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Old 10-10-2019, 02:26 PM
Saint Cad is offline
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Restoring headlights: Adding UV protection


The last part of removing oxidation from headlights is restoring the UV protection otherwise you'll be back to polishin' in a short while. A lot of the UV coatings I see seem like they'll wash off in short order once the weather gets wet. Remembering the manufacturer uses a hardcoat, would something like this do the job? Would it do the job longer than the wipe-on coatings?
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Last edited by Saint Cad; 10-10-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:33 PM
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You may need to do some wet sanding with that, I don't know how long it would last.

I like to use the 3M kits that you linked to, they come with a UV protectant in these little wet-naps, it actually dries hard and is easy to apply.
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Old 10-10-2019, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by steronz View Post
You may need to do some wet sanding with that, I don't know how long it would last.

I like to use the 3M kits that you linked to, they come with a UV protectant in these little wet-naps, it actually dries hard and is easy to apply.
Thanks, that's the exact one I was looking at.
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Old 10-11-2019, 10:34 AM
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I note that one can buy a clear paint that is UV resistant (I've seen it at auto parts stores). Would that work?



For example: https://www.krylon.com/products/uvre...-clear-coating

Last edited by Lare; 10-11-2019 at 10:35 AM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 12:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lare View Post
I note that one can buy a clear paint that is UV resistant (I've seen it at auto parts stores). Would that work?



For example: https://www.krylon.com/products/uvre...-clear-coating
I wouldn't myself, but if you do, spray a small corner first. If you read reviews, there are a lot of the paint lifting/smearing inks and paints. In the headlight plastic there are a lot of other plastic additives that could similarly be dissolved up into the spray paint (5 hours tacky!) that could cloud or discolor.
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Old 10-11-2019, 01:05 PM
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I don't understand the OP's concern that the UV coatings will "wash off". I refinished a pair of headlights with one of the 3M kits a couple of years ago and I see no sign at all that the coating is wearing off. I would feel more confident in using a product that is designed to go on headlights than using some paint or other coating that isn't intended for that purpose.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by markn+ View Post
I don't understand the OP's concern that the UV coatings will "wash off". I refinished a pair of headlights with one of the 3M kits a couple of years ago and I see no sign at all that the coating is wearing off. I would feel more confident in using a product that is designed to go on headlights than using some paint or other coating that isn't intended for that purpose.
Most of the kits come with a little spray bottle of UV protectant, it's almost like a wax in that you have to wipe it on, buff it a bit after it "dries", and then re-apply every few months. It never actually hardens like the 3M wipes do.

My primary concern with the Krylon stuff is that it wouldn't be up to the abuse that headlights take and would start chipping off in short order, but I have no experience with it.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:54 PM
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I was wrong -- the product I used was this Sylvania kit, not 3M. As far as I can tell, the final UV protective coat dries to a hard finish and doesn't need to be reapplied.
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Old 10-13-2019, 12:36 PM
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I used https://www.amazon.com/3M-39008-Head...5VYW4AA4WH62RP and then used the 3m clearcoat kit https://www.amazon.com/3M-Quick-Head.../dp/B079QL8BYK

I needed to go back to Napa and buy a few more of the coarsest sandpaper as the kit wasn't quite enough to handle both headlights. Oddly, the Napa stuff had holes punched in the sandpaper which kept them from loading up and the lasted a lot longer than the kit sandpaper did.
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Old 10-14-2019, 11:59 PM
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My entire procedure; results last for years. Done this exact procedure on 3 different vehicles and they still look top notch.

Use DEET(OFF! or Cutter) To clean headlights, be very quick with it as it seemingly melts the plastic. It works in seconds and oxidation comes off with a paper towel, no scrubbing really needed. Repeat this a few times, then clean up with water and dry. High grit sandpaper next, then DEET again, then clean and polish. The DEET will melt closed the little dings, holes and scratches. Clean it again and hit it with regular automotive clear coat spray, misted and polished in, or Krylon Crystal Clear Acrylic. Make sure you tape off the car first or take the assemblies out.

Some may argue against it as people are finicky about what products they use (must be absolutely made for that purpose-types). The fact is, it works, results are much better than typical kit-jobs.

If its an older model, just order new headlamp assemblies and put them in, they are obnoxiouslly cheap for entire front sets and the aftermarket lenses typically don't have such low grade polycarbonate that oxidizes after months like some factory assemblies (Here's looking at you HONDA).

Last edited by anomalous1; 10-15-2019 at 12:00 AM.
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Old 10-15-2019, 06:48 AM
Francis Vaughan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anomalous1 View Post
Use DEET(OFF! or Cutter) To clean headlights, be very quick with it as it seemingly melts the plastic.
It isn't a matter of "seems to", DEET is a very effective solvent for quite a range of plastics.
The down side of most products or homespun techniques is the lack of a step that replaces the factory UV protection coating. Without this you will be stuck in a continual cycle of refinishing. Hence the OP's question.

Last edited by Francis Vaughan; 10-15-2019 at 06:48 AM.
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