Custom Bumper Lettering Installation Instructions


The following are the application instructions recommended by Auto Trim DESIGN. These procedures must be followed prior to any consideration by Auto Trim DESIGN and/or itís graphic manufacturers in regard to replacement or credit. Failure to follow instructions listed below in bold red letters may result in product failure and be considered non-warrantable.


Graphic Installation Instructions
Graphic Materials Information
Preparation & Cleaning Procedures
Installation Guidelines
Exterior Graphic Care


Graphic Materials Information
Storage and Rotation:
Stock rotation and climate-controlled storage are important. Age and temperature extremes degrade the adhesive and can dramatically reduce its effectiveness. Product should be used within the recommended storage life of two years. In addition, product should be stored in an environment between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Temperature Recommendations:
Surface temperature should be between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit before attempting the installation. As a general rule, if the surface is hot to the touch it's over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Adhesive becomes brittle when it gets too cold and gummy when it gets too hot. Applications outside the recommended range of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit reduce the adhesives' ability to perform. 
Preparation & Cleaning Procedures

****An Important Note about Cleaning. Please Read.****

Why Surface Preparation is More Important Than Ever Before!

Due to an increased usage of silicone based additives in automotive paint that traditionally contained only solvents or oil derivatives, the pressure-sensitive graphics industry is facing adhesion challenges. The result of these changes is the need for increased awareness towards surface preparation and application methods.

To reduce the amount of solvents in some of the newer "heavy solids" paint and clearcoat products, silicone-based additives are used as flow agents. As the solvents evaporate during the curing process, silicone particles migrate to the surface, leaving a silicone residue. In fiberglass manufacturing, mold release agents may also leave a silicone residue.

Traditional surface preparation for graphics application has consisted of chemical washing. Most cleaners contain a hydroxyl compound (acetone, alcohol) or a petroleum base (kerosene, zylene) solvent. These solvents work by dissolving oil-based impurities that are on the surface.

Silicone, however, does not dissolve. Removal of siliconates occurs through emulsification (suspension of small globules within the liquid, like oil in water). Soap and water will generally outperform solvent for silicone emulsification. However, an extra wash process costs applicator time and it may not always be necessary.

The application process noted herein, when followed, will effectively prepare the surface to bond with the adhesive. We recommend this process for all striping and graphics, regardless of who manufactured them. FAILURE TO FOLLOW INSTRUCTIONS IN RED MAY RESULT IN ADHESION FAILURE.
Cleaning Procedures:
All surfaces are contaminated to some degree. To ensure good adhesion to any vehicle surface, it is critical that you follow these recommended procedures in decontaminating and preparing the surface prior to any vinyl product installation. A clean, lint free towel or cloth must be used between each of the cleaning steps to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Remove heavy road grime or tar using our Rapid Prep cleaning solution.
  • When a silicone substance or residue is suspected, wash and rinse the contaminated area with liquid dish detergent and warm water. Dry the surface with a clean, lint free towel or cloth.
  • After the detergent wash simply finish the process by wiping down the entire area with our Rapid Tac or Rapid Tac II application fluid. Again use a clean, lint-free towel or cloth.
Installation Guidelines
Application Procedures:
  • Because vinyl is a pressure-sensitive product, a squeegee must be used for all installations.
    - Apply graphics using a squeegee. After the application tape/premask is removed, squeegee a second time focusing mainly on the edges and tips.
    You may want to use a protective sleeve, such as a soft folded paper towel, on the squeegee to avoid damage to the paint and/or vinyl surface.
  • When removing the application tape/premask, always pull it slowly, back onto itself, at a 180-degree angle.
    Bubbles should be punctured using a sharp air release tool. Do not slit the vinyl to release the air. If the vinyl is slit it will spread or gap.
  • The cutting or trimming of any stripe or graphic should be done using a very sharp knife and very little pressure.

Need an Application Squeegee? 'Click' Here

Illustrated Installation Procedures

Step 1
Clean the surface with our Rapid Prep Pre-Cleaner or a few drops of grease-cutting liquid detergent in water (do not use a petroleum base cleaner). Rinse clean with fresh water then dry with a lint-free cloth. Wiping surface with our Rapid Tac, Rapid Tac II or alcohol will also help remove any contamination and enhance the adhesion process.

Step 2
Remove the individual lettering from the Release Liner and carefully fit the lettering into the recessed area. Make sure that there is an even space all around the lettering.
Step 3
Once the lettering is placed into the recessed area, apply pressure with a squeegee or other hard plastic instrument.
Step 4
After the lettering has been set, carefully remove the outer Application Tape/Premask from each letter.
Wet Application Method: Spraying a light mist of our Rapid Tac or Rapid Tac II application solution onto your application surface will delay the adhesive activation between the bonding surface and vinyl transfer, resulting in a bubble-free, wrinkle-free application. CAUTION: Wet application may delay the immediate removal of the application tape. A waiting period of up to 30 minutes may be necessary.

Exterior Graphic Care

Today's finest pressure-sensitive vinyl materials have been used to create your new graphics. These graphics require little maintenance and should be treated similarly to a painted surface.

Do wash your graphics with plain soap and water or any commercially made car wash soap. Rinse thoroughly.

Do keep high pressure nozzles at least 18 inches from the edge of the graphics. High pressure spray may cause the edge of the graphic to peel.

Do test any cleaning solution on a small section of the decal before using. Be sure to read the solution's directions and warning notices that may apply to Vinyl Graphics.

Don't use any aromatic solvents such as acetone, M.E.K., toluene, paint thinner, or lacquer thinner on your graphics. Any solvent may soften the vinyl material or smear colors.

Don't overcoat the graphics with clear paint (voids manufacturer's warranty).

Don't let gasoline or other fuels drip or stay on graphics for any length of time. If a spill occurs, wipe off and rinse with water immediately.

Don't paint over the graphics.

Don't apply wax over graphics. Wax products generally contain petroleum distillates, which can damage vinyl graphics. The only product we suggest for use on vinyl graphics is Rod & Custom Show Gloss Creme.

Care and caution should be taken when storing your vehicle. Vinyl graphics and other items such as dashboards, tires and flexible rubber products will have a shorter life expectancy when exposed to severe heat and sunlight. Protection of graphics from prolonged direct sunlight will insure an extended life.


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