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A New Bed for Your Bronco
Who said you don’t have enough money to coat your trusty steed with a bed liner? But didn’t you also say you are tired of the rust in the cab? But your girlfriend says unless you do something about the ratty interior of your bronco she's going to start dating the next door neighbor. Wait?!? Isn’t she the one who said you didn’t have enough money for a bedliner? What's a fella to do? Enough questions! EBE has your answer: DIY bed liners are easy and they work.
We are just like you. We needed a cheaper alternative than the high priced spray-on bed liner in the EBE sand rig Broncenstein. After a trip to the local auto parts house we rolled up the to the EBE headquarters with a brand spankin’ new Herculiner kit, wondering if we could get the pro-applied look by the beer sweat of our own brow. The kit gives you all the things you need to coat the interior of your Bronco, including a roller, roller pads, smart directions, even a can opener and the polymer coating itself. Like most EBE readers, we looked at the directions for a few seconds before we started. And then lost them.
The first thing you need to do is make sure you remove as much of the crud on your floors as possible. While your wire brushing everything (wear you mask!), make sure you inspect your floorboards for rust. Now would be a good time to replace that sheet metal instead of applying Herculiner. Visit our floor board replacement page in this Tech Corner if you need to cut before you coat.
After all the scale and 30+ years of mud, blood and other assorted nastiness has been cleaned up you can get serious about applying the liner. Care should be taken to mask off areas you don’t want. I (Max Daddy) used your garden-variety tape and learned a lesson: It is not enough. My suggestion is to buy a quality vinyl tape. Vinyl will give you a sharper edge and less bleed under once you start to apply the liner. You should also give yourself a "buffer" zone. Lay the vinyl tape down and go back over with newspaper taped to the vinyl.
After the taping process is out of the way it’s time to get dirty. Here is what you need to remember from the directions you lost. When it says wear latex gloves, do so! Don’t be a shmuck like me and ignore this warning. I know exactly how this warning came into effect… by experience. I was wearing Hurculiner for DAYS afterwards, all avoidable of course.
The application process is straightforward. You start by taking the brush that is provided and dab the corners and tape lines. This will give you better coverage than if you tried to do it with the roller alone. After letting it sit for a few minutes you can get your dime store paint roller pan ready. I found out that the plastic ones work best. After the Herculiner dries it will peal off of the plastic enabling you to salvage the pan.
With the tape line and corners coated, you can start rolling! Literally. Get out the supplied roller and get to work. Make sure you get even coverage. Once you’ve got the first coat down, go smoke a cigar, or eat a banana, anything to do for an hour or two. The first coat needs about 2 hours to set up before you can reapply a second coat.
Ok, done with that stogie? Time to put a second coat on. Second verse same as the first. Even coats are the key, but this time you run in a cross pattern… need me to explain? The first coat goes east to west direction; the second goes north to south.
That’s it! You're done. After the second coat has been rolled on immediately remove the tape. If the polymer has set to long and the tape is tearing then take a small exacto knife and cut the tape right at the line, but be gentle. Do not let the tape stand over night! This is bad.
The rollers and brush will be junk in the morning so dispose of them properly now. Believe it or not, we do not mean washing the excess down the sink or throwing them at the neighbor’s howling dog. Put them in a glad bag and chuck them. Herculiner sells small touch up cans so if the future warrants repairs it won't cost an arm and a leg.
The finished product has a nice bumpy texture to it. There is also a light sheen as well. Application was very easy and just about anybody can do it. For our Bronco it was the perfect. While not as tuff as spray on liners it will beat the cost hands down. If your constantly throwing a cord of wood into the back of your bronco this may not be the ticket, but if you want a good surface that’s pretty hard for everyday use, we give it a thumb’s up.