Bonding fender flare to painted surface

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:48 am
I just noticed this morning that I’m missing an aftermarket fender flare on my Tahoe. It must have blew off again. It is a Bushwacker brand (Lund) “OE Style” flare set that closely matches the factory style. They look great and cover up fender rust creep. A great value. The problem is that the tape seems to fail. I had these painted and installed by my local body shop. It was actually cheaper to have them spray and mount them than it was for me to dick around with it.
The last time he mounted the missing flare, he double checked that the surface was prepped properly and used “better tape“ than the factory stuff that failed. And it happened again. Any recommendation on how to prevent this from happening a third time? 3M Body Panel Adhesive only 80-grit abraded surface?
https://www.dropbox.com/s/d847fi3l8mtzcbx/Photo%20Sep%2025%2C%2013%2041%2055.jpg?dl=0
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 1:29 pm
Yeah, you'd be fine with panel adhesive. I'd get those roughed up really well, hit them with a file if you have to....if the panel adhesive is costly consider a dual syringe of a 4 to 1 or 5 to 1 epoxy. You can batter it up with adhesive and put a few dots of super glue here and there which will act as "jigs" to hold it all while it cures. Most of this stuff takes a day or two to fully cure.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 2:45 pm
A couple of years ago we picked up a contract to replace factory flares on new vehicles with a bigger, more aggressive design that was, and is, all the rage here.

Should have been quick, easy and profitable work. But it wasn't. The aftermarket flares just used tape to secure around the edge that sat on the panel and the tape supplied was the fake 3M stuff. Coupled with panels that had been drenched in silicone during pre-delivery achieving a bond between the tape and the panel was next to impossible and maybe 50% of them came back for rework.

We tried new, genuine 3M tape with primer but without mechanical fastening even that failed, given that the moulding of the flares wasn't all that good and there were areas where the stresses on the tape were just too high, Obviously all panels were thoroughly treated with Prepsol and an alcohol cleaner.

In the end we just put a series of blobs of urethane between the flare and panel. Not a cheap solution using nearly a cartridge per flare but it worked and not one of those ever came back. I saw one, that had been in an accident, at another shop sometime later. The flare was all smashed and broken but where the urethane was the parts of the flare were still attached.
Chris

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 2:59 pm
Thanks for the responses. I’m crossing my fingers that Lund will send me a other piece. Last time actually shipped me an entire rear set of four pieces even though I only need the one door piece. I do have a 3M gun and combo tube of panel adhesive. I think I’ll take it back to the body shop and have them spray color on it and glue it on this time. Their paint matching is perfect versus my amateur slop. Oddly my left rear door has never had a problem.
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 4:29 pm
Sounds like a good plan. The urethane and hybridized epoxy panel adhesives are some pretty tough stuff....should solve your problem...
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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 6:33 pm
Time to buy a lottery ticket. I just spotted this on the opposite shoulder during my 65 mile commute home.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/5pcs8in4gypw3 ... 3.jpg?dl=0

It’s scraped up good but that can be fixed. I’m not sure if Lund would send me a second one anyways.
*edit* After further inspection of this, it appears that it is a factory mold issue. I'd say that about 90% of the raised contact surface that has the double sided tape didn't even make contact with the actual door. No wonder the left side has no problem and the passenger side keeps failing. Maybe just doubling up on the body tape would permanently solve this problem. I'm not sure how I could even do this with body panel adhesive. Maybe laying on a magnum bead of 3M™ Panel Bonding Adhesive on each raised surface and securing it to the door with some good taping and horizontal force (wedge something between that piece and an adjacent wall).
''My choice early in life was either to be a piano-player in a whorehouse or a politician. And to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference.'' -President Harry S. Truman

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PostPosted: Thu May 14, 2020 10:36 pm
Yeah, try to get some pressure on it to shape it more to what it is fitting. Pull up next to wall , then cut some 2x4 wood to length, pad the end going against the piece, and like you said wedge it for pressure. If you could, I'd leave it for a full 24 hours. Doubling up the tape is a bad idea in my opinion.
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