Shining up my headlight

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Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:29 pm

So, first I considered spray paint, i bought a few to test, found one that's "ok" but not really shiny, then I thought tinfoil, which is feazable, I've made some templates, and may still go down this route, undecided on what glue to use at the moment.
Today I thought, "what's under the rust anyway" so I got out my little drill and some polishing heads from my silversmithing kit, and realised its not rust, it's undercoat, over steel, which is ...... Shiny!
Se little area circled in yellow.
Now, with the tiny tools I use for my silver this would take forever, not mention I'd have order loads more because they would wear out pretty quick on this, I've tried using fine emery on a section, but again, forever and it's actually too scratchy.
So, how would you remove an undercoat withought scratching up the metal underneath? Can I buy some sort of solvent to rub on and remove it?


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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Woodie on Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:56 pm

It is a copper coating on the metal to stop it rusting and for the Electroplating process for the Nickel to adhere to and finally the Chrome plating. . As soon as you remove the Coating down to bare metal it will rust rather quickly.

Chrome plating is a quite labour intensive process. The metal has to be buffed up to a smooth shine and then several layers of copper are built up and the copper polished very highly. The copper also acts as a filler for the micro scratches in the polished metal.
Once the copper is near as possible a mirror finish then the Nickel is applied which is what actually creates the shine. Finally it is Chrome plated over the shiny Nickel finish which prevents the Nickel from tarnishing.

All of which makes me think that the Hi-Jet reflectors are Copper Coated and then Silvered and finally Clear Plasti-Dipped . Matt and I talked about this a couple of years ago and if I remember correctly, when I scratched a good shiny area of the reflector it appeared to have a clear coating on it. It is probably the heat from the bulb that does the damage to the reflective surface.
Daihatsu being cheap-skates would opt for the cheapest possible process and then charge Rolls Royce prices.

When I first joined the Forum, Daihatsu were selling a new Valeo Headlight around £500 each. At the time you could still buy Left Hand Dip Headlights ( for right hand drive) for €45 euros in Italy plus carriage. Good second hand Hi-Jet Headlights now are making up to £250 each. Crazy world isn't it.

I have now learned of a company just today that my friend Richard who also happens to be my Accountant that he does their accounts for, who happen to, amongst other items re-silver headlight reflectors to a very high standard. Nice one.

Richard has been over here since last Friday having bought a holiday home in Ventnor but went back to the Mainland on the 4pm boat and had a bit of a rough journey home in the snow. He phoned me to say that he finally got home at 10-50pm.

He is over again next Friday for 3 days and will take a couple of Hi-Jet reflectors back with him for them to have a look at and come up with a price. Obviously the more reflectors I can send the cheaper it will be - - hopefully. Price wise I haven't got a clue what what to expect until after next weekend when Richard drops them in for me.

The two problems are getting the glass off safely but worse still is getting the reflector out without breaking the 3 little black plastic ball joints, two of which holds it in place and the other which is on the Electric Dipping motor. Break that one in particular and we are in trouble. I will have to see if I can devise a tool for separation of the tiny ball and socket. Would be great if this works out.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Logi on Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:55 am

Been wondering about hydro dipping, pretty amazing process and they do a chrome like finish. Dunno how it would stand up though? There's also a spray chrome process, really looks like it but it's expensive ( really, not the shitty bright silver of supposed chrome paints)
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Logi on Fri Jan 13, 2017 5:57 am

Or if you're really patient, aluminium foil tape?
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Woodie on Fri Jan 13, 2017 7:10 am

Hmmmm. Daniel has gone down that route but  to my logical brain  you cannot defy the laws of Physics no matter how good you are,  and bend a flat surface which won't stretch : ie. Silver Aluminium Sticky Roofing Tape on a surface that curves in three different plains.

As you say Logi there is a Silvering process but it is dear as poisoning I'm told.
Going back to my earlier post there is the process of Chrome plating plastic items. Corgi toys did it back in the 60's didn't they. Lots of plumbing fittings are plated plastic, but don't have to experience  high temperatures that you would experience in a headlight.

But today most headlights are made of plastic or most probably Polycarbonate. The Grand Move lights are polycarbonate I think.
So if the Hi-Jet metal reflectors are plastic coated /dipped first then chromed/ Electroplated. Then clear plastic dipped for added protection. There has got to be an answer.

