Inner Fender Coating and Removing Tar

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Oct 8, 2003
Z.O.W.I.E. Headquarters
I posted the following in outfitting but haven't received any responses yet which isn't surprising considering that all of 4 people actually go there.

Cleaning Wheel Wells From Tar

About a year or so ago I drove through some fresh tar and got it all over my inner fenders. I was wondering what is the best way to remove the tar, rocks and all. I played with some acetone, a scrapper, and synthetic steel wool yesterday and removed some of the tar (and paint) but was wondering if there was a better way. Previously I was using WD-40, but that takes forever.

Also what should I use to coat the inner fender once I've removed all the tar? I was thinking of using some Plasticoat that I have in a rattle can. I've seemed to remove the paint down to the black primer in some spots (which I think means that my fenders aren't the originals.)

My questions here still stand but I also have some 80 specific questions as well. First, what is the coating like in the inner fender on the 80? I believe my inner fenders have been replaced and as such don't have the OEM coating anymore. Was it like the coating in the rear wheel well? A kind of rough rubbery coating that was body colored? I think all I have is paint in the inner fender wells. Well paint and tar with rocks in it.

Mud is the best way to remove it. Was the inner fenderwell pretty?
on an LX450 it is caoted from the factory, I would assume that is is also coated on a Land Cruiser.

get it as degreased as possible and just cover the tar with a tar based undercoating
RavenTai said:
on an LX450 it is caoted from the factory, I would assume that is is also coated on a Land Cruiser.

get it as degreased as possible and just cover the tar with a tar based undercoating

Thanks for the info. I would coat the tar, but it's the rocks imbedded in the tar that really bother me. It's like perma mud.
Go to a industrial supply store or a place that sells dry ice. Get about 20 lbs of dry ice and some heavy duty gloves. Place the bags of dry ice on the inner fender on top of the tar. Let it sit for about 20 minutes, this will shrink the metal faster than the tar causing it to break free. Just take a scraper or a rubber mallet and break the tar up. I did this to my entire interior, this method works the best. Good luck
Zep Big Orange

I spent almost ten years working for a contractor that did a lot of paving. To clean the paving machines and trucks the mechanic would buy 5 gallon buckets of ZEP Big Orange and instead of diluting it to direction he would put it in a five gallon sprayer and spray it right on. Never any paint damage, just asphalt and tar dripping off about 5 mins later. Then hit with the hot pressure washer and voila brand new. You have to order from ZEP direct, all the info is on their website, search for ZEP Products.
My 06 LX has an inner fender coating kind of similar to a spray-in truck bed liner. My 94 LC does not.

I'm not sure if it's a difference in the years, i.e. 94 vs. 06, or between LS and LX. Your comment makes me think it may be an LX thing.
I probably should have corrected my previous posts and stated that I was trying to remove asphalt and not just tar from my truck. In reality they are 2 different things.

This weekend I removed the asphalt from my wheel wells. The ZEP Big Orange sounds great but I was anxious to remove the asphalt this weekend so I choose a different method since it would probably be a while before I could get the ZEP Big Orange.

I talked to a guy I know who said he used to use gasoline to remove asphalt and tar from his truck when he had his own truck that worked with asphalt. The gasoline worked pretty well. It was relatively nice to the paint and softened the asphalt enough so I could get it off with a scraper.

In all I tried mineral spirits, kerosene, adhesive stripper, and gasoline with gasoline working the best. The adhesive stripper worked but it worked to well. I had to repaint the primer on the sections I used it on. Also the rear wheel wells were a cinch to clean. All that was required was a little gasoline and a scotch brite pad and the asphalt came right off. I think this was due to the factory coating. The front wheel wells weren't as nice since they are replacements and as such don't have the factory wheel well coatings. When I was done I repainted the inner fender and then sprayed on some plastidip that comes in a spray can.

Now I'm wondering, does anyone know how I can get the factory coating back?

Also tech_dog, has your 94 ever been in an accident? It sounds like from others you should have some coating in the front inner wheel wells. Right now is it just painted metal?

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