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Old 08-28-2009, 04:16 PM #1
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Found a solution/fix for the easily scratched instrument lens

Well, chalk up another use for WD-40!

As many of you already know, the clear lens over the instrument cluster on the 4th gen scratches EXTREMELY easy. The first time I cleaned my instrument lens with a little glass cleaner and a soft, cotton cloth (the way I have done it on every car I've owned with no problems), it scratched the heck out of the lens. It looked like I used 80-grit sand paper.

So I took my 4R to the dealer and I was able to get them to cover the lens replacement under warranty. This was late last year right after they damaged my 4R so they didn't argue with me on anything, even though getting something like an instrument lens covered under warranty was a bit of a stretch. So from then on, I just determined that I wouldn't touch that lens with anything other than a feather duster which worked well for a time.....

Last weekend I went 4-wheel'n and didn't have the time to clean my car so I took it to one of those full service car washes. They do a great job, but when I got back in my 4R to leave I noticed they cleaned the instrument lens and then I had the scratches again. :upset: I can't really fault the car wash because the instrument cluster was pretty dusty and dirty. Just using the feather duster wasn't cutting it either because it wouldn't take out small water spots from condensation that had started to accumulate from camping trips, road trips, etc. After a while, it needs to be cleaned the old fashion way.

So rather than deal with getting the lens replaced again (ironically I hit 36k miles over the weekend so my 4R is now officially out of the comprehensive warranty period) I figured I would need to come up with a solution.

I started using WD-40 to clean the top sheet of my snowboard a couple of years ago because the mat black finish on my board shows scratches really bad. The WD-40 would fill in the scratches but wouldn't streak on my board. So, that gave me the idea to try it on my instrument lens.

So this afternoon I tested a small area of my instrument lens that was scratched with the WD-40. I sprayed a q-tip with a little WD-40 and ran it over the middle of the scratched area so I could see a side-by-side comparison. I took the other side of the q-tip and wiped off the excess. So far it looks great! There is no streaking and no signs of the scratches! I am going to drive with it the way it is this weekend so I can see how it looks in different lighting situations. If it passes the test I will do the whole instrument lens with WD-40 later this weekend.

I tried to take pics but I can't get them to come out. I will post an update after I have driven it around for a couple of days and let you know what I think. Hopefully this is the cure I've been looking for. You gotta love WD-40!
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:21 PM #2
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:28 PM #3
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interesting.

does the WD40 smell get pungent? ??

it's summer season in so cal, wd40 is the last chemical smell i would like permeating the cabin.
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Old 08-28-2009, 04:59 PM #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mole177 View Post
interesting.

does the WD40 smell get pungent? ??

it's summer season in so cal, wd40 is the last chemical smell i would like permeating the cabin.
No, it really does not require much at all. When I do the whole instrument lens I will spay a bit on the corner of a soft cotton cloth, rub down the whole lens, than wipe off the excess with the dry portion of the cloth. It really won't take much at all. You want to wipe of as much of it off so it doesn't leave a residue. It should end up looking great and not smelling at all is my guess.

Besides, I have half a can of WD-40 residing on my drivers seat rails to get rid of that annoying pop/creak sound. The 'W' did the trick with that problem, too!
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Old 08-28-2009, 10:12 PM #5
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Quixx acrylic polish works well.
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Old 08-29-2009, 12:43 PM #6
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This stuff might work well too.

http://www.laserbits.com/images/SUS013.jpg

NOVUS acrylic cleaner. Comes in different strengths too and they offer a very small bottle for little cost.
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Old 08-30-2009, 06:51 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.I.G. View Post
Besides, I have half a can of WD-40 residing on my drivers seat rails to get rid of that annoying pop/creak sound. The 'W' did the trick with that problem, too!
Care to explain how the '40 fixes the seat problem??

Thanks...
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:12 AM #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4-Legged-Runner View Post
Care to explain how the '40 fixes the seat problem??

