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Old 10-04-2007, 02:28 AM   #1
MistrThou
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Default Headlight Restoration w/pics

So driving home last night from Whitewater, I realized that my headlights sucked. I had no visible pattern, and even the highbeams sucked. Finally decided to use this $19.95 headlight restorer kit I bought from Wal-Mart. I've been looking forward to making a serious step by step thread with pictures for some time now. I usually forget to grab the camera till it's too late. So here we go:

These are the before-shots.






With the kit, I also used a bowl with water to rinse the sandpaper, and a spray bottle to spray/rinse the headlights.
Now this is the kit and contents purchased from Walmart. It has a lifetime warranty on the product, meaning if applied properly, the kit's contents are warrantied for life.
The kit comes with two grades of wet only sandpaper. Also has 2 chemicals, the first being a rubbing compound, the later being a finish/sealant. Has 2 tubes of the first, one for each headlight.
Has 4 of the second, so each headlight can get 2 coats.



One more before shot of the left headlight before I began sanding.


This shot is taken after I vigorously sanded the right headlight (on the left) with the first grade of sandpaper. I spent about 8 minutes or so on it, though the directions said about 3-4.


Then I sanded for about 5 minutes with the fine sand paper.

Here are the shots post sanding.





Then I applied the rubbing compound, rubbed it in, and kept rubbing while it dried. Then I wiped the residue off with a damp paper towel.

Here are the pictures post compound. Notice no yellow at the top of the headlight anymore.




And after two final coats of the sealer, on both sides, here is the end result.




With the headlights on, you can see that the light passes through instead of being diffused by the hazy plastic.



Upon driving, I notice a significant gain in beam pattern, I can see where the beams actually point on the garage door.

Using high beams now illuminate a higher field of vision, instead of making the lowsy beams a tad bit brigher.

My next step it to buy some sylvania XR bulbs.

-Travis
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:02 AM   #2
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Ecodes solve many problems.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:11 AM   #3
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Ecodes solve many problems.
Not for $19.95
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:54 AM   #4
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Shoulda Flitz'd it!

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Your car lacks ghetto.
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:55 AM   #5
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Not for $19.95
Orly?
http://cgi.ebay.de/FRONTSCHEINWERFER...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.de/volvo-740-gl-vord...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.de/volvo-740-gl-vord...QQcmdZViewItem
http://cgi.ebay.de/Volvo-740-Scheinw...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 10-04-2007, 07:09 AM   #6
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how much would shipping be though? and how would you pay?
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Old 10-04-2007, 10:51 AM   #7
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Seriously looks great dude. You talked me into trying it out myself. How much total time did you spend on the whole process?
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:48 AM   #8
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Not exactly true! You wouldn't be able to buy both e-codes lights for $20! Besides your missing alot of other parts for the entire conversion which includes a new front grille, corners/indicators, grille mounting brackets, new front grille and a new 960 front hood with the narrower front(matches the grille, although not necessary for it to work).

Nice restoration!
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Old 10-04-2007, 11:54 AM   #9
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awesome work, i have always wondered what type of results could be had from using that stuff.. i need to do that with my crown vic and now that i see the results you got i will get on it
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:40 PM   #10
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I did this more or less and it worked great! I just polished and waxed them when did the car. I just used a cutting compound, a polishing compound, and then wax.
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Old 10-04-2007, 12:45 PM   #11
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Seriously looks great dude. You talked me into trying it out myself. How much total time did you spend on the whole process?
Thanks. I spent total 30-40 minutes. Includes getting together the other things I needed.
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Dex740Turbo View Post
Not exactly true! You wouldn't be able to buy both e-codes lights for $20! Besides your missing alot of other parts for the entire conversion which includes a new front grille, corners/indicators, grille mounting brackets, new front grille and a new 960 front hood with the narrower front(matches the grille, although not necessary for it to work).

