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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Tried both Mothers and Stoner. Stoner Trim shine was clearly better. Sprayed it on a foam brush and took less coats to make the fins black again. Seems to last a little longer also than Mothers.
 

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I tried a different approach - black trim dye. The brand was "Forever Black Bumper & Trim Dye Kit". I used it on my dash, the front fins, rear trunk fins, and both side fins. I'm writing this 7 months after application so that I can let you all know how it works long term.

Application took about 2 hours for the trim and 2 more hours for the dash. I used that blue painters tape on edges to keep the dye off the paint. Even if you do drip some, it's easy to wipe off - it doesn't really stick to auto paint.

And now the verdict...

It looks really bad ass right after dying. I had replaced one of the fins recently so I can say that it's much darker and blacker than the original trim color on a brand new Elise. That's something that Mothers or Stoners can't do.

But there's a catch... after about 4 months, it started flaking off on the exterior trim parts. Keep in mind that I live in NM and drive to work, so the sun beats on it 11 hours a day. The dash still looks beautiful even after 7 months so I'm fairly confident that it will last.

So if your car is in the sun a lot, using a dye kit for exterior trim will mean reapplication every 4 months. I don't know how that compares to the reapplication timeframe for Mothers/Stoners.

If you have a faded dash, (mine was faded REALLY bad), then the dye is much cheaper than a new dashboard. I had tried Stoner trim shine, and my dash was too far gone so it just turned it from gray to shiny gray. Now it's dark black. There are some really really tiny streak marks from the dye not being perfectly even, but it's a million times better than what it looked like before. On a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being perfectly flawless, I'd give it a 95.

There are no streak marks on the exterior trim because it uses a different type of plastic. If it didn't require reapplication every 4 months, this stuff would kick ass for exterior trim.

On a sidenote - if you live in the sun, invest in some quality window tint for the side windows AND front windshield. It's worth every penny - the car stays 10+ degrees cooler and if I had put some on earlier I wouldn't have had a faded windshield at 50K miles.

I took before/during/after pictures so if someone needs them I can put them up.
 

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I used back to black on my truck's mirrors and some other trim (all a matte plastic) and it turned them all splotchy. I ended up painting them with Krylon Fusion and that's held up for a couple years.
I did the same on my Jeep (plastic pieces on the rockers) and it's held up okish. Trees and rocks seem to scrape it off though.

I'll have to get the stoner's on order. Need some 303 as well... someone threw it out cause it smelled up the place and they thought it went bad. (how does that stuff smell so darn bad?!)
 

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since i don't want to mess with the forever black dye again (at least for the exterior trim), i'm looking into alternatives. using stoners now, which is working fine but it always needs reapplication. i'm looking into alternatives...

the krylon fusion sounds interesting... might give that a try.

also i'm thinking about Bumper & Cladding Coat PERMA SHINE . there aren't many reviews but the ones that exist give it two thumbs up and supposedly it lasts a long time.
 

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About a year ago I applied some Urethane Supply PermaShine to the front intake. At the same time, my buddy put some SEM Paints Trim Black on my rear side scoops. They both looked good to start out with but the SEM paint was a deeper black. After a year of baking in the hot NM sun, the PermaShine applied area was all faded back to gray while the SEM trim paint was still jet black.

So needless to say, I just bought two cans of the SEM Paints Trim Black SEM39143 (
). I put three coats of it on the front intake and it took me about 20 minutes including drying time. It's not too shiny or dull - just perfect. Also it's very evenly coated (you would never know it was paint and not the original OEM plastic).

Over the past 3 years I've tried:

1) Mothers - looks great but dries up after a few months
2) Stoners - same as mothers
3) Forever Black Dye - eventually fades and flakes off
4) Urethane Supply PermaShine - fades way too fast
5) SEM Paints Trim Black - 1 YEAR later and it looks beautiful!

I would imagine the SEM Paint is similar to the Krylon Fusion satin black or Duplicolor Bumper Paint from Sherwin Williams, but since I'm happy with the SEM I have no motivation to try the alternatives.

If you use a paint, I would suggest getting some 400 grit sandpaper and a plastic prep and plastic bonding agent. You can get it on Amazon. It works really well for cleaning and preparing the plastic so the paint stays on and coats evenly. Keep your three paint coats really light so it doesn't run.
 

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Aerospace 303 is great stuff, otherwise painting with quality plastic paint is the way to go :)

Look a million bucks and STAYS as black as the day they were painted.


 

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I learned not to use Armorall products years ago. They do shine up the rubber/plastic, but they don't "treat" the material properly. :

I totally agree. I havnt used any armorall type product on the lotus interior, ever, as a test. All my interior pieces look great.

Armour all is like chapstick, you don't need it, until you actually use the product. The product actually drys out plastic, just like chapstick drys out your lips. Those products create their own need.
 

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What plastic prep/bonding agent did you use? Want to use this on my front radiator grill exits as one keeps fading and I'm tired of reapplying stuff to it. Would love to someday just convert to mesh but can't seem to find a kit that I like.
 

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Last weekend, I polished my car and taped off the front intake grates with painter's tape. When I removed the tape, a lot of the color came off with it on the passenger side grate!
Is it very difficult to get the grates out to paint them? I am thinking of painting them with everyone's favorite: Plastidip. I wonder if it will have any problem with the heat there.
 

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Last weekend, I polished my car and taped off the front intake grates with painter's tape. When I removed the tape, a lot of the color came off with it on the passenger side grate!
Is it very difficult to get the grates out to paint them? I am thinking of painting them with everyone's favorite: Plastidip. I wonder if it will have any problem with the heat there.

How would color come off from the plastic? Can you post a picture? The small oil cooler fins on the left and right front of the vehicle are difficult to remove with the clam on and without damage to the attachment point. There is a post somewhere with tips on removal. I deleted them to install mesh, which requires pulling the front clam.

To all others, I haven't had to use Stoners for at least 3 years. The black plastic is still clean and looks like new oem. It works great.

I do a two bucket hand wash with several mitts, constant soaking water around the mitt as I clean, and try not to get soap on the plastic. Use a shop vac's exhaust to blow the car dry afterwards. I then rub down the car with a healthy dose of Meguiar's Ultimate Quik Wax and use several cloths to quickly apply and one to do a final wipe down. This is done with each cleaning. I don't use any abrasive cleaners or polish and don't "wax" the car and the paint looks great. The clear side rocker protection has pitting and small marks, but it is doing its job. You can't rub on paint without making swirls. The wheels are another issue for a different thread and I don't have a good answer.
 

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I use a product called wipe new. That stuff is amazing. You can use it on your interior and exterior plastics (they also say you can use it on paint and your leather seats but I haven't used it on those). I've applied it once on my 2003 audi tt (my daily) and it still looks amazing. I applied it once almost 4 or 5 months ago and it still looks good. I wash it about once a week too. The only thing about wipe new is that if you miss a spot, it is extremely noticeable if its pretty faded. It comes with everything you need to apply it. Only thing is that if you apply it on the interior, leave the windows down and top off if you have the option.


Sent from AutoGuide.com App
 

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You know, I thought it was solid black, all the way through, but flecks of black came right off on the underside of the tape. And I think maybe I called them the wrong thing. They're vents, not intakes. Oops. And now that I am not at work where images are filtered out, it looks like it would be easy to remove the pieces. It appears they are connected to the top panels near the windshield.
The mesh looks great, by the way. I think I want to do that, but my Lotus-To-Do-List just keeps growing faster than I can keep up on the weekends here and there. Sounds like a 2014 project!
 

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I've used this product for years. UV protectiion and works & lasts very well, Car Care Specialties







 
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