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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to replace the factory lenses on my 2014. I tried the restoration product, but it doesn't last long.

I'm planning to just bite the bullet and buy OEM replacements unless any of you have experience with aftermarket replacements that are nearly as good...please advise.
 

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2012 Honda Pilot
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There is a pretty good restoration kit. I can't remember the name but I did use it on 2 of my vehicles. Just search Project Farm headlight restoration on Youtube. This is of course if you can't find new headlights.
 

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You will always have comments about kits or diy restoration that are recommended. The reality is that these really never last more than a year or two at the most. I do believe if you find the right auto body shop the maybe able to stage sand and re apply a couple of coats of a uv resistant clear coats. This maybe a longer term solution.

the best option is to replace the entire headlight units. Rock Auto has aftermarket units that look almost as good as oem. I was considering buying these and having a body shop install an re align the new units.

take a look a YouTube as there is a couple of videos that detail the workflow of replacing these units. The entire bumpercover needed to be removed to change the unit. Might be a little bit more diy than most would want to tackle.
 

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You will always have comments about kits or diy restoration that are recommended. The reality is that these really never last more than a year or two at the most. I do believe if you find the right auto body shop the maybe able to stage sand and re apply a couple of coats of a uv resistant clear coats. This maybe a longer term solution.

the best option is to replace the entire headlight units. Rock Auto has aftermarket units that look almost as good as oem. I was considering buying these and having a body shop install an re align the new units.

take a look a YouTube as there is a couple of videos that detail the workflow of replacing these units. The entire bumpercover needed to be removed to change the unit. Might be a little bit more diy than most would want to tackle.
If you've pulled the bumper on a Honda before it will take you maybe 20 minutes to get the Pilot bumper off. Two screws in the wheel well, some plastic clips along the top of the radiator support (maybe a pair of bolts), some screws/clips/bolts along the underbody splash panel. Gently pull away from the fender in each wheel well than straight out from the headlights. Disconnect fog light wiring and you're home free.

Our Pilot has retrofitted headlights that were starting to haze when I got them. So far I've restored them with Cerakote every 1-2 years and been happy with that. If I get tired of it there are shops in my area that either clear coat the headlights or do clear UV resistant paint protection film on the headlights. I'm leaning PPF at this point.
 
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22 Pilot SE, 20 GLE 350, 06 Civic EX
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You will always have comments about kits or diy restoration that are recommended. The reality is that these really never last more than a year or two at the most. I do believe if you find the right auto body shop the maybe able to stage sand and re apply a couple of coats of a uv resistant clear coats. This maybe a longer term solution.
I had caliber collision do this to the original OEM headlights on my 2006 civic, after after a deer decided to run into the left front quarter panel. Worked great and the lenses are still clear after about five years.
 

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I looked hard at some CAPA-rated assemblies when I was considering projector upgrades. Around $100 each on sale. (looked now -- $150+. Oh well...)

Meanwhile...
Most restoration failures and disappointments seem to happen when you buy a cheap kit and don't finish the job. Like any top-notch paint prep, the effort needed is a lot more than scuff and spray. Use name-brand sanding sponges (3M, Norton, etc.), starting at maybe 800 grit and progressing to 3000 grit. Each step needs to be done complete, so that the remaining scratches are no deeper than the grit of abrasive you are using. Flood rinse as you sand, to get particles out before they do more damage during sanding. Use a machine only to do the final polishing steps; it's too easy to damage the plastic by sanding with a drill or polisher.

Thoroughly clean/remove ALL polish from the plastic at the end of each step, same as you wet-sand then wash to remove all sanding debris. It's clear plastic so easy to miss, but the sanding steps are done WET, very WET.

The newly-exposed plastic needs to be protected, and polycarbonate doesn't like petro solvents at all. Find a lens clear paint or use a water-based clear spray (my favorite), applied in THIN coats per the directions.

Lens survival includes keeping petro solvent products away from the plastic. So no paint prep or finish products ever touch the lenses. No wax, paint sealant, polish, whatever, should ever contact your lenses. Penalty is dull, surface cracking and crazing, and ultimately yellowing of the acrylic surface. Pretty much what you are fighting.

