Polishing my headlights

3 weeks ago I polished my headlight lenses.
They came out great.
I had replaced a bulb and noticed again how cloudy they were, 2005 car.
It took about 2 hours but would have taken less if my back didn't hurt
and I had to sit down over and over, and if then I didn't start
listening to the radio on the day that the presidential election was
called. So maybe an hour.
Instructions said to wash the lenses.
Also to mask the painted part around the lenses. I had 3 rolls of
masking tape, the youngest 25 years old. I checked in advance and the
first roll worked fine, stuck fine, came off fine, but on the day I did
this, I couldn't tear off an 10" piece without it ripping at 4 inches.
I didn't test for that. But the 3rd roll worked.
Use Surface Activator, from the second kit, near the bottom.
Then for this kit, 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System, 39008
One kit may not be enough. Ugh, now they tell me.
I chose this kit because it didnt' expect me to do the sanding by hand.
For the first sanding, it came with 6 ~3" disks that stuck easily on the
arbor they included. I thought putting disks on and off was hard,
involved a screw. Has something changed in the last 35 years?????
I figured that meant 3 disks per headlight but after the left side, the
disk seemed fine so I did the right side. It didnt' seem bad after the
right side ei4ther. Finished the first step and had 5 disks left. Maybe
I'm not doing it right.
For the second sanding, it came with 2 ~3" disks. But it took only one,
so maybe I'm not doing it right. But even before the third step, the
plastic looked clear
The third step was a liquid rubbing compound that went on a foam rubber
thing that also went on the drill.
Then go on to the fourth step.**
Read all the instructions for any product you buy because some I've left
out, like not keeping the drill in the same place so long you melt the
lens. Especially if you're going to try to use two kits together.
The sanding instructions keep saying that if you do more in this step,
you won't have to do so much in the next, but I went over each area 2 or
3 times with a spinning drill and that was all. Maybe mine were not
that bad, even though they looked it.
**This one comes either with sand paper etc also; and also comes with
only this liquid that's supposed to protect for UV. The first kit and
some other had nothing that claimed to do that. This product actually
has a first step Surface Activator, that I did before using the other
product above, and then the instructions recognize that you may buy
another product for the sanding, and ends with a third step to apply the
anti-uv. It ssays iirc to apply more every 3 months but there is no way
I'm going to do that.
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Plenty of rubbing compound left over and plenty of anti-UV liquid also.

