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Paul Coleman

Has anybody used back to black?

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Has anybody used a 'Back to Black' type product to restore the colour of faded ABS bumpers on UK cars? My bumper and other plastic body trim bits are looking decidedly grey and I don't really want to paint them as I'm afraid it might ruin them, so I'm wondering about some kind of colour restorer?

Paul.

Edited by Paul Coleman

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Yes I have used it in the past on older cars it takes it from grey to black, but you will need to reapply every now and then.

Chris

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Ah okay so the liquid is presumably black then? A guy in the paint shop told me not to touch it as it was just clear silicone which put a shine on whatever colour you'd already got which seemed a bit odd?

Paul.

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They guy is right. I was reliably informed the other day by my brother the bumper cleaner I allowed him to use was far better, Auto Glym. I has some beads in it to act like a polish, and get the dirt out of the small crevices, and then leave a nice clean, black finish.

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Hi Paul!

I have 2 ways to do it. If the surface is very bad, take a hairdryer or even better a heat gun and work you way over surface so it becomes a little smoother but not melting. Doing this will create a new surface and things should be ok for some years.

If the surface is just a little gray'ish take some linseed oil and apply it to all your unpainted ABS or plastic parts.

I have done both on VW and Audi cars with much success! It is also much cheaper than all the magic things they sell for it.

Good Luck!

/Kim

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I need something that will actually put black colour back on the bumper I think. I've not heard of using linseed oil before?

Paul.

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Paul, I am not joking! What I descibe is often used when professionals are freshing up old cars!

I would try the heating trick with caution and then wipe it over with a cloth with linseed oil.

Try on a spot not seen!

/Kim

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I use a similar thing called "Black in a flash" (love the play on words) on all the black bits on my Elise, and its good. As mentioned above you need to do it periodically, particularly after waxing as it also helps get any of the overspill of the wax off.

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Back to Black is a black liquid a bit like a liquid shoe polish, the guy was probably thinking of the bumpers sprays you can get these are a silicon spray.

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Paul,

I had a new old stock UK/European front bumper on my first red S1, and used back to black on it for a show, even though it was in near new condition. After that, it forever had hazy lighter-colored (white-gray) discoloration in between the grain. I think Back to Black (and a lot of other similar products) have something in them that harms the plastic over the long term.

May I suggest buying a can of flexible bumper coating in a satin finish and properly preparing and repainting your bumper? If you use a shop-quality brand such as SEM (my choice), no matter how unevenly you apply it, it always dries very flat and thin and doesn't look "coated". It takes only basic technique (which I'm sure you are well beyond) to spray it evenly enough that you don't see a trace of spray pattern, droplets, etc.

The up sides to this are that 1) the finish is even and smooth, 2) repels dirt like new paint, 3) evenly black and doesn't need any kind of dressing, 4) doesn't look all greased up like dressings do, 5) it permanently protects the plastic from further deterioration from UV, chemicals, etc. If applied to a clean surface (I always use rubbing alcohol as a final prepping agent), it doesn't stand a chance to peel off. Make sure every last trace of silicone, dressing, oil, etc., is gone, first!

I've done this to all of the ABS plastic parts on 155H as well, and they are perfect and look natural.

Just my .02,

Tony :lol:

Back to Black is a black liquid a bit like a liquid shoe polish, the guy was probably thinking of the bumpers sprays you can get these are a silicon spray.

Back to black does contain silicone, like 90% of "shine" products sold to the retail market. BtoB is a milky color out of the bottle, and indeed, like the shop person said, puts a shine on any surface and deepens the color. Just like Armor All, and the various silicone-based oils, sprays, etc.

I would suggest to avoid using silicone on anything other than rubber -- and use nothing but silicone on rubber. A "dry type" silicone spray (NOT a silicone OIL) is perfect for preserving rubber, won't turn tires brown, keeps it its natural black, and preserves its natural luster rather than making it look oily/wet.

However, silicone is a paint shop's worst enemy. Most retail detailing products are various things that all contain silicone. The silicone fills swirls in paint and deepens colors; however, if there is any trace of it on a car, it will cause fish eyes when painting. Also, a car detailed with silicone is just "covered up" like wearing a heavy cake of makeup. To truly make a car beautiful, the swirls in the paint should be all polished away with progressively finer abrasive compounds; when this is done, the paint looks perfect in its naked, un-waxed, un-siliconed, un-detail-producted state, and only a coat of wax is really needed to protect it. The wax should be something that doesn't contain silicone, such as a 100% carnauba wax that is not a cleaner wax, etc. . . .

