How to:Stop oxidation of headlights with no upkeep
Wanna keep those new or restored headlights from oxidizing without expensive chemicals requiring routine upkeep? Yes or no?
YES? : Good for you! Keep reading..I'll tell ya
NO? : Too bad!! READ IT
Restoring headlights does a lot for your vehicle's overall look, but the oxidation returns quickly...most of the time worse than before. That is because while removing oxidation you've also removed the remaining UV/protectant coating, leaving the porous lens helpless to the elements. Lets fix that for good using paint protection film. OK enough BS lets get to it.
Paint protection film - acquire from internet or ask a local tint shop if you can purchase a small amount. I used Llumar
Hard Card - to squeegee film..like a bondo spreader will work
Sharpie - permanent marker
Paper Towels - come on....you know what those are
Transfer Tape - only need enough to cover drivers side lights.
Spray bottle - a bottle....that sprays
Soapy water - baby shampoo preferred but not a big deal. about 1/2 to 1 teaspoon to a quart
Razor knife - snap blade type(the tip must remain sharp/smooth or you may etch whatever glass you are cutting on)I used a red dot Olfa cutter
Rubbing Alcohol - 50/50 mix rubbing alcohol and water
Lay transfer tape on headlight/sidemarker and smooth it all down.Trace the edge of the lights, trying to stay close as possible to edge
Lay the transfer tape on glass(sliding glass door,glass table top,wherever)to cut out patterns. Snap blade often to ensure clean cutting and keep glass from getting etched. Cut on the INSIDE of your line. You do not want it to overlap much or you'll have to cut it on your headlight.
Spray the glass and lay the paint protection on it with the release liner TOWARDS the glass (don't peal the liner just have liner side toward glass) and lightly squeegee out. This is just to hold it in place while cutting.
Lay patterns you cut out of transfer tape and arrange to use the least amount of film.
Cut out patterns. Again, remember to snap the blade often. Attachment 209690
Now, spray glass and lay the same amount of paint protection you used to do the drivers side this time with release liner facing AWAY from the glass(this way its a mirrored image) lay the tape patterns on in the same way as before(dont flip them to match the passenger side, we already took care of that by flipping the paint protection).
Cut out and flip the patterns you just cut.
Clean headlight thoroughly, be sure to clean above and on surrounding area so when you are applying the film the water doesnt carry it down and ruin your install. Now with clean wet fingers peal the release liner carefully and spray it down(on the side you just pealed) be sure to get it real wet, this is to allow it to slide :wink:eh...eh...Ok ok while you position it on light. Make sure you are using the soapy water. Now when its in position, spray the film and squeegee out the water from underneath using the card. If the cards edge isn't completely smooth, wrap with a paper towel to avoid scratches. Now start lightly at first, its gonna slide around. once its tacked in place follow with more firm squeegee. Follow the pattern below in this order RED WHITE BLUE YELLOW .
Now wrap card in paper towel and go over squeegeeing several times to ensure all water is out. Dry off edges carefully and you are done. Now if you have a spot on the edge that wont stay down or is "fingering"(binding on a curve or edge making the film pop up in an elongated bubble from one edge) like below, use the alcohol/water mixture to spray between film and lens this will help adhesion..then squeegee in direction of arrow. Also, water on the edge will cause it to finger so be sure to dry up those edges.
Repeat for the rest and you are done.
Thats it. Hope you enjoyed and it wasn't too long. This was my first write up.... Im sure I will be editing the cr@p outta this for the next few days.
2nd gens have more contours and will be fun
2nd gen owner here with the new warranty enhancement headlights...this needs to be done soon. Looks like a new truck with sparkly headlights.
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