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  1. #11
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by DFB View Post
    Optimum have a specific coating for headlights, but its pretty expensive.
    I haven't found that to stop yellowing of lenses that have had the factory coating sanded off, even using 2 coats didn't help. I think it's just that the thickness of a coating like this (which at the time it came out was said to basically be Opti-Coat with additional UV inhibitors) is so small in comparison to the UV-cured factory coatings that it just can't do the job. The factory coating might be 10 times as thick.

  2. #12
    Super Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    I was asking because I have never satisfactorily protected a lens where I had to sand off the factory coating. I also have never had the factory coating yellow like that, the cars I have had the coating fail it becomes rough and opaque. So after I sand the coating off, no matter what I put on there, it seems they yellow after 6 months or so, and have to be polished to take the yellow off.
    Agree. Once that factory protection is gone, there is no turning back and you'll forever be refreshing the headlights. It's one reason I don't touch them with anything abrasive until I'm left with no choice.

    As for fixing the yellowing and hazing, I'm having great luck with the Griots Garage Severe Headlight Kit. It comes with everything you need to restore the lenses, but most importantly, the coating is really durable. The packaging claims it's "permanent", but I've found it lasts about a year. I've gone quite a bit longer between applications, and while it wasn't as bad as the original pre-restored condition, they were still hazing up at the one year point for a car that sits out 24/7.
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  3. #13
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    As for fixing the yellowing and hazing, I'm having great luck with the Griots Garage Severe Headlight Kit.
    Is that the one that's basically the Cerakote kit? I bought a Cerakote kit to try, I have 2 cars where the headlights are clear but yellowed, unfortunately in emailing with them they said I had to sand and coat, vs. just polish and coat, so I haven't tried it yet.

  4. #14
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    I watched the video from Dimitris Garage and his test on Optimum car wax and its claim of UV protection. I'm shocked that a car care manufacturer would overstate the capabilities of their product

    To be honest I cant think of an industry that hypes their products more than the car care industry. That being said I like Optimum products.

    Seeing as it was relatively easy to eliminate the minor haze my headlights had I think ill just play this out and see how long it takes them to get hazy again.I would hope that keeping them sealed with Seal and Shine would be better than not. If it happens too quickly I'll look into applying the Lamin X.

  5. #15
    Super Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Setec Astronomy View Post
    Is that the one that's basically the Cerakote kit? I bought a Cerakote kit to try, I have 2 cars where the headlights are clear but yellowed, unfortunately in emailing with them they said I had to sand and coat, vs. just polish and coat, so I haven't tried it yet.
    The two are very similar. I just looked up the Cerakote kit and I noticed it has two different grades of sanding (2k and 3K) whereas the Griots kit has three (1500, 2k, 3k). Other than that, the oxidation wipes and the coating are probably the same since Cerakote makes the coating for the Griots kit. The Griots sanding discs are different colors and have their own branding on the felt side of the pad, but that doesn't really mean anything.

    From what I understand, in order for the Cerakote coating to work, the surface has to be rough from the sanding in order to work. Using a finer polish may not provide enough texture for the coating to bond to the plastic. The first time I used the kit I was a bit freaked out when I finished wet sanding with the 3K pad and saw the lens was still hazy. However, when I applied the coating it became crystal clear.
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  6. #16
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by BLM View Post
    I would hope that keeping them sealed with Seal and Shine would be better than not.
    I think regular application is going to give you the best shot, like once a month. There is a guy on Autopia who swears by OCW for his headlights, I can't remember if he still has the factory coating or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    From what I understand, in order for the Cerakote coating to work, the surface has to be rough from the sanding in order to work.
    Yeah, that's what I was asking Cerakote, if it needed the "tooth" from the sanding. Back when Spar Urethane was the thing for headlights, you had to do the same thing.

  7. #17
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    There is only one way to properly protect freshly restored polycarbonate lenses and that is a dedicated UV resistant hard coating.

    Waxes, sealants and ceramic coatings are NOT durable enough to withstand the sun rays, weathering, abrasion and pitting that occurs from getting pelted by debris while driving. These would quickly deteriorate and eventually wear off leaving the PC lens naked once again which would result in a hazy lens in a matter of months depending on how often the car is driven, how the vehicle is cared for, and if its garaged, and if its exposed to the sun and the region its located in.

    Ceramic coatings have an average thickness of between 0.5-1.5 microns while new OEM factory headlamps have a hardcoat thickness of 8-18 microns. Factory hardcoats also adhere to specific DOT requirements for UV, abrasion and chemical resistance. These are commercial grade hardcoats that get applied in a cleanroom and are UV cured. These hardcoats must also be listed in the Automotive Manufacturers Equipment Compliance Agency Inc. (AMECA) List for Acceptable Plastics.

    There really aren't any consumer grade products that can duplicate this in the field. The closest consumer grade products would be some type of sprayable clear coat. SprayMax 2K is a popular one. But like any paint, there is a level of skill that is needed to get a clean result. Proper prep and environment temps play a huge role on the final finish.

    Some DIY kits exists out there that can offer legitimate hardcoat protection over the retail OTC consumer stuff (though admittedly I have no experience with) such as THIS and THIS.

    Clear films are also another possible solution but the issue is the films light transmission capability. Naturally you'd want to select a film with the highest light transmission. Some films, end up with a orange-peel-ish finish which diffuses the light passing through, resulting in less light on the road and potentially causing glare.

  8. #18
    Super Member Azure's Avatar
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Anyone tried to apply a new cleat coat from a rattle can? You could apply a couple thin coats and polish after.

  9. #19
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    Agree. Once that factory protection is gone, there is no turning back and you'll forever be refreshing the headlights. It's one reason I don't touch them with anything abrasive until I'm left with no choice.

    As for fixing the yellowing and hazing, I'm having great luck with the Griots Garage Severe Headlight Kit. It comes with everything you need to restore the lenses, but most importantly, the coating is really durable. The packaging claims it's "permanent", but I've found it lasts about a year. I've gone quite a bit longer between applications, and while it wasn't as bad as the original pre-restored condition, they were still hazing up at the one year point for a car that sits out 24/7.
    From what I understand, Griot's will back it up and send you a new kit or wipes if it needs to be redone. I don't think you'll get that with the Cerakote kit.

  10. #20
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    Re: UV Protection For Headlights

    Quote Originally Posted by Azure View Post
    Anyone tried to apply a new cleat coat from a rattle can? You could apply a couple thin coats and polish after.
    It'd better be 2K clear, or it will just yellow.

  11. Likes Azure liked this post
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