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Discussion Starter #42
I put a couple hours in tonight. First, 2 sandings with 1200 grit, then 2 with 2000. Out of curiosity, I did the top ¼ of the shield again with 2 more sandings, then a bunch of rubbing compound, then polishing compound. Lots of sanding marks are left from the heavier grit papers, meaning a lot more 2000, then some 3000 will be needed to get the shield even close to usable.

Bottom line is; it's not worth it. I literally have bleeding fingers from the hand sanding. However, I think the shield that's on the bike now can be cleaned up and used a while longer. I just need to go no lower than 1200 grit when sanding the old clear coat off.

And John, yes, the 3M kit will probably work fine for you, or, you could try some Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound, followed by some McGuire's Polish. That may be enough without the sanding.

https://www.walmart.com/ip/Turtle-Wax-Renew-Rubbing-Compound/16888958

[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Meguiars-G12310-PlastX-Plastic-Cleaner/dp/B0000AY3SR/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517635613&sr=8-1&keywords=mcguires+plastic+polish[/ame]
 

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Hi all
it sounds like the 3M kit has had some success. it sounds like a finer final polish solution is required, ill have a chat next week with a mate who repairs & restores watches & see if he has anything in the magic bag.
ill post on here as soon as I get an answer.
 

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Dennis,
I tend to agree with you.
The sandpaper just scares me because 2/3rd of the lenses are still almost clear. Why scratch them up?

It is just the central port of the lens that is cloudy, I want to try and remove that.

On Cyndi's car, the 2005 Vibe that a deer totalled out, I had just bought new new headlight assemblies for it not two weeks before it was totalled!!!

I wanted to remove them and take them home..... but, on that car, you have to take off the entire front facia, bumper, and the two side fenders covers.... all that, just to uncover where the securing bolts are at :surprise:

so, I hope to prevent going thru that again... those thing are hugely expensive, even from JC Whitney where I bought them at half price compared to other places.
 

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Sorry Bike, , , and Dennis for "jumping" Johns previous question, I thought he was asking me, (Bluthunder=First name is Dennis also, and John and I had spoken on the phone a few hours earlier), the question. I'll wait for your answer to him next time. If I have "input" I'll wait , , , Sorry again
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Sorry Bike, , , and Dennis for "jumping" Johns previous question, I thought he was asking me, (Bluthunder=First name is Dennis also, and John and I had spoken on the phone a few hours earlier), the question. I'll wait for your answer to him next time. If I have "input" I'll wait , , , Sorry again

Well, you're going to have to change your name or it will be nothing but chaos and anarchy around here...>:)

No problem, really. The site relies on the opinions of the collective being boiled down to a usable suggestion. And, if nothing else, this collective is opinionated. But that's just my opinion...:grin3:

And besides all of that, you have the experience with the 3M product, so your opinion has some weight. And...if all that's not enough, I wondered why he was asking me. You were the one touting, and using, the product.

And the answer to that is; he was asking you.
 

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LOL, , In THAT case, , I agree with Dennis , , , (pick one) :grin3:

John, use blue Painters tape on all of the clear parts of the lights so they stay clear. Cover the blue tape with duct tape, or gorilla tape because the blue stuff comes off so easily. Duct tape/Gorilla tape on the lense will leave a sticky residue that can be a bugger to remove. Leaving the cloudy center part of the lense exposed for the compound & polish will almost certainly make it "blend" in with the clear part after you remove the tape.

I wonder if Dennis agrees, , , , hmmmmm :grin3:
 

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LOL, , In THAT case, , I agree with Dennis , , , (pick one) :grin3:

John, use blue Painters tape on all of the clear parts of the lights so they stay clear. Cover the blue tape with duct tape, or gorilla tape because the blue stuff comes off so easily. Duct tape/Gorilla tape on the lense will leave a sticky residue that can be a bugger to remove. Leaving the cloudy center part of the lense exposed for the compound & polish will almost certainly make it "blend" in with the clear part after you remove the tape.

I wonder if Dennis agrees, , , , hmmmmm :grin3:
I am going with the collective Dennis's the Menaces here >:)

y'all have talked me into not using sandpaper, just the compound and polish it up
 

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I did some unrelated work for a company that refinished plastic parts. Basically they suspended the parts over a vat of heated solvent that dissolved the surface, making it wet out. When the solvent evaporated the parts looked like new. Not that much different than how a parts cleaner works.

