O.T. Who has wrapped their own car?

CherryClassic

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I do wraps on model airplanes, it's plastic iron on shrink film. I do it one time and its beautiful the next time...well let's just say I need to start over. I would never attempt to wrap a car. I don't know anything about wrap, but I would think it would be extra easy to scratch it.

sherm
 

drumaniac

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I worked in prepress for a large format printer for 20 years, printing wraps for buses and trains sold across Canada.

I observed the wrap process for a transport truck and trailer for a drag racing car belonging to one of our managers.
We hired pro installers who used small plastic squeegees that they actually licked to lubricate the vinyl which I considered to be an unhealthy practice.

In large format print there are three factors, in ascending order of cost; the printing, the installation and the cost of renting the space.

Installing on your own vehicle you only need to cover the print and installation. We printed on 50" wide 3M self adhesive including perforated see-through substrate, specially made to be removable. Toronto Transit streetcars and buses are changed very often so must be easily removed & installed so they have full time employees trained to do that.

All of our wraps were laminated to protect the ink from weather and fading. I think 3M is guaranteed for one year against colours fading.
Longevity depends on the amount of sun.

There are self adhesives, like "Busmark", that will rip the paint off of a car when attempting to remove so you need to make sure your printer is using the correct substrate.

Your printer may be able to get an existing template for your exact vehicle from 3M. (Building a new bus or streetcar template was always a time consuming job).

Once you have paid for a quality product it would be a shame to mess up the installation so I would get a quote from an experienced installer.
If installing yourself ask your printer for some offcuts to try to practice with.
Sounds like TDI
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Never wrapped a car. I've done plenty of drums. You can also do Plasti-Dip. One of my cars has the roof and trunk lid painted black which looks cool. It came that way, is pretty easy to do and will be fairly cheap vs. a pro wrap. If done right, it is easily removable without any damage. But you have to put 4-5 coats on, though. The guy that did mine only did 1-2, so it is a pain to peel off.
 

Pat A Flafla

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The closest I've come to what I think that might be is putting desert pinstripes on my truck. I don't even try to avoid it anymore.
 

KevinD

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We had a 1994 Toyota 4Runner where the paint was looking ragged, it really was not worth taking to a professional body shop to get filled and painted... My buddy who is a car guy said "just wrap it yourself, it's easy!"
I had given it some thought, lots of cool choices there too.

As a test, we opted to order some auto wrap to cover some outdoor furniture we had (flat with simple angles)
We watched all the you Tuber vids etc...It was harder than I anticipated, I found that you had to get it set the first time with no wrinkles or bubbles or smoothing them out became a problem (even with the squeegee and hair dryer and all the tools).
I've successfully wrapped a number of drums with traditional wrap but this was much harder.

We managed to get a couple of tables looking OK...the problem was that everything looked faded and weathered after a year or two.
We kept the tables outside, but our truck would have been kept outside as well.

I'm sure in certain circumstances the wrap would work but i would get a pro to do the wrap. (also my guess is that those pro shops know which wraps to buy that are best for withstanding the elements)

I would be interested in using to wrap some drums though.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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So far, the consensus is to get a pro. And if I go the wrap route, it is 7/10 chance that I would enlist the help of a pro. But I have had moderate success wrapping my goalie sticks and am pretty decent with decal application. Proper tools and wrap are key, as well as developing technique. I did use the 3M clear tape (for rock chip prevention) on the knee of my goalie pads and got it to look pretty good with no lifting after two ice times thus far, but goalie pads and sticks are not cars! I know that much of the success is getting it flat the first time, which entails both getting the surface wet with application fluid and dropping the product onto the surface pretty well centered before squeegeeing. I also understand why some “clay” the surface as it would remove contaminants that both impair proper adhesion and would show up in the finished section.

Thanks, all, for your input. Keep it coming and I hope to see a success story from an intrepid DIY’er with pictures!
 

Squirrel Man

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I got ya covered, Flusterbottom

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Pat A Flafla

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Cars are just tools to me. I couldn't imagine being embarrassed to be seen using a scuffed up wrench or drill, so I'm not embarrassed to be seen driving crusty, ancient vehicles. Anyway, the driver's not quite yet ancient, but is definitely crusty too.
 

Drdrumdude3009

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Cars are just tools to me. I couldn't imagine being embarrassed to be seen using a scuffed up wrench or drill, so I'm not embarrassed to be seen driving crusty, ancient vehicles. Anyway, the driver's not quite yet ancient, but is definitely crusty too.

I share the “car is a tool philosophy”, and mine’s not all that shabby looking; I just want to jazz it up a hair, that’s all. I refuse to spend big money on a car.
 

blueshadow

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Several trucks ago I got tboned and just kept the money. Bought a used bed for $400 and my father in law swamped it out. Was same color except had a striped on bottom. A coworker husband worked at a place that did wraps. It was going to be $1500 just to a stripe on bottom. I thought about diy but never got to it. Not sure you said how much of the car you are wrapping but I would start small and do the hood if you can.

How much is diy going to run you compared to pro?
 


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