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Thread: 355 driving lamp stone chip removal

  1. #1
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    Default 355 driving lamp stone chip removal

    Being so close to the road, the 355's driving lamps are highly vulnerable to stone chips. After 52,000 miles, mine were cloudy due to heavy pock-marking of the surface. I contacted several headlight refinishing companies to get them ground and polished, but none of them wanted the work, preferring to deal only with modern, plastic lenses. I even tried plate glass repair and granite worktop repair companies, even a local optician, all to no avail. I decided to use some rare free time at home to DIY.

    There's very little information on the web about refinishing glass lenses, so I thought I would share my approach and results here. After removing the units from the front bumper and separating the lens, you can see the problem:

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    I decided to correct the pitting using coarse sandpaper, then work my way up the grades before a final polish. Hand sanding would be a fruitless task, so I used 3" sanding discs attached to an electric drill. Lots of glass dust is produced doing this job, so it is important to wear a mask and use eye protection.

    Starting with an 80 grit sanding disc, I got to work removing the pits. There is quite a lot of heat build-up during this phase, so I used a water spritzer to keep the surface cool. Getting to the bottom of the pits took roughly 30 minutes and three sanding discs per lens. After that, it was a case of working up through 120, 180, 240, 320, 400 and finally 600 grit, each time removing the marring left by the previous grade. Up until the 320 grit, I was thinking "oh no what have I done?!" but as the finer grits were used, the lenses began to look much better.

    It was then time for a final polish. I made up a polishing paste using 20g of Cerium Oxide powder and a little water, then applied some blobs to a 3" glass polishing disc, then spent a few minutes passing the polishing disc across the face of each lens.

    The results were very pleasing:

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    Considering that new lights come in somewhere over 400 a pair, it's a job well worth doing and really lifts the front of the car.

  2. #2
    Nosevi's Avatar
    Nosevi is offline There's an outside too? Where? Super Moderator
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    Great result and thanks for sharing

  3. #3
    milkshaker0007's Avatar
    milkshaker0007 is offline Only 37 known common faults - The Ferrari 355 Club Member
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    +1
    Thanks for the advise, great finish

  4. #4
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    That looks great. So many 355 are let down by these going cloudy. It makes such a difference to the front end having these smartened up.

  5. #5
    Mike01606's Avatar
    Mike01606 is offline Kid's bed - The Ferrari F50 Club Member
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    lovely job....


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    Great work!

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the comments all!

    Now to sort out my sticky steering column cowl... and the other fifty things I want to tidy up

  8. #8
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    Ha Ha, makes you wonder how much thinner the glass is now!

    Thanks for the advice, I'll certainly be looking at mine over the winter. Thanks also for sharing the moment of dread we all get when you think "Oh Lord, what have I done?!?" I now know to press on through.

    Afterwards I'd probably look to cover them, maybe a yellow wrap for the 'continental' look? (as kids we called them Bonjour Lights!)

  9. #9
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    They're now covered in (clear!) protective film waiting for the front bumper to come back from the bodyshop. I did consider thinning of the glass, but hey, it was either new ones or sand them, so nothing to lose. If you're keen to have a go, these are the products I used:

    http://www.pad-o-vac.co.uk/backing-p...cking-pads.php
    http://www.pad-o-vac.co.uk/sanding-d...ixed-grits.php
    http://www.pad-o-vac.co.uk/cerium-oxide.php
    http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acata...scs-cat10.html

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by redwedge View Post
    They're now covered in (clear!) protective film waiting for the front bumper to come back from the bodyshop. I did consider thinning of the glass, but hey, it was either new ones or sand them, so nothing to lose. If you're keen to have a go, these are the products I used:

    http://www.pad-o-vac.co.uk/backing-p...cking-pads.php
    http://www.pad-o-vac.co.uk/sanding-d...ixed-grits.php
    http://www.pad-o-vac.co.uk/cerium-oxide.php
    http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acata...scs-cat10.html
    Excellent, many thanks. I've subscribed to this thread for future reference.

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