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Old 01-18-2006, 01:22 AM   #1
VTHokie00SL2
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Default Plastic panels revisited

I'm curious, what GM cars have used plastic body panels in recent years? I know that the Camaro/Firebird had plastic fenders, and I believe that some Buicks may have as well. While it's a different type of material that I assume is less flexible and resilient than what Saturn uses, was it more dent resistant than steel? Could they be a cheaper alternative to the type of plastic that Saturns had, while maintaining some of the dent resistance? Why did GM use them on some of its cars?

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Old 01-18-2006, 04:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

A majority of cars use plastic or some sort of flexible material in their bumper covers. The plastic used on the vertical surfaces of Saturns has to not only be flexible, but sturdy and stiff enough to hold the shape it was intended to be. Also, it has to be resisitent to hot and cold temperatures.

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Old 01-18-2006, 08:59 AM   #3
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

My mother's 1995 Olds 88 had plastic front fenders.

But give it up. Saturn is going away from polymer. Deal with it.

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Old 01-18-2006, 09:11 AM   #4
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by spencerb
My mother's 1995 Olds 88 had plastic front fenders.

But give it up. Saturn is going away from polymer. Deal with it.
Dude, if you don't like my post, don't read it. I'm just curious as to what kinds of alternative materials have been used for the fenders, and why. That's how I deal with problems - I look for solutions!

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Old 01-18-2006, 10:33 AM   #5
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2
Dude, if you don't like my post, don't read it. I'm just curious as to what kinds of alternative materials have been used for the fenders, and why. That's how I deal with problems - I look for solutions!
I don't think that Oldsmobile fender will fit your SL2.

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Old 01-18-2006, 11:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
I don't think that Oldsmobile fender will fit your SL2.
Nothing a little heat from a blow torch won't do...maybe a ballpeen hammer?

IIRC, Cheech n Chong had a car with body panels made from weed...

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Old 01-18-2006, 11:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by unkle bik
Nothing a little heat from a blow torch won't do...maybe a ballpeen hammer?

IIRC, Cheech n Chong had a car with body panels made from weed...
Man, after a really bad day at work, wouldn't you just be wanting a car fire so you could pull off to the side of the road and mellow out?

J/K! I do not nor am not endorsing the smoking of marijuana...it was simply a Cheech and Chong type joke.

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Old 01-18-2006, 12:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
Man, after a really bad day at work, wouldn't you just be wanting a car fire so you could pull off to the side of the road and mellow out?
Yeah, but then after you burned your car, you would have to WALK to the store to get the Doritos & doughnuts...

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Old 01-18-2006, 02:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by unkle bik
Nothing a little heat from a blow torch won't do...maybe a ballpeen hammer?

IIRC, Cheech n Chong had a car with body panels made from weed...
"Just go with it Sarge".

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Old 01-18-2006, 02:23 PM   #10
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by unkle bik
Nothing a little heat from a blow torch won't do...maybe a ballpeen hammer?

IIRC, Cheech n Chong had a car with body panels made from weed...

Oh - and it was called "Fiber Weed". You see, you take the weed from seed and turn it into a liquid.... then it can be formed into anything.

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Old 01-18-2006, 02:40 PM   #11
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by unkle bik
Yeah, but then after you burned your car, you would have to WALK to the store to get the Doritos & doughnuts...
Doh! Didn't think of that....

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Old 01-18-2006, 06:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by saturn_69
I don't think that Oldsmobile fender will fit your SL2.


I'm just curious about what kind of plastic has been used for body panels on other cars, and why it was chosen.

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Old 01-18-2006, 06:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2
I'm curious, what GM cars have used plastic body panels in recent years? I know that the Camaro/Firebird had plastic fenders, and I believe that some Buicks may have as well. While it's a different type of material that I assume is less flexible and resilient than what Saturn uses, was it more dent resistant than steel? Could they be a cheaper alternative to the type of plastic that Saturns had, while maintaining some of the dent resistance? Why did GM use them on some of its cars?
I think GM used them on Full size Buicks and Olds for weight saving which helps MPG in these vehicles which were not exactly mpg friendly. I think the Fiero was the plastic experament car for GM and I wonder if Saturn used it because GM liked what they saw in how the Pontiac took bangs and how well the paint held up on plastic beside the weight saving.I think if the Fiero had not had all its fire problems and the bad press that went along with its it might still be with us today. In 20 years it seemed Pontiac has come back to square one with the solice.My understands is Mercedes is experamenting with ploymer for some future Benzes.Since GM can not afford to do such things anymore Saturns will be cookie cutter cars of its GM bigger brothers.

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Old 01-18-2006, 07:03 PM   #14
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Early 1990's minivans (Lumina and TransSport)


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Old 01-20-2006, 01:28 PM   #15
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Here's another question. Do you think that some steel body cars are more easily dented than others? For example, the sheetmetal on my parents' 2005 Honda Accord seems especially thin and easy to dent. In the absence of Saturn's dent resistant panels, perhaps the best I can do would be something like the Subaru Legacy. I think the LL Bean edition or whatever it's called has trim on it that would protect the doors and fenders somewhat, but I haven't really looked at one up close.

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Old 01-20-2006, 01:43 PM   #16
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

Quote:
Originally Posted by VTHokie00SL2
Here's another question. Do you think that some steel body cars are more easily dented than others? For example, the sheetmetal on my parents' 2005 Honda Accord seems especially thin and easy to dent. In the absence of Saturn's dent resistant panels, perhaps the best I can do would be something like the Subaru Legacy. I think the LL Bean edition or whatever it's called has trim on it that would protect the doors and fenders somewhat, but I haven't really looked at one up close.
I dont know if some cars dent easier than others but the placing and width of moldings make a big difference. I saw a new Jag yesterday and as expensive as those cars are it looked ridiculous as the whole passerger side door was full of dings. It looked like a old piece of junk. A $65,000 car with a thin crapola molding left to protect it from the parking lot "who cares" crowd.Two of my Saturns took some heavy hits from these morons this past year.One backed into my SC2 so hard the tailight was broken and a chunck was taken out of the bumper.No they did not wait around for me to exit the store,they never do.Most use your car as a way of telling them they must now go foward or if there is enough room to open your doors.

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Old 01-20-2006, 03:13 PM   #17
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Default Re: Plastic panels revisited

1984 - 1988 Pontiac Fiero

Find yourself an '88 GT in good condition and you'll have a car that even the car mags admitted had evolved into a sweet car, after they spent several years fixing all the stuff that wasn't quite right.

Never fixed:

Headlight motors break down in 90 % plus vehicles.
Paint fades prematurely, especially in hotter climates.

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