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Refinishing Hard Tonneau

Jay FX4

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When I bought my '04 Ranger about a year ago, it came with an Undercover hard tonneau cover. The problem is, it's peeling BAD, as you can see from the pics. So is there any way to refinish it? It needs to withstand snow and rain, direct sun, and being walked on. Anyone have any experience with this or suggestions? I'll do whatever it takes to do it right, even if I have to sand the whole thing down. I'm not going to simply paint it because that's not a real solution. Take a look let me know what you think. Thanks!



 


dirtsquirt

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looks to be a fiberglass product, If so i would gelcoat it.
 

nitrofan1

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Polymer sure looks like plastic to me. Double check & see if it is a "plastic". If so Krylon makes their bonding spray paint. I've used it on lawn furniture and it works great.
 

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Only 2 replies? What is this, ORR?:icon_confused::bawling:
Nice way to get more replies . . . :D

I personally have never had or worked on that type of material, whether it is vinyl. polymer, or a plastic, but they all would essentially be the same in respect to recoating/refinishing. Obviously it is not fiberglass so gel coat is not the answer. I have tried the Krylon Plastic Bonding paint with no success - it always scrapes off very easily.

With this project I would begin by asking the manufacturer for a recommendation. Outside of that, sand it down and ensure there are no flakes, loose spots, or any of the peeling paint remaining, if you coat over it, it will simply peel up later ruining your top coat.
Wet sand to about 400 or 600 ensuring it is totally sanded. Wipe the surface down with Acetone, but use it sparingly and only to get the sanding dust off before priming with an adhesion promoter.
Wet sand again to ensure the primer/promoter coat is smooth. Then spray several light coats of your top coat letting it flash the proper time in between coats. If you do a two stage (color and clear) wet sand before the clear. If a single stage paint, make sure the final coat is the best one, when it dries it will be done and any defects will be there. A single stage cannot be color sanded or wet sanded afterwards because it will ruin the Clear UV layer that forms during the curing.
The paint will obviously have to be an automotive type paint and not from a spray can - check with you local paint and body work supply store for more specific details.

Best of luck
 

Jay FX4

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Nice way to get more replies . . . :D

Dirt, Nitro, Hazmat - thank you for your replies!
Hazmat I'm sure your answer would be my best bet...although looking at the process kind of makes me not want to do it LOL. Still, I can't stand having the truck all sexy except for the ugly cover on it. I will definitely look into your suggestion. It's a shame it's peeling up like that because it's an otherwise outstanding cover. It's super lightweight and ultra strong. Someone else here recently started a thread about buying a cover, but I didn't comment. I can't recommend Undercover if this is a common problem with their covers. It's tough to say when/why/how it started to get messed up, it was already on the truck when I bought it used. I didn't realize when I bought it that the top layer was flaking off - I thought it was just dirty. Of course my dumb ass thought I could "fix" it by blasting the hell out of it with water at the do it yourself carwash. Of course, this made it 100x worse.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply.
 

Jay FX4

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4 months since I first made this thread, and I'm finally getting around to taking care of my bed cover.

I have it sanded down as best as I can. The material is not really being cooperative though. Kind of hard to explain, but when I sand it, it has a tendency to chip rather than sand cleanly. I thought it was just the top layer that would have those characteristics, but it seems to be that way all the way through. Anyway, it's sanded as good as I'm going to get it. I painted a small area to see how it would look, and although I see that the paint will adhere just fine, it would probably require at least 10 coats to fill in all the chipped areas and make a smooth surface, and that's not an option.
I'm assuming that since paint sticks to the surface properly, primer would as well. This would also help smooth it out before I actually paint it.

And that leads me to my question. Are primer and adhesion promoter the same thing? If not, what are the differences, and which would be better to use for what I'm doing? The material is an ABS plastic/polymer composite material.
Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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Primer is to precoat before paint but adhession promoter is just that. When I put my pinstripes on my truck the person on the body shop gave the character lines a wipe with adhesion promoter to make sure it bonded. It is used for decals and logos.
 

Snowboarder7710

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ive had an undercover on my 06 f150...to this day it looks great....same with the one on my dads 07 tundra. strange that its peeling like that.....although my friend had a fiberglass cover, he had it line-x'ed and it held up very well. not too sure how it would bond to the plastic though. maybe try giving a call to a local shop that does the spray on bed liners and see if their product would adhere to the plastic after being sanded.
 

Jay FX4

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Funny you should mention spray on bedliner. I was seriously considering doing that.
So I ended up spraying it with a few cans of undercoating. It actually didn't turn out too bad, but I knew it really wasn't the solution I was looking for. It adhered fine, but it was leaving marks in it every time I touched it. Also, I couldn't seem to really get all the grit off it, and I hosed it down a bunch of times. If any of that stuff got on the paint, it would basically act as sandpaper if I detailed my truck. My finish is picture perfect, and screwing it up is not an option. So I ended up scraping off 4 16oz. cans of undercoat by hand :bawling: and painted it. I sanded it twice with 60 grit paper. then 2 cans of primer, 6 cans of flat black Krylon fusion, and 4 cans of clearcoat. And it actually looks pretty good! Using spray cans is definitely NOT the ideal or proper way to paint such a large flat area, but I still managed to make it look good. And it looks like it's going to hold up just fine. I have walked around on it and it's been rained on and it still looks the same, so I think I'm finally done with it. I'll post some pics when I get them uploaded...
 

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