Fix for Flaked-Off Clear Coat on Rear C-Pillars - DodgeIntrepid.Net Forums - Dodge Intrepid, Concorde, 300m and Eagle Vision chat
 
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 08:15 AM Thread Starter
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Fix for Flaked-Off Clear Coat on Rear C-Pillars

On early first generation Intrepids, the clear coat on the black plastic covers over the rear C-pillars often gets crusty and completely or partially flakes off. The plastic "applique" has a dull matte finish that doesn't look good. There is a fairly easy way to improve the look of the pillars that does not require removal and repainting with clear coat paint for plastic.

If the clear coat is only partially flaked off, the remainder can be removed with FINE wet or dry automotive sandpaper like 600 grit (with water), or just with regular automotive rubbing compound if it is no longer bonded well to the plastic. Mask off all the adjacent areas on the car with wide multiple layers of easy-release blue painter's tape or you will scratch up the paint and glass. However, you must use a light touch with the abrasives or you could scratch up the plastic and make things look worse. For example, do not use regular sandpaper or it will leave bad scratches. However, even if you don't remove the remaining clear coat areas you can still improve the pillars by just going on to the next easy step.

You can't remove scratches or a dull finish on plastics with normal abrasives. They tend to just make the surface duller looking. However, there are plastic polishing compounds made by Novus that work. These are available from Amazon.com. Just search "Novus" under the Automotive section. Some auto parts stores may also have the Novus kits. For the pillars you only need the two-part kit with the Novus #3 Heavy Scratch Remover and the #2 Fine Scratch Remover. You don't need the kit with the #1 Plastic Clean & Shine for the pillars. The 7057 kit with 2 oz bottles (about $9) may be enough, but the 7056 kit is usually just a few dollars more for 8 oz bottles (and you can use it for polishing lots of other plastic stuff). You can also spend a few more dollars and get one of the other Novus kits with the bottle of Clean & Shine. It is a plastic cleaner that removes the polish that also leaves a thin protective film.

Also buy a spray bottle of Armor-All Ultra Shine rubber/plastic protectant. It is available for less than on Amazon at Wal-Mart or auto parts stores. Regular Armor-All protectant will also work if you have some, but it will be a little less shiny.

The work is messy and wet so wear old clothes.

If you haven't removed the remaining clear coat, first use a stiff toothbrush or other small plastic bristle brush to remove any loose flaking clear coat. Then wash the pillar off with liquid dish soap and water and dry.

Mask off all the adjacent painted panels with easy-release blue painter's tape and a couple of layers of newspaper to protect the paint. You can also open the rear door to make things easier, but cover the rear seat well with a waterproof sheet like a plastic picnic tablecloth.

Follow the instructions in the Novus kit to polish the plastic. By the way, Novus calls call it a polishing "kit" because they also give you one fiber polishing rag, but you can use any clean soft cotton rag. A tight-weave rag like from a pair of cotton pants works well. A soft towel rag will absorb too much of the polish. You can wrap the rag around a firm sponge or a stiff piece of packing foam to make the polishing a little easier.

First try the fine scratch remover to see if that can give you good results. However, on my pillars the surface was quite rough so I had to use the heavy scratch remover first. It takes some effort with the two polishing compounds and a cloth. If there are any scratches in the plastic, first polish at a right angle to the scratches with the heavy scratch remover.

With some effort (and a tired arm) you should be able to polish the bare plastic areas well enough with the Novus so you can see your reflection. You can also polish the remaining clear coat areas. Now wash the pillar off again with clean soapy water to remove all the polishing residue. Dry and buff the pillar with a soft cloth.

Mask off the remaining clear coat area and apply the Armor-All per the directions. Don't put the Armor-All on the remaining clear coat or it will just leave a milky film. The Armor-All will leave a shiny finish on the plastic and also protect it from sunlight deterioration. However, you should periodically re-apply the Armor-All to the pillar to maintain protection. It is good to also use it on other exposed outside rubber parts like the window rubber seals and door weatherstrip.

Armor-All can also be used on interior plastic like the dashboard to protect it from becoming brittle. However, it will make the surface shiny and slick-feeling so don't use it on things you touch like interior door handles.

Last edited by pt500; 11-19-2011 at 12:15 PM. Reason: clarify
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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 09:02 AM
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maybe armour all is good for something,, thanks for the tip,
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 10:14 AM
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i been using back to black from mothers. Works wonders on that stuff and door belt trims on the outside of the car
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 12:03 PM
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Yea, the ArmourAll being used inside I can't endorse - but maybe on the outside.

