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Old 11-20-2012, 01:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

I bought a set of '99 3000gt headlights that were painted with godawful textured spray paint (why?!). Anyone have thoughts on how to get this crap off without completely ruining the original finish?



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Old 11-20-2012, 02:03 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

Paint stripper, hand sand and reclear. The humps prevent you from using an orbital.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Monochrome View Post
Paint stripper, hand sand and reclear. The humps prevent you from using an orbital.
Thanks. I was hoping I could get rid of the paint without having to re-clear, but that's probably not possible.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:36 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

I would be very careful with paint stripper on the lexan lenses. I would hand sand that crap off, the 3m kit does fairly well with the 99 headlights, but you will still need to hand sand around the humps.
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

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I would be very careful with paint stripper on the lexan lenses. I would hand sand that crap off, the 3m kit does fairly well with the 99 headlights, but you will still need to hand sand around the humps.
Thanks for chiming in April. So.. sand the paint off, use 3M headlight restoration kit + hand sand with a fine grit around the humps? Would I still need to re-clear after, in your experience?
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

It's going to take you forever to sand all that paint off with fine paper. You need to use a courser paper and unfortunately that will dig deep into the clear. I don't think you'll be able to get away with stripping the paint without needing to redo the clear.

You'd almost be better off removing the lexan top, masking the bottom side and blasting it with walnut shells or baking soda, then start hand sanding with a wet 400-600 grit working your way up to 2000 grit.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:44 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

When I did the 99s, I started with 400 grit, although I wasn't trying to sand off paint. The clear coat was peeling like crazy. Yes, they would need to be re-cleared if you don't want to continually wax them.

I think I stopped on about 1000 grit and then started polishing them with various compounds.

I also took apart the headlight to do this.

The headlight before was not cleared either. I told the buyer they would need to wax them about once a month or have them cleared themselves.

This was the before:


And after:


Last edited by dbest671; 11-20-2012 at 04:17 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:05 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

wow, those poor 99s...
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:18 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

i'm going to go out on a limb and say the finish was dominated before they did that
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Old 11-20-2012, 06:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Opinions on headlight restoration (99 hls)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dbest671 View Post
When I did the 99s, I started with 400 grit, although I wasn't trying to sand off paint. The clear coat was peeling like crazy. Yes, they would need to be re-cleared if you don't want to continually wax them.

I think I stopped on about 1000 grit and then started polishing them with various compounds.

I also took apart the headlight to do this.

The headlight before was not cleared either. I told the buyer they would need to wax them about once a month or have them cleared themselves.

This was the before:


And after:

Wow, nice job .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest Gump View Post
i'm going to go out on a limb and say the finish was dominated before they did that
You're probably right. I can't imagine anyone with a shred of sanity painting over good condition 99 headlights without a reason.
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