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torga's Daily Build - black, 6mt, two-door shenanigans

1ashchuckton

Autocross Champion
Using a random orbital & progressively finer paper gives a nice finish. Follow this with the magic unicorn tears goop included in the kit. Clean the lights & spray with the UV protection spray. It really gives a nice result. I was too lazy to even try doing it by hand.
 

torga

Autocross Champion
I actually prefer hand sanding for headlights. The straight sanding marks are easier to polish out than those made by orbital sanders.

Really? I would've thought the opposite. I refinished my stock halogens around this time last year by hand. But that's the first time I've ever done it, as this is my first car with plastic lens headlights. Have never had to worry about sun fade and oxidization before now.
 

Phur

Autocross Champion
Really? I would've thought the opposite. I refinished my stock halogens around this time last year by hand. But that's the first time I've ever done it, as this is my first car with plastic lens headlights. Have never had to worry about sun fade and oxidization before now.
To me, it’s the same principle as wetsanding. I’ve watch a ton of videos about orange peel removal and REALLY refining paint. They have often said to sand in one direction. When you step to the next finer grit, sand perpendicular to the time before. It makes hand sanding much more efficient and ensures that you are removing the sanding marks from the previous stage.
 

torga

Autocross Champion
Great tips, thank you! I guess that's why random orbital is so frequently used, since the trace paths of overlapping circles approximates the perpendicular intersections of the hand-sanding method you described.
 

uglybastard

Autocross Champion
And this is all wet sanding right?
 

Phur

Autocross Champion

brat_burner

Autocross Champion
You don't have much clear coat on paint to work with. Headlight lens is much thicker and depending on oxidation level it can require a lot of sanding to get out. (y)
 

1ashchuckton

Autocross Champion
The wetter the better. I was amazed at all the brownish gunk that came off. The lights I did were in very bad shape. I'd hazard a guess that yours won't need as much torga.
 

torga

Autocross Champion
The wetter the better. I was amazed at all the brownish gunk that came off. The lights I did were in very bad shape. I'd hazard a guess that yours won't need as much torga.
They aren't terribly pitted at all. Driver side light seems fairly solid actually, but passenger side is very, very peeled.

Just always add a top coat immediately after. Ive cleaned up my mk4 headlights and left the top coat off after because the one i wanted was out of stock and it oxidized within a couple weeks. Much sooner than I expected but it makes sense since i left it with no protection
This is a huge step. And cure time is important, too. My gf got a used car last year from a dealer and I got them to refinish her lights as part of the negotiations. She brought it back in and they had it for most of the week. Know how I can tell they did the lens correction right before she showed up? Within a day, the top coat was a rippled mess because they didn't let it cure for enough time. They got an earful after that.
 
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