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Projects and Restorations Building a car from scratch, restoring your pride and joy, building a track car, or starting a long term project? This is your place to document it.

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Old 10-11-2013, 07:34 PM   #11
Paintguy
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Well you made a great job of it but you sure made hard work for yourself by finishing with such a coarse paper and going straight to a mild cutting combination.

Before, the windows looked very much like some of the really bad headlamps I've done and I always finish those with at least 2000 on a DA before moving on to a heavy cut compound & pad (usually 3M Fast Cut Plus and a green foam or even a wool pad). That cuts the polishing time down dramatically as it removes the scratches after only a couple of passes. I'll then switch to something milder, usually the same 3M yellow you used along with some M205.

So a great result, but next time make it easier on yourself by not making such a vast leap between sanding and finishing
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:45 PM   #12
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Some great advice from you guys, and thanks for the compliments.
Yes I definitely want to go over them again to achieve a better finish and rid of the swirls, but I think I am at the stage now where i just need to cut down some fairly heavy swirling.

From what I can see in sunlight there are no sandpaper marks, just the swirls.
However the combination I'm using is difficult to tell if its helping or doing the swirls itself. I have tried from heavy, medium to light pressure but just couldn't get rid of the remaining marks.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:52 PM   #13
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Excellent work
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Old 11-04-2016, 10:46 PM   #14
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This looks like a scary job but something that I will need to do soon - during the last good wash I found a rough area of a coupe window and guess it's the start of lacquer loss

Do you still have the roadster? if so how are the windows looking after all this time?
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Old 12-04-2016, 06:33 PM   #15
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Also interested in that...I have smart fortwo coupe and need to do that...

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Old 12-04-2016, 08:11 PM   #16
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You've done well but you have made it hard for yourself, You should have bought sand paper for your rotary instead of doing it by hand, you would have been done in less than half the time.
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Old 12-04-2016, 10:50 PM   #17
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Great 50/50
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Old 09-07-2018, 12:39 PM   #18
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Hi all,
this is my first post and I want to continue this thread so that I can thank the OP jimmy_jammy for the inspiration to get into this myself. I'm a complete noob but Jimmy's notes and photos gave me much confidence about the restoration job.

Before actually starting anything I looked at a lot of videos and I did that for weeks, just trying to make sure I get as many different views on it as possible and to avoid any big mistakes. I wanted to fully understand the process, at least in theory.

I have a smart 450 City-Coupe (2002) and the rear plastic windows looked like this



This is actually the right side window but I began working on the left side.

The one thing I wanted as a final result was the windows to be protected with a clear coat, because I didn't want to bother with waxing each month. So basically I treated this window as a big headlight.

So I got some sanding paper and started with 600 and moved to 800, 1000, 1200 and finally wet 2000.
This is how it looked and my biggest concern at this point was... will it actually turn transparent after spraying clear on?



I had to use a lot of faith here and even just minutes before spraying I looked at some of those headlight restoration videos again just to make sure I'm getting everything right.

After spraying three coats of 1k clear (rattle can) I got some massive orange peel, but after waiting 24h I sanded it and then started polishing. For this purpose I bought the cheapest and very lightweight drill which is not that loud at low speeds and it also has an adjustable handle - very good for 39€. I also got a few pads and everything...

So after polishing this was the final result










I was quite blown away with how the window turned out. There were minor imperfections but looking at it from few feet away it looked absolutely gorgeous.



Thank you jimmy_jammy for sharing your process, I probably wouldn't start this without reading your post.


---------------------------------------------
Now, here's the second part of this story...

Since the job turned out so well I kinda regretted I didn't use 2K clear instead, just to make things a bit more durable. This was just at the back of my head, I wasn't really regretting anything cause my 1k clear was non yellowing with UV protection so I was thinking if this thing starts to peel in a year or so, then I'll just repeat the process with 2k clear.

That same day in the afternoon when I finished working on the window I left home and drove about 150km to stay at the seaside for a few days. While there I parked the car in partial shade but my restored window was exposed to strong summer sun, so I covered the rear end of the car with an old blanket. I didn't want the sun to torture my precious work

After a few days when it was time to go back home I uncovered the blanket and realized that because of intense heat (30C/85F) the blanket was actually sticking a bit on my glass roof! I didn't worry much about it but when I got home and wanted to clean the roof I had a really hard time getting the remains off. Only then I checked the restored window more closely and realized it was damaged too. I was able to remove the problem with 2000 sand paper but then I cut through clear coat during buffing... and all the work was lost. Luckily I wasn't angry at all, after all, I was already thinking about doing the entire job one more time, so the Universe responded kindly, almost instantly

So at the moment I'm back to this



I've sanded the entire clear off and my question for you guys is... You can see some darker areas on the image above, those are thin remains of the 1k clear and the lighter areas is plastic. Do I have to take away absolutely all clear coat or is it enough to just sand it like this? I know this is usually not a problem I'm just wondering if the old 1k clear could react in some way with the 2k clear.

Thanks!

Last edited by Umesh; 10-07-2018 at 11:43 AM.
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