Anyway I  await with bated breath ( or this morning, bad breath after last night's garlic)  to see what transpires with Richard next week. Let's hope that it is a positive end result and that he has got it right.

One thing is for sure that it will be expensive, but if it keeps our Hi-Jets on the road then it has got to be worth it.

Somebody I know  last week,  and  I am sworn to secrecy,
  bought a pair of brand new Headlights, Left Hand Dip for  £65 delivered. It was a one off unfortunately.  They are are he thinks Chinese manufactured. I have the company details now but they wont deal with the public  - only Trade Wholesalers which is where this one pair came from somewhere abroad. I can't think of too many Countries that drive on the left like us but that is where they came from - a left hand side driving Country. Can't find out any more than that. At the moment anyway.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by HighlyJetted on Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:30 am

That spray I used was the bomb. Best I've found.

Way better than some scabby scrubber tin foil bodge or creased up aluminium tape.

It's the glues that never work, those halogen bulbs make the enclosure very hot above the bulb, and this makes the glues go soggy, then after multiple heat cycles the glue dries out and crumbles.

I know this as some of the vehicles I broke for parts had similar attempts present.

Plus painting them took like a couple of minutes.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Fri Jan 13, 2017 12:12 pm

HighlyJetted wrote:That spray I used was the bomb. Best I've found.

Way better than some scabby scrubber tin foil bodge or creased up aluminium tape.

It's the glues that never work, those halogen bulbs make the enclosure very hot above the bulb, and this makes the glues go soggy, then after multiple heat cycles the glue dries out and crumbles.

I know this as some of the vehicles I broke for parts had similar attempts present.

Plus painting them took like a couple of minutes.

Ahhh, yes, you posted about this, I obviously havnt saved the info like I thought, what was the paint again? I might as well go for something tried and tested!

And ok, yep, copper makes sense, that will be why the only thing getting off effectively was the silversmithing tools, I wasn't worried about rusting as would have sprayed with varnish, but I'm thinking back down the spraying route now highlyjetted has reminded me about the better spray paint
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:24 pm

Yayyy paint arrived, all ready to get spraying ...


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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Mon Jan 16, 2017 2:25 pm

Except BOTH cans have leaked Evil or Very Mad


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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by HighlyJetted on Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:03 pm

Bugger, what an arse.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Logi on Mon Jan 16, 2017 7:14 pm

HighlyJetted wrote:Bugger, what an arse.
What he said Sad
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:01 pm

Yep, everything keeps getting delayed a day at time!

Got more cans being delivered tomorrow, and they said I can keep these, didn't want to chance that they had lost pressure and use them on the light though so I'll wait.
Also Woody reminded me I need the non silicone sealant stuff ... So had to order that too because it seems I used my stash of random sealers on the chicken coop last year

It will probably have to go for a full retest now as I think it will miss the 10 day deadline, I hope that doesn't mean he's going to find something else to fail it on Shocked

I'm just going to presume there is some reason that things keep going wrong resulting in another delay, and keep my fingers crossed that I don't need the vets before its sorted!
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Tue Jan 17, 2017 4:02 pm

Flipping ek, yesterday's delivery was at 9am sharp, today's ... It's 4pm and still no sign, the dogs are going stir crazy and I would have liked to buy some food to eat, dinner is going to be eggs on eggs, with eggs . I had to have smoothie for breakfast silent wanted to avoid that before work tomorrow!
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Tue Jan 17, 2017 5:53 pm

Ffs

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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by PFM on Tue Jan 17, 2017 6:02 pm

Enjoy your eggs!!!

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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:26 pm

Good god, I'm not sure I should be allowed to anything on my own anymore!
Spraying has begun, got myself a bowl of warm water to put the can in for a bit, dried it of and shook for 1 1/2 mins, .... Pointed to corner of box to test the flow of paint before starting on light.. Yep, all going well, I'm being organised ..... Then for reasons unbeknown to myself I didn't look at which way the nozzle was facing ... And sprayed my hand Laughing Rolling Eyes
Sprays pretty fast doesn't it! I have a bit of a robot look about me now!
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Logi on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:38 pm

lol!
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Tue Jan 17, 2017 8:48 pm

I'm not sure I've done a very good job, not used to spray cans that are this easy to spray and put out that much paint so quickly! It's better than it was though so hopefully it will do the trick. It passed the mot for several years with a lot less shine to it so I'll be reet peed off if it's not good enough!
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Wed Jan 18, 2017 9:12 pm

So the spry paint saga continues, it's 24 hours since I sprayed the light, should the paint rub off on my fingers?!

