Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It works

Need some advise of a general nature not covered in the forums below? Here's where to do it.
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macjohnw
Vehicle: 2005 3.2DID Gen 3 LWB Auto
Country: RSA
Location: Kwa-Zulu Natal
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:55 pm

Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It works

Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:39 pm

My 2005 3.2DID Pajero's "plastic' headlights became very faded/yellowed and I looked into buying new lights or 2nd hand units to replace them. However, the prices are just absurd and I looked into how to restore them.

I was skeptic at first, but the results speak for themselves. I am impressed. See the pics below. My RH side headlight was faded WAY more than the LH side - I think it's how the RH side of the car gets more sun than the LH side, where it stands under the carport.

For R250 it's worth it (at Builder's Wharehouse). You dont need to buy the whole kit if you have 1200 & 1500 grit sanding paper, a sheep's wool buffer, masking tape etc - you can then only buy the the larger version of the small bottle polish/repair fluid shown in the photo.

Will check tonight how my newly installed LED globes work with newly polished headlight lenses.

*I only sanded down the RH side headlight as it was faded the worst. The LH side headlight was not sanded down, it was only polished.

**After completing the restoration, I polished and buffed the headlights with Shield's car polish @ R60 - this is done for UV protection. Others apply a spray on UV resistant clear coat.
Before - RH (Large).jpg
Before - LH
After - RH (1ste pass) (Large).jpg
After - RH (1st pass)
After - RH (2nd pass) (Large).jpg
After - RH (2nd pass)
Before - LH (Large).jpg
Before - LH
After - LH (1ste pass) (Large).jpg
After - LH (first pass)
Box (Large).jpg
Box
Kit (Large).jpg
Kit
Last edited by macjohnw on Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2005 Pajero 3.2DID LWB Auto GLX
1999 Pajero 3.5V6 LWB Manual - R.I.P.

Extras: Free flow exhaust and a few dents due to skimpy short summer dresses, rogue steen bokkies and self-stupidity
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macjohnw
Vehicle: 2005 3.2DID Gen 3 LWB Auto
Country: RSA
Location: Kwa-Zulu Natal
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Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It work

Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:59 pm

You can also buy the Meguiars headlight restoration kit (R690) at Builder's, sitting right next to Shield's kit (R250). The Shield kit includes a bit more bits and pieces, but the Meguiars might be a better chemical.

If you already have the buffer, sandpaper and masking tape, just buy the Meguiars PlastX in the 300ml bottle for R230.

*The Meguiars kit simply has a smaller bottle of the PlastX inside - I think it is 100ml. So, you actually pay R690 for the buffer, sandpaper and 100ml PlastX, which is not worth it in my books. Just buy the PlastX 300ml (R230), its WAY cheaper and you have more chemical polish to do more lights. Just buy your own tools.
Attachments
download (9).jpg
Meguiars PlastX
p91856b.jpg
Meguiars Kit
2005 Pajero 3.2DID LWB Auto GLX
1999 Pajero 3.5V6 LWB Manual - R.I.P.

Extras: Free flow exhaust and a few dents due to skimpy short summer dresses, rogue steen bokkies and self-stupidity
TinusK
Vehicle: 2004 Pajero 3.2 DID GLS
Country: South Africa
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It work

Mon Apr 04, 2016 9:48 am

Very nice, @ macjohnw. Looking good!

Please elaborate on the LED globes you speak of? How does it look?
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macjohnw
Vehicle: 2005 3.2DID Gen 3 LWB Auto
Country: RSA
Location: Kwa-Zulu Natal
Posts: 477
Joined: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:55 pm

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It work

Mon Apr 04, 2016 11:14 am

Tinus,

It is money well spent. I had OSRAM Nightbreakers in previously, but these normal LEDs outshine them hands down. They provide such a nice white light, the difference is clearly visible. I did not want to spend a whole lot of money, so I just bought the ones on special back then.

Spend a few extra bucks and buy even bigger ones - I am sure you wont even need spotlights if you go for the bigger LEDs.

See Extreme Lights website here:

http://www.extremelights.co.za/product- ... eadlights/

I bought the normal standard replacement LED lights ( I think it is the same, or it could have been old stock as they were on special)
2005 Pajero 3.2DID LWB Auto GLX
1999 Pajero 3.5V6 LWB Manual - R.I.P.

Extras: Free flow exhaust and a few dents due to skimpy short summer dresses, rogue steen bokkies and self-stupidity
TinusK
Vehicle: 2004 Pajero 3.2 DID GLS
Country: South Africa
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It work

Mon Apr 04, 2016 3:14 pm

Thank you sir! I will definitely look into it.
sr
srebeg

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It work

Mon Apr 11, 2016 4:39 pm

Are the LED's difficult to install??
TinusK
Vehicle: 2004 Pajero 3.2 DID GLS
Country: South Africa
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It works

Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:03 pm

Installing LED replacement globes is very simple, only a little more hassle than replacing normal globes. Thanks to macjohnw also on this site for the idea.

I paid R2000 for a set from extremelights.co.za and I transformed my 3.2 DiD from shy at night to an enlightenend beast.

The one pic shows the difference between the LED and standard H4 globe. Unfortunately my phone takes very poor night time pictures, otherwise I could post that as well. What I can report is that the beams are clear and does not blind any unsuspecting oncoming travellers. Happiness. Now to fix and replace my fog lights.

Onwards, trusty steed!
Attachments
IMG_8189.JPG
Full LED
IMG_8187.JPG
LED vs halogen
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SimonB
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Vehicle: 1996 Pajero 3.5V6
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Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It works

Tue Jul 05, 2016 4:52 pm

As regards the LED's, most HID conversions are not SABS approved because it throws the light incorrectly because of the incompatibility with the reflectors.

Does the same apply to LED?


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Simon Bloomer
'96 3.5V6 GLS LWB Pajero
TinusK
Vehicle: 2004 Pajero 3.2 DID GLS
Country: South Africa
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2015 10:39 am

Re: Headlight restoration - Polycarbonate (plastic): It works

Wed Jul 06, 2016 8:52 am

Hi SimonB

The LED globe itself is shaped to use the existing reflective enclosure of the headlight to angle the beam. I find that the beam thrown has a distinctive edge where the light 'stops' so there is no glare that you find with many HID conversions.

On a similar note - roughly a year ago I replaced my motorcycle's poor excuse of a headlight with a LED headlight unit (this model: http://www.jwspeaker.com/products/led-h ... olution-2/) They have built-in lenses that was properly engineered - you see these on pimped out Jeeps quite often. It provides a fantastic glare-less light, and the edge where the beam is focused is straight enough to <insert witty comment here>

Whereas some high-end manufacturers are going the laser - light route, I think cost wise that LED lighting is a decent aftermarket upgrade for us ouks with older vehicles.

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