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Headlight restoration

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Dlakerguy13, Jan 4, 2021.

  1. Jan 4, 2021 at 3:32 PM
    #1
    Dlakerguy13

    Dlakerguy13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    This has probably been covered on here before but I wanted to post a few pictures of my headlight restoration (if you want to call it that) from today.

    I saw this video and decided to give it a try myself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsyUgXKdXu0

    I didn't even do every step in this video. All I did was buy some sanding discs for my drill. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01M5EYXML/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Then dipped those discs in soapy water and grind away at the headlights for several passes each and it made a huge difference. Rinsed them off and all done! Took maybe 20 minutes tops. Here are the before and afters:

    IMG_7003.HEIC.jpgIMG_7004.HEIC.jpgIMG_7005.HEIC.jpg
     
  2. Jan 4, 2021 at 3:40 PM
    #2
    clenkeit

    clenkeit Well-Known Member

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    Definitely an improvement. Don't be surprised if the haze comes back though... it pretty much always does. If you keep them waxed then it'll help keep 'em clear longer. Or go full bore and sand 'em down even more and refinish with an automotive quality clear coat (plus keep them waxed) if you want them to stay clear for years and years to come.
     
    Dlakerguy13 [OP] likes this.
  3. Jan 4, 2021 at 3:42 PM
    #3
    Dlakerguy13

    Dlakerguy13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I assume it will turn yellow again at some point. I will just see how long it takes and if it is worth doing more to protect it. If I just do this once a year or 2 at most, then it isn't too big of a deal to me. If it is more often than that then I'll put a clear coat and wax on them.
     
    Thatbassguy likes this.
  4. Jan 4, 2021 at 3:50 PM
    #4
    Fullboogie

    Fullboogie Well-Known Member

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    Did you not use plastic polish?
     
  5. Jan 4, 2021 at 3:58 PM
    #5
    Dlakerguy13

    Dlakerguy13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Just soapy water. Nothing else.
     
  6. Jan 4, 2021 at 5:25 PM
    #6
    JBIdaho

    JBIdaho Active Member

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    Cerakote makes a kit that polishes and then you coat with their ceramic coating. Guaranteed as long as you own the car/truck. I hit the kit off ebay with free shipping or yiu can check their website
     
    dblwall and Dlakerguy13 [OP] like this.
  7. Jan 5, 2021 at 5:56 AM
    #7
    EdgemanVA

    EdgemanVA Well-Known Member

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    Consider me very interested. Recently bought the Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit, but I'm very interested in this next year...lol
     
  8. Jan 5, 2021 at 6:43 AM
    #8
    J Gibson

    J Gibson Well-Known Member

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    katzkin leather, toyota step bars, pro grill, advent overhead DVD player, cargo extender, bed mat, husky liners, impulse digital brake controller, avs bugflector, tinted windows, Firestone ride-rite air bags, ARE camper top with tool doors, ScangaugeII, ProEFX tow mirrors, ImMrYo rearview mirror lift bracket, Salex glove box and console organizers, 2020 Tacoma Pro styled wheels, 265/70 r17 Michelin MS2 tires, LED map lights, drivers seat extended and raised, ram ball tech deck installed, blacked out badges, tinted taillights, upgraded climate control knobs, ultimate headlight upgrade with Osram superbrights and wiring harness along wit OEM pro headlight housings.
    The big key thing with restoration is when you get them clear, spray them with a single heavy coat of UV protection. That is what will keep them from yellowing back up.
    I even spray my new headlights about once a year.
     
  9. Jan 5, 2021 at 6:53 AM
    #9
    rphillips

    rphillips Well-Known Member

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    Anybody remember the old glass headlights, they stayed clear forever, never needed anything but washing. Gosh I wish these new & improved, govt. mandated, plastic ones were nearly as good. I wonder if an aftermarket co. made a glass replacement, would they be legal to sell or use.
     
  10. Jan 5, 2021 at 7:23 AM
    #10
    Dlakerguy13

    Dlakerguy13 [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Were they changed due to cost? Or safety? I imagine the less glass at a crash site, the better.
     
  11. Jan 5, 2021 at 8:09 AM
    #11
    TacomArizona

    TacomArizona Well-Known Member

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  12. Jan 5, 2021 at 9:00 AM
    #12
    clenkeit

    clenkeit Well-Known Member

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    I actually much prefer plastic over glass. The issue isn't so much the material but the way it's finished and the way people maintain it. Your car is metal and it's coated (paint) to protect it. These lights need a similar UV coating to protect them but OEM's don't seem to care. My guess is that most people don't keep cars long so by the time they are fading badly it's just one more list of reasons that person wants a new car.

    Additionally, most people aren't even aware that they need to maintain their plastic headlights (rather than just overlooking them entirely). Many people will even wax their cars but neglect to wax the lights :annoyed:

    I actually wish our country would get it's act together and start allowing MORE changes and improvements to our lights as our current standards are now antiquated. Countries in Europe/Asia are starting to develop some absolutely amazing headlight standards and the technology is getting pretty wild. OEM's are putting great headlights in cars destined for other countries and then just sticking basic, lower quality lights on cars destined for the US market because of our different (worse) standards. It seems that when it comes to cars the US market never gets the cream of the crop :mad:
     
    Too Stroked likes this.
  13. Jan 5, 2021 at 9:27 AM
    #13
    Too Stroked

    Too Stroked Well-Known Member

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    Partially cost. Glass costs more than plastic. Partially engineering issues. For instance, plastics expand and contract at different rates than glass. If you tried adhering a glass lens to a plastic housing, it would only be a matter of time before the seal failed. Weight is also an issue believe it or not. Anything that can be done to reduce weight - to increase mileage - is a pretty high priority.
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2021
    clenkeit likes this.
  14. Jan 5, 2021 at 9:34 AM
    #14
    Musubi3

    Musubi3 Well-Known Member

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    I did the Sylvania headlight restoration kit and it worked very well. https://www.amazon.com/SYLVANIA-Headlight-Restoration-Headlights-Protection/dp/B00429NKWK

    The main component is the last step when you apply the final clear coating. All the haze went away and looked new. Project Farm on YouTube also did a review on various brands and this came out on top. FYI
     
    Sancho likes this.

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