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Go Back JeepForum.com > Models > Jeep Grand Cherokee & Commander Forums > WJ Grand Cherokee Forum > Why can't I polish my headlights correctly?!

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Unread 09-22-2013, 02:56 PM   #16
jbaldry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StormChaserTim View Post

Hang on a second. The idea here is to cut the outer layer of the plastic, removing the haze, then progressively sanding to remove the scratches. It's exactly the same as paintwork. Mag wheel polish won't fill anything in. What it is, is a super fine abrasive. Fact is, toothpaste would (theoretically) work. The reason you still have scratches is because they weren't fully sanded out by the next finer grit.

Think of it another way:
Coarse (600 grit)
Medium (1000 grit)
Medium Fine (1500 grit)
Fine (2000 grit)
Super Fine (3000 grit)
Ultra Fine (Mag Wheel Polish)

Tim
And after the mag wheel polish you didn't have ANY scratches?

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Unread 09-22-2013, 03:39 PM   #17
StormChaserTim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbaldry View Post
And after the mag wheel polish you didn't have ANY scratches?
No, none. On my Ram, I did the 1500-2000-3000-mag wheel polish technique, and here are my results.

Before:


After:


I did the WJ's with a cutting compound and a buffer, just because they were AWFUL, and had to be done on the fly. Not the best pics, but...






Tim
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Unread 09-23-2013, 09:49 AM   #18
imaguy3
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Mine were almost as bad as the Dodge light above when I started... I didn't even think about taking before pics... but here's a pic. after all the sanding and before I added the polymer included with the Sylvania kit...


and here's the final result (I know it's opposite light, but they both looked the same)


A year after doing these I upgraded to projectors... giving my old headlights to my dad for his WJ... As you can see his were bad but mine still looked good after that time...
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Unread 09-23-2013, 10:53 AM   #19
Knightrider9827
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I dont have any before pics that I could find, I sanded with 1500, 2500, 4000, 5000 grit then polish/cleaner. after 5000 grit on right, after polish on left.

not the best photo.
http://s1278.photobucket.com/user/kn...tml?sort=3&o=0
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Unread 09-23-2013, 01:26 PM   #20
BigDaveWJ
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Why bother, they are cheap to replace.

http://www.amazon.com/Cherokee-Limit...kee+headlights
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Unread 09-23-2013, 01:29 PM   #21
imaguy3
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The sylvania kit is a little less work too... You're only sanding with three diff. grits then using a rubbing compound.. before applying the finish... It took me about 45min. to do each light.... taking small breaks to make sure sanding was even and opening beers.
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Unread 09-25-2013, 07:02 AM   #22
snorander
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I got tired of having to redo them every year and just bought new headlights, best $100 bucks I ever spent!
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Unread 09-25-2013, 09:34 AM   #23
Cirruslydakota
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^ This. I went through the same polishing monthly routine and wish I had just outright replaced them sooner.

Expensive transfer case fluid? I wouldn't know; I have a 242.
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Unread 09-25-2013, 12:55 PM   #24
imaguy3
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If you polish without adding the UV inhibitor you're wasting time. The UV inhibitor is crucial to prevent the rehazing... I promise you guys that it works. In AZ mine lasted for well over a year without any noticeable rehazing... the UV inhibitor works.
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Unread 09-25-2013, 02:33 PM   #25
yzjwk
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Here's a good site for DIY restoration. They test quite a few of the kits too http://headlightrestoration.org/article-diy.html
I've tried wipe new (as seen on tv) with prety good results .
When i bought the wk , the dealer sanded the lenses and clear coated them
and that lasted about 2 years.
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Unread 09-25-2013, 03:39 PM   #26
rdkendrick
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I just skipped all the sanding and elbow grease and just bought new lights. It was worth it to me and my back.

Sent from my iPad using my fingers
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Unread 09-25-2013, 04:14 PM   #27
miami5th
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I had this issue too OP. I just couldn't get the new lens look that I wanted so I bought a pair of aftermarket lenses on amazon. They look great and were only like 75 bucks for the pair. New lenses easily take 5 years off the appearance of the vehicle. I think the company was called headlights depot.
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Unread 09-25-2013, 05:09 PM   #28
jbaldry
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdkendrick View Post
I just skipped all the sanding and elbow grease and just bought new lights. It was worth it to me and my back.

Sent from my iPad using my fingers
I'm a poor seventeen year-old, so I'll go with elbo grease
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Unread 09-25-2013, 07:43 PM   #29
Brentski
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I've used the 3m kit and had great results. It is the type that uses a hand drill (not necessary, but really convenient). As far as your scratches are concerned, it could be one of two things. Firstly, it could be that one of your sanding stages was incomplete, meaning you didn't get all the scratches out before going to the next finer grit. This happens, don't be hard on yourself, it is really hard to tell because of the slurry, I think the key is not to skimp on the water.
Second possibility is that you did a great job sanding and polishing, but you just have cracks in the plastic.

As far as keeping them from clouding up, a good wax seems to be the key. I have learned that there are two types of paste wax, carnuba and synthetic (or Polymer). I would strongly recommend the synthetic, it bonds to the plastic and is much more durible. I wax my headlights with it every couple of months (or less often) and haven't had to buff them in two years and they are still crystal clear.

I wish you luck.
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Unread 09-27-2013, 09:56 AM   #30
jbaldry
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Alright guys, I have a plan that should please everyone, but I also have one more question. I believe that I have to remove the 600 grit scratches. I bought 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000, 3000, mag wheel polish, AND headlight sealant for all the guys saying it won't be worth it unless I seal them Do you think I should go pick up some 800 grit? Or will the jump from 600 to 1000 be OK.
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