Handyman Wire

Who's Online
1 registered (1 invisible), 204 Guests and 2 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Welcome Newcomers
Unregistered users may only post in the handyman forum. If you register, you may post in any forum and use of CAPTCHA code is not required.
Advertisement
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#939775 - 05/30/18 10:51 AM Foggy plastic headlight lens
Able_Dog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 54907
Loc: Huntsville AL
Supposedly can be restored with a heat gun. Anybody know about it from first hand experience?

Top
#939778 - 05/30/18 11:06 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: Able_Dog]
JasonB Offline
Sharp -Shooter
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/27/04
Posts: 16880
Loc: Cape Spencer, New Brunswick, C...
Yeesh, you can try that one.... I'll stick to the polishing kits!

The headlight lens gets foggy because of UV damage to the surface of the plastic. Basically causes a rough, crazed surface, like dried out clay soil, almost, under magnification. Everything I've seen that works long term uses abrasive to remove the degraded layer.

I would guess that a heat gun _might_ work, but you'd have to get the surface of the plastic hot enough to "reflow" (depending on the specific plastic - you're not going to reflow polycarbonate, for instance), but there's probably not much margin between positive results and burning or severely distorting the plastic.

I do see some reference to the technique online, but not much confirming good results.

J
_________________________
er, somethin'....

Top
#939780 - 05/30/18 11:08 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: JasonB]
CabinConnection Offline
Bigfoot
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/20/04
Posts: 53260
Loc: The Indianhead's Left Nostril....
Never tried it myself, but echo what Jason said.

Top
#939809 - 05/30/18 01:08 PM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: JasonB]
Able_Dog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 54907
Loc: Huntsville AL
Originally Posted By JasonB
Yeesh, you can try that one.... I'll stick to the polishing kits!

The headlight lens gets foggy because of UV damage to the surface of the plastic. Basically causes a rough, crazed surface, like dried out clay soil, almost, under magnification. Everything I've seen that works long term uses abrasive to remove the degraded layer.

I would guess that a heat gun _might_ work, but you'd have to get the surface of the plastic hot enough to "reflow" (depending on the specific plastic - you're not going to reflow polycarbonate, for instance), but there's probably not much margin between positive results and burning or severely distorting the plastic.

I do see some reference to the technique online, but not much confirming good results.

J


Tend to agree, they tried polishing kits but not long lasting. Looked at a couple of utubes and the one that looked good to me polished with (wet) 400, 600 then 2000 grit then an alcohol wipe then three coats of anti-UV clear coat then a yet finer wet sanding after 24 hours (forget the grit) then a polishing wax.

They looked bright and shiny after all that.

May try one and see what it looks like, replacement is not cheap.

I agree there seems to be a heartbeat from the flow to the scorch with the heat gun.

Top
#939887 - 05/31/18 01:04 PM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: Able_Dog]
Able_Dog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 54907
Loc: Huntsville AL
Hears the one that looks good to me. I think I'm going to try it on my daughter's car.


Top
#939995 - 06/02/18 07:17 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: Able_Dog]
Bob_Q Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 18089
Loc: Albany area,New York
Able,before you go to what looks like a lot of time and effort,try THIS . My wife used it on my g'daughters old Golf. I could not believe the results. That was several months ago and they are still clear.

According to a search,you can also get it at Walmart and Target. Maybe others.
_________________________
It must get boring preaching to the choir.

Top
#940060 - 06/03/18 08:49 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: Bob_Q]
Able_Dog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 54907
Loc: Huntsville AL
Originally Posted By Bob_Q
Able,before you go to what looks like a lot of time and effort,try THIS . My wife used it on my g'daughters old Golf. I could not believe the results. That was several months ago and they are still clear.

According to a search,you can also get it at Walmart and Target. Maybe others.


Read a few good reviews on the stuff and they were pretty consistent that it works but it is a lot more work than advertised and it appears it's the wet and dry 2000 grit that does the job not the chemical which is a top coating.

I already have the materials 2000 grit wet and dry and clear coat. I think we're pretty much talking about the same thing.
The polishing of the lens with wet and dry is the remedy and also the work, (I don't expect that to be a lot of work, but perhaps time consuming).

Here's a partial review which is typical of what the other good reviews said: Thanks for the input.

Quote:
According to the instructions inside this package, you should "prep" your headlights until they look clear when wet. In my experience, that's a misleading statement. In my opinion, you need to scrub with the little pad until your headlights feel totally smooth. If you can feel any roughness or grit anywhere on the surface of a headlight, then you need to continue scrubbing. Depending on how dirty your headlights have become, this could take as much as an hour of STRENUOUS scrubbing! Unfortunately, the manufacturer isn't honest about this point.

In my case, I scrubbed one headlight until it was smooth. After I spent MORE time scrubbing the other headlight, I decided to give up, even though it still felt a little rough. Consequently, after I applied the Wipe New final step and allowed it to dry for 24 hours under recommended conditions, I was left with the first headlight looking great but the second headlight still a little hazy. It turns out that Wipe New itself is just a protective top coat; the actual "restoration" process occurs during the "prep" work. This is not surprising because if you look at the reviews for competing products like from Turtlewax, you see that many people only achieve good results after a lot of "elbow grease."

Top
#940064 - 06/03/18 09:19 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: Able_Dog]
notnew2diy Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/18/06
Posts: 4951
Loc: harvard, il.
Gotta RO sander?
Buy 2k grit and use the tool.
Take care to not burn thru the plastic.

HTH...good luck...notnew...
_________________________
Thanks to all US military veterans.

Top
#940065 - 06/03/18 10:03 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: notnew2diy]
Able_Dog Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/07/03
Posts: 54907
Loc: Huntsville AL
Originally Posted By notnew2diy
Gotta RO sander?
Buy 2k grit and use the tool.
Take care to not burn thru the plastic.

HTH...good luck...notnew...


Got a couple of them but hook and loop attachment.

Top
#942476 - 07/23/18 05:48 AM Re: Foggy plastic headlight lens [Re: Able_Dog]
kodak_jack Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/24/03
Posts: 4771
Loc: Rochester,NY
In most cases, unless you remove the headlight assembly, there is body work nearby that can get ruined with a power tool. I have one lens that has to be done. I guess the hand scrub is in my future. There are so many brands out there, including one from Silvania, how do you know which works best?

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >

Moderator:  CabinConnection, Ernie 


Experts | Email Us | Disclaimer | HandymanWire home
Articles | We welcome your feedback.| Privacy
http://www.handymanwire.com
Handyman Wire
your resource for advice on home improvement and repairs.
Copyright ©1999-2016, Handyman USA LLC.
All rights reserved.