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Unread 09-10-2017, 08:14 PM #1
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Headlight oxidation...

My MINI headlights are getting a bit dull. I haven't restored any headlights in a long time, so I'm wondering what products available now are the best for this job?

I have a professional grade buffer, if needed.

CD
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Unread 09-10-2017, 08:23 PM #2
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Headlight oxidation...
I used 3M kit from Amazon on my tundra. Under $20. The stuff it came with was a bit short on the 3000 grit (single disk), so I had to finish off the second light with some buffing compound but it came out great. If you want to make sure you have enough stuff, get two kits. I used a rotary buffer, which probably is a lot better than a drill, which is what the instructions call for. Light output on that truck went off the charts, much more than I expected. very targeted beam pattern again, and that with headlights that weren't bad at all. I just did it because I am selling the truck. Major difference in appearance.

If you have a small buffing disk, 600, 1200 and 3000 grit polishing disks and some buffing compound, you're golden without buying any of these kits.

Basically, once you do this, you lose the harder outside layer of the plastic, which is the one that gets hazy. So no more haze after that, as only the harder layer is UV sensitive. In return you will get more stone chips. If I ever have to do that on one of my Minis, I'll put those clearbra cut to size patches on the lens and protect them that way.
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Unread 09-10-2017, 10:22 PM #3
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Headlight oxidation...
I use 2000 grit and wetsand them down. I move up to 3000 and 4000 and then buff them out with a DA and HD polish. I have done this for several friends and have even had lights FedEx'ed to me. Everyone is always surprised how well they turn out and aware they are new.

After that I coat the with Gyeon Prime and they look brand new.

The key is getting all the top coat off the lens and getting rid of all the chips and dings when wet sanding. Next when you start to polish do not use a whole pad only use a orange or yellow pad and do not push down hard or the heat will build up and mess up the lens.
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Unread 09-10-2017, 10:24 PM #4
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I start with 1500 grit then 2000 and finally 3000, wet sanding. After that I use a buffing compound that is for getting fine scratches out on paint. I do it all by hand.
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Unread 09-10-2017, 10:26 PM #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCS02 View Post
I start with 1500 grit then 2000 and finally 3000, wet sanding. After that I use a buffing compound that is for getting fine scratches out on paint. I do it all by hand.
All by hand ? They have power tools now old man.
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Unread 09-10-2017, 10:26 PM #6
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I should say my lights were very bad. You can start with 2000 like Dave said if your lights are not bad
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Unread 09-10-2017, 10:27 PM #7
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All by hand ? They have power tools now old man.
GET OFF MY LAWN!
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Unread 09-10-2017, 11:19 PM #8
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I have some Meguiar's Medium Cut and Fine Cut polishes, but never thought about going even further with wet sanding.

The coating after the polishing is where I'm at a loss. In the past, I've found that if I polish the headlights, and don't use a coating, they quickly oxidize again.

Does the Gyeon Prime keep them looking clear for a significant period of time?

CD
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Unread 09-11-2017, 05:55 AM #9
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Headlight oxidation...
The original OEM plastic headlights (can't vouch for the foreign knock-offs) have a UV top coat protection layer. It's supposed to slow down the UV weathering effects of sunlight. But it's not perfect and at some point you need to take action... All of the sanding and revitalization kits obviously will cut through and remove this UV layer, but at this point that layer is shot anyway. Be careful how much heat and pressure you put into the headlight lens with the buffer.

I used the 3M kit on my 1999 wife's MB headlights and it worked well...
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Unread 09-11-2017, 10:12 AM #10
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Headlight oxidation...
3M Clear Bra material is UV resistant, you could apply a layer of that on your headlights after polishing the haze and chips out of them.
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