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Old 02-06-2018, 09:32 AM   #1
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What's the generally accepted best headlight clear coat?

For after headlight polishing.

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Old 02-06-2018, 09:39 AM   #2
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Professional automotive clear coat applied by a paint shop.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:43 AM   #3
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Any opinion on Lamin-X for headlights?
I was thinking of applying some after polishing.
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Old 02-06-2018, 10:49 AM   #4
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I'll let you know, just received my lamin-x covers.

We'll be doing it in the spring.
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Old 02-06-2018, 12:57 PM   #5
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What's the generally accepted best headlight clear coat?

I use a mix of products. To start, I apply the surface activator from Sylvania. I mention this because it was pretty amazing to see the ‘yellow’ melt away in the spray runoff. YMMV, but it worked for me.



Middle steps are the typical wet sanding, 600 through 5,000 grit starting by hand, then with small DA sander and hand touch up as required, then a final pass with the surface activator using a clean rag. Then a pass with a tack cloth immediately prior to final finishing.

Regarding the OP’s question, for final finishing I’ve had really good results with the SpayMax headlight system. It’s a 1k primer with a 2k (catalyst) top coat. You are supposed to use the primer followed by the top coat. Spray Max does not recommend using the 2k without the primer. Lens damage, bond promotion??? Who knows. I used both per the directions.

Make sure you have an appropriate, real deal paint respirator and ventilated work space. The 2k paint can be deadly.



Final result after polishing. The yellow-green tint on the projector lens in the pic below is just a reflection of our trees, The lense is perfectly clear. Note the ‘u’ shaped smudge on the inside of the lens. It’s discolored from heat I guess. Nothing can be done without taking the light apart. It’s not that noticeable in person.



Here’s a pic after the 2k coat, prior to final polishing:



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Old 02-06-2018, 06:34 PM   #6
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Those look great. How long did each side take?
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Old 02-06-2018, 08:06 PM   #7
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What's the generally accepted best headlight clear coat?

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Originally Posted by rexcramer View Post
Those look great. How long did each side take?
Hi Rex, Thanks. About 3 hours per side including drying time and final polishing. I took it slow and I wanted to be sure that all the original UV coating layer was off the lenses. A 3” DA sander is perfect for the job.

The best is to get both lenses through sanding, priming and drying, then mix the catalyst and do the final coat on both lenses one immediately after the other.

Here’s a pic after the final sanding, just before primer:



The primer goes on milky clear and dries to a clear satin mat finish. It’s in the process of drying here:



And here’s the lens with the primer completely dry:



There’s no sanding between the primer and 2k finish. After the primer dries, another quick pass with the tack cloth and you are on to applying the 2k top coat. Here’s a pic after the top coat, before final polishing:



I did have some minor orange peel (my fault) but the final polishing after 2k application took care of that.
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Old 02-07-2018, 02:42 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rick3000 View Post
Any opinion on Lamin-X for headlights?
I was thinking of applying some after polishing.
I've installed the Lamin-X covers on a Miata and Son's Tacoma, somewhat of a pain to install but once they are on you will be done messing with refinishing the headlights forever. An excellent product.
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Old 02-09-2018, 08:44 AM   #9
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I've installed the Lamin-X covers on a Miata and Son's Tacoma, somewhat of a pain to install but once they are on you will be done messing with refinishing the headlights forever. An excellent product.
Agreed. A bit of a pain to put on but I have now installed them on 6 cars including the Box and Carrera. Once on properly they are virtually unnoticeable. They have the added benefit of rock protection beyond what a typical clear film has to offer due to them being thicker.

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