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HOW TO: fog light restoration

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EF Sedan General

Joined: 29 Dec 2011
Posts: 3788

Location: new mexico, texas

PostPosted: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:46 am    Post subject: HOW TO: fog light restoration  Reply with quote

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All credit goes to Rex All Day

Rex All Day wrote:
Well you're probably sitting around with a messed up pair of fog lights. At least I was. They do their job, but.. their foggy and chipped up. They're most definitively not gonna be bragged about at any next CRX meet. So I decided to make a guide to restore everyone's lights to about 90% efficiency. This is a cheap, easy, and very effective way to get a great look from your 20+ year old beat up pair of fog lights. I hope that you come out with an aesthetically  pleasing result as did I.

NOTE: This method can be applied to plastic JDM headlights, and other glass surfaces with he same results. Just take your time and do it right, cuz if you mess up, well, let's hope you don't.  :bounce:

1. Clear - VHT Wheel Paint (Chip resistant  Smileb )
2. 800, 1500 grit sand paper
3. Rubbing compound (I used McGuire's Ultimate compound)
4. Rubbing alcohol
5. Soapy water
6. Micro Fiber cloth
7. Patience
STEP 1: Preparation/Clean
Before you start the restoration, bust out the rubbing alcohol and clean the surface of the glass as much as you can. The surface is gonna be slightly imperfect because the chips and scratches that are etched into the glass. Thus being a prime candidate for dirt and other junk to get stuck in it. CLEAN IT OUT.

STEP 2: Sanding/Clean
Now, take your 800 grit sand paper and and firmly start sanding your fog light lens. It doesn't need much. This only takes about 30 seconds on each side with medium strength. Remember, you're only trying to make the surface as flat as possible before the next step so don't get too crazy. Make sure you use the swirl motion when you are sanding. Once you are done, wipe off the milky water and clean with rubbing alcohol.

Your fog light(s) should look something like this at this point:

STEP 3: Set-up/Spray
Alright, find a spacious place for this step. I used my lawn on a sunny day, it worked great! Okay, Shake your rattle can of VHT for about 3 minutes. YES, I said 3 minutes. Do this because it gets rid of the clumps inside the can that will shoot out of the sprayer. Aim your can of clear directly in front of the lenses and pray. Start from the top to the bottom. Put on about 3 coats of clear, probably taking about 5 swipes back and fourth each. But the time you're done, it should look drenched in paint... GOOD that's exactly what you want. You will instantly see a difference in the clarity of your lens.

The fog light should look like this now:

After the 3 coats, wait about 15 minutes, and come back and rub the edge of the lens. If it sticks to your finger, wait a little longer, but if it feels dry, than proceed with 3 more extra coats. The purpose of this is to fill in all the imperfections with the clear, almost like applying more glass that just smooths out all the holes. But, you want to apply more because you want the future debris to damage the paint and NOT the glass. About 3 sets of 3 coats should be sufficient!

STEP 4: Sanding/Buffing
This is the longest and semi-time consuming part. So, you have the 1500 grit right? Well, hopefully you do because you just want a light sand grit for this step. Your fog lenses might look clear and perfect, however, you have a lot of pitting due to the chunks underneath the paint. It almost looks like orange peel but on steroids.

Pitting and orange peel looks like this:

What you want to do is take your 1500 grit paper, and swirl it along the  glass surface for about 30 seconds all around the glass.

This is what it should look like if you're doing it right:

After your done, wipe off the milky water, and you should have this as a result:

Now grab your compound and microfiber cloth:

Apply about an olives side bead on the tip of the cloth.

Start to swirl the compound around:

After swirling for about 30 seconds all around the glass, wipe off and check where you are, if the general look of the lens is still wavy, then keep going, but if there are small little pits, then you are golden.


Look at the reflection on each lense: One is buffed (left), the other is not (right)

Hot damn, these babies look like they just came off the Honda assembly line! I can't wait to smack these on my Rex once I get it fixed.

I do realize that this is not a permanent fix, the paint will slowely chip away and become as the glass once looked. However.. that's the point, you want the paint to become damaged, and NOT the glass. I think this was a very good compromise for me, I would rather restore my fog lights for 4o(ish) dollars than buy a "OMG -WOW- RARE JDM/EDM BNIB NOS OEM EF8 EF9 EF6 EF69" pair of lenses for around 500-1100 dollars.

Here are my results, and I am pretty damn happy with them.

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