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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, relax, my Volt is fine. I'm talking about my daughter's car. She let the front end of the car get too close to a curb or something else immovable and part of the plastic trim on her bumper assembly is now hanging loose. She took it in for an estimate at a body shop and they want $700 to replace the entire bumper. I told her, just let me epoxy it back together.

So I'm posting here to ask, does anyone have any advice about gluing plastic trim on a car body? The piece in question is a flap about 6" by 4" and does not appear to have any function that I can see at all. It's firmly attached at the bottom but hangs free on the top and sides, where several little plastic clip-places are broken. I thought I would clean it all well, maybe abrade the inside of the flap for better adhesion, then liberally apply epoxy, and then tape the piece in place with gorilla tape. Any better products to use here than epoxy? Thanks for your suggestions.
 

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Epoxy could be too brittle for something with flexibility like a bumper? I'd try "Schluter KerdiFix" that comes in a caulking tube. It seems to stick to anything (fingers, clothing, plastic, wood, metal, etc.) and it's flexible when cured (a few hours). It's meant for sealing and gluing flexible "KerdiBoard" polyethylene shower wall substrate systems. Not solvent-based, it will also glue foam. Available at some tile stores for about $21 a tube or amazon for more. https://www.amazon.com/Schluter-Kerdi-Grey-Sealant-9-81OZ/dp/B0057GJ99A
 

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Need a photo to visualize what we are trying to fix here.

If it's hidden away underneath the lip of the car, can't be seen, and seems to serve no purpose as you mentioned...sometimes just removing it is easier depending on the overall condition of the car, and how much the owner cares. ;)
 

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Okay, relax, my Volt is fine. I'm talking about my daughter's car. She let the front end of the car get too close to a curb or something else immovable and part of the plastic trim on her bumper assembly is now hanging loose. She took it in for an estimate at a body shop and they want $700 to replace the entire bumper. I told her, just let me epoxy it back together.

So I'm posting here to ask, does anyone have any advice about gluing plastic trim on a car body? The piece in question is a flap about 6" by 4" and does not appear to have any function that I can see at all. It's firmly attached at the bottom but hangs free on the top and sides, where several little plastic clip-places are broken. I thought I would clean it all well, maybe abrade the inside of the flap for better adhesion, then liberally apply epoxy, and then tape the piece in place with gorilla tape. Any better products to use here than epoxy? Thanks for your suggestions.
It works for NASCAR...:)
https://www.amazon.com/ISC-X-Flex-Repair-Racers-Tape/dp/B00DHSGIO4
 

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Two thoughts.

Add some fiberglass mat to the joint if there's space and it will be very strong.

If you can't glass, consider epoxy putty rather than liquid epoxy. You can shape a fillet joint, or maybe even rebuild the broken tabs. (I think it's just the coolest stuff!)
 

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"Tear Aid" and some washers embedded.
I use it to hold airplanes together. it'll do your car just fine.
 

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I bought a plastic welding kit a few years ago, use it once in a while. Like a flat soldering iron with a hole in it to feed new material.

I've fixed a few things, it can work. Regular gorilla glue is pretty good, it expands and gets all over everything but bonds to plastic pretty well. Put the two together maybe.

I took the bumper off my Nissan truck and put it on the ground and stomped on it to pop it back out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
By popular demand: a photo of the subject area

As you can see, well attached at the bottom, with some busted tabs at the top. IMG_7567.jpg
 

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To do a reliable repair you're going to have to pull the fascia. I'd skip the trouble of a repair and get a replacement to bolt on in this case. The surface of that part is trashed.
 

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If the current appearance of that panel doesn't bother the owner, I'd use a couple pop rivets to hold the panel firmly in place. You'd have to look closely to even notice them.
 

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That's a joke, right? "...just $19.99 plus $9.95 shipping and $9.99 processing." Hey, that's only $40, what a deal!

Actually I like the "pop rivets" suggestion. How do I do that? Is this an opportunity to buy an expensive tool that I'll never need again?
 

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One other thought as I continue to look at the picture. If you have access behind the the two slots for the broken tabs, can you figure a way to attach stainless safety wire to the broken tabs and thread through the slots. Then, twist the wire around a couple stainless machine screws and twist the screws to draw the piece up tight. That would give you a really strong fix and it would be totally invisible and easily reversible in the future. Gluing the two pieces together would be way down my list of approaches.
 

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Actually I like the "pop rivets" suggestion. How do I do that? Is this an opportunity to buy an expensive tool that I'll never need again?
Nope, a tool is only $5 from Harbor Freight. You'd hold the panel in place while drilling through both panels. If you have access to the back, you just insert the pop rivet, put a washer on the back and squeeze the tool. If you have no access to the back, you'd have to temporarily glue the washers to the back of the rear panel after drilling the holes, then push the panels into alignment, insert the rivet and squeeze.

I still like the safety wire best if you can attach it to the rear of the broken tabs and have rear access.
 

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That's a joke, right? "...just $19.99 plus $9.95 shipping and $9.99 processing." Hey, that's only $40, what a deal!

Actually I like the "pop rivets" suggestion. How do I do that? Is this an opportunity to buy an expensive tool that I'll never need again?
If you have any tools beyond a hammer, crescent wrench and a couple of screwdrivers, you NEED a pop rivet tool, and you can get one along with some pop rivets at Amazon Prime for less than $12.00! Depending on how soft the plastic is, you also might want to get some back-up washers for the size rivet you select (local hardware store item).
 
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