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I've heard about and read about but never seen the technique performed for "Renewing Plastic" so I thought I would give it a try. I figured I would start off small with something simple but I guess even if it's small, it can still be tricky.

SAFETY NOTICE: Plastic parts can be flammable as well as residue left behind such as oil and gasoline.. Thoroughly clean items prior to using this process. Use all common sense safety practices such as adequate ventilation, fire extinguisher and applicable safety gear.

Have fun and be safe!

First, you need a heat gun, mine was a HF 9.99 special with coupon ;)


I chose a dipstick that the plastic had UV damage on. First I cleaned it up with purple power and a nylon brush to clean off any grease and dead powdery plastic. The next thing I did was apply heat from the heat gun by holding the gun @2-3" from the item on high while continuing to move the gun back and forth slowly. You can see the whitish powdery surface smooth out and darken up. Do not hold the gun in any one spot to long or it will melt. I also found when you are dealing with items with sharp, defined edges it is difficult to get the areas closest to the raised edges. Do not expect to speed through this or you will damage your item, take your time and be patient.


This was the finished item. This was my first attempt at this process but certainly not my last! You can see that the raised edges did loose some of the sharp definition but overall it looked 100% better. I believe a gas tank restoration might have been easier as it would have been smooth for the most part without a lot of raised letters on them.


SAFETY NOTICE: Plastic parts can be flammable as well as residue left behind such as oil and gasoline.. Thoroughly clean items prior to using this process. Use all common sense safety practices such as adequate ventilation, fire extinguisher and applicable safety gear.

Have fun and be safe!
 

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Nice results Bruce. Does that heat gun have more than one setting? If it does, which of them did you use, the higher or lower?
 

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I've done this extensively on Old Lawn-Boy cowlings, With Mixed results.

I tend to find, Put it oh high and come from far away, Going in sweeping motions.. Rather than putting it on low and going close.

-Stan :ThumbUp:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Nice results Bruce. Does that heat gun have more than one setting? If it does, which of them did you use, the higher or lower?
The heat gun has a high and low. I used the high setting and moved the gun back and forth (sweeping motion). The trick is to get the surface temp just hot enough to cause the residual dried plastic on the surface to melt but not puddle other wise you'll end up with shiny, distorted spots. As far as the distance from the surface will depend on the heat gun, the item and environmental conditions such as temperature, windy conditions etc. So @2-3 " on high is what worked for me on this part.
 
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