Okay, so back in Summer when I was detailing my Jeep I thought my lights were beyond repair. The UV clear coating was cracking along the top and they were all pitted. Looked okay, but not up close.
So I bought Gen 3 projectors and XD HID kit. Problem is 1) headlights are LHD, we drive on the wrong side, 2) HID kits fail inspections without washers &/or self leveling systems. The Jeep has neither.
With my inspection coming up in a few months, I knew the stockers had to go back in. This week I have the cold and being fed up today I thought I'd pull the lights down from the attic and give sanding them a go to see if I can make them look like new. Did it work, well read on....
Some before pics for you:
As I said above, from a distance not too bad, but up close they are pitted and the UV coating is fooked.
So I grabbed a spray bottle (filled it with mix of warm water and washing up liquid), 800-2500 grit wet/dry paper, few MF towels and set to work in the kitchen where it was warmer than the garage.
The paper was placed in the sink filled with warm water and washing up liquid for 15 mins to fully saturate the paper. The paper used was Meguairs UniGrit range with the sanding backing plate/pad. Excellent stuff.
Now, I decided to remove the UV coating completely and this took some going - even with the 800. This is an after shot:
The 800 grit was done in horizontal passes and so I moved onto 1200 grit going in vertical passses. This helps you see that you have fully removed all the marks left from the previous paper.
Then onto 2000 grit, this time going horizontal again.
And finishing with 2500 grit going vertical. You can see most of the clarity is back in the lens and just swirling left behind.
Now this one light took about 1 hour in sanding alone. About 10-15 mins with 800 grit alone to ensure all the UV coating was gone or at least level and because I'm anal I wanted it as good as I could possibly make it.
Now, I tried using Meguiar's PlastX by hand first. This did actually work, leaving behind only light swirls. Not good enough for me though (and it was hard work!), so out to the garage to bring in the PC.
Couple of blobs of Menzerana Intensive Polish on a 4" Sonus cutting pad, speed 1 to spread, 3.5 for 4 passes, 5 for 3 passes, 3 for 2 passes.
Much better, I then just for the sake of it went over the light with PlastX and thankfully I did - WOW!
Tomorrow when I've polished the other one they will be sealed with a couple of coats of Autoglym Extra Gloss Protection. You can use any sealant you want, but this is very important to do as the UV coating may be compromised or in my case completely removed.
Thanks for looking and hopefully this mini-guide can help some of you who may want to give this a go. It really is straight forward to do.
P.S. The above method will also correct cloudy/oxidised plastic lights.