How to Repair Plastic Trim

1. Before you toss that broken plastic trim piece, why not try to stitch it back together? Our Volkswagen Rabbit GTI came with a broken A-pillar cover. Since parts for these cars are getting harder to find, we decided to just fix what we had. Here’s our problem: an A-pillar trim piece that had snapped in half, perhaps from being tightened too much.

2. Start the work by roughening the back side of the repair area. A Dremel tool or just plain sandpaper works well.

3. Fabricate a splint of some sort from steel or plastic. Clean the area and mix up some quick-drying, two-part epoxy. Our personal favorite is Fasco Epoxo 88.

4. After taping up the good side of the plastic (the side that will remain visible), cover the back side of the repair with the epoxy. Fill in the gaps from edge to edge.

5. Remove the tape to reveal your repaired piece of plastic trim. If using a dark-colored epoxy, you might not even need to paint. In our case, we hit the repair with a spot of putty and then dusted it with black trim paint.

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sllewwp
sllewwp
8/4/20 2:55 p.m.

ABS parts can be repaired with ABS cement, which bonds better and is more flexible.

Mr_Asa
Mr_Asa Dork
8/4/20 3:02 p.m.

ABS parts (which are most interior parts for the last 30-odd years) can also be repaired by melting ABS in acetone and then spreading on as a replacement for the epoxy.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/4/20 3:55 p.m.
Mr_Asa said:

ABS parts (which are most interior parts for the last 30-odd years) can also be repaired by melting ABS in acetone and then spreading on as a replacement for the epoxy.

That's how I repair my CRX fenders. Shred a chunk of ABS pipe, melt it in acetone and use fibreglass mesh (like drywall repair tape) for structure.

Danny Shields (Forum Supporter)
Danny Shields (Forum Supporter) HalfDork
1/11/22 10:23 a.m.

Thanks, all good info. I have a cracked Ford truck dashboard to try it on.   

Keith, what do you use to shred the ABS pipe?  

I presume you could do the same thing with any old pieces of ABS parts that might be laying around.

BillKeksz
BillKeksz New Reader
1/11/22 1:37 p.m.

Denim soaked with gel superglue has worked a couple times for me.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/85oWj27HVd3itq3UA

 

Tim Suddard
Tim Suddard Publisher
1/13/22 6:22 p.m.

Great tips! Thanks guys.

Randy_Forbes
Randy_Forbes New Reader
1/16/22 9:32 a.m.

Two (2) words: Hot Stapler!

I hate plastic parts on cars, and they all have them__except my '57 Healey & '67 MGB GT__so I have come to terms with them.  Even when using adhesives (glue, epoxy, whatever the material requires) I still use the hot staples for mechanical retention.

Shop around, as prices can vary wildly: Hot Stapler Plastic Repair Kit - Rechargeable - EZRED 

Most popular nowadays are cordless units, but my decade-old 120 volt (EZ Red brand) has never been a problem, though I've not attempted to use it in the field either.  Dent Fix DF-400BR Hot Stapler - Basic Plastic Repair Tool (jbtools.com)

Second useful plastic repair tool in this little welding kit: Polyvance 5700HT Mini Weld Model 7 Airless Plastic Welder , Red - - Amazon.com

Once armed with both of these tools, you'll be able to make plastic repairs as good as you can build an engine, or swap a set of shocks!

 

Toebra
Toebra Dork
1/28/22 6:34 p.m.

Shred ABS with a cheese grater

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