Introduction: Instamorph Jetta Valence Hack
I have a 2000 Jetta TDI that I love, but one thing that has irked me for a while is the passenger side valence doesn't attach any more. I have thought about removing the valence, but when Bloominglabs received some instamorph from instructables for a build night, I thought I would give it a try instead.
Step 1: Materials and Processing
1. Instamorph (obviously)
2. Heat source (constant heat works much better than temporary heat, i.e. stove top > microwave)
3. Pot and water
4. Stir stick
5. cutting tool (scissors work really well for trimming warm instamorph)
6. smoothing tool (rolling pin type cylindrical object, we used a 1 inch dowel rod)
7. measuring device (micrometer)
General Heating Guidelines
1. Fill pot with 1 - 2 inches of water
2. Turn burner on low. The water shouldn't get above 150 degrees, otherwise the instamorph can start sticking to the pot and it becomes too hot to handle.
3. Add instamorph
4. Instamorph becomes workable when it's clear. As it cools, it will turn opaque. It can be reheated at any time to regain malleability.
Step 2: Attempt 1 (failure)
I knew I didn't need much instamorph, so I found some trimmings left over from my other instructable. This is one of the great things about instamorph, it's very easy to re-use.
1. Heat instamorph (maybe 1/2 oz)
2. Flatten the instamorph and trim to size (about 2" x 3" rectangle)
3. Place instamorph against valence lip to get actual required size (who needs to measure?). Start with the instamorph under the bottom of the valence lip, fold it over the top, and crease again at the edge to know how much extra to trim off.
4. Trim extra material.
5. Heat first crease to create a nice tight fold for the clip
6. (Attempt to) install on bumper. This is where I discovered I need to measure. The thickness of the valence and bumper was too much for the crease and pushed the two sides apart.
Step 3: Attempt 2 (success)
Learning that the thickness does matter here, I got a micrometer and discovered the thickness of both the valence and the bumper lip was .1 inch each, for a total of .2 inches of space needed. At first, I attempted to modify my original design, but found it easier just to reheat the clip and scraps.
1. After reheating, roll the clip flat and trim access.
2. I was able to still see the crease from the first attempt, so I didn't re-measure.
3. Fold the two sides towards each other, but don't try for a hard crease. I used the micrometer to verify that the space inside was just above .2 inches (.21 to be exact). I purposefully made the opening closer (about .1 inches) to give the clip more clamping force.
4. Allow the clip to cool.
5. Install the clip. The easiest way I found was to put the clip on the valence lip first and then work it onto the bumper lip.
I have driven the car about 100 miles and it's still in place, which I deem a success. I don't expect it to hold should the valence catch on a concrete stop, but we'll see what happens.