Old 03-17-2019, 10:44 PM
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I did it. Looked great but only lasted 6 months before they clouded up again.
 
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:23 AM
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The kits basically include mild abrasive plastic polish(-es) and some kind of applicator(s). Some polishes are more aggressive and give results faster, some are milder so take longer but give a shinier finish. Other than that they're all roughly the same, so a $4 bottle of Plast-X etc. is roughly as good as a $25 kit, and a $2 tube of toothpaste will work if you're patient and have a lot of elbow grease lying around.

The basic problem with these kits is they remove the outer worn/oxidized layers but then leave the plastic lens material underneath exposed, so it quickly becomes worn and oxidized again. To make it last you really need to finish with several layers of a UV-resistant clear coat and protect it with wax now and then. And even so it's still not "permanent" and will still have to be touched up now and then. Because it's plastic that's exposed to the elements.

Wet sanding with successive grits and finishing with clear coat and wax is about the best you can do.


Avoid the internet guides that say you should use OFF or other DEET-based insect repellents. It will actually work, but it's difficult to gauge or control how much plastic gets dissolved and can yield uneven results that still need to be polished. Not a good idea unless the car is so far gone that you don't really care any more.
 
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Old 03-18-2019, 12:53 AM
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I recently used the simple kit from the local W-mart. Wet sand with couple different grits, clean, coat with the “magic” bottle stuff they included and get fresh air. Fumes are quite strong. Results in my view, about 90% of new for say 20-30mins work per headlamp and had enough to do tail lights too. I used the 3m kit.

Tips with that kit: painters masking tape a must. Used a old windex type bottle with water in it, keep surface very wet while sanding. Clean, repeat. Kit has several grit levels. You can tell when getting close to done sanding when the run off is clearish/white, looks golden yellow as you strip the oxidized layers. When applying you have to do it in as few passes as possible with very little overlap. Will streak if heavy overlap, wipe in different directions etc. (with my hands took me 2 passes on the horizontal left/right) Comes with the gloves, use em, soak the application clothe till almost dripping wet and make your pass thus the tape to protect everything else- including bumpers. It kinda reminds me of superglue, move fast, keep clothe soaked, get all the lamps done and dispose of it outside- fumes are nasty. Directions read like applying wax, not on hot surface nor in sun. Did mine in garage with door open then moved it outside to cure once done.

Overall worth the effort and mine came out great. Took about 1 hour to “set”, was fully cured by next morn. How long it last for me unknown, just did this like 2-3 weeks ago.
 
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Old 03-18-2019, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Trukntigger View Post
Tips with that kit: painters masking tape a must.
I'd rather pull the headlights out. Once I've been polishing the paint on my fender and masked the hood with a dedicated, waxed tape. On removing the tape, I've removed also the transparent layer from a hood to a base paint.

 
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:36 AM
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Not sure what waxed tape is I just used blue 2” painters tape and worked fine. I can see removal but found was easy with it in place so it did not move while working it. How did you go about keeping it held still while working on it?
 
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Old 03-18-2019, 11:50 AM
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The tape I've been using was this:
https://www.colad.co/product/aqua-dynamic-masking-tape/
A regular painter's tape. It's kinda soaked with wax, so we call it "waxed masking tape". Sorry if it wasn't an accurate term.
..and I've masked the hood, and then, eventually after removing I had an irregular strip of a clear finish layer gone. I don't know whether my hood was poorly painted in the past or it's just aging. But the headlights are easy to remove. Just a few clips and plugs. So I wouldn't risk masking in another place
 
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Old 03-18-2019, 07:18 PM
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Old 03-19-2019, 11:55 AM
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+1. I have had success with this.
 
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Old 03-19-2019, 12:14 PM
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Similar but no drill version I used. https://www.walmart.com/ip/3M-Headli...n-Kit/23332131
 

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