Notices
D.I.Y. Installations/Modifications Do It Yourself guides and information for the G37. Stickies approved by Administrators and Moderators.

DIY: Headlight restoration

Old 12-23-2013, 09:08 PM
  #1  
Gio37
Registered User
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Happiest Place on Earth
Posts: 1,366
Received 232 Likes on 155 Posts
Headlight restoration

So I decided to clean up my headlights…..my buddies at the SoCalVQ GMR meet were nice enough to point out some yellow oxidation and scratches on my headlights

Anywho…the material I used:
  • 2000 grit sand paper
  • 1000 grit sand paper
  • Polishing compound 4500
  • Bucket
  • Water
  • Spray bottle
  • Cordless drill
  • Mini polishing pads
  • Headlight lens sealer (blue magic)
  • Masking tape

Here is a picture of the before:
Name:  light_zpsdf6d0885.jpg
Views: 1752
Size:  191.6 KB


I started by using a bucket with water to soak the sandpaper for about 10 minutes


Masking tape and lubricate the lens
Name:  2_zps096a3192.jpg
Views: 1891
Size:  262.6 KB

Always keeping the lens wet by either a spray bottle or dipping the sandpaper into the bucket with water.

Started with the 1000 grit sand paper for the worst damaged areas
Name:  3_zps9a9d9679.jpg
Views: 1702
Size:  256.6 KB

Name:  4_zps66fa5b8c.jpg
Views: 1698
Size:  233.8 KB

After some sanding I cleaned the lens to see if it needed any more sanding


Moved to the 2000 grit paper
Name:  6_zpsd4e9d7c8.jpg
Views: 1692
Size:  243.1 KB

This is what is looks like after all the sanding
Name:  7_zps7e204f98.jpg
Views: 1753
Size:  261.5 KB

I then used a cordless drill with mini polishing pad using the 4500 polishing compound.
Name:  8_zps3c649c89.jpg
Views: 1722
Size:  246.3 KB

Name:  9_zps679b8b44.jpg
Views: 1684
Size:  244.7 KB

After polishing I removed the tape and cleaned the lens:

Name:  10_zpsba3c6e1c.jpg
Views: 1696
Size:  281.1 KB

Name:  11_zps496d5164.jpg
Views: 1689
Size:  262.9 KB

Added some blue magic lens sealer
Name:  12_zps5493e1c3.jpg
Views: 1698
Size:  231.5 KB

Passenger side before & after

Name:  25_zps57ca0da8.jpg
Views: 1755
Size:  256.7 KB

Name:  26_zpsa861287d.jpg
Views: 1704
Size:  248.7 KB

Last edited by Gio37; 12-24-2013 at 03:34 PM.
Gio37 is offline  
The following 24 users liked this post by Gio37:
blnewt (12-23-2013), Bravo at (04-21-2015), Dreism (06-07-2019), Flakman (04-28-2015), flipmode007 (07-16-2014), HS125 (03-17-2016), Jukeboxhero (09-16-2014), Kanwal (02-19-2019), kennyz424 (03-12-2016), monytx (09-03-2014), MsTgr (09-15-2014), PongSanity (03-22-2016), Presto (12-24-2013), RavensMinded00 (08-16-2014), Roadrash666 (09-15-2014), Said Amir (05-17-2019), SheLLz (06-07-2017), Sunny G (04-29-2015), Sway_NV (08-20-2014), Tachyon (09-05-2014), twin_snails (04-28-2014), USMC93V (06-05-2014), VelisG37s (04-28-2015), Zelf24 (07-02-2015)
Old 12-23-2013, 10:01 PM
  #2  
warped ideas
A quarter past stripped
 
warped ideas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Pembroke Pines, Florida
Posts: 1,698
Received 369 Likes on 175 Posts
Good work. I'm starting to get some oxidation as well. I think in a month or so after I settle in from all the other things I'm doing, I'll be doing this as well. Just did this two months ago to my F150's aftermarket Halo projectors.
warped ideas is offline  
Old 12-23-2013, 10:04 PM
  #3  
2fly4em
Registered User
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 76
Likes: 0
Received 6 Likes on 6 Posts
Sick DIY!!
2fly4em is offline  
Old 12-23-2013, 11:44 PM
  #4  
blnewt
Administr8r&DIY cheapsk8
iTrader: (12)
 
blnewt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 24,888
Received 4,830 Likes on 4,115 Posts
Nice DIY Gio, I've done a few of these and followed the same steps except used a Random orbit buffer w/ a polishing pad & maguiars Ultimate polish. Never tried the
Blue Magic, does that restore the UV protection that's in the factory finish?
blnewt is offline  
Old 12-24-2013, 12:00 AM
  #5  
Gio37
Registered User
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Happiest Place on Earth
Posts: 1,366
Received 232 Likes on 155 Posts
Originally Posted by warped ideas View Post
Good work. I'm starting to get some oxidation as well. I think in a month or so after I settle in from all the other things I'm doing, I'll be doing this as well. Just did this two months ago to my F150's aftermarket Halo projectors.
Thanks.

Originally Posted by 2fly4em View Post
Sick DIY!!
Thanks.

