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Out of all minor automotive restoration projects, restoring your headlights is among the most important. After years of use, headlights can get cloudy, rendering their effectiveness much weaker and therefore more dangerous. This is why it is important to restore them to their original clear state in order to ensure your safety as a driver. Below, we discuss the best ways to clean and restore your vehicle's headlights.
Different Methods of Restoration
Cloudy headlights can affect just about any time of car make and model, from foreign to domestic. With headlight restoration, you can get rid of this cloudiness by cleaning the headlight lenses with headlight cleaner kits or with individual basic items found at an auto parts supply store. This will save you the expense of full replacements, and it is a quick and simple process.
There are a number of different ways you can restore your headlights. For one, purchasing a Headlight Deoxidizer and applying to your headlights can be a fast option, as can using simple toothpaste, but these options are for immediate results for minor fixes and do not equal the quality of a thorough restoration. The two main methods we are focusing on today are using a glass cleaning solution method and a more thorough masking tape and sandpaper method.
Using a Glass Cleaning Solution
Here is what you will need for the glass cleaning method of restoration: glass cleaning solution, lint-free polishing cloth, car polish, car wax and a rotary buffer. This method is very simple and only requires a few steps. First off, if there is moisture on the inside of the glass, you must carefully remove the headlight lens from the car and let it dry before cleaning. If the damage is on the outside of the headlight, take your glass cleaning solution and spray it on the outside lens. Use a polishing cloth to thoroughly wipe the solution around and off of the lens to completely clean it. Make sure to not apply this solution in direct sunlight to avoid further spottiness or cloudiness. Again, if the damage is on the inside, repeat this step for the inside of the lens as well.
Now, take some car polish and apply it to the outside of the lens. Make sure the polish has a very fine abrasive in it to lightly grind away at any accumulated dust, dirt or grime. Finally, use your rotary buffer to work in the polish, and apply a final car wax to the headlight to make the cleaning/repair last longer. Now, you have successfully restored your car headlight.
Using Masking Tape and Sandpaper
Here is what you will need for the sandpaper method of restoration: masking tape, simple soap and water, 600-grit sandpaper, 1200-grit sandpaper, 2000-grit sandpaper, 2500-grit sandpaper, multiple lint-free polishing cloths, plastic lens cleaner, plastic polish and car wax. The first thing to do is use your masking tape to make a protective tape border around the headlight to protect your vehicle's finish. Then, take your 600-grit sandpaper, and dip it into a bucket of light, soapy water. Lightly rub the fine sandpaper on the front of the headlight lens to clean any adhesive debris or grime off of the surface. Spray some plastic lens cleaner onto the headlight, and use a polishing cloth to evenly wipe around the cleaning solution.
The next thing to do is remove the headlight's oxidation. Take another polishing cloth, dip one finger of it into your plastic polish, and with the lens still wet from the cleaner, apply the polish evenly across the entire headlight. Now, take your sandpaper from before, dip it into more soapy water, and begin to sand evenly from side to side across the headlight to work in the polish. Continue this sanding process with the 1200, 2000 and 2500-grit sandpapers, consecutively, making sure to get rid of any minor scratches left from the previous coarser grits. Apply another layer of the plastic polish, let it sit for a minute, then buff it with another polishing cloth.
After cleaning the headline with soap and water to remove any excess polish residue, it is time to wax. Take a polishing cloth, and apply a quarter-sized amount of car wax to it, letting it sink into the cloth for several seconds. Apply the wax to the outside of the lens using a single stroke method gradually from left to right, top to bottom. Once all of the wax is completely worked into the headlight and the lens is completely clear and shiny, consider it restored.
To learn more about car headlights and for various DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.Click Here To Read Full Post...
We've been going to SEMA for a long time and we always share our favorite vehicles from the show with everyone that can't make the event. This year we decided to give some additional recognition to the builders and owners of some of these vehicles. Thus spawned the Eastwood "Hands-On" Awards for SEMA 2014. Below are the different classes we'll be awarding for and what we're looking for. Follow along as we narrow down our favorites from the event this year!
