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2010 Mercury Milan Hybrid, 1993 BMW 325i convertible
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6,077 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished up with doing the rubber on the car, and wanted to put this out there for anyone contemplating the same thing.

I've used Back To Black, and it works, no question. My issue with it was that it doesn't work for long. After a few washes, it has to be reapplied, or your rubber goes back to gray. I had recently treated the front and back bumper, but the side molding was light gray. I've seen people writing about something called Forever Black, and figured I'd give it a shot. First, I had to find it.

The only place it's sold in my area is a Karmann Ghia restoration place in Ventura. No problem, I drove up and they had it in stock. But, odds are, most of you will have to order it from someplace online if you want to try it. It certainly isn't as common as Back To Black.

It comes as a kit, with a cleaner/preparation stuff, and the dye. And it is a dye. Mix one quart of water with the bottle of cleaner stuff and scrub the rubber, then rinse it off and let everything dry. The dye bottle says to tape off around the rubber, so you don't get it on the paint, which sounded a little hysterical to me, but since I had to wait while the rubber dried completely, and I happened to have a roll of paint masking tape handy, I taped things off. Not as carefully as I should have, as I found out.

Once I had everything dry, I started putting it on. It comes in a container like cheap shoe polish used to use: a foam tipped applicator that you press to get the liquid out. I went all around the car and put one coat on. The bottle recommends two coats. Ultimately, I wound up putting on three coats. Follow the directions and apply it evenly, don't let it pool. That will leave odd marks on the rubber, but if you get that you can scrub it out with a subsequent coat. When I had it all on, and it had dried reasonably (about 10 minutes after the third coat) I pulled the tape off, and found that the dye had squeezed up under the tape and left big black streaks down the side of the car. It had also uniformly coated the chrome strip on the side molding. I figured that was no problem, and went into the house to let it dry completely. I had about half the bottle of dye left when I was finished.

After about two hours, I went back out and wipe down the side molding and get rid of the extra. It wasn't that easy. Half a bottle of detail spray, and six microfiber cloths later, I had finally scrubbed all the black off the chrome and paint down the sides. Scrubbing, not wiping. And I'm probably going to have to get another coat of wax put on the car. It's a good thing my paint isn't at all oxidized and has a good clearcoat with plenty of wax, or it probably wouldn't have come off. Definitely, definitely tape well. And don't spill it on anything, like the driveway, unless you want it to be black, too.

Results: Very good, deep black color on all my molding. It looks brand new, all the way around the car. Overall, I'm glad I used it, and if it lasts for a while (one person reported using it three years ago, and it's still black), I'll be even happier than I am now. If it lasts through the summer, it'll be better than the Back To Black stuff. I'll update this after the summer driving season.
 

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Premium Member
1973 450SL 2004 E320 4Matic Wagon 2019 Jeep Grand Cherokee
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3,211 Posts
Good find. I've used Back to Grey, too and disappointed with it. Might give this a try.
 

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1987 560sl
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67 Posts
Forever Black works very well. Stays on for a long time.

I used it on my 81 300D and only had to apply it once. Don't let it dry on anything other than the black rubber. Wipe up anything that gets on paint or chrome.

It's worth the $$$ and easy to apply.
 

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1988 560SL 50K
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766 Posts
Brings up something i have been meaning to ask. The door handles on my 88 are a very dark gray. I was about to die them but notice in original MB ads they do not look as black as the rest of the trim and the bit that only shows when you pull the handle is the same dk gray color. Were these black to begin with?
 

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Caretaker of a '77 450SL
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184 Posts
Forever Black is my favorite also. Like everthing, it works differently on different surfaces. On a satin black painted roof rack on my minivan it stayed black surprising well over the winter. On "plastic" rear view mirrors it not as long lasting......but anything is better than Back to Black. On the Benz side trim and bumper rubber the application I applied July 4th was still working in Dec when I visited.
 

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1986 560 SL
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8,127 Posts
Brings up something i have been meaning to ask. The door handles on my 88 are a very dark gray. I was about to die them but notice in original MB ads they do not look as black as the rest of the trim and the bit that only shows when you pull the handle is the same dk gray color. Were these black to begin with?
Same question applies to the grille slats......
 

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1982 380sl
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55 Posts
I was reading their website and it states there's no need to use masking or tape since it will only adhere to porous plastic, rubber, or vinyl. Do you think they have reformulated the stuff since you used it? BTW, this is exactly what I have been looking for. Thanks.
 

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1977 Mercedes 280SL, 2002 Mercedes CLK 320 Sport, 2009 Mercedes ML350
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116 Posts
Based on the suggestions here, I purchased Forever Black from Quadratec - a Jeep store right here in West Chester. Anyway, the product is great, I was very impressed. I put 2 coatings on the bumper strips - and they turned out fantastic. I didn't use gloves, and let the dye dry on my hands, but it washed off immediately. Haven't washed the car yet though - hopefully it will stay put. I bought the kit with the cleaner - the cleaner worked really well, it took a lot of oxidized rubber off. It didn't smell like an alcohol based cleaner, so I'm not sure what it is, so I recommend getting the full kit. I've been rebuilding my bumpers for the past month, (treating rust on the inside surfaces) and hence applied the product to the rubber trim when it wasn't installed, so I don't know how well it sticks or doesn't stick to non rubber areas.
 
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