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Re-gluing The Bumper Step Plate

Author: LazyFox
Date: Mon Mar 29, 2004 5:32 pm

As many of you know, the bumper step plate is sort of pain in the rear. It comes unglued in the ends and starts curling up and brushing onto the bottom of the lift gate.  Following the threads about this issue in the forum, I came to conclusion that if dealer will re-glue it, it will start curling up again anyway. I decided to do it myself using the exterior 3M mounting tape. I did a temporary fix with the interior 3M mounting tape on one side of the plate, but it was interior tape and recently after the car came from hand carwash, it got totally unglued. You can purchase the tape at Home Depot or any other hardware store I'd guess.

Interior mounting tape DO NOT USE
Exterior mounting tape.
(I hope this one will do the job.)
Scotch® Heavy Duty Mounting Tape 4010
1 in x 60 in Clear Roll 
3M Id : 70-0708-8163-9 
GTIN(UPC/EAN) : 0 00 51131 76272 5
Scotch® Exterior Mounting Tape 4011
1 in x 60 in
3M Id : 70-0708-8165-4 
GTIN(UPC/EAN) : 0 00 51131 76274 9


First I pulled the step plate off. It wasn't that hard to do, the original tape seems to be foamy and chewing gum like.


You can see that there is a lot of dirt collected under the plate. I washed the surface with stream of water, to get rid of all the surface debris. Than I removed the rest of the glue tape by rolling it with my fingers (in some spots I used gloves as I was afraid to cut my skin with some of the metal rusted chips, so to use gloves might be a good idea.). I washed the surface off and than cleaned it with a Go-Gone. Same thing for the step plate, I removed the rest of the tape (actually using a plastic spatula worked OK and might have been a good to use for the bumper itself too.). Than I washed it and cleaned the surface with Go-Gone.


I also had few rusted spots on there. I suspect that metal chips have fallen there when they were installing the rear spoiler. I tried to clean them out, but not all of them would get off, so I decided to leave it as it was, the bumper is plastic anyway and I'll have it covered with the step plate. I do not plan to use it without the step plate either, as I like the look with the step plate better.


You can see the metal rusted chips in the original tape. First I thought that they had to glue it over those chips. But if you look closely, you can see it was perhaps due to the tape ungluing as the water eroded the glue on the tape and the chips were than flushed between the tape and the bumper.


I purchased two 60 in rolls at the Home Depot. I wasn't sure how much tape I would use. One 60 in roll is enough (you cut the tape down the middle to make half wide strips) to do the job as you can see on the picture above. My intention was to glue the tape all around and not only in the pre marked spots on the back of the plate. Than right before I started to glue the tape on I was thinking. There is perhaps reason why it doesn't go all the way around and it might be, because if any water or humidity well get in space between, it would have hard time to run out or evaporate if there were no spaces in the tape. To fit in the pre marked spots, I cut the tape in length I needed for the spot and than spliced it in half to make about the same width as the pre marked spot. The original tape is to wide to fit the pre marked spots. I used the rest of the tape to add few glue spots.


After removing the one side protection tape, the exterior 3M tape is not clear as the interior one. It is gray, almost as the original tape used. That worries me a bit as it might mean that the original tape is the same thing and that it will be curling again. I'll keep an eye on it and post any updates how it holds.


I was thinking about marking the spot where to insert the step plate before I put the tape on. Than I decided to use just the line in the middle of the step plate and align it to the bolt in the middle of the bumper. Be careful, real careful with placing the plate back on as the glue on the tape is really strong and it's virtual impossible to adjust the position once it glues on the bumper. After the step plate was in the place, I first pressed the edges down with my hand and than I used my foot to step on it with my shoe. I cleaned the plate and polished it with rubber cleaner/protectant.


And voila, here is the re-glued step plate.


There is a bit of space between the step plate and the bumper on edges, but the same was with the original way it was glued. I checked my neighbors Oddy and they seem to glue the step plate all around with some type of a liquid glue. Or perhaps it's sealed. I was actually thinking about using some sealing on the line touching the rear of the van to limit the water and debris which could get under the step plate in the future.


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