Restoring Plastic on ATVs and UTVs

Apr. 12, 2012 By Rick Sosebee
Time to update the plastic on our ATV to freshen up its appearance.

Sometimes we look at the old ATV sitting in the back of the garage and the thought of buying a new one overwhelms us. Is it the age of the machine? Maybe the thought of all our friends we are riding with that have newer machines without any flaws. Or maybe itís just not attractive anymore. 
Well, just like a traditional marriage you have to keep the spark alive, and sometimes you have to work on things like appearance. I know that may ruffle a few feathers but itís true. Now whatís the reality of actually being able to do a good restoration of the most prominent item of the ATV, the plastics?

Itís not as far off as you might think. The plastics on your ATV can look and feel brand new. If you have the dough to simply replace them, then good for you. But if youíre like most of us, and the fact that you even have an ATV that is paid for is a miracle, then you must refinish them.

Using a very inexpensive product and about having about six hours of free time we took on the Plastic Renew challenge. This beaten-and-battered 2006 Yamaha Grizzly was our target and this is our process and end result.

Starting with the front and rear racks removed we gathered the water hose, a bucket and our $20 Plastic Renew. Wash your ATV with soap and water to remove any dirt or grease from the surface. Then place the three types of sand paper in the water contained in the bucket.

Quick Tip - This is very important to remember: If your plastics are simply scuffed and not shiny then you only need to use the finest grit of the wet-dry sand paper in the kit on the plastic. For deep cuts and scratches follow the instructions included in the Plastic Renew Kit! This will need good attention to detail to make the project a success.

After the quad had been washed, we used the finest grit sand paper in the kit to gently scuff the surface of the plastics. Remember to keep the plastics and the paper wet as the directions note. Keeping the garden hose in one hand while sanding with the other made this an easy task.

After scuffing the plastic that needs to be finished, make sure to rinse and maybe even wash the plastics once more to be sure all of the plastic dust and debris has been removed before applying the chemical solution in the kit.

WARNING: Do not rush the sanding of the plastics. If you rush this process you will be disappointed with the end result. Itís kind of like prepping a car for painting as the surface needs to be silky smooth.

First coast of Plastic Renew.

Second coat of Plastic Renew.

Third coat of Plastic Renew.

After the plastics have ample time to dry you will want to apply the liquid solution found in the Plastic Renew kit. This is when you will want to put on some rubber gloves and grab a lint-free paper towel or something similar to apply coats of the solution. This is also a process that does not need to be rushed. To get a deep and awesome shine I applied more than 12 coats of the product. I also used the steel wool included in the kit after the first three coats and then again before the final two.

After the first few coats we used the steelwool to provide a clean finish. We did the same after the final coats as well.

As you lay down each even coat by simply wiping on the liquid try to keep the application in straight lines and use smooth strokes. Bubbles can form and these will dry to become eyesores.

Here's after eight coats of Plastic Renew.

It takes patience, but stick with it. The final result is a new-looking fender.

This process is not easy, but it is a lot easier than shelling out handfuls of cash when you donít have it. The product can be ordered online at the website listed below. So get busy and send in the pics of your fresh-looking rides or if you have questions or if you canít get it to work for you. Remember though, BE PATIENT!!

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