BADASS of New England

An automobile club for the enthusiast who enjoys the last of the big GM cars. The rear wheel drive B and D bodys. Chevrolet Impala SS, Caprice, 9C1, Buick Roadmaster, Oldsmobile Custom Cruiser, Cadillac Fleetwood
 
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 Cleaning light lenses

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95brmw

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Posts : 1433
Join date : 2009-11-10
Age : 33
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Cleaning light lenses   Mon Jul 30, 2012 10:33 pm

Whoever painted the rear bumper on my Fleetwood silver did the world's most half-assed job of masking and covered half the reverse lights in silver spray paint. I pulled the lights while putting in my new bumper, but don't know how to go about cleaning them. I was thinking some sort of paint thinner but I'm worried it will damage the plastic. Anyone have any suggestions?
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IMPALADAKID
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Join date : 2009-01-17
Age : 49

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning light lenses   Tue Jul 31, 2012 5:20 am

Pull the lenses out. You can wet sand with 2000 grit followed by a hand rub with rubbing compound. Or you can just rub with rubbing compound until the paint comes off. This will take longer..

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bowtiepimp

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Join date : 2010-06-19
Age : 33
Location : working a corner near you

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning light lenses   Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:00 am

automotive grade thinner should work fine..... more thinner less elbow and you wont distort the plastic......



..... or like Bill said...... sand n rub it out...... start with 2000 ,(wouldn't go past 1200) and a good rubbing compound ( 3M )



I have used all the way down to 400 grit to bring discolored and scratched lenses back.... that is on newer plastic lenses, I would use caution when sanding due to the age of the plastic
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95brmw

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Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning light lenses   Tue Jul 31, 2012 9:51 am

Thanks guys. I'll try Chris's thinner idea first though, I know how fragile these lights can be on 16 year old cars.
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Cadet57

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Location : Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning light lenses   Tue Jul 31, 2012 2:27 pm

IMPALADAKID wrote:
Pull the lenses out. You can wet sand with 2000 grit followed by a hand rub with rubbing compound. Or you can just rub with rubbing compound until the paint comes off. This will take longer..

The bald one speaks the truth. Wink

2000 grit wet sand followed up by Plastix with a Mothers Powerball. And, if you're really adventurous some UV safe clearcoat.
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Machine-De-Zine

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Age : 61
Location : Wrentham

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning light lenses   Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:41 pm

95brmw wrote:
Whoever painted the rear bumper on my Fleetwood silver did the world's most half-assed job of masking and covered half the reverse lights in silver spray paint. I pulled the lights while putting in my new bumper, but don't know how to go about cleaning them. I was thinking some sort of paint thinner but I'm worried it will damage the plastic. Anyone have any suggestions?

Unless they prepped the lens surface for optimal "paint adhesion", then you might find (as I did) that using a good compound and a firm push with your fingernail will "flake" the offending paint right off.
My top choice for polishing faded lens plastic is FLITZ paste,(0-65925-03518-6). That alone with some "elbow-grease" is startlingly fast and gives unsurpassed results in my experience.
Reportedly the best polishing grits on earth are made in Germany, FLITZ uses imported German abrasives formulated and manufactured into a paste right here in the USA!
Rub hard on the tougher surface damage, but it WILL save you from the old labor intensive process of working your way up through all the grades of sandpaper, like 2500 or 3000 followed by Maguire's plast-X polish.
Try the FLITZ, chances are you will like it best.
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95brmw

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Join date : 2009-11-10
Age : 33
Location : Connecticut

PostSubject: Re: Cleaning light lenses   Mon Aug 06, 2012 12:03 am

Much better now. I started at 1500 then went to 2000 grit, took all that paint off. Afterwards hit it with the mother's powerball and their headlight restore (already had it from another project) and now they look like new. Goes great with my shiny "new" bumper Laughing
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