If at all possible, remove the assemblies from the car for your restoration work. This allows you to do all your sanding and polishing with full access, plus it saves damage to the surrounding paint. There's no easy way to protect the paint with tape or masking paper with all the water you'll use during the wet sanding process. This is flood-with-hose, not damp-with-spray-bottle wet sanding. Removal takes less than half an hour, and all but requires a second person for at least the bumper replacement if you want to avoid damage.

The kits you see online and in parts stores are interesting, but the directions might deceive you into thinking this is a ten-minute project. If you want great results, it takes more time and care than what they print on the cardboard package.
 

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Might seem obvious, but a short search on the topic in the 2.5 gen forum would yield lots of info......
 

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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
there are shops in my area that either clear coat the headlights or do clear UV resistant paint protection film on the headlights. I'm leaning PPF at this point.
This sounds interesting to me. I'm now thinking that I could buy replacement lenses, have PPF put on, then install them on the vehicle. It could give me an easy 6-10 years of worry-free headlamp usage, and then replace the PPF when it goes bad.

Might seem obvious, but a short search on the topic in the 2.5 gen forum would yield lots of info......
Yup, spent several hours doing that without the results I was looking for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Rock Auto has aftermarket units that look almost as good as oem. I was considering buying these and having a body shop install an re align the new units.
I've never ordered from Rock Auto. The price certainly looks awesome...$250 for a pair instead of $750 OEM.

Do these look like the correct units for a 2014? More Information for TYC 20922400SET
 

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I want to replace the factory lenses on my 2014. I tried the restoration product, but it doesn't last long.

I'm planning to just bite the bullet and buy OEM replacements unless any of you have experience with aftermarket replacements that are nearly as good...please advise.
I got a pair a the black background headlights from Amazon but I recommend putting on a clear bra (UV clear covers) it will prevent the new lenses from yellowing in the future also available on Amazon. I checked my local body shop and they wanted $150 to put a clear bra cover on the lights so I'm going to attempt it myself with help from youtube.
 

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I want to replace the factory lenses on my 2014. I tried the restoration product, but it doesn't last long.

I'm planning to just bite the bullet and buy OEM replacements unless any of you have experience with aftermarket replacements that are nearly as good...please advise.
I replaced my lenses with a pair I purchased on Amazon. I have a 2006 Pilot. Was quite easy to replace them and they look great.
 

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I want to replace the factory lenses on my 2014. I tried the restoration product, but it doesn't last long.

I'm planning to just bite the bullet and buy OEM replacements unless any of you have experience with aftermarket replacements that are nearly as good...please advise.
Hi! I was in the same boat. My lenses were literally so bad and yellowed, I could not even see the bulbs through them. I did try a kit a couple of years ago, but it didn’t really get them looking how I’d hoped. I looked into the job of replacing them and it’s very involved as far as taking most of your front end off and I’m not sure I had the time to do that. I really didn’t want to pay a shop to do it either. Suddenly I had a Eureka moment and thought “ maybe my glass stove top cleaner would work!” It has a little grit to it and works great on the stove top. I brought the bottle outside with a clean dish rag and started putting little dabs of the cleaner on the rag and scrubbed. Took about 20 minutes to do the passenger side and I could not believe the difference!!! I will not vouch for anyone else but the brand of cleaner I used claims it will not scratch and it didn’t. My lens now looks brand new and I can see at night again!
Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Grille Automotive lighting Hood

Before- this driver lens. Passenger looked the same.
Automotive parking light Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Car Grille

After- This is passenger lens. I’ve left them so others could see the difference too.
There’s some sun reflection in this pic but trust me, this lens looks brand new now. I’m extremely happy I don’t have to replace anything!
I’ll finish the driver side next chance I get.
Hope this helps! The brand of cleaner I used was Weiman’s but you may find stuff in the auto area that is similar.
Good luck whatever choice you make!
 

