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DIY headlight restoration?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Dennisi01, May 13, 2018.

  1. May 13, 2018 at 8:17 AM
    #1
    Dennisi01

    Dennisi01 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Hey all.. the headlights on my 2010 are pretty faded over. Suggestions on a good DIY fix? I dont want to spend the money to replace them..thanks!
     
    gr8tacsprt10 likes this.
  2. May 13, 2018 at 8:46 AM
    #2
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    I had the same problem on my 2009. They were super oxidized. I used McGuire’s Heavy Duty Headlight Restore kit. About $20 to $25 at Walmart and it will do multiple cars. When I got through they were Chrystal clear. Looked like new. That was over 2 years ago and they still are chrystal clear. The secrete to keeping them clear is applying UV protection periodically which comes with the kit. Took about 45 minutes to do both lights. Easy Peazy. There are other good products out there but I think Mcguires is the best. They make at least 2 different kits, be sure to get the one that is the heavy duty kit. When you do them post a pic of before and after.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
  3. May 13, 2018 at 2:20 PM
    #3
    crackils

    crackils Sith Lord Jar Jar

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  4. May 13, 2018 at 3:44 PM
    #4
    tacofish

    tacofish Well-Known Member

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    i used the turtle wax kit on my 05
    had 2 diff abrasive pads and a clear sealer for when done
    I used painters tape on the fenders so i didn't scratch them
    worked great
     
    1Shifter likes this.
  5. May 13, 2018 at 3:46 PM
    #5
    Comatose

    Comatose You snuff it, we stuff it.

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  6. May 13, 2018 at 3:50 PM
    #6
    1Shifter

    1Shifter Well-Known Member

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    Same as everybody else...
    I use this, awesome results
     
  7. May 13, 2018 at 5:06 PM
    #7
    tacofish

    tacofish Well-Known Member

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  8. May 13, 2018 at 5:33 PM
    #8
    crashnburn80

    crashnburn80 Vehicle Design Engineer

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    Good post. You can also buy the headlight protectant separately. As mentioned continually reapplying this UV stabilizer is what keeps the lights clear. Sanding the lens surface removes the OEM UV stabilizing coating causing rapid oxidation if they are recoated. The coating is a maintenance item, not an apply and forget solution.
     
  9. May 13, 2018 at 7:17 PM
    #9
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    crashnburn80 is spot on regarding the UV protectant. It should be a routine maintenance thing. There are several UV protectants out there and some supposedly are good for a year. I don’t trust going a year or longer. What ever one you use I would apply it at least twice a year. Add it to your maintenance program and you’ll have clear headlight lens for a long time
     
    PzTank and crashnburn80 like this.
  10. May 13, 2018 at 8:14 PM
    #10
    vertrx7

    vertrx7 Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned above, suggested by a bodyshop guy I know and tried first hand is to sand down with high number sand paper, 1500/2000, then clear coat it. That will do it. The oxidation won't come back. I've used all those products suggested and the suggested route of sandpaper and clear is a final fix. Suggest Laminix plastic headlight protectant as well and you won't have to do maintenance on the headlights any more.
     
  11. May 14, 2018 at 5:32 PM
    #11
    Sprig

    Sprig Well-Known Member

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    BA25E4D3-892D-4D86-A8E5-12267B59400E.jpg Here’s a pic of one of my headlights today after using Mcguires heavy duty head light restore about 2 1/2 years ago. I just put UV protectant on periodically and they stay clear as when they were new. Before I used Mcguires they were grossly oxidized. 2 1/2 years later looking good.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2018
    crashnburn80 and Strxn like this.
  12. May 14, 2018 at 5:51 PM
    #12
    Bajatacoma

    Bajatacoma Well-Known Member

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  13. May 15, 2018 at 6:57 AM
    #13
    Jastoy

    Jastoy Well-Known Member

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    That's kinda the system I use on the Auto Dealership lots … Mine is wet sand with 1000 2000 and last is the 3000 than I clear it with 2 stage clear (same clear I use when I do bumper repair and blends) … when they are really ate up I'll start with 800 first.
     
  14. Sep 2, 2019 at 4:31 PM
    #14
    ricknobinson

    ricknobinson Well-Known Member

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    Bringing this thread back to life lol. I’ve heard that clear coating after a restoration is a permanent fix as well but not sure what type of clear coat is best for the plastic lenses. Any suggestions?
     
    Running Board Man likes this.
  15. Sep 2, 2019 at 4:43 PM
    #15
    TacoTuesday1

    TacoTuesday1 Well-Known Member

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    On one car, I sanded and then sprayed automotive UV-resistant clearcoat. I didn't keep that car long enough to find out how it held up.
    Then on another car, a professional was in the area and offered to squeeze me in for an appointment to refinish my headlights for only $20, using what he said was a high quality clearcoat and air spray-gun. Sounded good.
    Looked good too.
    Until after a month or so, that clearcoat started peeling.
    I remember seeing him do the work and he seemed in a rush, yet still professional. So I don't know exactly what caused this, or if me driving home after the spraying (it was tacky) had anything to do with it.
    Come to think of it, I may have driven home while it was still light out, and thus kept the headlights in the trunk because of this. I don't remember.

    These experiences make me still unsure of what's the best solution out of the many choices.
    I will tell you this though. As for UV protectant coatings, one I've heard of is Opti-Lens. I just never bought any because it's expensive and I didn't refinish mine yet.

    I may try that though. A restoration kit from the auto parts store that people use, plus something like Opti-Lens after.
    Just need to figure out which drill to buy first because I have none at the moment. (Harbor Freight vs DeWalt vs Ryobi, etc.)
    to operate a restoration kit, at least if they come with one of those drill attachment PowerBall polishing bits.

    I think I threw away or sold my old FireStorm (Black & Decker) cordless drill (said to be shitty, but it worked) and corded DeWalt drill
    now a regretted mistake.
    As they say,
    "In life, one thing to never get rid of is your tools"

    [​IMG]
     
    Running Board Man likes this.
  16. Sep 2, 2019 at 5:27 PM
    #16
    vertrx7

    vertrx7 Well-Known Member

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    I clear coated the lenses on my NB Miata. I mixed the clear coat and sprayed them. The car has been sitting outside and the lenses are perfectly clear. If you don't have the equipment, the mixture is the key. The stuff in the aerosol cans is not of the type of quality that will last. A suggestion is go to a body shop supply store. Have them mix up the smallest quantity good quality clear coat. Buy from them or someone else one of those small quantity vials with the aerosol that you screw to the top of the vial. Sand, clean and paint the lenses.
     
  17. Sep 2, 2019 at 7:19 PM
    #17
    3Dog

    3Dog good boy

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    After cleaning the haze / yellow, I just use pre-cut PPF film kits, lasts forever, applies like window tint - very easy. Plus a little extra protection from rock chips.
     
    ricknobinson likes this.
  18. Sep 2, 2019 at 7:51 PM
    #18
    Gruber1922

    Gruber1922 Well-Known Member

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    I would wet sand/polish/seal. There are some good youtube videos
     
    Running Board Man likes this.
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