|Item Weight||4.6 ounces|
|Product Dimensions||4 x 6 x 7 inches|
|California residents||Click here for Proposition 65 warning|
|Item model number||39008|
|Manufacturer Part Number||39008|
|Mirror Lighting Type||automotive-exterior-headlight-bulbs|
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3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System
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- For use on headlights, taillights, fog, and directional lights
- Kit contains sanding discs and polishing pad with compound
- Saves 100s versus purchasing a new headlight
- Improves the appearance of a car - with "like new" headlights
- Restores cloudy and dull lenses
- Easy, 3-step process requires as little as an hour to remove scratches and restore cloudy, dull lenses
- Features 3M abrasive technology and a polishing compound to restore hazy and dull headlight lenses, as well as other plastic lens surfaces on your vehicle
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Plastic lenses can yellow with age, reducing headlight brightness, and new lenses can be expensive. The 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System lets you shine and restore plastic lenses, including headlights, taillights, fog and directional lights. By restoring clarity to the lens, the performance of the headlight is improved and the appearance of the vehicle is enhanced Now you can produce professional results with the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System and a household drill (1200-1600 rpm). Kit includes all items necessary to perform the task except for the drill, tape and clean cloth.
From the manufacturer
3M Headlight Restoration Kit
- Kits contain masking tape, light sanding discs, wax protectant and more
- For use on plastic lenses – headlights, taillights, fog lights, directional lights and more
- 3M abrasive technology removes yellowing and buildup without damaging plastic lens surface
- Easy to use – choose a kit with no tools required, or for use with a common household drill
- Simple 4-step process lets you restore lenses in under an hour
- Save hundreds vs. replacing headlight lenses
This 3M Headlight Lens Restoration Kit is a collection of professional-grade products assembled specifically for removing the cloudy, yellowed haze that builds up on automotive headlight lenses. Kits use a system of light abrasives to keep vehicles looking great and save money vs. replacing expensive lenses. They include complete directions, 3M Trizact sanding discs, pads, tape and polishes.
Restore Your Headlights Without Replacing Them
Rather than using ineffective solvents – or spending big on new headlight lenses – you can choose a 3M Headlight Lens Restoration Kit. A complete system of light abrasives, polishes and protectants removes scratches, dirt and oxidization that can appear on your lenses, lowering your vehicle’s value and reducing safe driving visibility. You can choose a kit that lets you restore headlight lenses without tools. Or, with just a spray water bottle and a common household drill, you can use the full kit with a complete range of abrasive discs for sanding, finishing and refining to remove discoloration that can cause your headlights, tail lights, fog and directional lights to appear cloudy and yellow – for a fraction of the cost and time of buying and installing new lenses. Each kit includes everything you need to restore two headlight lenses.
How Does it Work?
The 3M Headlight Restoration Kit restores clear plastic lenses in a way that standard cleaners cannot. This convenient system requires just four simple steps. First, apply high-performance masking tape to the painted surfaces around the lens you are restoring (some kits include 3M Automotive Masking Tape). Use a progressive system of Trizact abrasive discs to remove yellowing, scratches, dirt, haze, and other material buildup on the plastic lens. With or without a common household drill, Hookit attachment system makes it easy – just slap the disc onto a pad, and you’re ready to go. A choice of Headlight Restoration Kits features 3M Scratch Remover or 3M Rubbing Compound to achieve maximum shine and clarity. Then, using a soft cloth, apply a light coating of 3M Synthetic Wax Protectant. Remove the masking tape, and you’re finished.
About Trizact Abrasives
The abrasive in 3M Trizact abrasive discs for headlight restoration is so fine that you can sand across the plastic lenses without worrying about creating scratches or other damaging marks. 3M Trizact abrasives feature microreplication – small 3-dimensional structures are reproduced and then uniformly distributed over the surface of the disc. These patterned, precise mineral structures contain multiple layers of abrasive mineral. As the structures wear, fresh, sharp mineral is exposed. The result is that the abrasive cuts faster, stays sharper longer and allows for precise finish control – it removes the yellowing, dirt buildup and small scratches that can cause haze, without damaging the lens itself.
Why Do You Need Headlight Restoration?
Today's vehicles have a greater number of plastic components, from plastic headlight lenses to motorcycle windshields, plastic tail lights, trailer lights and more. Plastic components are great for durability and reducing overall weight, but they can yellow and haze with weather, sun and sand, limiting visibility and diminishing the appearance and value of the vehicle. While the impact on a vehicle's value varies, the dangers in terms of limited visibility are clear: It is a factor in 2.8 million accidents, 23,000 fatal crashes and 2,300 pedestrian deaths each year, according to the Motor Vehicle Lighting Council. Dim headlight bulbs and hazy plastic headlight lenses or surfaces may lead to this reduced visibility, putting you, your passengers and other cars at risk. The AAIA Car Care Council found that 26 percent of the cars it inspected had issues with their lighting system. Millions of cars on the road today have plastic headlight lenses. The problem increases with the age of the lens, and with the average age of cars on the road about 10 years old, the problem is growing. That is why it is important to correct hazy, dull headlights.
