Re-clear coating your headlights - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 08:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re-clear coating your headlights

Today was the day I was tired of looking at these crappy faded headlights and I didn't feel like buying new ones sooooo........I decided to redo them!

Some of the products you'll need is some clear coat and varing degrees of sand paper (600 / 800 / 1000 / 1500) grit.


1st you'll what to remove the headlight and wet sand to remove alot of the crap and flaking clear coat off so I started with a 600 grit and worked my way up to 1000 grit. At that point I cleaned them up and let them dry....next it's time for the clear coat.......I put on 3 light coats.....(drys in less then 10 minutes between coats). Next I wet sanded the headlights again with 1500 grit paper....cleaned it off and let dry. Next I applied 2 more light coats of clear.....and BAM I'm done.

Total time to do.......1.5 hours.......and they look a hell of alot better now.

AFTER WET SANDING



BEFORE


AFTER

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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 08:58 PM
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I asked Doug about doing headlights like this and he said that the spray paint never fully cures, and even getting bug goo on them will put marks in the clearcoat. They do look much better, but they will slowly return to how they once were.
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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 09:49 PM
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I agree with Kyle and what he said. I've seen some people do this and what happens later on is that the clear started to crack and it really looked like crap.

Last week I cleaned up a set of lights that were similar to what you had and this is what I ended up with. (they look even better in person)





I started at 400 grit and moved my way up to 600, 800, 1000 then 2000. After that, I did rubbing compound then polishing compound. The 400 is the most important part because it took care of all the yellow plastic and semi-deep scratches. I did the same thing to my Intrepid headlights that I will turn into lights with a projector, but I plan on covering the polished lights with a clear film that will hopefully keep them from yellowing out.

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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 10:22 PM
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I prefer the 3m kit, one, it's faster, two, it is probably a bit cheaper....
https://dodgeintrepid.net/showthread.php?t=182188

Either way, I think there is a polish that has a UV inhibitor that would work better than a clear coat, as the clear coat, really won't help much in the long run.

The 3m kit goes from 500 gritt, to 800, to a trizact 3000, then you use the polish to go from there. Headlights will generaly turn out to what paintballdude05 posted, CLEAR, not "frosted" as a frosted headlight can get you in trouble in some areas.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintballdude05 View Post
I agree with Kyle and what he said. I've seen some people do this and what happens later on is that the clear started to crack and it really looked like crap.

Last week I cleaned up a set of lights that were similar to what you had and this is what I ended up with. (they look even better in person)





I started at 400 grit and moved my way up to 600, 800, 1000 then 2000. After that, I did rubbing compound then polishing compound. The 400 is the most important part because it took care of all the yellow plastic and semi-deep scratches. I did the same thing to my Intrepid headlights that I will turn into lights with a projector, but I plan on covering the polished lights with a clear film that will hopefully keep them from yellowing out.
Thoses turned out real nice.....I might go that route instead....
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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgssr View Post
Thoses turned out real nice.....I might go that route instead....
Thanks! I haven't done some field testing to see how long they will stay clear with the polish though. Some have said it just goes back to what it was before but I have a hard time believing that. I think if the clear film like I was talking about was applied to the lights, it would really help keep them clear for a long time.
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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 10:45 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paintballdude05 View Post
Thanks! I haven't done some field testing to see how long they will stay clear with the polish though. Some have said it just goes back to what it was before but I have a hard time believing that. I think if the clear film like I was talking about was applied to the lights, it would really help keep them clear for a long time.
I kinda look at this way....what's the worst thats going to happen???? In the end buy some new headlights......I figured what hell give it a shot!
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 10:47 PM
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Quote:
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I kinda look at this way....what's the worst thats going to happen???? In the end buy some new headlights......I figured what hell give it a shot!
Bingo!
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 11:25 PM
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Could always look for a polish for plastics that contains UV inhibitors, it would be VERY similar to wax, but will help prolong the yellowing/hazing effect for awhile, but they will eventually yellow back up because the plastic is breaking down due to UV light.
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-08-2010, 11:31 PM
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Here's the coating I was talking about. They claim that it has UV protection.

http://www.autosportcatalog.com/inde...d=332&addcar=1
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post #11 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 01:34 AM
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That could very well, stop the yellowing of the headlight, that would yellow before the headlight would...

It would be just like UV sunglasses, except clear, and for your car.

But at that price... Well, $50.00 for my car, I think I will keep on the look out for a wax/polish that you can buff in to prevent the yellowing for awihle.
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post #12 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 10:42 AM
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Is it just me or do those still look a little hazy?

For $22 at Advance Auto you can get this kit that is very simple to use, has a wipe on clear coat and already has the UV inhibitor in it.

Here are pictures of some Vue headlights I did last year. I have been using this product for 3 years and my field experience tells me that this process stays clear with no yeallowing for about 18 months

IF you keep your reciept and packaging there is a lifetime warranty....so you send them some mail and a new package arrives....I do this about every 12 months!

Before


After


Before

After



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post #13 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 11:10 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 300maximilien View Post
Is it just me or do those still look a little hazy?

For $22 at Advance Auto you can get this kit that is very simple to use, has a wipe on clear coat and already has the UV inhibitor in it.

Here are pictures of some Vue headlights I did last year. I have been using this product for 3 years and my field experience tells me that this process stays clear with no yeallowing for about 18 months

IF you keep your reciept and packaging there is a lifetime warranty....so you send them some mail and a new package arrives....I do this about every 12 months!

Before


After


Before

After


yeah there is still alittle haze to them...but I only put an hour into it.....they look a whole lot better for now.
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post #14 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
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yeah there is still alittle haze to them...but I only put an hour into it.....they look a whole lot better for now.

Sure they look better, but for what you paid for the materials shown in your picture you could have bought the kit I pistured and then no worries for 12-18 months with crystal clear results

this smiley makes me hungry every time I see it!
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post #15 of 24 (permalink) Old 05-09-2010, 02:46 PM
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I was wondering how much that cost him. I saw the kit you posted at walmart for $18 a few years back, but, never thought much of it, but there is also that lovely 3m kit that I keep mentioning for $20 :-p
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