The following instructions detail the installation of pre-cut kits. However, installations utilizing bulk material can be performed much the same way. The primary difference arises from the need to trim the material with an Olfa knife once the clear bra has been applied.
3M Paint Protection
Application tools necessary:
- (2) Heavy duty spray bottles
- Baby shampoo (Do not substitute other soaps)
- Isopropyl rubbing alcohol (70% solution)
- Non Scratch Absorbent Cloths
- Wax and Silicone remover
General Application Instructions
IMPORTANT: Read instructions thoroughly before beginning application.
- Installation should always be performed in a controlled environment with a temperature range of 60º to 90º F. Application should never be performed in windy conditions or in direct sunlight.
- Prepare a slip solution in one of the spray bottles, filling it with water and adding 2 or 3 large drops of baby shampoo. When properly mixed, the solution should sheet off the hood but not produce many suds. Prepare the alcohol/water solution using 1 part alcohol to 2 parts water.
- Contamination such as road tar, grease, oil, wax, dirt, and bug residue should be removed by cleaning the surface to be covered with the wax and silicone remover. Spray the surface thoroughly with the alcohol solution and wipe with the non-scratch absorbent cloth.
- Verify size and placement of all parts before removing liner.
- Clean hands thoroughly, even the smallest amount of dirt on your hands will transfer to the adhesive, causing an undesirable appearance. Also, always keep your fingers wet to prevent the adhesive from sticking to your fingers, and do not needlessly handle the adhesive side of the material. It will be necessary to handle the adhesive side of the material occasionally, but make any contact with the adhesive as brief as possible and with wet fingers. This is important, as fingerprints will show through the material.
- Wet the area of the hood where the kit will be applied, and your fingers with the slip solution. With the material rolled up, pull a small amount of the film away from the liner on one end. With your hand, wipe a 2 section at the edge of the hood allowing the kit to tack onto the edge, which will allow you to roll the film onto the hood. With the rest of the kit rolled up in one hand, use your other hand to hold the end of the material that you have pulled loose from the liner down on one end of the hood. Then, slowly begin to pull the liner towards the other end of the hood, causing the material to be slowly rolled out on to the hood. If the kit has a relief cut in it, be careful when rolling out the material on the hood so as not to stretch or tear the material in this area. You may have to use your fingers to free the material around the relief cut from the liner. Once past the relief cut you may proceed normally. A relief cut would be considered any narrow cut-out in the material which deviates from the normal hood line for the purpose of allowing the material to lay flat over heavily contoured surfaces.
- Now that the material is laying out on the surface, it will be necessary to apply more of the slip solution between the hood and the material to allow the kit to be easily positioned on the hood. Lift the material from the hood one side at a time to spray the material and the hood with the slip solution. It may require a bit of gentle tugging to lift the material from the hood, but care must be taken not to excessively stretch the material.
- Now that the material moves freely on the hood, you may easily position the kit into place. The kit should be positioned between 1/16 and 1/8 from the front edge of the hood and centered between the fenders. Also, be sure that the kit is level across the width of the hood. The kit may not line up with every edge of the hood; this is normal since stretching may be needed to relieve excess material caused from the curvature of the vehicles dimensions. As long as the kit is symmetrical from one side to the other, you can proceed to the next step, however, if it is not, you must re-align the kit, ensuring the whole kit is symmetrical at every edge.
- Once you have the kit in place, spray a small amount of alcohol in the center of the hood between the hood and the kit. Make several small vertical strokes with the squeegee in the very center of the hood, starting gently and then increasing pressure with each stroke until you have an area 3-4" wide from top to bottom that is free of the solution. The shield is now "anchored" to the paint in the center and will not move freely, which means you do not have to worry about the kit sliding out of place.
- Now that the material is anchored in the center, lift one end of the material back to the point at which the material has adhered, and spray the adhesive side of the material and the hood with the slip solution. Place your hand on top of the kit stretch the kit into position making sure that the kit lines up along the grill and the edge of the hood. Take your alcohol/water solution and spray the edge of the kit forcing the solution between the kit and the hood and take your squeegee and tack the corner. The alcohol/water solution allows the adhesive to adhere to the paint rather quickly, holding the kit along the edge of the hood. (Please note that when using the alcohol/water solution, the material will dry very quickly, so it will be necessary to work quickly to achieve the desired appearance.)
- From the center of the area that is now free of slip solution, make a horizontal pass with your squeegee to the edge of the hood. Then, starting back in the center, make short, upward, overlapping strokes from the middle to the top edge moving toward the first contoured are of the hood. Now, do the same with downward strokes from the middle to the bottom edge until you reach the contoured of the hood. Keep in mind that firm pressure is needed to avoid leaving water or air bubbles trapped underneath the material.
