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Old 05-22-2013, 01:05 AM
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Default DIY vinyl "wrapping" things

Well things went so easy wrapping my air release hole covers I have decided to go ahead and do my front bar.

Stand by for a bit as so far I have just purchased the same kind of wrap I used on the covers but in a longer size.

Got it from the same vendor and it is about 56 inches wide and maybe two feet tall so if things go bad I should have enough for two tries.

The best part is the whole roll was only $8.44

It MAY just be long enough to do it in one go but it's going to be close.

If it's not long enough I will split it in the middle right under the license plate area and make a seam there as it's very thin and not easy to see things there anyway.

My bar on the front isn't in too bad shape with only a couple of stone chips but one end has been roughed up a bit after curbing it

I was contemplating making some "wings" for the ends to cover the bad paint but wrapping looks to be the easiest and if I install the wrap if I want I can always add some wings if I get the urge.
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Old 05-23-2013, 02:32 AM
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OK we have lift off. OK maybe it should be bar off.

Low tech solution to an high tech problem. When I got my vinyl it was rolled up and that makes it harder to apply on a long piece so my solution. Hang it out to dry.

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Here is the ugly stuff I am going to hide. Hard to take a clear photo for some reason this shot drove the camera nuts.

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There are 3 10mm wrench size bolts on each side and one in the middle, and one screw on each side in the wheel well then the bar comes right off.

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One piece of advice. If you are going to be driving with the bar off you should put the bolts back in and tighten them up without the bar then cover with some tape. The reason for doing this is the clamps the bolts screw into can shake loose and the will disappear or get caught between the bottom of the bumper cover and bottom of engine cover and be hard to find or get out.

The clamps for the two screws can be taken off and stored somewhere safe THAT YOU WILL REMEMBER WHERE YOU PUT THEM.

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So close!!! this shows how close it is the being able to do this in one long piece. BUT NOPE it's a few inches short.

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Some of the damage from 8 years of driving over parking lot end of space humps and steep driveways.

All these will need to be sanded out if you want a smooth wrap.

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When I was looking around planning this wrap never even noticed these cuts that go up and around vertical bars in the grille.

They could make this upper part of the wrap "interesting".

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Too bad but I will be "sacrificing" my DIY garage door seal lip but I had planed to replace it with a larger one anyway so it will be bare chin until Sept. and my trip to the states.


Next up sanding out the damage.
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Old 05-24-2013, 01:55 AM
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If you have a "perfect" front bar and are just wrapping for the look you can skip this section.

If you have a bunch of gouges and scratches like me follow along.

You are probably thinking what the heck does a piece of PVC pipe have to do with wrapping a front bar. Ha stand by for the next photo and you will see. ps my Harry Potter boom snuck into this photo again LOL

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When the front bar is removed from the car it is extremely "floppy" it wiggles around and bends this way and that at the slightest touch and I knew it would be a bear to sand with it wiggling all around.

So I saw these attachment points and decided to go all Dr. Frankenstein.

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I took the PVC pipe and added some wings on it but they don't sell 45 degree angle pieces and had to make do with 90 degree bends and they wouldn't come anyway close to the mounting holes so I FIRED UP THE BURNER ON MY GAS STOVE.

"Warmed" up the pipe over the burner and BENT it to fit. Good thing Mrs. claymore was out shopping as I had the front bar and the PVC pipe on the kitchen counter and the smell from melting the PVC is terrible.

Use care as the PVC doesn't need much heat to bend it. I also got it in shape then ran it under the faucet to cool it off to get to keep the bent shape.

Took it outside and drilled some holes and put bolts in it connecting it to the bar. Very easy to do writing this took longer than making it LOL. BUT it is very stiff now and ready for sanding.

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Since I had some very deep gouges I went with 80 grit paper to start and tried a new trick.

Usually using coarse grit like 80 "Eats" my finger tips but yesterday getting my jack out, to lift the Jazz to take the bar off, I noticed the pair of knitted gloves I keep in the lower hatch to keep my hands clean if I have a flat that needs changing.

Today I thought it can't hurt to try using the gloves while sanding as I buy them in a pack of 10 pair for a couple of bucks so even if they get ruined they are cheap to replace.

