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Old 08-09-2009, 03:10 PM   #1
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Bumper vinyl tips/advice.

I really like the look of the lower bumper vinyl that I've seen on a few Tacomas on here and so I bought it (thanks sockmonkey). Luckily I bought 2 because the first attempt was completely horrendous. The bumper's contours and bends make it seem pretty much impossible to get it to look good, but I know I've seen some trucks that make it look factory...

So...for anyone that has put this vinyl on his/her truck, what is the secret? Do you have any tips or tricks? I tried using an x-acto knife on the ends but it looked chopped up and horrible, is there a template or anything that I can use as a guide to cut it before putting it on the truck? It's hard to explain all the difficulties I'm having with the bends and overall shape of the bumper, but I feel like anyone that's installed this would know what I'm talking about and hopefully be able to provide some insight.

I used the soapy water method outlined by sockmonkey and have done my bed-side decals without trouble, but this bumper is going to get the better of me. Any help would be appreciated, thanks.
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Old 08-09-2009, 03:22 PM   #2
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I just tried it with cheap vinyl from the craft store to see if I liked the look first... cost me about $3...

I used a few sheets of my son's construction paper and made a 2 piece template first and then traced it out onto the vinyl... That worked pretty good, but it took me a while to set it up...

There are a lot more angles once you get under there and the only thing I can say is take your time...
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Old 08-09-2009, 04:03 PM   #3
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I tried the same thing. I am usually pretty good with this kind of stuff but it kicked my azz too.Ripped it off and left it plain, there are alot more curves than you think.
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Old 08-09-2009, 06:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MUDFISH View Post
I just tried it with cheap vinyl from the craft store to see if I liked the look first... cost me about $3...

I used a few sheets of my son's construction paper and made a 2 piece template first and then traced it out onto the vinyl... That worked pretty good, but it took me a while to set it up...

There are a lot more angles once you get under there and the only thing I can say is take your time...
My new strategy is going to be to try to make a template and then practice a bunch of times. What kind of cheap vinyl did you get? Should I look at Michael's or something, is that what type of craft store you were talking about? Thanks for the input.
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Old 08-09-2009, 07:14 PM   #5
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...curious about the cheap craft store vinyl! cheaper is better.
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Old 08-10-2009, 06:34 AM   #6
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this is next on my to do list. wanting to see/hear ideas on how to do this.
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Old 08-10-2009, 04:58 PM   #7
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You can get rolls of black vinyl from stickercity.com, pretty good prices and you can get alot to practice with. I think you can put it on wet if you use a little dish soap and warm water. I tried mine dry and it can drive someone to go a little nuts.
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Old 08-11-2009, 05:16 AM   #8
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the dificulty comes from the flat colored vinyls' less conforming properties.

gloss vinyl is a different compound and is much more conforming.

it has been almost 2 years since i have done mine with flat, so my recollection is not so good on the subject, but, don't try to trim all at once.

work your way to the final trim....trim large pieces away...conform some more ....then trim....conform...trim....conform
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:08 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sockmonkey View Post
the dificulty comes from the flat colored vinyls' less conforming properties.

gloss vinyl is a different compound and is much more conforming.

it has been almost 2 years since i have done mine with flat, so my recollection is not so good on the subject, but, don't try to trim all at once.

work your way to the final trim....trim large pieces away...conform some more ....then trim....conform...trim....conform

take your time. soapy water helped me. trim a little at a time and once you get it placed where you want it, have a buddy heat it up so it sticks in place(while you hold it in place). just remember to take your time. took me forever...but well worth it
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:13 AM   #10
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Call up your sign shops in your area and ask for "black cast wrap vinyl with air release".

Might be tough to get a hand on it as only the larger shops will keep that in stock, and they probably won't want to sell small pieces.

Might run you like $50/$70 but it'll remove the headache and last you at least 5 years.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:26 AM   #11
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why dont you you just paint it instead?
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:32 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by nad View Post
why dont you you just paint it instead?
if you ever get tired of the look or trade in, you can just feel off the vinyl. paint is a little more permanent.
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Old 08-11-2009, 07:34 AM   #13
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yeah I didnt think of that, so would places like a tint shop do something like this?
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:16 PM   #14
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Haven't had much time to work out the details or even really check this thread in the last couple days (plus I needed some time to blow off the frustration.) But thanks everyone for the details and hints. Some good stuff there, this forum is awesome. It will probably be a little while before I can make another attempt at this, but I'll keep you posted. Thanks again.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:22 PM   #15
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I had the same problems as OP.... I finally had a friend that puts decals on motorcycles install the vinyl. He had a hard time with the contours of the bottom... a couple wrinkles, but nothing noticeable. I installed an X-Runner bumper piece, and it gave it an OEM look.
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Old 08-13-2009, 04:24 PM   #16
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XR Valence Piece:
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Old 08-13-2009, 10:47 PM   #17
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I said fuck it and just painted it with the Nissan GT-R's bumper paint code.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:45 AM   #18
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I have really been interested in the look the vinyl gives you too, but I justified that painting would be the easiest and most logical way to do it. The reason people use vinyl is because they think that they can take it off at anytime and there vehicle will be back to the way it was. I think that if the vinyl has been on the bumper for a while its going to protect your paint from fading. so when you take it off you will notice where it was and be able to see the faded paint around it. Might as well just paint it imo.
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Old 08-14-2009, 06:55 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nad View Post
I have really been interested in the look the vinyl gives you too, but I justified that painting would be the easiest and most logical way to do it. The reason people use vinyl is because they think that they can take it off at anytime and there vehicle will be back to the way it was. I think that if the vinyl has been on the bumper for a while its going to protect your paint from fading. so when you take it off you will notice where it was and be able to see the faded paint around it. Might as well just paint it imo.
i doubt it.
but go ahead and paint your lower valence because you dont want to take an hour out of your day to properly apply the vinyl
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Old 08-14-2009, 07:05 AM   #20
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I dont have a garage cause I live in an apartment every vehicle I have ever owned sits in the sun all day guaranteed the paint is going to fade over a couple years, plus going through snow in the winter up here in canada im sure will cause wrinkles and what not in it, if I just paint it, it will always look the same and it wont be peeling off, im not say that others should put vinyl on this is just my justification.
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