PDA

View Full Version : Headlight cleaning questions



TrufflePig
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:18 PM
So i've been reading about cleaning headlights and what not.

i've read about how some people use the sandpaper, buffer and it looks awesome.

if you wanna do it by hand, what can you use, or do you always have to use the sandpaper.

can i just go.

wash
plastix
coat of wax

or do i have to go.

wash
#10
#17
coat of wax

all comments are thanked in advance.

and oh yeah. since i can't get any MEGS 4 inch pads, are the Lake County ones just as good if i were to use the PC on the lights?

if yes, which ones?

THANK YOU

Superior Shine
Feb 28th, 2007, 06:50 PM
The answer to your question depends on how bad the head-lights look.

Are they completely yellowed or a bit hazy?

For lightly faded lights should benefit form plastX. If plastX dosn't work then step it up to #85 or #4 or #49.

If that doesn't work then your next step will be to sand them first then polishs them with #85 or other product.

TrufflePig
Feb 28th, 2007, 07:12 PM
hey joe,

thanks for the quick reply.

really. i should step it up to #4 or #49. 49 is marine oxidization remover product. that stuff really works then i take it well on lights.

lights are currently on friends car and just foggy/hazy. not discoloured.

so i'll try Plast-X first and see how it goes.

PorscheGuy997
Feb 28th, 2007, 08:57 PM
I'm pretty sure you have a PC. You can use that white pad to apply PlastX with a little more force. I personally love PlastX and I use it on every car that I detail (except glass lenses). If it doesn't work, try a light cleaner (#2) then PlastX.

I've been meaning to do a how to guide, but you can easily get some of those scratches out of you iPod with ScratchX. The plastic is soft enough that the scratches come out pretty fast.

TrufflePig
Mar 1st, 2007, 04:50 AM
I'm pretty sure you have a PC. You can use that white pad to apply PlastX with a little more force. I personally love PlastX and I use it on every car that I detail (except glass lenses). If it doesn't work, try a light cleaner (#2) then PlastX.

I've been meaning to do a how to guide, but you can easily get some of those scratches out of you iPod with ScratchX. The plastic is soft enough that the scratches come out pretty fast.

hey porscheguy,

yeah i have a PC. works awesome.

the white pad, meaning the 9006? unless you mean the Lake Country white pads. which i bet you do.

but the pad (9006) is to big for the the head light. his head light is one of those narrow and wide ones. know what i mean.

that's why i asked about Lake COuntry ones. this is the one you mean right.

i will try that. i'll try plast-x first and the and if that doesn't work, i'll go with #2 and then plasti-x. that should work as you said.

joe said to go stronger with like 84 or even 49. but let's use plastix first.

thanks

Tim Lingor
Mar 1st, 2007, 05:39 AM
Hey,

This question has been asked a number of times on MOL. Therefore, it would be prudent of me to post my reply again.

Sanding headlights can be risky. Some headlights have a special coating on the outside. When you sand, you will remove this coating. Whether or not the coating is UV protection to prevent yellowing, I do not know. Therefore, if you plan on wet sanding the lights, I would be aware of this risk and weigh the pros and cons appropriately. If your lights are in bad shape and you were thinking about replacing them anyway, then wet sanding may be a good option, and may save the lights.

For general polishing without wet sanding, I would suggest using the PC, speed 5 with PlastX on a W-9006 Finishing Pad. Keep in mind that PlastX was not designed for buffer application and will dry up rather quickly. Therefore multiple applications may be necessary. I have obtained great using this method on the vast majority of cars or trucks I have completed over the years.

Some people, including myself, have tried using a W-7006 cutting pad with the rotary polisher and PlastX. Again, please keep in mind that PlastX was not intended to be used with a buffer. As such, it will dry up quickly and will not provide lubrication to the buffing pad. Yes, I have actually dinged/burned some plastic using that exact combo. So please use caution. :)

Tim

TrufflePig
Mar 1st, 2007, 08:58 AM
thanks for the advice.

i like the idea of doing the light by hand with a MF applicator as its shape is rather hard to do with PC.

PorscheGuy997
Mar 1st, 2007, 06:59 PM
Supposedly, (I haven't tried this) the pad that comes with the PC (not the LC pads), but the one that screws into the head of the PC with the attached plastic backing plate.

