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Discussion Starter #1
The front fascia under the bottom air intake is cracked all the way through and I think it will be easier to repair it than replace it although that is a thought.

Question; what kind of plastic is this and what glue do I use. The plastic/glue application information in the MM is more confusing than useful!

I presume it will need a compatible plastic backup doubler to hold?

I have plenty of experience with fibreglas but don't think it will hold to this plastic.

I may just end up using a wooden backer with screws since it is way down low out of sight.

Can heat be used to reshape this plastic where it is stretched? I've done a bit of plexiglas forming with heat which is a bit tricky also.
 

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First is to identify the plastic. They all use different methods for repair.
On the inside surface of the fascia there should be the molded 'recycle triangle' with the type of plastic used for the fascia in 2 or 3 letters (see the chart in the attached link). The proper repair method and finish will result is a successful and presentable repair.


http://www.bodyshopbusiness.com/Article/4129/proper_plastic_repair_procedures.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, that is a good reference.

Is painting any different? I always paint FG just the same as I do metal.
 

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Imperial,

Thanks, you're full of good info.

I temporarily covered the break with weatherproof clear tape and sprayed appliance epoxy white over it. Amazingly it cannot be seen from four feet away! I think epoxy paint is pretty flexible so it may work, the damaged areas are pretty small and down low out of sight.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I've made great progress on this rear dent which was at the LH top corner of the bumper fascia. A hit on the corner of the fascia apparently pushed the top of the corner down into a nice 1/2" deep dent and cracked the rounded edges of the corner.

I found a suggestion on the net to use boiling water in front and pressure with a stick of wood behind the dent which turns out to work amazingly well. The whole process of running hot water into the dent took maybe five minutes and a half gallon of water. After pushing out the dent from behind I ran cold water over it to fix it in place. It isn't perfect but will be when I clean it out, add epoxy filler and repaint.

The epoxy is in a NAPA Flex Bumper Repair Kit 765-1540 which I found on ebay for around $16. The nice thing about this kit is it is complete with spreader, mixing sticks, stainless mesh and each tube of epoxy/catalyst is 5oz rather than the less than 1/2 oz tubes found in other kits which are grossly overpriced.

If anyone is interested I'll post a couple of photos.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Finished the rear corner facia repair job today. It looks original from four feet but has a couple of small inperfections which I won't bother to correct. I used spray can epoxy appliance white for the finish since I know from using it on the nose of an airplane that it is pretty tough stuff and reasonably flexible.

I abandoned the hot water system after burning myself a couple of times and switched to an old hair dryer which is quicker and safer!

The NAPA epoxy in the kit is amazingly flexible. After applying it I again used the dryer to further push some kinks out of the fascia that I had missed earlier and the epoxy bent right along with the original plastic, I had expected it to pop out like old bondo.

All this is training for repairing the lower front fascia which is broken completely in half and will require backing up with stainless mesh. This promises to be a much more involved job but is down low out of sight.
 

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Good deal! Learn by doing.
Techniques and materials, learning what works and what doesn't.
I never thought that I could do body work and was always afraid of making it worse.
I would watch how the guys in the body shop would reform and paint car bodies, like sculpture and artistry you either have the skill or you don't. I could crash 'em pretty good, but had to go to them for help.
Lately I have dabbled in body work and have overcome my fears and the results while not perfect, have been very satisfactory.
If it looks good from 4 feet, you are doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've done quite a bit of metal body work patching over the years, even did a shrinking job on my Barracuda door once just to see if I could do it, but all the serious stuff goes to my local body guy.

This is my first experience with plastic even though I've used fiberglas many times to patch and back up metal work. However, this newer (to me) plastic is a whole different world and I'm learning - the front will be a much greater challenge. The thing that surprised me most was how well the plastic will return to its original shape with a bit of heat and some pushing with a wooden hammer handle! It takes a bit of patience and pushing in the right places but it works amazingly well. The finished job gives a real sense of accomplishment.

The flexibility of the NAPA epoxy is a real help, it is not brittle like the old bondo I have used although it may be a lot better now, I haven't done any other body work in years.

The appliance epoxy enamel goes on very thick and is exceptionally shiny, I don't even use primer with it. I spray the sanded bare spots very lightly, wait about half an hour and apply the final coat. Looks great and is very tough.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
One thing I forgot to mention is that an electric finish sander with 80 grit sandpaper works really well for feathering patched or chipped paint areas. It does not throw dust and debris all over the place like a disc sander is much safer safer. I also used a rubber hand block for finishing up with 150 grit just before painting.

So far the cracked front fascia is coming along pretty well, I've taken most of the dents and warps out and am about ready to back up the crack and fill it in. It has not been as difficult as I expected.
 

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I finally have the stainless steel/epoxy mesh reinforcement pieces on the back of the badly cracked front lower fascia in place so it is back to its original shape. I had to use small pieces and do a little at a time because it was so distorted and impossible to clamp, I just held it until it set! It also took quite a bit more heating and pushing to get all the bulges out and restore the flat parts but that is finally finished.

My wife took it away for a week so I have to wait to cut the groove into the crack, fill it with epoxy and repaint, but that is the easy part.

I also discovered that the small lower black plastic air dam is missing, I wondered what all those holes were for? Probably destroyed when the fascia was damaged. The dam has a very strange shape back under the radiator, there is far more plastic there than showing in front which makes it appear to be highly engineered, possibly concerning air flow around the engine? I have the air dam on order but so far haven't been able to find the push-in plastic fasteners that hold it. Any ideas for a source?
 

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IC,

Thanks, I can always count on you!
 

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I finished the front fascia repair today, looks pretty good but time will tell if it is going to hold. One of my first rear patches failed but I think it was because I didn't clamp it, I tried holding it until it set. The epoxy sets pretty fast, working time is only five min! I doubled the rear patch at the edge of the crack.

The fascia plastic is so thin that filling cracks is difficult and that is the part I'm least optimistic about.

Now all I have left is replacing the air dam, the first one arrived broken so another is on the way.

It may not be perfect but is way better looking than before and I've learned a bunch of new stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My repair job is now showing the blue epoxy filler/cement through the nice new white epoxy paint! I haven't driven it since the repair

I suspect the epoxy is more flexible than the paint since we just had a significant drop in overnight temps. . Maybe I got the paint too thick?

I won't be able to check it out for a couple of weeks due to another trip but have covered the blue crack with my old standby clear weatherproof tape and white paint.

Interesting!
 
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