I wonder about using the polish, then painting with clear... I don't know for sure how the clear would stick to the polished black?
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 04:47 PM
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Just curious what you do use for the inside? (Not to get too far off topic)
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 05:14 PM
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Personally I use a non scented baby wipe. Learned that trick while borrowing a friends car after having a baby, and to pay him back, my then wife and I detailed is car for him. I have since then used baby wipes exclusively.

Might be wrong, but they don't seem to destroy the dash, damage the color or finish, harm your hands, make things slippery, gooey, or broken, are GREAT at taking out spilled pop stains on hard or semi-hard surfaces, take out some dirt and stains in the cloth and carpet (don't expect miracles here, but yes, it gets some), and when the baby wipe is done, you throw it away.

Not only those things, but my dad has experienced (and by NO means is this scientific) that ArmourAll will eventually out-gas and deposit a layer of film on the inside of the windshield that can't be removed - only buffed... I've seen the film he's talking about, but I can't say if it was ArmourAll or not. I will say though - when he buys a car and does NOT allow ArmourAll to be used, he never has that film on the glass...
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 06:16 PM
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Interesting! Thanks for the great information. I take it the baby wipes just clean the surface and don't give a shine like Armor All does. What else is out there that will give a shine?

Interesting that you bring up the film on the windshield though. My dad's 96 Jeep Grand Cherokee has a film on the inside of the window that absolutely will not come off and he's been using Armor All exclusively since he's had the car.

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Originally Posted by cdmccul View Post
Personally I use a non scented baby wipe. Learned that trick while borrowing a friends car after having a baby, and to pay him back, my then wife and I detailed is car for him. I have since then used baby wipes exclusively.

Might be wrong, but they don't seem to destroy the dash, damage the color or finish, harm your hands, make things slippery, gooey, or broken, are GREAT at taking out spilled pop stains on hard or semi-hard surfaces, take out some dirt and stains in the cloth and carpet (don't expect miracles here, but yes, it gets some), and when the baby wipe is done, you throw it away.

Not only those things, but my dad has experienced (and by NO means is this scientific) that ArmourAll will eventually out-gas and deposit a layer of film on the inside of the windshield that can't be removed - only buffed... I've seen the film he's talking about, but I can't say if it was ArmourAll or not. I will say though - when he buys a car and does NOT allow ArmourAll to be used, he never has that film on the glass...
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 11-14-2011, 06:22 PM
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Dunno - I know that we've discussed it before, and there were products from Mother's I think for the shine. ArmourAll is silicone based, and it ends up drying out the vinyl and plastic and causes the cracks it is suppose to keep from happening (probably comes from not using it often enough). I personally don't want it to shine and sparkle, so I've never investigated it.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 07-02-2012, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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I decided to write this C-pillar polishing fix up as a brief "How-To" in the 1st Gen section. There are a lot of 1st Gens out there that still look decent except for the C-pillars.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 09-30-2012, 04:47 AM
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all the pillar trim on my 2000 r/t looked crusty like what you are talking about....so working at a collision/autobody repair shop we paint vehicles daily. I taped my black door trim off with 2" masking/paint tape, papered the area around it with 16" paper and plastic sheeted the entire rest of the car for ZERO overspray....I used red scotchbrite pads and scuffed all the black trim. That removed all of the remaining clear and the crusty flaking clear as well. I then used a product called Prepsol, which is by 3m to remove all dust and debris and its alcohol based so it dries after a few minutes. I then tack ragged the entire area to be painted and used a can of 3M automotive trim spray and gave it about 10 coats starting very thin to ending with a nice heavy coat. The paint has clear already mixed inside of it so I didn't have to clearcoat it afterwards. I then wet-sanded all painted areas starting at 1000 grit wet paper, then 1200 wet paper and finishing with 1500 wet paper. Then i used a buffer and buffed with purple and polished with white automotive pastes from 3M.....finished its mirror shiny and looks awesome in my opinion. Even when the car was 2 years old and I bought it the trim always looked crappy so when I 2-toned my car I repainted it the way I liked it...lol.....
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 10-02-2012, 06:18 PM
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Cool Water+Paper Towel= Clean Interior.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gardidien View Post
Just curious what you do use for the inside? (Not to get too far off topic)
I think that water and a paper towel do just fine for my interior. I have tried Windex on the interior side of the windshield, and it just attracts more grime. Might try the new stuff to see if they fixed the formula though . But I do think that the fact that water+paper towel being described in the Owners' Manual speaks wonders.
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