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General Articles - Extras

ZJ headlight restore

Article written by Dr. Jones

Date Added: 04/27/2008

Anyone who owns a Jeep ZJ is familiar with the cloudy headlight syndrome.

The symptoms: A frankly disturbing yellowish hazy appearance. Progressively dimming headlight output no matter how new the actual light bulb is. Complete loss of hope and total emotional breakdown. Okay probably not that last one, but your headlights are still dim.

The causes of this condition are simple. Take a little UV exposure. Mix in a couple hundred thousand miles of highway and off-road driving. And top it off with a lifetime of simple neglect.

The solution is equally easy. Spend $100-$300 on replacement housings and bulbs. While this is obviously the best way to go for ideal light output, it's not in everyone's budget (including my own). For the rest of us looking for an improvement that won't break the bank, I found the solution in a $2.00 bottle of polish at the local Wal-Mart.

This is how the headlights on our newly acquired 97 ZJ looked when we brought it home.
Kit Scratch Out is intended to be used as a paint polish. But isn't the reason your ZJ headlights pass as much light as a thick piece of cardboard just that they're super scratched?...
First wash the headlights to remove any dirt from the surface that will further scratch the lense. Following the directions on the bottle, apply the polish to a clean rag.
Rub the polish on the headlights for a few minutes. Donýt be afraid to put some elbow grease into it.
Wipe the remaining polish off with a separate clean rag.
Repeat for both headlights.

Final Thoughts

That's it. Seriously. $2.00 and five minutes later, we have clear headlights again. Granted our light output still isn't quite like new and nowhere near what a quality aftermarket housing will do. But for the price and time, the results are outstanding.

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