Adhesives for Trim


New member
I have a '90 Syncro Westy. Anyone have a suggestion on a good adhesive to re-attach some the black rain gutter trim that is working loose at the ends of the gutters?


- dave


New member
Just did it on my '87 Westy. I used a clear epoxy. Don't remember the name. Got it at Pepboys. It comes in a syringe with the two glues coming together at the end. You mix that and apply. It drys in about 5-minutes. I popped the top and used cloths-pins to hold it in place. If its a small job. I'd sy go for it. If it's a big job... meaning most of the trim needs to be re-applied, I would recomend buying new trim and apply that. I've seen it on the internet for about $75.00. I Thought I would save some money and do it myself... But the job was pretty extensive. Before I used the epoxy, I had to remove the rusted and brittle metal that was inside the trim. I used a screwdrive and it took FOREVER. Good Luck. LB

Capt. Mike

Adhesives have become very specialized and the newer synthetic materials often create an adhesion problem.

For general gluing of trim, such as door panel fabrics, laminates, insulation and other flat pieces, 3M's #08088 General Trim Adhesive - Clear is a good choice IF you follow the directions exactly. It has a nice, adjustable fan-shapped spray nozzle. Directions call for two, cross-direction coats on each surface with a short tack time. Working time is not that long so pre-fit dry first.

They have a second Multi-purpose Spray Adhesive, #88873, that is supposedly stronger but comes out in a stream, so would have to be spread. It might be OK in some paneling where continuous application isn't required, but then the 'edge' would have to get extra attention. Also being very sure you have adequate adhesion so there is no sag in the middle where glue may not have reached.

For "contact cement" it's hard to beat old Barges in the red & yellow tubes or cans. It's that stringy, yellow, pain-in-the-butt stuff to put on and spread, but it's one of the best for glueing rubber to metal like most gaskets and weatherstripping.

Super Glue and it's variations have some excellent uses but also some severe limitations. They usually don't fare well with upholstery & weatherstripping.

Silicone seal is a lousy adhesive. It is OK for temporarily holding a weatherstrip between two panels and for completing the seal, but it's raw adhesive power is very low. Since it cures to itself, it will pull off in strips as soon as there is a small break in the adhesion at some point.

Glass adhesives are a special breed and I still say get windshields, rear windows and fixed glass installed by a professional. It pays in the long run.

The latest glue rage seems to be Gorilla Glue. It's very good but understand it's applications and chemistry. First, it take a while to cure and must be clamped. The curing process causes the glue to expand and foam, thus making a mess on the outside of any seam. In many materials, the foam will clean off but may stain. It was designed for woodwork, but seems to handle many other applications.

Many plastics contain 'oils' that prevent glue from adhering. Others, like vinyl, give off fumes that can cause the adhesion to fail. Many of the 'self-stick' products fail from these reasons (plus their quality is often so low the fail from old age or heat). 3M does make a 'primer' to clean and seal the material so these self-stick pads will adhere. It's sold in sealed package wiper cloths. Great -- when you can find it.

For vinyl plastics to vinyl plastics, you may find old-fashioned model airplane glue works. Some of the plastics and acrylics like fiberglass require a dissolving adhesive that melts the materials together. These then become one-shot applications so understand your material and adhesive before starting.

All glues have shelf life, especially when opened. For most of us, that means paying the premium for smallest containers. Epoxies lose their cure time -- 5 minute becomes hours. Super Glue is sure to harden the minute after you do the first job, so I buy the little multi-packs of individual use size. Tubes do a little better than other containers like squeeze bottles because after the first use, air fill the rest of the container and starts the curing process inside. The foil envelope-style containers have a much more limited shelf life, even unopened, than tubes so those disposable convenience packs should be cycled through quickly. They are good as the 'travel' emergency supply, but you need to start with new ones each trip.