- Squeegee the trailing edge of the kit down into the ridge on the hood until it is completely sealed. This can be the trickiest part of the installation so pay close attention to this step. Drag your fingertips downward through the contoured area using firm pressure and hold. Doing this will stretch the material down into this heavily contoured area and pull out the majority of the excess material along the front edge of the kit. It is important to not let the material pop back up in the area above your fingertips. For the most part, suction alone will be holding the material down at this point. If you do not hold firm, even pressure with your fingertips on the film, air will be allowed back in and the film will come back up. A small bubble under the film is allowable. If you encounter larger bubbles you may need to release the material, re-wet the area and retry this step. With the material now in this position, follow behind your fingertips with the squeegee to complete the step.
- While stretching downward on the film around the grille, squeegee the film from the ridge to the headlamp using firm pressure.
- If any area around the edges has lifted back up, you should wrap a paper towel around your squeegee and go over the edges again. This will absorb the moisture around the edges that interferes with adhesion.
- Repeat steps 5-10 for the opposite side of the hood.
- For the smaller fender pieces, you can use the alcohol/water solution alone to apply the part. It is usually best to start by lining up the upper edge of the piece with the edge of the fender, while also ensuring that the front edge is about an 1/8of an inch away from the edge as well.
- Make a very gentle narrow pass with the squeegee along the upper edge of the piece. Do not press too hard on the squeegee when making the first pass or you will drag the material out of place with the squeegee. Then, as the material begins to adhere to the paint, you may use increasingly firmer strokes until all the alcohol/water solution is removed from beneath the upper edge of the material.
- Once the material is anchored at the top, you should gently pull the bottom edge down with your fingers while making sure that the adhesive is thoroughly wet with the alcohol/water solution. Then, while pulling downward on the material, make a firm pass with the squeegee from the top edge all the way through the bottom.
- Finish up by going over any remaining "fingers" in the material with the squeegee. For vehicles that have heavily contoured fenders, you may need to wrap the squeegee with a paper towel to push out any stubborn areas.
- Using the alcohol and water solution, thoroughly wet the mirror and lay out the material on the surface. Ensure there is enough solution present so the kit moves freely on the surface. Align the kit so it is positioned evenly around the edge of the mirror and squeegee in place around the inside edge.
- With wet fingers, stretch outward firmly until most of the excess wrinkles are pulled out from the top and bottom of the kit.
- Using very firm pressure, squeegee from the inside edge of the mirror (where you started) to the outside edge of the mirror. Using enough pressure, the squeegee should flex (or bend) indicating a firm amount of pressure thatis required to lay the material down evenly.
- Now squeegee the wrinkles that are left on the edges. Once again, you should notice a bend in the squeegee indicating the extreme pressure being applied to the film. Once you are down to the last few wrinkles you may then proceed to step 5.
- Using a Chizler wrapped in a non-scratch absorbent cloth, continue to squeegee the remaining wrinkles using firm pressure.
- Grille pieces are generally the easiest to apply due to their small size and relatively flat surfaces. For these pieces use only the alcohol/water solution for application. Depending on the type of grille pieces included in your kit, there will be slightly different techniques. The first and most simple type of grille piece is a small vertical section that would apply to either side of the grille opening. If your car's grille is attached to your hood (when you raise the hood, the grille area raises with it) then these pieces will be placed by butting the grille piece directly against the previously installed hood piece. In ALL cases this piece should be installed with NO GAP between the grille piece and the hood piece. Simply align the top edge first (forcing it if necessary to follow the same line as the adjoining hood piece) and squeegee the top 1/4 inch.
- Once the top is secure, pull down on the bottom and align the edge with the edge of the sheet metal. Squeegee the lower half to finish up.
Larger Grille Pieces
- For larger grille pieces, you will normally find that the pieces are slightly shorter than the painted surface that you are applying them to. This is intentional and is designed to help keep from stretching the narrow pieces too much as well as making it easier to squeegee these pieces. When removing narrow pieces of material from the liner, the plastic tends to stretch to some degree. Since the plastic will stretch differently depending on how it is removed from the liner and it is much easier to stretch the material that to cut off any excess, the pieces are designed intentionally short. On these types of grille kits, start from one end by lining up the kit with the edge of the grille.
- Stretch the remainder across to the other side and carefully squeegee the area. Use very light pressure on these narrow sections until they are tacked down sufficiently, gradually increasing pressure as they begin to adhere.
Bumpers & Airdams
Most of the kits in this category are simple to install and do not require any new instructions to apply. However, if you have purchased any of the following bumper kits, please follow the directions in this section:
- Mazda Miata
- GMC Yukon Denali
- Cadillac Escalade
- VW Beetle
- Chevrolet Corvette
- Porsche 996
- Porsche 993
- Porsche 928
- Porsche Boxster
- Porsche 944 Turbo
- For these kits, stretching the material is imperative due to the strong curvature of the painted surface to be covered. Begin by wetting the surface with the soap/water solution and rolling out the material onto the surface.
- Once on the surface and thoroughly soaked on both sides with the soap/water solution, center the kit on the vehicle while positioning the middle of the upper edge 1/8 inch from the edge of the bumper surface. Do not be concerned if the arc of the protection kit does not match the arc of the bumper edge. This is normal and will be dealt with in the next few steps.
