Friday, January 31, 2020

LS460 - Headlight, Fog light and Grill Restoration.

The headlights and fog lights on the car were not bad by any means but it definitely did show signs of age a little bit of yellowing etc but nothing that couldn't be fixed. The fog lights I think took the most beating because of how low it is and prone to pitting etc by rocks and other debris from the road.

Sanded them all down starting at 1000 grit and worked my way down according to how much of the damage could be fixed and then worked my way up. On the headlights I ended up going to 800 grit and then moving up to 1000, 1200, 1600, 2000, 3000 and then polishing it. The headlight on the left was my first one and did all the steps to see the results before I did the other one. The fog lights I ended up having to go from 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1600, 2000 and then 3000. I used sanding disks on a DA and by hand only in areas where the DA couldn't be maneuvered to so it went by fairly quickly. 

After all the sanding, all the housings were taped up and prepped for some 2K PPG clear. Headlights and fog lights cleared and looking fresh. 

Untaped everything and carefully two hours after it was cleared and then I let it cure completely for 24 hours and then back on the car it went.

Since everything was getting cleared I went ahead and sanded down the front Lexus emblem as well to get rid of the pitting and fading it had. Had to be careful to not take too much off because the radar cruise sits behind this emblem and is calibrated for it. I also wanted to give the emblem a little smoked effect so mixed a couple of drops of black to the clear and it was cleared. 

I want to smoke the grill out now too but the chrome plating of sorts on the grill isn't too susceptible to clear sticking on it so I figured I would try some headlight tinting film to achieve the same outcome. Ordered some Luxe tint film and went about trying to put my vision together. 

Started by dismantling the inner grill from the chrome surround, then cleaning everything and degreasing the chrome surround with IPA. Also the inner grill was cleaned and I spayed it down with 303 just to condition the plastic. 

With the chrome surround all prepped and dry started off wrapping it. Patience and a little bit of  time and planning can help a long ways here. The film was warmed up with a heat gun and tucked behind to reduce the chance of edges lifting . Overall I think the wrap came out pretty nicely. 

Reassembled everything and it looked good in my opinion.

Put it back on the car.

So once it was on the car I don't know if I like it as much. The grill kinda blends in with the paint but it stands out too the shade is a little darker than what I was imagining and I'm not sure if I'm completely happy with it. I had ordered the Luxe film in gloss mid smoke and I think it makes it too dark to where it doesn't really give it that mid black chrome look that I wanted like I got from the emblem. I think at a future date I might order some of the gloss mild smoke film and try that to see if I like that better. Leaving it on for now to see how the elements affect the film staying on etc and see if there are any peeling or any other issues.

-AJ Abraham

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