Like others have said, Plastx will dry up. I like to use a lot of product on a pad (by hand) and work the product into the plastic until the PlastX seems to disappear. Then, you can wipe off the rest. Try PlastX on your tail lights; the difference is most appearant on the darker plastics.

Has anyone tried the Pro series plastic cleaner and polish? Have you noticed anything different between those and PlastX? I've been meaning to try the Pro steps, but I'd have to order it.

gbackus
Mar 1st, 2007, 08:42 PM
Sanding headlights can be risky. Some headlights have a special coating on the outside. When you sand, you will remove this coating. Whether or not the coating is UV protection to prevent yellowing, I do not know. Therefore, if you plan on wet sanding the lights, I would be aware of this risk and weigh the pros and cons appropriately. If your lights are in bad shape and you were thinking about replacing them anyway, then wet sanding may be a good option, and may save the lights.

This is a moot point because once the lenses have yellowed, that means any coating or UV additive has already broken down.

Tim Lingor
Mar 1st, 2007, 08:55 PM
This is a moot point because once the lenses have yellowed, that means any coating or UV additive has already broken down.

Hey,

Valid point. However, like I said in my post,

"If your lights are in bad shape and you were thinking about replacing them anyway, then wet sanding may be a good option, and may save the lights."

With that being said, one can assume that if the lights are that bad that there is nothing to lose. My point is that we do not want people sanding their expensive headlights without first weighing the pros and cons.

Since Truffle Pig said:

"lights are currently on friends car and just foggy/hazy. not discoloured."

Since the lights were not discolored, I suggested that these lights may not need wet sanding unless they were quite bad; wet sanding the lights may make them worse in the long term if the UV coating is sanded off prematurely.

Tim

foxhound58
Mar 2nd, 2007, 08:02 AM
Not to bust in on your post, but I have a simular problem with lights. My sons has a black mustang. He ran it through a automatic car wash last winter. And it put on some type of foam wax sealant at the end of the wash. At first it looked great, but after several months the whole car looked as if it had ten years of oxidation on it. Thanks to the pc & 20 hours of buffing it was removed from the clear coat. I used plastx on the headlights. It would not remove it so tried to wet sand it off. Greatly improved but still there. I have never used 85 or 4 for doing plastic. What is the best combo for this. I have both rotary & pc. Would a rotary with a wool pad be too much? The stuff on them is like etched into the plasic lens. It is like a hard water deposit times ten. I'm glad I read this post I will try the polish. It is just one of those things that drive you crazy. whole car looks great except the lights. So if this don't work I will replace them for him. Thank you for any feedback on this.

TrufflePig
Mar 2nd, 2007, 09:19 AM
Not to bust in on your post, but I have a simular problem with lights. My sons has a black mustang. He ran it through a automatic car wash last winter. And it put on some type of foam wax sealant at the end of the wash. At first it looked great, but after several months the whole car looked as if it had ten years of oxidation on it. Thanks to the pc & 20 hours of buffing it was removed from the clear coat. I used plastx on the headlights. It would not remove it so tried to wet sand it off. Greatly improved but still there. I have never used 85 or 4 for doing plastic. What is the best combo for this. I have both rotary & pc. Would a rotary with a wool pad be too much? The stuff on them is like etched into the plasic lens. It is like a hard water deposit times ten. I'm glad I read this post I will try the polish. It is just one of those things that drive you crazy. whole car looks great except the lights. So if this don't work I will replace them for him. Thank you for any feedback on this.

Superior Shine:

"The answer to your question depends on how bad the head-lights look.

Are they completely yellowed or a bit hazy?

For lightly faded lights should benefit form plastX. If plastX dosn't work then step it up to #85 or #4 or #49.

If that doesn't work then your next step will be to sand them first then polishs them with #85 or other product."

let's see pics. then guys can help you out a bit more.

foxhound58
Mar 2nd, 2007, 09:45 AM
The headlights are bad not yellowed hazy film on them. Like I have said I have already wet sanded them. I assumed that was as agressive as you could get. After the wet sand I used a rotary with a polishing pad with plastix. Greatly improved but the film that the wax from that car wash was still on them. It is bonded to the plastic lens itself. I was going to give up & buy him new ones until I read this post. I will probably go right to the 85 & a polishing pad. If it don't cut it a wool pad. If all else fails the auto parts store I guess.
As far as Pic. Can not get one at this time my son don't live with me. Maybe during spring break I can post one. Sorry.
Thanks for your help!

jarred767
Mar 5th, 2007, 01:37 PM
I've been trying to find the best process for clearing up headlights and really glad I came across this thread.

