Author Topic: Tailgate Band Restoration  (Read 15854 times)

Offline 78 Chevyrado

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Tailgate Band Restoration
« on: July 19, 2009, 01:14:58 PM »
Here's a writeup I did about fixing my dull faded tailgate band when polish just wouldn't do the trick.


First thing, If your band isn't too bad you can probably just wipe it down lightly with some WD-40. I used to do that on my 87, and it made it look like new until the oil went away again.

On to what I did to this band:
I got a used band off of ebay. It was faded like they usually are, so I tried a new to me way to fix it that has worked so far with no problems.

First thing to do is get any and all old paint off of it, like the outer trim like and the chevrolet letters.

Then I used some of that etching aluminum wheel cleaner on it. I let it soak in good for 5 minutes or so and then rinsed. The etching cleaner got all the stains out so the aluminum was all the same color with no splotches. At this point the band will be white, but don't panic....yet lol.

Then take a scotchbrite pad to scuff the surface LIGHTLY. you don't want scratches on the smooth part of the aluminum, and on the brushed part make sure to only rub WITH the grain, not across it. Also be sure to get down in the paint line groove and the in the chevrolet letters good. It won't matter if it gets scratched where black or yellow paint is to go, just don't scratch it where the aluminum will show.

Like all paints, you need something for the paint to "bite into"  however, more bite means less good looks on the smooth parts.  I can say now though that after4 years and 50k miles, this tailgate band still looks like i just painted it.  I keep it polished and waxed, same as the body paint.

Once you have it clean and oil free and scuffed up, spray it with a clearcoat. Lay the panel face up, and put on a light first coat just to make sure the panel is as clean as you think it is. Then put on a second coat just enough to get good coverage. At this point the band will kind of look milky, again don't panic...

I left mine out in the sun all day and within a couple of hours the clearcoat had lost all the milkyness and cleared up and I ended up with this:




Now it's time to paint the letters and outer stripe on it. The reason you have to clearcoat it first before doing the letters, is if, like me you have to mask off the letters to paint them, you need the clearcoat for the tape to stick to. I put tape on the raw aluminum after the etching cleaner, and when I pulled the tape off, every single bit of the adhesive came off the tape and stuck to the band. Big mess... Make sure to use a tape with an easy relase adhesive. remember you didnt scuff up the surface much and used no primer, so be careful with the clearcoat when sticking things to it. Let it dry in the sun a day or two before using tape on it.

Then mask off and paint your letters and stripe and then let them dry a day, then put another layer of clear over the whole thing. I put mine on kind of heavy, where it wouldn't have as much texture to it when it dried.

Here's my finished band, with black stripe and Gold Chevrolet letters.




The emblem on the right side isn't stock, but was part of a broken fender emblem, and it cover the small dent in the band quite nicely and looks stock to people who don't know any better.

I later added the silverado part of the fender emblem too, but it's not stock. All they do is hide a dent.  I filled the emblems in with epoxy so the back would be smooth and then just used double sided emblem tape to attatch them.

« Last Edit: August 16, 2012, 08:50:38 PM by 78 Chevyrado »
Kenny

1978 C-20, 350/400, 3.73, Graystone Metallic, Raceline Renegade 8 Wheels - 18x8.5, 275/70R18 BFG KO's

Offline SUX2BU99

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 10:34:24 AM »
Although you posted this a while back (my daughters 4th birthday in fact lol), I say you did an excellent job. And it's good to know that basicall you just used a scotchbrite pad to bring the shine back. I just scratched up my tailgate band on New Years Eve  >:( by parking to close to the overhead garage door so this is useful to me.
85 Chevy Silverado C10 short, wide, yellow, 2wd. Lowered, 60-over 350 with Dart Iron Eagle heads and Comp Cams XE268 cam, TH350 w/ shift kit, 3.40 Gov-lok 12 bolt.

Offline Skunksmash

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #2 on: May 03, 2010, 02:01:57 AM »
I love his truck. I am thinking I may even paint mine the same color, when it comes time to do paint. It looks modern, but at the same time it looks like a color that could very easily have come on the truck from the factory. Not sure how it would look on a truck with the 87 front end though.

Offline 78 Chevyrado

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2010, 01:44:51 PM »
Thanks man!

I think it would look good on a newer truck.  If you want to see what it looks like check out any 2008+ chevy silverado, or avalanche, its the darker of the two silvers, graystone metallic.  It's got some blue in it and also pearl, and make sure they use a black sealer under the color coat.  It kinda changes colors sometimes, I dunno how to explain it, I just know I like it a lot!  ;D
Kenny

1978 C-20, 350/400, 3.73, Graystone Metallic, Raceline Renegade 8 Wheels - 18x8.5, 275/70R18 BFG KO's

Offline RyanG

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2017, 09:50:37 AM »
So....I know its been 8 years lol. But is there anyway you can fix the pictures? I am about to undertake this project and this is exactly what i needed. Thanks for taking the time to write this up.

Offline VileZambonie

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2017, 05:54:17 PM »
He needs to edit the post and either upload the pics to the site or to another host.
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Offline Engineer

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2017, 07:44:11 PM »
Yup, photobucket has ruined the internets.
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Offline annemoody

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017, 12:28:17 AM »
Great read though.

Offline ChevTru

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2018, 10:01:51 PM »
too bad the photos aren't loading

Offline 78 Chevyrado

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Re: Tailgate Band Restoration
« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2020, 03:58:18 AM »
I Still Curse Photobucket.  I used to have lots of detailed write ups on here.  I used to use them as a reference for myself, like a Journal since they had the pics and the words to go with them.  Now I have to dig through the 5k pics I have a try to remember what and why I did it.  Curse you photobucket for breaking the internet.
Kenny

1978 C-20, 350/400, 3.73, Graystone Metallic, Raceline Renegade 8 Wheels - 18x8.5, 275/70R18 BFG KO's