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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
After many restorations, my headlights on the SEL weren't looking so hot. Micro scratches everywhere and a general haze of the lens from the lack of any UV Protectant coating on the headlight.



Hazed, fogged, faded, or oxidized headlights are a safety hazard at night and reduce the value/appearance of your car greatly, so restoring them is a good way to make your car worth more and safer, without spending a whole lot of money on new lenses.

So I decided to restore them like a professional would and never have to do it again.

First Step: Go to any store that sells spray paint, and purchase a can of Gloss Clear. The label MUST say something along the lines of "UV Protection." If you already have this, skip this step.
Second Step: Go to any store that sells sandpaper, and purchase some wet or dry sandpaper, 700, 1500, 2000, and 3000* grit. If you already have this, skip this step. *3000 grit is optional, see "After Clear Coating"
Third Step: Remove the headlights from your bull, doing so makes the clear coating process much easier. In Gen 4's, you just need to remove two metal clips (vertically arranged) behind each light, and one bolt near the grille. Then pull straight out and unplug the electrical connector.

The Wet Sand:

1. You want to start by cleaning off your headlight with any solution you desire, this is solely to get any bug or road grime off of the headlights so that it doesn't clog up the pores in the sandpaper.
2. Set up an area where you can wet sand, you'll need a container of warm soapy water, and probably a few towels. Let the sandpaper soak in the water while you're doing this.
3. Start by dipping your hand in the container of water and just rubbing down the headlight to get it wet.
4. Then pull the 700 grit sandpaper out of the water and start sanding in a horizontal motion. KEEP THE SURFACE LUBRICATED AS YOU DO THIS.
5. When the lens is completely opaque from the sanding, you want to stop and dry it off with a towel. Your headlight should be free of any yellowing or oxidation, and any spots that are still clear should be gone over again (remember to wet the area down).
6. Repeat steps 3-4, stepping down to 1500, and 2000 grit sandpaper. This time you want to stop when the surface looks evenly sanded, it will appear a little hazy after the wet sanding but you want it to look like that as the clear coat will fill those scratches.

The Clear Coating:

1. Ready your clear coat by shaking and testing it on a piece of scrap material. Also be sure that the ambient temperature is within the range on the can, usually 50*F - 90*F. You can clear coat one headlight at a time or both at the same time, it's up to you.
2. Wipe down the headlight(s) with a cloth or paper towel that is damp with rubbing alcohol. This removes any oils (from your fingers) and any dust or dirt from the lenses.
3. After that, start by spraying a somewhat light coat of clear on your headlight(s). You don't want it to run and ruin your work.
4. Wait 5-10 minutes for that to dry up and repeat step 3 again. Keep your coat light enough to prevent any runs in the clear.
6. Repeat steps 2-4 for the other headlight if you are doing them separately.
5. Now you're done. The headlights should be dry to touch in an hour or so, and fully cured within 24 hours.

After Clear Coating:

After curing for 24 hours, you'll notice that the lens has a little bit of orange peel, typical of spray paint. You can either leave it be and go ahead and wax the surface, or you can choose to wet sand the headlight with 3000 grit to remove some of that orange peel, if you choose to wet sand, you still want to wax the headlights afterwards. I chose not to wetsand afterwards.

After waxing/wet sanding, you can re-install your headlights!




*Excuse the lighting in the pictures above, they're not the best*
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks! I used Krylon Fusion but I've seen videos on YouTube where the person used Rustoleum, both brands are great.
 

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Maybe it's just your pics, but the end result doesn't look all that clear...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Maybe it's just your pics, but the end result doesn't look all that clear...
I chose not to remove the orange peel, which was giving it a slightly more opaque look, the picture quality probably accentuates that. IRL it's much better than the scratched up lenses before I started..
 

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For what it is worth. See pic, this is a spare, likely will never be used. I have 3 G-4 Sables. (one for sale)

I cleaned this one, and sprayed it with automotive clearcote. Kind of quick and not dirty, did it in some wind. It is outside behind the shed for the winter. Gonna see if it holds up. I was in a hurry and got a bit of a run at the bottom.

The lense was cleaned well before paint.

-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It got warm enough today so I decided to do the wetsand, they came out amazing.

*excuse the picture quality*
1415840070139.jpg
1415840120881.jpg
 

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Better than before!
 
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