How To Repair Plastic Bumper Tabs – Tab Repair

How To Repair Plastic Bumper Tabs – Tab Repair

– Hey, this is Donnie Smith. Have you ever had a bumper cover, a plastic bumper cover have a tab broke, maybe you was in a little accident and it broke the tab all the way off or cracked it? If you’ve ever had that happen, these tabs are critical because this is what attaches to the car and holds the bumper cover in place. And perhaps that’s the
only thing that’s wrong with the car is that tab. Well, if you ever had
that problem keep watching this video ’cause I’m gonna show you just a few quick, easy steps on how you can repair that tab and it’ll be just like it was before. (futuristic shock bang) Now, I just cut the end
piece of a bumper cover off to make it easier
to demonstrate to you how to fix it. You know, it’s a smaller piece and easier to be able to demonstrate. What this is is a rear bumper cover. The quarter panel goes right here and I’m gonna demonstrate
if one of these break how to repair that. All bumper covers have tabs around them that hold them, that attach them to the car. And you can see there’s different shapes and different sizes. Every car has different ones but they do all have some type of tab that holds it onto the car. And of course, all these are good right
now but we’re going to cut one just so we can show you how to properly repair it. I’m gonna demonstrate how to do that on that bumper cover and
I’m gonna show you how. But first I just wanna talk about a few important steps so that you understand this. Let’s say, I’m gonna kind of draw a side view of a bumper cover here. Let’s just say that’s a back bumper cover and that’s the part you see. And then right here you’d
see the quarter panel or whatever it’s attached to. Well, these bumpers
usually have tabs on them that come out and that’s what attaches to the car and holds the bumper cover on. Well, like I just mentioned, a lot of times these tabs will, they’ll get broke off or sometimes they get
broke completely off. So but what I wanna focus
on is this part right here because it’s very critical
that you get it right before you start trying to repair this. So here’s this tab right here and I’m just gonna draw it over here and I’m gonna magnify it a little bit. So this is the tab right here. Let’s say it gets broke right here. And it gets broke off, now you just have that much. Well, it’s very important
to grind this to a point. So you wanna grind all this off so that you kind of build a point on that. So instead of just having
a tab sticking out here, now you’ve got a tab
that’s kind of pointed and it gets thinner at the end. So it’s gonna be thicker
towards the bumper and get thinner towards the end. And what this does whenever we put our plaster repair on here, it’s gonna fit on there
kind of like a glove. You think of it like this, we’re building something that’s thick and gets thinner. And what this does, it just builds like a little glove for it to go onto and for it to latch to so that it holds good. So it’s important to
make that point on there. And I’ll demonstrate here in just a minute how to do that but remember that that is important to do that. And another thing to keep in mind, if you was going to, let’s say, just lay a piece of plastic up here to extend. Let’s say the tab’s supposed to come to about right here and you laid a piece of plastic on top, how would you hold that together? Well, you’d probably put some screws in it to hold it together and that’s another important point. Now, we’re not gonna use screws but what we are gonna do is we’re gonna drill some holes in this and we have it kind of
tapered out a little bit. And we’re gonna drill
some holes through this so that whenever that glove goes on there, it’s gonna be like a
screw of that adhesive going from one side to the other where it really latches on. It’s almost like it’s
riveted or screwed on with the adhesive. So we got those holes on. Now whenever we put this adhesive on here this adhesive’s gonna
go through these holes and grab on. So now not only do you have the glove but you actually have the adhesive rivets that go through the holes as well to hold that together. Okay, now I’m gonna show you how to do it. I wanna talk about those two ’cause those are very
important not to forget whenever you’re doing this. You just don’t wanna
rough this surface up, you actually wanna make that point. Now you can see that the
cars have different tabs and they’re different sizes, shapes. This one has a hole through it. This one has a slot. It really doesn’t matter ’cause it’s really easy to repair the tab no matter what the shape is. Out of this one all the tabs are fine but I’m gonna cut this
one just to demonstrate. So I’m gonna cut it off right here. (grinding machine) So now this is what you get many times if you got a tab that you can not be able to bolt that onto the car or a clipper or whatever, however it’s attached. And this piece has broke
off during the accident. Sometimes it may just be a crack. But even if it was broke up here you could still use this method to fix it. Now, the first step you wanna do is make sure you wash
it with soap and water and make sure it’s clean, you get all the contaminants off. Now, I’ve already done that. And next we’re gonna
grind it with some 50 grit on ar Roloc disk. Now, a cordless drill, that works probably as
good as any other tool for plaster repair ’cause you do not want a fast RPM, in fact, the slower the better. When you try to grind this fast you’re just gonna melt the plastic, it’s gonna make a mess. So if you are using air tools, be sure to crank it way down. I’m just gonna kind of use a rubber block to support it. (sanding machine) Okay, now you can see how
thin it is in the front and as it goes back it gets thicker. So thin up here and gets thicker and that’s gonna allow
this adhesive to grab onto it like we was talking about and fit like a glove. But before we do that we
wanna drill the holes. Now I’m using my cordless drill again and I got a eighth inch bit in here and I’m just gonna drill a few holes to allow that adhesive to go from one side to the other side to make that self-rivet. (drilling machine) Okay, now just to make
sure we got everything, if there’s any loose pieces on there you wanna get them off. So I just got some 80 grit by hand and I’m just gonna sand this to make sure all that’s off of there. Okay, I’ve got that sanded off. And at this point you
don’t wanna use any type of cleaners to clean that. A lot of these cubicles will absorb into that plastic and
cause problems later. So if you got compressed air, blow it off. I don’t have any, I’m gonna get a rag and kind of just wipe it off real good. Now, this is just a dry rag. Again, you don’t wanna use any type of solvents to clean that. One more important step
