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headlight restoration with 1500, 2000, PLastX

 
Old 02-11-09, 06:35 AM
  #121  
bagwell
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after restoration, I highly recommend headlight protection from XPEL.com - this stuff is thick and optically clear with a UV protectant to keep your lenses from hazing again.
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Old 03-10-09, 11:26 PM
  #122  
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do you have to use the sandpaper?
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Old 05-11-09, 06:43 PM
  #123  
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OK, so I have already tried this twice with my 97 ES300 headlights and both times they always come out really hazy even after I use the PlastX. I went to a self-service bay car wash, filled up a bucket with the soapy water from the hose, then proceeded to sand my headlights, while keeping it very wet and sponging occasionally. I've tried sanding horizontally, vertically, and in circular motions. Then after drying I apply the PlastX. It looks very nice when I apply the PlastX, but then when I wipe it off and allow it to dry, it looks like crap. Just a very white blurry haze that barely lets me see through the plastic. I think it looks worse then before I tried wet sanding. Could some one please tell me what I am doing wrong?
Attached Thumbnails headlight restoration with 1500, 2000, PLastX-05112009403-web.jpg  
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Old 05-11-09, 06:44 PM
  #124  
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Another angle
Attached Thumbnails headlight restoration with 1500, 2000, PLastX-05112009404-web.jpg  
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Old 05-11-09, 06:46 PM
  #125  
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Another view
Attached Thumbnails headlight restoration with 1500, 2000, PLastX-05112009402-web.jpg  
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Old 05-11-09, 07:01 PM
  #126  
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I'd say you might need to develop better technique with your polish. If you are doing this by hand, I'd use a MF or terry covered applicator to start with and work PlastiX vigorously in a small area until it breaks down then gently remove the remaining residue and oils with a clean MF towel. If the spot is not clear and glasslike, repeat the process over the whole lens, a small section at a time.

If you are using a PC you can achieve faster results and do the whole lens at once..

It looks to me like you may not have worked the polish enough to remove the sanding marks. You might need to step up to a more aggressive polish to begin with. Maybe look for ScratchX and give that a try. After ScratchX you will need to use PlastiX as a final polish to achieve the glasslike look. Plastix is a fine polish and it is hard to remove sanding marks by hand with this fine of a polish, IMO.

Be sure you don't work the polish dry and remove it while it is still wet but after it has broken down.
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Old 05-11-09, 07:30 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by cu2cool View Post
OK, so I have already tried this twice with my 97 ES300 headlights and both times they always come out really hazy even after I use the PlastX. I went to a self-service bay car wash, filled up a bucket with the soapy water from the hose, then proceeded to sand my headlights, while keeping it very wet and sponging occasionally. I've tried sanding horizontally, vertically, and in circular motions. Then after drying I apply the PlastX. It looks very nice when I apply the PlastX, but then when I wipe it off and allow it to dry, it looks like crap. Just a very white blurry haze that barely lets me see through the plastic. I think it looks worse then before I tried wet sanding. Could some one please tell me what I am doing wrong?
Ive polished a couple sets of headlights and had pretty good results. The headlights i started with had lots of rock chips and looked like someone took a solvent soaked rag and wiped them to clear them up and left streaks across them. That kinda works but kills the plastic. just a cheap dealer trick.
This is the process i used.

Wet sanded with 400, 600, 1000, 1500, didnt have any 2000 so i jumped to the next step.
I used a porter cable buffer that made it much easyier but still took some time to get them crystal clear. Here is a link to the products i used.

http://www.turtlewax.com/main.taf?p=2,1,4,13
and
http://www.turtlewax.com/main.taf?p=2,1,4,14

