I decided to try the heat gun on the fender flares on my TJ. It got rid of the oxidation, but it turned out very splotchy. I tried long strokes, tiny circles, going slow... every which way, but I knew from the get go I wasn't going to be happy. I suppose if you could heat them evenly and subsequently let them cool evenly, the splotchiness wouldn't be so bad, but 3 days afterwards, it looks even worse.. With all that said, it still looks better than old faded light grey flares. I will bed liner them for sure once the quart of armor all I used on them wears off... Shouldn't take too long in the 105 degree Texas heat.
I tried the same thing...clean the flares, let them dry, then take a heat gun to them. I was getting the same blotchy results. So now, I am in the process of removing my flares (what a pain) so that I can paint them with Krylon Fusion (a line of paint specifically for Plastics). Good luck with yours.
__________________ 2002 Sport, for waves & woods,...and winter.
I had similar results with the heat gun. Wound up bedlining mine with Rustoleum spray-on bed liner, which is a good option if you want a matte, textured finish. If you want shiny and smooth, then Krylon Fusion works well.
__________________ "If you were supposed to watch your mouth all the time, I doubt your eyes would be above it" - Mike Cooley
Anybody who ever told you to use a heat gun gave you bad advice. The fading and color change is a surface condition and does not compromise the strength or flexibility of the flare. The flare is made from TPO (Thermo Poly Olefin) plastic, and the main ingredient is petroleum base. If you heat it, you will cause liquid esthers (oils) to migrate from the inside to the surface, weakening the plastic and making it brittle. The appearance improvement is temporary, the loss of strength and flexibility is permanent.
If you scuff the surface mildly with an abrasive and apply a flexible paint intended for plastics (Krylon Fusion is one such paint) then you have treated the appearance problem without causing other worse strength problems. You should NOT try to paint it when it looks shiny, the esthers prevent the paint from adhering - you cannot paint it untill it is faded again.
Always try to fix your Jeep the right way, which does not involve shortcuts. A single $10 can of paint is cheaper than a heat gun, and is enough paint for two thin coats on all four flares.
1967 Kaiser Commando
2001 Grand Cherokee WJ
2003 Rubicon TJ
i use turtle wax trim restore, best i have seen yet. it was pretty cheap but ive used it on my wifes 4runner, my mule and starting to detail my rubicon with the faded plastic. works wonders. ill try to get some pics up but ive done my wifes before we went to the beach at the 1st of may and they havent faded yet.
Driving/trailriding on a very dusty stretch will draw out any Armor All is short order.
After a thorough cleaning, I painted my flares with Krylon Fusion wrinkle finish.
Was none too thrilled with how much shine there was so came back with a couple of coats of Krylon satin finish.
This lasted a few years and all I had to do this time was clean them and hit them with the satin finish.
Haven't found a paint yet that lasts more than a year and doesn't flake off. Next time I bother paining it will be with Monstaliner. When I was doing the inside/roll bar I managed to drip some on the flares and that stuff hasn't come off, that was a couple years ago.
CU Boulder Aerospace Engineering
Tried the heat gun trick, worked for a few days, didn't notice any brittle problems but they look all splotchy now. Figured I would try it before the bushwacker a showed up to see if it would work. Looked nice at first but better off to pull and paint which I will do this weekend. Anyone looking for a set of painted let me know.