in working with plastics is you always wanna
use adhesion promoters. It’s used on most types of plastic. If you don’t use it you’re not gonna get the proper adhesion. And to apply this I don’t wanna put it on real thick. I just kind of wanna dust
a light coat on there and then allow it to dry for five to 10 minutes. Now you’re gonna need
the super fast adhesive and this stuff dries really fast. It has a chemical reaction and once mixed together this stuff gets really hot. The hotter something gets
when it’s mixed together the faster it’s gonna cure. This stuff’s really fast. You only got about 30 seconds to work it. Okay, now we allowed that to dry and it’s ready to apply this adhesive. Now, you wanna have everything ready whenever you start working on this ’cause you don’t have long. So what I have is the
cartridge and the gun. I have the tube to put it on. I have some plastic to use and just the wrapper that this comes in works good for this. Cut a piece of that off. I have two spreaders and
something to cut with. So what I’m gonna do now is I’m gonna take this end off. And you always wanna make sure to squeeze a little bit through this tube to make sure both parts are coming out. We’re gonna purge this too. And we’ll need this cap
to put around this tip. Go ahead and get that ready. Like I said, I’m just
gonna squeeze a little bit out here to make sure
it’s coming out right. Okay. All sides are coming out fine. Now I wanna put this tip on. Now I’m gonna place one spreader underneath this plastic
and I’m gonna hold it up under here to help support it. Now I’m gonna put some of this plastic repair on this. Get ready support. Now, I want this plastic
repair to reach up like that glove and grab over on the top and the bottom. So I’m gonna start up here. Make sure it’s coming out to make sure I got enough on. Don’t worry about getting too much ’cause you can grind this off. Okay, now I wanna push
that up on the back side and see how that’s coming through. I’ve gotta hurry ’cause I’ve only got a couple of minutes. Well, just a couple of seconds really. So now I wanna fold
this over and I’m gonna kind of push with my hands a little bit to kind of get it started. And I’m gonna use this spreader just to kind of set it. Now you don’t wanna push too hard to make it too thin but
you kind of wanna get the shape that you need, the thickness. Now I only have to hold
this for a little bit, about thirty seconds then I can let go, then allow it to finish drying. So now you can see that
this plastic repair gets on top of this tab and on the bottom and it’s going through those holes. So it’s really acting like that glove and it’s going through the holes acting like rivets and basically becoming one piece. Be careful with this ’cause this stuff gets super hot. I like to wear gloves
but it gets really hot ’cause it dries really fast. So before this fully
cures you can cut this. If you don’t get it cut in time, don’t worry ’cause you can still grind it even after it’s fully hard, fully cured. I’m gonna cut it just a little bit bigger than the tab. And this will save some grinding. So now we’ve got this
piece and if you remember, if you have a problem knowing what size the tab is, these are different but on the other side of the bumper there’s
one identical to this and you can look at that and get the size you’re needing. And you can see the part of the holes here so you have a pretty good idea. I’m gonna go ahead and trim it just a little bit this way. Now we’ve got it cut we’re gonna let it finish curing up a little bit. Okay, now that we let it
dry I’m gonna go ahead and remove this plastic. Let it stay up there. These other pieces will come off. That’s where I cut the piece down here. And the plastic comes off. So now you’ve got a tab repair and it’s still a little bit bigger and we’re gonna grind it to make it the exact same size. Now, you wanna leave it like that glove, you want it to go over just a little bit so I’m gonna leave a little bit on top, not enough to cause any alignment problem. The top surface is what clips to the car so that needs to be pretty level. I only leave a little
bit extra on the bottom. Get a little better look at that before I actually start grinding it off. And you can see it’s
pretty thick at the bottom and that’s good. You want about the same thickness. Okay, now we let it to
harden up a little bit. Now we can go ahead and grind it. (grinding machine) Now I’ve got the right shape I can use some 80 grit by hand just to kind of finish it out. Then you wanna get a bit about the size of the hole that it originally was, then we’ll go ahead and
drill the hole back in. (drilling machine) Now you have a tab with a hole in it that you can use with a clip or a bolt or however it’s attached to attach it back to the car when you go to put it on. This is as strong as
it ever was originally. You could from here, from this point if you wanted to, go ahead and use some 180, sand it out, prime it and block it a little bit and paint it. If you’re just painting the
rest of the bumper cover you can go ahead and paint
that at the same time. And that’s how you properly repair a tab with just a few simple steps. If you liked this video, be sure and share it with your friends and subscribe to this channel. Thanks for watching this video and we’ll see you next time. – (mumbles). This adjusts how far back
you can pull the trigger.

22 thoughts on “How To Repair Plastic Bumper Tabs – Tab Repair

  1. Considering how much some of those replacement panels cost,you saved yourself some parts money,with about 1/2 hour job.Good job,

  2. Great video!! I've never had to do this kind of repair but now I know how to fix it if I have the same problem. It's only a matter of time as more and more car parts go to plastic!!

  3. Your a great teacher your videos have help me a lot didnt have a clue about autobody and paint yesterday i painted my hood came out awesome thanks for the videos donnie apreciated

  4. Hey Donnie, Just curious if you ever laminate heavy fiberglass screen or even better a large mesh stainless steel screen into a tab repair that reaches further back into the bumper for a stronger structural connection? Maybe even melting the stainless into the back of the bumper with an iron?

  5. I have never tried that, but sounds interesting. I may have to experiment with that. Thanks for thanks for the tip.

  6. Great how to video. Why not prep and drill holes in the part of the tab that you just cut off and reattach it? Would the connection strength be weaker?

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