Minda
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Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 1:58 pm

I have a 2015 Leaf S.

My husband drove over one of those lane divider thingies and created a rip in the splash shield under the car.

Kinda hard to yell at him about it because I did the same thing going over a kerb a while ago. Back then replacing the thing cost $141 so I just did it and didn't worry about it too much.

Today I took it to Bellevue Nissan (which I generally love) for an annual battery check and to ask if I should replace the splash shield again. When the car was up on the lift I wandered out and talked to the technician who said he thought I didn't need to replace it since it wasn't torn through and there was no piece missing from it but to check it again next time the car is serviced. Then the intermediary service person came out and told me the technician recommended replacing it to be on the safe side (?!) and since it's a different part than was replaced last time it would cost about $300 after tax.

Ouch. Well, I told them not to replace it for now (I suspect they talked the technician into his more expensive viewpoint) but I'm wondering if a strip of duct tape over the rip would be a good idea.

Thanks for any advice!

Minda

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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 2:57 pm

Look at the fasteners that hold it on. If they are undamaged, then the duct tape should suffice. If they have been pulled through the shield, then you either need a new shield or a somewhat more extensive home repair, like adding good-sized washers to the fasteners.
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flydiver
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 6:49 pm

Clean it well. Get GOOD duct tape. Gorilla tape is really tough and good.
If the shield holes have been damaged you may even be able to rebuild those with a couple of layers.

If you want to get into it full bore you can use epoxy with fiberglass reinforcement. Some 20"-30" set epoxy and a few layers of cloth won't even get to $20 probably.
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Nubo
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 9:09 pm

A picture would help. If it's a large rip you might be able to use a strip of similar plastic (think garden edging), and pop-rivets with backer washers. Also it's a good idea to "stop-drill" the end of the crack to keep it from propagating further.
ex:
Image
Duct tape will eventually weather apart and become a nasty mess. Maybe something flexible and self-bonding like that "flex tape" might work but I'm not sure how well it would bond to the plastic.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

Jerryr
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Mon Jul 08, 2019 10:29 pm

A piece of fiberglass cloth and some Epoxy Resin and lay it up on the backside of the tear. It will be out of sight and stronger than original. Some fiberglass resins will not adhere or cure to some plastics but Epoxy usually adheres better.

I've repaired many damaged aircraft plastic instrument panel overlays using this technique.

Wear some Nitrite gloves to keep the epoxy off your skin. It's a bitch to try to get off later.

Cut piece of fiberglass cloth enough to cover and extend past the damaged area on the back side. Clean the area totally. Brush the epoxy on the backside of the damaged area then apply the cloth over the wet epoxy. Then use a disposable brush to wet the cloth totally. You may want to lay up a second piece of cloth over the first before the epoxy dries. f you use the epoxy linked below you will only have about 20 minutes before it starts to set up and harden.

https://www.amazon.com/Bondo-20128-Fibe ... B002JRGOT8

https://www.amazon.com/Pacer-Technology ... B0084UAPMG
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powersurge
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 3:24 am

People are getting too complicated here.... Duct tape will do nothing, as the underside of the car is the wettest and dirtiest place in the car.. Bondo and auto body stuff is not needed under the car.. And no regular person is going to mix fiberglass... that is for pros...

The goal of the repair is to bring back the cracked pieces together in a permanent way. I have repaired bumpers and underside of cars in the following fashion.... Do not waste your money for the underside of your car....

Use plastic zip ties... First find the end of the crack and drill out a reasonable size hole to make that end circular... that will keep the crack from spreading.

Second, either on the car or off the car drill 1/8-1/4 inch holes on both sides of the crack. Space the holes between 1-2 inches apart.

Third, use zip ties that fit snugly through the holes in an "X" pattern all the way down the drilled area. You will be left with a very strong, permanent repair. It will look like a "Frankenstein" scar, but it will be cool..

You can fix the problem in 15 minutes and 10-15 zip ties...

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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:01 am

epoxy + fiberglass isn't that hard. Clean the area, rough it up with a little coarse sandpaper to prep. Mix 2 liquids, coat the broken area with disposable brush, lay down the fiberglass. coat it some more, repeat, let it harden.

The zip tie idea isn't bad, especially for a smaller tear. If the tear was larger I'd back it with some other kind of tough poly (cut 2L soda bottle, thin cutting board, etc) and zip that in on the back side also.
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mwalsh
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 8:13 am

Epoxy isn't hard at all. For small areas, buy it in the pack that dispenses both required amounts of resin and harder and then mix it to spec. on a piece of scrap material.

https://www.amazon.com/Loctite-1365868- ... B01EZTQ0VO

I like the idea of poly over fiberglass matting. Something with flat sides, like a juice bottle, might be better than a curved soda bottle.
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Nubo
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Tue Jul 09, 2019 10:13 am

powersurge wrote:...You can fix the problem in 15 minutes and 10-15 zip ties...
I like that approach. It's not a structural element so this should work fine. And if you pre-bend the zip ties properly, you can do the whole process without taking off the pan. And nobody is going to notice black zip ties underneath your car as long as you trim them flush.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

powersurge
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Re: Can I duct tape a torn splash shield?

Wed Jul 10, 2019 3:02 am

PS - the zip tie system works great on cracked bumpers too...

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