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    Thread: DIY: Polishing PLASTIC...like headlights and tailights!

    1. Member wik10's Avatar
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      05-02-2008 12:16 AM #251
      I cant wait to do this one .... i could not find 3M rubbing compound ,,, but got Turtle wax rubbing compound. I am guessing its the same but I just want to make sure

    2. 05-11-2008 05:43 PM #252
      I tried this with my 100K lights. So-so results.
      800g - 1500g - 2000g - turtle wax compound - plastiX. All by hand except one round with the compound and plastiX with a crappy $15 wal-mart 6" buffer (useless).
      The lights DO look better but far from new. I'll also say that my lights are brighter because more light is getting through. So there's a safety benefit to this DIY as well. I'm going to try the process again with more elbow grease.
      Question:
      1. Take a look at the pic. Do you guys think the cloudy shapes are on this inside of the lens? I really don't want to take the lights out and put them in the oven, etc.
      What do you think?



      Modified by mconfes at 2:48 PM 5-11-2008

    3. 05-17-2008 09:12 PM #253
      does any body see a potential problem with doing the process as instructed then wiping as much plastx off as possible (so its "dry") and then putting 3M headlight protection on my lights so this doesnt happen again?

    4. 05-17-2008 10:47 PM #254
      ?

    5. Member VeeDub_6's Avatar
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      05-17-2008 11:30 PM #255
      Quote, originally posted by mconfes »
      Question:
      1. Take a look at the pic. Do you guys think the cloudy shapes are on this inside of the lens? I really don't want to take the lights out and put them in the oven, etc.
      What do you think?


      Modified by mconfes at 2:48 PM 5-11-2008

      It's hard to tell from a pic so up close, but the same thing happened with mine when I first polished them. I just redo it all over again, sanding horizontally then in circles. I watered the headlights and dried them before using a new sandpaper, just to get all debris off. Second time around, I bought a Craftsman buffer at Sears, and worked in the compound without breaking a sweat.

      Quote, originally posted by Jon519 »
      does any body see a potential problem with doing the process as instructed then wiping as much plastx off as possible (so its "dry") and then putting 3M headlight protection on my lights so this doesnt happen again?

      I don't see why not, the 3M headlight protection is just a headlight cover. I don't know if they work really well, never used them before.
      Golf R 4dr Rising Blue │ Past VWs: '04 T-reg V8 & '00 Jetta VR6
      DD: Mazda CX-5

    6. Member mr_e1974's Avatar
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      05-17-2008 11:40 PM #256
      Just adding to my watch list...I'm going to have to do this soon....
      "An AUDI is nothing more than a Volkswagen in a pretty prom dress."
      Stance will make her dance...well, try that "line" at da strip club
      Stretch is for sissies...REAL MEN love sticky meaty tires.

    7. 05-18-2008 01:23 PM #257
      I'm sure the horizontal streaks will come out with more compound work.
      I'll have to see if doing the process again helps with the cloudy sections.

    8. 05-19-2008 09:16 AM #258
      Much better. It's all about the compound and polish. I wasn't using enough elbow grease. A professional buffer would've helped too. Also, several posts mention that the lens gets clearer each time you go through the process - TRUE. My lights look great. Thanks Vortex! Now I need to do the same process to my black paint! Scary.

    9. 05-19-2008 05:28 PM #259
      so the finish created by the plastx will not make the 3M not stick or peel, etc? I just spent $35 to get the 3M hadlight protection so i dont want to put it on and then it just comes off

    10. Member birdhousebmx's Avatar
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      05-20-2008 09:08 PM #260






      um <3

    11. Member FULLOFGLI's Avatar
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      05-22-2008 03:50 PM #261
      nice diy! I'll be practicing on my mom's van first

    12. 05-30-2008 02:21 PM #262
      I live in Greece and I can not find the exact 3M Rubbing Compound. Is this in the picture below the same or it is only for scratches in the paint and not for plastics?


    13. 06-05-2008 02:53 PM #263
      i know thats the right one...i have yet to do it to mine though

    14. Member Cz3ch's Avatar
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      06-07-2008 03:17 PM #264
      I tried doing it today and the lenses are all cloudy went from 400-600-1500grit and some rubbing compound. Any ideas

    15. 06-07-2008 04:30 PM #265
      i would go 600, 800 1000, 1500, 2000.
      i did mine the other day. im in windsor too so your more than welcome to come check mine out.
      also check out the local club illicitvw.com

    16. Member Cz3ch's Avatar
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      06-07-2008 05:44 PM #266
      I cant find that 3M stuff anywhere what else could I use? Did everyone use 3M?

