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RESTORE PLASTIC HEADLAMP LENSES


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Has anyone any recommendations/favourites or "no go"  in respect of which kit to buy to restore plastic lenses on Headlamps ?

Many thanks and Best Wishes, John.

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I used wet/dry 1500 then 2000 grade abrasive paper + water and then metal polish to finish off, Hard work and it lasts about a year under the Spanish sun. It took about 2 hrs to do by hand. There are many videos on youtube about how to do it etc.

Good luck

Mike

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8 hours ago, mrmike said:

I used wet/dry 1500 then 2000 grade abrasive paper + water and then metal polish to finish off, Hard work and it lasts about a year under the Spanish sun. It took about 2 hrs to do by hand. There are many videos on youtube about how to do it etc.

Good luck

Mike

Thanks Mike. I was actually looking for a named kit supplier. I intend doing it with a slow drill and will also require the UV proof coating to apply after I have done the job. I have done it a few times before and was actually wondering if anyone had  any experience of a supplier, other than the one I have used before.

Best Wishes and Regards, John

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12 hours ago, JOE-DOT-COM said:

hi

Ive used the 3m headlight restore kit on s-type R headlights

every thing in the kit you need,all you need is just a battery drill

and it works really well, they came up like new

cheers

Joe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4mPWhOW0mik

Many thanks Joe. Regards, John

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I did mine recently while i had the headlamps apart to renew the adjusters which had disintegrated. I just used T-Cut on the lenses to remove the discolouration (it wasn't actually that bad on mine) then finished off with 3 coats of Simoniz liquid wax to protect them.

The kits you buy with various abrasives etc in are nothing more than a convenenitly packed set of abrasives, maybe a cloth and/or applicator pad so if you choose your weapons carefully, you can buy those things (or like i did, have them already) and get the same results. The only bit missing from mine was the UV resistant lacquer which i plan on doing in the spring.

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5 hours ago, LairdScooby said:

I did mine recently while i had the headlamps apart to renew the adjusters which had disintegrated. I just used T-Cut on the lenses to remove the discolouration (it wasn't actually that bad on mine) then finished off with 3 coats of Simoniz liquid wax to protect them.

The kits you buy with various abrasives etc in are nothing more than a convenenitly packed set of abrasives, maybe a cloth and/or applicator pad so if you choose your weapons carefully, you can buy those things (or like i did, have them already) and get the same results. The only bit missing from mine was the UV resistant lacquer which i plan on doing in the spring.

I believe the job is not worth doing unless you actually finish with the UV  resistant lacquer .

Thanks and Regards, John

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Hi

I dd mine a few years ago and once there done, they stay really wel if there just polished once in a while

never used laquer on mine

I just polish the lights when i polish the car, and they still look great

they can be laquered if required, but a lot more work involved, and if not done right will spoil them

cheers

Joe

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14 hours ago, Wrinkly said:

I believe the job is not worth doing unless you actually finish with the UV  resistant lacquer .

Thanks and Regards, John

A bit of a calculated risk John, the primary function of my work on the headlamps was to replace the shattered adjuster parts. The lenses weren't actually that bad, jus the beginnings of discolouration. As stated in my post, i plan on revisiting the job in spring :

19 hours ago, LairdScooby said:

The only bit missing from mine was the UV resistant lacquer which i plan on doing in the spring.

As you can see ^^^^^

Over winter the UV levels are much lower and i normally park facing away frm the sun anyway. I may look for some clear window tint film with a high UV rejection factor, shame in a way they don't make colour-specific film  that turns clear when lit from behind. I'd probably fall foul of the MoT tester and also the C&U regs if i tried in any case although some very interesting decrative effects can be created with things like chrome-effect window tint film.

But i digress! Clear window film with UV filters would do the job well and could eaily be replaced if it clouded over rather thn having to sand it off and then relacquer later. 😉 😄

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I live in Southern Spain and the sun hits the front of the car when parked everyday at about1pm. Each year I go over the headlights with what is basically Brasso, it takes about 30 mins to get them back to a very good condition. My main problem is the lenses which look black so the lights are not very bright. I think they get dirty inside. But the removal of the front looks quite daunting. My headlights have the screw botchup which works fine but are just somewhat dim.

Mike

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7 minutes ago, mrmike said:

I live in Southern Spain and the sun hits the front of the car when parked everyday at about1pm. Each year I go over the headlights with what is basically Brasso, it takes about 30 mins to get them back to a very good condition. My main problem is the lenses which look black so the lights are not very bright. I think they get dirty inside. But the removal of the front looks quite daunting. My headlights have the screw botchup which works fine but are just somewhat dim.

