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Discussion Starter #1
I was hoping some of the more experienced installers on the forum could give me some tips regarding a job I recently completed. I have to do a couple more cars with the same decals and I would like to make things go a little more smoothly next time.

I used Oracal 751 and high tack R-tape transfer tape. I also utilized a heat gun to seal the edges and window juice application fluid.

On the last car I did I had some problems and the install was not 100% perfect. I would like for the next job I do to be perfect. Here are some pics of the last job I did.




The first thing I did was spray the install area down with application fluid. I then placed the decal on the side of the vehicle and lined it up. I then flooded the transfer tape with application fluid in an effort make it conform to the odd lines on the car more easily. I started going over it with the squeegee at one end and worked my way to the other.

Where I ran into problems was around the window and door handle area. The transfer tape seemed like it was not flexible enough and there were a few areas where I had to cut the vinyl with an exacto and take an inch or so out of it to prevent it from being bunched up, if that makes any sense.

I guess what I am looking for is some tips on making sure that the transfer tape does not prevent the vinyl from being in even contact across the whole car. Maybe any other words of wisdom that you guys can offer me. This is my first "complicated" install. Maybe I should start going over it with the squeegee in the areas that gave me the most trouble last time?

I tried to be clear on what I was having problems with but if you need me to try and reword anything just ask. I really appreciate any help you can offer me, as I have to do two more installs just like this on Friday.

Thanks in advance,

Josh
 

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Josh,

Is there a reason you used application fluid? no more complex then the design is I think I would try the next one dry and as Dave stated remove the door handle if possible.

My experiences with app fluid is that it's a godsend at times and also a curse at others, it has it's place, but in this case it may be causing you more harm then good.

Also and I know you have no control over it but the customer picked probably the hardest place on the car to apply the graphic, with all the contours of the body, the door handle and the window I think you did a great job!.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for all the tips guys!

Yes, it is a pain in the *** place to put the decal. However, every car that this particular shop builds has this decal in that same exact place so like it or not, I am stuck with it. This was one hell of a way to break me in on installations, considering I had only done simple flat surfaces before! This particular model of car has a lot of lines in the areas where the stickers need to be applied, some of the next cars I will be doing should go more smoothly.

I will definitely try and remove the door handle next time, actually I think I will have the customer do it prior to me arriving.

Also I will do it dry using the hinge method, if I get any air bubbles will the heat gun help to remove them? The biggest reason I use application fluid is to eliminate air bubbles. I have very little experience using a heat gun while installing, in fact I dont even own one yet I just borrowed the one they had in the shop.

Any particular brands of heat guns you recommend, and the best place to buy them? Maybe one of the nice adjustable temp Milwaukee(i think thats the company I am thinking of) heat guns? They sell some cheap ones at the local sign store but I figure I might as well buy a nice one seeing as I would use it for automotive applications at home as well. I guess harbor freight is an option too.

Are there any other tools that would make these installs easier on me?

I generally charge $60/hour for installation, but for these first few jobs I have just been charging a flat rate of $40/side because I figure it SHOULD take me about 40 minutes when I learn how to do it properly and smoothly. This first job took me almost three hours and I screwed up one of the 48" decals, luckily they had another one I had cut for them laying around. Is $60/hr consistent with what the rest of you charge for installs? How long do you think this SHOULD take?

I was able to push back the install until Saturday(5/15) afternoon so I could get some more answers real quick. I want the next install I do to be 100% perfect for these guys, they are an important client to me!

Thanks a lot you guys are life savers!

Best regards,

Josh
 

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I find that you CAN install a decal like this wet, the catch is the part around the door handle.. Just be extremely careful when you are removing the backing and the part on the handle should be barely down. I usually just re-work these odd area's by hand and then use a heat gun to help with curves.

Have a blade on hand to cut the edges and again, just be careful, have a cloth to remove water from the loose part on the handle. Eventually with the removal of moisture it will start sticking.

The heat gun is great for air bubbles. Do a small pin prick then his it with the heat gun QUICKLY. It will pull the moisture out. Hit it too long and the pin prick will grow.
 
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