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View Full Version : Using Perfect Clarity Headlight Restoration Kit



Michael Stoops
Feb 6th, 2015, 09:04 AM
We are really excited about this new headlight restoration kit, and that excitement only grows each time we get a chance to use it. We had to do a photo shoot with the product for another project and just had to share some of that here on MOL.


http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/PerfClarity_DigiMock.png



Our vehicle in question is a 2005 Toyota Sienna minivan with noticeably yellowed and weathered headlights that are need of some definite TLC. This new Perfect Clarity Headlight Restoration Kit is so incredibly easy to use; in fact, it takes longer to mask off the area surrounding the headlights than it does to actually restore them.

The kit comes with a Scotch-Brite scuffing pad and an abrasive liquid to use with it. It can be applied by hand or with our DA Power System, which is a perfect match for this kit.

Here's what the lenses on the minivan looked like before we started:
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/G2000_before.jpg

Hand application is very straight forward: apply a roughly quarter sized amount of product onto the pad (not sure what size coins from other countries match up to a USA quarter, but a dollop of product about 3cm across should be plenty) and start rubbing it against the headlight lens in a straight line, back and forth motion. You don't need a lot of pressure as the liquid/pad combination does a fantastic job of cleaning the oxidation off the lens. Apply more product as needed, and wipe off the excess as you go. Check to make sure you're getting all areas of the lens in a uniform fashion. You know you've got it when the lens has a uniform, frosted look to it.

http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/G2000_hand_app.jpg

Using the DA Power System is similar to hand application, except the tool takes any elbow grease out of the equation and gets the job done faster. In the image below the left side of the lens has been cleaned by the hand process noted above. You can see that it's a nice, uniform frosted look following that process.http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/G2000_DAPS_app.jpg

Once the lens is fully cleaned and appears uniformly frosted, it's time for the magic to happen. While the cleaning solution is body shop safe and therefore paintable, it's still a good idea to ensure a clean surface prior to spraying the UV protective spray. Do not use a quick detailer with any sort of silicone or polymer in it for this as it can cause adhesion problems for the spray. It's best to use a roughly 20% dilution of isopropyl alcohol for that final wipe (exact dilution ratio is not terribly critical, so don't sweat that). The UV coating sprays out in a fan pattern rather than a cone, so you get great coverage from a single pass. In the shot below we started spraying from the bottom of the lens and worked our way up.
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/G2000_protect.jpg

Yes, that clarity you see at the bottom of the lens is just from the very initial application of the UV protective spray. "But hold up a second.... don't you need to buff out those sanding/scuff marks first?" you ask. No, you don't. And you shouldn't try to, either. The quality of the surface is such that it gives the UV spray a light texture to grab onto and stick, and the spray will conceal any of the sanding/scuff marks left behind. It's much the same as painting a car when you sand the primer and then shoot the color over it. You don't buff out the primer, yet you don't end up with sanding marks in the paint when you're done (assuming you did it right, but that's a story for another day!).

Here's where it gets fun! With that side done, and essentially the photoshoot done along with it, we obviously had to do the other headlight before returning the minivan to its owner. So just for the heck of it we wanted to see how long it would take to do this process on a single lens, using the DAPS system. So we started with this:
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/PC_before.jpg

And finished with this:
http://archive.meguiarsonline.com/forums/photopost/data/2294/PC_after.jpg

Elapsed time?

4 minutes and 18 seconds.:bigups:spot:dp::dancing2:bounce:dancing3party::db::woot2:heelclick1.gif



Now, that does not include application of the masking tape, nor does it include the quick wipe down we did of the surrounding area with our 20% IPA solution and a microfiber towel to remove any light overspray we had. But come on - 4:18!!!!

Now, let's talk a bit about that overspray issue we just touched on. You are essentially spraying clear paint here so some overspray is going to be part of the process. Obviously it's a good idea to mask as effectively and efficiently as you can. If that means laying an old sheet over the fender and/or front bumper to prevent overspray, then so be it. But immediately after spraying this lens, we pulled the masking tape and went over the surrounding areas with that 20% IPA mix on a clean microfiber towel and the fresh overspray came right off. That process likely won't be as effective if you wait an hour to do it, so don't spend too much time admiring your work if you didn't mask things off thoroughly - do that IPA wipe down and then admire your work.

