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Author Topic: Back to black: Cladding/Tonneau/tailgate -Heat gun method-  (Read 3605 times)

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IIJaze

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I can honestly say the heat gun method works.  I've got an 07 ltz and it looks completely redone.  However, unlike chemicals, the results are proportionate.  This means if you had a areas in your cladding/tailgate/tonneau covers etc that were MORE faded than another area it MIGHT...MIGHT show as slightly lighter.  The results will still look like new, but an area that was faded more than another might look a "little" less "pitch black" than an area that ends up pitch black.  I'm a stickler for perfection and my truck is black....yet I'm still happy with the results.  The only caution here is to keep your hand moving slow and steady....do NOT leave it in one spot for more than 2-3 seconds max or you WILL have melt spots.

My coworker showing me what to do, starting off on my truck (he has an '05):



here's video from once I got home and started doing it on my own.  The last shot is a before and after of the tonneau covers.

http://instagram.com/p/dpnrIehN9l/
« Last Edit: 09/04/13 02:18 PM by IIJaze »
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2007 Avalanche LTZ 4WD 5.3L
Black-on-Black

rodneygixx

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Interesting method.  Keep us informed on the long term changes (if applicable).  :thumbsup:
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IIJaze

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Will do.  So far it's been about a week, no issues at all. 
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2007 Avalanche LTZ 4WD 5.3L
Black-on-Black

rodneygixx

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 :thumbsup:
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Thomcat

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Was the painted area masked? I'd be afraid that too much heat could blister the paint immediately, damage the finish over time with repeated  weathering ........especially delaminate the clear coat.

Used Bondo Restore black on my '07, took under 15 mins. to do the whole truck and it came out pitch black, evenly colored and lasted about 18 months on a non garaged vehicle.......I'm sure most Avy owners wax their vehicles at least once every 18 months, so what's another 15 minutes to use a method that might not entail future damage?.......Got top dollar on my trade because it looked great and no melt spots.

Solved the problem by getting an Avy with painted sails, also coated the new tonneau covers with the Bondo before there is any sun damage fading. Hopefully the opaque coating will protect the molded black plastic from UV damage which causes the faded white oxidation color in the first place.
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Current Chevys - '16 SilveradoZ71;'13 Malibu LT; '15 Traverse LT2; '15 Camaro LS
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IIJaze

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Didn't mask the painted area at all, because the heat it took was never focused in one spot.  If you look at the video you can see the speed at which you move your hands, nowhere near the kind of heat it would take to affect the paint.  Not a single blemish on the paint.  I live in GA where the sun really beats down on the Av, and because I'm having an issue with one of the mirrors not folding, I can't put it in the garage so even after days of being out in 90+ degree heat and sun, it remains unaffected.  I'll wait about a month or so and see if there's any changes.  I've been thinking about trading her in anyway, I'm about ready for something different, if not a Black Diamond.  Nothing quite like an LTZ Avy.
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2007 Avalanche LTZ 4WD 5.3L
Black-on-Black

ohiobellboy

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Was the painted area masked? I'd be afraid that too much heat could blister the paint immediately, damage the finish over time with repeated  weathering ........especially delaminate the clear coat.

Used Bondo Restore black on my '07, took under 15 mins. to do the whole truck and it came out pitch black, evenly colored and lasted about 18 months on a non garaged vehicle.......I'm sure most Avy owners wax their vehicles at least once every 18 months, so what's another 15 minutes to use a method that might not entail future damage?.......Got top dollar on my trade because it looked great and no melt spots.

Solved the problem by getting an Avy with painted sails, also coated the new tonneau covers with the Bondo before there is any sun damage fading. Hopefully the opaque coating will protect the molded black plastic from UV damage which causes the faded white oxidation color in the first place.
Not entirely true. There is a release agent in the plastic to help it free up from the mold, a mold release agent if you will. That's the stuff that comes out and causes the oxidation.

