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Cosmetic Maintenance (Wash, Wax, Detailing, Body Repairs) Wash, Wax, Details, Repairs


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Old 08-14-2020, 08:03 PM   #1
DarkPira7e
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DIY - Restoring Faded Door Handles For Cheap

The door handles tend to fade on these cars, my car was a pretty nasty example. Coming from the Mitsubishi world, I really like to see how creatively I can stretch a dollar.
This isn't something I'd seen documented here so I wanted to post for others to try.

All I used was a Meguiar's headlight restoration kit, 1 microfiber cloth, and glass cleaner.



Step 1-
Clean the door handle! I used foaming glass cleaner and a microfiber cloth

Step 2-
Wetsand with 1000 grit sanding pad. I spray the sanding pad with the glass cleaner and gently scrub the surface.
Be very careful around the edges; don't scuff the door paint!

Step 3-
Wipe the door handle down. Look at the microfiber!! We're not done, repeat steps 2 and 3.

Step 4-
Switch to the 3000 grit pad. More wetsanding! Remember that you're not scrubbing, you're smoothing- just let the pad glide across back and forth.

Step 5-
Get your microfiber and put some plastic polish on it! Technically this is a buffing stage, but we're being cheap here. Rub in right circles, apply some pressure.

Step 6-
Flip the cloth over and rub the compound off!

Step 7-
Grab the little rectangle sponge, your headlight coating, and get a clean section of your microfiber ready- almost done!


Apply a few drops to the sponge and wipe gently onto the door handle in long sweeps slowly. Always coat in the same direction and do not allow it to run. If it runs, use your microfiber to wipe it off quickly. Do not touch the door handle during/after coating for at least an hour!

Step 8-

Come back out in a bit and admire your shiny door handles! I wouldn't open/touch them for the remainder of the dark, just to be sure the coating has settled. I was very happy with how effective this was. We'll see long term how it holds up!
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Last edited by DarkPira7e; 08-14-2020 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 08-15-2020, 11:25 PM   #2
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Great work, just FYI you can purchase new pre-painted door handles from Toyota for less ~$50 for those who don’t want to spend the time on a DIY.

Also thy are very easy to remove from the car to prevent damaging the surrounding paint, no door panel removal needed.
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Old 08-17-2020, 10:33 AM   #3
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Great work, just FYI you can purchase new pre-painted door handles from Toyota for less ~$50 for those who donít want to spend the time on a DIY.

Also thy are very easy to remove from the car to prevent damaging the surrounding paint, no door panel removal needed.
Good info! I'll have to look up how to remove them, I would've thought they were screwed in from behind the panel
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:27 PM   #4
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Is this just a red car thing? Don't remember ever seeing any other colour with this complaint. Is it the lack of a pearl coat maybe?
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:33 PM   #5
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Is this just a red car thing? Don't remember ever seeing any other colour with this complaint. Is it the lack of a pearl coat maybe?

Reds are the worst for oxidizing.
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:43 PM   #6
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Good info! I'll have to look up how to remove them, I would've thought they were screwed in from behind the panel
Yeah I had the same Paint issue with my red FRS.
There is an access plug on the door frame, check YouTube.
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Old 08-17-2020, 03:05 PM   #7
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Reds are the worst for oxidizing.
They always have been since the beginning of time!
Wonder how the newer 86s with the pearl in the red are standing up though.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:15 PM   #8
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They always have been since the beginning of time!
Wonder how the newer 86s with the pearl in the red are standing up though.
I'm curious as well. My red 91 Miata was the worst fading paint I'd ever seen...
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:45 PM   #9
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I'm curious as well. My red 91 Miata was the worst fading paint I'd ever seen...
I never thought about fading since the clear coat became separate but I guess red still has issues. Made sense to me with the old enamels where the pigment was part of the paint itself so exposed to the UV and oxygen but the clear and pearl coats should protect it. At least in theory.
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Old 09-11-2020, 05:48 AM   #10
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Wow! The outcome looks really nice.
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:13 PM   #11
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We'll see long term how it holds up!
How has this held up?
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Old 11-16-2020, 10:28 PM   #12
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How has this held up?
The car hasn't seen sunlight since April, so I don't think it's really been tested. Still great though!
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Old 11-17-2020, 04:24 AM   #13
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The car hasn't seen sunlight since April, so I don't think it's really been tested. Still great though!

Brilliant - will give this a go then!
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Old 11-17-2020, 08:00 AM   #14
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Brilliant - will give this a go then!
It's certainly a hell of a lot better than leaving them alone
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