You can get them at you corner autosupply store like autozone and dont cost that much. You can do it by hand, but be prepaired to spend some time. the more you work on it the better it looks. Ive polished some plastics before with those products by hand and they turned out pretty good but i still recomend a buffer. Just much easier. even a chepo buffer works good with the turtle wax products.
Then when your done polishing them out used the plastix. I definately recomend waxing the lights after done because they will haze up rather quickly since you sanded and polished the UV protection off them. I neglected that part and had to repolish them in about 6 months but it was easier the second time since all the pits ect were gone and i had found the mothers power plastic.
http://www.mothers.com/02_products/08808.html
I was walking through the parts store and it cought my eye since it has a Lexus GS headligh on the label so i figured what the hell, must work on my GS.It designed to use with their power ball but i used it by hand and was suprisd how good it worked. I have tried many products and this has been the best method i found.
I worked for a plastic fabrication shop when i was younger and have polished alot of plastics. The only other thing i can think of is to actually use a buffer wheel with jewelers rouge but that is just not very easy to do on the car and usually used with a shop grinder with a polish wheel. Hope this helps and by my exsperience there is no quick solution, the time spent shows in the finished product. Sorry its kinda all over the place. If you want more details you can pm me. I know how frustraiting it is to try and figure out what works. I got all kinds of polish in my shop that i probably never use now that i found what works for me.

Last edited by EFMJR; 05-11-09 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 05-11-09, 07:34 PM
  #128  
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Oh and by looking at your pictures you went back and forth while sanding. I found a circular sanding motion worked best. it was easyier to polish out the swirls than the lines. And just another tip. Tape off anything around the headlight that you dont want sanded. Just when you least exspect it youll scratch your hood or fender, and makes buffing much easyier since you dont worry about buffing off paint.
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Old 05-12-09, 07:47 AM
  #129  
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Thanks for all the helpful replies guys. I did use mf towels by hand, but I guess I could've put more time into polishing with the PlastX. I will try out that Mother's Polish too and get back to you guys with the results.
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Old 05-12-09, 08:02 AM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by cu2cool View Post
Thanks for all the helpful replies guys. I did use mf towels by hand, but I guess I could've put more time into polishing with the PlastX. I will try out that Mother's Polish too and get back to you guys with the results.
The plastix is too fine oof an abrasive to use straight from sanding. the mothers is better but still lots of work. Im telling you the turtle wax will work way faster. One will remove the scratches and the other is a polish. Then do the final with the mothers and or plastix.
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Old 05-22-09, 06:58 AM
  #131  
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So I purchased the Mother's Mini-ball from Walmart and got my hands on Mother's PowerPlastic after going to three different stores. I've tried Plastx and another restoration kit to clear some cloudiness on the top corners of my headlights which did not work all too well. The combination of the drill, ball, and Mother's removed the cloudiness and made my headlamps clean & clear. I was prepared to do some wetsanding but realized that it was not needed.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:25 AM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by MrG4Life View Post
So I purchased the Mother's Mini-ball from Walmart and got my hands on Mother's PowerPlastic after going to three different stores. I've tried Plastx and another restoration kit to clear some cloudiness on the top corners of my headlights which did not work all too well. The combination of the drill, ball, and Mother's removed the cloudiness and made my headlamps clean & clear. I was prepared to do some wetsanding but realized that it was not needed.
Yea, that powerball products work suprisingly well. I watched them used the aluminum polish on a piece of aluminum dimond plate and it polished it like a mirror with little effort. The plastic polish i just put in on a micro fiber and did it by hand cause the store was out of the powerball, and it worked fast and did a good job. Four guys that i worked with went and bought there own after i demonstrated it on on of the ladys cars that worked there. I still dont think she knows her headlights are clear now.
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Old 05-27-09, 05:58 AM
  #133  
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Originally Posted by EFMJR View Post
Yea, that powerball products work suprisingly well. I watched them used the aluminum polish on a piece of aluminum dimond plate and it polished it like a mirror with little effort. The plastic polish i just put in on a micro fiber and did it by hand cause the store was out of the powerball, and it worked fast and did a good job. Four guys that i worked with went and bought there own after i demonstrated it on on of the ladys cars that worked there. I still dont think she knows her headlights are clear now.
I hear ya! The other reason I bought it was the bottle's label had a picture of the front headlights of a GS Kidding!! But it was something I noticed when I picked it up off the shelve.
Attached Thumbnails headlight restoration with 1500, 2000, PLastX-mothers.jpg  
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Old 06-09-09, 08:51 PM
  #134  
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http://forums.vwvortex.com/zerothread?id=4421238

Nice pics here and their results.
 
Old 06-09-09, 10:30 PM
  #135  
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for the best results. i wet sanded it and then used a buff machine to polish it out. after that it looked brand new.
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