This kit retails at $19.99 and there's enough of both products in it to do probably 3 or 4 cars, depending on just how bad the lenses are. A bargain!!

Cypresswill
Feb 6th, 2015, 01:01 PM
Who could imagine results like that in such a short time. Great results.

The Guz
Feb 6th, 2015, 06:43 PM
Nice demo Mike. Thanks for the photos and write up.

LCE
Jul 1st, 2015, 02:05 PM
I used this on a 2005 Impala...followed directions to the T and the headlights came out looking great...downside is that it only lasted about 2 weeks.


Anyone else having durability issues with this kit or is it just me?

Eldorado2k
Jul 1st, 2015, 02:47 PM
So far so good in my experiences.

The Guz
Jul 1st, 2015, 05:54 PM
I used this on a 2005 Impala...followed directions to the T and the headlights came out looking great...downside is that it only lasted about 2 weeks.


Anyone else having durability issues with this kit or is it just me?

No issues here. Did you just use the supplied items in the kit? How much coating did you spray on the headlights? Did you clean the headlights thoroughly after using the abrasive compound?

LCE
Jul 1st, 2015, 10:57 PM
Yes,I used what was supplied in the kit as the headlights didn't require anything more.

Cleanliness is a OCD for me so yes the lights were thoroughly cleaned before being sealed with 2 medium wet coats as stated in the directions and allowed to cure indoors.


The headlights looked great but at right around 2 weeks the coating began to fail...with all the reviews I have read on this kit it has me stumped.

Michael Stoops
Jul 2nd, 2015, 06:54 AM
In all honesty, LCE, this is the first case we've heard of this kit doing this. There have been situations where the lenses were so far gone they required more aggressive cleaning than what the kit provides, but for the coating to fail that quickly is really odd. Do you have any pictures showing this? Have you tried rescuffing the lenses and then respraying the coating? If you don't have enough material left you can call our Customer Care Center at 800.347.5700 to see about a replacement. This is really strange behavior though, that's for darn sure.

LCE
Jul 2nd, 2015, 02:48 PM
Hi Mr. Stoops,

Yes I have done headlights before that needed some pretty heavy duty work to remove the oxidation but these headlights only required what was supplied in this kit...and like I mentioned the kit worked great and the lights came out looking really good...


I have read a lot of rave reviews on this kit which is one reason I went with it...I have read a few reviews that weren't the greatest but I chalked that up to it being the interweb.*


I don't have any pictures right now but will snap some when I am around the car.


I haven't redone the process and am not sure if I'll redo it with the perfect clarity or not.


The only variable I can think of is about a week after doing the lights a light application of Ultimate Quik Wax was applied...but I really can't see this effecting the coating on the lights.

Tekman00
Jul 20th, 2015, 01:58 PM
Would it still be beneficial to apply a coat of synthetic wax to the head lights after the UV protective spray has cured? Or is this just a wasteful extra step?

Michael Stoops
Jul 21st, 2015, 07:19 AM
Would it still be beneficial to apply a coat of synthetic wax to the head lights after the UV protective spray has cured? Or is this just a wasteful extra step?
You certainly can if you wish to, but it isn't really needed. Then again, the UV coating that comes from the factory doesn't necessarily need to be waxed, either, but doing so can only serve to prolong the protection inherent in that coating. The same would hold true with the coating in this kit; the extra protection provided by a synthetic wax/sealant can only be beneficial. If you don't mind taking the extra time to apply a sealant to your headlights (and really, how much extra time is it????), then by all means go for it!

Legacy6
Dec 6th, 2015, 04:18 PM
My first time using this product ended with clear headlights but some clear coat runs (drips) on my headlights. Anyone experience this and have success in removing them without redoing the entire job?

The Guz
Dec 6th, 2015, 04:49 PM
If you are getting runs with the coating, then you are using too much product. Go over the areas with the abrasive compound and recoat them.

Nick Winn
Dec 7th, 2015, 07:42 AM
My first time using this product ended with clear headlights but some clear coat runs (drips) on my headlights. Anyone experience this and have success in removing them without redoing the entire job?

We are sorry to hear about your trouble. We would recommend starting from Step 1 and re-cleaning, and then for step 2 when spraying the coating, try to use a less product and spray evenly. If you develop a drip or run while the product is still wet, it can be wiped off, and then re-sprayed.