1. Welcome to Tacoma World!

    You are currently viewing as a guest! To get full-access, you need to register for a FREE account.

    As a registered member, you’ll be able to:
    • Participate in all Tacoma discussion topics
    • Communicate privately with other Tacoma owners from around the world
    • Post your own photos in our Members Gallery
    • Access all special features of the site

Problem restoring headlights - Any advice.

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by Tidrow, Feb 6, 2011.

  1. Feb 6, 2011 at 3:47 PM
    #1
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    I bought some headlights from the junkyard in hopes of BHLM and refinishing the lens.

    Everything is going well until I sand down the lenses, and now they have all these tiny sand marks. They are not clear lenses any more, they are kinda cloudy and look like they have a film over them.

    I was using a hand restoration kit. but the polish step ain't worth a shit. Now the lense I was trying to fix looks worse than the one I'm about to do.

    Any thoughts? maybe get a different compound?

    Sucks cause my BHLM will be complete but the lenses aren't crystal clear.
     
  2. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:07 PM
    #2
    joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Member:
    #28588
    Messages:
    3,056
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Joe
    Central Coast, CA
    Vehicle:
    06 4x4 Off Road Access Cab v6 6spd
    LEER Shell with dome lights operated with 3 way switches, aux backup lights with relay and 3 position switch, modified wiring to compass/temp display and clock to include switch that disables dimming function (poor man's DRL solution), Scan Gauge 2
    I used the 3M "headlight restoration kit" on my mom's Jeep Grand Cherokee. It came with an attachment for a power drill, several different grits of sandpaper and polish. You might just need an intermediate grade of sandpaper between what you've used and the actual polish, but the 3M kit was conveinent and did a good job for me. I think it was 25bucks at NAPA and probably could have done the job twice if the lights wern't too trashed.
     
  3. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:37 PM
    #3
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Member:
    #16011
    Messages:
    7,557
    Gender:
    Male
    Elizabeth City, NC
    Vehicle:
    2008 F-350 Powerstroke
    You'll need a finer grain sandpaper. Try 1000 to 2000 grit, then a medium polish. You should be able to finish it off with a plastic polish from there. Any automotive grade mediums will do.
     
  4. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:38 PM
    #4
    jdtemple

    jdtemple Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Member:
    #35623
    Messages:
    517
    Gender:
    Male
    Bay Area CA
    Vehicle:
    08 DBLCAB LB TRD Sport
    Lift & Tires, in cab power outlets, Locking Bed Boxes, K&N
    Wet sand 1000, then Wet sand 1500, and then wet sand 2000 grit.

    Then polish.
     
  5. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:43 PM
    #5
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    I used the 2500 paper last - but the polish provided didn't get the sand scratches out. Maybe the kind I bought was a pos.

    I guess I'll have to finish the BHLM and then worry about the lenses.
     
  6. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:46 PM
    #6
    brian

    brian Another Traitor

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2009
    Member:
    #16011
    Messages:
    7,557
    Gender:
    Male
    Elizabeth City, NC
    Vehicle:
    2008 F-350 Powerstroke
    Do you have a buffer? Get a FOAM pad for it and use a medium or light polish. That will take care of it very quickly, but still safely. Just don't run the pad too fast, you'll risk heating the plastic and melting it.
     
  7. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:49 PM
    #7
    joes06tacoma

    joes06tacoma Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Member:
    #28588
    Messages:
    3,056
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Joe
    Central Coast, CA
    Vehicle:
    06 4x4 Off Road Access Cab v6 6spd
    LEER Shell with dome lights operated with 3 way switches, aux backup lights with relay and 3 position switch, modified wiring to compass/temp display and clock to include switch that disables dimming function (poor man's DRL solution), Scan Gauge 2
    x2 on the buffer or power drill attachment. If you're doing the polish by hand I can see how you would quit long before you see results.
     
  8. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:55 PM
    #8
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    thanks guys,

    unfortunately I don't have a buffer, kinda bummed.... f the superbowl
     
  9. Feb 6, 2011 at 4:57 PM
    #9
    snowgod06

    snowgod06 UG legend wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Member:
    #16454
    Messages:
    5,386
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rob
    A farm field, OREGON
    Vehicle:
    06 Access Cab CLONE
    crap bolted and welded together....
    Sometimes depdending on which restor kit you got, non abrasive toothpaste works better then whats provided in the kit. My $.02, but try a power tool buff vs hand.
     
  10. Feb 6, 2011 at 5:08 PM
    #10
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    going to try this, thanks! I can't get a buffer today
     
  11. Feb 6, 2011 at 5:26 PM
    #11
    snowgod06

    snowgod06 UG legend wannabe

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    Member:
    #16454
    Messages:
    5,386
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Rob
    A farm field, OREGON
    Vehicle:
    06 Access Cab CLONE
    crap bolted and welded together....
    NP, but if your doing it by hand just realize that its going to take a lot longer to get what you want. So just take your time and eventually after another wet sand of some high grit and a LONGGG time buffing/polishing by hand you'll get what ya want. GL.
     
