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In the Shop

RSS By: Dan Anderson, Farm Journal

As a farm machinery mechanic and writer, Dan brings a hands-on approach that only a pro can muster. Along with his In the Shop blog, Dan writes a column by the same name as well as the Shop Series for Farm Journal magazine. Always providing practical information, he is a master at tackling technical topics and making them easy for all of our readers to understand. He and his wife, Becky, live near Bouton, Iowa.

Maybe You Know...

Jul 08, 2010
 There are several kits or tools in tool catalogs that caught my interest. They're outside my area of expertise (ag equipment) so I thought I'd toss them out to see if any of you have had experience with them, and whether they're a good deal or not.

The first kit is an automotive headlight lens restoration kit. Several manufacturers make them, and they're designed to remove yellowing, minor pitting and haziness from the big headlight lenses on modern cars and trucks. They'd probably work on tractor headlight lenses, too. The general theory is to use a buffing pad on an electric drill with a progression of buffing compounds to remove the damaged layer until the lens is again bright and clear. The headlights lenses on my wife's car would benefit from "restoration," but I'm reluctant to spend the money and time unless I'm sure it will make things better.

The second kit/process I'm contemplating is a do-it-yourself rubberized pickup truck bed liner. Commercial spray-on bed liners cost hundreds of dollars but use special, high-tech techniques and chemicals to coat the bed with a nearly impregnable coating. I've seen several DIY kits that promise near-professional results at much less expense. I've been told that all it takes is 4 to 5 hours, a buffing wheel on a drill, a roller to apply several coats of the compound, and the resulting bed liner is comparable to a professional job. "Professional jobs" generally cost more because the pros use special tools, techniques and chemicals unavailable to amateurs, so I'm skeptical that a DIY kit can actually produce a near-professional job.

So, this time I'm asking for YOUR input on these two kits/processes. With your help, we'll all know whether these are good ideas that we can use, or if we should pursue alternate solutions.
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COMMENTS (4 Comments)

Ten years ago, we did the bed liner on a 1973 Chevy and it looked good for 1 year, then it started coming off. The truck was always parked outside and the sun would get it very hot. I do not remember how we prepped it. We brushed it on with a paint brush.
6:04 AM Jul 12th
I used a damp cloth and toothpaste on the light lenses on a 13 year old car. Cleared them up and lasted until I sold the car.
11:38 AM Jul 9th

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