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5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

 
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:43 AM
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5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Hello everyone im about to upgrade the lighting on my car to retrofit light with only a slight problem. My lights are extremely oxidized. So either 1 of 2 things i would like to do is get new headlights or possibly get them restored. In your opinion whats the best way to restore the lights? And if i dont do that does anybody know where i might be able to find a pair of headlights for cheaper than $150?

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Old 02-18-2013, 11:23 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

You can get them cheap in any of the part outs on here, for restoring, you could buy a headlight restoration kit, or you could get some sandpaper and clear coat spray, 1000 grit and 2000grit and rubbing compound, sand the haze off with the 1000 grit, then wet sand it with the 2000 clean it with just water, let it dry, it should have a matte finish to it. Spray it with 3-4 thin coats of clear, don't try to make it shine with just clear sprayed from a can, it will run or get super orange peel, just get a smooth coat. 15 mins between coats. Wait for at least 4-5 hours, more is better, then wet sand with the 1000 then 2000 until it is smooth, and use rubbing compound. I found it is easiest with a drill and wool buffing wheel, but by hand just takes lots of elbow grease and time. Once it is done, clean your shiney new headlights with soap and water and scrubbing. Then put on some wax if you feel like it.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:34 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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Originally Posted by rocker22dallas View Post
You can get them cheap in any of the part outs on here, for restoring, you could buy a headlight restoration kit, or you could get some sandpaper and clear coat spray, 1000 grit and 2000grit and rubbing compound, sand the haze off with the 1000 grit, then wet sand it with the 2000 clean it with just water, let it dry, it should have a matte finish to it. Spray it with 3-4 thin coats of clear, don't try to make it shine with just clear sprayed from a can, it will run or get super orange peel, just get a smooth coat. 15 mins between coats. Wait for at least 4-5 hours, more is better, then wet sand with the 1000 then 2000 until it is smooth, and use rubbing compound. I found it is easiest with a drill and wool buffing wheel, but by hand just takes lots of elbow grease and time. Once it is done, clean your shiney new headlights with soap and water and scrubbing. Then put on some wax if you feel like it.
Awesome ok when you say clear coat spray are you referring to clear coating in a spray paint can? I would much rather spend less money and more energy restoring it myself than to buy new lights so ill def try out your method. Just let me know what exactly you mean about the clear spray (brand, where to buy, etc.) im gonna go pick all the materials up on my way home this evening. I'll be sure to post pics of the progress as its probably going to take me a few days to get it finished.

EDIT: btw just wondering what is the actual purpose of the clear coat if im just sanding it off again?

Last edited by Fein247; 02-18-2013 at 11:38 AM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:39 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

I did basically the same thing on my taillights, previous owner got a ton of over spray on them, yes I mean jut spray can clear. Light coats is key. First time I used it, I kept spraying till it was a thick enough coat to shine and it looked horrible. I used krylon clear, but any enamel or automotive clear should work. Should be like 6 bucks at the auto parts store
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:44 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

And what exactly does the clear coating do if im sanding it off again in the last step? Do you happen to have any pics of your tail lights i saw your post in a different thread about what you did to them and sounds cool wanna see what they look like. Post it here or shoot me a private message. Ive had my car for almost 7 months and have just now had the resources to be able to do any upgrades to it so i figured i'd start with the lighting and working my way to the back.
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:55 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Clear coating gives you something to polish and will protect the lights. I'll go take a pic of my taillights so you can see
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:00 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Just took the pic with my phone camera, but you can sort of see the shine

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Old 02-18-2013, 12:02 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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Clear coating gives you something to polish and will protect the lights. I'll go take a pic of my taillights so you can see
Awesome thanks man. You're a big help and cant wait for the upgraded headlights but if i like what you di to your taillights i might do that as well. Where i live there aren't very many preludes (I have yet to see another SH), mostly civics, so i kinda wanna clean my car up a bit just to be able to say i have the cleanest Prelude around.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:04 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

