headlight restoration [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: headlight restoration

06-26-2012, 10:23 PM
can anyone tell me what the best headlight restoration kit is?

06-27-2012, 07:35 AM
can anyone tell me what the best headlight restoration kit is?

How bad are they? there are kits on the market but not all are the same. Really the things that are needed to clean most headlights are cheap and available in all auto parts stores, that can be used for many applications

06-27-2012, 10:12 AM
they're not too bad however they are a bit worn and one side is brighter than the other because I had it replaced..i would just like to get a nice even clearness out of both of them.

06-27-2012, 03:17 PM
they're not too bad however they are a bit worn and one side is brighter than the other because I had it replaced..i would just like to get a nice even clearness out of both of them.

All the kits that are available on the market are a chemical based polish with a piece of 3000 grit sand paper. This sandpaper is super fine and with some wet sanding it removes the surface crud.

Then the polish removes the fine sand marks and leaves the plastic clear and clean.

The way I go about this is with the 3000 grit sand paper, wet the surface with some water in a spray bottle and lightly sand the plastic, its going to look very dull and it should. You will also start to see brown water look stuffing coming off that the crud you are removing. Then with the polish and a cotton rag (not micro fiber) polish the lens and with some elbow grease(not much) the lens will POP back to clear.

The polish that I use is Poorboys World Pro-Polish excellent polish for about any use on the car not just plastic..its a paint cleaner

bill grimshaw
07-02-2012, 03:00 PM
I have done a lot of research into all these kits that are available. Most of them use technology that we in the DVD repair industry abandoned years ago - in that initially they cause more damage than they repair. The reality with hazing is it is normally only a few microns deep and is easily removed with a suitable polish. I cannot vouch for other polishes but we will have a system available soon. In the meantime I would look to a kit that does not use sandpapers as they are not necessary on 95% of hazy headlights. Also the combination of the type of pad and polish are critical to ensuring a good result.
Sorry I cannot send a solution at this stage however if you buy some finishing compound (the one that takes our 1000 grit sandpaper marks). Mix this 60% polish with 40% water and shake well. This is best sprayed on the lens as you work an area. You can pick up a rubber type finishing pad at most auto shops and give it a go. Do not apply too much pressure but work small areas at a time. Each light should not take more than 10 minutes. When you have finished wash of thoroughly with a little soap and water. Allow to dry. We normally finish of with a suitable glass cleaner spray and wipe with a micro-fibre cloth. If the finish is not perfect just re-do the process. The polish once watered down will not damage the paintwork, so no need for masking off the headlight. Hope this helps.

07-14-2012, 11:51 PM
I made my own kit.

Bill, I had to sand with 400 grit wet dry sandpaper to remove the scratches and dings in my plastic lens (E39, 9 years old). So I guess in MY situatiuon the grit was necessary. It tool 10-20 minutes of hand sanding. It could NOT have been done with jsut finishing compound....

I followed this with 800, 1200, 1800, 2000 grit. Note that after the 400 was done, the job changes from 'removing scratches' to 'repolsihing the plastic'.

Then light compound, then Menzerna SIP then Menzerna Micro Polish. This last with a random orbital.

You MUST mask paint in case the pad contacts the paint- with compound on the pad, even diluted, you can get damage.

My two cents. Lots of good DIYs posted.

(and I know you were asking about a kit... ;) )


07-15-2012, 01:58 AM
***8220;Headlight Restoration***8221; - http://www.autopia.org/forum/autopia-detailing-wiki/141706-headlight-restoration.html#post1506615

07-15-2012, 02:12 AM
Wetsand then polish.

07-16-2012, 02:48 AM
Original equipment material (OEM) suppliers started to add ultra violet resistant (UV) coating to the surface of the lens in an attempt to reduce this condition and prolong the usable life of the lens. This protective coating is very thin (25 (microns or 1 Mil)

Removing oxidation or scratches from vehicle headlights or brake lights (also polycarbonate) also removes the OEM ultra violet protection, which prematurely decreases the durability of the lens. Surfaces that have yellowed are a sign that the ultra violet (UV) sacrificial coating has failed and must be resurfaced and recoated.

Ultra Violet Protection - polishing or wet-sanding headlights without renewing their UV protection is a false economy, unless this protection is replaced, the end result is that you'll have to do them again in a few months (repeat this polishing process enough and there will be no material left to work with)

In order to restore the lens back to its OEM standards a new ultra violet (UV) resistant coating must be re-applied. Use Optimum Opti-Coat***8482;, which will provide ultra violet (UV) protection, a 2-4 (microns) film and a hardness of 9H (Pencil Hardness) when fully cross-linked and provides a semi-permanent coating.

07-16-2012, 02:59 PM
wetsand, then polish. then wax.




09-22-2012, 08:30 PM
I've had very good luck simply using my Flex DA oribital polisher as follows:

1. Mask the surrounding areas
2. Pass #1: Use orange pad and Meguiars M105 (http://www.detailedimage.com/wax.php?id=12368&url=detailedimage.com/Meguiars-M43/Ultra-Cut-Compound-M105-P388/8-oz-S3/) compound.
3. Pass #2: Use white pad and Use Meguiars M205 (http://www.detailedimage.com/wax.php?id=12368&url=detailedimage.com/Meguiars-M43/Ultra-Finishing-Polish-205-P389/8-oz-S3/) to finish.
4. Wipe down with diluted alcohol to remove the carriers oils of the compound and polish.
5. Apply a sealant like Klasse All in One (http://www.detailedimage.com/wax.php?id=12368&url=detailedimage.com/Klasse-M6/All-In-One-AIO-P54/500-ml-S1/) to provide much needed UV protection.
6. Reapply Klasse monthly to ensure UV protection is maintained

Elapsed time: 20 to 25 minutes, including masking.

I've found that using these products works well in absolute terms, and there's the added benefits that the products can (and should) be used on the entire vehicle. Why invest in specialized lens cleaning products that can only be used on lenses?

Good luck.