Saturday, June 06, 2009

Headlamp Restoration

The headlamps of my gf's Atoz is getting hazier and hazier. Not to mention it reduces the efficiency (due to light scattering and absorption), it also makes the car damn ugly. Here is how the headlamp looks like before the restoration:

Upon closer inspection, the surface of the lens has thousands of micro-cracks. The above photo shows how hazy it was (*puke*). This is beyond compounding's job. So I had to resort to wet sanding. My buddy (Thanks Alvin!) gave me 3 sheets of sandpaper (1000, 1500 and 2000 grit) for me to try out.

Below are the tools I used for this exercise:
- Makita 9227
- Wolly wool pad
- Meguiar's W8006 Polishing Pad
- 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper
- M85 Diamond Cut Compound
- M83 Dual Action Cleaner/Polish
- 300W halogen light

Since the micro-cracks are pretty dense and deep, it took me quite some time to level the lens' surface by wet sanding. I started out with 1000 grit, and finished off with 2000 grit. This is to ensure that at later stage I won't face sanding mark problem. Here's how it looks like after wet sanding:

Once I was done with wet sanding, I brought the gloss back with M85 (old school yeah). Though the lens looks way better now, but the combination of M85 and wool pad left some heavy buffer swirls. This was easily fixed by M83 with polishing pad.

Check out the result!



Blogger Kim Yew said...

Thanks dear!

12:34 PM  
Blogger  said...

Phulamak... now I see the effect! Keng... Soon KY's car is going to be like a brand new show car lo.. :D

8:16 PM  
Anonymous uturn said...

Zey.. did you do the sanding process by hand or using machine?

2:45 PM  
Blogger Zey said...

Hi uturn, I use hand only.

5:41 PM  
Blogger Kalvin Khoo said...

FULAMAK BRO!!! Tak boleh tahan, nice work... THUMBS UP!!

12:05 AM  
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Anonymous automotive detailing supply said...

Where do you get your product from? I have searched for a really good headlamp restoration kit (I want a kit, not to buy individual products). I have had really good luck with What do you think of this company?

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Anonymous ladyserendipity said...

This is interesting. Thanks for sharing your good ideas.

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Anonymous Shane said...

I always wet sand from 400 or 600 grid though in some cases its hardly necessary. The Oxidation Remover works great and their Shine Restorer Protector is truly amazing stuff!
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Anonymous headlight restoration said...

WOW. that is incredible. It looks just like new!

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Anonymous tyres in redditch said...

Doing things is much simpler when you have both hands free, especially in the dark. Whether the power's gone down at home or you're going backpacking an LED head torch is a great tool to have. Trying to do something such as light a campfire or find your way in the dark is much easier when you can see what's in front of you.

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Blogger Anne said...

Getting it done yourself will definitely require a lot of your time but learning detailing right will go a long way. For busy people, getting your car in for occasional detailing services would be the best way to go.

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Anonymous Dr. Beasley's Car Care Products said...

Great article... you don't always have to sand. We've got some great <a href=">car care products</a> that would be perfect!

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Anonymous Dr. Beasley's Car Care Products said...

Great article... you don't always have to sand. We've got some great car care products that would be perfect!

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Anonymous cardealerships said...

Interesting its just like a new one. Thanks for the share.

8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Headlamp effects your car look but it is due to the oxidation so we can make it again new by some work on it and make the car look
again new and dashing.

7:24 PM  
Anonymous Car Detailing Guru said...

Nice job! I see too many otherwise lovely looking cars with unsightly faded and yellow headlights letting them down. I used a similar technique to repair an expensive HID headlight after a crash had scuffed it badly, that would of been £800 to replace but once I'd finished with it you could never tell there was a mark on it :)

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Fab Fred Car Wash said...

We have several cars coming into our car wash with fogged lenses and we have learned to charge for this, lol.

4:39 AM  
Anonymous Crystal Clear Headlights said...

I never would have thought dust and other micro particles can cause that much damage over time. You did really good on the restoration and I'm giving it two thumbs up. Way to go.

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Headlight said...

This is a great article. Thanks for sharing.

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