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Ford Focus Service Manual: Plastic Components - Description and Operation

Ford Focus Service Manual / Body / General Information / Plastic Components - Description and Operation

Exterior Plastics — Painted

refer to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) when handling chemicals and wear protective equipment as directed. Examples may include but are not limited to respirators and chemically resistant gloves. Failure to follow these instructions may result in serious personal injury.


The following illustration(s) are not all-inclusive of trim levels available. The actual trim level of the vehicle will determine the viability of carrying out a plastic repair.

Item Part Number Description
1 17D957 Bumper cover (front) — Thermoplastic Olefin (TPO)
2 17K835 Bumper cover (rear) — TPO
3 44210 Decklid spoiler — Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS)

Several considerations will determine viability of plastic repair procedure(s):

Several types of plastic are in use for automotive application. However, all plastics will fall into 2 primary categories of thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic.

Thermosetting Plastic

Generally, thermosetting plastics are made with 2-part thermosetting resins. When mixed together, heat is generated, producing a cure that is irreversible. Because of this, thermosetting plastics will require the use of a 2-part adhesive for repair.

Sheet-Molded Composite (SMC)

Sheet-Molded Composite (SMC) is a type of thermosetting plastic that uses glass fibers or nylon fibers in combination with thermosetting polyester resins. When fully cured, SMC is strong and rigid.

SMC is similar, but not identical, to fiberglass. Ford Motor Company uses SMC in components such as fenders, hoods and liftgates.

Thermoplastic Compounds

Thermoplastic compounds are manufactured by a process that is reversible. Thermoplastics can be remolded repeatedly by reheating. This characteristic of thermoplastics makes plastic welding a possible repair alternative. A repair of thermoplastic compounds is still possible through the use of 2-part adhesive and filler repair materials and reinforcements as needed. Thermoplastics are widely used in interior trim components, wheel flares, body side cladding and bumper covers.


Polyolefins fall into the family of thermoplastics with one unique characteristic: an oily or waxy feel to the material when sanded or ground. Polyolefin lends itself very well to remolding through the use of heat. Because of this, components made of this material lend themselves well to the possibility of plastic welding. Most adhesive repair materials and paint will not bond to surface of a polyolefin unless an adhesion promoter specially formulated for plastic is first applied to the exposed raw surface. Otherwise, polyolefins are repaired like most other thermoplastics. Some typical uses of polyolefins are bumper covers, fan shrouds and wheel housings.

Correct identification of the various types of plastic is necessary to select the appropriate repair method(s) to carry out high quality plastic repairs. Refer to Plastics Identification in this section.

Body Sealer Types And Applications - Description and Operation
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Plastics Identification - General Procedures
WARNING: Always refer to Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) when handling chemicals and wear protective equipment as directed. Examples may include but are not limited to respirators and chemical ...

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