Originally Posted by blnewt View Post
Nice DIY Gio, I've done a few of these and followed the same steps except used a Random orbit buffer w/ a polishing pad & maguiars Ultimate polish. Never tried the
Blue Magic, does that restore the UV protection that's in the factory finish?
Thanks Brad.
This is my first attempt at restoring headlights and Im pretty pleased with the results. I also have a Porter Cable 7424XP but decided to use the smaller pads with my cordless.
The Blue Magic sealer should keep the lens clear & bright, protect lens from UV rays and prevent it from yellowing & hazing.
Gio37 is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Gio37:
blnewt (12-24-2013), Zelf24 (07-02-2015)
Old 12-24-2013, 08:20 AM
  #6  
blnewt
Administr8r&DIY cheapsk8
iTrader: (12)
 
blnewt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 24,888
Received 4,830 Likes on 4,115 Posts
I think the Blue Magic will be on my to-do list, thanks for the heads-up.
blnewt is offline  
Old 12-24-2013, 08:43 AM
  #7  
Black Betty
Lexus Defector
iTrader: (60)
 
Black Betty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baytown, TX
Posts: 21,098
Received 2,010 Likes on 1,219 Posts
Sticky.

Great write up thanks for sharing it. I've done quite a few of these. There's some things I'd add from my experience.

Wet sand in one direction. Then the opposite direction with the next finer grit. Very important to always keep it wet and rinse away grit periodically. I use soapy water. You can use different grits, I prefer to use 1500, then 2000, then 3000. It leaves an extremely smooth surface that requires less polishing. They'll be very white and hazy but polishing fixes that.

Like blnewt I also use a random orbital polisher with 4" pads. Orange pad with a cutting polish followed by white pad with finishing polish.
Black Betty is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by Black Betty:
monytx (03-20-2016), twin_snails (05-11-2015)
Old 12-24-2013, 09:50 AM
  #8  
Presto
Registered User
 
Presto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 1,115
Received 73 Likes on 66 Posts
Thanks for the write up. Very useful

Originally Posted by Black Betty View Post

Like blnewt I also use a random orbital polisher with 4" pads. Orange pad with a cutting polish followed by white pad with finishing polish.
Can the same pads be cleaned and used on paint later?
Presto is offline  
Old 12-24-2013, 11:33 AM
  #9  
Black Betty
Lexus Defector
iTrader: (60)
 
Black Betty's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Baytown, TX
Posts: 21,098
Received 2,010 Likes on 1,219 Posts
Originally Posted by Presto View Post
Thanks for the write up. Very useful


Can the same pads be cleaned and used on paint later?
Definitely. Just clean as you normally would after use and use them again on paint or whatever else you polish.
Black Betty is offline  
The following users liked this post:
Presto (12-24-2013)
Old 12-24-2013, 02:02 PM
  #10  
Gio37
Registered User
Thread Starter
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Happiest Place on Earth
Posts: 1,366
Received 232 Likes on 155 Posts
Originally Posted by Black Betty View Post
Sticky.

Great write up thanks for sharing it. I've done quite a few of these. There's some things I'd add from my experience.

Wet sand in one direction. Then the opposite direction with the next finer grit. Very important to always keep it wet and rinse away grit periodically. I use soapy water. You can use different grits, I prefer to use 1500, then 2000, then 3000. It leaves an extremely smooth surface that requires less polishing. They'll be very white and hazy but polishing fixes that.

Like blnewt I also use a random orbital polisher with 4" pads. Orange pad with a cutting polish followed by white pad with finishing polish.
Thanks BB - Great tips
Gio37 is offline  
Old 12-24-2013, 03:03 PM
  #11  
Bota36
Registered User
iTrader: (1)
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: So Cal
Posts: 307
Received 75 Likes on 60 Posts
Great write up Gio. It'll be so helpful for the folks that need it. Hazy headlights are the worst!
Bota36 is offline  
Old 12-24-2013, 07:49 PM
  #12  
dtran2714
Registered User
iTrader: (6)
 
dtran2714's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Orange County, CA
Posts: 251
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Good work!!
dtran2714 is offline  
Old 07-15-2014, 10:11 AM
  #13  
KaliG
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Htown,Tx.
Posts: 10
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Ok I want to do this myself, not afraid of the work. I am afraid of the sanding process, I don't want to f' up...so when I get to this step how often do I wet the sand paper or lenses it self?? Or do I keep water running on the headlight while doing it??

Thanks guys
KaliG is offline  
Old 07-15-2014, 04:19 PM
  #14  
blnewt
Administr8r&DIY cheapsk8
iTrader: (12)
 
blnewt's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 24,888
Received 4,830 Likes on 4,115 Posts
Originally Posted by KaliG View Post
Ok I want to do this myself, not afraid of the work. I am afraid of the sanding process, I don't want to f' up...so when I get to this step how often do I wet the sand paper or lenses it self?? Or do I keep water running on the headlight while doing it??

Thanks guys
Just keep a spray bottle w/ you and keep misting the light every 30 seconds or so as you sand. Also have a bucket handy to rinse the paper every now & then.
blnewt is offline  
The following 2 users liked this post by blnewt:
Gio37 (07-15-2014), KaliG (07-15-2014)
Old 07-16-2014, 06:25 AM
  #15  
portagepaws
Registered User
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 27
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
How long does it last?

Gio, excellent diy thank you!

Does anyone have feedback on how long and how clear the headlights stay? Guy I work with said he did a "similar" process to his Honda civic and they yellowed within two months. I am not sure what if any uv protection he used.

Thanks
portagepaws is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Quick Reply: DIY: Headlight restoration


Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

© 2019 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.