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  #1  
Old 11-27-2008
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Headlight lens - yellow - results

He guys, I was doing some engine repairs for someone at Church. And since they are out of state for a few weeks I figured.. why not fix thier headlight lens.

I bought the permatex kit for $17 and followed the instructions. It's works very well! The headlights were horrible. Just horrible. I drove the car at night to see that my repairs were good to go.. and I could hardly tell the lights were on. I mean they were BAD!

Now I've seen many older rangers like this too. So I figured I'd take pics and show you guys that's it's a excellent "bang for the buck" on a older car. $17 very well spent here!

btw, I tried clear paint on the pass side light. That only blurred it as compaired to no paint. So I sanded off the paint and just waxed both of them 3 times after final polishing.

IMO the lights will never look "new". However I'd rate them as 85%.



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Old 11-27-2008
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I'de say those were pretty good results. How hard was it to do?
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Old 11-27-2008
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Looks 100% better!!!
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Old 11-28-2008
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NICE!


I gave my father that kit for his zx2 and his continental for giving him somthing to do while jobless. this was more than 6months ago.....still have yet to do it. looks like it'll be me doing the job. hahaha.

It's nice to see the results.
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Old 11-28-2008
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It's not hard. It's simply wet sanding the surfaces with a very fine and decreasing grit paper. It has 1000, 1500, 2000, and 2500 grit paper. You keep it very wet the whole time and keep the debris the paper is creating washed away. I used a spray bottle which works quickly to wash away and keep it wet.

Here is what I did.

1) Put a pot of coffee on and turned on the garage heater
2) Removed the whole light housing from the car.
3) Filled a squirt bottle with clean tap water.
4) Got coffee
5) Taped off the openings
6) Used dremel tool to cut off and grind down the three alignment posts on the face of the lens. (BE CAREFUL HERE!)
8) Washed the lens with strong soap in the kitchen sink
9) Kissed wife
8) Sanded in one direction with 1000grit for about 5 minutes.
**note** this is the real key to getting through the yellow. Keep sanding until its smooth and clear (only looks clear when wet).
All the rest of the steps are simply removing the first sand marks until it looks "new".
It's very important in this step to keep your sanding strokes uniform. Quality in = quality out.
10) Sanded with 1500 grit in a crossways direction from the first sanding.
11) Coffee
12) 2000 grit sanding in a crossways direction from the previous sanding.
13) 2500 grit sanding in a crossways direction from the previous sanding.
14) Coffee
15) Apply polishing compound to supplied rag and buff, buff, buff.
16) Coffee
17) Wash compound off and repeat buffing.
18) Repeat #16
19) Repeat #17
20) Coffee
21) Wash and dry each lens in the sink.
22) Wax each lens and let it dry for an hour.
23) Repeat #21 two more times.
24) Remove tape and reinstall in car.
25) Take pics and post at R-F

Whole process took about 2hrs since I'm **** about details and quality.

Rich

Last edited by wydopnthrtl; 11-28-2008 at 07:00 AM.
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Old 11-28-2008
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Is step 26) Drain coffee ?
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Old 11-28-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTRtech View Post
Is step 26) Drain coffee ?
I've got the smallest bladder in the world. I figured ya'll didn't need to know that level of detail.
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Old 11-28-2008
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Quote:
Whole process took about 2hrs since I'm **** about details and quality.


A little contradiction here doncha think ?
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Old 11-28-2008
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Now those are quite the results!! Looks a lot better.
Seems like that's the stuff to use.
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Old 11-28-2008
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Ive been thinking bout buying that to do the headlights on my patrol car. Glad to see they have great results. Carolinasled posted a video few months back using Mcguiars plastx and a buffer. Both appear to do the job right.
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Old 11-28-2008
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I haven't use this product, but I have used PlastX with excellent results on 2 of my old Ford Contours, my dad's Lincoln LS and my Cadillac Catera.

I wetsanded the lenses heavily with 1000-1500 sandpaper and got as much of the haze off as I could. Then I applied the magic solution and rubbed it in, rinsed it,wetsanded some more,dried it and put some wax on it.

I found the clarity of the lights lasts for about 6 months before they begin to haze up again. However, the little elbow grease and effort it takes to clean up the lights significantly outweighs the cost of replacement lenses.
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Old 11-30-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
I found the clarity of the lights lasts for about 6 months before they begin to haze up again. However, the little elbow grease and effort it takes to clean up the lights significantly outweighs the cost of replacement lenses.
I've been wondering about longevity too. I see this car every month or two and will keep an eye on how well they hold up. Since they are out of my control.. I waxed them 3 times to try and help.

Oh and btw. The 2000 and 2500 grit papers really smoothed out the lens. IMO I'd not stop at 1500grit. After 2500grit sanding they were ultra smooth with nearly clear plastic. The polishing compound just improved the clearness.

Rich
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Old 11-30-2008
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I just originally went with what I had. They had a how to on Contour Enthusiasts Group.org where I originally heard of doing this and they just used up to 1500 grit. I used that and had good results.

I'm surprised on my truck being 6 years old now, my lenses have not yet started to fade or haze.
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Old 11-30-2008
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I also find this hazing problem mainly on Fords,but not limited to them. I see lots of Chrysler LH cars with badly faded lenses, mostly on the Concordes. Pretty much every Ford/Lincoln/Merc I come across seem to have the most hazing issues of any other vehicle I notice.
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Old 12-02-2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymikey View Post
I also find this hazing problem mainly on Fords
Very very true! I know of a local 1991 mustang GT w/10k miles on it. It's been in a garage and covered every days of its life. The paint looks showroom new.. the headlights are yellow.
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Old 03-15-2009
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4.5 month update:

I was over at the guys house today. Took a few pics of the lens.
His car is not washed, and the lens were a bit dirty with dried salt. I doubt he's washed the car at all since it was in my garage. (just driven through rain)
On the close up pic I wiped the outside 2" or so to help show the clearness.

IMO they have yellowed a little. Not much though. Eh.. for under $20 and a few hours time its well worth it. Certianly is much cheaper than buying new headlights!

Rich





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