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Auto Detailing 101 General discussion of auto cleaning and detailing. Learn tips and tricks to keep your Ford Ranger looking its best.

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Old 3 Weeks Ago
pfisher's Avatar
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Icon7 3M kit

My headlights aren't that bad,but could be better.
I ordered a 3M medium grade,headlight restoration kit #39164.
Has anyone here used that kit ?? Did it work well ?

see ya ,old retired guy

It'll be here in about 5 days.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Anybody ???
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Any product 3M or otherwise will do a great job if you put enough time into it and do not rely solely on the compound and buffing pads.

When restoring really neglected headlights I like to remove them off the vehicle, lock them down to some sort of solid surface.

I wet sand the lenses with progressively finer grit paper just like wet sanding a paint job.

Then I use the same polishing compounds and polishes I would use on wet sanding and polishing clear coat paint jobs.

Then I like to use a UV resistant vinyl film, some people will paint them with UV resistant clear coat but when it chips and peels it is much harder to deal with then just peeling off vinyl.

3M and other manufactures make good UV resistant film that will protect your lenses and are easy to replace.

How aggressive I get with the lenses depends on how bad of shape they are in.

Meaning I wouldn't take 800 or finer grit paper to lenses that are only slightly yellowed.

For slight discoloration I would try to only use compounds or headlight compounds like you purchased.

If after polishing you have minor imperfections that the compound cannot remove.

Then I would use the finest sand paper I had like 2000 grit wrapped around a soaked in water cut to size and shape that I needed wooden paint stirring stick and re-polish to see if that was good enough to remove the imperfections.

If 2000 grit was too fine I would go to the next more aggressive grit paper I had like 1800 then back to the 2000 and re polish.

You do not want to get more aggressive than needed when wet sanding as it can cause you a lot more work to polish out the fine scratches.

Which is why I work backwards with the grit paper and compounds, If that makes sense.

If they were in really bad shape with deep scratches chips etc then I would go hog wild with wet sanding and polishing.

Yes like mentioned you can get cheap eBay or other aftermarket lenses.

But I prefer OEM over aftermarket, unless I wanted a custom hey look at me truck and opted for custom lenses.

Personally I think headlight restoration compounds are best to maintain your polished lenses and are great as the last step of polishing neglected lenses.

Other people have other methods, this does not mean I am right and they are wrong.

It is just what has worked for me in the past.

I forgot to mention when using polishing compounds or headlight restoration compounds, I keep a spray bottle with distilled water in it

To keep the compound from drying out, this will keep the amount of compound you need down to a minimum and make clean up easier
between coats along with help keep the lenses cooler during polishing.

When polishing make sure to switch back and forth from one light to the other to prevent heat from building up.

Last edited by EaOutlaw; 3 Weeks Ago at 07:11 AM.
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Old 3 Weeks Ago
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Thank you,for the reply.I'll keep all that in mind,when i get the kit.
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