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What did you do to your Avalanche today?

Massey

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Jan 11, 2009
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Tacoma, WA
Did same thing a year ago !! How ever the pounding part might be a lil difficult !!! Unless you cut out a section of the inner lining to gain access to outer skin !!!
You do realize this was posted over 11 years ago, right? Just sayin, it’s either fixed, replaced or the guy moved on by now.
 

Bsteph22

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Apr 30, 2021
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Indiana
Found fog lights that actually fit the small stock fog enclosure. Plus they are led. Am I the only one who bought like 4 other pairs that didn't fit before I found a pair that fit?
 

Massey

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Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
150
Location
Tacoma, WA
I processed the bed panels I got the other day. There were 3 from a 2002 that were pretty much toast. They were split, and the lever arms were corroded to the point of non function. I was able to get them off (all but 1) and after they sleep for a few days in a bath of Evapo-Rust they should be ready for disassembly and reconditioning. The panels that came off the 2006 truck were actually in near perfect condition and will just need some cleaning and to reseal the rubber seals to prevent leaks.
 

2SmokinBarrels

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Apr 11, 2021
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71
Location
S. Okanagan BC, Canada
Replaced some worn out monroe shocks with new Ranchos front and rear. Managed to do it in the driveway today without much trouble. Had to cut off the front top mounts but that was expected.


The ride and handling feels so much better than I expected. The front shocks especially were overdue for change. The heavy body roll around corners is gone.
Still after all these new front end parts , she's in dire need of a proper wheel alignment. Its not bad but needs to get laser sighted

t5.jpg
 

Massey

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Joined
Jan 11, 2009
Messages
150
Location
Tacoma, WA
I gave my son and his friend a sawzall and had them cut up the bad panels to recycle. They had fun with it. So today I started cleaning up the good panels. I was able to get the oil out of the grain, and on one of my panels there are some pretty messed up gouges. The gouges have turned the plastic white, but after I took my hot air solder wand to them and semi melted the surface of the panel, the gouges turned back to dark grey and the sun faded parts also changed back to grey. It’s time consuming using the solder wand but it’s a non chemical conversion back to normal.

I need a UV stabilizer for my panels, anyone have any ideas?

So I also tried Maguire’s trim restorer. It worked pretty ok but left the surface of the panel with an oily feel. Not sure I’m gonna like it. So I also got most of the old weatherstrip glue off the panels, but now I need to clean the rubber strips and clean the old glue out of them too. I’m not looking forward to this part... When I get done, I should have freshly sealed weatherstrip that will hopefully be leak free.
 

EXT4ME

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I gave my son and his friend a sawzall and had them cut up the bad panels to recycle. They had fun with it. So today I started cleaning up the good panels. I was able to get the oil out of the grain, and on one of my panels there are some pretty messed up gouges. The gouges have turned the plastic white, but after I took my hot air solder wand to them and semi melted the surface of the panel, the gouges turned back to dark grey and the sun faded parts also changed back to grey. It’s time consuming using the solder wand but it’s a non chemical conversion back to normal.

I need a UV stabilizer for my panels, anyone have any ideas?

So I also tried Maguire’s trim restorer. It worked pretty ok but left the surface of the panel with an oily feel. Not sure I’m gonna like it. So I also got most of the old weatherstrip glue off the panels, but now I need to clean the rubber strips and clean the old glue out of them too. I’m not looking forward to this part... When I get done, I should have freshly sealed weatherstrip that will hopefully be leak free.

Applying heat to the plastics in an effort to restore back the color, has long since been determined to not be a good choice.

There are many methods, including paint and a variety of wipe on products that can safely give you the results you are looking for.

The use of heat has long since been determined to destroy the plastic.

While it may look good in the beginning, pulling the moisture out of the plastic with heat actually destroys the plastic and the appearance will be much worse than before, in short order.

Once destroyed by the heat, the plastic will become blotchy and brittle.

Painting or replacing the plastic may be your only choice at that point, as wipe on products now will have little affect.

There are plenty of threads in this forum and discussions on Facebook groups that discuss the issues with heat and the many other methods available to you.

Unfortunately, there are still Youtube videos that show people using the heat method to restore the plastics on a variety of different vehicles, including Avalanches.

They just show the initial results and not the permanent damage their project caused.
 

Vaeagleav

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I agree with EXT4ME and feel you will get lots of info from doing a word search for faded cladding and what to do to fix the problem on this website before doing further damage to your AV.....
 

