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Headlights, how do I fix this...?

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Solid Snake, Jun 20, 2021.

  1. Jun 20, 2021 at 4:58 PM
    #1
    Solid Snake

    Solid Snake [OP] The Anciet of Mu Mu

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    So, my newly acquired 2006 Tundra has headlights that are "frosted over" from age. How do I fix this? Is there a way to clean them? Or do I have to replace them?

    headlight.jpg
     
    DarkMint likes this.
  2. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:02 PM
    #2
    Kelvin

    Kelvin New Member

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    Replacing would be the easiest. If you’ve got the skill you can sand and clear it. Or for a quick fix you can polish.
     
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  3. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:02 PM
    #3
    Glock 40

    Glock 40 I'm here to break shit

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    I'd replace them with aftermarket, not very expensive.
     
  4. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:02 PM
    #4
    Tundra2

    Tundra2 Zoinked

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    I used this on my corolla with some succes.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B084RQKLV8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_glt_fabc_XYM3V8PT345QHFRNR14C?_encoding=UTF8
     
  5. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:05 PM
    #5
    Glock 40

    Glock 40 I'm here to break shit

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  6. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:06 PM
    #6
    PenderBen

    PenderBen Forum lurker…

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    There are various headlight refinishing kits out there, basically different buffing setups.
    Something like this, https://www.canadiantire.ca/en/pdp/...vh0rfaqRBsGpIJFH6FBoCV0MQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
    They are a temporary fix at best and won’t look like new but will be pretty clear. I have done similar fixes many times (not that specific one, that’s just the first one I saw), you will need to redo it from time to time, I did mine about 2 years ago and they’re ready to be done again.
     
    N84434 likes this.
  7. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:11 PM
    #7
    Ebeast

    Ebeast New Member

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    Start by cleaning the headlights with soap and water. Then get a tube of toothpaste that has the baking soda in it. Get a soft bristle brush or a toothbrush and rub it in then wash off.
     
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  8. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:39 PM
    #8
    jimf909

    jimf909 Battery almost dead...

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    Headlights have always been a wear item. Previously for bulbs that went bad, nowadays for plastic that can't handle the sun. My PO had a fenderbender so the insurance company paid for replacing the aftermarket headlight with a genuine Toyota part. When I got the truck I could see a difference (small but noticeable) so I replaced the other after market headlight with a Toyota part. I doubt it's worth the additional $150 for the Toyota part from a lighting perspective, but from my OCD perspective I can rest better with two matching parts.

    For the price of aftermarket assemblies I'd just replace instead of trying to buff it out if you're keeping it for more than a year or two.
     
    Glock 40 likes this.
  9. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:51 PM
    #9
    Sirfive

    Sirfive Master Procrastinator

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    I usually polish mine once or twice a month. The yellow doesnt go away, but the fog does.
     
  10. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:51 PM
    #10
    Rex Kramer

    Rex Kramer Vinyl Spinner

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    I replaced mine with new OEM housings.
     
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  11. Jun 20, 2021 at 5:53 PM
    #11
    Gravy

    Gravy Cat herder, ASCM #π

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  12. Jun 20, 2021 at 6:02 PM
    #12
    Tundra2

    Tundra2 Zoinked

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    I did the same on my truck when I was fed up with my projectors.
     
    Rex Kramer[QUOTED] likes this.
  13. Jun 20, 2021 at 7:58 PM
    #13
    Hotdog

    Hotdog New Member

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    This is what I did : bought a can of 2K clear coat the kind that has the 2 stage hardener inside a capsule within the aerosol can . Tape off around headlight lens. Wet sand with 400grit, 500grit, 800 grit, 1000 grit, 1500 grit. Dont have to kill yourself just a good thorough scrub with every grit. Clean it all off. Spray with 2 coats of the clearcoat. It looks as good as new.
     
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  14. Jun 21, 2021 at 8:43 AM
    #14
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I did a similar thing with my Fogs (Acrylic Assys). Used Rustoleum Acryic Shpray from big box ($8) and looks good! Did the same basic prep as you with sand and clean. I’ll keep in mind your idea on the 2Stage for the head assy in the future.

    New aftermarket headlight assys are nice in the $120-150 range.
     
    Hotdog[QUOTED] likes this.
  15. Jun 21, 2021 at 8:50 AM
    #15
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    If I'm not mistaken its pretty hard to find aftermarket replacements for 05/06 access cabs. They have a different molding than prior years where the turn signals are.

    I would try the cleaning route first. Toothpaste works but you'll need some sort of sealant after. I have yet to try the clear coat method. I have used a few different restoration kits, most last a month or two. McGuire lasted almost a year because they include a polish that protects the plastic.

    I might try that Cerakote since it is @Tundra2 endorsed. I would replace mine except I did an HID retrofit. I had to do it while my wife was out of town, can't risk her seeing me throw headlights in her oven.
     