    17. 06-09-2008 06:55 PM #267
      Well, here it goes....
      I have everything ready to go and can't wait to start this project. However, I need some suggestions/help first....
      I currently have the Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound and want to know if this is just as good as the 3M version or should I just get the 3M Rubbing Compound instead?
      Has anyone seen the difference in results between the two?
      Any suggestions are greatly appreciated?

    18. Member oempls's Avatar
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      06-10-2008 11:53 PM #268
      I followed everything step by step and mine came out like crap. They have some weird residue on them. I went with a 600 then 1000 then 2000. Any suggestions? Back from the dead.

    19. Member yanimac's Avatar
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      06-13-2008 10:24 AM #269
      Awesome DIY... Could have used this a month ago when I still had my MKIV Jetta. Hopefully this kind of hazing etc won't happen with MKV GLI headlights. (+ bugs even got into my headlights on my 02 Jetta)

    20. Member Ajlal24's Avatar
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      06-14-2008 07:44 PM #270
      I do this at work all the time and I get a perfect finish. But I do it once the first time around and never go over it.
      What you have to do is clean the lens first with soap/water then go straight to 1500 grit 3M wet/dry sand paper. I take about 5 mins to get the headlight all sanded down and smooth then go to a 2000 grit for and other 5 mins and dry the lens up and use 3M rubbing compound to get the haze out. Comes out perfect, no need to 600 grit the headlights. IMO 600 grit is too rough for plastics. If you can use a buffer to get the haze out. Put a dab of compound on the lens and buff away.
      It should take you longer to get the supplies than to get the job done.lol
      200K+ Miles on Factory Original VR6 Chains.

    21. Member Ajlal24's Avatar
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      06-14-2008 07:49 PM #271
      I would never touch 400 grit to any plastic. 400 grit sandpaper is used to sand primer when doing body work. I don't recommend using anything less than 1000 grit on plastic. Seriously, you get streak marks from any rougher sandpaper and you put a lot more elbow into it when buffing.
      200K+ Miles on Factory Original VR6 Chains.

    22. 07-09-2008 07:47 PM #272
      "I currently have the Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound and want to know if this is just as good as the 3M version or should I just get the 3M Rubbing Compound instead?"
      >
      >
      I just finished this DIY a half hour ago using the Turtle Wax Rubbing Compound and I am astonished to say the least. I found it to work just fine and was completely satisfied. But keep in mind, the DIY author noted that you need to keep rubbing in the compound until your arm feels like its going to fall off..... he wasn"t kidding. Go ahead and use the Turtle wax, It works very well.
      (My bad on the poor quoting style, i'm a noob and don't know how to quote stuff )

    23. Member ruetzal's Avatar
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      07-14-2008 11:25 AM #273
      save and I am going with over 1000 grit wouldn't go with anything under too rough

    24. Member VW1.8Tsunami's Avatar
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      07-14-2008 11:55 AM #274
      I did it this weekend w/ 600 then 2000. Amazing difference. For those of you that said it was still cloudy, you probably didn't do it long enough.
      FWIW, I used turtle wax rubbing compound too.
      Previously Owned: 2010 Kia Forte, 2010 JK Wrangler, 2007 Passat, 2003 Jetta, 2002 Jetta, 1992 Sentra, 1998 Dakota, 1990 Ford Ranger

    25. 07-14-2008 05:30 PM #275
      I used the following modified process because i was reticent to use 600 grit wet/dry paper.
      1. Generous amount of Plastx with a damp Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty kitchen scrub sponge. Lots of circular scrubbing. This actually took away much of the hazing/yellowing, per its advertised benefit. The scrubbing fiber will not scratch the plastic - since its use is with plastic, glass and metal in the sink.
      2. 1500 grit wet/dry paper with Mrs. Myer's all-purpose soapy water. Dried off with cloth
      3. 3M compound, but only with enough rubbing until it basically disappeared into the surface.
      4. Plastx again with the sponge, terry cloth buffing until clear.
      Worked just great on 8 year old headlight lenses that've never been cleaned before.

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