Customer Favorite: A panel of Eastwood Experts will select 10 “Eastwood Picks” on the first day of SEMA. These vehicles will be selected based on presentation, paint, engine, custom fabrication, and fit/finish. Eastwood will post its “Eastwood Picks” to its Facebook page by the first night of SEMA, where customers will select their favorite by voting. The vehicle with the most votes by end of day on Wednesday will be awarded the prestigious Customer Favorite Hands-On award.
Best Rubber Wrap: A panel of Eastwood Experts will search all over SEMA for the best rubber wrap/dip of SEMA. Judging will be based on the overall appearance and most unique usage of a rubber wrap product. The selected vehicle will be awarded the prestigious Best Rubber Wrap Hands-On award on Thursday of SEMA.
Best Fabrication: A panel of Eastwood Experts will search all over SEMA for the vehicle featuring the best fabrication of SEMA. Judging will be based on the overall appearance, presentation, level of difficulty, and most unique fabrication. The selected vehicle will be awarded the prestigious Best Fabrication Hands-On award on Thursday of SEMA.
Best Paint: A panel of Eastwood Experts, including Paintucation host Kevin Tetz, will search the show for the best paint of SEMA. Judging will be based on the overall appearance, finish and execution. The selected vehicle will be awarded the prestigious Best Paint Hands-On award on Thursday of SEMA.
Stay tuned we'll be sharing the contenders throughout the show and announcing the winners each day!
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A fender flare can add a stylish element to your car that can be a pleasing auto body aesthetic, as well as functional for oversized rims. And the good news is, it is a pretty simple process to add them to your fenders. To flare just about any fender, all you need to do is follow a simple set of steps and use several basic auto body tools. Below we take a look at the best way to flare any steel fender.
Step #1: Determine Your Spacing
Before getting started, you want to first determine how the fender flare is going to be spaced. After initially cutting the fender flare off of the car body, determine the offset of the flare and the spacing you need to ensure accurate flare symmetry on either side of the car. Then, using basic sheet metal, cut one inch long sheet metal strips by whatever width you want the flare to be, whether it be an inch, half an inch, three quarter inch, etc.
Using Eastwood's Aluminized Sheet Metal Kit can help you prevent any corrosion that may occur. Make sure to cut the fender on the outside of the edge to preserve the OE edge. The sheet metal pieces you cut will be tacked onto the fender on the top, forward and backward areas of the fender to ensure uniformity for all four fender flares.
Step #2: Cutting and Spacing the Flare
First, cut the outside edge of the fender using a body saw. When cutting, leave the lip at the bottom attached to the body of the car. Now it's time to weld the first sheet metal spacer in place on the top of the cut fender using a MIG welder. During this whole process, it's important to use clamps to hold both the bottom fender lip and the metal spacers in place. Then weld the other two spacers in place and grind them down with an electric grinder and flap discs so they are smooth and uniform with the rest of the fender flare. Now, it's time to fill in the spaces between each metal spacer with additional sheet metal pieces. It is important that each of these pieces are cut to fit the spaces in between and outside each of the three metal spacers. Using tin snips will help you shape the metal to those tapering end flare sections. Cut, file or sand each piece manually and/or with a belt sander until it fits each space perfectly. Having a sheet metal kit is very beneficial during this process since it has many of the tools and accessories you need to cut and shape sheet metal. Now, clamp the sheet metal pieces down, weld them to the fender, and grind the welds down until the whole flare is smooth.
Step #3: Finishing and Painting the Flare
Once all the metal is welded onto the flare, clean the whole area with PRE paint prep solution and a clean cloth. The PRE paint prep will help rid the surface of any dirt, wax, polish or grease that may accrue during your work. This step will ensure a quality paint finish. Next, sand and fill all of the areas of the fender you intend to paint. Prime to cover the entire area of the fender and your new fender flare before applying the paint finish – Tech Tip – Eastwood 2K Aerospray Epoxy & Urethane Primers are great for this task. Lastly, choose your matching paint, fill your paint cup, attach it to your HVLP auto spray paint gun, and start applying your finishing coats. Make sure to spray on your paint evenly to ensure that your paint coverage is even on the body of the car.
So go ahead, and flare your fenders today! For more DIY car tutorials, be sure to visit Eastwood.com.Click Here To Read Full Post...
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