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Discussion Starter #1
A few weeks ago I had vinyl stripes put on my baby. There's a thread in The Mustang Source forums if you want the whole story... (it's also on my guide I reference here)
Essentially I want to help other people avoid my disaster and hopefully this can help.
I was a real idiot!

http://www.jtephoto.com/mustang/stripes/index.htm


Joe
 

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Man, after reading that it sounds like you went through a real nightmare. I never realized how lucky I was with the vinyl stripe job I got from my dealer. I don't have any problems with it but it's a little different than most stripe jobs. It doesn't cover the bumpers cause I don't care for that, especially when you're in a state that requires front plates. I do worry about how long the vinyl will hold up but I think you can get more than 5 years out of a good vinyl. I see lots of 15-20 year old cars with their original vinyl stripes on them.
 

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I bought my stripes from Graphic Express and did them myself a few months back. It wasn't an easy job and was quite time consuming (about 7 hours with some breaks in between). Ended up screwing up the first hood stripe and had to order a replacement. After that initial mishap, it went much smoother (I paid closer attention to the directions). Key is to really take your time to ensure you get the bubbles and wrinkles out... and, follow the instructions to the letter! Would I do vinyl again, not sure. But for $210, it was a lot less expensive than paint.
 

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WOW! The scary part is that he's still employed. He's gonna pull the crap on other poor souls. I've seen and done many vinyl jobs. That one is by far the biggest abomination.
You were definitely NOT being too picky, but very well tempered. I would have applied vinyl to him and trimmed out a couple stripes.
 

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Very helpful, thanks for going through the trouble of laying out all of this in a website. I have been curious about vinyl stripes on my GT and now I'm a bit more informed. Good luck with the painted stripes, hope it works out for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
LOL Kohaku!
I really thought it would be super excellent since I was told that it was the same stripe guy that put the stripes on all the $50k aftermarket mods at the dealer... After looking at some of them I can say that the stipes are better but not what I would consider excellent on such an expensive car.
lostsk8r - I would have had him pay for a new paint job but it would have taken taking him to court (he made that QUITE clear), and I'm going to have them painted on anyway. The stripe painter said that there was no reason to have anyone do anything to it as he's going to fix it all when it paints anyway...

RabidCharlie - I appreciate your comments, I was a bit unsure if it would be of any use here as everyone is already well informed! Such good info here! Still, it makes the work worthwhile when folks let me know it was worth it to them! :)

As far as the time you get out of vinyl, I think a lot depends on how much it's out in the sun. I think the key is if you are a daily driver - I drive mine in two hours of traffic each day and in Sacramento we get sometimes 6 solid months of nonstop sunshine with temps over 95+ degrees...

Joe



Kohaku said:
WOW! The scary part is that he's still employed. He's gonna pull the crap on other poor souls. I've seen and done many vinyl jobs. That one is by far the biggest abomination.
You were definitely NOT being too picky, but very well tempered. I would have applied vinyl to him and trimmed out a couple stripes.
 

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With all this being said, I must say that I am glad I did mine myself. Baltimore Street Mods makes a great kit that anybody, with some patience, can do over a weekend.

Sorry to read about your ordeal, but lets hope that what you have done prevents it from happening to someone else.
 

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Albireo - I just want to let you know you're not the only one to have these kind of problems with the DEALER-AUTHORIZED guy!! Don't ever just 'accept' what they've done! Please! In the end, they'll just assume they can get by with it and potentially ruin someone else's ride.
Let's face it, I don't think any of us make so much $ that we can throw away what we have in the car along with what we pay for mods like this! I wish now that I would've just saved up and had it painted....

Oh...don't worry about ruining the paint having the stripes taken off. No problems with mine after all that happened with it...
I requested stripes at the dealer, cost factored into the car total. I ASSUMED this was done at the dealer - found out the day it was delivered that there was a guy coming to get the car and DRIVE it about 20 miles (1-way) to their garage. Not happy about my car having almost 100 miles on it before I even get it (that's another story)! THEN, they had it for almost 3 days. Finally get it and there are DIRT bubbles in the hood stripes and, where they tore the overlay off under the spoiler, there was about a 2 inch rip out of the stripe!
So the dealer ordered new, called me and I dropped the car off to have them redone. I'd also realized the stripe around the rear license was off - wider gap on one side than the other. By this time, the dealer had changed to a new guy to do their stripes - on the lot, thankfully! Okay, so they call and say - come pick it up, it's done. So I ask if everything was fixed. Calls me back and says there's still a gap around the license, it'll be ready later that night. Calls me around 5:00 and I say I'll be there at 5:30. I'm turning onto the road the dealer's on and I get a call. Says they're looking at the car and realize....get this....there's STILL a gap around the license!! So I get there and they explain they use computer software that cuts the stripes out for them and it apparently needs modified. Guy will be back in the morning to re-do it. I'm pretty ticked at this point and tell him I'm taking the car and will be back in the morning at 9:30 when they expect the guy back. The next day, they give me a VERY nice rental (2006 Explorer with leather), FINALLY fix the stripes to my satisfaction and all is good.
(I also got the $600 set of stripes for $400 because the Sales Manager messed up. :winks I had asked if the stripes they were putting on covered the bumper and he said yes if that's what I wanted (which I did). Apparently just to cover the bumper is another $200 worth of stripe.) :laughlitt
 

