After many PM's reagrding the 3M Di noc carbon vinyl, i have decided to produce a quick guide to wrapping your headlight lid! throughout this guide i have used the vinyl size 300x300, i have recommended you use 310x310mm to give you a much easier job on the edges/more overlap.
first question, what will i need?
1) headlight lid
(remove from the car as it lets you get the best finish on the edges)
2) 310mmx310mm Piece of 3m di noc carbon vinyl
- This will be around £10 max, not much more than that, make sure you buy from www.undergroundgraphics.com with 5% nutz discount in the members discount section.
3) Hair dryer
- Do not use a heat gun, thats way too much heat for this application plus it makes your fingers burn when pushing the air bubbles out, trust me, i've tried both options
- obvious no?
second question, how do i start?
1) Clean your headlight lid, dont go mad it's not like prepping for a paint job! just give it a good old clean in soapy water then allow to fully dry
2)remove the adesive protection paper from the vinyl
3)Place the vinyl sticky side up, as below: (dont worry about those creases, i was messing with it but as you will see later on they come straight out!)
4) Place the headlght lid onto the vinyl, take your time with this as the size of the vinyl gives very little overlap, im using 300x300 and it only just covers it, i have stated in this guide to use 310x310mm to remove this issue. show below is 300 x 300:
5) Check your overlaps will cover the sides, once your happy that they do, flip the lid over to see what the deal is! mine was like this:
As you can see, 1 big major air bubble but nothing drastic. To remove this i peeled the vinyl off that corner and pulled firm while pressing it down onto the lid, removing the mass pocket of air and left with small minor pockets to deal with. The key to removing air bubbles:
Always heat the vinyl up with the hair dryer in a fashion that creates a hot vinyl corridor towards the edge of the lid for the air to escape. run your finger through the air pocket in the direction of your heated corridor and it will just remove itself, do not use excessive force just firm enough so that it cannot pass under your finger. Dont try to remove them individually in seperate directions, if you have lots of little pockets of air (very unlikely in this case as the lid is nice and smooth), try to merge them together then follow the above instruction.
After around 10 minutes of smoothing, i ended up with this:
Looks pretty sexy so far, now lets tackle the edges!
6) To start smoothing the edges you need to start just before one of the corners, pulling the vinyl over the edge and sticking it to the underside of the lid. The adesive itself on the vinyl is not heat activated, its pressure activated. The heat allows the vinyl to flex/be manipulated easier.
How do i stick the vinyl to the underside?
Firstly you pull the vinyl over, rubbing the edge firmly so that it is smooth. fold the vinyl onto the underside of the lid. Before trying to stick it down, heat it up slightly. this gives it a bit more flexibility. push the vinyl firmly onto the underside and rub it like you would to remove air bubbles, making sure it is as flat as possible (this is not possible on corners but that will be discussed later).
It will start looking like this:
The 'Feet' of the lid are easily dealt with. using the scissors, cut the vinyl out where the leg sticks out, make sure you cover the edge near the feet but do not allow the vinyl to interfere with the 'pronge' area where the adjustable screws use.
Some pictures to help you visualise:
The last section of this guide is how to get a smooth edge on the corners. This can be quite tricky but as long as you have left yourself enough overlap/understood the technique you will soon realise wrapping things in this vinyl is dead easy
If your following this guide step by step you will be facing something like this:
Use alot of heat, make sure it is as plyable as possible as stretching/pulling is very much involved at this stage. Whether you like it or not, without cutting the vinyl it is going to have the overlap. This overlap can be pulled over the edge, or in other words to make the overlap occur above the edge so that you can fold/stick the overlap to the underside of the lid. Little step by step guide below:
1)Use hair dryer to heat up the vinyl so that it is very flexible
2) pull the vinyl up and over the edge, the trick is to pull the vinyl up AND away from the edge then slowly lay the vinyl back over the edge, smoothing the edges as you place it, pushing all air out.
3) Once the overlap has occured above the edge, fold over and firmly stick the vinyl to the underside of the lid.
After around 1 hours work, jobs a good un!
The last pictures shows where i just couldnt pull it fully over the lid edge (Thats why i want you lot to use the extra 10mm
) Luckily you will not be able to see it when its on the car/hardly notice it anyway not on the car
If you have any questions feel free to ask or if you need any assistance just PM me i will gladly help