  12. Feb 6, 2011 at 7:27 PM
    #12
    Chris(NJ)

    Chris(NJ) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Member:
    #29777
    Messages:
    2,884
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Usually in Central Jersey
    Vehicle:
    08 Indigo 4x4 DC OR
    Debadged, GC Mesh Grill, Yellow Fogs, Color Matched Headlights w/ Retros, Diff Breather Mod; mickey thompson classic IIs, 5100s, toytec springs, Dakar Leaf pack, ss brake lines, Lots more...just check the build page.
    Aside from further wetsanding (2500k should be enough), and more polishing, the only other thing I could recommend would be to try a different kit. You're in TX, and so is this company that I've used on a lot of headlight restorations in the past. Look up uglyheadlights.com. Its a similar process to what you're doing. It involves a 3 step wetsanding w/ lube, cleaner and final glaze. The glaze fills in the minor scratches and also acts as your uv protection. I think the kit is like 30 bux, and you could get enough to do a small set of lenses after the headlights too. I'll try to find a before after pic of a set or two I've done in the past.
     
  13. Feb 6, 2011 at 7:53 PM
    #13
    Chris(NJ)

    Chris(NJ) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Member:
    #29777
    Messages:
    2,884
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Usually in Central Jersey
    Vehicle:
    08 Indigo 4x4 DC OR
    Debadged, GC Mesh Grill, Yellow Fogs, Color Matched Headlights w/ Retros, Diff Breather Mod; mickey thompson classic IIs, 5100s, toytec springs, Dakar Leaf pack, ss brake lines, Lots more...just check the build page.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    BEFORE:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    AFTERS:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Feb 7, 2011 at 9:57 AM
    #14
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    looks good, sorry I can't get any pics of mine. I'm at my parents and don't have my camera

    -

    today I'm going to seal up the headlights and then look for another kit and a buffer when I get back to austin. I feel a bit better knowing it was not a total fail. I just have to be patient
     
  15. Feb 7, 2011 at 10:05 AM
    #15
    joerussell610

    joerussell610 When all else fails read the directions

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Member:
    #46553
    Messages:
    739
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Him
    Making myself at home in your house
    Vehicle:
    2005 DC Sport Edition 4x4
    K&N, fog light mod, remote rear halogen fogs mounted under rear bumper, TRD skid plate, Flux Capacitor, Mr. Fusion upgrade soon
    After you wet sand them follow up with a Mequires cleaner wax and buff them out. Works like a charm. CLEAR!
     
  16. Feb 7, 2011 at 1:08 PM
    #16
    06TXED

    06TXED Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    Member:
    #21031
    Messages:
    519
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Tony
    Cedar Park / Austin
    Vehicle:
    2013 DCSB MGM TRD OR 4x4
    Fox 2.5 c/o, Camburg UCA, OME Dakar, Fox 2.0 rear, LED interior light kit, LED fogs, LED headlights, Nitto G2, MB black wheels, diff breather mod, All AMSOIL syn fluids, XRXS bed cross bars, full debagged, shortened OEM antenna mod, Wet suit seatcovers, and fog light any time mod.
    Problem solved I live in Austin and I have a buffer and detailing experience PM me and I can help you out. I will get them looking new in no time!
     
  17. Feb 7, 2011 at 1:10 PM
    #17
    Tlook

    Tlook Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2011
    Member:
    #48775
    Messages:
    1,340
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Trey
    Charleston/Clemson, SC
    Vehicle:
    2000 SR5 4x4 over 300k miles
    3" toytech suspension lift galaxy dh33 cb, 250 watt galaxy linear amp, wilson 1000 cb antenna. 8 ball diy shift knob, led instrument cluster swap.
    x2 it is wayy better than anything on the market
     
  18. Feb 7, 2011 at 2:59 PM
    #18
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    hell yes rep for you sir!
     
  19. Feb 7, 2011 at 3:14 PM
    #19
    Tidrow

    Tidrow [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2010
    Member:
    #37300
    Messages:
    633
    Gender:
    Male
    Austin
    Vehicle:
    PreRunnin' 08
    BHLM, All Black grill, Fog light Mod, AFE pro dry, 20% tint, Weathertechs, Kenwood deck, Bridgestone AT Revo 2
    nice work
     
  20. Feb 7, 2011 at 10:42 PM
    #20
    Chris(NJ)

    Chris(NJ) Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Member:
    #29777
    Messages:
    2,884
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Chris
    Usually in Central Jersey
    Vehicle:
    08 Indigo 4x4 DC OR
    Debadged, GC Mesh Grill, Yellow Fogs, Color Matched Headlights w/ Retros, Diff Breather Mod; mickey thompson classic IIs, 5100s, toytec springs, Dakar Leaf pack, ss brake lines, Lots more...just check the build page.
    What else have you tried to make that claim?
     
To Top