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Thread: Renewing black/grey trim

          
  1. #1
    Registered Member Buellwinkle's Avatar
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    Renewing black/grey trim

    I came across this on a Jeep Wrangler forum for renewing black/grey trim like fenders, bumpers, etc. that are unpainted plastic. I've usually use chemical products like #38 but there they use a heat gun to heat up the plastic and it returns its new shiny look. Of course you would have to shield or remove items that melt easy like turn signal lenses, tail lights, etc. Has anyone tried this on their car?

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    Registered Member Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    I've never heard of this before. I know that when you're working with a heat gun you have to be very careful as you can get to the point where you're within a safety margin and nothing bad happens and then one or two more seconds of heat and whoops!
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    The heat pulls the oils from deeper in the plastic to the surface renewing the gloss and colour.

    It looks good for a while and then the flares/trim/etc go grey again (I'm intimately familiar with faded trim - I currently have 2 Jeep TJ Wranglers.) Ultimately the plastic becomes brittle due to the lack of any oils left in it.

    I had a fairly in-depth discussion with a Daimler-Chrysler engineer about this a few years ago at Camp Jeep. She claimed she hadn't seen this in Toledo and had no good ideas of what to do to prevent the problem.

    I've tried most of the cleaner/protectant products on the market and the only thing I've found that offers a long term solution is to remove the faded pieces off and paint them with plastic primer and flexible trim/bumper paint.

    It's a pain, but they've been holding up for several years now and still look new. Just make sure you clean EVERY BIT of protectant off before you paint or it will peel (don't ask how I know this.)

    Or you could replace them with new ones every few years but they will fade over time too.

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    Registered Member Xtreme99_s-Dime's Avatar
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    there are a few products that come to mind, some may seem strange, but...

    Tire shine and trim dressing put back oils lost due to sun exposure

    Meguiars #39 takes off old wax and other residue

    Mother's balck to black restores a dark color to trim, but i'm not sure if it's completely permanent.

    If you get the color back, use a product that will block UV rays that will fade the trim out again.
    WARNING! Eye protection must be worn when looking at my car in direct sunlight. Can cause temporary blindness.

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    Registered Member soonercivic's Avatar
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    The tire shine works ok, but sometimes the shine may be more than you want. #39 is great, thats what i use. And the back to black lasts maybe 2 days on my car.

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    Self-Banned RedSoxRacer's Avatar
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    GoldClass Trim detailer works great for this.


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    I will tell you this. On dirtbikes when the plastic creases and you get white marks in the plastic. A quick once over with a heat gun takes the white crease right out of the plastic and they look brand new again.

    I use an extremely diluted amount of hyperdressing on my cars exterior. This gives the exterior the look I want which isn't super shiny. It keeps the exterior looking like it did when it came from the factory.
    Last edited by herb; Aug 3rd, 2005 at 07:18 AM.
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    Registered Member evh5150's Avatar
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    Will this stuff remove wax from plastic trim?

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    Originally posted by evh5150
    Will this stuff remove wax from plastic trim?

    Warm Water, Some Muscle, and a Tooth Brush.


    You can also use the magic eraser from Mr. Clean.
    I like to gather information.

  10. #10
    Registered Member evh5150's Avatar
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    Thanks!

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