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headlight restoration

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Member
Ed Schwab's picture
Alexandria, VA
Online
Joined: August 24th, 2009

Posts:
434

Vehicles
1998 E300 Turbo Diesel

I ran across this 20 minute video today on restoring headlights that have aged.  It shows sanding using a 3M product and then an acrylic werks product.  I don't know anymore than what is in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8PEjJTuqJfw&feature=related

Ed Schwab

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Ed Schwab 98 E300DT

Member
Graham's picture
Bath, ON
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Joined: December 17th, 2007

Posts:
333

Vehicles
2014 GLK250 BlueTEC
1998 E320 Sedan
1985 300DT
1972 350SL
I refurbished my headlights

I refurbished my headlights recently. At first bought a Turtle wax kit, but it really didn't have enough material to do all 4 lights. I bought some wet/dry sandpaper in 600/1000/2000 grits (no 3000 was available) and a can of Meguires fine polishing compound. Wet sanded the lenses with increasing grit paper. Then hand polished with polish paste and finally machine buffed using a 4" foam pad. Just like polishing clearcoat repairs. Finish was bright and clear. Finally applied a coat or two of PlastX (Meguires).

The lenses have a coating to protect the polycarbonate (Lexan) from abrasion and common chemicals that can cause cracking in polycarbonate (solvents, alkalis, some detergents that can be present in common cleaning materials.)  This coating yellows and needs to be removed mechanically using the wet/dry sandpaper. This leaves the lenses kind of dull, but the polishing corrects this. The PlastX is an attempt to coat the lenses, but really this step should be application of a UV resistant clearcoat (Often UV light cured). But for me, the PlastX will suffice - just need redoing more often.

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Former Member
herky210's picture
Pinehurst, NC
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Joined: April 13th, 2004

Posts:
246

Vehicles
2000 E320 Sedan
3M

I used the 3M system you get for about $25 at the parts stores. The application is similar to the video you posted. It was an amazing difference - my headlights looked brand new. I also had better illumination at night.

Highly recommend spending the money and taking the couple of hours to do this.

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