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In the picture below , I need to reattach two metal pieces located in the tailgate latch assembly on 2014 Ford Escape . The two metal pieces are located on middle right hand side of picture. The pieces are subject to pressure every time door is open and will get some jarring from door shutting and normal outside heat. Will epoxy do the job?Picture of inside latch

  • Based on the description so far epoxy doesn't seem promising. Could we get some history on what happened? An image from a different angle perhaps? What I would like to ascertain is the mode of failure (shear, erosion, etc.) which should tell us more about how effective an epoxy job should be. – Zaid Feb 8 '18 at 6:28
  • I had some netting in trunk area of car that got caught in latch area that messed up latch where it wouldn’t close and displayed door open warning. When I took the latch off door and looked inside the two pieces above were separated and it looked like some brown or dark colored spot where some adhesive or something had kept the two parts together. I am guessing putting too much pressure may have caused pieces to come apart. It’ll be tomorrow or so before I can get additional pictures. I’ve got the latch back working, but can’t get rid of alarm. – georgia-guy Feb 8 '18 at 6:48
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"brown or dark colored spot" that could be a spot-weld... in which case epoxy won't do it as you may need electrical contact...

Better pictures of the detail may help, but if it is a spot-weld then most good body shops will have a spot welder & machine who can do that for you.

If you know what you are doing then you could make one, but I don't want to go there...

  • There are conductive adhesives out there, including epoxy. It doesn't look like a weld, but it's hard to tell with that picture. – GdD Feb 8 '18 at 10:35
  • @GdD yes, difficult to tell what it is, but using a conductive epoxy could put the "repair" closer to other parts causing a short.... – Solar Mike Feb 8 '18 at 10:37
  • Absolutely! It would need to be done with care. – GdD Feb 8 '18 at 10:38
  • Thanks for info about getting body shop to spot weld it, but I sense there may be more wrong with it that is not fixable. I went ahead and ordered the part. – georgia-guy Feb 8 '18 at 17:23
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It's hard to say exactly from your picture as it's a bit out of focus for that area, so this will a bit more general than I prefer. Adhesives are not a substitute for material strength. If a piece of plastic/wood/breaks because of some sort of force that's routinely active on it then adhesives are rarely as strong as the material itself. If the material breaks because of a force that isn't routinely active on it then adhesives are often a good solution.

So if you're trying to fix a cover or fascia, or something that has a light load on it then adhesives are a good choice. If you're trying to fix your trunk lid mechanism and the adhesive failing could cause your trunk to open then replace the part.

Assuming glue is the way to go Make Magazine has an excellent chart on the subject of what adhesive to use depending on the materials involved: enter image description here From this chart you can see that when gluing metal to metal your choices are 2K/C, in other words two component (i.e. epoxy) or Contact Adhesive. Now, by the brown coating you see it would seem to indicate that the parts were glued, and I'd say you should use whatever was used before. The challenge there is that both epoxy and contact adhesive dry brown!

If the glue rubs off with finger pressure then it's contact cement, if it doesn't come off at all or flakes off with a screwdriver it's probably epoxy, although old contact cement can sometimes become brittle. If it's contact cement then that's probably your best choice as that's what Ford did and they must have had a reason, if you can't determine then 5 minute epoxy is your friend here. Just make sure to clean the parts thoroughly no matter what glue you use.

  • Thanks for the chart. I sensed there may be more wrong with the part that is not fixable. I went ahead and ordered the part. – georgia-guy Feb 8 '18 at 17:21

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