I have been offered a full refund now so at least I won't be out of pocket for duff paint, hopefully this botch job will get me through the mot


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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Thu Jan 19, 2017 9:31 pm

Me ... Again ... I've stuck the glass on with polyuretheane adhesive and sealant
How long does it take to set?! It doesn't say on the tube.
Can I carry this to the garage tomorrow on my way to work or do I need to leave it a bit longer?

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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Woodie on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:05 pm

It should be set enough to handle it in four hours E.G.
By the morning it would take wild horses to pull it apart. Certainly looking a good job despite all the troubles you have been through.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by HighlyJetted on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:08 pm

If paint rubs off like that, it means that you have laid it on too thinly so the paint didn't set as a single coating, it is more like microscopic snow flakes, not a single sheet of ice. You can do this with any paint. If you lay it on as a thicker coat when wet you get the nice shiny glass finish.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Thu Jan 19, 2017 11:29 pm

Ok, thanks, hopefully despite my rubbish spraying skills this will be enough to get through the mot, I'll be supprised if it fails on the headlight again due to the state the other has been passing in previous years! I'll wrap it up now ready to take in tomorrow morning, that's a slightly longer walk than I'd like first thing, but hopefully it will be worth it and I'll have my wheels back soon.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Logi on Fri Jan 20, 2017 6:10 am

Good luck Smile


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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by scotia on Fri Jan 20, 2017 8:16 am

i used vht spray once for engineparts and it wouldnt dry 100% until the parts went back on the engine and got heated for the first time.
i dont know if that could be the same "problem".
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by Woodie on Fri Jan 20, 2017 1:18 pm

I warmed the reflector up with the trusty hairdryer as I have no personal use for one scratch and the paint tin in warm water.
It dried pretty Quickly using that method for me.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:37 pm

I think it was probably what hj said, I put the Heating on in the kitchen so it was nice and warm, and sat the can in warm water for a bit, but I've never had a spray can spray so fast and fine so it threw me a bit, seemed like there was loads coming out, and on the last coat it looked like I might have overdone it, but hey ho, it's done now, when I dropped the light off this morning the lad at the garage said he thought the rest the work was done and it was just waiting for the light, forgot to ring before they shut (Chris has a shocking memory and has forgotten to phone me to let me know cost and if it's ready for me to pick up tomorrow) so I'll ring tomorrow, fingers crossed , supposed to be getting my bloods done on Monday, a week late now but I can't be doing with walking to the other side of hoddy after walking the dogs! I'll just drink wine tonight that makes everything better Laughing
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by HighlyJetted on Sat Jan 21, 2017 12:09 am

scotia wrote:i used vht spray once for engineparts and it wouldnt dry 100% until the parts went back on the engine and got heated for the first time.
i dont know if that could be the same "problem".

Normal VHT sets with heat, its usually good for about 600 degrees or something.

This silver paint, is just normal paint, but from the VHT branding.

VHT, being Very Hight Temperature, make specialist paints, and it all started with the high temperature stuff.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by scotia on Sat Jan 21, 2017 8:18 am

HighlyJetted wrote:
scotia wrote:i used vht spray once for engineparts and it wouldnt dry 100% until the parts went back on the engine and got heated for the first time.
i dont know if that could be the same "problem".

Normal VHT sets with heat, its usually good for about 600 degrees or something.

This silver paint, is just normal paint, but from the VHT branding.

VHT, being Very Hight Temperature, make specialist paints, and it all started with the high temperature stuff.

ahaa.. i didnt realize vht was a brand and its just normal paint.
i thought it indeed was the 600 degrees stuff.
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Re: Shining up my headlight

Post by elfin girl on Thu Jan 26, 2017 7:46 pm

Well the weenybago is back on the road, cheers
we'll sort of, got to give the battery a bit of a charge. after two weeks of sitting around in the cold it's a bit dull! I have no idea how much light the headlight is reflecting now, if it wasn't so cold I'd go out and check, but it is bloody cold so I won't be doing that! In daylight it didn't look particularly impressive but it must be better than before because it passed the mot.
Next year I must remember to use the mobile mechanic at least I won't need to faf around walking to and from the garage and phoning every two days because they always forget to let you know when your vehicle is ready!
Looking forward to summer so I can get some more painting done Smile
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