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Polishing out windscreen scratches... 
Friday, August 18, 2006, 03:44 AM - General Info
Well, I saw this product in Autozone twice now, so I decided to try it: 605888 POL-300 Windshield Polishing Kit with preloaded self adhesive pads for $11.99

Says it's fully guaranteed to polish out glass scratches, and since it's a single-wiper phenomenon, of course I have a bunch. Not only the radial ones where the wiper traversed the screen taking some salt/sand across the surface (remember my car's from Michigan) but then there was a nasty area of vertical scratches where some numbnuts had tried to use something like sandpaper to see if he could polish them out. Duh, didn't work, dude...

Since the kit comes in a pack of 5 self-adhesive open cell mineral-polish preloaded foam pads about .5 in thick and an impact plastic drill backing pad around 3in. diameter with wording on the box that promises a 5-minute fix, I was already sceptical. Mind you I'm not that dumb that I'd expect all the scratches to disappear after 5 minutes, some are pretty deep, and it turns out I wasn't far wrong....

After the first hour of polishing the drivers side scratches, focusing on getting the vertical scratches out, I came to the conclusion that this was working,but incredibly slowly. Maybe in another week or so, I'd have this licked.... The radial scratches seemed to be much less prominent (although the deeper ones were still very visible) but the vertical scratches were still horrible.

I had already used two pads, figuring I had probably used up the mineral in the first after the first half hour or so. Hmm, not stellar so far.... so I decided to try and find a more abrasive substance that I could get the bulk of the scratches out with first, then use these pads to finish up and polish to a sparkle.

Well, I have some Flitz polish in little sachets, polishes wheels, metal, removes rust,polishes visors and glass, but it says on the sachet "no abrasives" That's useless.... I need a fine abrasive for this job.

The laws of reality say the only way these scratches are going to disappear is if I level the rest of the windscreen to match the deepest ones. No way I could do that, the best you can expect is widening and leveling the edges of the scratches to the point where they are no longer scratches but channels that blend with each other and are less visible. What's worse, if you use an abrasive that's too sharp, you'll end up with a frosted glass windshield...

I do have a couple of tubes of GS27 "as seen on TV" scratch remover I bought a while back in a dollar store... and guess what, they worked better than the stuff in the pads, messier but better. So I put the goop on the windhield and buff on....

With the same technique of drilling a few minutes on glass, the stuff dries out, spray screen with water mist, repeat several hundred times, then used the pads for 10 minutes or so (as originally intended) to finish up, I eventually got most of my scratches out. After about 6 hours of work....

If you're going to do this yourself, you'll need a drill that runs below 1500rpm, a mist sprayer for the water, and a couple of towels or preferably a can or two of disposable Glass cleaner wipes.... a lot of muscle, patience and perseverance, and something to cover the rest of the car with. I'd guess you could use something similar like the old style paint cutting compound, but I'd make sure it's water soluble or you'll have a devil of a time with it drying on the screen.

Not all scratches disappeared mind you, and the vertical ones are still there if you know where to look for them, you can still see them from inside against the sun, but the glare effects are now 100% better than before.

So the answer is... yes you can, kinda, but it isn't easy and it sure isn't a 5 minute job....

As always, your risk, your reward. Your mileage may vary, but it's actually really good when the XJR's not running...
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iGuidance GPS on a laptop is cool... 
Friday, May 5, 2006, 03:58 AM - General Info, Upgrades
Yep, I admit it, I'm hooked. For the last few years I've use Microsoft Streets and trips with my USB GPS adapter ($60 off ebay) on my work laptop. It's saved my bacon several times by getting me from A to B and sometimes even to F when I'm in a hurry and don't know where I'm going.

Tell you what though, I installed iGuidance and it makes life so much easier...on the road.

Streets (called Autoroute in the Ukay excelled at providing written instructions on how to get there from here. Also with times/miles/rest stops it made it easy to find an address anywhere and route to it.

iGuidance doesn't do routing or print directions or maps or nothing, it just tells you where to go, step by step, just like an Urtz AlwaysLost if you've ever rented a car with one. Only better.

Okay, so this is the deal. Get a laptop with a USB input. Get a USB GPS unit on a cable, preferably long enough to get from your laptop on the passenger side to the top of the dash at the very front (or out the window to the roof, they're magnetic as well) and get iGuidance. Fire it up, it'll find your GPS and in a minute or so will show you where you are on a full 3d display (or 2d map if you prefer) Type in the destination (kinda like Neverklutz, you can put in characters from the screen on a tablet or touchscreen) and this cute sounding babe in the laptop tells you where to go. Simple as that, and free forever once you've bought the gear....

Still use my Streets sometimes to get a printout or find out how many miles/how long it's going to take me, but this thing rocks on the road.

These should be mandatory for all sales reps, delivery drivers and service personnel. Save you lots of gas money and calls every year, not to mention being late for appointments you thought were somewhere else. And all those close calls when you had to go across four lanes to get to an exit on the other side of the road...

Now if only I can find a cure for cellphones attached to blondeheads in dodgy caravans I'd be made....

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Sidebar to the project 
Saturday, January 14, 2006, 03:36 AM - General Info


Just saw these today in my travels.

I can see how this could be true... then again, which would you rather have????
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