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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone with a first generation Xterra already knows what this thread is about. Our bumpers and trim look terrible after years of sun damage. Anyone tried anything that works?

I've been watching YouTube videos, and I've seen some pretty convincing results from a few different methods, but I want to know if anyone has tried them specifically on the Xterra. Several videos showed that a heat gun miraculously removes the oxidation and brings color back, but all of the footage seems to be on textured plastic, and our grills are smooth plastic. Many products are available (back to black, etc.), but they seem to be a temporary coating that only lasts a few weeks. One guy is trying to sell a product that visibly dissolves the oxidation that simply wipes off, but I'm skeptical. I just tried some rubbing compound that does a pretty good job but leaves some fine scratches and requires a lot of elbow grease. A guy at the local parts store showed me a bumper that he painted with a specialized rattle can, and it looks damn good (but once again, it was textured plastic). Can anyone show from experience and pics that their method worked?
 

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I kind of like the weathered look of mine. It's a good way to set it apart from all the mall crawlers ;)
 

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Interesting. I rubbed mine down with armorall or some such this weekend to see how it worked, but its clearly a temp fix. I would lean towards painting them with a paint that adheres to plastic, myself.
 

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Interesting. I rubbed mine down with armorall or some such this weekend to see how it worked, but its clearly a temp fix. I would lean towards painting them with a paint that adheres to plastic, myself.
Just wash them off (water, dry, then rubbing alcohol), sand them a fair amount, wash again, and then pretty much any good quality paint (ex. Rustoleum) will stay on if you do a good job. The bedliner wasn't "plastic adhering" and its held up great through 100-10 degree weather.
 

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Good to know. I was looking at Rustoleums plastic paint when at Home Depot this last weekend. They had a matte black that I thought would look pretty good. I have MANY other problems I need to address before I get there tho. :)
 

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I used bedliner and the only regret I have is that removing the occasional stray swipe of wax is very difficult. A buddy of mine in the jeep community uses krylon satin black and it looks really nice.
 

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Rustoelum satin black spray paint. I taped everything on my truck up with newpaper etc to make sure it didnt get on my paint. Came out well and has held up well for over a year now.
 

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It's just got a pml and 31x10.50 r15s. I just got some 32s for it and sitting in the shop right now while they are installing them. Can't wait to see it with bigger tires.
 

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It's just got a pml and 31x10.50 r15s. I just got some 32s for it and sitting in the shop right now while they are installing them. Can't wait to see it with bigger tires.
Nice. Looks good. About to PML mine. I'd like to see the 32s one they are on, esp if your installing them with just the PML.
 

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Changed mine to 31s instead of 32s to make new frontend fit in my budget. Too much play in my front end to get a good alignment so had some agressive 31s put on. My front tires where camber worn so i had them fix my camber problem and got a year of alignments for free cause of the wait. And i thought with the play 32s or 33s would make that front end problem seem alot worse. Driving it isnt bad doesnt pull hard and wheel is straight when driving straight. Mechanic tryed telling me my wheel was gonna be side ways and my truck would pull very hard all over which it doesnt lol i think they where just trying to make money off me. Other than that these 31s look bigger without a whole inch of tread missing. Got a great deal on some primewell valera a/t and all the pics online make the tread look small in person though there alot more aggressive than my bfg all terrains. But it was like 561 bucks out the door for the tires i couldnt refuse it. Everyone else said buy the expensive tire and i was like sureee right me a check and ill buy whichever ones you want me to lol. Other than that ill take a pic tonight of the new 31s. And the old rides like a caddy saying isnt nothing anymore... Cause mine rides better than a caddy now litterally rides smoother than my uncles lincoln mkz. Very impressed.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Wow! Totally forgot that I posted this thread. Thanks for the input everyone. Here is what I learned. Rubbing compound works remarkably well at bringing back the original color of plastic parts, but it is labor intensive. My plan is to remove all of the parts and gently buff them down to their original color. If I'm not satisfied with the results, then I will use paint. The word online is that the paint will only be good for about 4 years, and you have to do it again (except maybe in the case of bedliner stuff). I'm going to take some before and after pics for those who may be interested.
 

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Wow! Totally forgot that I posted this thread. Thanks for the input everyone. Here is what I learned. Rubbing compound works remarkably well at bringing back the original color of plastic parts, but it is labor intensive. My plan is to remove all of the parts and gently buff them down to their original color. If I'm not satisfied with the results, then I will use paint. The word online is that the paint will only be good for about 4 years, and you have to do it again (except maybe in the case of bedliner stuff). I'm going to take some before and after pics for those who may be interested.
I'm going to give buffing with compound a go myself before painting. Any idea where the "flare seals" can be purchased at a reasonable price? Mine have shrunk and warped from weather and UV exposure.
 

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Problem is with that as i used to be a detailer at a ford dealer was that after maybe 2-8 months depending on the conditions it would fade back to how it was.
 

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Okay, I know a lot of people on the forums are about RIGHT NOW results so this isn't exactly for you.

Turtle Wax makes an oil that reconditions the plastic and that is what causes it to go back to being black again.

Now, the fun part is this is only temporary. Within about a year it begins to fade again. HOWEVER, if you reapply every year (or heck, every 6 months if you're so bold) then eventually the plastic will actually become black again. I have applied this stuff now for 2 years and now I'm noticing that the plastic doesn't ever fade back as badly as it did before. Yes it isn't as crisp black after a year or so, but it's still not even 1/10th as faded as it used to be. So for those of you that want a solution that actually FIXES the problem and doesn't just cover it up with paint (no offense) then this is the ONLY route to go.

I'm not affiliated with Turtle Wax or anything, I'm just that impressed with the results. I mean honestly it made EVERYTHING look new again after 2 years of application. Including the cowl cover under the wiper arms. This works similar to the peanut butter trick that gloo2 talked about. Because all the peanut butter did was allow the plastic to reabsorb some oils and restore the appearance. The Turtle Wax product is just a deeper and longer lasting oil that penetrates better.
 
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