Warning: Some of those chemicals are carcinogenic.

IMO As much as one polishes with finer grits the scratches will just get smaller to become an annoyance with night driving, showing swirls.

You aren't looking through a headlight so a different process is needed.

If I ran across the stuff and the time to play with it I would try sanding down to as fine a grit as I could fully removing the protective layer. Then I would try a layer of window tint to give the gloss and restore scratch protection.

I should be able to get to the testing sometime in the next decade or two. My retirement has been a bit sporadic, worked four days last week plus hours of telephone consultation done for free.

That video raised two concerns. Never use Windex on acrylic as it crazes the plastic in time. The parts probably weren't acrylic but keep it in mind.

Secondly, the comment is made to re-wax every once in a while. How long is a while?
 

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After I clean up the back-up windshield, I'm planning on doing the Tahoe headlights, , , the PO must've parked headed-in against thick bushes ALOT!!!

John, are the headlights on the Vibe this bad?? Looks like I'll try the rubbing compound first, , , , but a nagging feeling makes me think it'll be sandpaper-time if the results aren't any good.

DRIVER HEADLIGHT



PASSENGER HEADLIGHT

 

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I think mine are worse than yours.

I definitely need to get to work on them.

The car was garaged for most of its' life, and the headlights were pretty clear until two years ago. Then we filled the garage with "honey do" projects and it has been outside ever since.

Wow, what a difference two years makes on headlights.





















What is your opinion, think it will have to be sandpapered first?
 

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naw, , , rubbing compound, polish/buffing compound first. . . you risk nothing by trying the "softer" approach first, , ,(except for a little time/elbow-grease)

IF you need sandpaper, you might not have to start out with the coarser grits, , , probably start with 800-1000 grit.

BTW, , , amazon has a $10 packet of 3 inch sandpaper grits (5 pieces at 6 grits for total of 30) and the velcro style cushioned pad for the drill. Good way to save some bucks. . .
 

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After I clean up the back-up windshield, I'm planning on doing the Tahoe headlights, , , the PO must've parked headed-in against thick bushes ALOT!!!

John, are the headlights on the Vibe this bad?? Looks like I'll try the rubbing compound first, , , , but a nagging feeling makes me think it'll be sandpaper-time if the results aren't any good.

DRIVER HEADLIGHT



PASSENGER HEADLIGHT

I know you want ot try and save some money, but this company has replacement headlights for most of the older vehicles and the prices aren't bad. Considering the amount of time and work ti takes to refinish the old lights, you can replace them with NEW.
https://www.headlightsdepot.com/
 

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Good info Cihilib, , , I looked mine up & they run $115 EACH+ free shipping, , ,

Retired, on a fixed income means I got a Helluva lot more "time" than money and a $10-27 expense is right in my "wheel-house". Each light might take an hour or two, , ,besides mama sees me outside working and is reluctant to think of any more "honey-do" crap :grin3:
 

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That's $222.00 for a set for my car, but they are listed as "out of stock".

that is comparable to what I paid J.C. Whitney for a set for our 2005 Vibe, which lasted us about 4 weeks because a buck deer totalled out that car...

sad story on that type of headlight.
the up/dn adjustment screw is buried deep inside the assembly, and if you run it too high, it falls off the screw threads and the beam drops all the way down to the bumper....

how do I know this? I was adjusting the passenger side and had it "almost right" and thunk! it fell off the screw.......... I was pissed, a brand new headlight, totally useless.

and what is worse, to get to the screw that secures it to the body, requires you to remove the entire front end, grill, bumper, and side fender skirts.
 

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The 1000 grit would've worked for the oxidation but did NOTHING about those "brush scratches". I had to begin with 240 grit and work my way up to 5000 grit. After the rubbing compound/polishing compound the headlights are "like new".
 

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When sanding,put a tablespoon of dishwasher soap in your water ,keeps the wet/dry sandpaper from clogging and not scratch so much,400 works good for starts and then the higher grit.
This will polish the plastic fine after sanding after 1000 sanding
Power buff at under 1600 rpm,don’t want to get it hot
 

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YEP, , , I dribble some DAWN liquid dish soap too, seems to work well.

Thanks for "sharing" Pure Texas, , ,wasn't trying to keep a secret, , just forgot to include that in my tips.
 
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