Thanks...
I had the TSB performed by the dealer where they cut the excess of some cotter pins or solder joints or some such thing. Anyway, the problem persisted so I took matters (and a can of WD-40) into my own hands. I shot WD-40 from both directions up both the tracks and cycled the power seat front to back a couple of times. That has all but eliminated the problem.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:30 AM #9
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Just did the 40 on the gauges and it worked great!
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:42 AM #10
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So after driving around this weekend with the WD-40 test spots on my instrument lens, the jury is still out. The WD-40 treated areas seemed to collect dirt a little bit more. You can't see the scratches where I treated the lens with WD-40, but there was a little haze on the outside of the treated area. If I did the whole lens and wiped out down really well, I think it is still a viable option.

For those of you using the acrylic polish, do you just treat the scratched areas of the lens or the whole lens every time you clean it?

I just ordered the Novus plastic polish kit which includes a cleaner/polish and two levels of scratch removals. I should have it in a week or two. I want to try this option before I fully commit to the WD-40 treatment, but I still haven't written it off yet.

If all else fails, I might by a new lens from the dealer and have a detail or window tint installation shop throw a 3M clear bra film over it and install it like that, but that is my last (and most expenseive) option.
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Old 08-31-2009, 11:46 AM #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GMZ View Post
Just did the 40 on the gauges and it worked great!
Cool, glad it worked for you!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I want to try some plastic polish/cleaner before I do the whole WD-40 treatment, mostly because the plastic cleaner claims to be antistatic and repels dust. The dust was the only drawback I saw with the WD-40 but the good thing about WD-40 is that it is very thin. It did not create any glare or haze when driving at night and the scratched areas seemed to go away with the 40.
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Old 08-31-2009, 12:05 PM #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.I.G. View Post
Cool, glad it worked for you!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I want to try some plastic polish/cleaner before I do the whole WD-40 treatment, mostly because the plastic cleaner claims to be antistatic and repels dust. The dust was the only drawback I saw with the WD-40 but the good thing about WD-40 is that it is very thin. It did not create any glare or haze when driving at night and the scratched areas seemed to go away with the 40.
Ill be vigilant to see how it holds up, I only did it yesterday so the jury is still out. Good idea on the clear bra, but that would be pricey.
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Old 08-31-2009, 05:46 PM #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G.I.G. View Post
So after driving around this weekend with the WD-40 test spots on my instrument lens, the jury is still out. The WD-40 treated areas seemed to collect dirt a little bit more. You can't see the scratches where I treated the lens with WD-40, but there was a little haze on the outside of the treated area. If I did the whole lens and wiped out down really well, I think it is still a viable option.

For those of you using the acrylic polish, do you just treat the scratched areas of the lens or the whole lens every time you clean it?

I just ordered the Novus plastic polish kit which includes a cleaner/polish and two levels of scratch removals. I should have it in a week or two. I want to try this option before I fully commit to the WD-40 treatment, but I still haven't written it off yet.

If all else fails, I might by a new lens from the dealer and have a detail or window tint installation shop throw a 3M clear bra film over it and install it like that, but that is my last (and most expenseive) option.
You can just do the scratched area, but mine was so bad I did all three lens. I'm going to do them over again as I was a bit scared of making it worse so I backed off a bit the first time. If you do them all and are satisfied with the job putting a bit of wax on the lens will stop the scratches from coming back and keep it cleaner. I'm attaching a link to another website where they used Meguiars M205 to take out the scratches and then used NXT 2.0. Another guy used Menzerna PO85RD with good results.

http://www.meguiarsonline.com/forums...ad.php?t=23370
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Old 09-05-2009, 09:12 AM #14
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fix those scratched instrument lenses easily

I have an '03 Sport that the lenses were finely scratched making them look cloudy. I also have a boat with plastic windows that can get scratched easily as well. The same solution for both is Plexus. You can get it at any boater's supply place. Spray it on, buff it with a clean cloth and your guages (or at least MY guages) look brand new. One can will be enough to last all the 4runners in your state for 2 years. Just takes a little spritz.

Haven't been on here in awhile but appreciate the tips and love my 4runner!
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Old 09-07-2009, 05:00 PM #15
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I use Meguiar's Plast-X.
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