NCR Ford Raptor
Published on February 12th 2021 in

Ford Ranger Raptor and its SMC fenders

The muscular look of the Ford Ranger Raptor has a great deal to do with the technologically advanced sheet-moulded composite (SMC) material used to make the fenders.

“One of the things Ford tried to achieve with the wider track the Ranger Raptor has over the standard Ranger family is a more dominant appearance or a stronger presence, so we had to change the surface geometry,” said Richard Taube, Ford structural engineer. “To put it quite simply, you cannot get the shape of the panels we desired with a steel or aluminium panel. We had to use a composite material (SMC) which gives good performance in terms of ding and dent resistance.  Most importantly, it has enabled us to get the surface language and appearance that we desired.”

The panel is a compression moulding, rather than the traditional injection moulding. The composite material is lightweight, strong and durable. SMC has different properties and characteristics when repairing, compared to a thermoplastic (TPO), (ABS) or (PVC) compound that are commonly used in automotive moulded components. Because SMC is reinforced with glass and other fibres, it provides strength and rigidity whilst maintaining a high strength-to-weight ratio.
NCR Raptor Fender

So what’s important for collision repairers to know about this product?

  1. When removing the panel, do not jemmy the panel off with a sharp instrument as it may damage and/or fracture the material, and never use pry bars or spoons to adjust.
  2. SMC is different from fibreglass. It is smooth on both sides, whereas fibreglass is only smooth on one side.  You won’t see the fibres in the back of SMC panels. They require finishing/sanding on both sides of the repair. Don’t use fibreglass repair material – there are specific materials to use – such as, but not limited to, 3M Rigid Parts Repair Adhesive.
  3. You cannot plastic-weld this product and there is no adhesion promoter required for these repairs. 
  4. It is very important to protect any exposed fibres during the repair process.

Ford Australia in conjunction with 3M’s Automotive Aftermarket Division have produced two repair procedures for the Ford Ranger Raptor front fenders.

These procedures allow for single-sided and dual-sided cosmetic repairs, though any major structural damage to the panel would require panel replacement. The process charts detail the steps in the repair process from the protection of exposed fibres, which eliminates the wicking of solvents and cleaners into the SMC, to the cleaning and preparation of the repair area prior to the application of the 3M 5885 Rigid Parts Repair Adhesive. This product is a two-part epoxy adhesive designed to be used as a filler and adhesive for the repair of SMC and other rigid plastic parts. It has an eight-minute worktime and 30-minute paint time, is an easy to sand material and is formulated to provide an excellent featheredge.

For more detailed information refer to the 2019 Ford Ranger Workshop Manual Section 501 -25 Body General Procedures or contact your Local Ford Dealer or 3M Sales Representative.

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