Blogs Car Info Our Show Deals Mechanics Files Vehicle Donation

Restoring body side molding, fender flares, and chrome bumpers

I’m getting my 94 Dakota painted and would like to restore the large rubber body side molding, plastic fender flares and chrome bumpers. The molding and flares used to be black and are now a tired gray. The bumpers have very very tiny rust spots and are generally dull. Any recommendations for inexpensive ways to spruce these up? Thanks!

I used a product called “Black Chrome” on the molding and flares of my 95 Dakota. It’s best described a a thicker version of Armorall. It tends to run if too much is applied at one time.

Before getting it painted, remove as much trim as possible, i.e. wheel flares, grill, etc. I’m not sure the body molding can be removed easily. The less trim to mask around the neater the paint job.

I can only suggest a chrome or metal polish for the bumpers and lots of elbow grease.

Ed B.

The only Black Chrome products I found seemed to be for metal rather than plastic or rubber. Do you know where I can find more info about Black Chrome?

Yep, I removed the bumpers, side molding, and flares (and more) before taking it to the paint shop.

Black Chrome was a Turtle Wax product, but it doesn’t appear to be available any more. I’ve had my bottle for years. Perhap this might work instead.,1,4,10 or the tire gel

Ed B.

Price the black mouldings first, sometimes, sometimes…they are not that pricey. I do not know where to buy it but a product called Gatorback might do the trick. Some Chevy parts dept know where to get it since it is used to repair bad Avalanche cladding although it is not a GM product.

The flares can be stripped and primed/painted if they are not ruined. Some plastic can be repaired if it is not gouged to badly.

New aftermarket or oe reman can be found at Keystone automotive.

There are several Meguiar’s products: (Meguiar’s Brand)>Car Trim/Molding Care&sectionID=16101

I think I would just repaint the flares. SEM has a bumper coating available at NAPA in various colors that is made for flexible plastic. As far as the bumpers, if they are actual chrome, a Brillo pad will clean them up, then use a chrome polish on them. If that doesn’t do it, not much you can do except rechrome them.

I’ve had good luck using very fine steel wool or synthetic steel wool and either a spray cleaner or even Coleman fuel and scrubbing the white or gray haze off some plastic parts. It will look worse before it looks better, but it does come up to a nice black.