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srb1194
Jan 4th, 2009, 09:45 AM
I have a 1998 Mercedes E 320. The headlamp lens have become tarnished. I have used the Plastic Polish from Meguiars with some success. What is the best procedure to restore and protect them?

Thanks,

srb1194

Carfire
Jan 4th, 2009, 03:36 PM
I would suggest trying a few more coats with a little bit more pressure.
Or buying Headlight Restoration Kit (http://www.meguiarsdirect.com/detail/MEG+G1900).

Murr1525
Jan 4th, 2009, 03:41 PM
Also be sure to apply it properly... It would be applied and worked in similar to ScratcHX shown here:

How to correctly apply ScratchX to remove swirls and scratches (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=6561779259119696224&ei=x0V1SK-hKJSGrQKuq8i7Aw&hl=en)

srb1194
Jan 5th, 2009, 10:23 AM
Thanks I did apply several coats of the PlasticX product with a buffer. It seems like that is all that is in the restoration kit. I guess I have to keep working at it to get it all off. They are better but still not "like new". Maybe more coats will do it. I was hoping there was a way to be more aggressive and get more off initially and then polish to remove any scratches.

Thanks again.

Heatgain
Jan 5th, 2009, 10:59 AM
I've been noticing around here lately that of all the makes/models of cars driving around, the headlights that are the most oxidized and opaque are on Mercedes.
Go figure.

srb1194
Jan 5th, 2009, 11:26 AM
Hey...watch it now. You are right though. lol

srb1194

Carfire
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:04 PM
You could also try wet sanding, I know on YouTube 3M has some videos with their drill pads that it looks like it restored then headlights well, if PlastX is not working well.

Megafast13
Jan 5th, 2009, 01:33 PM
PlastX works well for minor oxidation.

What worked for my headlights was Wet Sanding. Before Doing that I would buy a Polishing pad for a power drill. You can get one in the Headlight Restoration kit from Meguiar's.

Welcome to MOL!

http://autodetailingsolutions.com/G1900_HeadlightKit_small1.jpg

rwisejr
Jan 5th, 2009, 04:21 PM
I have a 1998 Mercedes E 320. The headlamp lens have become tarnished. I have used the Plastic Polish from Meguiars with some success. What is the best procedure to restore and protect them?

Thanks,

srb1194

I have a 98 CLK 320 I had to wet sand them using 1000 grit then a polish to bring back the luster and protect with a sealant . They are like brand new now.

srb1194
Jan 7th, 2009, 04:40 AM
How is the polishing pad different from a normal pad on a buffer? When you wet sanded what grit did you use?

Thanks.

srb1194
Jan 7th, 2009, 04:41 AM
I'm sorry I missed the grit size on the previous post. What sealant did you use?

Thanks.

John Jutzy
Jan 22nd, 2009, 05:34 AM
I used to offer a headlight polishing service here in Santiago, Chile as part of our detail package.

I always started with a wet sanding. Depending on the damage to the headlight, I wouldn't go beyond a 1000 grit paper. We used 500 for severely damaged/cracked headlights, but the lower the number, the more work you are creating for yourself.

If you start with a 1000 grit paper, you can shorten the time to get the lenses back to "like new" condition by stepping down to, say a 1500 grit and then proceeding to a 2000 or 2500 grit paper to finish it off.

Trust me, if you spend just a few extra minutes passing over the lenses with the finer papers, you'll save yourself time, energy, and the stress of thinking that you have destroyed your expensive factory lenses.

When you've completed your sanding, I'd advise that you purchase the Meguiar's polishing kit and finish off the job that way. Come back and report on your progress so others can learn from our experiences.

srb1194
Jan 22nd, 2009, 10:16 AM
Thanks for the information. The headlight kit has a buffing pad and plastic polish. If I already have the polish then is there a reason to buy the kit just for the pad? Are you confident that these types of paper, 1000, 2000 and 2500 won't hurt the lens? I just want to make sure I don't damage them, I would never hear the end of that.

Thanks,

srb1194

John Jutzy
Jan 22nd, 2009, 10:37 AM
Any time you touch any surface with an abrasive, you're obviously going to be doing a little bit of "damage". The thing is, in order to restore the clarity of your headlights, you're going to have to remove material in one manner or another. I polished headlights for most of the major auto dealerships, insurance companies and for private clients in Santiago, Chile, if that helps at all.

