Mk3Love

Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Just thought I chuck in a link here for those that love what my Golf is about, and why I'm so obsessively into it.


Monday, 7 January 2008

DIY: Headlight refurbish

It is a common problem with a lot of car headlights that they start to turn cloudy and yellow over time. This is a result of all that mother nature throws at the headlights as you drive through rain, dirt, sunny day etc. Fortunately there's a way to bring the headlights back to its former glory! This DIY is for the most part an adaptation to the one written by FaelinGL on VWVortex. He made an excellent DIY.

Materials:
  • Water bottle w/ detergent+water mix
  • Masking tape
  • Bucket with clean water
  • Waterproof sandpaper (400/600/1000/2000)
  • Terry cloths/polishing cloths/applicator pads/rags
  • Rubbing compound (I used Meguiars Diamond Cut Compound)
  • Plastic polishing compound (I used Plexus Plastic Cleaner: Protectant & Polish)
  • Torch
Products:
  • Meguiars Diamond Cut Compound (MDCC) & Plexus Plastic Cleaner (PPC).

    For this application, I thought MDCC was not heavy enough. I applied it about three times after the sanding and the result was far from what I hoped for. This may be due to bad sanding procedure though...
    The PPC was a bit awkward and different to use. I was expecting it to be a substance similar to all the other polishing compounds I've come across, but this one was a spray in an aerosol can. It did next to nothing after the MDCC, though the sales assistants that helped me out said they had lots of good feedback for that product. I reckon the Meguiars PlastX as used by FaelinGL would have been a better alternative.
Procedure:
  1. First off, make sure you're working under shelter and that the paintwork is not hot to touch.

  2. Mask off surrounding paintwork as to avoid any accidental scratches. I just used newspaper but it was a pain to work around.

  3. Spray (liberally) the detergent water mixture on the headlights, and proceed to sand using 400 grit waterproof sandpaper. Sand in one plane (e.g. left-right), maintaining the same amount of force throughout the surface. Continually wet the surface; use a rag to wipe off any particles. About every 5-10 minutes, wash the surface with water and wipe dry - run your fingers over the surface. If the surface texture is inconsistent, keep sanding. Proceed on to the next (finer) sandpaper when the texture of the whole headlight feels the same.

  4. Repeat step 3 with the finer sandpaper, except sand in a different plane (e.g. up-down). Every time you check for surface texture consistency, you can check the direction of the scratches on the headlights. Use a torch if visibility isn't that great. Keep sanding until all the scratches are in the new plane. Repeat this until you finish sanding with 2000 grit (yeah it's bloody annoying, but you won't get perfect results otherwise).

  5. Clean with water only and wipe dry. Now, we apply the rubbing compound. Just like a car polish, work the compound into the headlights and buff off completely when it dries. Best to follow the instructions on the compound you bought. Repeat as many times as needed (three is usually enough).

  6. Similarly, apply the plastic polish.

  7. Buff out any residual polish on headlight and paintwork. Remove masking slowly and (hopefully) marvel at your work!
Results:
  • Before:

    After sanding (notice that the yellow tinge is gone):

    After polishes (haze gone):

  • Imperfections:

    These were only apparent after the polishing work. In the first pic, you can still see bits where the haze is still present. The rest of the headlight was still not clear enough to my liking, though it was far better than what we started off with. In the second, the deeper scratches weren't sanded/polished out well enough.

    I did this DIY with 600 and 1200 grit sandpaper, and went through it all rather quickly. 600 grit just wasn't rough enough to sand away the haze quick enough, so I reckon starting off with 400 would be best. Working through more sandpaper grades would be easier when it comes to sanding out scratches.

    Just a comparison with the indicator lens:

    It's nowhere near as clear, but I reckon when done right, it can get very, very close.
Maybe not a problem with the Mk3 (I've never seen an example of this on a Mk3), but this can be carried out whatever the condition the headlight lens is in.

5 comments:

Câmera Digital said...

Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Câmera Digital, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://camera-fotografica-digital.blogspot.com. A hug.

Anonymous said...

Good brief and this mail helped me alot in my college assignement. Thanks you for your information.

Anonymous said...

How you find ideas for articles, I am always lack of new ideas for articles. Some tips would be great

Anonymous said...

What words... A fantasy

Anonymous said...

[b][url=http://www.luxurypursestore.com/]Louis vuitton wallets[/url][/b] Recycling styrofoam content. Among the list of most beneficial and shocking info is the fact styrofoam can be used as domestic glue. This will likely perhaps repair things this sort of as broken frames etc. If people need to deliver the few celebrating the anniversary a card so as to allow any person see which they consider and look after the duo in question may possibly decide for your personalized cards. Individuals may possibly make this sort of cards without hassle online and incorporate the photograph in the blissful duo on that card. This personalised card by itself may well be sentimental and humorous, and most exceptional issue about these e-cards is the fact they may be relatively much less expensive moreover individuals usually are not necessary even to put up that by themselves.

[b][url=http://www.luxurybagswebsite.co.uk/]louis vuitton purses[/url][/b] Given that the green movement expands, it is actually starting to be distinct that companies could have to evolve to these shifts to outlive. Eco-friendly dining establishments are usually more most likely working with cleansing items which might be much less poisonous, practicing eco-friendly vitality consumption and maybe are LEED qualified. If that is the situation, they may quite often advertise all those facts making them much less intricate to recognize, and locating them is worth the effort and hard work..

[b][url=http://www.luxurybagswebsite.co.uk/]louis vuitton purses[/url][/b] From Marc Jacobs, we uncovered a beautiful clutch with corsage . A mild pink leather provides it a girly come to feel and additional with all the leather-based content, you may have a good looking, ornate but strong handbag. The centre bit of this purse is actually a black jewelled asymmetrical flower layout having a vertical ribbon powering.

[b][url=http://www.luxurypursestore.com/]Louis vuitton wallets[/url][/b] They have bought the standard diet program sections that you could possibly conclusion up observing just about local meals shop. AccuracyIn the teen a few years just right after the age of puberty, advancement and enhancement of Less than six inches very long year just after calendar year is usual. The actual trusted data pertaining to ladies footwear potential Twelve is: on the net sneaker boutiques concurrently deal finest athletic sneakers which can be utilized in numerous neighborhood instances..

[b][url=http://www.uggsoutletonlinestore.co.uk/]uggs outlet online[/url][/b] For anyone who is like the majority of people nowadays, you probably use a mobile cellular phone from the car or truck along with you. Though it's a very good thought to stay from the phone even though working a motor vehicle, this may be described as a very good time and energy to make an exception. If you see an individual driving erratically, it is your obligation to inform the police.