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DIY'er
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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DIY'er
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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Here we go..

First, you do not need one of those "kits". Go buy a pack of 200 grit, 600 grit and ~1000 grit sand paper. The last two should be wet/dry

Basically the idea is to sand off all the old clear coat and any scratches, and yellow plastic, then put a new coat of clear coat on them.

Start by taping up the car to protect it--keep an eye on the tape. I had to add more a few times as I was wearing through it


Here's sanding with 200 grit--see how nasty and yellow the dust is? That's why your headlight isn't clear!


Close up


Yes, they should look like this at this point. See how they're starting to turn white? That is good


Another angle


Close up--notice dust is turning white. That means you're through the yellow gunk


Some yellow and white dust


Close up--little scratches like this need to be gone before going to 600 grit. If you can really catch it with your fingernail, worse than the scratches the sand paper is leaving, then you haven't sanded enough most likely


Most of these are fine


Don't be scared!
 

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DIY'er
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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Once all the major gunk is gone, switch to 600 grit. Get a squirt bottle, put some dish washing soap + water in it. Use it to keep the head light and sandpaper wet. Keep cleaning the white gunk off the sand paper every little bit

Should look something like this:


Ew


Getting a little more clear..


Other side


Keeep sanding


Here it is after 1000 grit + it's wet


Here is after 1000 grit but dry.. this is enough sanding






That's enough sanding! Ignore the guides that say go to 1500, 2000, 3000, buffer, etc. etc. You don't need to do all that.
 

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DIY'er
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Paint time! You need an automotive grade exterior clear coat (will have UV protection in it)

This is right before paint--mask off the back of the light, computers, etc. I hit this with 1200 grit one last time


Both


Here's what they really look like


About to be painted (actually this may be right after first coat, I can't tell in the picture)


One more, pretty sure this has paint on it (actually, the bottom section of plastic is still clear, so maybe it doesn't. Regardless, you get the idea)
 

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DIY'er
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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
This is right after clear coat was put on---looks really white, but will go clear once it starts to dry



Another angle


Starting to clear out a little


More


There we go


In the oven (you don't need this $100K oven, lol, but it will take a lot longer to dry without one)


In the oven, condensation is another issue and was there before this


Out of the oven--water is a little better


ta-da!


BAM
 

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DIY'er
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
And last bit of info--depending on how much dirt ends up in the clear coat, you may have to wet sand that with 2000 or 3000 grit until it's smooth, then buff out those spots. I had one spot that was pretty bad that I did that to today, but that was from a mess up. We took it them of the oven and somehow got one dirty before putting it back in, and the paint was still sticky enough for it to mess it up.

Overall, not that bad, and amazing results IMO
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
HVLP paint gun was used to paint them. The paint used was an exterior clear coat that BMW uses but it's from a German manufacturer so it's not a name most people could get. I'd recommend going to a local auto paint store and getting any decent exterior clear coat. Sherwin Williams and PPG are probably the most common. Maybe DuPont as well

Hope that helps.
 

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Loving my car.
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Wow, amazing.. Awesome post!

I feel a bit silly now having lived since 2006 with white paint transfer that ended up on my headlight the scene day I had my car!

Edit: I misjudged the turning radius while parking.. The white paint was from the parking structure..
 

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Great post with awesome looking results. I did mine (again) a couple months ago using the Sylvania kit with much better results than the first time with a cheapo kit.

A small tip that might save you some time and some tape - Rather than taping off the hood above the headlight, you might consider just popping the hood and lifting it up a little bit.
 
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