Headlight Restoration - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 02:23 AM Thread Starter
km3
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Headlight Restoration

I've read the main thread on restoring headlights with oxidation but I could not seem to pull a definitive answer out. I'll post some pictures tomorrow to show the exact severity but can someone tell me what the best solution for this is? I've read abrasives look good at first but then they quickly return to their previous condition even faster since the UV coat was removed. Then there is that one solution, Pittman's ALR but it doesn't seem to fully "restore" the headlight. Any suggestions on the what the best solution would be? Explain how to and why please.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 10:01 AM
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Re: Headlight Restoration

Not sure about how to restore headlights but once you get them nice and clear invest in some lamin-x headlight film, that should keep them from becoming oxidized again.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 10:18 AM
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Re: Headlight Restoration

[quote author=burgmo3 link=topic=192420.msg4053183#msg4053183 date=1308578489]
Not sure about how to restore headlights but once you get them nice and clear invest in some lamin-x headlight film, that should keep them from becoming oxidized again.
[/quote]

My thoughts exactly.

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-20-2011, 12:22 PM
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Re: Headlight Restoration

I've heard on a few detailing forums that 3m makes a really good headlight restoration kit. I think it comes with an adapter to attach a polishing pad to a drill. I wouldn't try sanding anything on a car unless you have some kind of experience.

Corksport SRI - 35/5% tint - Sumitomo HTR Z - MTX Audio - Lamin-x headlight/foglight film - Part Plaza eyelids - 6000k DDM HID- SR*S Exhaust - Hypertech - Grounded TB - VG Sharkfin Antenna - Mazda Club Of Kansas City http://www.mazdaclubkc.com/
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight Restoration

I wouldn't have a problem paying for film as long as it can withstand UV rays and actually hold up. I might check with my tint shop and see what they have, they offer a lifetime guarantee on their products and services so maybe that might be a good route to go. As far as which restoration kit, I've been reading up on the different ones. People were saying the 3m is pretty good but tougher on the rounded headlights due to the flat disc attachments. Would I need to use a clear coat or sealant after I polish the headlights if I am going to put a film on? That's another thing, I don't which product to finish it off with.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-21-2011, 12:27 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Headlight Restoration

Almost forgot, took some pictures of the oxidation this morning.

P.S. I know the angel eyes are coming of on the left side, the previous owner did those, not me. Putting a fresh set in next week though!





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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 10:55 AM
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Re: Headlight Restoration

The 3M restoration kit is the best kit, considering I recently just used it and it worked great. Just follow the directions strict
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-24-2011, 12:00 PM
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Re: Headlight Restoration

I've used the 3M kit on 3 cars already. It's wonderful. It's not an oxidation remover (like Meguiar's Plast X or any of those other brands' "restoration kits&quot It actually removes imperfections like scratches thanks to the sanding. Make sure to get the kit that does include sealant, or buy sealant. You can also use wax but you'll have to reapply.


Keep in mind that doing this to your headlights isn't a one-time process. You'll have to do it again in a while, just like you have to clay bar your car every couple of months. If I was you, I'd do a complete outer detailing on your car along with this, so you can do it all together the next time. If you want to guarantee the best result, wash and clay your headlights too, then do the 3M kit. You'll have incredible results taking your headlights off rather than on the car.
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-28-2011, 07:51 PM
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Re: Headlight Restoration

I bought the 3M kit last month and was a bit skeptical about it. Turned out to do the trick quite well. Ignorantly, I did not follow up with a clear coat or anything of the sort so I guess I'll have to be doing this yet again when they start looking too hazy to withstand. My headlights weren't badly oxidized, but it was enough to bother the crap out of me. I would highly recommend getting a kit with the drill attachment as hand sanding these could take you a very long time depending on how badly oxidized your lights are.

I agree working on your lights off of the car would be much easier and you wouldn't run the risk of slipping onto the hood with your drill (did that within the first few seconds and decided to put 2 coats of masking tape around the edge of the lights :shock and being able to sand every inch of it. I couldn't get the sharp front corner of the lights because the drill attachment was too big, but the area missed is so small that you wouldn't notice it anyway.

Before:


After:


(BTW first post here Woo!)
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 06-29-2011, 12:02 AM Thread Starter
km3
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Re: Headlight Restoration

Wow, looks great. Might have to pick one of those up myself. What would you recommend as far as a clear coat? I will do it when I take my headlights off to install the angel eyes. Huge difference though. How are they holding up right now despite the lack of clear coat?

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