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NEED HELP, Removing Vinyl Stripes

TheSearcher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
146
Location
Arkansas
Corvette
2004 Torch Red Coupe
I bought one of those "anniversary" striping kits from a vendor on one of the Corvette forums in September 2004. This is the "decal" type that you just wet, place on car, smooth out the wrinkes and bubbles and then let dry. They are great for about 3 years or so, then they start to shrink. Mine eventually shrank about 1/8" all around, leaving a gummy residue that attrached dirt. And now at about 5 years, they are cracking and peeling around the edges. In short, they now must come off.

1. Anyone know the fast and easy way to remove these without harming the clear coat or paint?

2. Anyone know the vendor, as I may want to replace the stripes? They do look good (at least to me).
 

Dustoff529

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 16, 2008
Messages
170
Location
Bethlehem, GA.
Corvette
1990 Green 6 spd Coupe
Eastwood has a tool like an eraser that my brother uses.... goes in a die grinder or similar tool.
WHEN I have your wounded
Charlie
 

TheSearcher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
146
Location
Arkansas
Corvette
2004 Torch Red Coupe
Here's what I have heard from the seller of these stripes.

Heat from hair dryer will lossen the vinyl and allow it to be peeled off.

3M adhesive cleaner will remove the glue without harming the clear coat or paint.

I 'll let you know how this works.
 

gmjunkie

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 11, 2004
Messages
4,547
Location
Old Fort NC/Vero Beach FL
Corvette
03 Z-51,78 L82 Coupe
Here's what I have heard from the seller of these stripes.

Heat from hair dryer will lossen the vinyl and allow it to be peeled off.

3M adhesive cleaner will remove the glue without harming the clear coat or paint.

I 'll let you know how this works.
3M also makes Stripe and Woodgrain remover that won't harm the factory paint!:thumb
 

TheSearcher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
146
Location
Arkansas
Corvette
2004 Torch Red Coupe
Here's the results so far. A new 1875 watt hair dryer doesn't get hot enough, so forget that idea.

What seems to work best is 1) strip the stripe and surrounding paint of all wax with Dawn dishwashing liquid, 2) take a paint stripping heat gun on LOW (these get super HOT!!!) and working about 2" above the stripe warm up an area about 4" x 4", 3) remove heat (very important!!!), 4) then using a wooden stick (like a popsicle stick with a flat end) push up about a 1" seam, 5) then using your fingers (don't put your fingers in front of the heat gun unless you want to burn them badly), peel up several inches until vinyl breaks off, 6) repeat, repeat, repeat.

After you get the vinyl off you will have a load of gummy adhesive left that puts bumper sticker adhesive to shame. Follow the instructions on the 3M can; it will work.

Once clean, you will find that all along the edges of where the stripes were are tiny scratches in the clearcoat. Here's my theory of their origin. After about two years you will see that the vinyl has shrunk slightly and left the gummy adhesive all along the edges of the stripes, and of course, that gummy adhesive has trapped 10 times its weight in grit, grime, dirt and sand; this shrinking and exposed adhesive gets worse over time. In your past attempts to remove this residue of adhesive along the edges of the stripes while detailing your car you have scratched the clearcoat.

I now need to find out how to remove tiny scratches from my clearcoat.
You will plainly see these before applying more polish as they are so numerous as to make a kind of rough frosty line about 1/16" wide. However, these are the kind you cannot see after polish is applied unless you get the right angle of view which seems to be in the 20 to 30 degree range.

I'll be trying several aftermarket scratch removers.

I have already decided to try another set of stripes. I'm going with the SE stripes this time.
 

Toms007

Moderator
Joined
Sep 24, 2004
Messages
6,470
Location
Southwest Kansas
Corvette
2007 Atomic Orange Coupe
For the light scratches, swirls, etc, I use a PC (Porter Cable) 7424 random orbit buffer and Adams Swirl and haze remover with one of their orange pads. Works pretty well and about as safe as you can get with a machine.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
1,102
Location
Southeast, PA
Corvette
2003 50th Annversary Red coupe, beautiful !
I have used Mineral spirits and a Credit card cut in half and use it like a mini scraper. The solvent is safe for your finish and the plastic scraper leave a spotless finish.
 

TheSearcher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
146
Location
Arkansas
Corvette
2004 Torch Red Coupe
The 3M vinyl and woodgrain remover works like a charm. Its expensive at $20 a spray can, but one can did the whole car. It also says leave on for 10 to 15 minutes; that's way too long. It will all dry to a white powder in 15 minutes and its less effective after it drys. Put it on thick and start pulling the vinyl up just before the spray starts to dry - about 4-5 minutes.

The 3M adhesive remover was $15.00 for a quart can; and you'll need it all as the vinyl adhesive is tough stuff.

I can't get over how weird my torch red car looks with no stripes. I now really notice the lack of chrome on the C5 body. If I didn't have chrome CRAY wheels my car would have almost no bling at all.
 

bucket

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
839
Location
los angeles
Corvette
1992
these are all good..
but a heat gun is the soultion but i suggest that you hire your local paint and body shop to do the deed , then you can have it buffed out also and possibly clear coat added...im jus sayin
 

TheSearcher

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 7, 2005
Messages
146
Location
Arkansas
Corvette
2004 Torch Red Coupe
Labor is $95 an hour and the minimum at most good paint and body shops in my area is $1,000. Based on past work I have had done, my estimate is that it would have cost me about $1,500.00 to have the stripes removed.

I'm not cheap either, I had a Corvette expert install my catbacks, install my crossbar and racing harnesses, install my Kool Mats front and rear, and install my VariRam intake. But as I put the stipes on as well as any professional could, I figured I could take them off too.

I did and I spent only $35.

I plan to get my '04 repainted in about 3-4 years. I can almost tell you what year model a C5 is from looking at its front end and hood. I know most good Corvette show judges can, and more than one has told me that when their are a lot of C5's in a Corvette show and there is "Corvette" judging, its rare for anything but a 2004 to place simply because they will always be the newest C5 in the show.
 
Joined
Feb 8, 2004
Messages
1,102
Location
Southeast, PA
Corvette
2003 50th Annversary Red coupe, beautiful !
OK, the anticipation is killing me, but are you satisfied with the removal, or is it something else ?
 

bucket

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 21, 2009
Messages
839
Location
los angeles
Corvette
1992
Labor is $95 an hour and the minimum at most good paint and body shops in my area is $1,000. Based on past work I have had done, my estimate is that it would have cost me about $1,500.00 to have the stripes removed.

I'm not cheap either, I had a Corvette expert install my catbacks, install my crossbar and racing harnesses, install my Kool Mats front and rear, and install my VariRam intake. But as I put the stipes on as well as any professional could, I figured I could take them off too.

I did and I spent only $35.

I plan to get my '04 repainted in about 3-4 years. I can almost tell you what year model a C5 is from looking at its front end and hood. I know most good Corvette show judges can, and more than one has told me that when their are a lot of C5's in a Corvette show and there is "Corvette" judging, its rare for anything but a 2004 to place simply because they will always be the newest C5 in the show.

...

i got my heat gun at Harbor freight for...i dont remember how much but it was way cheap...like 5 bucks....
and ive used it a lot..doing golf club stuff
and it works just fine.
 

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