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Discussion Starter #1
I have an 06 ridgeline with 160k miles on it. The headlights have been yellowing for a while, so I finally did some research and picked the top rated kit from consumer reports, the sylvania kit. It comes with 400, 1000, and 2000 grit sandpaper along with some sort of activator solution, a polishing compound, and a uv clearcoat.

It took me about an hour to complete. Each level of sanding/polishing took 5 minutes of rubbing. It is helpful to have your own gloves because the one than came with it is tiny. I also used a water spray bottle for the wet sanding and my own towels for drying.

It takes 6 hours before they are safe to get wet... I'm preliminarily really happy with the results. I'm going to test them out tonight to see how bright they are now.
 

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What part of the country are you in? Just curious, because the headlights on my 07 still look perfect. Just wondering when they will start clouding up. Yours now look like mine :)
 

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I am in TN, but the first 110k miles were from the original owner in the Miami, FL area.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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It looks really good. I've had to do this 2 times already. It's a UV Radiation thing, like a sunburn on the clear lenses? I'm due again. I'll post pics when I start and finish. I have a 3m Kit, but this will be the last time I can use it, can you post some more info on the Sylvania Kit?
 

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Makes sense. Salt and heat. Thanks. Maybe mine will keep looking good. Actually, with 105K on mine, it still looks damn good overall.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
https://www.sylvania.com/en-us/products/automotive/Pages/headlight-restoration-kit.aspx I got mine at advance auto, but it looks like most places carry it.


I wish there were a kit like this for windshields. Mine has had sand damage since before I got it. This actually came with a uv clear coat, which is supposed to make it last longer than other brands. You definitely have to reseal the lens and most kits that I saw didn't come with any sealer. I think you can use clear coat spray, but don't quote me on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also I was going to try out the lights tonight, but it's raining and I want to give the clear coat longer to dry. It recommends at least 6 hours before driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Tested them out tonight... Wow I've been driving with barely any head lights at night. It's a million times better now.
 

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1. Don't get me started on this maddening issue - it is one of my top pet peeves! Plastic has absolutely no business being used for headlamp lenses. Whether you drive a $12,000 Nissan Versa or a $1,000,000+ exotic, the polycarbonate plastic headlamp lenses will all cloud up, craze, and/or yellow over time. This was a non-issue with glass. It's not quite so bad for incandescent headlamps where aftermarket copies can be purchased very inexpensively when they cloud up. Headlamp "restoration" is a temporary fix. The newest LED-based headlamp assemblies cost $1,500 to $2,500 each! LED go out? Crack the lens? You're in for a shock - the bulbs are integrated into the housings.

2. Federal motor vehicle safety standards require minimum levels of illumination with specific aiming requirements. Lenses that have clouded over reduce light output below these minimum levels and cause light to scatter all over the place in unintended directions. HOW, pray tell, have manufacturers avoided safety recalls over this issue?
 

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1. Don't get me started on this maddening issue - it is one of my top pet peeves! Plastic has absolutely no business being used for headlamp lenses. Whether you drive a $12,000 Nissan Versa or a $1,000,000+ exotic, the polycarbonate plastic headlamp lenses will all cloud up, craze, and/or yellow over time. This was a non-issue with glass. It's not quite so bad for incandescent headlamps where aftermarket copies can be purchased very inexpensively when they cloud up. Headlamp "restoration" is a temporary fix. The newest LED-based headlamp assemblies cost $1,500 to $2,500 each! LED go out? Crack the lens? You're in for a shock - the bulbs are integrated into the housings.

2. Federal motor vehicle safety standards require minimum levels of illumination with specific aiming requirements. Lenses that have clouded over reduce light output below these minimum levels and cause light to scatter all over the place in unintended directions. HOW, pray tell, have manufacturers avoided safety recalls over this issue?
I agree with you on most of these issues, however, plastic is more resistant to cracks and shattering than plastic. The UV coating is supposed to keep the plastic from yellowing, but it comes down to manufacture build quality and environmental factors.

I have a set of glass housings on my 240SX and I fear the day that a rock puts a major crack in it. I'll have to replace the whole thing vs. getting a new lens.

Nick C.
 

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By the time I started driving, glass headlamps had all but been replaced by plastic - the exception being a few sporty cars (i.e., Firebird, Probe, etc.) with pop-up headlamps. I grew up in a family of mechanics and was surrounded by vehicles. I remember all the vehicles my family had from the time I was still in the single-digit age range until I got my driver's license. In particular, I remember my grandmother's 1976 Monte Carlo with four glass headlamps. In the 20 years she owned that car over 100,000 miles and lots of road trips, I don't recall a single cracked headlamp - the only replacements were due to burned filaments. Any time a vehicle needed repair, my grandfather always involved me in the repair since I could stand on my own two feet whether it was to help or to teach me how to put something back together (I was always good at taking things apart). :)
 

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I think it's funny how the entire sealed-beam assembly has to be completely replaced if the bulb goes out.



Headlight designs have come a long way since! lol

Nick C.
 

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Currently at Walmart, a "standard" sealed-beam headlamp sells for $8.88. A replacement 9005 bulb is $8.97.

Sealed-beam headlamp replacement cost is $8.88 if it breaks. And, it'll never turn yellow or cloud up due to UV light.

If a plastic headlamp assembly breaks, you probably won't need the $8.97 bulb, but a $300.00 housing instead. :)

You can replace a LOT of sealed-beam headlamps for that price! Of course, they aren't as stylish.
 

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Some of us still remember when halogen was the big thing. Funny, I have a 33 year old 280zx that splits its time with the Ridge as a daily driver and one of the sealed beams on the Z is still original. Its been so long I cant remember when I replaced one, but not due to glass breakage of any sort. It has to be 10 to 15 years ago. I bought two replacements at the time figuring they would both fail within somewhat the same time frame, but my second replacement is still on the shelf.

But not to redirect from the original post...
 

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I agree with zroger that glass is a 'better' functional solution. But I'm afraid the main reason it's gone today is weight. We could still use glass lenses with the separate bulbs if the issue was smaller replaceable unit; but that glass lens would be a heck of a lot heavier than those super-light plastic versions we all 'enjoy' today.

Lower Weight's the name of the game.
 
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