Joe, you said using something like #85 or #4 on them first if plastX doesn't do the trick. I'm a little confused. I know that both of these products are produced for rotary only. But is this true for headlights too. I was planning on probably just doing this by hand since the headlights are smaller and more irregularly shaped, and was wondering if anything like #85, #4, or even #2 would be effective at all by hand on headlights. Don't really wanna spend the money on it if it's not gonna be worth it since I don't have a rotary to use the product in any other way.

Thanks, appreciate the input.

Roger V
Mar 27th, 2007, 10:46 PM
Supposedly, (I haven't tried this) the pad that comes with the PC (not the LC pads), but the one that screws into the head of the PC with the attached plastic backing plate.

Like others have said, Plastx will dry up. I like to use a lot of product on a pad (by hand) and work the product into the plastic until the PlastX seems to disappear. Then, you can wipe off the rest. Try PlastX on your tail lights; the difference is most appearant on the darker plastics.

Has anyone tried the Pro series plastic cleaner and polish? Have you noticed anything different between those and PlastX? I've been meaning to try the Pro steps, but I'd have to order it.

Has anyone tried the pro ones?

MI DOG
Mar 29th, 2007, 11:01 PM
for headligths (and tail) i use my #80 by hand. it works!!

TrufflePig
Mar 30th, 2007, 04:28 AM
my head lights were all yellowish and blurry.

i used only Plast-X and it worked.

as for the Pro Line that's next in line for me. just need to find a car to do it on.

03mach1
Apr 4th, 2007, 07:08 PM
use the Megs mirror glaze plastic cleaner. it got the crazing out of my headlights in just a few minutes. it takes more than one application. my lights went from yellow plastic to an almost brand new look (Clear).

TrufflePig
Apr 5th, 2007, 05:36 AM
use the Megs mirror glaze plastic cleaner. it got the crazing out of my headlights in just a few minutes. it takes more than one application. my lights went from yellow plastic to an almost brand new look (Clear).

that's my next trial. :xyxthumbs

bullison
Jul 5th, 2009, 12:20 PM
Hey,

This question has been asked a number of times on MOL. Therefore, it would be prudent of me to post my reply again.

Sanding headlights can be risky. Some headlights have a special coating on the outside. When you sand, you will remove this coating. Whether or not the coating is UV protection to prevent yellowing, I do not know. Therefore, if you plan on wet sanding the lights, I would be aware of this risk and weigh the pros and cons appropriately. If your lights are in bad shape and you were thinking about replacing them anyway, then wet sanding may be a good option, and may save the lights.

For general polishing without wet sanding, I would suggest using the PC, speed 5 with PlastX on a W-9006 Finishing Pad. Keep in mind that PlastX was not designed for buffer application and will dry up rather quickly. Therefore multiple applications may be necessary. I have obtained great using this method on the vast majority of cars or trucks I have completed over the years.

Some people, including myself, have tried using a W-7006 cutting pad with the rotary polisher and PlastX. Again, please keep in mind that PlastX was not intended to be used with a buffer. As such, it will dry up quickly and will not provide lubrication to the buffing pad. Yes, I have actually dinged/burned some plastic using that exact combo. So please use caution. :)

Tim

Hello Tim,
i can see you have enough experience, i am using a kawasaki 19.2v cordless drill with the buffing pad the headlight kit comes. (so i can go mobile restoring headlights) Do you think that 19.2 drill has enogh power or similar to speed 5 of the PC? one last question i most cases the headlights began to get clowdy or yellowed again only after 2 to 5 weeks, do you recommend something to prevent this to happen that fast?
thank you very much,
Wilfredo Cortes

dizzledude
Jul 13th, 2009, 08:08 PM
Hello Tim,
i can see you have enough experience, i am using a kawasaki 19.2v cordless drill with the buffing pad the headlight kit comes. (so i can go mobile restoring headlights) Do you think that 19.2 drill has enogh power or similar to speed 5 of the PC? one last question i most cases the headlights began to get clowdy or yellowed again only after 2 to 5 weeks, do you recommend something to prevent this to happen that fast?
thank you very much,
Wilfredo Cortes
Are you applying a type of sealant or wax after the final polish?