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Old 02-26-02, 04:25 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs up Polishing Headlights

First off, I want to thank ChrisK for his help.

I'll post instructions on how I did this tomorrow, but for now here's the pictures of before and afters. I have only done one side so far and will finish the other tomorrow. The right is the polished one but you will see that in the pictures. Also, something to note is that there is a piece of tape underneath the right headlamp from when I was painting the bumper a while ago, which detracts from the full efect cause the tape is reflected in the headlight. I just haven't gotten round to taking it off yet because I'll have to jack up my car and take off the front bumper in order to do so.

Left is light after 153k miles/Right is polished and looking like new but still with 153k miles :


Before:


After:


Before:


After:


Before:


After:


Sorry 56k guys for so many pics, but I was just so blown away by how much better it looks. The pictures can't do it justice, I can't wait now to repaint my front end and get rid of all the oxidation and rock chips .
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Old 02-26-02, 04:37 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Post Instructions

Ok well first off I have access to a real auto shop at school, and the air buffer can be subsitituted with a lot of elbow greese

1) I got some 600 and 2000 grit sandpaper, a bucket of soapy water, and a squegee (sp?)
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that you should use like dish washing soap. You don't want to use car soap because it contains waxes that hinder what you are trying to do.

2) I got the headlight wet with the squegee and got the 600 grit sandpaper wet in the bucket and started sanding always going in straightlines (don't swirl!!!)

3) After doing this till I felt that I had gotten the majority of little dings out, I followed it up with the 2000 gritt paper in the same fashion to make the plastic very very smooth. The plastic at this point is very cloudy though.

4) I used 3M rubbing compound which I poured onto the headlight and then took a air buffer and buffed it out.

***At this point you will be saying WOW!!!!

5) When I got home later I realized that I could still see just a few tiny tiny tiny scratches when the lights were on, so I decided to wip out my Clear Plastic Collection from Meguiars which I got for like $25.

6) I just applied the plastic cleaner as directed which filled in the scratch marks

7) Then I applied the plastic polisher as directed and wooohooooo!

8) I am now completely satisfied! The headlights look almost brand new.

Let me know if you have any questions.
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Old 02-26-02, 05:09 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Major difference and I really like it. How long did it take you to do the headlight you did and did you remove the bumper to take the headlight out or did you just leave the headlight on the car? I gotta do this as soon as the weather gets nicer out here in NYC.
Great work Aaron.
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Old 02-26-02, 05:40 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow, I didn't realize your headlights were that bad in the first place The polished ones look very good. I'm glad it worked out for you.
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Old 02-26-02, 07:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
 
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woah SpeedDemon your headlights look CLEAN!!!!!!!!!
I'm gonna clean up my headlights once the weather gets a little warmer cuz my headlights look like your uncleaned ones. Thanks for the instructions.
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Old 02-26-02, 11:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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look awesome...I will be doing that on the Legends..especially the sedan!

Thanx guys
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Old 02-26-02, 11:25 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok, well the one side took me like 2 hours (maybe a little more), but that was partially becasue I was experimenting and didn't know what I was doing. Chris used 800, 1500, then 2000. I was kinda worried since I didn't have access to all these, but once I was done I realized that it didn't make a difference. And my way is probably easier and cheaper to just use 600 all the way then finish with 2000. I'll let you guys know today when I get back from school how long the second one takes me, but I bet that I get it done in under an hour.

I just left the headlights on the car, it's real easy to stay away from the paint. The only somewhat tricky thing really was keeping the air buffer away from the paint.
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Old 02-26-02, 06:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
 
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Hi, they look great. i was just asking about where can i get new headlamp covers, well, you are surely clearing it out for me.

i just want to ask can i get all the stuff like 600, 2000, rubby...in normal parts store. is air buffer same as the one we use to polish the car wax?

thank man!!
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Old 02-26-02, 07:00 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wow that is an excellent job... I might want to do that also but I dont think my headlghts look that bad... I'll wait untill I install the bumpers..
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Old 02-26-02, 07:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by SpeedDemon
Ok, well the one side took me like 2 hours (maybe a little more), but that was partially becasue I was experimenting and didn't know what I was doing. Chris used 800, 1500, then 2000. I was kinda worried since I didn't have access to all these, but once I was done I realized that it didn't make a difference. And my way is probably easier and cheaper to just use 600 all the way then finish with 2000. I'll let you guys know today when I get back from school how long the second one takes me, but I bet that I get it done in under an hour.

I just left the headlights on the car, it's real easy to stay away from the paint. The only somewhat tricky thing really was keeping the air buffer away from the paint.
Its true, it was probably cheaper to just use the 600, then 2000, but I had access to all the different ones when I was also experimenting, and I found I didn't need to use each grip as long since was slowly making the scratch marks finer as I went along. Ending up with 2000 would be the same as you, just maybe you may have had to sand with 2000 a little longer then I did, but then again, maybe not since I did it all by handm and you usd a buffer wheel
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Old 02-26-02, 07:27 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Those look great. Nice pics.

Did you notice any change with the beam pattern.

I'll add this to the list of to-dos for my car. I think the sanding is going to be the most tedious part. I'll prob use a dremel with buffer wheel for the polishing.
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Old 02-26-02, 07:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
 
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Turned out great. How much time do you think it would take to do the one light whithout the air tool? I'm thinking of giving it a try now that I know you don't have to remove anything.
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Old 02-26-02, 08:21 PM   #13 (permalink)
 
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wow u can actually see a difference in the two....
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Old 02-26-02, 09:14 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Ummm, well with the buffer wheel that part doesn't take more than like 5 minutes. Without, I have no idea. I just finished the second headlight today and it looks perfect as well. Good luck you guys.

Oh yeah, and about the sand paper, I have no idea where you get it because it was already there in the Autobody shop, I didn't have to go out and actually buy anything. (except the meguiars stuff)

And about the beam patter.... Now because there isn't so much blocking the light it is way brighter! The actual pattern of the beam hasn't changed though. My beam pattern is so messed up though anyways because I have D2S HID bulbs in a 9006 socket :p :cool:
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Old 02-26-02, 10:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
 
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Whoa... I... am... stunned. That is some tight sh*t.. I gotta try that out when I have the time. Thanks for sharing this great information with us. I love this forum cuz of people like you man.
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