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Buffing/polishing GT tail lights? by lorennerol
Started on: 03-28-2015 01:19 PM
Replies: 14 (600 views)
Last post by: Irrationable on 04-03-2015 05:43 PM
lorennerol
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Report this Post03-28-2015 01:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Looking for input on the best tools/procedure for buffing and polishing the tail lights.

I currently own a 5" random orbital sander, but am not opposed to buying another tool. I don't have a buffer.

The tails I have are in excellent shape, but have some minor scuffs and have lost their sheen. Hoping to spruce them up to match the body-off paint job the car is getting right now.

Thanks in advance!
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Gall757
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Report this Post03-28-2015 01:34 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I would not use any machine.....too much chance of more scratches. There is polish made for Lexan (polycarbonate). Don't use Windex. If you have deep scratches, hand sand wet, with as high a number that will remove the mark....start at 600 or so. Going slowly is better than making more damage.
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tshark
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Report this Post03-28-2015 01:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tsharkSend a Private Message to tsharkEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
...

[This message has been edited by tshark (edited 09-08-2018).]

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randye
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Report this Post03-28-2015 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for randyeClick Here to visit randye's HomePageClick Here to Email randyeSend a Private Message to randyeEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post




Use an old t-shirt for application and rubbing and a use clean soft flannel cloth for buffing.
Work a small, (4" X 4") section at a time by hand.
Wash afterwards with a mild detergent soap and rinse clean and wax with a good quality pure carnuba wax.

Will NOT remove deep scratches, but will keep good condition GT taillights looking like new.

Never mind the Novus #1 polish mentioned on the bottle label. It's simply a very highly diluted version of #2 and it does practically nothing in my experience, unless you're polishing plastic lenses for eyeglasses or other optics. There is no difference in the grit between #1 and #2 that I can discern, just the concentration in suspension.

------------------

[This message has been edited by randye (edited 03-28-2015).]

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lorennerol
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Report this Post03-28-2015 05:52 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Novus Plastic Polish 2 has been Amazon Primed.

Thank you all!
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ITALGT
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Report this Post04-02-2015 08:13 PM Click Here to See the Profile for ITALGTSend a Private Message to ITALGTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
I've done this a few times using the same product with excellent results:

http://www.fiero.nl/forum/F...HTML/000066.html#p10

'Nothin' but some elbow grease.
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IMSA GT
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Report this Post04-02-2015 08:30 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
The way I normally do this when refinishing or restoring GT taillights is to start with 1000 grit and wetsand the entire lens. Then switch to 1500 grit. I then use 3M Finesse-It compound on a 7" automotive buffer. The buffer has 10 speeds so I can really build up the heat which helps slightly soften the plastic and smooth over the minor scratches. Then switch to the lower speeds for the final polishing.
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gtoformula
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Report this Post04-02-2015 08:38 PM Click Here to See the Profile for gtoformulaClick Here to Email gtoformulaSend a Private Message to gtoformulaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
IMSA is the guru of tail light lenses. Follow his instructions and you will have nice lenses.
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IMSA GT
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Report this Post04-02-2015 08:55 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IMSA GTClick Here to Email IMSA GTSend a Private Message to IMSA GTEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gtoformula:

IMSA is the guru of tail light lenses. Follow his instructions and you will have nice lenses.


Thank you

Unfortunately it is a lot more expensive to do it my way. The buffer is not cheap and the 3M compound is about $40 per bottle so most people don't want to go that route. However, whenever I do a set, I want the lenses to last another 30 years and look brand new so I don't mind the expense.

[This message has been edited by IMSA GT (edited 04-02-2015).]

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lorennerol
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Report this Post04-02-2015 09:03 PM Click Here to See the Profile for lorennerolSend a Private Message to lorennerolEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IMSA GT:Unfortunately it is a lot more expensive to do it my way. The buffer is not cheap and the 3M compound is about $40 per bottle so most people don't want to go that route. However, whenever I do a set, I want the lenses to last another 30 years and look brand new so I don't mind the expense.


