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Author Topic: 5-Minutes Headlight Lens Restoration  (Read 23564 times)
Joel5.0
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« on: September 21, 2014, 09:56:59 am »

There are things in life that you learn by chance or making a little Oops!, and so is this case I have confirmed in the past two weeks.

For starters....... there are Headlights Lens Restoration kits that go from $10 all the way to a $100 and you may already have what you need to keep them clear and shiny with products you use for other chores. In my case, I always use what I think and have confirmed through years is the best Industrial Strength Degreaser out there...... the H-7.....


The other day I was cleaning a 01 Suzuki XL-7 V6 engine before an upper intake/TB work with the H-7 degreaser and noticed that some of it got on the headlights. I noticed that the degreaser on the lens turned brownish and proceeded to rinse it clean. To my surprise, the lens turned clear yet a little bit hazy but without the typical yellow/brown haze old lens develop. On a hunch, I decided to clean the whole headlight lens and noticed that it looked like brand new when it was wet and hazy when dry. I then decided to simply polish the lens with a little bit of Formula 1 Carnauba Wax and 5-minutes afterwards it looked brand new.

Three days later while working on a '99 Daewoo with an engine overheating problem (yeah.... work on imports do bring some $$ to the shop  Naughty ) I decided to see if it was really "that simple" and better than the previously shared alternative with Brake Fluid. Guess what?....... IT IS!.... and here is the proof with the Daewoo......

This is how the RH headlight lens looked before "degreasing it".......



This is after doing a test by spraying some H-7 to the rag and wiping a section of the lens. Notice the brown residue removed from the lens on the rag.....



So...... I decided to rinse the rag and spray H-7 to the lense and simply wash it. Notice the brown residue on the fender at the lower LH corner of the headlight below......



This is after rinsing the rag and the headlight with plain water....



This is how it looked still wet ......



This is how it looks after letting it dry and ready for some polishing with the Formula 1 wax......



This is how it looks after a quick 3-5 minutes polish with the wax......



IOW....... this is a lot better and quicker than the Brake Fluid alternative + you do not need to worry about the degreaser splashing on the paint and causing paint finishing problems as the Brake Fluid does. The following is the same sequence for the LH headlight lens of the Daewoo:













If you really want, you could also use some 3M Micro-polishing compound before the final wax.

The good thing of this simple and quick restoration procedure in my case, is that I can provide that detail touch to customer cars as a freebie in recognition for their business. Cost?....... 10-15 minutes and ˘s on some chemicals.  Up to Something
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

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Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
al2
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« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2014, 10:54:51 am »

Joel where do you get H7 degreaser
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289nate
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« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2014, 12:35:19 pm »

This would certainly be worth a try. 

I'm also interested in the H7 degreaser.  Sounds like some good stuff with several uses.
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Brent Clay
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« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2014, 01:06:14 pm »

Joel where do you get H7 degreaser

Im in also..... I could use this stuff around the house!

Thanks for sharing.

Brent
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Joel5.0
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« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2014, 03:15:54 pm »

Joel where do you get H7 degreaser

In any local auto parts, hardware store, convenient store or supermarket at my neck of the woods. After a price increase at the beginning of this year, I get a 4-gallons box for $21.00. I've been using it for the past 20 years and IMHO, nothing works best. I also use it as a clothes detergent "booster" for my shop laundry, stain remover on carpets, clothes, shop floor cleaner, tar remover, and as a quick "hand cleaner".

If it's not available in your area, you can buy them in some on-line stores. They are a company based in Florida Huerta Chemical corp.
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
scienceguy
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« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2014, 03:35:57 pm »

I'm guessing the H7 is similar to Purple Power.  (Generic Castrol Super Clean)  Simply Awesome from Dollar General is similar to Purple Power as well.  Around here, most headlights aren't really brown...  just faded.

I usually go on Ebay.  On there, you can get brand new PAIRS of headlights for around $80 shipped.  All the ones I've ordered have also come with bulbs installed.  Swapping them out sure beats polishing, and probably lasts a LOT longer.  Never had much luck polishing, as they seem to get dull again in no time.

Good Luck!
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Joel5.0
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« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2014, 05:30:13 pm »

I'm guessing the H7 is similar to Purple Power.  (Generic Castrol Super Clean)  Simply Awesome from Dollar General is similar to Purple Power as well.  Around here, most headlights aren't really brown...  just faded.

I usually go on Ebay.  On there, you can get brand new PAIRS of headlights for around $80 shipped.  All the ones I've ordered have also come with bulbs installed.  Swapping them out sure beats polishing, and probably lasts a LOT longer.  Never had much luck polishing, as they seem to get dull again in no time.

Good Luck!


Purple Power is an alternative that could be checked for the lens but I would always choose H7 for its price and effectiveness. And yes.... I have tried all those options in the past 21 years.

The "fading" is caused by the buildup/deterioration of the upper section layer of the plastic lens, the degreaser simply allows to remove it and wipe it off. The "polishing" is a simple 3-5 minute exercise of rubbing the wax dry on the lens w/out applying any pressure. 

