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Exterior Appearance Mods Discuss exterior appearance mods here

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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-02-2017, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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clearcoat

I am refurbishing my head light units, and have been looking for Rest-oleum clear coat. Advanced Auto did not have it and when i went to Loews, they said to use Crystal Clear Enamel. Spent hours sanding these units so I don't want to use the wrong stuff. Is the clear enamel the same thing as clear coat?

Last edited by Creek; 12-02-2017 at 09:37 PM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 01:06 AM
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Be careful what you use. I recently polished mine and used the Rustoleum 2X Clear Coat on my first attempt. It cracked as soon as it started to dry and ruined the finish.

On the second go, I used a Krylon clear enamel, and while the cracking was reduced, it still wasn't perfect.

I think you might be better off shopping online for a clear coat suited for headlights. It appears that the standard spray paints sold in most department stores just don't adhere well to headlights.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 01:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Creek View Post
I am refurbishing my head light units, and have been looking for Rest-oleum clear coat. Advanced Auto did not have it and when i went to Loews, they said to use Crystal Clear Enamel. Spent hours sanding these units so I don't want to use the wrong stuff. Is the clear enamel the same thing as clear coat?
Apparently it is Creek - or it's very similar.

I searched for it on Amazon and this looks like what you would want to use on your headlights;

https://www.amazon.com/Rust-Oleum-Au...eum+Clear+Coat


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Last edited by Big Blue; 12-03-2017 at 01:17 AM.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 02:57 PM
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I have never spray painted headlights before but I have restored several sets from various vehicles though. The headlights and fog lights on my Commander were dark yellow when I bought it. I just used polishing compound on them as I bought new projector headlights for it for down the road.

To completely removed nicks and rock chips, they would have to have been sanded first. I did that on other vehicles and the finish comes out flawless. You need to use wet sandpaper starting at 800 grit the working up to 1500 grit for the final finish. The headlights then look hazy until you polish them. They can be polished by hand but a buffing wheel on a bench grinder is the better way to go. You just need to be careful as too much pressure can melt the plastic.

To clean the yellow and light scratches from the Jeep, I just used a mother's powerball attached to a high speed drill and ran through Meguiar's polishing compounds from step 1 to 9. You can see the blue reflection from my PIAA Extreme White bulbs in the headlights and fog lights.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 02:58 PM
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-03-2017, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flex View Post
The photo didn't upload.
Looks good.

Finer grade rubbing compound is a good option to remove the oxidation - I think Creek is just looking for a way to seal it to prevent any future oxidation from happening.


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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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I was unable to remove the oxidation using any of my tried and true methods. I have replaced both lights with assemblies that I purchased from a member of this board. I decided I would see is I could restore the old ones following instructions on u tube. I started with 600 wet paper and removed the old clear coat I then sanded with 2000 wet paper to smooth them out. I am now ready to coat. I can't find the automotive Rust-Oleum locally. I have their regular crystal clear enamel but not sure it what I want. I looked at what Blue found on Amazon, but it i as an add on order. I have looked at Advanced Auto and Pep Boys . I will try NAPA this week. Do not want to have to redo them. Flex yours look very good.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 10:35 AM
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Since you already have the lights out of the Jeep. Just finish in 1000 Grit. Then take him to any body shop and have them spray clear coat on it. That would be your best result. They shouldn't charge you too much money, to spray clear on headlights, that you've brought to them. But you can pay what you're comfortable with.This is a simple method and I do it all the time.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flex View Post
I have never spray painted headlights before but I have restored several sets from various vehicles though. The headlights and fog lights on my Commander were dark yellow when I bought it. I just used polishing compound on them as I bought new projector headlights for it for down the road.

To completely removed nicks and rock chips, they would have to have been sanded first. I did that on other vehicles and the finish comes out flawless. You need to use wet sandpaper starting at 800 grit the working up to 1500 grit for the final finish. The headlights then look hazy until you polish them. They can be polished by hand but a buffing wheel on a bench grinder is the better way to go. You just need to be careful as too much pressure can melt the plastic.

To clean the yellow and light scratches from the Jeep, I just used a mother's powerball attached to a high speed drill and ran through Meguiar's polishing compounds from step 1 to 9. You can see the blue reflection from my PIAA Extreme White bulbs in the headlights and fog lights.
^ this...

and this:

Simplest and cheapest!
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-04-2017, 12:49 PM
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The fading/yellowing/crackling of the original headlights is caused by failing of the original UV protection layer.

Sanding and polishing the headlights is a way to make them look good again, but without replacing the UV protective layer, it will come back again.

Clear coat is one option, no need for a particular make. Any bodyshop supplier should be able to supply you with some, or as mentioned, take them to a bodyshop and let them clear coat the lights. Clear coat will probably fail again after a few years.

There are special light coating solutions out there. Not tried them.
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