Diy Headlight Restoration - No More Cataracts!

Slapdash Racing

Bought an X
Location
Eastern CT
This is over on my build thread as well, but thought I'd toss it in here if anyone's interested.

No more cataracts!


Finally got around to restoring my headlight lenses. Drove at night for the first time in a long time and thought I forgot to turn the lights on. Turns out they just had cataracts. Fixed that today though, with remarkable improvement and now night-time vision!

The process was easy, if a little tedious, but I liked the results. I used Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit (no affiliation), which I found on Amazon, via Buzzfeed, for $20. Well worth it for me.

Right side doesn't look as clear, but I noticed that the assembly was cracked and water had infiltrated a while ago.

You don't have to, but I went through the (minor) trouble of removing the lights from the buckets and removing the trim as well. Made for easier sanding -- and there's a lot of sanding -- and there's less of a hack-job finish on the bezels, like the last time I tried this sort of thing.

Before, full:

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After, full:

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Before, left:

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After, left:

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Before, right:

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After, right:

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And before and after, side-by-side:

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TheCrabby1

Lockers Installed
Supporting Member
Location
Burtonsville, Md
I did the armor all [ I think ] Restoration kit that started hazing over 5-6 month's later a little over a year ago . About a month/month and a half ago I used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on the len's and I think there clearer then when I used the kit . I buffed it off with an orbital buffer . Can't say about longevity since It hasn't been that long but I'd say there's enough polish in the container to do it 3 time's a year for the next 6-8 year's. Sorry no pic , It's 40 degree's out side and I already put the winter jacket away ............
 

Slapdash Racing

Bought an X
Location
Eastern CT
I did the armor all [ I think ] Restoration kit that started hazing over 5-6 month's later a little over a year ago . About a month/month and a half ago I used Mother's Mag and Aluminum Polish on the len's and I think there clearer then when I used the kit . I buffed it off with an orbital buffer . Can't say about longevity since It hasn't been that long but I'd say there's enough polish in the container to do it 3 time's a year for the next 6-8 year's. Sorry no pic , It's 40 degree's out side and I already put the winter jacket away ............
Yes, the weather seems to be going backwards around here too. Was 66 the other day, now it’s back to Arctic.

Thanks for posting the alternative method. That sounds much more economical than my version, particularly since it’s going to be an oft-repeated process.
 

cbrianroll

Bought an X
Supporting Member
Location
Washington
Nice man, I used the turtle wax restoration one and it worked pretty good. My xterra came with one new headlight so now the match. I almost got the mothers kit...well see how this lasts.
 

westslope

First Fill-Up (of many)
I used Meguiar's Heavy Duty Headlight Restoration Kit - G2980C [New Version] - Headlights stay clear for one year early last year on the X and the compact car. The results were excellent.

Instead of using the UV coat supplied in the kit, I used a home-made long varnish. Spar urethane mixed with Boiled Linseed oil and thinned with mineral spirits. it is a popular finish for sail boat owners and canoeists. It works well to restore and protect teak furniture. The BLO makes the wood grain pop. It also adds flexibility to the finish which reduces chipping and shattering.

Given a test done by a Maine canoeist, this finish protects and lasts better in the sun than most others. I use it on pressure-treated lumber and cedar around the outside of the house. FWIW, we live in one of the sunniest, hottest regions in Canada.

The finish does not appear affected by commercial high-pressure vehicle washing hoses and brushes or the frequent cleanings with soft cotton cloth and window washer.

We are now almost a year later and the headlights look like I polished them yesterday. I chose the 'long varnish' because I have a bunch of the raw materials on hand and it easy to wipe on as I originally expected to re-polish and re-coat often. This method may not make sense to those who have no woodworking experience or material.
 
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