Last month I replaced the aftermarket headlights on my E39 with OEM units. Since I had purchased these used, they had some of the usual hazing and oxidation on the lenses.
So, arming myself with this excellent tutorial, some sandpaper, and a spray can of clear coat, I removed the headlights from the car – a very easy thing to do on the E39’s – and set to work.
Wet-sanding and clear coating is said to be the definitive way to restore headlights, and to prevent future hazing and oxidation. If that’s true, I am very happy, because it took me no more than 30 minutes per headlight to achieve what you see below. After wet-sanding and clear coating, I set them aside to dry overnight.
The tutorial recommends wet-sanding them a final time with 3000 grit to remove the orange peel, but I didn’t have any of that in my toolbox. Instead, I used a couple doses of AutoGlym’s Super Resin Polish, before coating them with a good layer of carnauba wax.
I’m really pleased with the results. Up close, you can can still see a bit of orange peel, but they really sharpen up the look of the car. For an hour’s work, I can’t complain at all.