Repairing Broken Automotive Plastic Trim

Repairing Broken Automotive Plastic Trim


If you regularly watch our tutorials, you’ll recognize this liftgate spoiler from our video on welds test plastic identification. This part does not have an identification symbol. By means of a weld test, we were able to determine
that it was made of polycarbonate. We can now repair its broken tabs using R07
polycarbonate welding rod. The mounting surface of this tab is completely broken out, so we will have to recreate a great deal of its plastic. Begin by v-grooving the plastic around the
perimeter of the tab. Using aluminum tape, reinforce the area that
is to be welded. Weld around the broken area using one-eighth
inch round polycarbonate welding rod. Then fill in the area using wide ribbon. Smooth using an airless welder while simultaneously
reapplying nitrogen gas. Allow to cool and then remove the aluminum
tape before continuing. Sand the tab down using a 50 grit Roloc disc. Because the thickness of the tab that we just
recreated is much thicker than a side piece, we will need to thin it using a rotary tool
and a tapered burr. Still using a rotary tool and the tapered burr, grind out the slot tab to roughly match its fittings. Smooth the surface of the tab using a three-inch
DA sander. Remove any excess plastic imperfections using
a razor knife. Now we’re ready to move on to the next tab. This tab is still mostly intact, so it shouldn’t
be quite as tricky. Use Polyvance’s 6203 Hot Spot cordless plastic
stapler to tack the tab back in place. Use a tapered burr in a rotary tool to grind
a v-groove along the crack. Apply aluminum tape, and weld the pass of one-eighth inch round welding rod around the tab and over the crack. Smooth the weld using the airless welder. Allow to cool and then sand using a Roloc disc. Use a rotary tool and a tapered burr as needed
to recess the slot to match the tab. If the tabs you’re working on have removable
clips as these do, you can now test to see if it fits the recess you have cut. You may need to adjust the width of the slot. If so, take care not to remove too much of the plastic. If you wish, you may now apply a light coat
of paint and then this repair is complete. Instead of spending a fortune on an obscure
plastic part, you can save your shop time and money by performing this repair yourself using tools and supplies from Polyvance. Look to Polyvance for all of your plastic
repair product and training needs. We offer I-CAR Industry Training Alliance
courses, as well as other hands-on classes in addition to the video resources you can
find on our website and on our YouTube channel.

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