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Author Topic: Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)  (Read 1997 times)

Chang

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« on: December 23, 2008, 09:42:28 AM »
Hey again,

Over the past couple of weeks, while surfing the net, I’ve seen numerous amounts of people asking about yellow headlights and how to restore them to factory fresh. I’ve even seen as far as people setting up group buys for $150+.

Now this really annoys me, as it’s a very simple process to do. Then you get people saying it’s really bad when they turn on their lights, so quickly come to the assumption it’s inside of the headlight. I guarantee 99% of the time it’s just on the outer surface.

This guide offers you guys a simple, cheap (talking about less than $10 here) yet equally effective solution. I’m talking no buffers, no special chemicals, no tricks.

Now, for those who don’t know, here’s a low down on why headlights turn yellow. It’s plastic! Simple. Like any plastic, as it ages the clarity disappears.

This really only happens on R33 and R34 Skyline’s due to the plastic housing headlight, unlike the R32 which is made of glass. Hence, this tut applies to all R33 and R34 Skylines.

Right:

Tools needed:
-Wet Sandpaper / Automotive sandpaper. You can pick this up at your local hardware store or auto paint supplier. You’ll need 1000, 1200, 1500 and 2000 grit. Just one of each will be more than sufficient.
-Car wax. (Just any reputable brand should do, or any you have lying around your house)
-Masking tape
-2x Pieces of cloth, preferably something not rough.
-Strong buffing arm

Step 1: Sandpaper / Preparation

Start by ripping considerable pieces of same paper (of each grit) and let them soak in a bucket of water for a good 20 minutes.



Whilst the sandpaper is softening now’s a good time to mask of the car. Now this is a very important part as you want to mask off nay part you don’t wish to sand. You can never be too careful or use too much masking tape.

HINT: Instead of masking your bonnet, have it open all the time, that way you can save time and don’t F*ck it up.



Step 2: Initial sanding

Start with the highest grit 1000 and start sanding the headlight. You should sand the headlight for a good 3-4 minutes on each grit. Now do you see the yellow particles you’re sanding off, yep that’s a good sign not just an illusion.

NOTE: When sanding you should only be sanding in one direction, i.e. left – right or up – down. This prevent swirls and deeper scratches.

Also while sanding always keep the sandpaper constantly wet to prevent clogging.

When finished, give it a wipe with some tissues. It should look like this a very dull finish.



Now your probably thinking at this stage “What the F have I done, it’s ruined. I’m going to kill that Chang guy” No no, don’t worry it’s all part of the process. Just keep reading.

Step 3: More sanding

Now after using 1000 grit slowly progress down, 1200, 1500, 2000 till it looks like (After final 2000 grit)





Step 4: Polishing

Now I’m sure like me, majority of you don’t have any special chemicals or buffers. Too expensive, too difficult, too lazy, too can’t be f’d

Anyway, get your polish that you’ve got and polish it like you would a car. But really get into in. I mean rub it hard. Use a lot of elbow grease.



Till it looks like this



NOTE: You should be polishing in a circular motion, as opposed to the sanding technique.

Use the second cloth to wipe away the wax as per normal. You should be waxing until you can’t feel your hand or about to pass out.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2008, 09:44:39 AM by Chang »

Chang

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2008, 10:02:11 AM »
Finished product:

See your done four easy steps to restoring your headlights. Now before you tackle this, you should like me and take photos. It not only till you compare the before and after do you see the difference.

Before:

After:


Before:

After:


Before:


After:




Now youíre done. See, under $10 and you saved a considerable amount for your other mods. Although your arms have lost feeling by now, itís well worth it. Donít you agree?

Anyway, classed dismissed.

ecozile

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2008, 04:59:15 PM »
I am sure this is a good guide and well written up, good stuff Chang...

But not so sure of sanding  headlights....specially if you are like me - have not sand anything before or not the kind of thing you will do day to day..

I used Mothers Plastic Polish $15 from repco - going from totally yellowish to as close as new Ė spent good 10 min on each side rubbing :)

One of the best satisfying thing I have done with my carÖ.if you know what I mean :)

and hats off to ya for guide.

rrcredline

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2009, 11:57:20 AM »
Good stuff Chang
The same technique can be used to restore R32 4 door tailights. Especially the better looking type-2.
Would also like to add for those who find themselves short on elbow grease...... DO NOT use an electric paint buffer to do the final polish. You run the risk of a melt spot in the plastic.

Thanks Chang

Nigel

live4liners

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2009, 11:19:23 PM »
hey man you know if thisll work with r32 indicators?? mite give it a go i think :)

canman

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2009, 09:35:15 AM »
Dude that's a very useful tutorial.  My R34 headlights have been looking a bit second hand for a while now with marks and scratches...... not so much yellowing, but I wondered if this would work but hadn't got around to trying.......

Thanks heaps for making me feel more comfortable I'm not going to make a mess if I do this.......
Canman



b00stinz

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2010, 10:44:28 PM »
For future reference
Meguiars PlastX is your best friend


daxter

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #7 on: September 15, 2010, 08:37:14 AM »
Nice work Chang, I need to sort out my headlights

JimBeam

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2010, 01:41:06 PM »
JIF. That is all.
http://www.s-chassis.co.nz if you think you will pass...

R32ONP

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Yellow Fever (Restoring R33 and R34 model Headlights)
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2010, 01:44:50 PM »
man stuff that hastey long process....ull be there all day!!!

i use to own my own workshop and i did WOFs... wen cars came into my shop and the beam was coming up all ****ty on the beamsetter (and the lense was yellow) u just get a rag and some JIF...rub it in hard..buff it off and waalaa brand new looking lights....then the beam comes up perfect on the beam setter....much cheaper way too as ull probly find JIF in ur cupboard ahaha
Steer from the rear ..... Drop it like its hot !!!