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Old 10-30-2017, 02:50 AM   #1
T1N Westfalia
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Default Repair: Black Plastic Panels

Over on Yahoo Sprinter Westfalia group, a poster is seeking thoughts on repairing the black plastic panel around the fresh water fill. To encourage/entice folks to utilize this subforum, I'm summarizing some options found on this subforum.


The black plastic panel is mounted using long horizontal strips of tough adhesive. NO mechanical screws or bolts are used.

One can remove the panel only by breaking the panel as one pries it off.

Beneath the black plastic panel is the original cargo Sprinter sheetmetal. The sheetmetal may not be perfectly even and some bodywork may be needed for a smooth body panel.

Many cracks often develop around the fresh water fill. One problem was that the fresh water fill screws went through the black plastic panel and cracks originated from those screws.

Later replacement panels (and perhaps, later Westies) had a larger circular opening in the black plastic panel so no screws went through the plastic.

Option 1. Replacement Black Plastic Panel

Highly unlikely to find one without a lot of luck. In the major retrofit campaign, Westfalia sent over many replacement panels to Airstream, but Airstream has probably sold them all. There may be one or more originals at some Airstream dealer or Westy owner.

The James Cook Friends forum folks attempted to order a production run, but were unsuccessful in gathering a sufficient minimum order for a decent price. A poster here communicated with them on that attempt.

Option 2. Repair in Place

Discus142 was successful in repairing cracks in the panel using a bedliner-type product.

Bulletliner used AFTER fiberglass patch?; quote from photograph caption:

"Westfalia James Cook Side Panel Restoration
80 mils 2 component urethane bedliner material sprayed on existing cracked plastic panel."

Option 3. Removal and Blackout

Removal of the panel is an option but additional bodywork may be needed to remove the remaining adhesive and smooth out the sheetmetal. The area can then be painted a black glossy paint to emulate a window.

Although not seen on a Westy, a glossy vehicle wrap in black could also be used.

Option 4. Removal and Graphic

Holly removed and painted a landscape graphic in that space.

Please post other options, solutions, etc. Thanks.

Last edited by OldWest; 10-30-2017 at 03:08 AM. Reason: Add links.
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