Applied To A Jeep Wrangler Tub

Nov. 01, 2005 By Tony Carricaburu


    In this article I will cover the steps and experiences I had while applying Herculiner bed liner to the body tub of a 1990 Jeep Wrangler. After removing the old factory carpet kit from 1990, I realized how much attention my Jeep Wrangler's tub needed. Fortunately, there wasn't any rust or corrosion, but the scratches were pretty bad. I considered a new carpet kit but figured it would be beat up and thrashed in a couple years. I wanted something more permanent. Since my Jeep, at this time, was still my daily commuter, I couldn't strip the insides out and take it somewhere to get professionally rhino-lined. Not to mention a professional lining would cost anywhere from $350 to $500 bucks. I decided that if I wanted a spray on bed liner, I was going to have to do it myself. Without any tools to spray my own, I had only one choice, and that was Herculiner. Herculiner bed liner is a do-it-yourself shadetree mechanic alternative to those professional linings. Another good thing about Herculiner is that it's about 1/5th the price of a professional job. After reviewing several product review articles and personal webpage write-ups posted on the Internet, Herculiner sounded the like the best alternative to a spray on bed-liner.


    Before applying Herculiner, it is very important you sand, clean, and remove any loose paint or particles on the surface you are going to apply the Herculiner too. I started by vacuuming and sweeping the inside out. This may take a little while, but is well worth it. Also, there are other benefits to cleaning under your carpet kit; I found several different things I had lost. Click on the pictures below to see my tub after it's been vacuumed out and dry-cleaned. (click on image for large view)

    As far as the liquid cleaning, the manufactures of Herculiner recommend you clean the surface with Xylene, Acetone or MEK Solution for surface preparation only. After talking to a Home Depot employee, he convinced me to use Acetone because of its less harsh chemicals. He said that the Xylene would probably remove the paint altogether. I just wanted to remove the loose paint. I also bought another cleaning product called "Goof Off". This product is designed for removing any sticky, gummy residue. I figured this would work perfect in removing the old sticky velcro adhesive strips used to mount the factory carpet kit. The Goof Off worked great with the help of a metal scrapper. To make sure the surface was clean and free of any loose particles or paint, I used some sand paper. This didn't require scrubbing just a mere scratching and dulling of the paints surface. After the harsh chemicals and sand-papering, the tub's paint proposed a very dull oil free finish. Below are some pictures of my Jeep's tub before and after Herculiner preparation. Click on images for large view. (Left=before, Right=after)

    As shown in the picture above, it is also very important to mask off all areas you don't want Herculiner to be applied. This is probably the most important part of the entire process. Trust me, this stuff isn't easy to get off. I learned that if you take a rag with a little paint thinner soaked in, it takes it right off as long as you remove it right away. My hands, although thoroughly covered with gloves, managed to get Herculined. My knuckles were Herc'ed for about 2-3 weeks before it all came off. Anyway, just be sure to mask everything off very well.


    After applying the Herculiner to the entire tub of my Jeep, I was very pleased with the texture and looks. I decided I was going to take my Herculiner installation one step further. I was tired of the scratched up entry rails on the Jeep's tub. I tried the Steel Horse entry guards and since they just ended up scratching and looking worse than before, I wanted something more permanent and durable. If this Herculiner bed liner is as tough as I've heard, what would be better than applying it in the entry guard? I masked off the area I wanted Herculined and applied. (Check the picture below for results.)

The Kit Include the following:

    Herculiner is available only in a kit form. I've seen Herculiner advertised for $85.00 to $100.00. The bed liner kit comes with 1-gallon of Herculiner, 1-paint brush, 2-rollers, 1-scrub pad, and a paint can opener. I highly suggest when you're at the hardware store buying your preparation materials you should get at least 1 or 2 more paint brushes. After about half way through the applying process the brushes tend to fill up with rubber chunks and become somewhat stiff. For more info check out the Herculiner website at www.Herculiner.com .


    Herculiner is currently available in four different colors. (Black, Grey, White, and Red). When I ordered my bedliner kit, I wanted red. Just a warning for those of you with red Jeeps and are considering this: The red is a lot different than the red Chrysler uses. It's more of a bright candy colored red. I was fortunate enough to exchange the red for black at a local auto parts store.

Final Results:

    After several hours of applying the Herculiner, this is my final results. I have to admit, I was pretty nervous about applying some black rubber chunky tar looking stuff to the inside of my Jeep, and since none of my friends or fellow off-roaders have ever applied Herculiner to there Jeeps I was scared I wouldn't like it. I am happy to say that my newly Herculined Jeep has a tough and very durable inside. My original plan was to get a new carpet kit after Herculining, but those plans have later been changed. I like the looks and performance of the Herculiner, so I cancelled the carpet kit order.


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