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MY 1997 Sport 4x4 paint question

974X4BLACKSPORT

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BLACK 1997 SPORT 4 BY 4
33892845_1025825070907006_7815390854243155968_o.jpg

The paint appears factory, never wrecked, absolutely NO rust anywhere (nice). There is a graphic (sticker) on the sides (left and right) that I cannot find a code for on the ID sticker. Anyone seen that graphic before on an Explorer?
 



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German Engineer

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Did you try contacting the previous owner/s and ask them?

To me it sure looks like someone (maybe a female owner?) purchased a "car tattoo" sticker somewhere and put it on themselves or had it applied by a professional to individualize their car. And that is why you won't find any information on the car about it.

What are you planning to do with it? Remove it? Or replace it?
Depending on how long it's been on there, if you remove it, the shape of the sticker might show on the paint. But you're lucky you have a black car that (on first glimpse) still seems to have pretty excellent paint. In case you want to replace it, you could go to one of these advertisement shops that put stickers on cars and have them print you a custom sticker that covers it up. If they're good they should be able to do that if they have access to the original on the car by taking photos and measurements.
But if it's really worth the money for you... well that of course is another question.

If you just want t remove it, then google a bit on tricks how to remove stickers on cars and how to make the paint blend in after. My first guess would be that if you manage to get it off without damaging the paint then - if you need to do anything all- it probably just needs a little polish on and around the area where the sticker is now, to make it look all perfect again. But professionals that apply these kind of stickers can surely give you better advice how to remove them, if you inquire about the cost to get a new one made.
 






Mbrooks420

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Those are not factory. Most likely you could remove it with a hair dryer. Most likely you will see it’s ghost after you remove it, unless your clear coat is pristine, which is highly unlikely.
 






974X4BLACKSPORT

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BLACK 1997 SPORT 4 BY 4
Thanks for clearing that up on the graphic on the sides (not factory), so now that leaves me having to figure out where it was installed. We got the vahical in 2000 with 59k on the clock, and dont know who the orig. owners were, not tha big of a deal.
I wonder if maybe a dealer ship would install something like that?
 






Mbrooks420

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I really doubt you will find a matching decal 20 years later.
 






German Engineer

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Thanks for clearing that up on the graphic on the sides (not factory), so now that leaves me having to figure out where it was installed. We got the vahical in 2000 with 59k on the clock, and dont know who the orig. owners were, not tha big of a deal.
I wonder if maybe a dealer ship would install something like that?

A car dealer won't be able to help you. Look for advertisement and printing businesses instead. The type of businesses that print large scale graphics/decals and place advertisements onto vehicles and make shop signs. They're pretty much the only ones who should be able to really help you with a replacement, if you're willing to spend that kind of money on a car this old, that is.
A good advertising/print shop with qualified personnel should be able to recreate one for you that looks just like it - or even better.
 






974X4BLACKSPORT

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I appreciate the information, however I am not looking to replace it, or remove it, I'm just trying to figure out where it came from.
 






Mbrooks420

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Almost surely the previous owner had it installed by a graphic shop. No real way to track it down, unless you found the previous owner.
 






974X4BLACKSPORT

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BLACK 1997 SPORT 4 BY 4
Almost surely the previous owner had it installed by a graphic shop. No real way to track it down, unless you found the previous owner.
That clears things up, thanks. The paint appears to be original as there are no tape lines or overspray patterns indicating a re-spray, and the paint is uniform all over, however being 21 years old it is showing age although having been garage kept, the Florida sun has really faded the paint on the roof, the hatch, and other top surfaces (flat no gloss), the sides are still very shiny and smooth, the hood has lots of surface scratches and the tops of the front fenders have little white hairline cracks in the paint filled from waxes. I would like to restore the paint but just dont know how well it would work, I dont want to start something and cause damage that only a respray will fix.
 






Mbrooks420

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I’d start with a good hand clean, clay bar, and a hand wax. Might bring the luster back more than you might think.
 






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