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Old 04-09-2013, 10:02 PM   #1111
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

Greetings all. I'm brand new to the forum and have spent the last few nights reading this entire thread. Wow. I've been slowly building my process since about June/July 2012 by doing restorations for friends and family, with great results so far. I use 3" 3M discs, 500/800/1200/1500/2000/Trizact (not all used every job), and then machine polish with fine polishes and Hex pads.
Before I launch a mobile HL restoration business and start charging customers, I really want to make sure I can provide a long-lasting protectant with at least a one-year, preferably two+ year guarantee. I currently use Jet Seal 109 as a sealant/protectant and have seen no real degradation on lights I did 9 months ago. There is no discussion on it's application: wipe on and then wipe off 20 minutes later. Still, I'm not sure how long it will hold up (supposed to be reapplied every 6 months), so that's why I'm here.
My assessment of the 111 page thread is most everyone is using the spar/ms method, and it appears quite finicky IMO, otherwise there wouldn't be 111 pages discussing how to apply it. I've done my own googling and have found quite a few other "professional" products not mentioned at all, or hardly at all. Has anyone tried the Solaray spray coating with UV curing, or the Glasweld Gclear UV coating/curing? The Glasweld Gclear system has a high initial cost for the curing light, but it's supposed to fully cure in only a few minutes. Seems like it will produce a long-lasting UV hard coat, much like what I would expect from a "professional" service. I also haven't seen any updates from anyone on the new Opti-Lens Permanent Headlight Coating? Sorry for the long post, I saved my post until I read the entire thread. I have my process down for restoring headlights, just want to steer the topic back to the best products/systems for long-lasting protection.
Thanks to all who have made this a great thread!
-Marty
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Old 04-09-2013, 10:19 PM   #1112
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

The reason there isn't much feedback yet on Opti-Lens is because it just came out. It's going to be the easiest/most goof-proof to apply, but the prep is going to be more than the spar or the "real" headlight coatings, because you have to polish the lens to clear before coating.

If I was going to start a restoration business and wanted to give a warranty, I'd want to use one of the "real" UV-cured products that is just like the factory coating. We're really not going to know what the deal is with Opti-Lens for a couple more years; although there was supposed to be an Opti-Lens Pro, I'd be willing to be that product will give the UV-cured coatings a run for their money.

PS I think the Opti-Lens is going to be a great product, I just wouldn't bet my business on it until there is a little more real-world data.
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Old 04-10-2013, 06:50 AM   #1113
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

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Originally Posted by EMCHeadlights View Post
Greetings all. I'm brand new to the forum and have spent the last few nights reading this entire thread. Wow. I've been slowly building my process since about June/July 2012 by doing restorations for friends and family, with great results so far. I use 3" 3M discs, 500/800/1200/1500/2000/Trizact (not all used every job), and then machine polish with fine polishes and Hex pads.
Before I launch a mobile HL restoration business and start charging customers, I really want to make sure I can provide a long-lasting protectant with at least a one-year, preferably two+ year guarantee. I currently use Jet Seal 109 as a sealant/protectant and have seen no real degradation on lights I did 9 months ago. There is no discussion on it's application: wipe on and then wipe off 20 minutes later. Still, I'm not sure how long it will hold up (supposed to be reapplied every 6 months), so that's why I'm here.
My assessment of the 111 page thread is most everyone is using the spar/ms method, and it appears quite finicky IMO, otherwise there wouldn't be 111 pages discussing how to apply it. I've done my own googling and have found quite a few other "professional" products not mentioned at all, or hardly at all. Has anyone tried the Solaray spray coating with UV curing, or the Glasweld Gclear UV coating/curing? The Glasweld Gclear system has a high initial cost for the curing light, but it's supposed to fully cure in only a few minutes. Seems like it will produce a long-lasting UV hard coat, much like what I would expect from a "professional" service. I also haven't seen any updates from anyone on the new Opti-Lens Permanent Headlight Coating? Sorry for the long post, I saved my post until I read the entire thread. I have my process down for restoring headlights, just want to steer the topic back to the best products/systems for long-lasting protection.
Thanks to all who have made this a great thread!
-Marty
I live here in Florida. I've done tons of research on headlight restoration. I use to do bumper repairs for car dealers near Syracuse, sold my business moved here in Florida. Wanted something to do so I set out researching headlight restoration. Read all 111 pages here, contacted companies about their method, you name it. I tried Solar Ray and it dos work but really don't like the finished result, It comes out of the can way to fast and to much product is applied. You get an orange peel effect.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:47 AM   #1114
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

