Milky-Looking Headlight Lens
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Cadillac Seville / Cadillac Eldorado Forum Discussion, Milky-Looking Headlight Lens in Past Cadillac Vehicle Discussion; I have an '02 SLS, and I noticed that the lens on one side is not very clear. Any suggestions ...
  1. #1
    DenverGuy is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    Milky-Looking Headlight Lens

    I have an '02 SLS, and I noticed that the lens on one side is not very clear. Any suggestions on replacing or cleaning it up? I bet it's a huge job to just remove it.

    Thanks.

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    Ranger's Avatar
    Ranger is online now Cadillac Owners Member
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    Submariner409's Avatar
    Submariner409 is offline If it won't run, chrome it
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    Re: Milky-Looking Headlight Lens

    Remove the 6 plastic rivets that hold the radiator sight shield in place, remove the two inner 10mm long bolts that hold the headlamp assembly to the inner bracket (do NOT disturb the Torx/star screws for adjustment), work the rear end corner of the assembly out of the tight ball socket.

  5. #4
    scott_sls's Avatar
    scott_sls is offline Cadillac Owners Member
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    After buying a couple of cheap kits to try to clean up cloudy lenses with no luck, I came across these instructions. I follow them to the letter and it works like a charm. I can't remember where I found them. It might have been here!

    polishing out the headlights - if done correctly -
    will make the headlights look absolutely brand new -

    HOWEVER -

    expect to spend at least an hour on each headlight -

    the ONLY way to do it PROPERLY -
    is to begin with 400 grit wet paper and sand off all the old coating -
    then sand with 800 to eliminate the scratches from the 400 -
    then 1200 - 1500 - 2000 - finally 3000 -
    then buff with rubbing compound -

    the last step is to apply a new UV coating to protect the freshly prepared lens -
    some friends and I have developed a coating that really works well -

    a 50/50 mixture of spar urethane and mineral spirits -
    applied by hand with a lint free cloth -

    would you suggest still starting off with 400 grit sand paper
    YES - there are no shortcuts to the process -
    you have to grind off ALL the old/original coating -
    and it takes 400 grit to cut through it -

    that first step is the most critical - and takes the longest -
    all the steps following the first one are just removing the scratches - finer and finer -

    after all the sanding and polishing -
    clean the lens THROUGHLY with DENATURED ALCOHOL -
    it will get all leftover solvents and oils off the lens -

    oh ya - you can get the supplies from Menards - Home Depot - etc -

    the final coating -
    a 50/50 mix of
    MINERAL SPIRITS - and SPAR URETHANE -

    make sure you get MINERAL SPIRITS and NOT paint thinner -

    for the SPAR URETHANE - the best is
    MINWAX - HELMSMAN SPAR URETHANE - be sure to get CLEAR GLOSS -

    get a small container - I used a plastic pill bottle -
    clean it with the denatured alcohol -
    DO NOT use rubbing alcohol - it is only about 70% pure -

    in the clean container -
    put in EXACTLY 1/2 ounce of MINERAL SPIRITS -
    and 1/2 ounce SPAR URETHANE -

    STIR GENTLY but throughly - DO NOT SHAKE -

    use either a BLUE SHOP PAPER TOWEL -
    or a piece of LINT-FREE COTTON -

    fold the towel or cloth into a 2 inch square -
    get it completely saturated - but NOT dripping with the mixture -
    apply it to the lens gently rubbing into the surface in a circular motion -

    the last thing you do is lightly wipe the lens side to side -
    to even-out the coating - and to remove any lines -

    if you prepped the lens properly - there will be no bubbles or spots in the coating -

    if you notice any imperfections -
    use the mineral spirits and wipe down the lens to remove the coating - and start over -

    if you take your time - the results will be a headlight that looks brand new -

  6. #5
    MoistCabbage's Avatar
    MoistCabbage is online now Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Yup, I don't use kits, I wet sand and polish with a rotary buffer. Works great.

    FWIW, there is no coating from the factory, and I didn't coat mine. My lights are just as clear now as they were after I "restored" them ~3 years ago. All I've done is a quick plastic polish and wax when I do the rest of the car.

  7. #6
    basscatt's Avatar
    basscatt is offline Cadillac Owners 10000+ Posts
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    Re: Milky-Looking Headlight Lens

    Quote Originally Posted by scott_sls View Post
    After buying a couple of cheap kits to try to clean up cloudy lenses with no luck, I came across these instructions. I follow them to the letter and it works like a charm. I can't remember where I found them. It might have been here!

    polishing out the headlights - if done correctly -
    will make the headlights look absolutely brand new -

    HOWEVER -

    expect to spend at least an hour on each headlight -

    the ONLY way to do it PROPERLY -
    is to begin with 400 grit wet paper and sand off all the old coating -
    then sand with 800 to eliminate the scratches from the 400 -
    then 1200 - 1500 - 2000 - finally 3000 -
    then buff with rubbing compound -

    the last step is to apply a new UV coating to protect the freshly prepared lens -
    some friends and I have developed a coating that really works well -

    a 50/50 mixture of spar urethane and mineral spirits -
    applied by hand with a lint free cloth -

    would you suggest still starting off with 400 grit sand paper
    YES - there are no shortcuts to the process -
    you have to grind off ALL the old/original coating -
    and it takes 400 grit to cut through it -

    that first step is the most critical - and takes the longest -
    all the steps following the first one are just removing the scratches - finer and finer -

    after all the sanding and polishing -
    clean the lens THROUGHLY with DENATURED ALCOHOL -
    it will get all leftover solvents and oils off the lens -

    oh ya - you can get the supplies from Menards - Home Depot - etc -

    the final coating -
    a 50/50 mix of
    MINERAL SPIRITS - and SPAR URETHANE -

    make sure you get MINERAL SPIRITS and NOT paint thinner -

    for the SPAR URETHANE - the best is
    MINWAX - HELMSMAN SPAR URETHANE - be sure to get CLEAR GLOSS -

    get a small container - I used a plastic pill bottle -
    clean it with the denatured alcohol -
    DO NOT use rubbing alcohol - it is only about 70% pure -

    in the clean container -
    put in EXACTLY 1/2 ounce of MINERAL SPIRITS -
    and 1/2 ounce SPAR URETHANE -

    STIR GENTLY but throughly - DO NOT SHAKE -

    use either a BLUE SHOP PAPER TOWEL -
    or a piece of LINT-FREE COTTON -

    fold the towel or cloth into a 2 inch square -
    get it completely saturated - but NOT dripping with the mixture -
    apply it to the lens gently rubbing into the surface in a circular motion -

    the last thing you do is lightly wipe the lens side to side -
    to even-out the coating - and to remove any lines -

    if you prepped the lens properly - there will be no bubbles or spots in the coating -

    if you notice any imperfections -
    use the mineral spirits and wipe down the lens to remove the coating - and start over -

    if you take your time - the results will be a headlight that looks brand new -
    ---------------------------
    that was my post - and it works EVERY TIME -

    the 3M Headlight Restoration kit is a great base -

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