Lew Bachert is the co-owner of Collision Auto Body. Bachert has been in the collision repair industry since 1968. In 1988, Bachert and his partner purchased their current location.
Located in North Judson, Ind., Collision Auto Body is the only collision repair shop in the tiny town, which has a population of around 2,000.
Bachert says that at one point, the shop had numerous Buick Enclaves come in. The vehicles, which have a thin tab that holds together the wheel opening molding, were causing the shop trouble because the thin tabs were constantly breaking.
“No matter how hard you try or how slow you go about it, certain parts are just going to break,” Bachert says. “I feel like whenever you take anything off a car, especially a newer car, you’re almost just waiting to hear that snap.”
Roughly four years ago, when the staff attended the Mopar Nationals, they came across Tech-Bond, a company that claimed an improved adhesive solution that would work on a number of different materials, including plastic.
How it Works:
Bachert uses Tech-Bond’s Basic Poly Kit, a three-part system. It can be used on almost anything, including plastic trim clips and bumper covers. If an item needs to be bonded back together or if something breaks off, the user sprays the poly prep first to clean the surface. The poly prep only takes a few minutes to dry and then the user can apply the adhesive and move the objects to where they need to be reattached. One of the things that Bachert really likes is the fact that the adhesive doesn’t dry right away, which allows time to start over if the placement wasn’t correct the first time. Once the adhesive has been applied and everything is in the right place, the accelerator is applied. The accelerator increases the curing speed of the adhesive.
“We’ve had good luck with it,” Bachert says.
Primarily, Bachert’s staff uses the system on door panels. They’ve started to try it out on bumper covers, but Bachert says that it doesn’t work as well.
“It’s not the system’s fault,” Bachert explains. “It works great if you can get the pieces to back together nicely. Oftentimes, bumper covers get stretched out after an impact, so it makes it hard to fit it back together.”
Tech-Bond adhesives take on the characteristics of the material that it’s attached to, which is something that stands out to Bachert.
“It will flex with rubber and become more rigid with metal,” Bachert says. “It’s pretty neat to see.”
The $45 kit that Bachert purchased will last him up to a year, which made it a no-brainer purchase when he thought about the price to replace broken parts, which can set a shop back $200.
Bachert says he typically will use it at least once per week. Depending on the vehicles that are coming in, it may be more or less, but it’s definitely paid off.
The system has also been a huge time savings. Before Tech-Bond, to repair a bumper cover, the cover would have to be roughed up and an overlapping patch would have to be made on the inside and attached with an adhesive. That adhesive would have to sit with a clamp for about half of a day. Tech-Bond’s kit gets the same job done in about 20 minutes.