Monday, April 27, 2015

Flying rules be damned

I was flying recently with the whole family and in my backpack I had forgotten a 1/2 lt bottle of water, which when asked, I told to the security guy that it was for the kid. (the kid being a toddler). The security guy proceeded to tell me to give a sip from that water to my kid. For better or worse, I did.

But I was thinking. Say I intended to shoot the plane down with some magical liquid explosives that resembled water. I was travelling with my whole family. So the whole family would share my fate. Why the fuck would I care if my toddler drank some poison/explosive if it was to die anyway in the next few hours?

What an absurd world...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Restoring car headlights

Since manufacturers turned to plastic headlights instead of glass, presumably to reduce car weight and cost, there has been the problem of headlights getting cloudy after a few years. Especially when the car isn't parked in a garage the lights are attacked daily from the sun light, get cloudy faster.

So did mine and I decided to restore them on my own.
The headlights were in the condition pictured above: cloudy and yellowish.

Having done some hand polishing of steel rod specimens during my young years, I was aware of the technique needed to make a surface really shiny. 
So I didn't think that advertised headlight polishing products were snake oil.
I took the plunge and bought such a product on Ebay. As an afterthought it was a bit pricey, but it came with an attachment for my drill, 2 cloths, 2 pieces of sandpaper 2000 grit, a polishing liquid and a UV protection coating.
In the photo is shown the bottom half headlight after the first pass with the 2000 grit sandpaper, and the top half after polishing.

In this photo, is shown the comparison between the 2 headlights. the right one has been fully polished, the left one is only half polished.


At some point the car had to go to the supermarket, and when it came back several hours later I was bored to polish the left headlight as good as I polished the right one. This is evident on the comparative photos above. The left light could use some more love :)

In the end, two UV protection coatings were applied. As mentioned in the instructions.I

dont know if the yellowish color of the light is the result of some manufacturer's coating reaching the end if its life, or the result of sunlight aging of the transparent plastic. If it is a coating I would imagine the lights will get cloudy pretty quick. The car is 10 years old and it's the first time I did such a job. Previously the car was parked mostly in shadowy places.

I have no idea how long this clean effect will last, cause sadly the car now sits under the sun, but it is an easy process that can be done any time. Time will tell.

Over all I am satisfied. Although the end result wasn't good as new, was good enough. Perhaps Had I spend more time polishing, would be much better.

An important note. On the instructions it is mentioned that one should not exceed 2000rpm with your rotary tool, and I assume that is to avoid melting the plastic. Moreover it is advised not to overdo it, not spend more than 20 seconds on each point of the headlight.

Update: 31/10/15, It seems to me that the headlights are becoming slightly cloudy again. Has been about 7 months since I attempted the restoration, and the car spend all the summer under the scorching sun. Probably that affects it.