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Old March 26th, 2014, 12:21 AM   #1
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headlight cleaning?

my headlight is getting way too faded from the hot florida sun. i know people do the wet sanding procedure. but i figured starting a 600grit wetsand straight to 2000 grit wetsand. and skipping all the in between. Anyone ever done this or should i really consider doing grits in between as well? i believe the accord headlight has some sort of clear coat like most plastic honda headlights do. So i don't want to waste too much time for potentially nothing haha. so the process will be:

-600 grit wet/dry sandpaper
-2000 grit wet/dry sandpaper
-Rubbing Compound
-Plastic Polish
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Old March 26th, 2014, 02:08 AM   #2
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Skipping the inbetween grits means you use 4x as much sandpaper, and 16x the amount of scrubs.
Start with like 1500 or straight to polishing compound, unless they are REALLY bad. I live in AZ and ended up only needing the compound with the right rpm and right pad. What kit do you plan to use? pics?
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Old March 27th, 2014, 12:36 PM   #3
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no kit. just 3m sand paper by hand, i have a sanding block lol thats it.

so dont start with a course grit like 600? i know its a long/tedious process but i dont mind especially cause the hazing has gotten pretty annoying and i want to take care of it before the florida sun makes it any worse.
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Old March 28th, 2014, 05:54 AM   #4
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Just make sure to wax or seal it every couple weeks or the hazing will come back with a fury. The sanding removes the protective UV layer.
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Old March 30th, 2014, 10:28 PM   #5
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I'd start with 1000-1500 grit first, might be tough to take 600 grit sanding marks out with 2000 grit paper.
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Old March 31st, 2014, 05:12 PM   #6
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thanks for all the info ill just use a couple grits, 600,1000-1500,and 2000, then compound/polish. and blue magic every month or so. thanks for all the quick info guys!
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Old April 24th, 2014, 01:11 PM   #7
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Sanding by hand is no fun. I would recommend a drill attachment at least, if you haven't already started and finished.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 04:52 PM   #8
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cant skip the in between grits
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Old April 30th, 2014, 06:11 AM   #9
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I did my headlights last weekend and they turned out great.

I used 3M wetordry sandpaper (link - 1 pack per headlight) and a spray bottle full of water to wet sand the lights. Don't forget to tape off around the headlights or you risk scratching your paint! I started with 1000 grit, then 1500 grit, then 2000 grit, and finally 2500 grit. I cut the paper into 3" strips and folded them in half. The trick is to sand left and right for the first grit, then up and down for the next grit and then repeat. Keep the surface of the lights nice and wet. Spend plenty of time on the first sanding step (the 1000 grit) to make sure you get all the original UV coating off. Dry the lights occasionally with a towel and you should easily be able to see which areas still need more sanding.

After that I buffed them out with Plast-X. They turned out crystal clear. I put two coats of Opti-seal on top for protection. It took me about 4 hours per headlight with a 15 minute break in between grits.
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Old May 1st, 2014, 07:59 PM   #10
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8 hours to do it….wow. haha thanks for all the info though!
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Old May 2nd, 2014, 01:37 PM   #11
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I'm kind of anal and take my time when it comes to these things lol.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 04:30 PM   #12
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The most important thing is to seal it after you sand/polish, or it will fade again. Some people have tried urethane clear coat with good results. See post 109: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea - Page 11 - Auto Geek Online Auto Detailing Forum
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Old May 12th, 2014, 09:14 PM   #13
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Steel wool and 409
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Old May 12th, 2014, 09:15 PM   #14
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Then buff them
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Old May 14th, 2014, 04:44 PM   #15
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break fluid

clean headlight with break fluid, clears them up instantly!!
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Old May 24th, 2014, 07:10 PM   #16
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I know the Mother's Nulense product goes 800, 1500, 3000 then polish. I just did mine and they turned out well and it's only like $25.
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Old May 25th, 2014, 09:41 AM   #17
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I wet sand them up to 3000 grit paper. Then I use a random orbital with plastic polish. Next I do a few coats of zaino z5 show car polish followed by a few coats of z2. Then I finish it off with zaino's clear seal.
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Old May 31st, 2014, 09:04 PM   #18
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Thanks brian6speed
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Old May 31st, 2014, 09:35 PM   #19
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I heard toothpaste works also if your really on a budget
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Old June 12th, 2014, 09:59 PM   #20
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Yeah sanding really does the trick!
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Old June 13th, 2014, 01:00 AM   #21
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This is how I did My headlights:


Autopia Guide to Headlight Restoration - Autopia Forums - Auto Detailing & Car Care Discussion Forum
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