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Shirt
08-02-2017, 08:13 PM
I am new to the art of detailing and have been lurking in the auto detailing forums to understand if it is possible to restore my portlights using headlight restoration products.
And I am now more confused then before.

They are smoked acrylic lights that have become hazy over the years and difficult to see out of.

So has anyone worked on portlights for a customer or do you have an opinion from your own experience?

My attempt at a process:

Process:
Wetsand -1500, 3000.
Optimum Compound
Optimum Polish
All using 3" backing plate on a GG random orbital 3" polisher

Thoughts?

ducksfan
08-02-2017, 09:08 PM
I'm not sure the best way to work on acrylic. But, I do know the last thing you want to do on any automobile surface is sand unless your sure you know its a proper method and you know what you're doing. If no one comes on that has experience working on acrylic, you might check with a local plastics distributor. Or, have you googled it?

If you're set on the above process, you might want to work in the opposite order - least aggressive first

Belair
08-02-2017, 10:02 PM
Instead of going through all that, I'd try Meg's PlastX first. I use it on my license plate covers & on tail lights that are beat from the sun. Working by hand, a cotton cloth like an old thick T-shirt or terry cloth towel work well & brings back clarity where there has been fogginess.

Eldorado2k
08-02-2017, 11:58 PM
Stupid question but, what exactly is a portlight?

Route246
08-03-2017, 02:05 AM
Stupid question but, what exactly is a portlight?

I think it is a marine light that is waterproof and not flush with the surface?


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Eldorado2k
08-03-2017, 05:02 AM
I think it is a marine light that is waterproof and not flush with the surface?


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Thanks.

@OP. If I were you, I'd pick up some Mckee's AIO Headlight Restoring Polish.

http://www.autogeek.net/headlight-restoring-polish.html

http://www.autogeek.net/best-headlight-restoration.html

It works great on plastic i.e. modern headlights and does it quik.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170803/d4404a2baa59bbba867c0a0e336eeb69.jpg

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170803/f5ef598bcd5e605a590476cca170d1ad.jpg

Not too long ago, my neighbor who's restoring his 1970's Ford Bronco asked me if I had anything he could use to polish the plastic lens on his trucks instrument cluster.. He removed it and I brought over my polisher armed with a 3" pad and the AIO Headlight Polish. His plastic cover lens [or whatever it's called] turned out perfect.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170803/0a133d452274e5972e798891891c67fd.jpg

Pair it up with 3" Lake Country Thin Pro Pads.

http://www.autogeek.net/thinpro-3-inch-6-pack.html

Get a couple of Gray, Orange, & White and that should have you equipped to hopefully handle your little portlights. [emoji6]

Klasse Act
08-03-2017, 05:46 AM
I've been using the Griot's Garage resto kit lately and its produced great results! They claim 2 years of protection, so it's going to take some time to see. Its a pretty easy kit, basically sand and spray on the coating.

Sent from my LGLS990 using Tapatalk

Mike Phillips
08-03-2017, 09:02 AM
I am new to the art of detailing and have been lurking in the auto detailing forums to understand if it is possible to restore my portlights using headlight restoration products.
And I am now more confused then before.

They are smoked acrylic lights that have become hazy over the years and difficult to see out of.

So has anyone worked on portlights for a customer or do you have an opinion from your own experience?

My attempt at a process:

Process:
Wetsand -1500, 3000.
Optimum Compound
Optimum Polish
All using 3" backing plate on a GG random orbital 3" polisher

Thoughts?

That process looks like it will work just fine.

Question: How bad is the plastic?

The reason I ask is because the process you outlines would be a process for extremely oxidized plastic with deep scratches.

If the plastic isn't too bad than it's possible just the Optimum polish would restore clarity. If they're really bad then start with the Optimum compound and follow up with the Optimum polish.

Here's the deal, most plastics are not that finicky about what you use on them as long as it's high quality abrasive technology. If it's safe enough for a modern basecoat/clearcoat paint system (where the clearcoat is kind of like plastic), the it's safe for clear plastics.

There are some plastics that are incredibly hard and from my experience, using just about any brand of product, they cannot be fixed when the word fixed means restored to look as good as or as clear as brand spanking new. Just do a search using Google and the terms,

Lexan polishing Mike Phillips

And that should bring up a few threads on the topic.







Instead of going through all that, I'd try Meg's PlastX first. I use it on my license plate covers & on tail lights that are beat from the sun. Working by hand, a cotton cloth like an old thick T-shirt or terry cloth towel work well & brings back clarity where there has been fogginess.




Agree.

Meguiar's PlastX uses a unique abrasive technology that I don't think you can find anywhere else and it works great on clear plastics. Every detailers should have this in their arsenal incase they ever need to work on either rigid clear plastics or flexible clear plastics like those found on Jeeps, boats and convertible cars.



:)

Shirt
08-03-2017, 10:52 AM
Thank you for everyone's comments.

I will try some different products this fall and report back when I have the process nailed down.

Mike,

I blame you for this new passion that I have with detailing boats. Your February boat detailing class was awesome and I would recommend it to anyone on the fence....well worth the effort!