When I ordered my Outdoorsman, I really liked the two tone paint job until I realized that the lower part was gloss black instead of satin. My truck will see a fair amount of trails, so I could only imagine what the nice gloss black would look like after a few trips through the brush. So I passed on the two tone and ordered it in monotone, with a plan to do it myself in satin vinyl.
I've always wanted to wrap a car, but never got around to it, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get my feet wet. I ordered some black 3M 1080 Satin car wrap from Auto Vinyl Solutions along with a few basic application tools to make life easier, and got to work. After watching a number of videos on how to apply the stuff, it seemed like a pretty easy task, but there is definitely a steep learning curve involved. First, a lot of planning is required, so you can get the most out of the roll of expensive vinyl. When I figured out how much I needed, I had planned on cutting six inch wide strips and stretching them around the fender flares, but it soon became apparent that wasn't going to work. The stuff can definitely be stretched, but no where near that much, so I had to cut four very large "C" shaped pieces that ate up a lot of my supply. I also made the mistake of removing the first flare to cover it. That requires six hands to hold the flare and stretch the vinyl around it and it turned out just ok after about two hours work. The next one I covered while it was still on the truck and it worked out much better. I removed all of the screws and relied on the adhesive tape on the flares to hold it in place while it was being wrapped. Then I removed the flare and finished wrapping the vinyl around the edges.
With the flares off, I got started covering the lower third of the doors and fenders. My biggest concern about this was getting a straight line along the top where the vinyl ends. I had originally planned on cutting it with a razor after installation, but didn't trust my ability to follow the body line and was afraid about damaging the paint. What I ended up doing was cutting the straight edge on the bench with a straight edge and a razor, then peeling the backing off and applying the sheet like tape, following the body line. The vinyl adhesive is quite forgiving and you can apply it and peel it back as many times as it takes to get it right. You can even stick the stuff together back to back and get it apart, but that should definitely be avoided at all costs because its not easy to get apart without stretch the **** out of the vinyl.
I spent the entire day on the first side and got everything wrapped but the rocker panel and one small piece on the front fender. The other side won't take nearly as long because I am now an expert at vinyl application.
Since this was a learning experience, I didn't take a lot of pics of the process. When I do the other side, I'll go into more detail, so if some you brave souls want to try your hand at it, you won't have to make the same mistakes that I did. There are some gotchas that you need to know, like if you stretch the vinyl into a depression, it has to be heated with a heat gun to relax it so it won't pull back out. There is also a lot of technique involved in using the squeegee to smooth the stuff out without wrinkles. Other than the first fender flare, the most difficult part by far was the corner of the cab behind the door. There are lots of compound curves in it and access is a real pain with the bed right behind it. I need to figure out a better approach before doing the other side.