Massey

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Jan 11, 2009
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Location
Tacoma, WA
I appreciate the input guys. I have no intentions to restore the finish of all 3 panels with heat... my wand is way too small as is my A.D.D. attention span for that kind of crazy. But the damage to the overall finish was completely unaffected by the trim restoration products, which is why on the severe damage I tried the heat method. Once converted I used the trim wipe around it and it looks good. I’m not a fan of painting this type of plastic as the naturally oily texture of it doesn’t promote a long lasting finish.

The last time I went on a cruise with my local Avalanche group, someone there had a wipe product that worked really slick. I can’t remember who it was or what he used. Maybe @Z66Modder will remember, it was the ride to Caballa’s. And that restored the finish in seconds. I would love to know what that stuff was.
 

EXT4ME

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I used Refinish Restorer with good results for many years.

The bed panels on my 2004 EXT were a chalky white before applying the Refinish Restorer.

EXTBEDPANELS001.JPG

Last year, I found CERAKOTE Ceramic Trim Coat - Guaranteed Restoration to Last Over 200 Washes - A Ceramic Coating Not a Dressing - Quick and Easy to Apply and found it to be quite good and so far, long lasting.

Both products restored the finish in seconds with one properly applied wipe.

The CERAKOTE is my go-to product now.

All of the plastics, including the bed panels, were badly faded and chalky on my 2003 Avalanche when I bought it last year.

This picture is after an application of the CERKOTE product.

IMG_4660.JPG
 

Vaeagleav

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I guess as with any product you can have good and also negative reviews.....I was surprised by the negative reviews on the Cerakote in your link .
I don't know if it was an application error or not?
 

Massey

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Jan 11, 2009
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Tacoma, WA
I ordered 2 different solutions and we will see how it goes in completely controlled unscientific laboratory testing! So the first contender is going to be the Cerakote. i have used their products in the past, mainly the air cured ceramic paints while restoring my Trail 90’s engine. And the second contender is Solution Finish Black.

I will test each product on my old panels to see how well they convert the chalky back to grey/black color and then leave them outside in my laboratory (ie back yard where I store my utility trailer) and see how each product works. Either way, I have uses for each with my Motorcycle and automotive hobbies.
 

EXT4ME

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I guess as with any product you can have good and also negative reviews.....I was surprised by the negative reviews on the Cerakote in your link .
I don't know if it was an application error or not?

I've read all of the reviews.

No product is going to be perfect every time for every person.

Look how many times people have harped about how proper prep is for the Refinish Restorer product.

I never had any problems with that product and I only wash and dry my plastics before applying RR.

One thing I can say is it is very important to precisely follow the directions for both the CERAKOTE ceramic trim coat and the CERAKOTE ceramic headlight restoration products.

Especially in regards to the surfaces being bone dry.

These are serious coatings that require absolutely no water to be present.

Since I have used both products on several of our vehicles now, I must think that some, if not all of the poor results some may have seen are partly due to operator error.

Both of these products have always worked flawlessly for me and it ain't that hard if you can follow directions.
 

Massey

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Joined
Jan 11, 2009
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150
Location
Tacoma, WA
Well today turned out to be a no Avalanche day... my plan was to work on the gaskets for the covers and get them ready to be glued back onto the panels... Hell maybe even glue them on. I had one in the house task to get done today which was replace the kitchen sink faucet. Well within my skill level, and should take 20 to 30 minutes... that was 11 this morning and I just now finished at almost 6pm. Not because I couldn’t do the job, but because the cheap cast iron mobile home sink was so rotted that I would have never successfully got the new faucet on. I had to buy and install a new sink, so my little job turned into a big job. But the good news is my kitchen looks so much better now.
 

Raekal

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Apr 5, 2021
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226
Location
Flint, Mi
Last year, I found CERAKOTE Ceramic Trim Coat - Guaranteed Restoration to Last Over 200 Washes - A Ceramic Coating Not a Dressing - Quick and Easy to Apply and found it to be quite good and so far, long lasting.

Both products restored the finish in seconds with one properly applied wipe.

The CERAKOTE is my go-to product now.
I'm glad to hear this has been working well for you. I saw this product being reviewed by Project farm on youtube and it seemed to perform exceptionally well on his tahoe bumper. The cost for performance seems to be pretty stellar compared to how often you need to apply the dressings normally.

ill be giving this a try later this year. Did you need two bags of wipes for the avalanche?
 

EXT4ME

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I'm glad to hear this has been working well for you. I saw this product being reviewed by Project farm on youtube and it seemed to perform exceptionally well on his tahoe bumper. The cost for performance seems to be pretty stellar compared to how often you need to apply the dressings normally.

ill be giving this a try later this year. Did you need two bags of wipes for the avalanche?

