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View Full Version : Restoring Sprinter Plastic Trim


photoadjuster
07-31-2010, 05:25 PM
The exterior plastic Bumpers and wheel flares have reached an unacceptable appearance level on my 7 year old Sprinter. I have purchased and tested several of the so called Back to Black type of products and found that they helped the appearance, but only for a few weeks.

I finally used a heat gun to fix the problem.

As the attached photos show, using a heat gun, designed to strip paint off of wood, seems to have returned the plastic trim back to like new condition.

Used this method at your own risk.

NBB
07-31-2010, 06:56 PM
Anyone find a product that works well for prevention?

blackheart
07-31-2010, 07:39 PM
Contrary to the internet
Armor All

photoadjuster
07-31-2010, 08:05 PM
I started off using Armor All. Because of the windy and dusty area I live in, it attracted dirt and looked like crap.

Altered Sprinter
08-01-2010, 12:27 AM
Five years on a little methylated Spirits to remove ingrained dirt, and buffed with any non silicone based Plastic polishes keep the bumpers looking new.
Heat gun is a neat trick as the heat melts away the old oxidization on the surface of the bumpers trim etc, But I'm not game to do it until the day arrives.
Richard
25276

Chandlerazman
08-02-2010, 04:36 AM
Living in Phoenix and being that much closer to the sun, my 1 year old Sprinter is showing signs of fading on the plastic trims. I used some Back to Black today to hopefully stave off the effects for now. I think the plastic that Germany uses is not of the finest ingredients...

photoadjuster
08-24-2011, 01:07 PM
Here is the one year update on this method of using a heat gun to restoring plastic trim.

It does not work.

As you can see in the above photos, the heat gun did a good job of turning the plastic darker. The problem is, it will not stay dark. I used 12 different products designed to maintain plastic trim, but none of them could keep the uniform darkness created by the heat gun and the more time that passed, the more uneven the color became.

Also, the heat from the gun caused minor warping.

mendonsy
08-24-2011, 02:44 PM
OK...... Why not just paint them periodically???
http://www.rustoleum.com/cbgimages/products/SPVnlBlkSpL.jpg

surlyoldbill
08-26-2011, 03:10 AM
OK...... Why not just paint them periodically???
http://www.rustoleum.com/cbgimages/products/SPVnlBlkSpL.jpg

You stole my idea.
The plastic paint available these days actually works on plastic. I'm not sure if there is an off-the-shelf color that matches the Sprinter trim, though. Make sure to clean off the surface with acetone or something so the paint will stick. When I was in the snowboard industry, my factory discovered that the only way to make glue/resin stick to the P-tex (PVC) was to flame treat it immediately before applying the glue/resin.

larry8061
08-27-2011, 12:26 PM
This is indeed a most difficult problem. It is a problem with black trim and it is even worse with this gray stuff. There isn't a lot of answers on the website for this problem but, there are some, and a list of products that might help. Go to the Meguiar's website and look over their forums and product listings. The Insane Tire black helped mine some after some major cleanings. I'm not sure there is anything that is going to last a long time. They have some plastic cleaners that I haven't had time to try yet.

Larry

larry8061
08-27-2011, 12:47 PM
I took my own advice and went and rechecked the website....found some threads i hadn't found before on this topic (there are 5).

Suggestions in the few minutes I was there were: Meguiar's #39 from the Factory rep., Meguiar's #40 from the end suers (pro's) and peanut/vegetable oil from some of the folk.

Larry

Aqua Puttana
08-27-2011, 01:11 PM
...

and peanut/vegetable oil from some of the folk.

Larry
Maybe not such a good idea for anyone who stores a Sprinter for long time periods, like RV owners. Most critters love peanuts and may be drawn in by the smell. :hmmm: vic

HappyFamilyVan
08-27-2011, 03:36 PM
Moby only gets a washing every 4-5 months...at those times I clean my exterior plastic trim with WD-40... seems to work OK...

Trekker
08-27-2011, 08:01 PM
I've used Mother's Back-to-Black on mine since day one. :thumbup:

Wipe it on about every 2-3 months, and it stays nice looking. Protecting plastic exposed to our sub-tropical Florida sun is a real problem, and after three years experience, I can say I'm pleased with this product. Having had boats docked outdoors, if you let any plastic get oxidized to the point where it loses it's shine or color, it's impossible to get it back. Prevention, prevention, prevention.

Peanut oil?? No way! No UV stabilizers in peanut or vegetable oils, so they will oxidize, gum up and likely make a sticky mess.:2cents:

larry8061
08-27-2011, 11:14 PM
Ah curumba!:crazy:

OK, I was in a hurry and didn't post each and every step of the process.......... yikes!

Use the peanut or vegetable oil to CLEAN the vinyl (you know take the stuff off that may be discoloring the vinyl in particular old wax possibly) THEN use a vinyl conditioner and THEN a color restorer.........

Or just go get Meguiar's #40 and be done with it...........

Larry:idunno:

photoadjuster
08-28-2011, 12:34 AM
Larry,
I have tested all of the products from mequiar's, poorboys, chemical guys, autogeek and several others. They are all temporary, with the best of the bunch lasting only a few weeks. Even the ones that contain dyes, are short lived. 95% of them streak after the first rain.

There is one new product available from autogeek called Ultimate Tire & Trim. It is the best choice at this time only because it has lasted two months and is still going strong. Of course it is the most expensive, but it only takes one drop to do the plastic mirror backs and 6 drops to do a bumper. One bottle should last for years.

