Headlight restore - 1) pitting 2) to lacquer or not?

Alan_uk

A2OC Donor
Hi guys. Just restored the NS headlight today as I felt it might be a MOT fail. I only did this about 18 months ago using a headlight restore kit that included a UV protection paste so bit disappointed to doing it again, especially since my mileage has been greatly reduced in recent times.

Here's today's before picture. It was very cloudy in patches.

Ready to restore.jpg


I used 400, 600, 1000, 1200, 2000, 3000 and 5000 wet & dry, alternating from vertical to horizontal between each grade and using a hand spray bottle with water to continuously wet. During the initial 400 the water was coming off a pale yellow colour.

Here's after the 5000 sanding:
After 5000 wet and dry.jpg


And then after polishing cream:
After polishing.jpg


I then switched on the dip and main beams:

Main on.jpg


Eagle eyed will notice some pitting particularly to the left side. I'm convinced this is on the inside of the headlight or within the plastic.

Comments welcome on this pitting and also any views on spraying the headlight with a clear lacquer before the UV paste.
 

audifan

A2OC Donor
It is worth sealing the headlight after sanding. The paste is more to level the surface and balance the finish rather than long term UV, salt, grit, oil etc protection. For that you need to use a UV stabilised lacquer.

Something like this

1600199193744.png
 

depronman

A2OC Donor
Any 2K clear car lacquer will do the job of keeping out the UV and this keep the lense clear. Don’t go too far on the polishing 1200 wee and dry is about right for lacquer any finer and you rush it having no key

Paul


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Alan_uk

A2OC Donor
Thanks guys. I do have some UV paste in the restore kit but it does seem to last. Maybe I didn't use enough or didn't re-apply frequently enough. Originally I did both headlights at the same time but the OS has faired much better than this NS one.

depronman you seem to be suggesting a lacquer also provides UV protection. i.e. need UV paste or lacquer. My reasoning for a lacquer is that it will be more hard wearing.

Bret is correct, the term is crazing and is within the polycarbonate plastic - I found this article
Have to live with it.
 

depronman

A2OC Donor
Thanks guys. I do have some UV paste in the restore kit but it does seem to last. Maybe I didn't use enough or didn't re-apply frequently enough. Originally I did both headlights at the same time but the OS has faired much better than this NS one.

depronman you seem to be suggesting a lacquer also provides UV protection. i.e. need UV paste or lacquer. My reasoning for a lacquer is that it will be more hard wearing.

Bret is correct, the term is crazing and is within the polycarbonate plastic - I found this article
Have to live with it.
Yes use lacquer to provide the up stability
It works on paint was my reading some years ago so should work on the head light lense
I did mind some years ago now and they are still perfectly clear. The lacquer does also provide some protection against wear and stone chipping

Paul


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kp 115

A2OC Donor
Hi guys. Just restored the NS headlight today as I felt it might be a MOT fail. I only did this about 18 months ago using a headlight restore kit that included a UV protection paste so bit disappointed to doing it again, especially since my mileage has been greatly reduced in recent times.

Here's today's before picture. It was very cloudy in patches.

View attachment 69951

I used 400, 600, 1000, 1200, 2000, 3000 and 5000 wet & dry, alternating from vertical to horizontal between each grade and using a hand spray bottle with water to continuously wet. During the initial 400 the water was coming off a pale yellow colour.

Here's after the 5000 sanding:
View attachment 69952

And then after polishing cream:
View attachment 69953

I then switched on the dip and main beams:

View attachment 69954

Eagle eyed will notice some pitting particularly to the left side. I'm convinced this is on the inside of the headlight or within the plastic.

Comments welcome on this pitting and also any views on spraying the headlight with a clear lacquer before the UV paste.
Hi Alan,
My splittable headlights have this as well it looks like crazed lacquer internally, but not sure , it may just be dirty interior surface that needs cleaning with glass cleaner etc
Hth
Keith
 

Alan_uk

A2OC Donor
It is worth sealing the headlight after sanding. The paste is more to level the surface and balance the finish rather than long term UV, salt, grit, oil etc protection. For that you need to use a UV stabilised lacquer.

Something like this [E-TECH Restored Headlight Headlamp Protect Clear Coat Lacquer Sealer 200ml]
Out of stock on many websites including the manufacturer but found some on ebay seller ignitionline. £8.99 including delivery for Saturday. Will cut back first using 1000 grit.
 

mrbroons

Well-Known Member
Be careful that any coating doesn’t change the refraction rating of the lens. This can and has happened, I found this when I looked into it for my video on restoration of lights.



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Last edited:

Rusty911

A2OC Donor
Personally I'm not a fan of lacquering: it makes it much harder to restore the lights later on as you need to remove it before making progress. I much prefer just to leave them as polished plastic and quickly re-polish every six months or so (which is never as bad as the first time).

I simply go to about 1500 then use G3 in the rotary polisher, then keep waxed thereafter. Simples!
 
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