- Once the kit is in position, make a few vertical passes with your squeegee in the middle of the kit to tack the plastic in place.
- Now that the plastic is bonded to the paint in the middle, lift the left side and wash out the soap/water solution with the alcohol/water solution. Leave some of the soap/water solution between the plastic and the bumper around the furthest left 12 inches of the kit.
- Lay the plastic back down and place your left hand palm down onto the last 12 inches of the kit. Stretch the material outward and slightly upward so as to force the kit to follow the arc of the bumper.
- While holding the plastic in this position, squeegee from the middle out along the center of the kit. Continue squeegeeing the upper section until it is securely adhered to the bumper. Leave the lower section for now.
- Lift the left 12 inches of the kit back up and wash out any remaining soap/water solution from this side.
- Place the material back down onto the bumper aligning the plastic with the edges of the bumper where necessary and squeegee the area into place. Leave any small "fingers" that have not laid down completely for now.
- Starting back in the middle, work the lower section of the kit from the middle to the left side squeegeeing in 1-2 inch strokes then make another pass from the middle to the left making 1-2 inch strokes and so on until you have reached the bottom.
- Repeat steps 4 through 9 for the right side.
Finish the kit by wrapping your squeegee in a soft paper towel and tacking down any remaining "fingers".
When finished applying all of the pieces to the car, go back and check all of the edges to make sure nothing has lifted up. If an area has a small finger that has developed, spray some of the alcohol/water solution into the finger and squeegee again. This time though, hold your finger on the spot where you squeegeed for a minute or so and the material should stay down. Make sure the car is not washed for at least a day.
Application tools necessary:
- 1 Quart Spray Bottle
- Heat Gun or Hair Dryer
- 1 bottle Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)
- Ordinary Tap Water
Mix 25% Alcohol and 75% water in a spray bottle. Use the mixed solution to thoroughly clean the surface of the headlight being certain to remove all grease, wax, tar and dirt. Dry the headlight with a lint free cloth. DO NOT REMOVE THE BACKING PAPER AT THIS POINT!
For best results, both the headlight and the Headlight Protection Kit should be above room temperature during installation. It is best to perform installation in a controlled environment. In order to achieve a higher installation temperature, turn on the headlight high beams and wait until the headlight becomes warm to the touch, or use the heat gun or hair dryer to gently warm the light surfaces. It is best if the kit pieces are also slightly above room temperature. This may be accomplished with the heat gun or hair dryer.
Before removing the protective backing paper, dry fit each piece to be certain that you are applying the proper piece on the proper light. Wet your fingers thoroughly with the alcohol solution. It is important that you not touch the exposed adhesive surface of the kit with dry fingers. Handling the adhesive side of the piece with dry fingers or handswill leave marks that will not go away. With hands and fingers wet, remove the backing paper and immediately spray the now exposed adhesive side of the piece thoroughly with the alcohol solution. Spray the warmed headlight thoroughly with the alcohol solution. Apply the piece to the light and use your hand to smooth the piece onto the light from the center out. Then use the squeegee provided with your kit to force the solution out along the edges of the piece by using firm, continuous strokes, from the center out.
On contoured surfaces, the adhesive will not stick to the lens immediately. In this case, use the heat gun or hair dryer to gently heat between the lens and the plastic. This will soften the plastic and evaporate some of the moisture allowing for better contouring of the material. DO NOT OVERHEAT THE PLASTIC. The material needs only to be warmed.
You may notice a hazy appearance between the lens and the plastic within an hour of installation. This is caused by residual moisture that has become trapped between the kit and the light. This is a normal occurrence and it should last no longer than 1 week. Heat accelerates the dissipation of the moisture. Driving with lights on at all times is helpful. The adhesive should cure for at least 48 hours before washing your vehicle.
IMPORTANT: Please read before attempting installation Clean the surface of the headlight being certain to remove all grease, wax, tar and dirt. Dry the headlight with a lint free cloth. DO NOT REMOVE THE BACKING PAPER AT THIS POINT! For best results, both the headlight and the Headlight Protection Kit should be at or slightly above room temperature during installation. It is best to perform installation in a controlled environment. In colder environments it may be helpful to turn on the headlight and wait until the headlight becomes warm to the touch, while also being certain that the kit pieces are also at or slightly above room temperature. Before removing the protective backing paper, dry fit each piece to be certain that you are applying the proper piece on the proper light.
Remove the backing paper being careful not to touch the adhesive side of the piece. Handle the kit only on the edges prior to installation. Handling the adhesive side of the piece will leave marks that will not go away. After applying the piece to the light, use the white hard card to smooth the piece onto the light from the center out. This should remove all air that may be between the piece and the light. If an air bubble happens to become trapped, merely peel the piece back from the edge nearest the bubble to a point past the air bubble and then smooth the piece back down onto the headlight using the hard card. The adhesive should cure for at least 48 hours before washing your vehicle.
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