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Thread: How to "restore" finish on plastic parts?

  1. #1

    How to "restore" finish on plastic parts?

    Anyone has experience in getting the original shining finish back on plastic parts, like airfilter box, etc. Mostly, the engine plastic parts are faded, or have different shines of black on them.

    Any info will do!

    Thanks and best wishes for the coming year.


  2. #2
    Rick Cabell

    restoring plastic

    Tom, I wish I could help. That is something that I will be comming up on in thr near future with the 67S. There are some plastic polishes out there but I have little experiance with them.

  3. #3

    how to "restore" plastic parts

    Hey Rick! What a nice way to meet again! Since, as example, the plastic airfilter box has a textured surface, polishing will either get polish paste into the grooves or the polish will delete the structure.

    In order or prevent massive "screw-ups" I hope somebody out there has experience to share with us.


    P.s. you didn't tell me yet how the project start was, last Monday night.

  4. #4
    Roland Kunz

    How to "restore" finish on plastic parts?


    Well who said that all the plastic parts where shinny when the car left the factory ?

    There are different materials looking slightly different and aging different as well.

    Mostly the best is to start with cleaning and restoring solvents like armour all.

    The parts maybe will never look like new but hell if you will turn a 30 year old car into new condition cosmetics will not help.

    Best way is to keep the car clean and have fun with driving ( using ) it.

    OK, I´m not a friend from the Q-tip fraction.


    Frohes neues Jahr

  5. #5

    How to "restore" finish on plastic parts?

    Hallo Roland,

    I'm trying to restore my '73 S into "closest possible to new", but I fully agree with driving being more important than looks. But hey, when the whole car is stripped "bare naked", why not do it right?

    I received a message with the idea of using cloth-coloring dye in very concentrated form. Sounds good!

    Herzlichen Dank Roland, und guten Rutsch!


  6. #6
    Roland Kunz



    Now you must definate where you will achive perfection.

    If we talk abot function I fully agree. If we talk about looks.....

    Yes I see the point that people always try to make things perfect but mostley they start doing things like washing the history and making everything sterile.
    A 30 year old car is a old car and yes you can make it look like new or even better then new but your money and time investment turns into strathosphere and the fun on driving the car in real world goes under ground.

    We restored many cars for several types of costumers yet most enjoy to drive there cars and they even risk a real rare prototype on normal use or even on race tracks then using a copy ( or lookalike ) with would perform similar or even better. We also have the more collector orientatet type. Strangly the collectortype always is happy with owning something and don´t care to much about function but more the visuall aspects. If this guy is short on budget he rather would spend the money in bondo and paint then in the solid frameworks.
    And I had looked at many cars and some collectors items even didn´t had oil in the engines ( no drop ) and after disassembling you found a old women under plastic surgery and fat cosmetics ( OK sorry for such a comparsion, women age in different ways, see Harold & maud ). ON the other side turning a car into new condition is a very interessting task if you find someone who is willing to pay for that ( Maybe Jerry S. will show up one day ? )

    Many People are shocked if they had been at the Porsche Museum and look at cars displayed and find most from them are not perfect. On the other side most from those cars will start when you turn the key and you can blast them down the roads or the racetracks even knowing that a misstake my destroy high values.
    Porsche even lend those cars to good drivers to race them around on historic places. And sometimes those cars get scratched, dentet and bent and then they get fixed and return years later. Even Porsche No 1 was pushed hard several years ago showing that 40HP are still serious power.

    You can compare it with Stradivaris. Most from those instruments are lend to musicians and they use them regulry, they "wear" them. If you store a Stradivary in safe and even control the ambient it will lose the sound over the years and some instruments never will play music. Some can be brought back to play again.

    OK thats to philosophic but the point is: restoring ( well rstrorin is a wrong word as restoring means sve and preserf what you found but don´t return it to new ) something to new is nearly impossible. Even if you buy NOS Parts, those sat several years and will not look like when they where new. So that´s a illusion. Thts the human drem to stop the clocks or even turn them back.

    If you need a new car visit your dealer and get a new box with waranty and then try to rescue that over all the years.

    I don´t say it is impossible to bring a car back into a very fresh condition and many will find that is like new but the price for that is very high and will never see any realistic resale value.


    Bon Anné

  7. #7

    How to "restore" finish on plastic parts?

    Well, who mentioned anything on "resale value" when the intention is to keep it "forever"?? Let my heirs complaint about the dissappointing resale value....

    But thanks Roland, point taken. I don't intend to use it for concourses ("trailer queen"), but driving, driving and driving.

    Still, I want my plastic black to be black...


  8. #8

    There are a couple of car care products that might help you restore the black plastic parts. One is called Forever Black and is an actual dye (see and the other is called Black Again (see, which is more of a cleaner/restorer/protectant.


  9. #9

    How to "restore" finish on plastic parts?

    thanks! That seems to be a very informative site, for us "shine freaks"!

    In the restoration process, I find the biggest challenge in understanding the materials that are used in the car (different type of plastics, metals, etc.) and how to treat them.

    This site gives some answers.


  10. #10

    restore black

    Heres a old detailer trick.

    Vaseline petroleum jelly. I doesn't work forever but it works for several weeks.

    Advise: a little is a lot.

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