That looks really clean. SO you mind sharin how you pulled that one off? I think that would look nice with my darker colored car.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:17 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

left one is just sanded, right one is sanded and masked. I sanded the whole red and and clear, then masked everything but the red and wrapped a plastic bag a round the back. I used vht nite shades and I only did 2-3 thin coats so it still looked red. 15 mins between coats, then take the mask off the clear lights and spray the whole thing clear. 3 coats should be good. LET IT DRY for at least a couple hours. It takes a while for all that paint to set, and I got a finger mark in mine from pushing on the lenses getting them back on the car. It will look more dark then you wanted it till it sets. I waited 3 days before I sanded and rubbing compounded them to shine, but they turned out pretty good. I'm going to do a few more coats of clear and sand the heck out of them so they are perfect
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:19 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

BTW, all my sanding was wet sanding. My soapy water bucket can be seen in that last pic, just dish soap and hot water. Soak the paper in it and you can keep using the same paper if you wash out the grit with the soap water and your finger
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:28 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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Originally Posted by rocker22dallas View Post
left one is just sanded, right one is sanded and masked. I sanded the whole red and and clear, then masked everything but the red and wrapped a plastic bag a round the back. I used vht nite shades and I only did 2-3 thin coats so it still looked red. 15 mins between coats, then take the mask off the clear lights and spray the whole thing clear. 3 coats should be good. LET IT DRY for at least a couple hours. It takes a while for all that paint to set, and I got a finger mark in mine from pushing on the lenses getting them back on the car. It will look more dark then you wanted it till it sets. I waited 3 days before I sanded and rubbing compounded them to shine, but they turned out pretty good. I'm going to do a few more coats of clear and sand the heck out of them so they are perfect
Yeah that is for sure on my to-do list for the car. The only problem i forsee is being in trouble with the law because I have a strict police force where I am located and they may have a problem with it. Im thinking about using the night shade on my front side fender lights because they arent orange as they come stocked with but mine are white. First thhing's first though im gonna get my head lights done then move on to the rear. Thanks for all the help.
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:44 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

That is why I did such a thin coat. I was worried I might get in trouble, so I made it thin coat and shiney, here is a pic next to one of my friends ludes, output is very similar

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Old 02-18-2013, 01:31 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Thanks for posting that because i was looking on youtube at the output of tinted lights and its hard to tell in the vids. I would appreciate a lighter coat more anyways because i dont want it to look completely blacked out and like you said it does look very similar to your friend's car. One question i do have is how reflective is it when the lights arent on? Say if it was parked on the side of the road is it a noticeable difference? Just something to check out when you get a chance because i looked up the Florida laws and it said rear lights must maintain reflectivity. So check it out and let me know.
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:56 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

I'll take a pic tonight for you
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:04 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

My mechanic charges $25 to restore both headlights.
He uses a secret solution (probably mcguires) and a scotch brite pad. Takes him like 30 minutes.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:08 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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I'll take a pic tonight for you
OK ill keep an eye out for your post.
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Old 02-18-2013, 02:11 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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My mechanic charges $25 to restore both headlights.
He uses a secret solution (probably mcguires) and a scotch brite pad. Takes him like 30 minutes.
There used to be people everywhere on the side of the road down here that advertised headlight restoration but i never needed it until now, when they're no where to be found. Ill probably spend about the same buying all the materials to do it myself except ill have left overs to do it again when it comes time. The only problem i have with someone else doin it is that it might not be completely done the right way. I would rather just know its being done correctly and put the hard work into it myself and get good results.
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Old 02-18-2013, 04:53 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

My mechanic does it right. That's why he's my mechanic.

Once upon a time I used whomever. Bottom line, ask around, find a local guy with a good rep, stick a few $ in his pocket for silly stuff like wipr blades and oil changes on inspection day and he'll do you right. Then later on you too can say my mechanic does x for y$. Know what I mean.
Go ahead and do the lights, put pride in your work and be looking for a good mechanic 'cause sooner or later you'll need one.
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welcome to site Carl
...is a golden car fax kinda like a golden ticket? Sure hope willy wonka didn't put any snozberries in your motor.
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Only seen the first one, 15 years ago in theaters. Plan on keeping it that way. Get off my lawn.
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Originally Posted by Lindso View Post
I remember my first thread, asking what a noise was when I got going 110mph.
Pretty much got flamed for driving like a jackass and was told to slow down. And I'll be damned, slowing down fixed it.

