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Machine Polishing Need help with Machine polishing

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Old 07-12-2016, 08:28 AM   #1
Marcwithac
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Restoring plastic headlamps

Hi all,

Just started sorting the headlights on my puma. Have wet sanded them back, finishing with 2500 grit.
In order to polish them I'm having to use a backing plate on a corded drill and a combo of white/yellow rupes pads and Megs 105/205.
Problem is that although the sand marks are coming out I seem to have swirl marks that I can't remove. Am I causing them??

Have now also done several passes with my DA using an orange hex logic with some 205. It's removed almost all the marks now but the swirls still remain. Am stumped!
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:36 AM   #2
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you need this

https://www.autoglym.com/headlight-restoration-kit

Makes the job so quick and easy.

Before :


After:
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Old 07-12-2016, 06:36 PM   #3
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Thanks. I've got mine looking like that- until you put them under a light. I've done everything that kit can do, just trying to finish them off.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:45 PM   #4
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If you're absolutely sure you took all the pitting out, then you just need to step up to a harder pad with the same polish, or a more aggressive polish with the same pad. I know 205 is usually enough, but I use it on rotary.

Polish a small area again, and use your swirl spotter to see if it's any better, if it's not, you may have to resand again, or the swirls may be on the inside!

I've had this before when I didn't sand down the last step properly (2500) - I probably spent 40 mins on one side, and 30 mins on the other, and the 30 min side still shows swirls no matter how much I polish it. It was my first car, so didn't make that mistake again.

Keep at it - you're nearly there!

If you're going to coat them with something afterwards (Nanolex Si3D Headlight, or Sonax Headlight), you'll probably get some slight filling to your swirls as well.
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Old 07-12-2016, 08:54 PM   #5
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Thanks Tosh. Have also just tried another small section with a wet sand of 2500 with very light pressure, in a cross hatch, then a couple of passes with PlastX on an orange hex pad. It's removed the sand marks but the swirls remain...
Either I've not sanded enough (which I struggle to believe), I've induced more swirls or, as you say they are on the inside. Am honestly stumped.

As far as sealing goes, assuming I get that far, was hoping to use some Gtechniq C4- is that suitable?

Thanks for your help.
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Old 09-12-2016, 12:55 AM   #6
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Restoring plastic headlamps

Personally, if you have C4 already it will work (it's the same as C1 and GTechniq have confirmed that's ok).

Don't use Si3D, as that doesn't work well with polished headlights; the headlight version is ok.

If you're going to buy something specifically, Sonax Profiline headlight is good (50ml aerosol), meguiars headlight g17710 is about 12 quid a bottle (only lasts 1-2 months though), or you can get a sachet of stuff for a tenner (lots of them out there, I used Twenty20 Crystalite)

You get these sachets in 3M and AutoGlym kits for UV protection.

Saying that, I did a 10yr old 1 Series, didn't seal it and still hasn't yellowed after 2 years.

I haven't bought the Si 3D headlight yet, but I will do at some point to complete my Nanolex collection.



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Last edited by tosh; 09-12-2016 at 12:59 AM.
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Old 09-12-2016, 03:54 PM   #7
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Nice one, many thanks for that.
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Old 10-12-2016, 01:41 PM   #8
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I've now done several passes with a yellow Rupes foam pad and the PlastX, I think the swirls are reducing. Think I'll try a more aggressive pad and maybe some m105.
Am also wondering if my speed setting is right on the DA- been on 4/5...
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Old 10-12-2016, 02:06 PM   #9
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Try the zenith technique and a finishing pad for refinement

Good that you're making progress; would have been strange to have those on the inside


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Old 10-12-2016, 04:51 PM   #10
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Am I expecting too much to be able to remove theses swirls before refining?
Could I be causing them with the wrong pad/compound choices? It's taken a bloody long time to get to where I am now- these are only plastic! I'd imagined it would be a relatively quick process, compared to a rick hard paint, for example.
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