Fuel Door Decal 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:
  • The base material is vinyl. Because vinyl is a pressure-sensitive product, direct pressure to the product is very important. Please use your thumb or a soft, non-marring tool to apply pressure.

Illustrated Installation Procedures

Fuel Door with Finger Pull

Step 1

Inspect the Fuel Door decal so as to determine the side where the fingerpull should be placed. Generally, the fingerpull and hinge sides shall be as per the image shown here. Then, carefully cut around the decal so that approximately 1/8" (.64cm) of the excess backing and application paper is exposed.

Step 2

Once the decal is trimmed, fold back a portion of the backing paper onto itself so that about 1/3 of the decal's adhesive backing is exposed. This will allow you to position and set the decal without it sticking to the entire surface.

Step 3

Once the backing paper is folded back onto itself, line up the Fuel Door decal so that it centers into the existing Fuel Door. Once the decal is positioned correctly, stick the exposed edge down onto the Fuel Door's painted surface.

Step 4

When the edge of the decal is attached as noted above, use a squeegee or your thumb to firmly apply the rest of the decal - up to the fingerpull.

Step 5

Stop applying the decal when you get to the fingerpull.

Step 6

In order to install the decal around the area of the fingerpull, we recommend that the application paper be removed first. This will allow the vinyl to be "molded" into the fingerpull depressions more effectively. Take care to remove the application paper slowly. Moreover, remove the application paper starting from the opposite end of the fingerpull as shown in the image.

Step 7

Once the application paper is removed, carefully run your thumb firmly over the top part of the fingerpull so as to attach it to the surface.

Step 8

After the decal is attached to the top of the fingerpull, carefully work the fingerpull depressions at the top and bottom to the edges of the Fuel Door with your thumb. Once the surface of the decal is installed, take your thumb and gently work down the edges of the decal over the edge of the Fuel Door. In some cases, warming the fingerpull areas with a heat gun after the installation will help the adhesive adhere to the painted surfaces better. Take care however to only "warm" the vinyl and not get the decal too hot.

 

Fuel Door without Finger Pull

Step 1

Carefully cut around the decal so that approximately 1/8" (.64cm) of the excess backing and application paper is exposed. Once the decal is trimmed, fold back a portion of the backing paper onto itself so that about 1/3 of the decal's adhesive backing is exposed. This will allow you to position and set the decal without it sticking to the entire surface.

Step 2

Once the backing paper is folded back onto itself, line up the Fuel Door decal so that it centers into the existing Fuel Door. Once the decal is positioned correctly, stick the exposed edge down onto the Fuel Door's painted surface.

Step 3

When the edge of the decal is attached as noted above, use a squeegee or your thumb to firmly apply the rest of the decal. Once the surface of the decal is installed, take your thumb and gently work down the edges of the decal over the edge of the Fuel Door.

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.

 

As always, if you have any questions feel free to e-mail us. We're here to serve. Thanks!

 
Need to contact us? Simply email us at technical@autotrimdesign.com.
 
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