I don't see how 20 minutes for both headlights and ˘s on two chemicals you keep for other stuff in the garage anyway, is less economically attractive; than spending $80 on new units would be.  Hmmmmm

I did a set on a 2002 Ranger yesterday for free, customer not only paid for the diagnostic/EEC-V repair work done, but also brought half a case of cold beer as a "thank you" tip.  Naughty

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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
RunninHorse
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« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2014, 07:17:26 pm »

Thanks for the info Joel!
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I'm Rob.  Working on my '93 Reef Blue coupe.  Stock internal 302, 80 MAF, 75 TB, Victor 5.0, High Ports, 30# inj., B303, 1.6s, Tremec TKO 3550, Quicktime bell, Fidanza Al flywheel, stage 3 ceramic clutch, & 4.10s.  12.68 @ 111.69
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Parts I'm selling: 
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« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2014, 11:31:27 pm »

H7 doesn't even show up on amazon, which is surprising. Good find about this process though, I've just used the power ball and polishing compounds. I put wax/sealants on the headlights just like I do the rest of the car, been lasting quite awhile.
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frdnut
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« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2014, 11:32:36 am »

Just saw an interesting video on facebook where a guy uses some mosquito repellent and rubs it in with a sock..Looks good in the video but I am not sure how it would look after it dries..My wifes van needs the headlights done really bad so I may give it a try.
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Joel5.0
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« Reply #10 on: September 22, 2014, 01:55:16 pm »

Just saw an interesting video on facebook where a guy uses some mosquito repellent and rubs it in with a sock..Looks good in the video but I am not sure how it would look after it dries..My wifes van needs the headlights done really bad so I may give it a try.

Yep.... just saw it a while ago too. I have some Off that I will try on a set to check. On the H7 though, you could try and check with any alky-based degreaser like Formula 88, Simple Green or Zep Purple Cleaner.
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ACRONYMS:
LUK  LMK  JIC  BTSTDTRT  YCYDYP  NFI-YTM  SPOBI, and the classic... DILLIGAS

'86 Mustang GT, X-303 cam, Holley DP 700, RG Tran., 289 Heads   Ford Smilie 2


Quote from: Joel5.0
The right to be stupid is inalienable for sure however, there is no such thing as a right to impose stupidity onto others
Great Thoughts will Overwhelm a Feeble Mind
There is never money to do it right, but there's always money to do it over.
Knowledge based on external evidence is unreliable.
He, who doesn't ask, does not deserve an answer.
A mind is like a parachute it only works when it is open.  (oldmanjoe)
If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough. (Albert Einstein)
Tuning on a Dyno for the track, is like swim practice in a bathtub.
I can explain it for you, but I can't understand it for you. (90lxcoupe)
The proof of understanding is the ability to explain it. (H. Torruella)
Ignorance is bliss, but stupidity is orgasmic.
Fraud and falsehood only dread examination. Truth invites it. (Samuel Johnson)
The chaotic resistance of the opponents leads to the conclusion that they are not prepared to meet the challenge. The problem is already much more psychological then technological. [Bojidar Djordjev]
Individuals are rational and humane... Crowds are reactionary and barbaric. (Jason)
The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it. –Chinese Proverb
Nothing sways the stupid more than arguments they can't understand - Cardinal de Retz
289nate
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« Reply #11 on: September 22, 2014, 02:04:11 pm »

Do not let Simple Green dry on your paint.  It will leave a water spot that doesn't come off.
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\'65 fastback pump gas 289, 4.56 gears, and faceplated T5.  11.123 at 122.4
mighty mouse
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« Reply #12 on: September 22, 2014, 04:16:16 pm »

but also brought half a case of cold beer as a "thank you" tip.  Naughty



Medela? 
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1986 Mustang GT Convertible
Suspension and Differential by Team Z Motorsports
9.5 Deck Forged Stroker Shortblock by FordStrokers
Trick Flow High Ports and Super Vic EFI intake by Duane Busch

I'd rather be a fool who is loyal to his friends than a POS that jumps ship to save face. We were wrong in the end, but nobody can ever call us disloyal. I can live with that.
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« Reply #13 on: September 22, 2014, 05:15:35 pm »

problem with fixing them like that is they look like shit again a few months later.... then again that may be in your benefit if you make money doing it Naughty

i did my mothers van this weekend.  they were horrible with a leather like finish, yellowed, pitted, etc.

i sanded them with 180grit, then 320, then 600. after 5 minutes of sanding, i cleaned them and i sprayed them with rattle can clear lacquer from the local hardware store. they'll look like new until the day she junks the van. i've been doing it like this for years.


* before.JPG (80.02 KB, 720x480 - viewed 300 times.)

* IMG_4419.jpg (91.54 KB, 1077x718 - viewed 342 times.)

* Capture.JPG (73.95 KB, 1039x446 - viewed 342 times.)
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white 92GT, with a black interior, pony rims, 5 speed with a 3.73 gear. came with a gear, exhaust, and a powerdyne. nice little cruiser, i didn't change much yet.

have tw170's, systemax II, 75mm accufab, anderson n41, t5z, ford racing 23lb billet flywheel, and a quarterhorse sitting here. cam may change
rob342
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« Reply #14 on: September 22, 2014, 05:21:43 pm »

here's a honda crv i did for my aunt:


* 1526663_609618235752111_1322387941_n.jpg (45.35 KB, 960x365 - viewed 359 times.)
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white 92GT, with a black interior, pony rims, 5 speed with a 3.73 gear. came with a gear, exhaust, and a powerdyne. nice little cruiser, i didn't change much yet.

have tw170's, systemax II, 75mm accufab, anderson n41, t5z, ford racing 23lb billet flywheel, and a quarterhorse sitting here. cam may change
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