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What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? #5383828 03/23/20 03:23 PM
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BAJA_05 Offline OP
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I know this question was asked multiple times in the past. Looking to do my headlights on the Acura here next week when the weather breaks. Where are we at with best kit to do headlights and longevity?

Thanks, Dale


2017 VW Jetta SE TSI 1.4L Turbo (hers)
PP Euro 0W40 & FU (42K)
2008 Acura TL 3.2L PPHM 0W20 & FU (117K)
2005 Subaru Baja AWD 2.5L N/A 5spd.
T6 MV 5W30 & FU (103K)
2000 Ram 4X4 5.2L (93K) T6 MV 5W30 & FU
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383834 03/23/20 03:27 PM
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bullwinkle Offline
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popcorn
I have like 4 family vehicles that need this done, wondering if wet sanding with a DA & ultra-fine paper might be easier...


06 Ram 3500 CTD 4X4(FG Venturi), 89 F-450 7.3, 98 XJ 4.0(XG8A), 05 xB(XG3600), 18 Transit 3.7 (MC), 03 Merc Grand Marquis 4.6 2V(XG2), 11 Express 3500 6.0 (Fram PH10060 for now)
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383863 03/23/20 03:49 PM
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Kawiguy454 Offline
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Save yourself a lot of time, money and effort and just find some new light housings. After spending way more than i should on different fixes that failed I found some cheap new headlight housings on Amazon. Yes they are CH made but still water clear and holding up well. Problem is the sun doesn't just deteriorate the surface. The plastic is colored/damaged deeply. So short of sanding the plastic paper thin then re-polishing the problem is still there.

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383868 03/23/20 03:55 PM
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TmanP Offline
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If you're a Sam's Club member, they offer headlight restoration for, I believe, $40. We had it done on the Sienna and it turned out quite well.


2012 Toyota Camry 2.5 60,000 mi
2015 Chevy Silverado LT Z71 5.3 V8 50,000 mi
2010 Toyota Sienna 3.5 V6 200,000 mi
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383872 03/23/20 04:00 PM
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Imp4 Offline
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Here's the ChrisFix method. This worked well for me for about 3 years, then the clear coat peeled. I would use this method again.



2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 - 165k+
Grandma's creampuff...
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383895 03/23/20 04:36 PM
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JimPghPA Offline
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There is an online store called "headlightdepo" that sells the entire assembly with new bulbs for extremely low prices. I bought both sides for our 2001 Chevy Impala for less than $90 including shipping, and they have new bulbs already installed.

Also, there are videos on YouTube for many different vehicles on how to remove and replace the headlight assembly.


Boy will I be happy when ALL vehicles on public roads are autonomous.


JimPghPa

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383903 03/23/20 04:44 PM
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whatnext Offline
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Did my 08 Nissan last year for the first time with the Mequiars kit which includes a spray coating. The box says the polishing/coating should last a year. The lenses were fine until last year.

Using a drill with kit's pad stuck on a matching size polishing disk works way better than doing it by hand. My '09 Pontiac and '12 Mazda are still crystal clear (maybe better material?).

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383922 03/23/20 05:03 PM
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CaptainHazelwood Offline
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If you have a buffer and polishing compound the kits are a waste of time. Wet sand 600, 1200, then buff out.

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383958 03/23/20 05:55 PM
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CatCam2 Offline
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I like the ChrisFix Method! I've used the 3M kit and 2 years later they are dull again!

Last edited by CatCam2; 03/23/20 05:55 PM.
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5383968 03/23/20 06:08 PM
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CaptainHazelwood Offline
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Doesn't matter what kit or method you use. Once the lights have yellowed and been sanded the UV protection is gone and the polycarbonate will oxidize and yellow again in far less time than they originally did. You have to clear over them with 2-part clear coat if you want them to last.

Last edited by CaptainHazelwood; 03/23/20 06:10 PM.
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5384074 03/23/20 08:57 PM
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etoil Offline
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Under $10.00 get blue painters tape, 400&800 grit wet sandpaper, can of clear gloss spray paint for plastic, with ultraviolet protection.

Clean lens with soapy water, mask, sand keeping clean with water, dry, stagger several coats. In under an hour you have new looking lens that will last many, many oil changes.

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: CaptainHazelwood] #5384088 03/23/20 09:03 PM
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Dave9 Offline
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Originally Posted by CaptainHazelwood
Doesn't matter what kit or method you use. Once the lights have yellowed and been sanded the UV protection is gone and the polycarbonate will oxidize and yellow again in far less time than they originally did. You have to clear over them with 2-part clear coat if you want them to last.


Not quite. This is marketing to extract more money, then people just follow it without assessing the long term difference.

Clear coat just adds expense and time, then time again later to strip it all off to refinish them again. It's quicker, easier, and cheaper in the long run to only put a clear wax on type polymer sealant on.

If you only put a polishing/cleaning type sealant on, you may never again have to do more than that. Worst case you can just put a dab of toothpaste on a rag to clarify them when you wash the vehicle.

This whole market for "kits" is mostly for people who have no refinishing supplies. If you have wet sandpaper, or rubbing compound, whatever it takes for the initial cut depending on how rough it is, then successively finer grit in stages, just about anything will work. Believe it or not they even make goop called plastic polish. I know, it's hard to believe. wink

New lenses are an option for people who demand perfection, but could be out of place if the rest of the vehicle is not similarly perfect, and for some vehicles are a lot of work for minimal gain over a properly restored factory lens. Do make sure you aim them properly.

Last edited by Dave9; 03/23/20 09:07 PM.
Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5384141 03/23/20 10:06 PM
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That's why two-part clear is recommended. It dries hard like the clear coat on the car, last a very long time, and require only minimal maintenance. The hardware store clear used in the Chris Fix video will not have that sort of longevity.

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: Kawiguy454] #5384159 03/23/20 10:41 PM
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user52165 Offline
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Originally Posted by Kawiguy454
Save yourself a lot of time, money and effort and just find some new light housings. After spending way more than i should on different fixes that failed I found some cheap new headlight housings on Amazon. Yes they are CH made but still water clear and holding up well. Problem is the sun doesn't just deteriorate the surface. The plastic is colored/damaged deeply. So short of sanding the plastic paper thin then re-polishing the problem is still there.


If done properly, refinishing is better for those not in the Sunbelt. Your OEM are better than cheap aftermarket and worth doing right.

Re: What is the best kit for headlight renewal apperance/longevity? [Re: BAJA_05] #5384201 03/23/20 11:37 PM
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97prizm Offline
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The problem with cheapo headlights is the atrocious build quality. Ivecused the Meguires kit with good results. There are three different kits depending on the amount of restoration needed.


If at first you don't succeed fail fail again. (Waldorf and Statler.)
1997 Geo Prizm...DEAD
1984 Mazda RX-7 Spec 7
2005 Dodge Neon
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