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Old 12-02-2007, 11:02 PM   #1
M0derator Monkey
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Fan#: 51724
Location: Sonora, CA
What I Drive: '04 ZX3 D23

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How to replace broken plastic tabs

I couldn't find a thread for this, and I needed to do it myself, so here ya go

How to replace a broken-off plastic tab on the back of a standard ZX3 grill:

What you'll need:
- paper or cardboard *see bottom of instructions for optional template method
- pencil
- tube of Quiksteel Plastic Repair putty
- cheap butterknife
- wet rag (water keeps the putty from sticking to your fingers)
- 60 grit sandpaper
- rubbing alcohol
- small clean dry rag
- black paint (flat black aerosol primer worked for me)
- masking tape and paper

Good side

Busted side

Use pencil and paper/cardboard to trace out the good side

Set the paper on glass and back-light it so you can trace the outline and use it to replace what's missing

Thoroughly clean the whole area to be fixed. I used rubbing alcohol. Use a small drill bit and drill a bunch of holes at the edge of the break, then use the sandpaper to rough up the area (front, back, and sides)

Grab your Quiksteel plastic repair and follow its instructions for preparing the putty for use.

Apply the putty onto the plastic so it covers the holes you drilled, and push the putty into the holes. Then start forming the putty to replace missing plastic. It will take a couple minutes for it to start setting, but when it does it will set up pretty fast. When it starts to set use your template as a guide to form the putty into the correct shape. Don't worry if it's not thick enough, you can add more later. For now just fit it to the template. Use your knife to trim any excess from the edges instead of trying to push the extra back in. Let it set for about 10 minutes and then you can add more if you need to bulk it up.

Let it harden for 20-30 minutes and then sand it to the proper shape. If you have a dremel tool, that would be a lot faster and easier than sanding by hand. When you're happy with the shape use your template and drill your hole.

Wipe off any dust, tape it up to avoid overspray, and paint!

I did a pretty quick job, so the putty was a little thicker than I would have liked, but it's hidden from view and it works

*optional method for a template (I though of this after I was done and it will probably work better)
Instead of paper, use some thin cardboard for the stencil (like from a cereal box), cut it out, and tape it securely to the bottom side of the plastic. That way your template won't move and it'll be easier to get your putty in the right size and shape.

Hope this helps someone out there!

15.07 @ 93.49 Team Duratec #149
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