Products like Back to Black, and 90% of what is sold at retail stores and places like Griot's are just a temporary cover up until the next time the car gets wet.

- T

Edit one more time:

Use this on your tires/tyres and other rubber seals:

http://www.amazon.com/3M-Silicone-Lubricant-Type-aerosol/dp/B000PJED72

51MoHS2-l7L._SL500_AA300_.gif

If your old front bumper or ABS plastic parts (tail lamp surrounds, A-pillar "triangles", etc.) are so bad that a good scrubbing with a gentle polish intended for plastics that doesn't leave white residue can't remove all of the oxidation, then clean it to perfection and paint it with this:

SEMBUMPER_COAT-200h.jpg

I believe the original satin black is #39103, but check to be sure.

And this works pretty good on the aluminum door frames:

SEM39143-39033-145w.jpg

There are, of course, several equally acceptable products for all of the above; I've found great satisfaction in these regarding looking original and remaining durable.

whiteS1refinishblack.jpg

- T

Edited by Tony K

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If this is the mothers product (as we get it in the US) then it's excellent.

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If this is the mothers product (as we get it in the US) then it's excellent.

This is what I am talking about; I would not use it on an S1 front bumper, nor on the plastic trim parts on an S1. At best, it's a temporary shine that comes off in one or two washes; at worst, it will dull/haze the plastic after repeated uses, requiring you to have to use it for it to look good. I am no chemist, but I believe the alcohols contained in Back to Black are harmful to the plastic over time. (And I am actually a fan of Mothers products -- I use their pure carnauba paste wax on all of my cars, and their pre-wax cleaner is helpful and not harmful to the nitrocellulose lacquer on early Esprits.)

- T

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Strange, I've been using this on all my cars for years and it lasts longer than any of the other "black" products and I've used. No dull/haze on the parts I use it on. As always your milage may vary :)

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Thanks all for your input and to Tony for his excellent write up :)

I have been paranoid about getting any silicone near my car whilst it's in the painting ptocess - so far so good (fingers, ears and eyes crossed!). I did think about a plastic primer and then paint all the ABS parts the same black as the rear bumper but I'm wondering how that would look? Maybe a little artificial... I don't know.

I will check out the product you mentioned Tony. Fortunately I have some time left yet before I need to make a decision - I have many days of blocking the top half of the bodywork to think about it :)

By the way Tony is that Dynamat I see in your car? Is it good? Could you really afford all that weight?

Cheers, Paul.

Edited by Paul Coleman

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I use Back to Black on my cars, but as has been suggested above I DONT think its the product you're after - there's no "black" in it. I use it to clean/polish the black bits before I polish the painted surfaces. It provides a barrier on the rubber so that if I'm a bit ham fisted with the AutoGlym it doesn't leave a long term white swirl on the black - I can just easily wipe it off again. One other downside I've noticed with BtoB is that if its not completely polished away, it can/will run (especially when it next rains) and put a deposit on the painted surfaces which looks rubbish - requires a repolish when that happens.

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Paul, that Dynamat is the work of the previous owner, and I adore it. I finished it in the areas where he left off. The total amount of material weighs about ten lbs. (a small price to pay for a quiet cabin, methinks); the synthetic carpet padding going in place of the original jute weighs less than the jute, so that makes up for some of it. The car also has been converted from federal bumpers to UK/European, so it will emerge overall lighter than before. :)

By the way, 155H will be the most civilized S1 in the world when I am finished with it . . . here's a project I recently did with the blue car (454H) that the white car will be getting, too:

post-907-127214779598.jpg

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I have been thinking about Dynamat and 10lbs is a lot less than I expected so it could be a go!

What have you done to the inside of your engine cover there?

Cheers, Paul.

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Paul, I just made an engine cover thread; take a look:

- Tony :)

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This might shock you all (!) but I used to use Kiwi liquid scuff cover polish on the plastic bumpers of my old Golf gti mk2 - it is very cheap and if applied evenly looks pretty good - not sure whether it is suitable for a car as esteemed as an Esprit of course - but perhaps worth a try if everything else is a bit rubbish / overly expensive. In comparison with back to black it was a lot cheaper and a lot more effective.

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