Plastic headlamp refurb

for any non Lotus car talk or projects.
ade
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Has anyone considered doing this but being nervous about the outcome? Well I was, but spurred on by lockdown, my usual statement "How hard can it be?" was said so a kit was ordered. If people are interested I'll run through what I did add pictures etc?
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Fonzey
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Yes defo interested in this. My Elise headlights had really bad peel on the surface and I sent them off to a bodyshop that offered to sort via one of my internet project threads at the time. Will have to dig out his details but he did an absolutely amazing job.
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andybond
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Have you read my mind?

Exactly what I am considering.

I am ok with spanners, but this requires real skill so looking forward to a guide/howto/pictures!
ade
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Ok, before we go anywhere, I'm not sure it will be the same on Exige headlamp covers, but I don't see any reason why not.
So I bought Holt’s headlight restoration kit it was on a deal with eurocarparts
restorer.jpg
After studying the extensive instructions (mask, use roughest paper first, keep wet, finish with compound) I was not inspired with confidence, you basically get a disc of each grade paper per headlight with the kit.
This is where I started
before left.jpg
before right.jpg
ade
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So I masked the headlight fitted the 800 grit and did a pass or two keeping wet with an atomiser and a bucket of water and sponge to rinse
800.jpg
Then 1000 grit at this point panic sets in
1000.jpg
Have I ruined my headlamps?
Several passes with the 1500 grit
1500.jpg
It doesn't seem to be getting better
ade
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This is after 3 passes at 3000 grit I did 5 total per headlamp till the paper was worn out
3000.jpg
I must admit I was still panicing at this point wondering if my next website was ebay!
I reckon at least a dozen passes with the compound, I used 2/3 of the container and it was quite big.
compound.jpg
At this point I was a lot happier with the outcome

What I have learned from this is to look properly at the headlights first and concentrate more on the worse areas, you can see here 2 areas that were quite bad but I treated the whole headlamp the same, I think next time I would mark the areas to work harder on before I started
ade
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Next mask up and spray what I thought was a lacquer, but it isn't it is more like back to black a semi drying silicon treatment

Before and after Left
before left.jpg
final left.jpg
Last edited by ade on Tue Apr 14, 2020 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
ade
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Before and after right
before right.jpg
final right.jpg
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andybond
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Thats an incredible transformation.

I dont think I have the balls of steel to do this on the exige. Clio lights are a fraction cheaper than the s2 ones!
ade
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Ok, so final thoughts
Was it worth doing? Yes
How long did it take? Way longer than I expected 4-5 hours total
Things to consider? Make sure you have a well charged battery for your cordless drill and a spare or two if possible!
Would you do anything different? Yes, concentrate on worse areas early on and be less aggressive with others.
Final thoughts? I might buy a test headlamp and try to lacquer it instead at the end, I suspect this coating comes off quite quickly with washing
Clio Front.jpg
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