Mike

Sounds like you need new bulbs! They go black with age and with the reflections from the reflector will make the lenses appear black inside. They should not get dirty inside, there is a mastic seal between lens and body of the light units, a cover over the outer/dipped beam Bulb and the main beam/inner has an "O" ring seal built into the combined holder/bulb.

Removing the front bumper cover isn't too bad if you work methodically and nobody has added extra self tappers (like they had on mine) to keep the bumper in line with the front wing.

As for the screw bodge, it might work ok now but it won't forever and will probably need new lights to be fitted when it fails. The remanufactured adjuster kits are available on eBay cheaply and are made from better plastics than the originals so are likely to outlast anything else.

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Interesting, I had read on the US Forum that because of the heat, air was able to draw in dust etc as it cooled and that this was the main cause. Aging of the HID bulbs was given as a cause of reduced light ouput but no mention was made of them becoming black, That said,  what you said makes sense. We will probably return to the UK next year so the Cat will be remaining in Spain, seeing as we rarely go out of the town at night, I don't think I will bother doing anything with the lights unless our plans change. I bought the car 3 years ago and the botchup had already been done.

Mike

 

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1 hour ago, mrmike said:

Interesting, I had read on the US Forum that because of the heat, air was able to draw in dust etc as it cooled and that this was the main cause. Aging of the HID bulbs was given as a cause of reduced light ouput but no mention was made of them becoming black, That said,  what you said makes sense. We will probably return to the UK next year so the Cat will be remaining in Spain, seeing as we rarely go out of the town at night, I don't think I will bother doing anything with the lights unless our plans change. I bought the car 3 years ago and the botchup had already been done.

Mike

 

Any Bulb that gives out heat will eventually blacken, particularly filament bulbs as minute particle of the filament burn off and coat the inside of the glass envelope. Similar things happen with the HID bulbs in much the same way as neon bulbs used to blacken with age - its a similar principle, high voltage exciting the gas and causing it to glow brightly (HID) or not quite so brightly in the case of neon.

The electrodes that create the high voltage discharge within the Bulb lose their surface very gradually, this is in the form of minute blackened particles - you can see where this is going!

As for the US theory, the lamp units are sealed so can't draw moisture in and moisture won't blacken things. Most likely they have been too lazy to refit the dust cover on the outer Bulb allowing dirt and dust to enter. When i stripped mine down (1999 car) the insides were as clean as when they left the factory, probably because they still had the original bulbs in that were nearly black! Between that and the broken adjusters, it's no wonder i couldn't see where i was going at night!

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4 hours ago, LairdScooby said:

A bit of a calculated risk John, the primary function of my work on the headlamps was to replace the shattered adjuster parts. The lenses weren't actually that bad, jus the beginnings of discolouration. As stated in my post, i plan on revisiting the job in spring :

As you can see ^^^^^

Over winter the UV levels are much lower and i normally park facing away frm the sun anyway. I may look for some clear window tint film with a high UV rejection factor, shame in a way they don't make colour-specific film  that turns clear when lit from behind. I'd probably fall foul of the MoT tester and also the C&U regs if i tried in any case although some very interesting decrative effects can be created with things like chrome-effect window tint film.

But i digress! Clear window film with UV filters would do the job well and could eaily be replaced if it clouded over rather thn having to sand it off and then relacquer later. 😉 😄

Dave

If you find the correct window film I would appreciate knowledge of where you obtain it as it sounds like a very good idea.

Best Wishes and Regards, John

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6 hours ago, Wrinkly said:

Dave

If you find the correct window film I would appreciate knowledge of where you obtain it as it sounds like a very good idea.

Best Wishes and Regards, John

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151172691767

This is the stuff i was thinking of John, a bit of a play with a heat-gun/hairdryer before fitting to help mould it to thecompound curves of the headlamp lenses wwould help fitting, also makes life much easier than spraying lacquer as many things can alter the thickness of the lacquer potentially resulting in light refraction the wrong way.

The film option avoids this.

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1 hour ago, LairdScooby said:

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/151172691767

This is the stuff i was thinking of John, a bit of a play with a heat-gun/hairdryer before fitting to help mould it to thecompound curves of the headlamp lenses wwould help fitting, also makes life much easier than spraying lacquer as many things can alter the thickness of the lacquer potentially resulting in light refraction the wrong way.

The film option avoids this.

Dave

Many thanks

Regards, John

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