Headlight Restoration **pics**

Discussion in 'That'll Buff Right Out' started by Dodge guy, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    AS some of you may or may not know, I work at a collision shop as a detailer. WE had a van come in and paid for a headlight restoration, here are the pics

    We use this kit from 3m
    [​IMG]

    I forgot to get before pictures but here are the pics in steps

    Step 1

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Step 2
    [​IMG]

    Step 3
    [​IMG]

    Step 4

    [​IMG]

    Step 5

    [​IMG]

    Final
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Basically it started like this
    [​IMG]

    And Ended Like this

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Original

    Original OT Supporter

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    Looks good! :coold:

    I've always wetsanded from rough all the way to 2000 grit, then buffed with meguiar's plastx on a finishing pad

    turns out just as clear :hs:
     
  3. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    Our kit goes from 500dry, 800dry, 1000wet, 3000wet then the plastic compound and polish.

    On really bad headlights, ill hit it with some turbo cut compound before the plastic compound. Then the polish and ill rub in some final glaze. The way i do it may be a little more then required but its worked out so far
     
  4. ok_computer

    ok_computer OT Supporter

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    Any way to do this by hand? In a reasonable amount of time? (Maybe 1 hr per headlight?)

    Mine are pretty awful :hsd:
     
  5. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    You'll be damn tired by the end if you're doing it by hand, but yeah it can be done. Honestly though if you have a PC you can even take care of it with that depending what you're dealing with. I've done some headlight restoration without a single piece of sandpaper -- just working with various highly aggressive compounds can get the job done if you know how to work with them.
     
  6. Original

    Original OT Supporter

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    either way looks great :hsd:

    i've done it by hand once.. normal sanding, then with a buffing pad by hand but it never seemed to come out as clear as using a buffer to polish it out in the end.

    it'll work though
     
  7. Pyropup55

    Pyropup55 Active Member

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    how much does getting something like that done, cost?
     
  8. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    that's a nice-ass kit. 3M makes some great polishes/compounds. great job on those lights, too! now put some PPF on there and protect those bad boys.
     
  9. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    Idk how you would do it with just compounds. It took me a while to get these sanded down to an even surface.

    When sanding, you can tell when the surface is level or not by the marks it leaves and by watching spots. Its hard to explain, ill have to take pics next time i do a headlight.
     
  10. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    Idk, I would never try this shit by hand
     
  11. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    We got the kit through our paint supplier and we paid 300 but you can do a lot of headlights with them. Charge people $60 a light and in no time you recouped your 300 and then some.
    You should be able to get at least 7 sets of headlights out of a kit. Now when i say out of a kit, thats going by how many 3000sanding pads are in a box. There are 15 in a box and you will only have to use 1pad per light So 15/2 = 7.xx. You could probably get away with 1 pad for both lights. The 500 and 800 come in boxes of 50. And you can always by more boxes.

    The 1000 grit will run you about $35 for a box of 15. But one headlight and you have covered that cost
     
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2009
  12. BlazinBlazer Guy

    BlazinBlazer Guy Witness to The De-Evolution of Mankind.

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    I'm not inexperienced at this stuff; I know exactly what you're talking about. However I submit for your viewing pleasure the following (I've whored these pics out several times). I repaired the deep scratches in this headlight with nothing more than a PC and Meg's #83 (DACP):

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Those scratches were much deeper than the pic makes it look -- my customer was told by more than one other detailer that the whole light needed to be replaced because the original was shot. I was able to restore it in a matter of 45 minutes.
     
  13. Scottwax

    Scottwax Making detailing great again! Moderator

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    I've done a few headlight restorations but nothing like that van. :noes:

    Thanks for the heads-up on the kit.
     
  14. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    Scratches are one thing, but when your dealing with faded lights that have worn out spots, faded plastic/colors and the entire surface is at diff levels you need to sand. Its like paint on a car, you can get scratches out of a paint job buy using the right compounds, but to get orange peel out, you have sand.

    I tried one time to get a marker ink out of a faded headlight using just compound and some turbo cut compound, and it didnt work, i actually ended up burning the plastic to a point where it needed to be replaced

    IM not saying you dont know what your talking but i highly doubt you can get faded lights back to like new condition with just some compounds
     
  15. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    :bigthumb: If anyone has questions on it just ask
     
  16. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    i haven't gotten crystal clarity using compounds on lights, but some OHC on a synthetic wool pad on a DeWalt buffer makes a hell of a difference.
     
  17. Run N. Gun

    Run N. Gun Active Member

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    11tybillion times better! Excellent work, Dodge Guy!
     
  18. Dodge guy

    Dodge guy OT Supporter

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    No, i dont think you will ever be able to get crystal clear clarity especially not if you sand, or at least i haven't been able to and i have done about 7 sets lights. You can come damn close though if you use a final/finishing glaze
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2009
  19. Mud

    Mud Active Member

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    nice
     
  20. Chadder007

    Chadder007 OG Diamond Member

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    PPF??
     
  21. JRock10

    JRock10 Active Member

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    paint protection film. actually, if you look at lamin-x.com or xpel.com you can order lens kits for cars.
     

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