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Following these instructions -- http://www.nseconsulting.com/bmw/hpt.pdf -- I polished my headlight plastic covers. The results are very good and thank you AOM5 for posting the instructions. I used the same exact sandpaper listed in the PDF, but I did change up the finishing polishes. After sanding, I used Pinnacle Anti-Swirl liquid and 3M Hand Glaze, all applied with my Porter Cable random orbital buffer. Fisnished it up with some Mother's wax applied by hand. As the PDF says, the headlight units are back to about 90-95% new looking. It was a bit scary after the 2nd sand process, they looked so fogged over I thought no way could I get them all clear again. Thanks again AOM5 for the write up. :byebye:

Picture 1 is before, picture 2 is after.
 

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WOW! Glad to hear that worked for you, maybe when it gets warm I'll attempt it on my beast too!
 

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Looks great. How long did it take you to complete both lights?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Lawaia said:
Looks great. How long did it take you to complete both lights?
I took my time but it should only take about 1 hour per headlight. I went back out and turned on the high beams and you can really see a difference. Every time a mod or project turns out right there a great sense of accomplishment :goldcup:. Like I said earlier, I was a bit nervous when it was all sanded and blurry, kind of that "oh no, what did I get myself into" feeling in your stomach.
 

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billrM5 said:
I took my time but it should only take about 1 hour per headlight. I went back out and turned on the high beams and you can really see a difference. Every time a mod or project turns out right there a great sense of accomplishment :goldcup:. Like I said earlier, I was a bit nervous when it was all sanded and blurry, kind of that "oh no, what did I get myself into" feeling in your stomach.
Oh I know all to well that feeling you speak of, but when things turn out in your favor it makes it feel that much better. :biggrin:
 

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Great post -- Just today I used P21 polish on my just-purchased '00. Got things a bit better, but clearly (pun intended) a more aggressive approach was needed. Doing what you did took guts.
 

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Great improvement project. Thanks for posting pic's and the PDF file.
 

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Great write up I to need to do this.
Thank you
 

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any pics of the "in progress work??" wonder what it looks like when all sandedd up!

Great job

Cheers

Charles


EDIT: OK STUPID ME JUST LOOKED @ THE PDF, NEVER MIND
 

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My approach was to let my wife use the car and send a deer out to jump out in front of it. Two new headlights! Total bill came to almost $10,000 but car is pretty close to perfect - after 3 followup visits to the dealer's body shop...
 

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this approach seems like too much work. wink

sadil340 said:
My approach was to let my wife use the car and send a deer out to jump out in front of it. Two new headlights! Total bill came to almost $10,000 but car is pretty close to perfect - after 3 followup visits to the dealer's body shop...
 

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Do any of the upgraded lights have a glass lens? I had put the Hella Angel Eyes on my E36 and the lenses are glass. So much nicer!!
Do the European versions have glass lenses?
 

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Hi BillrM5!

I'm so glad you got some use out of this. What I like about this technique is that it can work for really badly pitted headlights (like I had) or even slightly pitted ones--if you're just wanting to "clean things up a bit."

HEHE, you know I'd love to find a way to measure the "dread" factor of first seeing the headlights cloudy when people follow this! I know when I did it, I was aghast, already finding ways to justify buying new headlights, thankfully, it worked out beautifully, and esp. on our black cars, heaving clear headlights seem to make all the difference!

Cheers,
AOM5
 

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Great job. Another great thread about headlight surface restoration. I like that this job took only 1 hour per side rather than others who have said to take 3 to 4 hours per headlight. My 540iT needs this badly.

Only thing that I wished could be done after all this hard labor to get the lenses back to near perfection would be to be able to put lamin-x over the headlights to protect the lenses for good. Seems a little discouraging that the lenses will look worse again as the polish wears off and such.

And to answer your question Oliver M5, all headlights sold, both US and Euro are plastic. I purchased aftermarket Hellas recently and they too are plastic, not glass like the ZKW headlights for an E36.
 

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I'll be doing this soon:M5thumbs: but i have a question have you tried buffing it by hand? will you have the same result? if not might be a good excuse to by a PC cable...
 

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when i did it, i admit i did not try polishing by hand, but hey, like you said, makes for a good excuse! hehe. Though I imagine that hand polishing would work, just take much much longer.
 

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AOM5 said:
when i did it, i admit i did not try polishing by hand, but hey, like you said, makes for a good excuse! hehe. Though I imagine that hand polishing would work, just take much much longer.
When did you use the Z2?
 

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The Z2 is the final step.
On the link its next to the second picture on the first page.:M5thumbs:
 

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laidbacknags said:
I'll be doing this soon:M5thumbs: but i have a question have you tried buffing it by hand? will you have the same result? if not might be a good excuse to by a PC cable...
I got a Porter Cable random orbital buffer and my headlights need this done. Want to team up?:D
 
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