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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
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 required 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 flare 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 concerned 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 hell 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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Man I am sooooo glad you did this, I too have the graphite gray and ordered it with the silver on the bottom and now iam not sure I am going to like that color combo mostly due to the fact that I saw the outdoorsman with the black on the bottom and it hooked me (the Laramie doesn't offer that color combo)..

So I called the body shop and they want 800 bucks to paint it black but, the auto vinyl shop we have here (have had them decal all our fire trucks) quoted me 200 bucks to wrap the bottom and fender flares.

After reading your post I and knowing my lack of patients I will not be doing this myself I will have them do it as your truck looks amazing... Good job and thanks for the pics.

Only thing that concerns me is the durability of the vinyl and how long it will look good.. but hay I guess I can just have it redone when it starts to look bad..

thanks for posting..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Thanks Guys.

The camo wrap is pretty wild. I definitely considered using a carbon fiber pattern on mine but decided that the satin black would be more subtle.

A bra would be pretty easy. I think that given enough time and patience, you could wrap pretty much anything with this stuff. It is available in clear, so that might be the way to go to prevent stone chips. That's sometimes used on the underside of the fenders behind the wheels.

I did a lot of research on the durability of the vinyl and in should hold up quite well, at least as well as paint. And as you have found out, it's a lot cheaper than paint, so if it gets banged up or you decide that you don't like the color, you won't be out a ton of cash.

Tom
 

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Looks great! A little heat will go a long way to making the film stretch and "grip" the vehicle rather than wanting to peel off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks.

I bought myself a nice new heat gun and used it on all of the concave areas where the film had to be stretched. I understand that it relieves the stresses in the film so it doesn't lift.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
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:













 

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Tom,
Off topic, but do your N-Fab bars rub on the front wheel flaring? I just installed a set on my outdoorsman and they rub
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
They do rub a bit on the very bottom, but not enough to hurt anything. I can adjust them so they clear, but I'd rather have them as high as possible.

Tom
 
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