Finally took it out for a drive 4AM yesterday. I didn't see much
difference, couldn't say for sure there was any, but i"m sure the light
had been diffused before meaning less where it's supposed to be and some
in eyes of the oncoming driver. I'm sure it was worth it for the light
and it looks great.
$13.14 for the first thing and the second thing has become unavailable,
at least on Amazon, but I paid $9.99
You can still get
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for $20. It's the same as the one that's unavailable but the extra $10
pays for polish clothes, vinyl gloves (whoopdedo), and 3 kinds of
sandpaper but not stuff that will fit on a drill.
To get the $10 kit somewhere else, the Sylvania website only suggest
Advance has it but only for buying at the store. No shipping for some
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But I'm sure this isn't the only anti-UV stuff and I have no reason to
think this one is better than the others. Maybe none of them work.
Maybe they only made the instruction complicated to make me think it
works? (I didn't look at reviews because one would need years to judge
this stuff.)
Ebay has it too, but for 19 or 19.48 and for 50 cents or a dollar more
you can get the bigger kit.
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In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 27 Nov 2020 09:53:59 -0500, micky
It seems there are advance autoparts in 47 states and the Virgin Islands.
Over 4000 branches. but not alaska, hawaii, or california.
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For "dead" masking tape here is a trick, put it in a microwave for 10-20 seconds depending on roll size. It will make it like new again.
One kit may not be enough. Ugh, now they tell me.
I have used the 3M kit but as you noted most of the kit's come with nothing for UV. To really make them last the best solution is to sand the old crud off in steps, then polish the light up, clean it very well and spray it with an automotive clear top coat to seal it and keep the UV from damaging it any more. You can buy that in spray cans now with an activator in the bottom. You pop the bottom button and shake the crap out of it, then let it set for however long they say, that lets the two parts start to blend well and then you apply it in thin coats.
Reply to
Steve W.
One kit may not be enough.  Ugh, now they tell me.
Remember when we had sealed beam headlights? Plain, cheap Glass.
You could buy replacements at any store, even Kmart or later walmart.
Now, we piss around with cheap plastic covered expensive stuff.
Reply to
Hank Rogers
And bumpers were made of chromed steel and were made to BUMP! Now they have a protective plastic sheath that needs to be replaced. It's made of black plastic, so if your car is white the scuff shows REALLY well.
They're not designed for US any more...
Reply to
The Real Bev
In alt.home.repair, on Fri, 27 Nov 2020 18:05:44 -0600, Hank Rogers
Good to know. BTW, I didn't buy more than one of those rolls. Maybe note even 1.
And they never burned out. Though I decided to get fancy and I replaced them once with halogen, and those did burn out.
Reply to
Your memory of sealed beams is different than mine. Besides replacing a few on my own cars, I saw many "one-eyed" cars on the road. That's a rare sight nowadays.
Reply to
Vic Smith
In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 28 Nov 2020 06:18:47 -0600, Vic Smith
Well maybe I didn't drive as much as I could have.
But I drive less now than I did then, and I was one-eyed twice in the last two years. Occasionally when I'm facing something reflective, a store window, certain cars, I test my headlights but I don't know how long they had been out. There are enough street lights here that unless I go to the next town at night, I can't tell by how well I can see.
Also one fog light burned out. Will the police stop you for that? I guess, if allowed, it would make a good excuse and they like to stop people.
Reply to
The trade off with modern lighting is that to get brighter lighting with the smaller reflectors used they run the bulbs at a higher voltage than they used to. So an older sealed beam may have been tagged as a 12 volt. but the filament was set up to run at 14 or higher. So the sealed beams tended to last a while, unless they were the cheap ones and in poor mountings.
Nope, fog lights are not required lighting. They can stop you for headlights, tail brake (although technically the laws state you need two rear facing brake lights so if the CHMSL is working they cannot give you a ticket for one out UNLESS it is also the turn lamp) And these days for not having them on in the rain.
Reply to
Steve W.
A different situation: I'd bought an old Dodge pickup where someone with big truck envy had installed clearance lights on the cab. According to New Hampshire law while they certainly weren't required if they were there they had to work.
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In alt.home.repair, on Sat, 28 Nov 2020 19:49:21 -0600, Hank Rogers
Yep. Read my other post. You act like there is one law for the whole country, and that you know what that law is. You're wrong on the first and I doubt you're right about any state.
Since they were added after manufacture, that would probably work, but you never know and I'd check first. And actually it's easier to replace a burned out bulb or two than to remove them.
Reply to
Don't see that in the V&T laws for passenger vehicles. I know for commercial vehicles that is the case though and many states have pick-ups tagged as commercial vehicles so for a pickup truck it would likely apply under the CMV laws.
Reply to
Steve W.
In Kalifornia you don't have to register your pickup as a commercial vehicle unless you plan to actually carry something in the bed. Really cheesy. Just like our liability insurance -- which goes with the car rather than the driver. If you have 3 cars you have to have 3 liability policies although you can only drive one car at a time.
Reply to
The Real Bev
They don't have the energy. If they had that much energy, they'd have indoor plumbing by now." -- Ann Coulter
Your sig quotes brighten my day! Thank you, Bev.
Reply to
Most states started as having them commercial, then changed it when they started to become used more like cars than trucks. About that same time was when the double cabs with s 4 foot "bed" started showing up...
Not a surprise on the insurance, anything to fleece the sheep. NY hasn't gone that way yet.
Reply to
Steve W.
I've got a truck, a car, and three motorcycles. I'm trying for a fleet discount. The truck and motorcycles don't cost much luckily.
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Newsgroups: rec.autos.tech,alt.home.repair
I keep seeing this topic and wondering why there isn't an alt.sex.* group in the crosspost.
Elijah ------ polish them slower
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invalid unparseable
Here I have the house, shop and the vehicles all under one policy. That plus the other various discounts drops my total down about 45%. The bikes though are under a "sunny day" policy, so unless it's a nice warm day with no snow they stay tucked in the garage.
Reply to
Steve W.

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