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Hi! I was in the same boat. My lenses were literally so bad and yellowed, I could not even see the bulbs through them. I did try a kit a couple of years ago, but it didn’t really get them looking how I’d hoped. I looked into the job of replacing them and it’s very involved as far as taking most of your front end off and I’m not sure I had the time to do that. I really didn’t want to pay a shop to do it either. Suddenly I had a Eureka moment and thought “ maybe my glass stove top cleaner would work!” It has a little grit to it and works great on the stove top. I brought the bottle outside with a clean dish rag and started putting little dabs of the cleaner on the rag and scrubbed. Took about 20 minutes to do the passenger side and I could not believe the difference!!! I will not vouch for anyone else but the brand of cleaner I used claims it will not scratch and it didn’t. My lens now looks brand new and I can see at night again!
View attachment 161424
Before- this driver lens. Passenger looked the same.
View attachment 161425
After- This is passenger lens. I’ve left them so others could see the difference too.
There’s some sun reflection in this pic but trust me, this lens looks brand new now. I’m extremely happy I don’t have to replace anything!
I’ll finish the driver side next chance I get.
Hope this helps! The brand of cleaner I used was Weiman’s but you may find stuff in the auto area that is similar.
Good luck whatever choice you make!
Looks great. When it comes to changing the lenses you really do not need to do all the things that the video shows. I did not take the front end apart I just removed the black cover.
 

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Hi! I was in the same boat. My lenses were literally so bad and yellowed,

[...]

Hope this helps! The brand of cleaner I used was Weiman’s but you may find stuff in the auto area that is similar.
Good luck whatever choice you make!
Thanks for the tip! I just added a bottle (only $6!!) of your recommended product to my next shipment from Jeff B's garage/warehouse. I have a neighbor with some really fogged and yellowed lenses on her Merc, so this will get a tryout on those. Thinking that maybe a 3" foam buffing pad on a detailing polisher will take care of the labor part. Will report back with results. Again, thanks for the product tip! (y)
 

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2014 EX-L - Dark Amber Metallic
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
The brand of cleaner I used was Weiman’s but you may find stuff in the auto area that is similar. Good luck whatever choice you make!
Looks really nice now, but my car sits outside all the time and the lenses would probably cloud up in 6 months.

I replaced my lenses with a pair I purchased on Amazon. I have a 2006 Pilot. Was quite easy to replace them and they look great.
Can you post a link? There are a number of lenses for sale on Amazon.
 

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Hi! I was in the same boat. My lenses were literally so bad and yellowed, I could not even see the bulbs through them. I did try a kit a couple of years ago, but it didn’t really get them looking how I’d hoped. I looked into the job of replacing them and it’s very involved as far as taking most of your front end off and I’m not sure I had the time to do that. I really didn’t want to pay a shop to do it either. Suddenly I had a Eureka moment and thought “ maybe my glass stove top cleaner would work!” It has a little grit to it and works great on the stove top. I brought the bottle outside with a clean dish rag and started putting little dabs of the cleaner on the rag and scrubbed. Took about 20 minutes to do the passenger side and I could not believe the difference!!! I will not vouch for anyone else but the brand of cleaner I used claims it will not scratch and it didn’t. My lens now looks brand new and I can see at night again!
View attachment 161424
Before- this driver lens. Passenger looked the same.
View attachment 161425
After- This is passenger lens. I’ve left them so others could see the difference too.
There’s some sun reflection in this pic but trust me, this lens looks brand new now. I’m extremely happy I don’t have to replace anything!
I’ll finish the driver side next chance I get.
Hope this helps! The brand of cleaner I used was Weiman’s but you may find stuff in the auto area that is similar.
Good luck whatever choice you make!
If you want that to last I would still recommend a clear bra or similar UV protecting clear lense covers.
It's basically like a big clear sticker that goes over the front of your lamps and they won't yellow again!
 

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Looks really nice now, but my car sits outside all the time and the lenses would probably cloud up in 6 months.



Can you post a link? There are a number of lenses for sale on Amazon.
Unfortunately I don't have a link. But just search for Depo brand black background headlamps for your year Pilot
 
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