The real good news is the gloves worked perfectly. They are thin enough to "feel" what you are doing but thick enough to "save" my fingertips from being worn off from the coarse sandpaper.

And when wet they can be used to wipe off the sanding slime to see what you are doing then just stick your whole hand in your sanding bucket to get rid of the slime.

I'm going to sand most of the bar. Parts to get rid of the scratches and gouges and the rest just to make sure it is nice and smooth but will be using finer and finer grits on the still good paint.

If I had a nice clean perfect bar I think I would just wash it good with dish soap to remove any wax and leave it at that. But I don't ....rats .... so more sanding.

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This is the end that was really bad getting into shape.

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Some more sanding next then the "WRAP"
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Old 05-25-2013, 06:34 AM
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Well if you came looking today for the WRAP sorry about that.

I got the rest of the sanding done but I kept looking at the results and the "Body and paint man" in me took over and so I had to put some primer on it.

Then Mrs. claymore had to "go shopping" so I was missing a "helper" which I think will be essential in a wrap as long as this one is.

Here it a shot of my "hand saving gloves" I talked about yesterday. Note they have been dyed a nice shade of VPB by sanding slime.


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Got to have some tunes playing while I work. This is one of the "crank up radios" we used to give out in Afghanistan.

They are a great thing to have around if the power goes out as you can use batteries or turn the hand crank for maybe a minute to get and hour of radio or flashlight.

Where I am working between houses you have to move it around to get the best reception and it turns out the best was right where the window lock happened to be.


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Finally all the sanding is DONE.


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After all the sanding I removed my temporary "bracing" and gave the whole thing front and back a good scrubbing with dish washing soap and a scotchbrite backed sponge so the wrap will have a nice clean surface to stick to.


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Final shot for today is of the light coat of primer just to fill in some of the sanding scratches and done.


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So everything is ready for applying the wrap tomorrow and I made a confirmed "appointment" with Mrs. claymore so things look to be a go for wrap tomorrow.
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Old 05-26-2013, 02:57 AM
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Ok dudes this is the day everybody has been waiting for "THE WRAP"

Let me start out with a WARNING: Doing a wrap on a bar with all it's compound surfaces and curves IS A BITCH no joke.

I have a bit of experience with vinyl from my bodyman days. The sides on old school station wagons that look like wood like in the "national lampoon vacation movie" are in reality vinyl wraps and I have installed a few when doing collision repair work on customers cars.

The difference is the sides of station wagons are mostly straight with no curves so they are fairly easy to do.

BUT and it's a big BUT the front bar on the Jazz/Fit is curved and full of lines and curves in the surface and that makes for HEADACHES.

My final word of warning: If you are not fully confident in your abilities pay somebody to do it. I took the chance because the vinyl only cost me about $8.50 so if I messed it up I could just toss it but if you are going to try wrapping with some expensive vinyl material know what you are doing before trying it on a curved compound surface like a front or rear bar.

OK I lied a warning on needed equipment:

If you do not have a temporary support holding the bar straight, hair dryer, old credit card, needle or pin, nice flat clean surface to work on, scissors or razor cutter, and most important A HELPER that will be right there at your side all the time you are wrapping

DO NOT ATTEMPT TO DO IT BY YOURSELF WITHOUT ALL THE ABOVE.


On smaller flat things fine you can get do it by yourself but not something like a bar.

OK all the BS is out of the way so lets get started.

The "wrap" is just a layer of plastic with paper on the back that you peel off to expose the glue the holds the vinyl to whatever you are wrapping.

Got a great mrs. she was ok with me using the dining room table for my project and to be my helper.

I used my jackstands to lift it up so you could get at the whole bar. I then tied the bar to the jackstands using my temporary support bracket used in sanding so it wouldn't fall off or wiggle around. Note the old towels "protecting" the table


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The vinyl I bought has nice makings on the back of the peel off paper so you can make your measurements and cut straight.

Mine turns out to be cutting right in half covers all the bar on one side.


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The problem you will encounter wrapping a curved piece WRINKLES. This has one side started and the other one being put on.


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I started the first one at the center and worked toward the wheel end just pressing down the center part of the bar and got many many wrinkles and the wrap tended to move to the upper part.