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Old 02-18-2013, 05:06 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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Originally Posted by bykfixer View Post
My mechanic does it right. That's why he's my mechanic.

Once upon a time I used whomever. Bottom line, ask around, find a local guy with a good rep, stick a few $ in his pocket for silly stuff like wipr blades and oil changes on inspection day and he'll do you right. Then later on you too can say my mechanic does x for y$. Know what I mean.
Go ahead and do the lights, put pride in your work and be looking for a good mechanic 'cause sooner or later you'll need one.
Yeah you have a point. 1 of my best friends is a master repair technician who can build an engine blind folded. It's always nice to know people who can do work for cheap/free and actually know what theyre doing and can lend you the tools when needed lol.
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Old 02-19-2013, 07:06 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

I've used a restoration kit before and it does it's work! However, from some angles, it'll still have a hint of yellow so I'm going to sand it down and clear coat it just as said on this thread. Honestly sanding/wet sanding + clear coating is the best way to go without buying brand new headlights
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:00 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Just my truck lights on the back, no flash


Me standing in front of lights with flash
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:20 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Neato looks the same to me. Its not like it has much reflectivity anyways its just a little reflective diamond. SO i started on the headlight refurb last night and i think im doin it ok. I started with the 1000 and then went to the 2000. It has that matte finish like you had talked about and it no longer has the yellow haze its just a white haze now. So after work today ill move onto the next step (clear coat process) so that by tomorrow i can sand it down again and start buffin her out.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:18 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Make sure to clean it well. Dish soap water and a rag, then dry it and let it air dry before clear coating. Multiple light coats and let them dry. Post pics!
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:46 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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Make sure to clean it well. Dish soap water and a rag, then dry it and let it air dry before clear coating. Multiple light coats and let them dry. Post pics!
Will do i'll post a pic in a sec of what they currently look like. I'm gonna finsih all the sanding after work and make sure theyre clean as a whistle before clear coating. I'll be doing the clear coating at night so they can dry all night and then after work tomorrow ill buff em out so they have almost a full day to dry.

I guess the only thing that really worries me is when will i know after the clear coating when i have done enough sanding? Just making sure that the light is nice and smooth?
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:52 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

So see if you can tell which side i've already done. Or if they look any different from eachother for that matter.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:55 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

yeah, shouldn't take much, just enough to make it smooth. you could do no sanding and just use rubbing compound, but just a little sanding to take care of the bumps and any orange peel, then a clean rag and rubbing compound and lots and lots of buffing (unless you have a wool wheel, in which case just put some rubbing compound on, and keep applying pressure on the lense until the wheel takes off all the rubbing compound. it will be shiney like new.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:57 AM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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So see if you can tell which side i've already done. Or if they look any different from eachother for that matter.
hard to tell in the pic, but once it is finished, it will look great! clean lude, i wish the front of mine was as straight as yours. last owner got in a bad accident and replaced the front end with the front end of a red car and gave it a cheap paint job. nothing really matches or lines up good.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:08 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

Yea i noticed you cant really see in the pic because its so bright outside but the right side is completely hazy white and super smooth while the left side is still yellow and rough to the touch. I got fortunate the girl who owned it before me just let her dog ride with her everywhere so there was a long laasting dog odor in the car and still some remnants of dog fur but besides that shes in a good shape. A big upgrade from my last car, a 1989 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera with barely any paint on it and mold growing on it lol it was a big mess.
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Old 02-19-2013, 12:11 PM
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Re: 5th Gen Prelude Need new Headlights

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yeah, shouldn't take much, just enough to make it smooth. you could do no sanding and just use rubbing compound, but just a little sanding to take care of the bumps and any orange peel, then a clean rag and rubbing compound and lots and lots of buffing (unless you have a wool wheel, in which case just put some rubbing compound on, and keep applying pressure on the lense until the wheel takes off all the rubbing compound. it will be shiney like new.
BTW i do have the wool wheel borrowing from a friend. It pays to know people and if it doesnt seem to be turning out alright i know he could do it but i'd rather say i did it myself.
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