It only works if you put in on extremely, extremely , extremely thin.

I also used it to black the tires and it is still there after two months.

Don't get it on your hands.

Trekker
08-28-2011, 02:46 AM
There is one new product available from autogeek called Ultimate Tire & Trim. It is the best choice at this time only because it has lasted two months and is still going strong. Of course it is the most expensive

Did you mean "Ultima tire and trim guard plus"?? If so, yeah that's pricey-- 32 bucks a bottle. At the current commodity price of $2200 per metric ton, you could buy over four gallons of peanut oil for that price! :smilewink: But if you say it works great, I'll give it a try. Is it only available online, or in local stores? Do I have to do anything special to remove any previous 'treatments' before I apply this magic elixir?

larry8061
08-28-2011, 01:48 PM
I really don't need to go down this rabbit hole.......... if you want to know what people have done/do the Meguiar's site has, as I said about 5 threads with posts.

I am not aware of a vinyl magic wand and if someone needs perfection, rip the old ones off and buy new ones.

Good luck all!

Larry

Geek
08-28-2011, 03:57 PM
I use a fine layer of dirt to protect my plastic :bounce:

hillis24
05-08-2012, 08:13 PM
I started using BLACK WOW on all of the plastic trim and I like the results.

jasonglaspey
07-29-2017, 05:53 AM
Via the advice of this forum I bought some Ultima Tire and Trim Guard Plus. So, I figured I'd share my results.
Non-affiliate amazon link if you're curious: https://www.amazon.com/Ultima-Lasting-Protectant-Sealant-Applicator/dp/B003BV4PS8

Without a doubt, my incredibly faded and sun-bleached bumpers and side trim looked horrible. I put some of this on, and wow, it looks so sharp, so dark, so uniform. So far, I'm very happy. It was easy to go on, and seems to still look nice after two weeks.

The bad: It attracts dirt ferociously. I use my van to go mountain biking, and after 10 miles (roundtrip) on a dusty road, the black trim is dark, but covered in dust. I plan on washing the van tomorrow, so it'll be a good test to see how the treatment bleeds when wet, and how the dirt comes off when washed.

I'll also add that I didn't see the second comment about this stuff, and I put it on somewhat thick. Just a solid, full coat of it and rubbed it in. It was twilight and i was losing daylight, so i erred on the side of too much than too little. I'm sort of an impatient person and didn't want to wait until the morning to apply it. I bring this up because the thin coat may have done the trick and been less prone to dust aggregation.

Lastly, someone mentioned to not get this on your hands and I'll second that. It's pretty tacky and will be sticky and a bummer for a while. After my first experience, I bought some plastic gloves just in case i need to put this stuff on again. It's pretty nasty. Also, don't rinse out the application sponge in the master bathroom sink afterwards either. Your significant other may not appreciate the mess it makes. Just a pro tip there.

wefixscratchedglass
07-29-2017, 10:13 AM
I have been considering sanding and painting mine to the body color. I plan to do 99% more things than I actually do. I doubt I will ever get around to trying it. But I have seen a few that look pretty good.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk

Aqua Puttana
07-29-2017, 11:12 AM
I have been considering sanding and painting mine to the body color. I plan to do 99% more things than I actually do. I doubt I will ever get around to trying it. But I have seen a few that look pretty good.

Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
I'm quite lazy. My bet is that sanding isn't necessary. A good wipe down with acetone or mineral spirits is probably all that is needed. The weathered finish should provide good tooth for the paint. You'll still have the pebble grain finish. I have had good luck with the rattle can paints that are specific for plastics.

:2cents: vic

jasonglaspey
07-29-2017, 07:02 PM
Y, if this doesn't work, my next attempt is to use Plastidip on the trim. That way, I can easily take it off if I want, and it's so much easier to apply (overspray isn't a big deal and you do'nt have to prep it nearly as well).

Again, I need to wash the van first and see how the dust comes out or if the Ultima gel rinses out as well. Later today :)

gltrimble
07-29-2017, 09:36 PM
.

Midwestdrifter
08-01-2017, 09:55 PM
Lightly stuff with fine scotch bright, solvent wipe, then apply adhesion promoter before top coating. SEM makes family of paints designed for direct application on automotive plastics.

cousi
08-01-2017, 10:45 PM
My friend told me about using black shoe polish. I haven't tried it
yet but there are plenty of videos on the web about it.

israndy
08-02-2017, 02:22 PM
Did anyone try that WipeNew product? (http://www.wipenew.com) They do have a Trim product that seems to be what we are looking for.

http://www.wipenew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/c3.jpg

I bought some of their outdoor patio product to see how it handled the roof patio on my other RV. Lots of sun damage, will let you know what I find. Probably similar to the Trim stuff.

-Randy

israndy
08-02-2017, 02:40 PM
Although the Wax and Dry (https://www.turtlewax.com/our-products/quick-and-easy/turtle-wax-wax-dry-spray-wax) that I use has been doing a pretty good job keeping the back of the mirrors dark, just not actually new looking.

-Randy

PATECO
08-10-2017, 08:40 PM
Did anyone try that WipeNew product? (http://www.wipenew.com) They do have a Trim product that seems to be what we are looking for.

http://www.wipenew.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/07/c3.jpg

I bought some of their outdoor patio product to see how it handled the roof patio on my other RV. Lots of sun damage, will let you know what I find. Probably similar to the Trim stuff.

-Randy

I tried it on my 2004, Did not make one bit of difference.