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Harbor Freight Plastic Headlight Restoration Kit
By Irwin "Arnswine" Arnstein
1959 Chevy 3800
1972 Chevy C 10
<<< click images for larger view >>> March 2009

I noticed that the headlights on my faithful old 1996 Merc had pretty well fogged over and not only looked like poo, but probably put out a lot less light. With the cost of a replacement seatbelt latch at $92.50 from the Ford House, or the same part I got in the junque yard for $9 drive out, I decided replacement lenses were out of the question.

I then got a Harbor Freight flyer that had a plastic headlight kit restoration package for $14.99. I figured why not, as the headlights couldn’t be any worse than they are now.

The package came with a 3” drill backing plate (for your home drill – 1200 rpm), goo (3m Finessit?), two foam-backed sand paper discs (maybe 1500 grit or finer), thick foam polishing cylinder, and instructions -- plus a soft paper towel. 

Fairly simple, if the lenses are real foggy, start with the sand paper discs soaked in water (wet-sanding), and then follow up with the foam polishing cylinder with goo. Wipe clean.

If only slightly foggy, just foam polishing cylinder and goo.  Light pressure, adding goo / water as needed.

As simple as those instructions were, that is all it took!

After the 1500 grit disc wet sanded, the lenses showed a huge improvement. Then with the polishing cylinder and goo, they were very clean. I couldn’t do anything about the stuff on the inside of the lenses, but that was virtually a non-issue compared to where they were. 

Irwin sez thumbs up.  Works fine. Took me about 10 minutes to do the job, excluding digging out the tools and putting them up.  Check the results in pictures.

 
After Sanding   After Polishing

 

Could you do it with your own supplies? Probably just as good. But the inexpensive kit has what you need and makes it easy with proven components. (And don't forget, the KIT has a "soft paper towel" ~ Smarty Editor )


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