  16. Jun 21, 2021 at 8:57 AM
    #16
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Yeah. I polished my OEM Headlights back in 2010 with temporary success. Did it again and didn’t last but 1/2 as long.

    I say do the @Hotdog Shpray 2K Technique and see how she rolls.
     
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  17. Jun 21, 2021 at 9:04 AM
    #17
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Before pic is with prep done prior to shpray.

    After pic is after Acrylic Shpray. You’ll notice some crackling going on (probs from Acetone Cleaning) but the Lens is so much clearer and has held for 2 years well. I could always sand it back down and redo in the 2k but it still looks good from 10 ft.

    upload_2021-6-21_12-3-7.jpg

    upload_2021-6-21_12-3-39.jpg
     
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  18. Jun 21, 2021 at 1:09 PM
    #18
    Solid Snake

    Solid Snake [OP] The Anciet of Mu Mu

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    Thanks for all the input. I'm seeing polishing kits on shelves. Never knew that was a thing since this is the first vehicle I've owned that had this issue. I think I'll try that first.
     
  19. Jun 21, 2021 at 4:35 PM
    #19
    AWilliams

    AWilliams New Member

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    Are some aftermarket replacements better than others on the Amazon & ebay for an 03?
     
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    #19
  20. Jun 21, 2021 at 6:11 PM
    #20
    assassin10000

    assassin10000 New Member

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    I'd go the wetsand and 2k (UV rated) clear coat route. The OEM headlights seem to have the best optics and adjustments, unless going for a complete retrofit.
     
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  21. Jun 21, 2021 at 6:32 PM
    #21
    Buildn

    Buildn 2022 Tundra Limited CM 6.5 Bed TRD Off Road

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    I had great results with Turtle Wax’s headlight restore kit. Small amount of money with awesome results!

    I would use masking tape around the lens to help protect the metal painted surfaces.

    AAEC4863-7C87-4C17-A182-D17B4D142F1E.jpg
     
  22. Jun 21, 2021 at 6:52 PM
    #22
    Twowheelssoar

    Twowheelssoar New Member

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    I’ve had success with some polishing compound and a wax applicator pad. Just keep going until it’s clear, wipe with a wet microfiber rag. If you still see haze, repeat.

    That combo will also remove the fingernail scratches that develop under your door handles.
     
  23. Jun 21, 2021 at 7:45 PM
    #23
    onesojourner

    onesojourner Here, let me derail that for you

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    polish and sealing is the best option. Aftermarket housing are inferior. The optics are junk compared to OEM. Cut off lines are much less sharp.
     
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  24. Jun 21, 2021 at 7:56 PM
    #24
    jimf909

    jimf909 Battery almost dead...

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    This sounds like good advice. My only suggestion is to say that removing the headlight assembly is relatively easy so consider removing for easy handling, repositioning and avoidance of the tape, untape step.

    FWIW, YMMV.
     
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  25. Jun 21, 2021 at 7:57 PM
    #25
    CNE0207

    CNE0207 New Member

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    Wet sand em… then compound em. I like the 3M products for these things. Or check out certifit… they typically have good deals
     
  26. Jun 22, 2021 at 10:29 AM
    #26
    Baller

    Baller New Member

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    I'm not sure what other experiences have been with sanding and using different compounds as far as longevity, but mine wasn't ever great. I've got an old Accord that I'd sand and compound and wax and they never stayed clear for more than a couple months. After that I'd have to do it again. Save yourself the repeated work every few months and buy new buckets. I'm glad I finally did for my Honda. Below is the difference between new and old. I've had the buckets since Nov and they still look new.

    [​IMG]
     
  27. Jun 22, 2021 at 12:08 PM
    #27
    Hotdog

    Hotdog New Member

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    This is why it's better to use a 2k clear coat. Better UV and scratch resistance.
     
  28. Jun 22, 2021 at 1:30 PM
    #28
    Nueces

    Nueces New Member

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    I had a good outcome from polishing my 2002 foglight lenses. My experience with various of these huge plastic headlamp assemblies is that they can be brilliantly polished on the outside, which then leaves the inaccessible inside haze more visible. I bought the truck last December and the lenses were nearly opaque. I first installed some aftermarket units from Amazon and found the light pattern lousy. Sprang for a pair of OEM replacements, which have been perfect. I also put in a Susquehanna Motorsports headlight harness and 2.0/+100% Hella bulbs. Since my see-in-the-dark card was revoked at age 65, I need the lumens.
     
  29. Jun 23, 2021 at 6:12 AM
    #29
    smokey0810

    smokey0810 New Member

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    Best kit I ever used from the parts store was the Sylvania Kit. When you register it, it comes with a lifetime warranty (which they honor). One of the issues I found was that when the car wash sprayed their bug & tar remover on the headlights, it also removed the clear coat.
    SO, I replaced the headlights with new aftermarket ones.
     
  30. Jun 23, 2021 at 9:34 AM
    #30
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Agreed. New Assys, too.

    upload_2021-6-23_12-34-27.jpg
     
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