The trick is, the rougher the paper, the deeper the scratches. In order to restore clarity to any surface, be it paint or clear plastic, you must remove the scratches. The idea, just as in polishing a car, is to start with the finest paper you can. Keep the lens wet, and go to it. Start with a 3,500 if you can find it, work a small section at a time, stopping frequently to dry your work area and check for progress. If necessary, step up to a heavier grit to get the job done, but then remember to step it back down and finish with the finest paper you can get your hands on. Here in Chile, I was usually limited to 2,500 or 3,000 grit. Once you've sanded out all the scratches and damage, buff it out with the foam pad and plastic polish. The sealant is VERY important. You must now protect your hard work with a sealant. I'm not positive what Meg's has to offer for sealant, maybe one of the mods could help us out with this one, but as for the rest of the process, it's something I've done on hundreds of cars.



Disclaimers:

When working with sand paper, I advise taping off all adjacent surfaces to ensure that you're not removing paint as you pass along the edges.

Always use the least amount of pressure necessary when sanding lenses. Deep scratches take more time to remove than the time it takes to be patient and do a job correctly.

Always start with the least aggressive technique and work your way up as necessary.

Never be afraid to ask more questions to make sure you do the job correctly the first time!

Mike Pennington
Jan 22nd, 2009, 11:56 AM
Disclaimers:

When working with sand paper, I advise taping off all adjacent surfaces to ensure that you're not removing paint as you pass along the edges.

Always use the least amount of pressure necessary when sanding lenses. Deep scratches take more time to remove than the time it takes to be patient and do a job correctly.

Always start with the least aggressive technique and work your way up as necessary.

Never be afraid to ask more questions to make sure you do the job correctly the first time!

:xyxthumbs

Mike Phillips
Jan 22nd, 2009, 12:46 PM
Just to note, there's a number of really great threads in this forum

Clear Plastic Detailing (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=66)

that go over this process, here's one but you can click the link above and scroll through the pages and find more to read.


How To: PlastX Headlight Restoration (Step by w/ Pics) (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20994)


Scottwax4

srb1194
Jan 23rd, 2009, 08:01 AM
Thanks Mike. That is a great thread. I think I will use that as my model for the '98 Benz.

srb1194

John Jutzy
Jan 23rd, 2009, 08:59 AM
I forgot to note this in my disclaimer....

Damaged headlights can be deceptive. There is no way to clean a sealed unit headlight if it is dirty or damaged on the inside of the enclosure. Make sure that the damage you are seeing is on the outside of the lens.

Cracked lenses can also be deceiving. If the crack is severe, you can sand all the way through the plastic before you reach the end of the crack. Make sure the cracks you are attempting to repair are actually just superficial.

I will continue to ammend the list if I remember other things I forgot to note.

srb1194
Jan 23rd, 2009, 03:27 PM
My main problem is the yellow oxidation. I have buffed them several times with the PlastiX product. I just can't seem to get all of the oxidation off. I really think the wet sanding will do the trick for me. Thanks for the advice though.

srb1194

John Jutzy
Jan 26th, 2009, 05:56 AM
My main problem is the yellow oxidation. I have buffed them several times with the PlastiX product. I just can't seem to get all of the oxidation off. I really think the wet sanding will do the trick for me. Thanks for the advice though.

srb1194

The wet-sanding should, without a doubt, take care of your issue. It's not as hard as it may sound, just make sure to be patient and don't cut any corners. Tape off well, sand thoroughly, particularly with the fine grit papers. The idea of stepping down your papers as you finish is to diminish the scratches you created with the larger grit papers. If you take your time with the finer grit papers, when you finally get to buffing out your headlight, you won't believe your eyes. Your headlights will look as good as they did the day your drove your beauty off the lot.

Another piece of advice. If you don't have a detailers stool, something impossible to find in Santiago, Chile, get yourself a 5 gallon bucket or two. ( I use two, one for sitting and one for keeping my papers wet.) This way you can sit at eye level with your lenses, enabling you to see your progress without tiring as easily. Plus they make a handy storage bin for your detailing accessories after your done.

srb1194
Jan 26th, 2009, 04:26 PM
Thanks for the tips. I have the stool and as soon as the weather warms up a bit I'm going at it. You guys are full of great ideas!

srb1194

srb1194
Mar 8th, 2009, 02:07 PM
Just to note, there's a number of really great threads in this forum

Clear Plastic Detailing (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=66)

that go over this process, here's one but you can click the link above and scroll through the pages and find more to read.


How To: PlastX Headlight Restoration (Step by w/ Pics) (http://meguiarsonline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20994)


Scottwax4
Mike,

Thanks so much for your detailed explanation of this process. I just finished the lens on my 98 E 320 and they look great. I used 1000, 1500 & 2000 grit paper. I also used a Ryobi orbital buffer to apply the Plastx. Overall if anyone is considering doing this job....just do it. The results are very gratifying.

Thanks again,

srb1194