Please Download First: Application Instructions
READ THIS SECTION IMMEDIATELY -- YOUR Vehicle graphics WARRANTY REQUIRES IT!
Inspect you order IMMEDIATELY upon receipt. Do not leave it in the box until the application date -- by then it will be too late for us to fix any problems that you may encounter.
Do not try to "fix" suspect graphics during application. If you or your applicator is concerned about the condition of the car graphics, call NOW. Do not attempt to apply them! We are not able to replace vehicle decals without inspecting them first-hand, and this is impossible once they are applied to the car.
Store Vehicle graphics flat until application. The longer they stay rolled up, the more difficult to get them flat for application.
Read and follow the application instructions. Even if you or your applicator has applied vehicle graphics for decades, our instructions contains specific information on preparing the surface and care of the applied vehicle graphics. We have found that many "problems" occur in cases where applicators disregard our instructions.
When in doubt, call us. We have found that most misunderstandings about application and product quality can be avoided with a little communication up front.
Part I - Before Installing Car graphics
Paint curing. Insure that the vehicle's paint has cured. Insufficient curing will cause bubbling of applied graphics. For specific technical information on specific paints, call your body shop or refer to the paint's specifications.
Washing the vehicle. Do not wash the vehicle for 24 hours prior to the application. Water can remain in cracks and seams of the body for extended periods, causing adhesion problems.
Car graphic installation temperature. Do not attempt to apply graphics in temperatures under 60 degrees F. Vehicle graphics/decals will not adhere to cold surfaces.
Clean the vehicle - all surfaces must be considered contaminated and must be cleaned prior to application. Cleaning must be done according to these instructions! Saturate a clean cloth with a petroleum distillate-based cleaner such as DuPont Prep-Sol Cleaner 3919S or Sherwin Williams R7-K156 Sher-Will-Clean and wipe the surface. Dry the surface with a lint-free cloth before the solvent. evaporates. Any of the following solvents may be used, however they should be tested first since they may dull some painted surfaces: Xylol, lacquer thinner, VM&P Naptha or 3M Adhesive Cleaner. Dry the surface before solvent evaporation. 3M technical guidelines DO NOT support the use of any other products; failure to follow these guidelines will void your Grafix Shoppe warranty.
Part II - Car graphic installation
- Position Police car decals on one side of the car according to your layout or proof, taping them into place with masking tape as shown (Fig. 1). Do not position police car decals on the other side or deck lid at this time. Do not position lettering parts. NOTE: striping parts are sometimes produced with extra material at both ends to allow for trimming and wrapping around door edges.
- Confirm that the Police car decals are placed in a straight line by sighting along the full length of the car.
- Before applying Police car decals, make sure the police car graphics for the side is properly positioned!
- Begin with the forward-most part (usually a fender). Apply masking tape over the top to serve as a hinge (Fig. 2).
- If your stripe sections are long, covering more than one panel of the car, cut the stripe into smaller pieces now. Carefully make vertical cuts along the middle of the space between adjacent body panels. Do this with a sharp utility or snap-off knife (Fig.3). Once the stripe sections have been taped in place, do not move them form side to side.
- Raise the part up over the hinge and peel the liner back to expose the top half of the Police car decals (Fig. 4). Fold the liner back and hold it along with the bottom edge of the part with one hand.
- With your other hand, begin squeegeeing at the at the top and center of the part (Fig. 5). Squeegee halfway down. With successive overlapping strokes, work outward until the entire top half of the part is applied. IMPORTANT: apply firm, even pressure with each stroke to prevent bubbling and wrinkling.
- Remove the liner completely and repeat step 7 to apply the bottom half of the police car decals.
- Wrap each end of this stripe section around the edge of the body panel. If the Police car decals appears too long, trim its length first so that 3/8" extends beyond the edge of the panel.
- Make any necessary trims around door handles, gas caps, etc. 11. Remove the translucent top layer (premask) by slowly and smoothly pulling it back upon itself (Fig.6). As you pull it, your hands should be touching the car.
- Apply the remaining Police car decals in similar fashion, visually checking for straightness as you proceed.
- Position the stripe parts on the other side to the car and apply in the same fashion.
- Position all vehicle graphics (legends). Hinge parts long their top edge with masking tape. Install vehicle graphics in same manner as striping. Long legends can be cut into shorter, more manageable pieces if necessary.
Part III - After Vehicle decals Installation
- DO NOT hand wash the for 3 days to allow time for the adhesive to cure. DO NOT machine or spray wash the car for 7 days after application.
- DO NOT wax the surface of the vehicle graphics.
- DO follow the cleaning instructions below, excerpted from 3M Technical Bulletins. Failure to follow them will void your warranty.
Part IV - Washing the Vehicle Graphics
- Use a cleaner which is non-abrasive, neither strongly acidic or alkaline, and is free of alcohol or solvents.
- Flush the vehicle graphic's surface with clean water to remove loose dirt particles.
- Wash the car graphics with a rag or sponge using a detergent which complies with Step 1 Avoid abrading the surface by unnecessary scrubbing. Once suds have been installed, rinse with a steady stream of water.
- If using a pressure washer, the nozzle must be at least 12" away from and perpendicular to the vehicle graphics. Pressure must not exceed 1500 psi and water temperature must not exceed 180 degrees F. Do Not direct the water stream at the edge of the vehicle graphics or edge-lifting will occur.
- Use of automatic car washes with rotating brushes is not advised unless the brushes are cloth. NYLON BRUSHES WILL DAMAGE THE vehicle graphics.
- If tar, oil, diesel smut or bituminous material remains, wipe with a rag dampened with kerosene, mineral spirits, heptane or VM&P Naptha. Do not other solvents. Wash again with detergent and water. Rinse with clean water.