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#4519852 - 09/18/17 10:51 PM Headlight Sealant
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: PA
Folks:

I just used a 3M kit on some headlights. I'm really pleased. The lights were in really poor shape, so bad that I notice a difference at night.

Should I use some type of UV sealer? 3M recommends a synthetic wax that is about $20. I don't want to re-do this job in a few months.

One youtube guy painted his with Rustoleum clear glossy spray. But painting isn't one of my skills, and I don't want to have to sand off the clear coat.

Anyone point me in a direction?

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#4519856 - 09/18/17 10:58 PM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
dogememe Offline


Registered: 04/15/17
Posts: 605
Loc: SF BAY AREA, CA
Originally Posted By: Chester11
Folks:

I just used a 3M kit on some headlights. I'm really pleased. The lights were in really poor shape, so bad that I notice a difference at night.

Should I use some type of UV sealer? 3M recommends a synthetic wax that is about $20. I don't want to re-do this job in a few months.

One youtube guy painted his with Rustoleum clear glossy spray. But painting isn't one of my skills, and I don't want to have to sand off the clear coat.

Anyone point me in a direction?


at oreilly you can get 3m clear coat wipes for $7. expensive but problem solved. or buy the turtle wax kit that also includes the sealant for $10, and you can even do a few more headlights. the 3m kit gives better results but its more expensive.
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#4519870 - 09/18/17 11:15 PM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 4046
Loc: North Carolina
Just order some Xpel or LaminX film.
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#4519892 - 09/18/17 11:45 PM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: dogememe]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: PA

actually have that kit in the garage. The lights were so bad, I thought I was going to need another kit, and it was on sale.

I can't quite figure out what all the fluids do...but the wipes look pretty straight forward.

Thanks...

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#4519905 - 09/19/17 12:20 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
Dave9 Offline


Registered: 08/28/17
Posts: 176
Loc: Cincinnati, USA
I have seen many people use one sealant or another then they're eager to tell the world about it... for the first 18 months. They insist you "must" use a sealant or it will get terrible in a few months at most.

I have used various headlight polishing methods for over 20 years and find that's the more problematic way to do it. The headlights will degrade again, and then you have to strip all the sealant off before redoing them if it's the spray on, clear coat w/evaporative solvent type. That takes more work in addition to more expense and the hassle of masking off around the lens so overspray doesn't go where it shouldn't.

If you don't seal them with clear coat *paint*, then you can just touch them up briefly with a washcloth and toothpaste each time you wash and detail your vehicle. Literally, wash them thoroughly with a lot of toothpaste every now and then. It is not abrasive enough for the original restoration (by the time most people get annoyed enough to do one) but is just right for a touch up.

After that touch up, put on a normal automotive "sealant" meaning a synthetic wax. It does not need to be "for headlights" at all. Even good old NuFinish will do the job and it's cheap, or there is a Turtle Wax product that I forget the name of, a synthetic wax and polish in one that will work. Make sure the product isn't just labeled as "wax" without being all synthetic or called a sealant that is applied like wax.


Edited by Dave9 (09/19/17 12:23 AM)

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#4519922 - 09/19/17 12:43 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
rubberchicken Offline


Registered: 07/07/08
Posts: 399
Loc: Maryland USA
You need something to block UV wavelength from damaging the plastic. Whatever you use, it should include something to block UV or it will just degrade rapidly.

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#4520067 - 09/19/17 07:53 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
69GTX Offline


Registered: 09/23/15
Posts: 3815
Loc: Connecticut
Or just park the car out of direct sunlight. You always have the option of pointing your car away from the sun no matter how you park.

My 2002 has been parked outside the past 8 years and no signs of yellowing. I can't ever recall having ANY of my cars over the past 40 yrs get "tanned" headlights. I never did anything more than wax then occasionally. No doubt the UV effect is stronger in the southern part of US.
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#4520075 - 09/19/17 08:09 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
pbm Offline


Registered: 04/19/04
Posts: 7605
Loc: New York
There's a product called 'Blue Magic' Head Light sealer that costs about $7 for an 8 ounce bottle. They also sell a 'Headlight Restorer' for a similar price.

I agree that a coating of wax is better than nothing.
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#4520097 - 09/19/17 08:42 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
Chester11 Offline


Registered: 04/13/17
Posts: 130
Loc: PA
thanks guys for the explanations. detailing products absolutely make my head spin - so really appreciate the info.

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#4520100 - 09/19/17 08:44 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
fenixguy Offline


Registered: 02/08/17
Posts: 307
Loc: NC
Funny you should post this as I just got done experimenting with some headlight restoration. I used the sand/clearcoat method that's all over youtube. I used Rustoleum 2x Clear with UV protection as recommended by many DIY tutorials. I did the '00 Civic exactly as Crisfix on Youtube did it. I sprayed the clear and within 30 seconds, the paint cracked. I finished the three coats and the headlights are perfectly clear and you can see better at night, but they both have these spider web like cracks. I figured maybe I sanded too much with the 1500 grit and the paint didn't have enough roughness to grab. I tried the '01 Civic. I stopped at 1000 grit and only sanded very lightly. The paint did the EXACT same thing.

Frustrated (to say the least), I pulled the bumper off (the '01), took the headlights out, and sanded the clear off for two days. Purchased Duplicolor adhesion promoter and clear enamel. One light looks brand new. The other looks okay, just orange peeled from my lack of spray bomb skill. I don't know if they've changed something in the Rustoleum clear formula, but it didn't work for me.

All that being said, I used these two beater cars to see if this is something I'd do for other headlights. Personally, I think you'd be better off using a synthetic sealant (as stated above) after sanding with 600, 1000, 2500 grits. Then repeat the 2500 grit or rubbing compound or toothpaste every month or so. That first sanding is going to get the old factory coating (the yellow stuff) off. Then every few months you're doing touch up.
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#4520143 - 09/19/17 09:37 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5786
Loc: Michigan
Walmart had wipes and a spray sealant
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#4520144 - 09/19/17 09:37 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
ZZman Offline


Registered: 03/17/08
Posts: 5786
Loc: Michigan
Walmart had wipes and a spray sealant
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2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40

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#4520170 - 09/19/17 10:15 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
Kestas Offline



Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 12330
Loc: The Motor City
I wish they would bring back the glass headlamp.... and they're only $10 to replace.

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#4520184 - 09/19/17 10:44 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Kestas]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8652
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I wish they would bring back the glass headlamp.... and they're only $10 to replace.


+1
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#4520191 - 09/19/17 10:54 AM Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11]
DBMaster Offline


Registered: 09/18/12
Posts: 5323
Loc: DFW
I don't see any reason why projector lights (with glass lenses) couldn't be incorporated into the fronts of cars. The glass would be plenty thick to not shatter if hit by a stone, they would remain clear, and they would likely be less costly to replace.

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