NewBeetle.org Forums banner

1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My headlights has a dingy, yellowed lense due to basically sitting in one spot for two years. i decided to attempt a home fix. If I would've thought ahead, I would've taken step-by-step pictures during this process but oh well. I used an off-the-shelf, Rain-X kit with decent results. Here is a before and after picture:

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I only went ober them one time per phase. They're still slighty hazy on the inside but ill live with that.

First, I had to use "goo gone" and elbow grease to remove the vinyl adhesive. That took about 5 minutes or so per light. The initial wet sanding with 400 grit (they were very, uhm, "crusty") in a diagonal (NE to SE and NW to SW) "waffle pattern" which took about 10-15 minutes. Next, I used 600 grit in a horizontal and vertical pattern for about 10-15 minutes. Lastly, I used 1000 grit in the diagonal pattern to smooth it out. The last step was using the Rain-X "headlight restorer" cream on a micro-fiber towel to bring it to a nice shine!!

I'd say the entire process took around an hour.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Okay, then. I was just wondering since I have had to do some headlight restoration on various vehicles. It is somewhat time consuming, but the outcome seems to be pretty good. I have used the same procedure, wet and dry, coarse to fine and then the polish. Good job.:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Gee, I wouldn't apply Spar Varnish, or any other varnish made for use on wood to headlights. I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade here but Spar varnish is made for wood doors, windows trim, etc. If you are concerned with the "hazing" returning to the headlights, I would use one of the products made to spray on plastic.
 

·
I'm not a dude.
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
Or better yet just wax them on occasion. I wax my headlights probably once a month. It takes like 5 minutes and keeps me from having to restore them again.

btw when I did mine, I used 1500 then 2000 grit and wetsanded them. Then used meguiars mirror glaze plastic cleaner and finally the plastic polish from the same line. Then for good measure cleaner wax and my regular wax. I've had zero problems for about a year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
the spar works and lasts, go read the thread over there. as far as waxing, you pretty much need to wax them weekly if not more often to keep the haze away. once you sand them down any protection they had is gone and was is not near tough enough to protect it once it is gone
 

·
I'm not a dude.
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
the spar works and lasts, go read the thread over there. as far as waxing, you pretty much need to wax them weekly if not more often to keep the haze away. once you sand them down any protection they had is gone and was is not near tough enough to protect it once it is gone
Maybe if you used a crappy wax? The heat from the headlight breaks it down faster but I haven't had any issues from doing it once a month. Or whenever I remember. I do 2 coats and done.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
307 Posts
nope not crappy wax tried a bunch it does ok but you must re-apply often and does not always work. we also have to realize that wax no matter how much they want to tell us is a good uv protectant it is nowhere near the uv protectant that is initially on the lens that we remove when we restore the light. The waxes out there that claim uv protection have at best a very very minimum protection from any uv at all. a real sealant is needed to keep lights kept up. If you do not believe me that's fine but i'm not the only one saying this go over to autogeekonline and read up, there really isn't a better place for detailing your car IMHO
 

·
I'm not a dude.
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
I really think it all depends on how often you clean your car or are willing to.

I think the spar is a good idea for those that don't want to deal with it often. Although after a few months or years, it will eventually turn yellow or crack and you'll have to sand it off and reapply.

I use Wolfgang plastik surface sealant every 6 months or whenever I do a full detail. Wax and occasional sealant was a good fit for me personally because I enjoy cleaning my car weekly, so monthly waxing ain't no thang for me. It's my alone time. :D I've had good luck using my zymol creame wax on the lights, since it's what I use on the rest of the car monthly or bi-monthly.

Really it's just personal preference. Although when I do my HID retrofit with brand new headlights, I'm going the lamin-x route so fussing with it won't be necessary. :)
 

·
Das ist gut!
Joined
·
18 Posts
I used the meguires kit...came out awesome...we used the same kit on about 4 other vehicles. that was last year just checked and and they all look good.
p.s. the other vehicles are work trucks. they all stay outside.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
444 Posts
Hey, whatever floats your boat - or in this case your beetle! I personally like the Wofgang product or one of the myriad other products out there made for plastic when I detail. What works for you, go for it. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7 Posts
I wouldn't implement Fre Varnish, or any other varnish created for use on wooden to front lights. I am not trying to rainfall on a person's celebration here but Fre varnish is created for wooden gates, windows cut, etc. If you are involved with the "hazing" coming back to the front lights, I would use one of the products created to implement on nasty.
 

·
I'm not a dude.
Joined
·
1,230 Posts
Anyone have any experience using lamin-x in this situation maybe? I planned on using it on brand new lenses but any evidence it wouldn't work on sanded and polished headlights? When it starts to look dingy just take it off and apply a new sheet? I don't really know about the UV properties of lamin-x but I know it will protect the UV coating from the factory.
 

·
5/23/10 <3
Joined
·
11,172 Posts
Hubby used the 3M kit on his Jetta back in March. His car only gets washed when I do it and its certainly never been waxed. Headlights are still nice and clear with no signs of yellowing. I'm impressed for sure.

I have glass lenses on my GTI so no yellowing to worry about anymore for me :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,690 Posts
Most all plastic headlights have some form of UV clear coat protection.

Depending on how and where you drive your car, if you do not reapply the UV protection, your plastic may start to haze, cloud or yellow.

I am kind of the mindset if I try to re-clear the lens and do not do it correctly, then I am back to sanding and polishing again. So I decided on a few jobs to just sand, polish and wax. So far, so good, if they haze or cloud, I will just polish again, will not have to sand.

So far after 2 years on one set of headlights, no issues. However I think if the car sits for an extended period in a location that is not shaded and gets direct sunlight you will have problems and I have seen this happen.

As for Laminex, you can apply it over stock or sanded and polished headlights. Not sure if the Laminex has much UV protection, but I assume it may, just so the Lamninex does not self destruct in short order. Almost all plastics on car need UV protection or inhibitors. I have seen a lot of side moldings that did not get the UV protection/stabilizers and some of the plastic actually starts to brown and appear to rust!
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top