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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. :rolleyes: 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.

Tom











 

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The guys that have their boats and trucks "wrapped" as advertisement for their charter businesses know. The stuff shreds off in pieces when abraded.

Putting that into brush may make it look like hanging leaves. Now if it's different than the typical "wrap", you will be fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The guys that have their boats and trucks "wrapped" as advertisement for their charter businesses know. The stuff shreds off in pieces when abraded.

Putting that into brush may make it look like hanging leaves. Now if it's different than the typical "wrap", you will be fine.
There is no way this stuff is going to "shred off in pieces".. There are different grades of vinyl depending on use. This is made for automotive use and should hold up quite well. Perhaps the vinyl you are referring to is a lighter weight sign grade.

Vinyl has been used on cars for years. I had a 1974 Vega that had sort graphics on the entire lower half and it held up fine. That was 40 years ago.

Tom
 

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Good luck with it. Looks fine. Just know "wraps" from other trucks and boat hulls that are moving advertisements. Those may be different as they do not hold up well.

Get into the brush and find out. This Fall I will be offroad and in brush often at hunting camp. If I scratch a lot I might be looking for the stuff also.
 

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Looking good Tom, but 10more has a point about vinyl in the bush. Yam sells camo wrapped SxS' and one of the largest issues with those is when guys run em in the bushes the wrap starts to come home looking like it was run through a cheese grader. Mind you we're talking heavy mudding, beating and bashing so you may come out easier!

P.S whats that old chev lurking in the back of pic 5 ;):D
 

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Looking good Tom. A guy here at work got "chips" in his vinyl just from the winter salt. Most automotive vinyl wraps are 2-3 mils thick. Not much in the protection arena.
 

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I really like the look of this. Lots of time graphics and wraps are just too much for a vehicle really, but this is nice and subtle and looks great. Great job!
 

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Great wrap here. Hopefully over time it does peel or scratch or anything.

Have you done anything like this on your other vehicles, or past vehicles? Seems like you have good taste.
 

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Just wondering where you ordered this wrap from? I had the front end of my ED done at the dealer when I bought it but I really like what you have done here and wouldn't mind giving it a try!

Thanks!:)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I finally got around to finishing up the vinyl wrap on my truck. I know that I promised to take some pics of the process, but working alone, I just didn't have enough hands to make it happen. What I will do is post links to the YouTube videos that I used for reference on how to do it. It was definitely a learning experience and there were a couple areas that really gave me some trouble, but I did manage to overcome them and it turned out quite well. The biggest pain in the ass was wrapping the corner of the cab. There are a number of complex curves, both concave and convex and it took me a number of attempts to realize that using heat to pre-stretch the vinyl was necessary to get it to conform without wrinkling. I found a video on wrapping a side view mirror that showed me the technique I needed to use. Trimming the vinyl to size after it was installed was another technique that I had to learn. The trick is to place a layer of vinyl tape along where the cut needs to be, I used pinstriping tape, lay the vinyl over it and then cut through the vinyl over the tape so you don't damage the paint underneath, then pull the tape off and stick the vinyl back down. It worked great.

Anyway, here are a few shots of the finished product, followed by some of the videos I used for reference if any of you brave souls would like to attempt it:










Cookie's Heat Gun Skills

Cookie's Squeegee Techniques

Wrapping a Side View Mirror

3M Wrapping Techniques
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Great wrap here. Hopefully over time it does peel or scratch or anything.

Have you done anything like this on your other vehicles, or past vehicles? Seems like you have good taste.
I've restored or customized a number of cars, but this is the first truck that I'be had the opportunity to play with. I'm thinking a winch mounted behind the front bumper might be the next mod in line.

Tom
 

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I've restored or customized a number of cars, but this is the first truck that I'be had the opportunity to play with. I'm thinking a winch mounted behind the front bumper might be the next mod in line.

Tom
Very cool, I`ll stay tuned for more updates. It`s looking greet so far. Good job.
 

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That looks extremely clean! One thing for sure is that other owners will be asking you about it when they see you on the road :D
 
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