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Premium Member
2005 xt 6mt
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116 Posts
I recently used 3M's 39008 kit to restore a couple pairs of headlights, worked amazingly well and was really easy.
Not sure if that is hardcore enough for you, it might help if you listed what you have already used, then we could better assist you.

aaron
 

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Registered
2014 2.5i Limited CVT
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1,987 Posts
Depends on how talented you are with a spray can and how much elbow grease (human or electric) you want to apply.

I actually used one of those "dr scratch" concoctions made for helping to minimize scratches in the paint. A time or two of rub-rub-rub (circular and then more-or-less straight lines) and then followed up with a plastic polish (I've always liked Maguires products).

I live in the deserts of Southern California and so my headlamps are exposed to a LOT of heavy duty sunlight...

I have to redo them every 6 to 9 months. However - I do NOT finish off with a spray sealer (like a clear-coat spray paint) as I just don't trust it enough to go on smooth AND not be susceptible to bits of sand and grit getting stuck in the clear coat while it dries.

Oh, and I've also taken to regularly (about every month or month and a half) to wiping down with one of those "dry wash & wax" type products - spray on, rub in, wipe off - and it seems to be lessening the time between when I have to polish with the scratch remover.

I bought one of those kits too (I think it was the 3M) and had good results, but find the scratch remover for the paint to be a bit less scratchy? Maybe the grit is more microscopic than some others....
 

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Super Moderator
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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1,622 Posts
Fwiw the Sylvania UV block is clear coat...it's just thin enough that it works being wiped on and it doesn't need wet sanding and polishing afterwords to get a crystal clean finish.

It's the best product I've found on the market..
 

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2008 Forester XT 5-Speed Manual
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944 Posts
I restored my prior set of headlights by wet-sanding and polishing, then applying clear-coat. As others have stated: this will get you good results. That said: in my experience the fix does not last very long. For the effort involved, and the longevity of the repair: i’d just go in for a new set of headlights.
 

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196 Posts
None of it last long. If the vehicle is more than 6-7 years old, I typically just save up for a new headlight set.

I have cleaned maybe 10 vehicles with almost all brands of restoring products. Most don't last 6 months.
 

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SeasonedStalker
2017 XT Touring in CBS HT CVT
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313 Posts
In my experience wet sanding a polishing was all that was required. The key for me was patience with the 2k and 3k wet paper. You can even go to a 1500 to start if you feel the 2k is not aggressive enough. I used the novus 2 step polishing kit acquired from amazon along with drill mounted buffing pads. This combo produced results I was very happy with. Just be sure to mask the surrounding paint to avoid any unwanted polishing. I tried to upload pictures from my phone but the files size was too large? Never ran into that on the old platform.
Happy swirling,
Joaquin
 

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Super Moderator
2018 X3 M40i / 2016 X3 xDrive35i
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1,622 Posts
None of it last long. If the vehicle is more than 6-7 years old, I typically just save up for a new headlight set.

I have cleaned maybe 10 vehicles with almost all brands of restoring products. Most don't last 6 months.
The Sylvania UV clear coat is a permanent coating that lasts like an original coating if you prepped and applied it right. It also benefits from cleanings/polishings/and coatings like your paint.

As to wetsanding and polishing being all that's required, I would say that is only applicable if your original coating had not fully failed. If it failed and you wetsand and polish your plastic, you're only going to see decent results if your car rarely sees UV (garaged, parking garage at work, etc). Otherwise, it WILL return, and usually very quickly (weeks). The plastic NEEDS UV protection.
 

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Administrator
2007 Forester Sports XT 4EAT
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38,994 Posts
I agree, unless the removed UV protective coating is reapplied, the fogging... yellowing will return. If you use a plastic polish, we found applying car wax after the treatment will extend the time, but you will have to repolish & rewax.

Bobby...

['07 FSXT Member Journal] ['03 X Member Journal]
 

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I have an 02 Forester. I bought a 99 Forester as a parts car and it has glass lenses. I swapped them on my 02 and it looks great. No more polishing. I had previously tried several brands of polishing kits with ok results but they never lasted. I finally bought aftermarket replacements but someone backed into them. Bought the parts car for doors and leather seats but different year is different color. I’m now driving the 99 w 197000 miles. Working on fixing up the 02.
 
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