Plastic headlamp refurb

Has anyone considered doing this but being nervous about the outcome? Well I was, but spurred on by lockdown, my usual statement “How hard can it be?” was said so a kit was ordered. If people are interested I’ll run through what I did add pictures etc?

Yes defo interested in this. My Elise headlights had really bad peel on the surface and I sent them off to a bodyshop that offered to sort via one of my internet project threads at the time. Will have to dig out his details but he did an absolutely amazing job.

Have you read my mind?

Exactly what I am considering.

I am ok with spanners, but this requires real skill so looking forward to a guide/howto/pictures!

Ok, before we go anywhere, I’m not sure it will be the same on Exige headlamp covers, but I don’t see any reason why not.
So I bought Holt’s headlight restoration kit it was on a deal with eurocarparts

After studying the extensive instructions (mask, use roughest paper first, keep wet, finish with compound) I was not inspired with confidence, you basically get a disc of each grade paper per headlight with the kit.
This is where I started

So I masked the headlight fitted the 800 grit and did a pass or two keeping wet with an atomiser and a bucket of water and sponge to rinse

Then 1000 grit at this point panic sets in

Have I ruined my headlamps?
Several passes with the 1500 grit

It doesn’t seem to be getting better

This is after 3 passes at 3000 grit I did 5 total per headlamp till the paper was worn out

I must admit I was still panicing at this point wondering if my next website was ebay!
I reckon at least a dozen passes with the compound, I used 2/3 of the container and it was quite big.

At this point I was a lot happier with the outcome

What I have learned from this is to look properly at the headlights first and concentrate more on the worse areas, you can see here 2 areas that were quite bad but I treated the whole headlamp the same, I think next time I would mark the areas to work harder on before I started

Next mask up and spray what I thought was a lacquer, but it isn’t it is more like back to black a semi drying silicon treatment

Before and after Left

Before and after right

Thats an incredible transformation.

I dont think I have the balls of steel to do this on the exige. Clio lights are a fraction cheaper than the s2 ones!

Ok, so final thoughts
Was it worth doing? Yes
How long did it take? Way longer than I expected 4-5 hours total
Things to consider? Make sure you have a well charged battery for your cordless drill and a spare or two if possible!
Would you do anything different? Yes, concentrate on worse areas early on and be less aggressive with others.
Final thoughts? I might buy a test headlamp and try to lacquer it instead at the end, I suspect this coating comes off quite quickly with washing

Agreed, I’d maybe try and get a broken scuffed one to try first, those lenses are silly expensive

Great job!