That's my preference, too: Do it once right and never again (at least for a long time). Which buffer do you recommend? And you are hand-sanding? I have 1500 and 2000 grit discs for my orbital sander that I am planning to use on the newly powder-coated intake and valve covers.
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notwohorns
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Report this Post04-02-2015 09:27 PM Click Here to See the Profile for notwohornsClick Here to Email notwohornsSend a Private Message to notwohornsEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IMSA GT:

The way I normally do this when refinishing or restoring GT taillights is to start with 1000 grit and wetsand the entire lens. Then switch to 1500 grit. I then use 3M Finesse-It compound on a 7" automotive buffer. The buffer has 10 speeds so I can really build up the heat which helps slightly soften the plastic and smooth over the minor scratches. Then switch to the lower speeds for the final polishing.


What kind of buffing pad do you use?
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JohnWPB
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Report this Post04-03-2015 01:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for JohnWPBClick Here to visit JohnWPB's HomePageSend a Private Message to JohnWPBEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by gtoformula:

IMSA is the guru of tail light lenses. Follow his instructions and you will have nice lenses.


I totally agree... BUT his perfected method is not for the novice.

Heating the plastic just to the right point while buffing is a learned skill. It takes a lot of practice and skill with a high speed buffer to learn the feel of what you are working on. It is a matter of what speed, the angle you are working the buffer on, and altering the pressure and amount of compound to get the desired results. With the scarceness of GT tail lights, I would not recommend using them to practice on to learn to do it

[This message has been edited by JohnWPB (edited 04-03-2015).]

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Tony Kania
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Report this Post04-03-2015 09:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by JohnWPB:


I totally agree... BUT his perfected method is not for the novice.

Heating the plastic just to the right point while buffing is a learned skill. It takes a lot of practice and skill with a high speed buffer to learn the feel of what you are working on. It is a matter of what speed, the angle you are working the buffer on, and altering the pressure and amount of compound to get the desired results. With the scarceness of GT tail lights, I would not recommend using them to practice on to learn to do it



This.

IMSAGT paved the way for many of us to restore our old, worn, and delamed tails. Follow his method, and years later they will still look new.

Just a note, but waxing and washing them properly helps greatly in keeping that out of the box new look. Washing the mud off of the rockers, then doing the shiny sides will ruin any previous work. Think lemmings.
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Report this Post04-03-2015 05:25 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by IMSA GT:

The way I normally do this when refinishing or restoring GT taillights is to start with 1000 grit and wetsand the entire lens. Then switch to 1500 grit. I then use 3M Finesse-It compound on a 7" automotive buffer. The buffer has 10 speeds so I can really build up the heat which helps slightly soften the plastic and smooth over the minor scratches. Then switch to the lower speeds for the final polishing.


I always do head and tail lights this way. I do however do fine sanding them with #400 on a DA sander. I use the lowest speed settings on the buffer. If they were really bad, masking them and putting a coat of clear urethane auto paint helps and is UV protected. I can do a set of bad headlights in just a few minutes if they don't need cleared. Works the same on tail lights. Most average ones come out crystal clear without paint. I do use the hand stuff for older style plastic convertible windows. They make 2 grades of that, coarser for bad windows, and just a polish for minor flaws.

https://youtu.be/cdNrNb8Z_RI

[This message has been edited by rogergarrison (edited 04-03-2015).]

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Irrationable
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Report this Post04-03-2015 05:43 PM Click Here to See the Profile for IrrationableSend a Private Message to IrrationableEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by rogergarrison:


...masking them and putting a coat of clear urethane auto paint helps and is UV protected. I can do a set of bad headlights in just a few minutes if they don't need cleared.
https://youtu.be/cdNrNb8Z_RI



That's exactly how I've done mine, I just tinted them before the urethane clear
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