Wet sanded my headlights

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Welly
The moderator formally known as Welton
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Wet sanded my headlights

Post by Welly »

My headlights have been looking sorry for themselves for ages and although I'd used the 3M Restoration kit last year I was never really satisfied with the results.

At the weekend I wet sanded them using 600 grit, then 1500, then 2500 wet and dry sand paper and finished off with compound and polish using a foam pad on a drill attachment.

At first lots of yellow coloured crud leaves the surface and then becomes white (this is showing you've removed the clear coat on the surface of the polycarbonate), I sanded strictly in order and by hand using a soft rubber sanding block and lots of water sprayage. The first stage was horizontally sanded, then vertical and finally horizontal again with the finest 2500 grade paper.

I purchased some UV film to apply at the end to protect the plastic from sun damage but despite 3 of us holding, wet spraying and heating with a hair drier I found it impossible to avoid wrinkles where the lens curves at the end so I had to scrap that idea. I think I'll have to apply some spray UV clear coat very soon.

Before:
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After the final stage 2500 sanding, scary stuff!:
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And the end result, they're not perfect but a huge improvement and really freshen up the front end, took years off the car.
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The whole process was easy to DIY and the final polish with the drill attachment pad quickly polished the haze back into a clear finish. The whole process only cost me the wet and dry paper which came as an 'assorted' grade kit including the sanding block for about £8.00 on Amazon.
Cars in my care:

2005 Volvo S40 T5 German Diesel botherer with new tyre grippage
2010 Citroen C4 1.6 HDi turbo de' explosions, bizarre gearbox model
2010 Renner Twingo refreshingly simple

steve_earwig
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by steve_earwig »

Ohh, nicely done sir! Definitely worth the effort. I didn't know you could get a UV spray (except from Boots...)

Pah, damn plastic lights, bring back glass and stuff the pedestrians :twisted:
Unskilled meddling sin©e 2007

2004 D9 2.0 HDi 110 Estate lhd VF38ERHZF81657352 - sold but being very well looked after.
1991 Yamaha TDM850 - fuel leaks galore!
2008 Toyota Recall4 2.0 VVTI ATM LHD JTMBH31V90D007261 - flimsy piece of crap.
1953 Matchless G3LS - It's alive!!

Doggy
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by Doggy »

Nice work there Mr W.

Is it just me, or does anyone else think PSA headlights suffer at lot less than most cars from this problem?
2002 HDi 2.2 Exec Estate, (2008-12)
2003 HDi 2.2 6-speed Exec Estate (2012-19)
2009 Citroen C5 2.0 HDi VTR+ Estate

Welly
The moderator formally known as Welton
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by Welly »

French motors definitely seem to have better protected headlamps, both our Frenchies are 10 years old and have perfect clear polycarbonate :?

Worst offenders seem to be Vauxhall, Ford, VW and Jap stuff it seems.
Cars in my care:

2005 Volvo S40 T5 German Diesel botherer with new tyre grippage
2010 Citroen C4 1.6 HDi turbo de' explosions, bizarre gearbox model
2010 Renner Twingo refreshingly simple

steve_earwig
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by steve_earwig »

I dunno, the old Ravs had a reputation for it but this one, at 12 years, seems fine still resists urge to check
Unskilled meddling sin©e 2007

2004 D9 2.0 HDi 110 Estate lhd VF38ERHZF81657352 - sold but being very well looked after.
1991 Yamaha TDM850 - fuel leaks galore!
2008 Toyota Recall4 2.0 VVTI ATM LHD JTMBH31V90D007261 - flimsy piece of crap.
1953 Matchless G3LS - It's alive!!

PeterN
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by PeterN »

Nice job Welly. That's a problem I have never had with a 406, the lights seem to stay brilliantly clear, in fact I would say they are the best lights I have ever had on a car. Don't know if that's the norm but certainly has been on my cars.

Peter

Welly
The moderator formally known as Welton
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by Welly »

My old 406 had the best headlamps of any car I've had, very rarely needed "full beam".

The Volvo's are terrible by comparison.
Cars in my care:

2005 Volvo S40 T5 German Diesel botherer with new tyre grippage
2010 Citroen C4 1.6 HDi turbo de' explosions, bizarre gearbox model
2010 Renner Twingo refreshingly simple

rwb
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Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by rwb »

I paid a grown-up £30 to do mine.

I'm told it's important to apply a good UV sealant or else they'll quickly go yellow and you'll be locked in to a never ending cycle of polishing.

I've been asking around for ages and he was the first guy that didn't look at me like I'm stupid (which, it's a fair cop, I am) when I asked about UV sealant.

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Current: 407 2.2 HDi 170 & C6 2.7 HDi.
Former: 406 1.9 TD; 406 HDi 90; 407 2.2 160; 307cc 180; 508 HDi 140.
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Welly
The moderator formally known as Welton
Posts: 14894
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 12:52 pm
Location: East Midlandfordshire

Re: Wet sanded my headlights

Post by Welly »

Your grown up did well, £30.00 is a steal, it took me at least 3 hours.
Cars in my care:

2005 Volvo S40 T5 German Diesel botherer with new tyre grippage
2010 Citroen C4 1.6 HDi turbo de' explosions, bizarre gearbox model
2010 Renner Twingo refreshingly simple

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