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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 28th February 2008 Thread Starter
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Thumbs up Polished headlamps!


Decided to give the (lexan) headlamps a polish today. They have been looking very dim bordering on milky since I bought the car not long ago. There is just something about dim and dirty headlamps that makes any car look tired and old.

I have read many posts - also in this great forum - about sanding them down with wet paper and that's also the method I used.

First I masked the lamp surroundings with masking tape. Then I rubbed the lexan shields with grain 400 wet paper and continued until the lamp surface was an even matte. I paused from time and dried them up with a cloth to check if all the imperfections were gone.

I continued with grain 500 and did the last sanding with grain 1000. This is still a little too coarse to give a glass clear surface and unfortunately I didn't have any grain 2000.

So I decided to finish the job using a small multi tool (Dremmel). First I coated the lamps with a thin layer of Autosol (cutting compound) and then I attacked them gently with a polishing pad on the Dremmel. I made an effort not to melt the lexan so I kept moving the pad around. It only takes a couple of minutes to polish a lamp this way. I repeated the polishing a total of three times on each lamp. I'm happy to report that this was very, very effective! In no time the lamps shields became clear and shiny.
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Laguna Grandtour 1.8 16V Concorde '99
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 29th February 2008
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Nice one Grandtour.

The lamps on my previous Lag 1 phase 2 were particularly bad,and the ones on my current Lag are beginning to go the same way.

I'd rather push my Alfa than drive a BMW....
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 29th February 2008
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I've just received a pair of ph.2 headlamps in the post, with working level adjusters

The lenses do look a bit fogged-up though, so I might have 'em off and clean them before I try and work out how to rig the lights onto the car...

Seems like a bit of a retrograde step to switch to plastic lenses with the phase 2 lights?! It amazed me how light they are
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 29th February 2008
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Good tip grandtour, it would have probably worked first time with the solvol autosol.

A problem well stated is a problem half solved !
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 1st March 2008 Thread Starter
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Good luck with the new lamps, Azurael. I wonder how much of a job it is. The other day I tried to look for a way of adjusting the right side lamp but quickly gave up. Looks really complicated. Even the Haynes Manual says to just leave it to a garrage Well I was lucky - It turned out that the bulb wasn't seated properly.

Davesss, I doubt that I could have finished the job using only Dremmel/Autosol. There was a really thick lacquer-like layer on these lenses. Perhaps the previous owner have been trying to improve clarity by using some form of sealant or wax or maybe they just degrade like that. Anyway it took quite a lot of rubbing with the grain 400 to get it rid of it. Guess I could have tried with one of the sanding discs that comes with the Dremmel but I feared that it would destroy the lamps completely. But at least they should be real easy to keep clear from now on - a quick rub down with Autosol on a piece of cloth will probably do the trick.
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