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Headlight Sealant #4519852
09/18/17 10:51 PM
09/18/17 10:51 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
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?

Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4519856
09/18/17 10:58 PM
09/18/17 10:58 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 924
SF BAY AREA, CA
dogememe Online content
dogememe  Online Content
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 924
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.


2007 Crown Vic P71 4.6 ~126K Miles, Royal Purple HPS 5W-30, Royal Purple Filter, Daily Driver.
2010 Escape FWD 2.5 ~84K Miles, Castrol Edge EP 5W-30, Wix Filter, Rented on Turo.
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4519870
09/18/17 11:15 PM
09/18/17 11:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,733
North Carolina
rooflessVW Offline
rooflessVW  Offline
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 4,733
North Carolina
Just order some Xpel or LaminX film.


"Zed's dead baby, Zed's dead."
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: dogememe] #4519892
09/18/17 11:45 PM
09/18/17 11:45 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
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...

Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4519905
09/19/17 12:20 AM
09/19/17 12:20 AM
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 209
Cincinnati, USA
Dave9 Offline
Dave9  Offline
Joined: Aug 2017
Posts: 209
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.

Last edited by Dave9; 09/19/17 12:23 AM.
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4519922
09/19/17 12:43 AM
09/19/17 12:43 AM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 456
Maryland USA
rubberchicken Offline
rubberchicken  Offline
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 456
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.

Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520067
09/19/17 07:53 AM
09/19/17 07:53 AM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
Connecticut
69GTX Offline
69GTX  Offline
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,861
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.


----------------

2001 Lincoln Cont 4.6L DOHC/ 39K mi / QS HM 5w30 / FUG XG2
1999 Camaro SS M6 /19K /Mobil 1 0w40 /Fram UG /GM MTL-ATF
1969 Ply GTX/RRs
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520075
09/19/17 08:09 AM
09/19/17 08:09 AM
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 7,734
New York
pbm Offline
pbm  Offline
Joined: Apr 2004
Posts: 7,734
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.


'Journalism is Dead'
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520097
09/19/17 08:42 AM
09/19/17 08:42 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
Chester11 Offline OP
Chester11  Offline OP
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 147
PA
thanks guys for the explanations. detailing products absolutely make my head spin - so really appreciate the info.

Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520100
09/19/17 08:44 AM
09/19/17 08:44 AM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 309
NC
fenixguy Offline
fenixguy  Offline
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 309
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.


'16 Frontier SV 4x4-PP/Nissan OEM
'08 CR-V EX AWD-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram TG
'01 Civic EX-Valvoline Syn MaxLife/Fram UG
'00 Civic LX-PYB/Fram UG
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520143
09/19/17 09:37 AM
09/19/17 09:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,943
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,943
Michigan
Walmart had wipes and a spray sealant


2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520144
09/19/17 09:37 AM
09/19/17 09:37 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,943
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 5,943
Michigan
Walmart had wipes and a spray sealant


2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. Rotella T6 Multi-Vehicle oil
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520170
09/19/17 10:15 AM
09/19/17 10:15 AM
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,515
The Motor City
Kestas Online content
Kestas  Online Content
Joined: Jun 2002
Posts: 12,515
The Motor City
I wish they would bring back the glass headlamp.... and they're only $10 to replace.

Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Kestas] #4520184
09/19/17 10:44 AM
09/19/17 10:44 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,044
North Carolina
spasm3 Offline
spasm3  Offline
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,044
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Kestas
I wish they would bring back the glass headlamp.... and they're only $10 to replace.


+1


13 elantra 70k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche79k synpwr 10w30
01 saturnsc1 185k synpwr rebuilt
17 mazda cx-5 5600 miles m1 0w30
Re: Headlight Sealant [Re: Chester11] #4520191
09/19/17 10:54 AM
09/19/17 10:54 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,378
DFW
DBMaster Offline
DBMaster  Offline
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 5,378
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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