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Old 03-07-2010, 02:42 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default DIY Polish your headlights with the 3M kit.

This is my first DIY that's not in the VIP section, So let me know how you like it. I'm also going to review the product I used.

I bought the 3M Headlight Restoration Kit from VIP for $20. Its got everything you need to do the job from start to finish. You just need a cordless screw gun and you're in business.

This was done on my wife's '02 Mitsubishi Lancer that she bought new 8 years ago, the lights are very pitted and "sand blasted" from lots of highway use, 168k to be exact. The light out put started to get worse and worse so it was time to fix 'em.

Time: One light faster then a 9 month month old can finish a 10 ounce bottle.
(explained later)

Materials:
3M kit, screwgun, water sprayer(I used an old glass cleaner bottle)
paper towels and some tape if you want to tape off your paint to avoid hitting it while sanding, I didn't.



So I laid out the kit, It comes with 6 coarse sanding disks, 4 fine sanding discs, 1 very fine sanding pad, one buffer pad and the drive piece for the gun.



Before pic, they were both this bad.



So You start with the coarse sanding disc, medium speed, medium pressure, I did it wet even though the direction say to do it dry, sanding plastic my brain said,"don't be dumb, that shit will clog up on the first pass dry." I sprayed lots of water while doing it, every 8-10 seconds or so. It makes a plastic slurry so you don't want it to get thick and goopy. The key is taking your time. Keep going till you think its done, then sand for another 2 min to be sure you sanded enough. The more complete you do each step, the better the outcome will be. Then switch the coarse disc for the fine disc, sand until all the coarse scratches are out. Lots of water, lots. It keeps the plastic cool and the disc clean.


And after a fresh water spray down.


Now you switch to the very fine sanding pad, lots of water, same as before.
After this step they get sorta clear.


Now time to buff. They give you a cool little buffing pad and some compound to use. Garrett held the gun while I put it on. See he's about half done his bottle. He supervises me while I'm in the garage.
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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So you buff with the compound and BAM, your lights are lookin like new!


Before


Big difference.






Now critique constructively
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Old 03-07-2010, 02:53 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Oh and to add, the kit is great, I have enough to do the Delcamino too, but that will be another day.

Edit: Another day is here.

OK, I polished the Sol's lights tonight. Here are the before pics.





And the afters.




So one kit can do 2 cars if you use plenty of water and don't F up the sanding discs.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Looks great dude I love my ej1's glass headlights though
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:10 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Lookin good! Should post this on EvolutionM.net though...but a good DIY regardless.

My Lancer's headlights were starting to do that too right before it got traded in.
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Old 03-07-2010, 04:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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nice write up...im going to do my g/f's headlights next weekend now!
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:08 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I did this at my last job, works great.

we used a setup that came with more grits of sandpaper and the process was more involved, we used a polisher and a cleaner at the end to.

for really hazed lights
sander
350
500
600
800
1000 wet
3000 wet

polisher
cleaner
polisher

The thing is that angle grinder/sanders we used where just cheap made in tawian tools that I think Harbor freight sells actually. and the guy that sold us the kit and demonstrated how to use it was saying that the different guns for sanding and polishing had a purpose. I think one was orbital and one the rpm was lower or something....
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Old 03-07-2010, 05:31 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by guest View Post
I did this at my last job, works great.

we used a setup that came with more grits of sandpaper and the process was more involved, we used a polisher and a cleaner at the end to.

Yeah, there should be a grit in between the first 2 discs imo, its like it jumps from 500 grit to 3000, but overall great real world results for a great price that almost anyone can do.

And I did throw a coat of wax on them too.
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Old 03-08-2010, 04:58 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Nice review.I've had my buddy doing this for my mustangs since 1998 man fords are bad for this but the kit is real close to what he does might have to try this on the wifes pt cruiser this weekend.
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:08 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Added more pics up there^^^
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Old 03-10-2010, 04:42 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Gonna have to do this to my Sol's headlights, as they looked JUST like yours did.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:43 PM   #12 (permalink)
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looks great. will save this for future reference.
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Old 03-17-2010, 11:54 PM   #13 (permalink)
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all you need is some compound and hand glaze. A bit of very fine sand paper if there's any big defects like scratches.
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Old 03-18-2010, 02:22 AM   #14 (permalink)
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amazing results mate! ive also done this using 1000 grit wet & dry paper and same as you, using a machine polisher with a high end polish!
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Old 03-18-2010, 04:16 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Look brand new! We sell these kits at advance now i have some proof this kit is worth the cost. I've always wondered about them but never got around to using any of the kits we sell at advance auto parts.

Turtle wax seems to be the big seller, now theres also a rainX kit. Anyone got any input or comparsion photos of the other kits too?

Def. a well written DIY!
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Old 03-18-2010, 05:33 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I used this kit a few months back on my 2.2CL...made a WORLD of difference! And for like $20, you can't beat it! Yellow pad, white pad, polish, buff, done. And you're right, use LOTS of water so it doesn't load up.
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Old 03-18-2010, 09:41 AM   #17 (permalink)
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^ Has to have at least one CAPITALIZED word per post.

It's a fact.
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Old 03-18-2010, 12:38 PM   #18 (permalink)
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damn sold!! im getting one asap....randomly ive got one foggy head light....I thought about just buying a new one but screw that!!
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Old 03-18-2010, 08:27 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thats dope put I would take the lights out. Good DIY though.
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Old 03-19-2010, 02:08 PM   #20 (permalink)
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wow thats nice, I need to do this
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