How to vinyl roof wrap. - 2004 to 2016 Mazda 3 Forum and Mazdaspeed 3 Forums
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
mazdaspeedmyk
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How to vinyl roof wrap.

I wrapped my roof today with the help of @My spoon is too big . This job is better done with two people. It's pretty straight forward, since I don't have a sunroof. It took a few hours to do, but overall was pretty easy. I'm happy with the end result.

I started by watching numerous youtube videos to familiarize myself with the process and to gleam any installation tips. I highly suggest doing this.

I bought a 5'x7' sheet of
3M 1080 Gloss Black Vinyl Car Wrap 3M 1080 Gloss Black Vinyl Car Wrap
. It was plenty to cover my entire roof and spoiler section, with enough left over to do the side mirrors if I wanted. I also picked up a
High Quality Felt Edge Squeegee 4 Inch High Quality Felt Edge Squeegee 4 Inch
. Total: $98.20. Both items shipped very quickly through Amazon.

You'll also need:
New Razor Blades and Exacto Blades. Don't be cheap and reuse blades. The vinyl will cut easily and straight with a sharp blade.
Painter's tape to mask off edges.
A credit card to help get those hard to reach places.



I started by removing the roof molding and the antenna.

Here are the instructions for the roof molding:


I placed the screw driver, on a rag, under the molding and rotated clockwise. The end popped up with no effort:


Once the end is off, you follow along the molding and then rotate it left or right at the clip and it will come off the clip. Reverse the order when you reinstall it later.



Here's a close up of the clips holding the molding.



To remove the antenna you have to bring down the headliner a little bit. I didn't remove the whole thing, just enough to reach my hand inside. There are 3 beige pop clips attaching it to the roof, take those off.

You'll have to pull the C Pillar off slightly to give the headliner a little more room to come down.


Now you can reach in and feel the antenna. Be careful to not bend the headliner down too much or it will begin to crease. A little is okay, a lot is bad.



I have a Sirius/AM FM antenna and there are 2 wires that connect to it. Release them. A regular antenna only has one wire. A bolt, that is hand tight, holds the antenna to the roof. Unscrew it and the bolt will come off. A slight tug straight up will free the antenna from the roof.



Next, I cleaned the roof with clay bar to get any grime and grit off the roof. I also ran a Q-tip in between the windshield molding and roof.





I placed painter's tape along the edge of the windshield molding and along the rear edge of my spoiler. I will be running a blade along those edges later and didn't want to risk cutting into the car.





Then, Jon and I layed the vinyl on the roof and measured out what we needed. Painter's tape helps to hold it in place as you measure. I left only a few inches all around. I cut off a large section along the side, which can be used for the mirrors as well as the spoiler section. I also cut off a portion in the rear for the spoiler section.





Jon and I peeled off the vinyl and layed it as evenly and as tightly across the roof as we could. The vinyl is pressure activated, so it can be pulled up and repositioned if you need to.

Edit 11/09/13:
After thinking about it more, I'd start from the front and work my way backwards. I also would only peel away what I need to stick to the roof as opposed to the entire sheet. I think this would have decreased the amount of creases and bubbles that appeared.



The next part is the most time consuming step. Be patient and gentle. You don't want to press too hard and cut the vinyl with the edge of the squeegee. I took my squeegee and starting from the center outwards, removed the air bubbles. I wrapped my squeegee in a micro fiber cloth, because it seemed like the felt was scratching the vinyl. Jon and I were constantly lifting and pressing out the vinyl. If a bubble became more like a crease we, lifted up the vinyl and pressed it flat. There are a few small air bubbles left, but I'm hoping a day in the sun will smooth everything out.

Edit 11/12/13:
Another tip is to not press too hard. I can see a bunch of scratches from where I just mashed the vinyl into the roof. It doesn't take that much pressure to adhere it to the roof.





Once the roof was in a good place, I began to press the edge of the vinyl down into the molding recess. I cut the vinyl at 6-8 inch intervals and to about half way into the recess, to press it into place. I did both sides this way.





Now, take a sharp Exacto Blade and trim off the excess in the molding recess.







Now trim the front vinyl along the the windshield molding, opposite the edge of the roof. The painter's tape will help protect the molding from the blade. This will give you enough to tuck under the molding.

Use the credit card to separate the molding from the vinyl.





Use the squeegee to press the vinyl down along the roof's edge.



Now, cut along the opposite edge of the roof for the rear of the vinyl. Again, this will give you enough to tuck in the space between the roof and the hatch. Use the squeegee to press it into the space.

Repeat the process to the spoiler sections. I cut the vinyl into 2 pieces. Trim the vinyl to size. Lay it down. Press out the air bubbles. Trim the edges.

For the bottom piece of the wing, I suggest not taking the backing paper all the way off so it's not constantly sticking up to the wing and folding in over itself. Press down small sections at a time.







I cut a decent line at the end of the spoiler by having Jon pull the vinyl taught and I ran a new razor blade along the painter's tape. (Sorry no pics for this.)

Put the roof molding and antenna back on the car. Press in the C Pillar and replace the 3 beige pop clips.

I cleaned the vinyl and waxed it with some Meguire's Ultimate Quick Detailer and Ultimate Liquid Wax.



Finally, step back and enjoy your handy work. Right thumb!!!



Here's how to care for your wrap from 3M:





Also:
http://www.designerwraps.com.au/how-to/wrap-care/
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Last edited by mazdaspeedmyk; 08-22-2014 at 11:37 PM.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 10:58 PM
tastic
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Outstanding job, guys! Great write up too!
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 11:01 PM
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been wanting to do this for a while. now i have an idea of whut needs to be done

how much did you end up spending ?

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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 11:03 PM
My spoon is too big
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Pardon the absolute disaster that's my garage. It's my number one priority come spring cleaning time.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 11:05 PM
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Great job!
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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 11:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kryptik View Post
been wanting to do this for a while. now i have an idea of whut needs to be done

how much did you end up spending ?
Just the $98.20 for the vinyl and squeegee. I had all the other odds and ends. I think a huge pack of razor blades is like $10, but you'll probably only need 2 or 3. A 5 pack of Exacto blades was like $3. I used 2. I just wanted the blades to be sharp, so I could get some decent edges.


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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-06-2013, 11:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mazdaspeedmyk View Post
Just the $98.20 for the vinyl and squeegee. I had all the other odds and ends. I think a huge pack of razor blades is like $10, but you'll probably only need 2 or 3. A 5 pack of Exacto blades was like $3. I used 2. I just wanted the blades to be sharp, so I could get some decent edges.
Nice! I was expecting it to be more expensive

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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 12:03 AM
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That looks nice!!


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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 12:15 AM
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Looking fantastic!

You guys did a great job


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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 11-07-2013, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razerer View Post
That looks nice!!


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I have to put it in the sun and see if some of the bubble will smooth out. Any tips on how to keep it glossy and shiny?


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