There was another member here that tried the heat method. Worked for about 6 weeks IIRC. There's a thread on it here somewhere.
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Hanz Groober

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Not entirely true. There is a release agent in the plastic to help it free up from the mold, a mold release agent if you will. That's the stuff that comes out and causes the oxidation.

There was another member here that tried the heat method. Worked for about 6 weeks IIRC. There's a thread on it here somewhere.

Gotta disagree with you both here...... It's not the mold release agent that CUASES the oxidation(its the mold release agents leaving the surface that cause oxidation). It is the heat gun "re-activating" the mold release agent thats trapped in the plastic, bringing it to the surface again that brings back the gloss!!! Any time you "melt" ANY plastic it will get shiny.(try it with some dulled out Tupperware)..... As a painter, I want to see NO GLOSS in plastic, that means paint will not like to stick(without MASSIVE prep)because those "slippery" mold release agents are on the surface. "Shiny" means its "fresh"(i.e. new, and why plastics fade with age)and the mold release agents are near the top. You can't ever get rid of mold release agents in plastic(which is a bummer if your a painter), its just a matter of locking them down, or in this case, bringing them back OUT to bring back the gloss.

This "mod" is a GREAT idea(done CAREFULLY and maybe with a heat gun with a wider cone). I could see it being difficult to make it "even"..... And I would really like to know how long the results lasted for this guy(s) that did it!!!! I know VERY well how "plastic works" and would've never thought of this! All my cladding is painted, but I still wanna know how long this lasted!!!! 6 months later are we still looking good?

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graycaleb99

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I used a heat gun on my 03 cladding. Very slow process. But great things can take time, right? Itís only been about a week. Iím very pleased with the results. For the price and amount of effort, I think a heat gun is a great way to go. Only prep I did was wash the cladding first.
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2003 4x4 cladded Avalanche forest green | Current Mods: ReadyLift torsion key leveling kit, interior and exterior LED lighting, flopro exhaust, Pioneer AVH-4200 NEX Radio upgrade, heat guned cladding, | 160,xxx on the odometer and 5,6xx hours.

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Had a coworker do the heat gun trick on his Av...... And then later I did it on a red 05 KLR650 motorcycle plastics. The coworker ended up with stripes on his truck after a few weeks. It looked great initially. We assumed it was his technique that caused it, sweeping back & forth. I was a bit more careful with the heat gun, did overlapping circles, then put 303 on it (sunscreen for your stuff!), and it held up great.
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guttersnipes199

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Is there any thing you can easily apply that will restore the cladding color and stay on for a few months?

Thanks!
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Vaeagleav

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Guttersnipes199 you will find a mountain of threads if you do a search on faded cladding on this site with many methods or miracle cures for the problem.
Many happy posts on Refinnish Restorer though and the owner of the site in this link used to give a discount for CAFCNA members too:

http://www.therightcarstuff.com/Refinish-Restorer-500mL-2-Microfibers_p_9.html
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2008 Z71 Silver Birch 
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Wickman

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Is there any thing you can easily apply that will restore the cladding color and stay on for a few months?

Thanks!

I did the Refinish Restorer on my 02 and it looked great for more than 2 years.  Time to do it again.
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FlaAv

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Used the Refinish restore a few times.
It only takes about 15 minutes on a  freshly cleaned truck and have been getting a solid 2 years out of it - and I park outside down here in south Florida.
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guttersnipes199

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Thank You everyone for the great advice, I'll try it!

Regards!
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1967DropTop

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The previous owner did this on my '08 and it looked good when I got it. but it turned to crap looking blotchy just few weeks later. I used the Refinish Restorer on previous Avalanche, an '04 and it lasted a few months. I put it on the blotchy '08 and it looked good for few weeks until the blotchiness came back.  I wonder if I can apply 303 over the RR.
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BooomerX

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Re: Back to black: Cladding/Tonneau/tailgate -Heat gun method-
« Reply #16 on: Yesterday at 03:01 PM »

Once heat gunned only fix is to paint it.
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