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Ugghh some of that stuff (slight widening gap on front bumper) is hard to avoid. To many curving surfaces on that part. Bubbles, dirt under the material, messy cut outs, and under paint scoring are just lazy sloppy workmanship.
 
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widening stripe gaps are the easiest to avoid...what do you mean? my guy used a ruler.and bubbles and dirt?...used windex and we had washed the car first anyway...my stripes are fine.....but someone tell me please that they last more than 2 years!!!!!:eyebulge:
ps if you watch someone stick a vinyl sheet to your car and then cut stripes out...ON YOUR CAR:eyebulge: i'm sorry bro buts thats your own fault...i stand over everyone who touches my car and take pictures and even help....sure its annoying for the worker but F&*k em...its MY car
 

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nghtrnnr said:
widening stripe gaps are the easiest to avoid...what do you mean
I'm talking about this spot on the front bumper. The spot most installers have trouble with and yours didn't work on at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
You're right I SHOULD have stood over him. My fault? Probably. That's why I wrote my "IDIOT'S guide." I'm the idiot here! In my defense I was told by the service manager AND the dealership that I would be getting their professional installer - I expected PROFESSIONAL!
As far as length of time they last, the two year figure seemed to be a common minimum and that's what I was told as a GUARANTEE for going back and getting them done over (even that with some hesitation). The material is supposed to last longer than that - but I couldn't get anyone to actually write down a warranty for longer. Because of the variability of conditions that the vinyl is going to be exposed to I couldn't get anyone to REALLY guarantee anything concrete in writing. If you look at Baltimore Street Mods (I couldn't find anything there that implied a warranty length - quite the opposite) you'll not find a vinyl stripe guarantee and the same is true for Graphic Express. In fact, even 3M doesn't state how long that it will last exposed to constant sunshine day after day (at least I couldn't find anything anyway, which doesn't mean anything).
Ok, what does it all mean to me? For me, I had lots of people telling me they "should" last a "long time". I had a number of people tell me that they used "automotive grade" vinyl, but didn't know what kind. In the end it's just a risk you take, like anything else. Does that mean it's only good for two years? I think not, as I've seen lots of stripe jobs that seemed pretty good after three or four years. Still, I've seen FAR MORE stripe jobs looking a lot more scratched and lifting/peeled/torn than the paint job they were applied to... But remember I'm way too picky!
I have to get them painted so it's not an option for me. For those that it is an option, it's a darn good one - they look GREAT! I'm sure if you take care of them they'll last a "long time!" :winks

Joe

nghtrnnr said:
widening stripe gaps are the easiest to avoid...what do you mean? my guy used a ruler.and bubbles and dirt?...used windex and we had washed the car first anyway...my stripes are fine.....but someone tell me please that they last more than 2 years!!!!!:eyebulge:
ps if you watch someone stick a vinyl sheet to your car and then cut stripes out...ON YOUR CAR:eyebulge: i'm sorry bro buts thats your own fault...i stand over everyone who touches my car and take pictures and even help....sure its annoying for the worker but F&*k em...its MY car
 

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I've done vinyl graphics on cars, trucks, boats, planes, guitars, snowboards...
If a premium grade vinyl is used, and applied correctly, vinyl graphics should last a very long time. The life of the vehicle if cared for. They might fade and dull depending on the environment but paint does that too. I can see eventually removing stripes off an old-ish Mustang and having a cool set of ghost stripes, lol. Removing old vinyl, although time consuming, isn't that difficult.

The problem areas on most cars are the hood and bumpers due to heat and parking abrasions respectively. White vinyl can yellow and UV rays from sun exposure is bad in general. Again, same for paint.

So as long as you don't mind feeling the edge of the vinyl, it is a good alternative for those who can't afford or just don't want to paint.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good addition, Kohaku. I'm glad to see someone that has experience with stripes over a long time. I'll add it to my Idiot's guide, it will be helpful for folks over the long term.

Joe
 
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