Monday, March 2, 2015

Bedliner on ATV plastics

Most of us are familiar with spray on bedliners which are used to protect the box of your truck from dents and scrapes, but not many know that the manufacturers claim it has many other applications. This National Geographic video shows one of those manufaturers by the name of Line-X spraying it on a brick, a wall and even an egg to give each one added strength to endure a torture test. And the results are very impressive.

 Great video of how amazing this stuff is

Spray on bedliners intrigue me, I really like the textured semi gloss black look and the durability of it and I really feel that bedliner has potential in the ATV world.

Pictured below a DIY kit made by Dominion Sure Seal called Gator Guard II on an Arctic Cat 


Photos courtesy Curtis Gyorfi

Bedliner has really become popular in the offroad world, I've seen many Jeep owners removing their carpets and using it to cover the floor. The other day I saw a Toyota Tacoma with the entire body top to bottom covered in it.
From the research I have done I have concluded that there are three different levels that a person considering using bedliner can pursue:


1. Professional Spray Ons - This will typically be done at a body shop by professionals that know how to properly coat your plastics to ensure the greatest strength and reliability. They will also typically warrant the product and repair it if it ever starts to chip or peel. It still is somewhat DIY (Do It Yourself) in that you will have to remove all of the plastics from your ATV and then have them sprayed and then reassemble them afterwards. The only real disadvantage I can see with it is the cost, which appears to be in the $2000-$3000 range from our local Line-X dealer.

This is a sample of a kit that includes a Shutz gun but many
include a roller and a brush. These bottles will directly attach to the gun
2. DIY Bedliner Kits - There are a ton of different products out there supplying kits for the do it yourself-er. You have three options for applying these products, brush, roll or spray.

If you have a Shutz gun and an air compressor adding a nice thick coat of
a DIY product can be pretty simple other than the clean up


 Brushing and rolling is pretty straight forwards, for the spray option you will need a Shutz gun and an air compressor big enough to handle spraying. There are so many different brands out there, and what I have available to me here in Canada might not be what you have available where you are. There are many good products on the market, and some that are inferior. Make sure you do your research and find the good ones that are available where you are.

The biggest advantage of this method is the cost, you can buy a kit from your auto body supply store for around $250. Grab a shutz gun, air compressor and with a weekend's worth of elbow grease you can get some nice results.

The are some disadvantages too. Biggest being the mess, it gets everywhere. You need an area to do this that is well ventilated and you can get messy. You also need to have a steady hand, it was very difficult to see where our coats were too thin until the product was dry and we had cleaned up. The product stands up the best when the coats are thick and the liner is sprayed all around the edges, almost encapsulating the pieces. Clean up is also a pain, not just all the black dust from the overspray. You need to use thinner and take your time cleaning up the gun and the containers you used to measure the product.

Aerosol bedliner made by Dominion Sure Seal and
available at Canadian Tire
3. Aerosol Bedliner - This is the easiest option for a DIY project and it works pretty good overall but I would compare to a textured spray paint. I have used this product on a couple of projects but it doesn't have the thickness that a good bedliner really needs to be effective.

With all of these products proper preparation of the surface is key to making the product stick to the plastics. Most ATV plastics are made with polypropylene, this plastic is very flexible and has a very shiny finish and the shiny finish is the problem with getting paint to stick. Roughing the surface will always help paint to adhere better but it is also recommended to use an adhesion promoter.

Adhesion promoter made by Dominion Sure Seal
 My first project where I used the aerosol bediner was for my 2011 Can Am Outlander XMR. The two side panels are the only plastics that are not available in black plastic from BRP so I decided to use the bedliner.


A non prepped panel will peel on the edges


I was told that as long as I encapsulated the entire piece in bedliner that I didn't even need to do much for prep, so all I did was wipe it down with a degreaser. Unfortunately this was incorrect and the panel has shown peeling in a number of places around the edges although it has stuck well on the flat areas which are covered by a decal.
The Rhino hood pictured above was painted a couple of months ago and has not been tested for durability. I took extra precautions with it, here are the steps:

1. Roughed up all the surfaces with a red scotchbrite pad
2. Wiped it down paint prep from an autobody supply store and thoroughly cleaned it
3. Sprayed adhesion promoter and let dry for half an hour
4. Sprayed multiple coats of bedliner, approximately 5 in total    

The hood of my Rhino painted with the aerosol bedliner
With all of these products proper preparation of the surface is key to making the product stick to the plastics. Most ATV plastics are made with polypropylene, this plastic is very flexible and has a very shiny finish and the shiny finish is the problem with getting paint to stick. Roughing the surface will always help paint to adhere better but it is also recommended to use an adhesion promoter.

The end product looks great but I have yet to see if these extra steps will ensure decent durability.

More to come....

UPDATE
The Bedliner Kit: This product worked awesome on metal. The ATV racks we sprayed with the product turned out great and were incredibly durable. We also sprayed a very thick coat on the bumper of my Outlander which was very durable but didn't look the greatest because of how uneven the texture was sprayed on. This would have been less of a problem with good lighting and practice.


Unfortunately our tests on plastic were less than stellar. With a sharp object we attempted to damage the piece above and both the side with the adhesion promoter and without scratched very easily. And once scratched or chipped the bedliner could be pealed off in large chucks. After such a disappointing failure, we never attempted to use the product on plastics after this.


Aerosol Bedliner: As great as the Rhino hood looked it did not hold up well. In fact, a piece easily pulled off when a decal was put on and then removed when I was not happy with the placement. I sold the machine shortly thereafter and I am not sure how it held up under regular use. I am guessing not well.

2 comments:

  1. Hi fellas,
    Thank you so much for this wonderful article really!
    If someone want to read more about that Bed Liner
    I think this is the right place for you!

    ReplyDelete
  2. If you are in plan to doing by yourself, best spray on bed liners can help you for durable solution.

    ReplyDelete