Refreshing Mirror Heads - Defender Source
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  #1  
Old December 7th, 2009, 11:44 PM
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Refreshing Mirror Heads

A few times I have suggested to people that they use a heat gun to restore their faded plastic and rubber trim and I always get the same funny look. So I decided I would do everyone a favor and show you how to freshen up your ugly faded mirror heads in about 10 minutes for less than $20 WITHOUT the use of any snake oil products.

First, if you do not own a heat gun you need to buy one. I got my cheap chinese made piece of shit from Harbor Freight Tools for something like $9.95. No a hair dryer is not cool.

Second, the parts you are gonna work on need to be clean. I suggest you NOT use simple green for this as it has a tendency to really soften up rubber and plastic if you mix it to strong, where a citrus based cleaner like Orange Miracle, Orange Blast, etc will work great.

Third, make sure the part is dry, if you try to heat it with water drops on it or water in the crevices you will NOT get even results.

The rest is pretty simple... easiest way is to show you.

While using the heat gun, keep in mind it is like an airbrush. Hold it too long in one spot and things are gonna get runny. It helps to use it all over to sort of "preheat" the part and if its a larger part, work slowly in sections for even results.

The mirror looks ten years younger after the heat treatment and since you dont use any stupid juices or armor all style shit on it, it will look great rain or shine. Using a UV protectant like 303 on it will keep it from fading again, but if it does ever fade again it is super easy to freshen up again.
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  #2  
Old December 8th, 2009, 01:59 AM
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very nice
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  #3  
Old December 11th, 2009, 12:28 PM
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Thumbs up

I wonder if that will work on my f-up'd fender flares...
good info!
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  #4  
Old December 11th, 2009, 04:40 PM
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I thought the same, but the plastic the flares are made of feels different. I get the feeling it might not work.
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  #5  
Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:38 PM
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Thanks Joel

Found another use for this technique I learned from you. Now I can get a few more seasons out of these crappy patio chairs that I found in the alley a few years ago!

FWIW, it was not easy to make it an even surface and I did not spend much time on prep. But now you can sit in them without your ass turning green. Downsides, pretty powerful fumes from the plastic and it took me about a half hour of valuable weekend time to do each one. Next time I will just buy new chairs but this was more fun.

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  #6  
Old March 22nd, 2010, 01:48 PM
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Can we use a hair dryer?
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  #7  
Old March 29th, 2010, 03:27 PM
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Think it will it work on Disco fender flares, at least to smooth them out.l

Wonder if it will fade the gloss fender flares faster than the sun.
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  #8  
Old March 29th, 2010, 07:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aosias View Post
Think it will it work on Disco fender flares, at least to smooth them out.l

Wonder if it will fade the gloss fender flares faster than the sun.
Not once they have started degrading. If the surface is smooth it might yeild a small result though. Works great on Freelander, Jeep Grand Cherokees, etc.
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  #9  
Old March 29th, 2010, 07:18 PM
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lol thats pretty cool, can we do this on the D90 flares?
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  #10  
Old March 29th, 2010, 07:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crown14 View Post
Not once they have started degrading. If the surface is smooth it might yeild a small result though. Works great on Freelander, Jeep Grand Cherokees, etc.
Sandpaper and bumber paint it will be. Maybe Neil will test it out on his D90 flares and let us know
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  #11  
Old March 29th, 2010, 08:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aosias View Post
Sandpaper and bumber paint it will be. Maybe Neil will test it out on his D90 flares and let us know
Well now I'm kinda scared to do the flares because then I gotta do all 4 lol.
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A guy told me one time "don't let yourself get attached to anything you are not willing to walk out on in 30 seconds flat if you feel the heat from around the corner"

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  #12  
Old March 30th, 2010, 09:37 AM
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Some plastics don't re-melt, they just burn, so this technique does not work on all plastics. Those that they do work on, however...very cool.
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  #13  
Old March 30th, 2010, 10:37 AM
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great video Joel,
better than the rattle can way any day......
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  #14  
Old March 30th, 2010, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil McCauley View Post
Well now I'm kinda scared to do the flares because then I gotta do all 4 lol.
Never thought Neil would be a sissy
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  #15  
Old March 30th, 2010, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aosias View Post
Sandpaper and bumber paint it will be. Maybe Neil will test it out on his D90 flares and let us know
It wont work on 90 flares, tried it. Also wont work on SW 3rd brake lamp covers, P38/DII door handles, etc.
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  #16  
Old March 31st, 2010, 01:02 PM
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good video. What kind of tires are you running on that beast?
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