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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
2003 ZX5 and got headlights looking almost like new again after much sanding and Plastix. After about a month, the yellow comes faintly back. Plastix again and yellow again. Now figuring the lens have to be sealed. Used some NXT. Yellowed again. It is insane to have to keep up with these lenses every month as they gradually yellow over and over. Has anyone put a clear coat on the lenses? Will Lamin-x seal them or will they yellow under the Lamin-x?
 

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I put lamin-x on my aftermarket headlights when I first bought them, and as a result, the
lenses still look brand new. I would assume it would work the same on OEM lenses.
 

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I had the same problem as you till i clearcoated them. They have been cleared for over a year now and still clear as when i did it. I would recommend it. Also just to give you an idea you might not have thought of, I also painted eyelids on my headlights before i cleared them so i wouldnt have to pay for vynil or tint.
 

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I put 'Rain X' on the headlights on my previous car I owned for 13 years from new.
Those headlights stayed clear and clean for many years. Only the last four years or so they just were so filled with spiderlike cracks they started to look not so good. But even then they did not yellow or get grey and dull.
So if you already use Rain X on your windshield, pt it on your headlamps too.
It will protect them from the crud in the streets.
 

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I had the same problem as you till i clearcoated them. They have been cleared for over a year now and still clear as when i did it. I would recommend it. Also just to give you an idea you might not have thought of, I also painted eyelids on my headlights before i cleared them so i wouldnt have to pay for vynil or tint.
bad Idea, got these off ebay and someone either lamin x'd or sprayed clear on them and over the painted on eyelids, now I need to swap lenses on them

 

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^^ Did you try sanding them? I did a set for my friend. Did everything with 1000 grid and finish with 2000 grid. After that I buffed the lights and we put some lamin-x on them. I don't see a reason to swap the housing....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Of course I sanded them. Started with 400, then 600, then 1000, then 2000 until there was no more yellow. Then used Plastix with a buffer until like new. If different types of wax didn't work, I doubt that Rainx will work in my case. After hearing about the clear coat success, I am going to put a single coat of Duplicolor clear for wheels on one lens and see what happens. I have used that before and it is crystal clear.
 

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REVOLT.BUILD.RISE
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I never understood how lights turned yellow to begin with. I Just keep em clean I never had an issue. Everytime I wash the windows at a gas station I give the lights a cleanig too I clean them everytime I dust the car off if I go a while between cleanings. I just keep em clean I'm kinda of anal if the car get too dirty I give it a walk around everyday to look for leaves, bird crap, whatever.
 

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I've had Lamin-X on my E bay projectors for over 2 years and they still look as good as the day that I bought them .
 

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I never understood how lights turned yellow to begin with. I Just keep em clean I never had an issue. Everytime I wash the windows at a gas station I give the lights a cleanig too I clean them everytime I dust the car off if I go a while between cleanings. I just keep em clean I'm kinda of anal if the car get too dirty I give it a walk around everyday to look for leaves, bird crap, whatever.
I don't even wash 'em regularly and I've never gotten yellow/foggy headlights with the 3 cars I've owned. I'm actually surprised considering how much salt and gravel gets kicked up on my hood on the turnpike. I've definitely seen it on other peoples' cars but I've luckily never had it happen to me. I wonder what causes it? Is it the deterioration of a factory clearcoat layer? At what mileage does it usually show up?
 

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there is the headlight restore that some places sell like harbor freight, all it is is a sanding kit that gets finer on each new level and a buffing compound. work well on a set of lights i did. but lamin-x is the best way to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Since I am in Fla, it might be the sun that is accelerating my situation. All I know is that after I got them looking like new, they slowly yellowed again in a month.

That is good to know that Lamin-x has preserved new headlights, but I wanted to hear about some one that put it on after they had to restore them from yellowing. My waxing them after the restore has had no affect.
 

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Yes! It is the UV that causes the yellowing (also 'spider cracks'). When new, your headlight had a special coating on the lenses to resist yellowing. When you 'overdue' polishing, you remove the coating, hence you have to re-polish them prematurely. Here is a link that discusses the steps taken during manufacture.
http://www.pcimag.com/CDA/Archives/a1767716466a7010VgnVCM100000f932a8c0____

note, just search for "yellow" and you will find the section that talks about yellowing and spider cracks in polycarbonate and the coating. Ya! Bit over the top, but at least you know what your up against! I don't know of any product (laminex, clearcoats etc) that are going to provide the UV protection like the original coating.
 

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bad Idea, got these off ebay and someone either lamin x'd or sprayed clear on them and over the painted on eyelids, now I need to swap lenses on them

That happens on almost all ebay headlights. Before installing any new ebay headlight I always recommend installing clear bra material on the lenses first.

I've clear coated lenses before plenty of times, but definitely recommend lamin-x or any clear bra stuff as well.

In fact, I've wet sanded lenses with 2000 grit and then clear coated them instead of polishing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
That link is very interesting. So polycarbonate will always need to be coated with some sort of UV material. The auto industry seems to be using the public as guinea pigs as they haven't solved or don't want to solve this problem. You will also notice high priced foreign cars also have this same problem. If you keep a car long enough, looks like you will eventually have this problem.

I am putting on a light coast of the Duplicolor Clear wheel coat and report back in 30 days with an update.
 

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bad Idea, got these off ebay and someone either lamin x'd or sprayed clear on them and over the painted on eyelids, now I need to swap lenses on them

I was watching those on ebay for a while and about bid against you for them but decided not to. I ended up picking a set up off a member here for $65 shipped that had a crack on the back but in good condition besides that so I'll be repairing those. Good luck with yours! I'd try sanding them down.



That happens on almost all ebay headlights. Before installing any new ebay headlight I always recommend installing clear bra material on the lenses first.

I've clear coated lenses before plenty of times, but definitely recommend lamin-x or any clear bra stuff as well.

In fact, I've wet sanded lenses with 2000 grit and then clear coated them instead of polishing them.
Those are official Mach HID headlights but had been painted with a clear coat and eyelids.
 

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"That happens on almost all ebay headlights"
Makes one wonder if the 'ebay' types even have the coating at all?
"So polycarbonate will always need to be coated with some sort of UV material"
Yup! Applies to every 'plastic' that exists. UV 'bakes' out certain molecules in plastics. Hence other products like 'back to black' have there place. Once the coating is gone, and in consideration that your in Florida (bit >sunnier< than northern climes), I would suggest something like laminex where you can remove/replace with minimal work (note: Have never used laminex so I am making an assumption that it comes off easily vs. having to grind a spray coating off).
Add > Should go without saying, but! Whatever you use, you want to check what level of UV protection it provides as that will dictate how long it will prevent yellowing. With that in mind, have you tried something like "nu-finish" or techwax? These are less of a wax and more of a sealer. Of the two, Nu-Finish is preferred based on my own experience (for headlights!!!). Remember that you have to reapply it after 3 weeks or so, and that it must be 'heat cycled' for maximum effect (It does not state that on the bottle, you have to dig that bit up on the web. Unknown is whether back heating from the lights causes the sealer to cure at an advanced rate).
 

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my roommate and I just clear coated his headlights for his Honda after we sanded them down. We used actual automotive clear, not spray paint. They came out awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The proof will be time. I don't know if what is called a 'clear coat' is good against deterioration caused by UV.
 
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