3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System 39008
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337 of 340 found the following review helpful:
Pleasantly Surprised Oct 08, 2008
By Daugenet Breaux
I own an 11 year old car and the headlights had become significantly glazed over. The only thing the kit doesn't come with is a drill. (which would really drive up the cost of the kit) The steps are pretty easy to restore your headlight
1. Clean the headlight and tape around the headlight edges to protect the paint job.
2. Use the "yellow" sanding disk with the drill attachment. The headlight will take on a more cloudy, but uniform, appearance
3. Use the "white" disk and smooth out the surface
4. Use the "gray" disk (with water) and begin the polishing of the surface
5. Finally use the "orange" foam disk with the polishing compound and complete the job.
Instructions are included with the kit and are pretty straightforward. I would say that anyone can do this job in approximately 2 hours or less. The drill attachment is WELL worth the money.
I was actually able to do two cars with one kit. Obviously this will depend on the condition of your headlights. I would recommend buying one kit per car though.
When using the kit I actually wiped off the "dust" that was created between steps. This wasn't mentioned in the instructions but I don't feel that it effected the results either. If you do the same thing then you will not see much of the "white slurry" described in the instructions when using the gray disk.
I hope this review helps and I will try to check back later to see if anyone has some comments that need answering.
Update Dec 2011
Sadly the effects do not last forever. (nor would I expect them to) After about a year I could notice the hazing starting up and within another I was about where I had started. On the plus side, the second round of restoration went very quickly. I am glad to see this product has worked so well for so many people.
100 of 100 found the following review helpful:
Fantastic Product - I thought my lens was beyond repair. Not so! Jul 19, 2009
By Art Diefenbach
This product is just incredible. I have a 6 year old Jetta which had deep pits in the headlight lenses. They looked like they had been sand blasted. [...]. The results were fantastic. The lenses now look as good as new.
Some tips from my experience:
1. If you're going to wash your car the same day as you restore the lenses, wash after you do the lenses. Some plastic dust blows around and there is some spatter on the wet sand.
2. Be sure to really protect the surrounding paint. 3M recommends two layers of automotive masking tape, which I did. But I did cut through in two places with the edge of the sandpaper. So if there is any chance of touching the body of you car with the edge of the sandpaper, put on 3 or 4 layers of tape.
3. The kit comes with plenty of supplies: sandpaper and plastic polish. The directions warn that there may not be enough supplies, but I had plenty left over, although admittedly the Jetta headlights aren't that large. I don't see any need to buy the kit with the large bottles of plastic cleaner and polish unless you need that stuff for other projects.
4. I followed the directions exactly. I went the extra mile of doing extra passes on each level of sanding to insure I got out all the original damage and then each level of sanding scratches. I got as uniform level of appearance as I could. As the instructions say doing more at each level makes the next level easier. I also ended each level with a few passes with lower pressure.
5. I'd say the only tricky part is holding the drill steady while you sand away. It can jump around if you're not careful. I set up a stool with the appropriate height so I could rest my forearm that was holding the drill on my thigh. I held the drill with both hands and then moved it steadily across the lens. I sanded the whole lens with horizontal passes overlapping on each pass and then repeated vertical passes. I used about 10 total passes at each level.
Each lens took me about 30-45 minutes. I was skeptical that my damage could be repaired. But there is absolutely no evidence of the original damage and the lenses look as good as new. It is so satisfying to see the results, what a difference.
Oh, and the price is a terrific bargain too.
282 of 302 found the following review helpful:
It works, but... Jan 02, 2010
By Colin Mattson
When I saw the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System, I liked the idea. Speed up my headlight polishing by using an electric drill? Count me in! It's got to beat wetsanding lenses for 30 minutes a pop.
In execution, though, it definitely falls short of the idea for a couple reasons:
1. 3M demonstrates the product on a mid-90s Ford Taurus, which has huge, round headlamps proud of the bodywork--perfect for the system 3M has created. If you drive anything else, you'll rapidly discover you can't safely machine sand your entire headlamp. The pad is just plain too big for many other applications, where you have tight radiuses, 90° corners, and lamps recessed into and/or abutting bodywork. You can cover the most important part on any vehicle, but if looks are a priority, you may want to buy another (manual) product.
2. 3M uses their cheapest dry-only papers in this kit. Most competing products use wet sanding or wet polishing; this one mostly uses dry sanding and kicks up a lot of plastic dust. Definitely follow the admonition to use eye and respiratory protection.
3. Jumps in grit give the results you'd expect. You jump from 500 to 800, then to 3000, and then compound the lens. The results aren't bad by any means, but if looks are a factor you'd do well to do some intermediate sanding (or use a product like Meguiar's G12310 PlastX Clear Plastic Cleaner and Polish -10 oz. to finish off after the compounding).
You could definitely do worse than the 3M kit if your goal is just to see, but you can definitely do better if you want that showroom-new look and aren't driving a Taurus.
31 of 33 found the following review helpful:
Not perfect, but worth the money Oct 27, 2009
By Christian M. Garbin
The bad news: it will not restore the headlights to "as new" condition.
The good news: it's easy, fast and does a pretty decent job for the money. Headlights will look 80 to 90% of a new one.
Where I live, the professionals ask as much as $120 to restore the headlights of one car. For all I know, they may be worth all that money.
This kit will get two or three cars to a "very good" condition for about $20 and two hours of your time. It will not look perfect, but it will look a whole lot better than it does now.
I bought it once I saw the $120 ad in the dealer. I thought all I could lose was $20 if I tried this first. Worst case scenario would be an embarrassing call to the professional restorer (I can always withhold the tip if they try to be funny...).
It turned out very well. The instructions are clear and easy to follow. All you need beyond the kit is a decent drill.
I used it in two cars, a Jetta 2002 and a Volvo S60 2005. The Jetta of that year has the flat headlight. That one was easy. All it needed was one of each of the pads. The S60 was trickier. The headlights are significantly bigger and rounder. It used two of each pads and the corners aren't all that pretty in the end (which tells more about my hand-eye coordination than the kit itself).
The second car you do will be faster and easier. If you have only one car, volunteer to do the neighbor's car first. He/she will be happy and grateful. You will have the experience to do a better job in your car.
22 of 23 found the following review helpful:
Shining Results Nov 30, 2008
By Mike M.
I was a bit sceptical about how effective this product could be for its relatively very low price. The competitive "3 and 4 stage" type products cost at least three times the price and are a lot more involved to apply. However, the 3M results were truly impressive. You do have to follow the instructions and be sure to use the foam cushion backing pad included in the kit as well as a drill with the recommended RPMs. With that said, you will get truly impressive results at a cost less than any other do-it-yourself product and certainly well below the hundred dollar plus you would have to pay a professional shop. Definitely a "best buy" and highly recommended!
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