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Interior Trim Vinyl Wrap

Discussion in 'Modified 2011- 2019 Explorers - Tuning & Mods' started by LakersCentral, December 16, 2014.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    The light aluminum trim wasn't really doin it for me, so I'm wrapping all these pieces in a carbon fiber patterned vinyl. So far I've done the center console. I'm still trying to figure out if the AC vents and door trim can be removed. It's easier to wrap when you have the pieces off, especially if they have any depth or complex shaping (like the door handle trim). The steering wheel is gonna be a nightmare!

    This guide was helpful: http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-wrap-your-interior-trim-with-3M-carbon-fibe/?ALLSTEPS ... but I don't recommend cutting the corners like it shows. All buttons on the lower section of the console are duplicated on the MFT screen, so I decided to make the lighting less busy. They can also still be pressed through vinyl... so if you know where the buttons are, no harm done ;)

    If you want to do something similar, here's what you'll need...
    Tools & Supplies:

    Vinyl Wrap - search eBay and pick the color/pattern you want. should be less than $10 for 5ft x 1ft. the ones with patterns will be a bit more difficult because stretching the vinyl will disturb the pattern (not a problem for relatively flat surfaces).

    Heat Gun - here's a few highly rated ones: http://top3rated.com/three-best-heat-guns - you could get away using a blow dryer, but a good heat gun with adjustable temperature control is a nice investment.

    Panel Removers - http://amzn.to/130gTQz - I think I paid $3 from China, and they took 3 decades to arrive.

    Spreaders - http://amzn.to/1AfOEsk - wrap these with felt to avoid scratching the vinyl.

    Vinyl Adhesive - http://amzn.to/13sDHcH - not necessary, but recommended to hold down edges of vinyl better and improve longevity.


    The finished product (sorry about the blurriness)(I wrapped my bike rack while I was at it :D):
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: December 16, 2014
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  3. ObsceneJesster

    ObsceneJesster Active Member

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    Looks cool. How easy does it come off and will it leave a residue?
     
  4. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    Thank you. This is a completely reversible mod. Youtube "vinyl wrap removal" - its actually fun to take off - like removing glue off your hand when you were a kid :)

    If you use the adhesive (recommended only in small areas or along edges), there will be some residue, but nothing a little Goo Gone cant take care of.
     
    Last edited: December 17, 2014
  5. briwayjones

    briwayjones Manual Master

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    Nice, I like the looks of that.
     
  6. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    :thumbsup: Here's a couple more pics mid-install. The first one shows the comparison between the stock aluminum and the carbon fiber side by side.
     

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  7. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    update: did the door handles and AC vents. only thing left that's light silver is the steering wheel, which is gonna be a real bitch.
     

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  8. SurrealOne

    SurrealOne Elite Explorer

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    how do you remove the center console panel? I like it looks good.
     
  9. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    Thanks. You don't remove the center console (well, I didn't anyways). This post shows how to remove the sides (of the center): http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=339752

    The other parts I installed the vinyl on while they were still in the car. Sometimes this is easier, as you're not having to hold something while you're laying/stretching the vinyl. It may have even worked out better if I wrapped the door handles this way too.

    In a nutshell, here's the process of vinyl wrapping something:
    (1) lay / position the vinyl over the area you want covered
    (2) press down with your finger over the flat surface areas (it's good to have some cloth / fabric between your finger and the vinyl as to not smudge it)
    (3) take the edge of the plastic spreader and depress into the cracks / edges of the area
    (4) in sections about a foot at a time, wave the heat gun about 5-10 seconds over the area (about a foot off of it). you're trying to get the vinyl just to the point where it is pliable.
    (5) press down with fingers/cloth again to make sure everything smooth and adhered.
    (6) take the edge of the spreader again, depress the vinyl further into the cracks / outer edges
    (7) repeat 4-6 as necessary, and over the whole area you want wrapped
    (8) razor blade down in the cracks, or around the edges
    (9) remove the excess vinyl

    There's an art to all of this. Vinyl is pretty cheap. Expect to do a couple parts over, especially if there is curves in multiple directions. Youtube can help you give some tips, but there's nothing like experience to teach you. Good luck! :biggthump
     
  10. mzodarg

    mzodarg New Member

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    Looks good, you did a great job! Gives me ideas for mine.
     
  11. MIKE80

    MIKE80 New Member

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    Nice job. I have been thinking about doing mine piano black.
     
  12. ahoelk

    ahoelk New Member

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    Must have been very time consuming to do - personally not my taste but each to their own -- the install itself looks good.
     
  13. Limited02

    Limited02 Well-Known Member

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    Very nice and much more "professional" than what I did in my wife's Milan. I used the black brushed aluminum and it's a very cool product.
     
  14. fourZero

    fourZero New Member

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  15. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    yea. well. yo momma.
     
  16. LukerDooker

    LukerDooker Active Member

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    I was thinking of applying a textured vinyl wrap to the areas where your feet hit when entering and exiting the car.

    With all the damn snow and ice and salt chips, getting into the car is causing large scratches up and down the foot area against the 'wall' & door sills.

    Do you think v-wrap will stick well to the hard plastic textured surface of the door sills?
    2nd row-Not the foor grip area, but around that.
    Front-not the Ex sill plate, but around that.

    Thanks
     
  17. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    I'm trying to get a mental picture of where it is you're referring to, but having a hard time. post pics if you get a chance. any textured surface will be difficult to vinyl wrap. its not that the vinyl wouldnt stick to the material, its that it would be difficult to get the vinyl down to all the surface area.

    have you tried plastidip (spray cans)? it would certainly be easy to apply. the one place i used it, it chipped / peeled away pretty easily. but i may not have waited long enough between coats, idk.
     
  18. Bhammer909

    Bhammer909 New Member

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    Just checking out all of your mods and like what I see. Good job.
    1 thing that caught my eye is that I see that you do not have the push button start, as far as my research is telling me, all 5th Gen Ex Sports have this feature. Is your Ex a Sport or a "Sport"?

     
  19. LakersCentral

    LakersCentral Active Member

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    thanks. appreciate the compliments!

    idk what package the push button start is in, but i have the sport model w/ almost no extras. i custom ordered it, so i could pick only exactly what i want (and save some ca$h in the process). the only things i did choose to add are the tow package and the power liftgate. only regret is not getting the front/side cameras.

    check link in my signature for all the specs/mods (which reminds me, i gotta update that!)
     
  20. peterk9

    peterk9 Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    Not all 5th gen Explorers have push button start. Some/most still require a key in the ignition.

    Peter
     
  21. Bhammer909

    Bhammer909 New Member

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    I was referring to the 5th gen Sport not the 5th gen in general.

     

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