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Old 06-04-2009, 12:12 PM   #1
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donreitz
Removing Decals

Has anyone thought about simply removing exterior decals and not replacing them? The silver decals on our 2499 are looking pretty ratty (although the blue ones look fine). I'd been agonizing over what to do about the ugly ones until I realized a decal-free unit would probably look clean and attractive. It comes down to (1) can decals be removed easily enough to make taking them all off a practical job, and (2) what is the condition of the (fiberglass) siding underneath? I'm guessing that the siding under a decal is in better shape than the rest of it because it hasn't been subject to weathering, but that waxing and buffing the exterior would minimize the difference (assuming the siding is in reasonable shape to start with). Anyone have any experience along these lines?
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Old 06-04-2009, 12:26 PM   #2
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Don,

Over time, the fiberglass siding will yellow slightly from UV and also begins to break down. The doors on my '99 are slowly changing. I have to use more 303 on them. Under the decals will be pretty pristine - probably a little or a lot whiter depending on age.

Removing the decals and vinyl striping is pretty easy. Warm it with a hair dryer or heat gun set to low, and it should peel right off. Use a thumbnail or plastic putty knife if needed. Mineral spirits will remove any residual adhesive.

You may find some knife marks on the edges of some of the designs. Apparently they trimmed some things to shape as they applied them. There's no easy solution that I ever heard of to repair them.

One thought on the whole topic. I've mentioned before it would be possible to take the TT to a sign shop that does a lot of truck lettering. They can replace your decals with paint if there is enough left to work from or from a picture. They can also pretty well match the vinyl striping with new vinyl, or just paint the striping back on.

I know some sign shops now have some cutting edge equipment for producing one-off vinyl signs of practically anything one might want.
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Old 06-05-2009, 07:07 AM   #3
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I just removed a burgundy stripe around my TT. Top burgundy stripe was real bad and middle silver stripe and bottom burgundy stripe are faded, but in great shape. Go figure! Anyhow, removed top stripe with heat gun (still fighting residue, 20 years doesn't want to come off).

Starray doesn't have pic logo, but have Starray by Sunline decal. They too are also showing their age by peeling and breaking. I lightly hit the logo with heat gun and lightly rubbed it with plastic putty knife and the logo restuck. It has been almost a month and it is still sticking. Don't know how long it will last, but it saves the logo a little longer.
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Old 06-05-2009, 08:47 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdsferraro
Starray doesn't have pic logo, but have Starray by Sunline decal. They too are also showing their age by peeling and breaking. I lightly hit the logo with heat gun and lightly rubbed it with plastic putty knife and the logo restuck. It has been almost a month and it is still sticking. Don't know how long it will last, but it saves the logo a little longer.
If that logo looks like it will stay down, paint a stripe of marine spar varnish on the edges. Make sure it's at least 1/8' on the logo and on the siding so that it completely protects and seals the edges. A couple of coats won't hurt at all. The spar varnish has a slightly yellow tint to it, but it the stripe is fairly uniform, it'll look fine.

That's a trick I learned from a guy who did emblems and lettering on ambulances and fire trucks. He told me that the vinyl edges are the weak point of the product and that if you give them extra protection, you will get a much longer life of the emblems and lettering. Sure worked because we washed those ambulances at least once a day year round, and here in western NY we use salt for ice control on the roads which is not good for the vinyl. We kept each one about 10 years.

The top stripe on my '99 is badly faded and cracked, but hasn't curled and peeled yet. The worst side gets sun until about 1 PM daily. The vinyl swirly "check mark" is just about completely peeled away. I am just going to remove the rest of it and clean it up for now. I may take it to a sign shop and have them do it in paint.
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