I used most of the inner application packets from two packages of the trim product.

There may have been one or two packets left over.

An EXT or an Avalanche with the painted upper cladding can easily get by with one package that contains 10 inner packets with several inner packets left over.

I used a total of two packages to treat my EXT, cladded Avalanche and my wife's GMC Acadia.

I bought the 2 vehicle kit of the headlight restoration product to treat my EXT and my wife's Acadia.

One full kit for each vehicle.

I just bought all new front lights for my Avalanche when I bought the truck since the old OEM lights were in pretty bad shape.
 

Massey

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Joined
Jan 11, 2009
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150
Location
Tacoma, WA
I treated so far 2 of my new panels with the Cerakote Trim Restore. So far the results are ok. The #1 panel was not too bad overall and right after the wipe was applied, it looked great, but as it sat a while longer it turned a bit chalky again. Not bad, definitely better than before, but still showing some age. The #2 panel has so far stayed much darker overall even though it was in the same condition. My #3 panel is the worst of my bunch, but mainly because it had some oil spilled on it. I got it all clean, but my cleaning Changed the oxidize a bit, so it will be interesting to see if this evens out at all.
 

Massey

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Jan 11, 2009
Messages
150
Location
Tacoma, WA
Ok so 3 panels are treated and all 3 look way better than before, but I think in a couple weeks a second treatment will really help. I even did the engine cover while I was at it. Sorry no pics yet I am still working on the gaskets still. I got the goo cleaned out of two of the 4 gaskets, and I’m working on a 3rd one now. I will be gluing the gaskets back on with some 3M weatherstrip adhesive. It almost looks like the factory adhesive was just some seam sealer. Right now the stuff is dry and flakey and actually pretty easy to get out. Well back to work...
 

Massey

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Jan 11, 2009
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Tacoma, WA
I finished the panels! I decided to glue the weatherstrips on with Window Weld, which for those who don’t know, is the stuff that sets your windshield glass into the car. The stuff is urethane and tough as nails. If this fails to seal, I risk ruining the weatherstripping but the panels should clean up nice again. Anyway here is the results, and like I said above, panel #1 needs a bit more help.

A1F66ABE-5E5F-4869-AB75-968E128A42C8.jpeg
 

SasquatchUK

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May 15, 2021
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Installed the Dee Zee DZ43102 Tailgate assist on the 2013 avalanche.

just to note this model isn‘t an exact fit to the 2013, maybe it fits better on the earlier years🤷‍♂️
The strut was about a 1/4” shorter than it needed to be and cause the strut to bottom out before the cables took up the load.
This was an easy fix I drilled and slotted the upper bracket to allow for this and now we have a nice fit. The strut still has a little travel left while the cables take the load of the tailgate.

I will post some pics when I’m Allowed if anyone else is wondering and needs a visual 😀
 

5 Star Av

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Aug 6, 2019
Messages
42
Location
Charleston, WV
I gave my son and his friend a sawzall and had them cut up the bad panels to recycle. They had fun with it. So today I started cleaning up the good panels. I was able to get the oil out of the grain, and on one of my panels there are some pretty messed up gouges. The gouges have turned the plastic white, but after I took my hot air solder wand to them and semi melted the surface of the panel, the gouges turned back to dark grey and the sun faded parts also changed back to grey. It’s time consuming using the solder wand but it’s a non chemical conversion back to normal.

I need a UV stabilizer for my panels, anyone have any ideas?

So I also tried Maguire’s trim restorer. It worked pretty ok but left the surface of the panel with an oily feel. Not sure I’m gonna like it. So I also got most of the old weatherstrip glue off the panels, but now I need to clean the rubber strips and clean the old glue out of them too. I’m not looking forward to this part... When I get done, I should have freshly sealed weatherstrip that will hopefully be leak free.
You do realize this was posted over 11 years ago, right? Just sayin, it’s either fixed, replaced or the guy moved on by now.

I was in the middle of typing a response to an 8 yr old question myself, not yet realizing the age, and just happened to scroll to see if anyone else answered it when I saw this lol...


I used most of the inner application packets from two packages of the trim product.

There may have been one or two packets left over.

An EXT or an Avalanche with the painted upper cladding can easily get by with one package that contains 10 inner packets with several inner packets left over.

I used a total of two packages to treat my EXT, cladded Avalanche and my wife's GMC Acadia.

I bought the 2 vehicle kit of the headlight restoration product to treat my EXT and my wife's Acadia.

One full kit for each vehicle.

