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Discussion Starter #1
I'm thinking of repainting my tank and plastics to get a new color on my TW (and also lose that ugly pink '93 TW logo). I've had it suggested that maybe a vinyl wrap material might be a better option. Who here has used this? How hard was it to do? How did it look? Durability? Cost comapred to paint? Any other feedback on this technique?



I'm not looking for a pattern, but probably just a solid color. Might there still be some advantages to vinyl wrap over painting?
 

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Vinyl wrap is merely digitally printed sign vinyl. If you want a solid color, you can use automotive sign vinyl that has a bit of flexibility. Avery A9 High Performance is a good high-conforming vinyl that will be relatively easy to form around compound curves. It is a high gloss finish and is designed to last several years outdoors, far better fade resistance than printed wraps.
 

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Truelight and others who may consider the vinyl wraps, here are a couple of video's which show installation, techniques, and a few tools. Hope this helps.



Lizdbrth and purple people eater posted their thread a day to late:(! I started painting mine the day before. Had I know of this, I would have gone the vinyl wrap way instead of painting. And if my paint job sucks, or should I say, sucks real bad, then I will change course and order some vinyl wrap. Secretly I hope my paint job sucks so I cany use the wrap, but I will stay the course and try to do a good job with the paint.



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGndJy84ToA&feature=related[/media]



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DTOW_fH4Ci8&feature=related[/media]



 

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Discussion Starter #5
This doesn't look too tough. I'm intrigued that these guys use a torch to heat the material. That seems a bit more risky than the heat guns I've seen others use. I'm not looking to do anything as exotic as they show and would be looking for solid colors. Anyone who can recommend where to buy the material?
 

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This doesn't look too tough. I'm intrigued that these guys use a torch to heat the material. That seems a bit more risky than the heat guns I've seen others use. I'm not looking to do anything as exotic as they show and would be looking for solid colors. Anyone who can recommend where to buy the material?


The 'Net is full of sources. 3M products seem to be the recomended material, but the Avery product Qwerty mentioned may be just as good if used for signage, so long as they are "stretchable". You need to do a fair amount of manipulationm of the material.



I'd like to find solid O.D. green which lacks the white strata. I've tried Krylon in both the plastic and normal versions and found that neither is fuel proof nor will it stay put on plastic for very long. I'd like my bike to be more "wash and wear" than it is with the painted plastics which require constant touchup. and this film is TOUGH.



If you want printed stuiff, nowadays you can have any pattern you want printed on the 3M material. A camo pattern of naked pictures of your evil ex-girlfriend could be paraded around town, your own likeness or practically anything you choose can be sent as a file to the wrap makers and made into a wrap. Most places I called do this for about the same cost as standard patterns, since even standard stuff like Realtree camo is printed to order from a computer file with the push of a button. As long as it's not copyrighted material requiring licensing to reproduce, the sky's the limit. Theoretically virtually any solid color could be duplicated as well, but if bthey used a white base material you'd still get that microthin, but visible strata.



That said, having worked with it the camo patterns would be more forgiving of error than solid or high-gloss types. Ronnydog's bike is a patchwork, but I defy you to notice that fact unless he points out the seams to you. And should you manage to penetrate the film in a fall a "Bandaid" could be cut from the material and wouild totally disappear.



Re: Use of heat. I initially used a blow drier on ours as recomended on several sites. While it did make the film conform more easily, heat also appeared to weaken the adhesive. Heat may be great for a fast-moving, professional installer but it only made for worse results for me. I found the same results could be acheived by pulling and pushing the product "cold", just don't plan on using your thumbs for a couple of days afterward.
 

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The Avery material I mentioned is a lot tougher than graphics printed on 3M auto wrap. Auto wrap is really nothing more than white or clear sign vinyl with the graphics printed on with a giant-size inkjet printer, then sprayed with a clear topcoat to protect the ink from fading from exposure to solar radiation.



Avery A9 is a premium cast vinyl, one of the best and toughest in the industry. Think woodgrain on the side of a station wagon that still looks good after 20 years of neglect. Same quality. A 2-foot wide roll 30 feet long costs in the $60-70 range. Get it here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Having done some online surfing, I'm leaning toward thias vendor who also has solid colors. I'm not looking for "flash" so much as I'm looking for an easier and more finished alternative to painting.



http://www.decalfx.com/index.html



Their video makes me believe I might just be able to do this...



[media]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8pH6j9lmwrE&feature=player_detailpage[/media]
 

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Truelight,



Paint job abandoned and paint stripped off, back to original black. Gonna order the vinyl (soon), but in the mean time I'll put the TW back together. If anything, the TW has gotten a thorough cleaning.



The look was great, but I had issue with the paint durability. I brushed up against the parts a couple of times and the paint seemed to just peel right off. The paint is way, way to delicate from my perspective. And I suck a painting! Painting the metal parts worked well, and I intend to leave those as they are. Hopefully, the metal parts I painted will match the vinyl color I order.
 

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Their video makes me believe I might just be able to do this...


I'm sure that's the "proper" way to install it. Note there are FOUR hands involved in the process. You really gotta move fast and maintain (but not exceed) The working heat.



I gave that method a shot singlehandedly and it was unmanageable. With the workpiece solidly mounted to something and with a helper you could probably do a far nicer job.



Can't wait to see yours.
 

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Newbies heating vinyl is a recipe for disaster. 1) Excess heat kills the glue. 2) Excess heat makes the vinyl soft and fragile--it is very easy to stretch it too far (can't shrink it back) or rip a whole in it. In fact, heat guns are used to remove vinyl--by killing the glue. The Avery A9 works well on a warm day with no more heat than the parts being set out in the sun and the vinyl rolled out flat beside the parts. Invest in teflon covers and a little squeegee dohickey.



Many hands working together helps. Otherwise, bend the vinyl back on its self and slit the backing down the middle, maybe tack a strip of backing off, stick the vinyl on the centerline, the gradually pull the backing off while working the vinyl down. The stuck center is like a helpful pair of hands to pull against. Don't worry about an air bubble in a convex--poke the bubble with a pin, heat slightly, and press the edges of the bubble towards the little vent hole. Wrapping a teflon sleeve around a finger works well for this.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Truelight,



Paint job abandoned and paint stripped off, back to original black. Gonna order the vinyl (soon), but in the mean time I'll put the TW back together. If anything, the TW has gotten a thorough cleaning.



The look was great, but I had issue with the paint durability. I brushed up against the parts a couple of times and the paint seemed to just peel right off. The paint is way, way to delicate from my perspective. And I suck a painting! Painting the metal parts worked well, and I intend to leave those as they are. Hopefully, the metal parts I painted will match the vinyl color I order.


Hey homie! Interesting news! Let's get together over lunch one day and "talk wrap."
Perhaps we might want to both order this stuff and have a "wrap session." From what I've seen, four hands might be better than two in doing an application.
 
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