Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

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Brakes, Suspension, Carburetor, Bottom end, Top end, Chassis, Discontinued parts, Wheels, Plastic, Tools
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Sandblaster
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Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by Sandblaster » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:58 pm

Before you read any of this.... See this video then ignore everything I did.

http://youtu.be/n5JLhBEcROc

We receive these kinds of questions all the time.
How can I Restore Faded Plastic Motorcycle Fenders?
How can I Restore Sun Damaged Plastic on my Motorcycle?
How can I Restore Sun bleached Plastic on my Motorcycle?
Ect....
So, the question is, "Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new again?"
The simple and clearest answer is "No".
However, it can be made to look a whole lot better and we will show you how.
Here is our test subject:
DSCN6223.jpg
DSCN6223.jpg (884.41 KiB) Viewed 12389 times
As you can see, this fender has had a lot of abuse.
To bring back some life to this old dog I will NOT be using a razor blade.
I know that many people believe this to be the easiest method but it really scratches up the plastic and is very time consuming.
What I use is 00 fine steel wool with soapy water.
If your plastic is in really sad shape you may need to start with some heavier steel wool to cut through the white crust .
First, dip the steel wool into the soapy water and go to town on the plastic.
You don't need to push real hard.
In fact, the lighter you push the nicer it will look.
Also, stroke the plastic in the same direction.
When you are done, the plastic should look somewhat dull but the white crust should all be gone before you move on.
HEAT1.jpg
HEAT1.jpg (30.92 KiB) Viewed 12389 times
Before I move on, I thoroughly clean the fender with soap and water and then I like to use some Acetone on it just to be sure all the small particles are gone.
Once the fender is dry and free of contaminates I set my heat gun to about 800 degrees F.
You should do a small test area first to be sure you don't melt through your part :o
When you hold the gun in an area long enough you begin to see that the surface of the plastic is glossing up.
You don't want to hold the gun in one place too long as it can warp or melt through the plastic :oops:
I like to do long patches of the fender at one time and I like to work my heat gun in the direction that I stroked with the steel wool.
HEAT2.jpg
HEAT2.jpg (49.47 KiB) Viewed 12389 times
When you see the plastic starting to gloss up you think "Wow! This is going to look AWESOME!!!!
Then you get the big let down...
HEAT5.jpg
HEAT5.jpg (28.62 KiB) Viewed 12389 times
After the plastic cools completely you can apply your favorite plastic product.
Currently Aerospace protectant 303 is my favorite.
HEAT7.jpg
HEAT7.jpg (876.47 KiB) Viewed 12389 times
It does look better now then in the beginning.
Here is a before and after comparison:
FINAL COMPARISON.JPG
FINAL COMPARISON.JPG (37.16 KiB) Viewed 12389 times
As you can see we made a big difference in how this fender looks.
Of course, if you want your plastic to stay looking good, keep it clean and keep it out of the sun and it will look great for years.
I hope you found this info beneficial.
As always if you have any questions or would like to do your own product comparison, feel free to do so.
Thanks!
SB
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

81cr450
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Re: Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by 81cr450 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:36 pm

Cool write up . Been wondering what to do as my newly acquired 93 RMX is pretty hard to find plastic for. Have you ever tried the headlight polishing kit on plastic?

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Sandblaster
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Re: Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by Sandblaster » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:41 pm

No I have not.
I thought about it several times as well as using a soft cloth wheel on my buffer with a super fine buffing compound.
I have been wanting to buy some of that headlight repair stuff for a couple of vehicles that I own but I just haven't gotten around to doing it yet.
From everything I have read, the SYLVANIA Headlight Restoration Kit is the best.
Here's a YouTube vid of it:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWjSd__zidE
Let me know your thoughts..
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

81cr450
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Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2013 6:08 am

Re: Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by 81cr450 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 11:54 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWjSd__zidE

Just watched ^^ . My boss had something he got at the auto parts that was done with a buffer & I'm guessing the ultra fine compound type stuff in the video. Wonder if that could help after the steel wool. It seems your steel wool & torch has gotta leave less scratches than their sanding technique. I think the clear coat over what you've already come up with might be the trick.

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Sandblaster
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Re: Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by Sandblaster » Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:46 am

We'll see.
I just have to get some more time for all the testing :D
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

Onewheel
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Re: Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by Onewheel » Wed May 11, 2016 4:21 pm

I used some lighter fluid diesel would work also but was using it to take off some vinyl hit it with the heat gun and made my Xr 500's plastics look red again it seems to pull the color out of the original plastic .. Don't dare try it on the tanks though ..

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Re: Can your faded dirt bike plastic be made to look new?

Post by Sandblaster » Wed May 11, 2016 4:48 pm

Onewheel wrote:I used some lighter fluid diesel would work also but was using it to take off some vinyl hit it with the heat gun and made my Xr 500's plastics look red again it seems to pull the color out of the original plastic .. Don't dare try it on the tanks though ..
If you did try it on your tank you can empty the fuel, then fill it with water all the way to the top..
That would prevent any explosive action :D
Post some pics of the results of what you have done.
We would love to see it.
If bikes are for kids I'll never grow up.

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