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DIY: Seat Belt Receiver/Buckle Red Button Restoration

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    DIY: Seat Belt Receiver/Buckle Red Button Restoration

    Hey guys, I have a brief DIY for you. I was debating whether or not R3V would find it of any interest, and then I see the post just below mine talking about possible solutions to this very problem!

    Without further ado:

    First gather products. You'll need:
    1. A terry cloth, buffing pad or microfiber (something with bite, not a foam finishing pad) and some Q-Tips.
    2. A polish or compound. I used Meguiar's Ultimate Compound, which can be picked up for around $10 from your local auto parts store. Menzerna Intensive polish or something from 3M would probably also work.
    3. Zymol Vinyl Conditioner (Can be purchased here).
    4. A hair dryer.

    What I used:

    What I started with:

    Seat buckles before:

    First wipe off any surface grime with a damp cloth. Then polish each buckle. Use slightly less than a dime sized dab of polish, and use both vertical and horizontal motions to polish the red of the buckle, paying special attention to the sunken bits between the letters (they are hard to polish correctly). Finish up with Q-Tips, polishing between the letters and around the rim of the buckle. Buff off the polish with the clean side of the towel, and repeat as necessary until you have a pinkish result. The white chalk look should be gone.

    One buckle polished (hadn't used the Q-Tips yet).

    Then use your hair dryer to heat up the buckle. I laid the hair dryer down about 6" from the two buckles, and let it heat them up for 20 seconds or so. Apply a generous amount of Zymol Vinyl Conditioner to each buckle (after shutting off the hair dryer). They should now appear red with slight smear of excess product. Buff excess product off after 20 minutes and repeat as necessary. I did 3-5 coats depending on the condition of the buckle.

    Both buckles polished and with several coats of Zymol Vinyl Conditioner:

    Final notes:

    They don't look like new, but they look maybe 90% as good as new. More of a Cardinal Red than the original firetruck red, but the important thing is that they no longer stick out like a sore thumb.

    I know the Zymol conditioner is expensive, and a quality product like PERLS, 303 Aerospace protectant or similar (no Armor All) may work as a substitute, but I can't say for sure.

    To maintain the restored finish over time, use 303 Aerospace protectant on top as you would on your dashboard.

    Let me know if anything needs clarification!
    Last edited by zhp43867; 01-22-2014, 04:39 PM.

    Or red plastic paint from rustoleam. Less work, $3 of cost.
    1989 Cirrus Blau coupe Racing Dynamics wheels and a Volvo Spoiler.




        Originally posted by 330SMG View Post
        Or red plastic paint from rustoleam. Less work, $3 of cost.
        I did a bit of testing on similar plastic and thought it might scratch off of the buckle, but if it works, great!

        This took me about an hour for all five of the interior buckles.


          On mine, you can't even see the word press. They're all so worn down I'm thinking of just sanding them smooth and using paint and clearcoat.
          It's not bad paint, it's called "patina"


            Hey, I just saw your thread. Very interesting and good results. Wondering if you use the Zymol on the dash to keep it in good condition too...


              Nicely done, but of course I already purchased 2 new receptacles from Blunt because both front receptacles red parts are pushed in. Is there any way to fix a receptacle ?
              1989 325iX Zinnoberrot/Black 65k miles


                I might give this a go, mine are faded but you can still see the "press".


                  nice. mine have been bugging me for a while. I've thought about replacing them but it's hard to justify when they work just fine.
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