Sunday, September 20, 2020

Restoring and polishing cloudy faded oxidised headlights, step by step DIY instructions

Happy COVID19 holidays everyone. Haven't worked in a while, so plenty of time to work on cars.
I'm stuck here in Victoria, where COVID19 has gone crazy thanks to our irresponsible state government screwing up hotel quarantine.

About 6 months ago I polished my headlights - got a fantastic result, until I applied some clearcoat! This cheap clearcoat in a can was recommended by other blogs, and it RUINED the headlight by crackling up.  DO NOT USE THIS RUSTOLEUM RUBBISH!!!!

Something reacted in the clearcoat with the polish or headlight, so I decided to strip everything back and start again - but NOT applying any clearcoat at the end.

Not much writing here - just going to show you the many many grits of sandpaper used, then into the machine assisted finishing stage. Took some very heavy grit to remove the clearcoat - actually started with 280 and 400 before moving to this 600.

600grit. Use plenty of soapy water to keep things lubricated.

Then 800 grit. Make sure that whenever you steup up a grade, you completely erase all the previous scratches left by the coarser grit. Use IPA to clean the lens and carefully check before moving to the next stage.

And so on, working your way up the grits.

After finishing with 3000g snadpaper, there's still a lot of hazing. For the next step, I used a cheap heavy and light compond, with a wool pad on a regular eletric drill. Used isopropyl alcohol to remove the compound in between changing over. This is where you really start to see the clearness in the lens coming through.

Then for good measure a bit of Meguiar's compound.

Finally, to really get the best finish possible, a random orbital buffer with some heavy and light compound.

Pretty happy with the result at this point.

Test fit of the headlight back on the car. After a good clean with more isopropyl alcohol, I used a Korean ceramic sealant wiped onto the lens for protection. 

Time taken? About 45 minutes for one headlight, really taking my time. Many people skip grits, I chose to do things the long way. not like I have anything else to do, with our government choosing to ruin Victoria by letting COVID cases out of quarantine, releasing COVID19 into the general community, killing many small businesses, ruining people's lives, and screwing up Melbourne and Victoria's economy for the next 5-10 years. Let's watch all the politicians and bureacrats try to pass the buck and dodge responsibility.

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