As stated in the title. Need a easy and cheap way that might clean up some 20+ year old pitted headlights. This is my biggest draw back on my retro.
photos of my lights. Thanks in advance!
Bingo. Cerium Oxide powder plus a lot of elbow grease will polish the glass properly. As I have warned others using this stuff. Cerium Oxide has very very trace amounts of radioactive thorium. So there is a slightly above background radioactivity with this material. I wouldn't keep the tub in your pants next to the boys but it is far from posing any sort of health issue. I don't have any stats but my guess is that the radioactivity would be similar to a concrete block wall (which are also slightly radioactive due to the presence of potassium-40).
That Eastwood link is for glass, the one you posted is a shadetree way to do plastic lenses and will chip and look like garbage in no time. His BMW lenses are made of glass.
You can buy the cerium oxide on Ebay in bulk for under $15 then you just need some type of drill motor and buff. It's very hard to do without some kind of power tool. If they're pitted deep then you need some diamond wheels used for granite counter tops, they come in many grits and you just work your way down.
Car polish is a waste of time, it won't cut the glass it will only fill the pits with white powder then they'll really look bad.
Not only is cerium oxide slightly radioactive, polishing glass produces silica dust which is quite bad for your health as well. Even though you should keep it wet, a respirator is highly recommended.
Hella and Bosche both make those headlights new though. Not sure on the price as I dunno the year of your car (not great with BMW's to be honest)
You have to use it wet I don't know how you'd even use it dry and the chances of a health problem is much higher just by driving your car down the street compaired to doing one set of lenses. It's the same as using any type of solvent, 95% of the time people don't were gloves but when it gets into your skin and lungs it can cause health problems too. Do you wear a respirator when using your dremel or putting gas in your car or everytime you solder?
I've been around gemologist my entire life doing lapidary work with all grits of cerium oxide and many other like compounds and never once seen one with a respirator on. My uncle is 95 and has been doing this type of work since he was in his teens.
If it makes you feel better then by all means wear gloves, goggles, respirator and a clean room, just make sure you do the same everytime you use any polishing compound or are cleaning your bathroom. If you really want something to worry about check out the air quaility studies on driving down the freeway. Which by the way is something many people do everyday of their life with no respirator.
Last edited by paleryeder; October 7th, 2011 at 09:22 PM.
True, but as I have the respirator sitting around anyway, it wouldn't be an issue for me Any well stocked garage should have one.