Nice restoration!
The ones without fog light would be a direct fit to what you already have. The fog light ones, yes you would need a grill and turn signals but that about it. Trust me it worth th extra cost. But I also know the polish method make a world of difference on plastic headlights. Nice work!
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:33 PM   #13
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ecodes on 940= awsomeness
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Old 10-04-2007, 01:55 PM   #14
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The ones without fog light would be a direct fit to what you already have. The fog light ones, yes you would need a grill and turn signals but that about it. Trust me it worth th extra cost. But I also know the polish method make a world of difference on plastic headlights. Nice work!
I know, my car has a full set of 960 e-codes and I love it. Lighting at night is far superior compared to the non-fogs headlamps. You do need the metal brackets though, unless you ziptie it, you can grab those from a yard from a non-ecode 960 w/fogs.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:15 PM   #15
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headlight RESTORATION thread, not complain about stockers and boast the e-codes thread.
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Old 10-04-2007, 02:22 PM   #16
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headlight RESTORATION thread, not complain about stockers and boast the e-codes thread.
sorry! I didn't start it ***points finger at buzz and tjts***
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Old 10-04-2007, 03:17 PM   #17
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I had to do a similar thing to a 2000 ford escort. Took almost an hour just to get one passable. I used a two stage kit from Meguires(?) and a DA 5" buffer.


The e-code lamps with the fog lights look almost identical to the 780 e-code lamps.

I wonder if they are close?

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The ones without fog light would be a direct fit to what you already have. The fog light ones, yes you would need a grill and turn signals but that about it. Trust me it worth th extra cost. But I also know the polish method make a world of difference on plastic headlights. Nice work!
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I can see how thats a good idea if you ride her hard

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Old 02-25-2019, 06:12 PM   #18
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12 year bump.
Anyone know what kit was used by the OP here?
I see it was purchased at Walmart, but because Photobucket, I can't see the photos.

The headlights on my wife's minivan could use restoration. I remember them being bright when new, but the low beam is definitely dimmer now. They're not yellowed, but 13 years and 120,000 miles have given them kind of a matte finish instead of clear.

Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit had pretty good reviews online and is only around $20 on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-Head...gateway&sr=8-2

Anyone try the Sylvania kit?
I figure I can't make the headlights much worse.
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:09 PM   #19
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Personally I wouldn't waste my time hand buffing, the 3m kit is cheaper and uses your drill to do the work.

3M Headlight Lens Restoration System Restorer Kit 39008 Buffing Polish Plastic $15.70

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Old 02-25-2019, 07:27 PM   #20
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Lotta ways to skin a cat. I sanded mine by hand and sprayed on some clearcoat.


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Old 02-25-2019, 08:12 PM   #21
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Finally some pics! Lookin good Mr. Lahey.
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Old 02-25-2019, 08:15 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cwazywazy View Post
Lotta ways to skin a cat. I sanded mine by hand and sprayed on some clearcoat.


Or #600 -> #800 -> #1000 -> #1500 -> white diamond rubbing compound -> black magic finishing compound if you have the paint surfacing stuff anyway.
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Old 05-09-2020, 08:02 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ursan View Post
I had to do a similar thing to a 2000 ford escort. Took almost an hour just to get one passable. I used a two stage kit from Meguires(?) and a DA 5" buffer.


The e-code lamps with the fog lights look almost identical to the 780 e-code lamps.

I wonder if they are close?
Love the RD quote. Brings back memories of my boys and me watching Late night tv.
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Old 09-07-2020, 12:45 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by alschnertz View Post
Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit had pretty good reviews online and is only around $20 on Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-Head...gateway&sr=8-2
Finally did this headlight restoration with the Sylvania kit.
Took about 1-1/2 hrs. Results are amazing and the lights look like new.

Time will tell on how well they hold up.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Headlights dull small.JPG (59.4 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg Headlights restored small.JPG (61.5 KB, 49 views)

Last edited by alschnertz; 09-07-2020 at 03:38 PM.. Reason: add photos
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