A heat gun is one of those items that many garages are missing. Once you have one around the shop you’d be surprised how often they come in handy! We decided to put together a short list of our favorite uses of our Eastwood Digital Heat Gun
1. Heat Shrink- I ALWAYS use heat shrink connectors and sleeves on my wiring when I wire a vehicle. This means that there may be times when you have to shrink a few connectors or sleeves on the car and I don’t like the idea of using a lighter or an open flame to shrink inside an engine bay or under a dash. The adjustable heat guns are nice because you can adjust the heat and use a tip that directs the heat only on the wires you want. This is my most common use of a heat gun.
2. Removing Undercoating- Taking off old sound deadening or undercoating on a vehicle is one of my most dreaded steps of a restoration. Using a grinder or a wire wheel can be messy and time consuming. I like to heat the area I want to strip with the heat gun on the highest setting and then use a sharp metal scraper to take of the thick layer of undercoating in one swipe. This takes some practice with your technique, but using some heat allows the undercoating to soften and come off in large strips rather than little pieces.
3. Removing old Body Filler- Stripping a car that has had filler used throughout? I like to use a heat gun to soften the body filler and make it easier to dig out of a hole, dent, or creased area where the previous owner “caved and paved”.
4. Installing Rubber Seals- Rubber for window glass always installs better when it’s warm. If it isn’t a muggy hot day or you want to work in the comfort of your garage you can turn your heat gun temperature down to a lower setting and heat up the rubber seal so it becomes more pliable and falls into its seat a little easier. I find this especially helpful when doing glass that is the “push-in” style as found on a lot of older cars.
5. Bringing new life to old bumpers- Own a car from the 70’s-90’s that has textured black plastic bumpers, fender flares, or trim? This trim looked sharp when new but over the years the sun gets to these parts and they turn to a faded gray and the plastic treatments you get at your local parts store last a month at best. Use your heat gun on a medium setting and slowly go over the parts with a heat gun staying 4-6 inches from the part. As you heat the part you will see the gray color will go away and the part will turn black again. Take a few passes over the part and you can have bumpers that look and are like new again. No fancy snake oil sprays.