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Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit - Light The Way

Staff
Jan 13, 2014 SHARE

When we purchased our '92 Civic project a few months ago, the headlights were so dimly lit at night that it was actually scary driving the car. The lights were so gunked up and filled with dirt that cars behind us kept flashing their lights at us thinking our lights were off. Once we bought a set of plastic JDM headlights we decided to not only restore them but also change the bulbs with Sylvania Silverstar bulbs.

There are tons of headlight restoration kits currently sold on the market that you and I have tried at one time or another. The problem is that they include sanding off the OEM UV clearcoat followed by a polishing process. After a few weeks the wax will eventually dry up and revert back to a set of cloudy headlights. Two parts included in the Sylvania kit that we haven't seen in stores before is the (first step) surface activator and the (final step) UV clearcoat. Yep, with this kit you reapply a UV clearcoat barrier just like all factory plastic headlights.

Sylvania headlight restoration kit headlight restoration kit 02 Photo 2/16   |   Sylvania Headlight Restoration Kit - Light The Way
Headlight haze 03 Photo 3/16   |  
Here, you can see the yellow haze of our plastic headlights.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit activator solution 04 Photo 4/16   |  
Step 1: Spray the headlight with the activator. This removes some of the yellowing and softens the original clearcoat. Then, rinse with water. (We didn’t mask the lights as we had them removed.)
Sylvania headlight restoration kit activator solution 05 Photo 5/16   |  
The liquid pulls the yellowing off the plastic with a few wipes.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit 400 grit wet sandpaper 06 Photo 6/16   |  
Step 2: Wet-sand the headlight with the supplied 400-grit wet sandpaper. Keep the headlight and sandpaper wet for it to sand properly before rinsing.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit 1000 grit wet sandpaper 07 Photo 7/16   |  
Step 3: Move onto the 1,000-grit wet sandpaper. Keep sanding until your bare fingertips feel a smooth uniform texture on the headlight with no rough spots.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit 200 grit sandpaper 08 Photo 8/16   |  
Step 4: Finish the sanding process with the 2,000-grit paper. You should now see an even white haze on the plastic. All rough and high spots should be sanded down to a nice even finish.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit clarifying compound 09 Photo 9/16   |  
Step 5: Use the clarifying compound to cut the headlight surface down even finer. To speed things up we used an air sander, but you can sand using your hands just the same before you rinse and dry.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit polishing 10 Photo 10/16   |  
After polishing, your hazy headlights should look this good. This is where most headlight restoration kits stop.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit UV clearcoat 11 Photo 11/16   |  
The Sylvania headlight restoration kit adds a final UV clearcoat step like on factory OEM headlights for clarity and protection.
Sylvania headlight restoration kit activator application 12 Photo 12/16   |  
Step 6: Spray on the activator again to remove any remaining dirt, rinse, and then dry. Now simply apply the clearcoat with the pad provided. We had a spray gun handy, so we decided to just spray it on.
Restored civic headlights 13 Photo 13/16   |  
Bam! Look at these beauties.
Restored civic headlights 14 Photo 14/16   |  
That yellow haze is completely gone.
Meguiars 106 professional ultra cut compound kit taillights 15 Photo 15/16   |  
Taillights are made of a different type of plastic and are much easier to restore.
Meguiars 106 professional ultra cut compound kit taillights 16 Photo 16/16   |  
Our body shop had a cabinet full of Meguiar’s products. The 105 Professional Ultra Cut Compound made our taillights better than we’ve ever seen them.
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