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  1. #1
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    previous: 2006 9-3, 2001-06 9-5, 2011 9-4X
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    Headlight restoration

    My Saab 9-5 is about 6 years old and done 80K miles. The plastic headlights were getting dull and oxidized which is common for these kind of headlights. I used Plast-X before but never really got very good results with that. The 3M Headlight Restoration system turned out much better.

    I can definitely recommend this kit to make your headlights look like new again. They are not 100% perfect but you'll only notice when you're up close.

    Before pictures

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    The 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System is a popular kit.

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    This is included in the kit. I paid about US$ 18.

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    These are a few things you need in addition to the kit.

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    Make sure to tape off all areas around the headlight. Use a few layers so the sanding discs won't damage any paint.

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    The first sanding (P500 grit) is the scariest part of the procedure. These headlights are about $750 each so it's not like you'll easily buy a new one if you mess it up. After I was done with the first sanding, I had a few doubts this would ever look good again.

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    Second sanding with finer grit sandpaper (P800 grit).

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    Third sanding with P3000 grit foam disc and water. Starting to look much better again.

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    Final polishing with foam pad and rubbing compound. Done!

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    And the before picture to compare.

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    The kit comes with detailed instructions and there also is a video available.


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  2. #2
    Fly Aero Aero's Avatar
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    10 Mar 2011
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    2002 9 5 Aero
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    Looks great. Thatīs a job well done, though I can understand your doubts after the first sanding. I had the same feeling when trying to repair the plastic screen on my bike!.

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  3. #3
    Jose Luis
    Saab Addict jlrSAAB's Avatar
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    this picture above is before I have cleaned my headlamps, no sanded only polished with 3M finish polisher by a cloth and my hands. I spent more than one hour in both with poor end results.

    congrats Wulf, good job.

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  4. #4
    Mike
    Moderator Shazam's Avatar
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    1973 96
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    $18! If you've got a Harbor Freight, they should have it for about $10 (on sale at my local one for $5.99 when I went there two days ago to get a needle scaler).

    Look great though. I was supposed to help a buddy (no power tools) do it on his new 3-series, but I over booked my day.

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  5. #5
    Frank
    Administrator nordwulf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shazam View Post
    $18! If you've got a Harbor Freight, they should have it for about $10 (on sale at my local one for $5.99 when I went there two days ago to get a needle scaler).
    I think there are a few Harbor Freight stores downstate Michigan but that's a bit of drive. Amazon lists it for $14.95 so $18 wasn't too bad.

    My cordless drill is only rated 1100 rpm and I think the batteries are on their way out. I think next time I'll use a faster drill for perhaps little better results.

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  6. #6
    Jared
    The young one J-Rod's Avatar
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    2003 Saab 9-5 ARC ( and care-taker of a '98 900SE)
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    Did this on my 9-5 and on my friends. The results were awesome. Both of ours had actually began to turn yellow.

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    I don't drive fast...I fly slow

  7. #7
    Christopher
    Saab Fan gnugen's Avatar
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    2004 9-5 Aero Wagon
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    I just used the 3M kit on my 9-5 and I am very pleased with the results. I had the car serviced recently and the shop suggested that I replace the headlights at a cost of $450 each...uh yeah right. Anyway, thanks for creating this thread so people (like me) get exposed to other options.

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  8. #8
    Desmond Khoo
    Saab Enthusiast
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    2006 9-5 2.0t
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    i was told toothpaste would also work on restoring headlights. has anyone tried that?

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  9. #9
    Saab Fan
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    19 Jun 2012
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    07 9-3, 06 9-5
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    Use a combination of 3M for the sanding and Sylvania (from Amazon). The sylvania has has a spray to prepare for the final UV coating that others lack. Your headlights will look like new except for the inside!

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  10. #10
    Saab Fan 71jojje's Avatar
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    9-5 my 99 2,3t SE, 9-5 my 02 Aero SC
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    An alternativ to brand kits.. Start with 600 grit sandpaper (dry) then wetsand with 800 1000 1500 2000 and last 3000. Wash between grits and then clearcoat it...

    If it' not really fogef out start with wet 800 or 1000.
    Works both manually or machine..

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