I just bought all new front lights for my Avalanche when I bought the truck since the old OEM lights were in pretty bad shape.

This has been the single biggest issue I've had with my truck in 6.5yrs.. Tried multiple different wipe on treatments=some two part some single wipe, light sanding, heat gun, and prayer; and honestly nothing worked for more than two or three months. There were a lot that looked better than others immediately after, but faded fast. The only two I DONT recommend: 1.heat gun -and- 2.Wipe New, unless your plastics are in perfect condition, because it left a hard slick clear coat over my lovely spotty grayish finish that took forever to wear off!

A couple months ago, I finally decided to go all in and make the trucks most unsightly flaw it's best looking(or try to anyway). I pulled all of the (supposed to be) black plastic trim pieces/panels off the truck and prepped then painted them with rattle can Dupli-color Bumper and Trim paint. Kind of long process but absolutely phenomenal result so far! Two months in and showing zero signs of UV faded or scuff damage. Curious to see how summer sun and fun treat the finish. If it still looks this good at my first football pregame I'll probably spray them with some matte or satin clear coat and call it done! (process from here on):

Pulled the 3rd break light trim, inner and outer sail panels, storage lids, vents, tailgate spoiler, and panels, along with the mirrors(after multiple 6 month plastidip attempts), and the lower windshield cowling(around wipers and antenna); everything black plastic on mine except door handles and grill. This isn't for the faint of heart lol, esp the sail panels, spoiler and those little vents. It is loud and they flex a lot and your going to break some so **tip- do not attempt in cold air (< 55)** .....and be prepared to make some minor repairs as needed. I read somewhere that if one was super careful they could do it without breaking more than a couple of the retainer clips, so knowing myself, I purchased 30 for about $1.00 a piece from a local Body Shop Supply Store **tip- don't waste time on CHEAP Amazon clips at .10cents a piece** in advance and only broke 11 lol. An 18" prybar covered in tape was my most effective method, placing the tip near where I thought a clip was located and prying off the body produced the least damage **tip- only pry off body in areas that are behind trim and will be hidden by the trim panels just in case. Also, I broke 4-5 out of about 50 total of the little clip position towers or horseshoe shaped clip holder areas or whatever you want to call them on the backsides of the trim pieces as expected. Those were repaired easily with JB Weld for plastics, wood clamps, a couple wood blocks, and a few hours of dry time **tip- indoors= dehumidifier exhaust air speeds ALL drying, prob 10x faster than rice for a phone/electronics. outside= the good old fashioned awesomeness of hot sunlight works even better than dehumid.
To be honest once everything was off it was a little overwhelming, so unless you have the cleaning and drying space and have zero anxiety issues, I recommend doing a few pieces at a time. Cleaning every corner and crevice of all those pieces at once felt extremely tedious but it was necessary as prep is the most important part of any paint job period. Then it all needs wet-scuffed with Scotch Brite or similar 600 grit pads, some type of gritty rubbing compound and warm water; theoretically you could start with the scuffing, it just depends on the condition of the trim pieces. But, if you're OCD(like the author of this novel) and lose sleep over having to do something again because you didn't do it correctly the first time= clean it before and after you scuff it. **tip- before final wash is the time to do any repairs or minor sanding to any beat up areas on side you're going to paint, honestly would only do this to the highest visibility areas like outer sail panels and mirrors, Then laid out about 40sqft of plastic in my driveway started wiping down 6-8 pieces at a time with denatured alcohol. Next was 2 light coats, 3 in a few areas, of adhesion promoter. Then 2 light coats, 3 in some areas, and a final medium coat of the Dupli-color product. **tip= a light coat is not a total covering, it's an approx 60-75% coverage, if item is white and I'm painting it blue you will still see some event scattered white after coat 1. **tip shake the $hit out of the cans before beginning and every four or five passes **tip- watch a video or 3 on proper spraying gun or rattle can painting techniques if you need to

Well that got out of control in a hurry lol, in fact I need to copy and paste that in the "plastics finish/repair" isle! Going to link a couple pics and do that now
 

Raekal

Full Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2021
Messages
226
Location
Flint, Mi
How you break yours loose??
Mine eventually turned into a nub and I had to pump fluid in through axle hole
If it's to the point where it's rounded out, you'll have to be committed to removing it by drilling it and using a bolt extractor to get it out of there.

Then toss it and install a new one.

Alternatively, some guys tack weld a bolt or socket to the end of the plug and use that instead. You just have to be careful not to weld the threads to each other. xD

Or deal with it as-is. There can be some other solutions, but these are the most universal that i know of
 
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