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The headlights on my car had started to show the telltale opaqueness characteristic of sun damage and oxidation. I started with the more involved system by 3M - the process is to use a series of disks to first sand off the opaque layer and then imperfections in the surface left by the first disk to finer and finer scratches until you get to a frosted appearance and then polish the headlight cover with polishing compound until you get a clear surface. The Meguiar's product requires less steps in that you start with a rubbing compound and then after achieving the frosted appearance spray with a clear protective coating.
- the 3M product left a clear un-yellowed headlight cover
- the Meguiar's product left a clear un-yellowed headlight cover
surprise, essentially they were in my opinion equally effective at restoring the headlights
Ease of use / Effort
- the 3M product took roughly 60-90 minutes to strip and buff a single headlight, note that this was done using a cordless drill (you may need an appropriate chuck as the kit attachment is smooth and round where my drill required a hex shank) making several passes and wiping down to assess progress before advancing to the next disk [ note that the instructions caution you to mask around the headlights to prevent damage to the paint, I would suggest multiple layers in the areas where the paint is most likely to get damaged, varying by car - I suggest this because I cut right through a single layer of tape in one area and scratched the paint ]
- the Meguiar's product took roughly 15-20 minutes, this was through intense side to side rubbing of the headlight with the applicator pad, adding more buffing compound as the surface became dry and wiping down to assess progress before the final spray on step [ note that you need to mask here as well, but now to protect against overspray from the protecting coat, also, be careful in your spray technique as it is possible to end up with drips due to too much spray application ]
Overall, as you can see from the attached before and after the both systems worked well, the difference being mostly in the length of time required to achieve the effect. Overall, I like the Maguiar's product better due to the reduced time (though the manual effort was more intense). P-)
- On Amazon, there were three 3M kits listed, the 39008, the 39014, and 39045 for approx $17, $18, and $24 respectively, all with great reviews. I couldn't for the life of me figure out the difference int he kits, so I went with the cheapest, the 3M 39008 Headlight Lens Restoration System. Well, now I know the difference. ALL the kits include:
1 - 3M drill backing plate
4 - P800 grit white abrasive discs
6 - P500 grit yellow discs
1 - P3000 Trizact foam disc
1 - Orange foam compounding pad
1 - 1 oz. 3M headlight lens polish sample
- The 3M 39014 Lens Renewal Kit includes all the above plus:
1 - 3M Masking Tape PN 0000 25 ft.
- The 3M 39045 Lens Renewal Kit with Protectant includes all of the above plus:
1 - Container of protectant formula
I had making tape, so no biggie there, and I just used a high quality automotive wax on the lenses when I was done, so I didn't need the 3M "Protectant formula". You also provide a 1200-1600rpm drill (use a corded drill, cordless just won't cut it, you will run out of charge in short order) and a pray bottle with plain water.
Maybe my lights were particularly bad, but it took me a good 1.5 - 2 hours PER lens to get the results I did. But I am a perfectionist, and took my time. I would say the lights came out at 99-100% I'm not sure what those who wrote negative reviews were doing wrong, but if you follow the directions and take your time, the results are great.
- On the first step with the P500 grit. Clean the lens and the disc OFTEN. A old towel works well for the lens and a paint brush worked well on the disc. By cleaning the disc often, I was able to do both light with just a single P500 disc. If you rush, you WILL clog up the disc and need a new one. This is the most time consuming step, took me about a hour a lens.
- On the P800 disc, same as above, clean the disc and the lens often!
- With the 3000 wet disc. Keep the pad and the lens wet, wipe the lens often! (Noticing a pattern?)
- On the polish step, just a little compound goes a long way! Just a dime amount on the pad will do you just fine.
- Finish up with a nice high quality wax on the lens to protect your work!
If you take you time and follow the directions, you will be very happy with the results. For $20, and 4 hours of my time, I was very happy. Much better that the $180ea for new lenses!
If you have patience and time, you will get the best results from this. It took me 2 hrs per headlight. Everything you need is provided in this kit, all you need is a hand drill (corded or cordless with extra fully charged battery packs), masking tape, a spray bottle with water, and lots of paper towels. I added photos and a time lapses video of my progress. I also worked on the fog lights the following day, picture is shown.