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restoring headlight lens

Kaput!

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Has anyone used a clearcoat aerosol after removing yellowing/dirt to shine and protect lens? I have already cleaned and sanded them but i want a clear glass look as it would have had when new.
I have already got a can ordered but after watching a couple of youtube vids im worried about not getting the desired finish as some show poor results.I refer to cracking/webbing once dried so i seek guidence on the correct procedure from anyone whos already done this.Is it simply spray it on and leave to dry or is there more to it than that? Last thing i want is to have to spend hours sanding it all off and starting over...thanks in advance.
 

shadow2kn

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I mean what I did with mine was, bought a restoration kit from Aldi, came with everything, sandpapers and all... had the lens protector in it as well which makes headlights look nice and shiny.. but havent really tried the way you're doing it.
think I started off with wet sanding 2000grit paper, then 3000 then 5000, then polished with the one in the kit and then lens sealer.
Guess you're probably better off doing that way then clearcoat, as that'll quite possibly leave some odd marks.. or if you wanna go that route, best do it in your garage.
 

mlkehunt

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2k clear coat in thin coats, allowing it to flash off so the solvents don't cause a reaction and break down the plastic. make sure you haven't cooked your plastic lenses during sanding. it is a petroleum product and when heated it releases oils which the clear and hardener will then react negatively with

if oxidization and moisture has caused deep pitting, you will struggle to fix it
 

Kaput!

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Great replies thx guys! I now understand the process better and why and how it can go wrong.The lenses have sanded well with no burns or marks they literally just slightly misty/hazy from the restoring process.Reading between the lines it looks like cracking will appear if you overspray the lens...as in it remains wet long enough for the solvent to react negatively with the plastic.I also understand from this that thinner coats applied but more of them is preferable?
One final question.....What ambient temp best to apply the laquer and is the use of heat a good or bad idea to aid drying? Id ***ume if ambient temp is correct no need for ***isted drying?
 

mlkehunt

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you're on the right track :p air dry is fine if you have the time
ambient for application, heat for speeding up hardening. temperature alters flash off time, if it flashes off too quickly or unevenly because of uneven application, it will cause pinholes. we bake finished clear at 60C* for anywhere between 20 to 40 minutes depending on the speed of the hardener, but we don't force flash off with heat
 

Kaput!

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Brilliant,fully understood,thankyou! Ive no excuses for getting this wrong now lol
 

Kaput!

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Just remembered i have an old headlight in the garage,i will do a practice run on that first i think.
 

Toured

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During lockdowns, I had to restor my wifes 04 Civic and used McQuires 2 step headlamp restoratotion kit. It did a great job but 2 years later it is starting to yellow very quickly. Annoyed at the short life of the refurbihment and having to do my tourers headlights (coated in the same restoration kit), I went back to basics. I removed both headlights and used a 2.5mm orbital sander to cut through sanding grades from P400 to P1200 and the finish with a G3 polishing compound. 1 year later and the headlights are as good as when refurfished. I now have to do the same to my wifes civic!
 

stellamon

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I use a car polisher with a sponge disc and some t-cut, give the headlights a polish about once a year, takes 5 minutes a side.
 

Toured

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Sounds like a good idea for keeping the lens tip-top year to year once the lenses are clear. Thats headlights sorted permenantly :)
 
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