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Buffing Headlights

Discussion in '1st Gen. Tacomas (1995-2004)' started by freeclimb10, Jul 4, 2010.

  1. Jul 4, 2010 at 6:35 PM
    #1
    freeclimb10

    freeclimb10 [OP] Active Member

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    Is it true you can remove your headlights and buff them to get the hazing/fogging out? Mine are far from clear and not only does it look bad, it makes it difficult to see at night, they're not NEAR as bright as i'd like em. If not does anyone have a reccomendation for nice bright head/tail lights?
     
  2. Jul 4, 2010 at 6:37 PM
    #2
    ColtsTRD

    ColtsTRD .....

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    you can remove em or leave em in...what ever is easier for you. You can get the rubbing compound from any auto zone or checker. just get an electric orbital buffer and go nuts :)
     
  3. Jul 4, 2010 at 6:52 PM
    #3
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    getting there....
    you can take them out or leave them in.....like Scott said...whatever is easier for you. i have tried a few of the headlight restore kits......the mothers kit was ok. i usually just use my powerball mini/cordless drill and some scratch-x or normal car polish...works decently. im gonna try the new kit that chip foose was advertising tho.
     
  4. Jul 4, 2010 at 7:11 PM
    #4
    StAndrew

    StAndrew Wait for it...

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    What if you have fog inside?
     
  5. Jul 4, 2010 at 7:16 PM
    #5
    WV_Tacoma

    WV_Tacoma Well-Known Member

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    Not enough
    yes, they can make a very shitty looking used light look close to new. I use an expensive 50$ set of wax for this but I think the trick is really in the power of your buffer. Mine works best using my Portacable professional buffer, it really needed the extra power to make them look like new.
     
  6. Jul 4, 2010 at 7:24 PM
    #6
    ColtsTRD

    ColtsTRD .....

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    the key is to pop the back off and let all the moisture evaporate out and then properly seal it with a clear silicone based sealer, like a clear window caulk or something...something thats non cracking and moisture resistant
     
  7. Jul 4, 2010 at 7:27 PM
    #7
    toycar18

    toycar18 Well-Known Member

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    3M makes a nice kit that comes with sand paper to attach to a drill to wet sand with several different grits and finish with a rubbing compound. It works really well. Probably one of the best kits out there IMO.
     
  8. Jul 4, 2010 at 8:24 PM
    #8
    tacomaman06

    tacomaman06 Carolina Alliance: Enforcer

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    yep...thats a great kit, but you really need to use it with an electric plug in type drill. i did it with my cordless, and it was only so so.
     
  9. Jul 4, 2010 at 8:48 PM
    #9
    ETaco23

    ETaco23 Marshall offroad Fabrication

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    I got a a brand I tryed, but I just used elbow grease and it didnt do great. This summer Im ganna have to get the Power Ball buffer, Ive been putting it off for too long. :)
     
  10. Jul 4, 2010 at 9:02 PM
    #10
    SlurpeeBlueMetallic

    SlurpeeBlueMetallic FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU...

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    If you leave the headlights in, be sure to tape off the surrounding painted surfaces so you don't jack up your paint while buffing.



    You may also have luck with a hair dryer or careful use of a heat gun... if the moisture got in then it should have a way to get out once it's vapor. Heating the air inside causes it to expand which will push most of it out of whatever crack let it get in. Afterward, re-seal to keep more moisture out.
     
  11. Jul 4, 2010 at 9:48 PM
    #11
    marcam

    marcam New Member

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    I left my lights in. Just use painters tape around the edges. I bought a 3M kit from Autozone for $20.00. Use a drill and follow the three very easy steps. Just make sure you don't apply too much pressure or it will create a lot of heat. It works great
     
  12. Jul 4, 2010 at 11:35 PM
    #12
    Madjik_Man

    Madjik_Man The Rembrandt of Rattle Can

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    I agree. I had fantastic results with the 3M kit.

    In fact last night was the first night I had the Tacoma out driving since restoring the headlights and the difference was ridiculous.

    http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/1st-gen-tacomas/98107-headlight-restoration-2.html#post1882043

    Just follow the directions that comes with it and go light-to-medium on the pressure you apply and your lights will look/be like brand new.

    I highly recommend doing a final treatment (after washing the headlights) of 303 protectant (or the likes) on the lenses to help protect it from the UV. I also 303 the headlights every time I wash the truck
     
  13. Jul 5, 2010 at 6:34 AM
    #13
    pairodice

    pairodice Well-Known Member

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    pop em off and get them re-clearcoated i tried most kits mothers , 3m, meguires some work better than others but they all dull out after a while and look bad it cost me like 60 bucks and after 2 yrs they still look great
     
  14. Jul 5, 2010 at 11:35 AM
    #14
    Firefighter160

    Firefighter160 Well-Known Member

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    I guess Im cheap, I always just use metal polish to clean my headlights, never-dull and mothers does wonders with just a rag and some elbow grease!;)
     
  15. Jul 5, 2010 at 11:58 AM
    #15
    KaoskrewPB

    KaoskrewPB -Empty-

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    Or you could do this shit the easy way and get some brand spanking new headlights :D :cool: :D :p :D :cool: :cool:
     
  16. Jul 5, 2010 at 12:01 PM
    #16
    BajaTaco96

    BajaTaco96 Well-Known Member

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    I like to put a few coats of clear coat on my headlights after you buff them good. No more yellowing or hazing, only problem you can have after that is moisture on the inside of the light. :D I bought cheap headlamps.


    Just make sure to give it an even coat or with too many coats you can hinder the light more than help. Mine have been perfect for a few years now.
     
  17. Jul 5, 2010 at 12:36 PM
    #17
    RideFast

    RideFast on the flats.

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    I used Kit scratch out! Worked perfect and it was 2.49 at walmart!
    So I am guessing that any scratch remover will work just as good.
     
  18. Jul 6, 2010 at 9:48 AM
    #18
    sirsaechao

    sirsaechao Well-Known Member

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    If you get it done, I would also seal it w/ a sealant. If not, it won't last long until you have to do it again.
     
  19. Jul 6, 2010 at 9:45 PM
    #19
    DIRT YOTA

    DIRT YOTA Aka EL ROJO

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    Worked amazing! I got before and after pics
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  20. Jul 7, 2010 at 2:05 PM
    #20
    pipelayer_99

    pipelayer_99 Well-Known Member

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    Use 1000 or 2000 grit wet sandpaper to sand the plastic and then buff it with headlight restorer. It did wonders on our head lamps.
     
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