So you have to be sure and watch how straight it is going or you will end up not having enough to wrap over the edge to the inside on one side or the other.

I started pulling off maybe 6 inches of the protective paper while the mrs. held the far end up in the air and straight while I pressed down the center so it was stuck good.

You can also see the "cuts" I made to help it curve BE SURE NOT TO CUT TOO FAR TOWARD THE BAR OR THE CUT WILL SHOW ON THE FRONT.


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More cuts and look at those wrinkles. DON'T panic yet we will get rid of them later now we are just doing the middle portion of the bar making sure it's straight.


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You can see in this not too clean photo how the cuts let the wrap go "over" itself on this section that has the bottom part done.


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Here is how you get the wrinkles out!! The hair dryer!!

Another warning:

IT just takes A BIT of heat do not over do it. If it gets TOO hot the wrap may distort and loose the CF embossing.

I found if I pulled on the wrap just a bit like you were trying the straighten out the wrinkles JUST A BIT then quickly put some heat to it when it got WARM enough I could feel it start to stretch STOP THE HEAT THEN it doesn't take much. When it's warm use your old credit card and finger tips to pull it gently and smooth it out.


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This just shows using an old credit card to smooth things out. I did the center first, then one underside or the other taking the wrinkles out and the wrap wrapped over the edge and pressed in place on the inside of the bar.


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Sorry about this but that's all the photos I can put here I will finish this in another reply.
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Last edited by claymore; 05-26-2013 at 06:21 AM.
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Old 05-26-2013, 06:19 AM
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OK I'm BACK lets finish this for today.


Now is the time to talk about bubbles. The scourge of vinyl installation they can pop up anywhere no matter how careful you are. What they are is air trapped inside the vinyl with no way to escape. Like this...


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To get rid of them you need to take the pin or needle I said you will need and poke a hole in the center then using the credit card push on the outside edge toward the hole and they should lay flatter. If they don't go all the way down try pricking it again in a different spot and try again.

BUT you may be stuck living with them if that doesn't work.


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And here is the result looks one whole lot better than it did.

The funny part is while I was messing with trying to keep them straight I forgot all about "matching" the ends of the two halves to keep the pattern.

Well "somebody" was looking out for me and in a moment of serendipity when I finally took a look they were lined up PERFECTLY. I couldn't have lined them up better if I tried.


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If you look very closely you may see a couple bubbles but when it's on the car they will hardly visible unless you bend down to take a close look, Same with any wrinkles they are all on the lower bottom side and will be covered with my new "garage door DIY lip" when I get the new on in Sept.


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That's is for today as this took 3 HOURS to get done and my back hurts from standing and leaning over all day so it will be tomorrow before I put it back on a take the final photos.
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Old 05-27-2013, 01:18 AM
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WHEW done and it looks GOOD

BUT my thumb tips are hurting puppies. While the wrap material looks quite smooth if you spend 3 hours rubbing it into place with the tips of your thumbs they get pretty eaten up by it.

Before the unveil I forgot one thing yesterday and it's fairly important. The first side I did I started in the center of the bar and worked toward the wheel end. The second one I started at the wheel end, with all the curves, and went toward the center and that WORKED OUT BETTER AND EASIER.


Now it's just a matter of re-installing the bolts and screws and lining up everything. Very easy to do but one tip before starting. I used a small strip of masking tape to hold the clips in place as they can fallout very easy and would be hard to get out.


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Now the money shots.

The seam is almost invisible see if you can find it. Hint it's directly under the license plate right in the very center of the bar.


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Now I will sit back and enjoy while you look at the photos. Some with flash some without.


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Those look good but this last one using the same camera at the same settings and at the same time ended up with this weird green tint effect.


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Well another DIY is done and I can't say I enjoyed this one but the results are great. I only spend like $10.00 for everything and to go further and get it ready for paint would have been another couple of days at least so this was totally worth the effort. And the sore thumbs.
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Old 05-28-2013, 06:04 PM
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This looks cool!
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Old 05-28-2013, 09:04 PM
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Looks good. It makes the front look a little shorter top to bottom as your eyes don't really pick it up with the black color. Going to give it a good wash today and take some better photos to show it off.
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Old 05-29-2013, 07:59 AM
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More new photos posted in the "Garage" section.
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