Solaray is good stuff, but as mentioned... it sprays thick so it has to be laid down heavy, to level. Very tricky to get a smooth finish without orange peel or sagging. But from what I've seen when trying to remove the cured coating, it may be the toughest, most durable spray coating out there. Too bad it doesn't spray nice.

There are other uv spray coatings that spray better. I have tried a few, but I stopped using it because I found that it can be damaged with a pressure washer, at least in some cases. Without knowing EXACTLY why and how to fix that, if possible... I chose to run with the Optilens. for most of my work. I still keep UV spray coating with me for some nasty lights... the ones that take a ton of sanding and are difficult to get polished out perfect. Spray coatings are great for some jobs, but really not a good choice on others... such as a huge lens or one with damage only on the top edge.
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Old 04-10-2013, 07:54 AM   #1115
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

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Spray coatings are great for some jobs, but really not a good choice on others... such as a huge lens or one with damage only on the top edge.
What do you do in that case? Are you saying you only sand/polish out the damaged part and blend in with the good part of the coating, then Opti-Lens?
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Old 04-10-2013, 08:49 PM   #1116
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

I just did a 2009 Honda Accord this weekend with damage along the top "plane" which included scratches and began looking ashy. The rest of the lens was still pristine. Sanded out just the damaged plane, polished it out and it looked perfect. Topped the whole lens with Opti lens and both the customer and I were EXTREMELY impressed.
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Old 04-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #1117
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

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What do you do in that case? Are you saying you only sand/polish out the damaged part and blend in with the good part of the coating, then Opti-Lens?
In many cases, yes. Also, it's a good idea to hit the entire lens with a high grit and/or compound prior to cleaning and coating with Optlens.
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Old 04-11-2013, 06:24 AM   #1118
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

Here is the whole thing in a nut shell. Lenses are made of lexan plastic, very rigid but won't hold up with UV light from the sun, (turns yellow and hazy. That has to be removed. As you people already know. BUT then you have to apply something on the headlights so the Lexan plastic won't turn yellow again. (like in a couple months). You need to apply UV sealant on those lights. Use what you may.. I myself use a two part Clear. This is all I do for a living, Let you all know that I did bumper repairs for dealers for 15 years, sold my business and now I can just focus on headlights. I spent a good couple months getting this down to a science. To do this job and DO IT RIGHT you need to invest time and money in it. Now for the problems of just doing headlight repairs for a living. Most of the public here in Florida have very little extra cash to put out to get their headlights done, so they don't do it. Most of the car dealers are buy here pay here that don't want to spend money on their junks they are trying to sell to the poor people that have no credit. So it is a vicious cycle. If you are doing this as a stand alone business you will starve. The way I do headlights will result in a professional repair but not many will pay the 95.00 it is worth. Good luck to all that have the talent and knowledge to do these repairs and charge 20.00 for their hard work. How is that working for you? What you have to do is find a cheap QUICK way to do this and then charge 20.00. Then I'll come along and do the job right and make the 100.00
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:21 PM   #1119
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

Took a good couple months to figure out what nobody else knows. Impressive.
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Old 04-12-2013, 07:49 PM   #1120
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Re: Headlight Restoration-new UV sealant idea

Just purchased the new Opti-Lens "Permanent" headlight coating from AG, and I have a sample of the Infinity 4.1 Headlight Restoration Coating from Delta Kits on the way. I'm hoping a friend/family member will let me do a restoration using each product on separate headlights in the next couple weeks. I'll post pics if I get a taker, then try to follow HotRod's quest to keep the forum updated over the product life cycle. If anyone has used these products before, I'd like to hear your comments.
-Marty
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