Clearcoating headlights

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by AK18, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. AK18

    AK18 Member

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    Been trying to restore my headlight assembly for the last couple days. Tried many products out there including Turtle Wax, Mothers and finally got the one that yield best result, which is Meguiar's PlastX.

    Started by wet-sanding the headlight and then when I finished, I tried to clearcoat it by using the Rust-Oleum 2X clearcoat. It's been an hour and this is what I'm seeing. Not clear....what did I do wrong?? 1473024766087.jpg 1473024771151.jpg

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  2. tankyuong

    tankyuong Active Member

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    try headlight restore from walmart, the clearcoat is way better
     
  3. WilDavis

    WilDavis Senior Member

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    Final wet-sanding needs to be the very finest grit you can find, then follow that by using toothpaste (yup, toothpaste!) then clearcoat! (lots of how-to videos on youtube!)
     
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  4. AK18

    AK18 Member

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    I finally figured it out...after clearcoating....we need to wet sanded again with 5000 grit...and then re-polish...now it looks pretty!!!

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  5. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sidewalk Supervisor

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  6. AK18

    AK18 Member

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  7. Roland1555

    Roland1555 Senior Member

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    Does look good now.

    Question for you though, is that the 2013? Did the clear coat fail that quickly in So Cal?

    My 2010, 2009 July build has been outside since I bought it. There is now some evidence of factory clear coat failure on the top of the housings, not at the front where the light shines out, but it would still be overkill at this point if I would be seen taking sandpaper to them. It really is just a little bit of haziness that looks like the after effect of being parked in a shower. Enough for me to see, not a normal person, but I am a picky bugger when it comes to my Prius.

    Like to know and wish that your respray holds up for a good long time.

    Roland
     
  8. AK18

    AK18 Member

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    The headlight was pitted when I got the car but the lens are not yellow. So my primary goal was to remove the pitting which I did by wet sanding the lens. Then clear coating for longetivity...

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  9. Roland1555

    Roland1555 Senior Member

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    Oh okay.... I've plenty of highway miles but very little pitting thankfully.

    Wish I could say the same for the hood, I suck at using the little touch up paint on the blizzard pearl finish.. always seem to see the 'repair' almost more than the original chip.

    One day I will try the clear coat method you detailed here for us on the lamp housings as I think the little hazy area I see will gradually expand more quickly now that it has started. Just waiting as I think the original coating is apt to last much longer than the Rustoleum spray, but it would be great if your coating lasts a long time as I hope it will.

    Roland
     
  10. AK18

    AK18 Member

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    Only time will tell....but if you do get the clearcoat, make sure you ONLY use the Rust-Oleum 2X clearcoat ...no other brand. I tried different rust-oleum..only to find had to re-send everything and start over. Now come to think of it, not sure how thin the plastic has become...ha ha ha

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  11. Roland1555

    Roland1555 Senior Member

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    That is the one I already bought. Way too far in advance of the job as I said.... I like to be prepared, just hope the product doesn't degrade in the can before I deem it necessary to go for it.

    I was relieved to see the exact can that you pictured above.

    thanks for the head's up. And hope you have lots of plastic left on those housings.

    Roland
     
  12. David Beale

    David Beale Senior Member

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    There is also a 3M vinyl product that can be applied to the headlamps. It's optically clear, and provides some impact protection (rocks etc). Expensive though. Almost as much as new housings.
     
  13. Danger

    Danger Member

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    AK18 - What polish did you use? My headlights have clearcoat peeling a bit and I want to restore it like yours.
     
  14. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    image.jpeg I did my headlights this morning.

    Have some before and after shots. They look like brand new lenses using the Turtle Wax kit. Bought the rust oleum clear coat, but didn't use it. Want to see what the longevity of the turtle wax lot is before I put too many variables together;).
     

    Attached Files:

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  15. Roland1555

    Roland1555 Senior Member

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    Hope it lasts for a good long time and that you will let us know.
     
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  16. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    I am hoping so. I let them go until it got close to the low beam projection outward.

    I will provide updates once they fade again. The more actual data the better:).
     
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  17. SB6

    SB6 New Member

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    How are they now, two years later?
     
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  18. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Ended up following up with wipe new as the turtle wax kit didn’t last as long as I hoped (about 9 months) :(.

    Here’s a shot tonight after a year and a half on the wipe new kit:

    7ACD070D-2F00-4175-8B48-617403432A9D.jpeg 15BBF18B-B654-4424-821F-C3264A464B21.jpeg

    I’ll have to follow up again soon, but not bad for a year and a half;).

    Thanks for circling back and asking for data(y).
     
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  19. NutzAboutBolts

    NutzAboutBolts Senior Member

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    Time to buy new ones ;) you’re just avoiding the inevitable :ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO::ROFLMAO:
     
  20. Raytheeagle

    Raytheeagle Senior Member

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    Meh, a $10 kit every 2 years ain’t so bad;).

    New headlight assemblies run more than $20 each, so cost justification on a nearly 10 year old Prius isn’t there :cool:.

    I’ll keep going the kit route(y).
     
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