Headlamp restoration surprise success

Headlamp restoration surprise success

Author
Discussion

NealCS

Original Poster:

109 posts

80 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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My Vantage is 11yrs old and I had it resprayed but the headlamps were scratched and pitted and looked like they were cloudy on the inside - it really let the car down:




A couple of people said they were too far gone and would need replacing, so with nothing to lose I tried the Autoglym Headlamp Restiration kit - ASTONISHING results:






You go through four grades of sanding paper/disc and then a polishing paste. The first stage is terrifying and requires patience:



You will see that some areas of the lens seem to have a harder surface, you have to keep going to get through this surface:


The trick is to clean the dust off the disc and the lens every few seconds - as soon as you go over the Perspex powder at high speed with the disc it becomes a liquid again and solidifies on both lamp and disc. The first stage took nearly an hour. Then the next stages are quick, with the final (messy) Polish taking just minutes:



The results speak for themselves - as-new headlamps for £25/side! (I had to use two kits as the coarse grade paper clogged too much to do both - but perhaps less scratched lenses would be easier).

Hope that’s useful to someone.

Rappa

545 posts

227 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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Hi thanks for posting this is the exact thing that this forum benefits from.

Well done and thanks again - if mine ever need this treatment I know where to look.

Sean

vernierMike

274 posts

51 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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Fantastic results, nice one. So many cars drive around half blind I do wonder...

How to stop it doing it again in 18 months outside? I used clear 3M film on my Merc headlights 3 years ago, still perfect but not easy to fit on curves!

bignoise

283 posts

58 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Aston-Martin-V8-Vantage...

For headlamp protection film I used the above

It fitted well and went relatively easy over the curvaceous lights with a little help from erindoor's hairdrier

NealCS

Original Poster:

109 posts

80 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
quotequote all
Thanks bignoise I’ll try that- I was planning to wax them - is it better to NOT do that before applying the film do you know?

westhumbler

130 posts

33 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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Fantastic result.

I had clouding to my SLK headlights a few years ago (though not as bad as the pics of yours before treatment) and used colgate whitening toothpaste to polish out the cloudiness and get them pristine again (yes this internet tip really did work). So the car not only had nice clear lenses after treatment, but a fresh minty smell too!

bignoise

283 posts

58 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
quotequote all
NealCS said:
Thanks bignoise I’ll try that- I was planning to wax them - is it better to NOT do that before applying the film do you know?
Hi Neal

I expect you will get a better adhesion without wax

Tim

Jester27

78 posts

80 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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Nice work, looks like new.

All plastic lenses have a spray applied & cured hardcoat to protect from impact damage, UV damage, chemical attack and the elements.
Once removed, it would be very wise to apply a 3M film as a substitute.


NealCS

Original Poster:

109 posts

80 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
quotequote all
Aha Jester that must be the part that was tough to remove - it only remained on about 1/2 the lens - I’ve ordered the protection film and will add to the post once applied. (Any tips appreciated!)

hashluck

1,508 posts

232 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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Amazing results. Nice work!

tonycordon

239 posts

187 months

Sunday 28th October 2018
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Another plus for this system, I used it to restore the headlights on my 996 Turbo a few years ago. Easy (if tedious) to do, especially as on the Porsche I could easily remove the lights, but still a very good system, just be careful with the masking.

Beechburn

59 posts

34 months

Monday 29th October 2018
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(Any tips appreciated!)

A hairdryer to apply a little heat when fixing will make them easier to apply

cayman-black

9,629 posts

173 months

Monday 29th October 2018
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Wow they look new.

Phil57DBS

132 posts

32 months

Monday 29th October 2018
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Perfect !

No final varnish ?

what do you think of this final protection?
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00A3S1RGU/ref...

Steve jm

74 posts

108 months

Monday 29th October 2018
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In my experience, if you polish material off then you would want to put something really durable and more permanent back on. I believe Chiltern Aston offer the clear film but even better, a ceramic lacquer topcoat.

Felonious

304 posts

131 months

Monday 29th October 2018
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Good work! That's an impressive transformation.

I've had PPF applied on mine (though I'm, not sure what sort). I reckoned it was cheaper than replacement or eventual re-furb. Dub Customs did it at the same time as PPFing the lower front bumper.

vernierMike

274 posts

51 months

Monday 29th October 2018
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With all the post-polishing applications/films/coatings, just make sure they are opaque to UV. Or you will be taking them off again in a year or so and re-polishing. That's why I went full-fat 3M film...

rickyf1

23 posts

74 months

Tuesday 30th October 2018
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meguires do a "headlamp protectant" that contains UV filters but you do have to re-apply frequently...

a98pmalcolm

213 posts

34 months

Thursday 1st November 2018
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Awesome job there! best you were dead chuffed, I would be.

I had minor scratches on my 07 DB9 lights.

My local detailor rubbed them down like you did, but once finished he ceramic coated them. Might me worth doing that as my lights where lacquered from factory, not sure if the Vantage ones are the same..

johnnyBv8

1,988 posts

148 months

Friday 2nd November 2018
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Excellent results - well done. I've never seen Vantage lights in such poor condition - even on an early car, so fantastic to see how much you've improved them.