A Little Mod - Windshield Surround and Tulip Panel Wrap - Pontiac Solstice Forum

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Old 07-02-2011, 05:46 PM   #1 (permalink)
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A Little Mod - Windshield Surround and Tulip Panel Wrap

Hello everyone and happy 4th of July weekend!

Since I have the time on this awesome 96, and I've been staring at this box under my rack for a couple weeks, I thought this would be a great time to try my hand at a little job on my solstice.



This is the A Pillar and Back Wrap Kit from ASAP Digital Imaging (The black bit and teflon squeegee.) Tomorrow morning I'm driving to the auto hobby shop on base, renting a heat gun and getting to work.



I've got the other bits the installation video says I'll need there as well. All that vinyl is going on here:



They say to clean the surface where the kit is going to be applied with a solution of 1 part alcohol to 10 water, so I bought rubbing alcohol. That'll work right? In any case I'll update with pics as I take a crash course in vinyl application tomorrow morning.
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Old 07-02-2011, 06:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fobbit Frost View Post

They say to clean the surface where the kit is going to be applied with a solution of 1 part alcohol to 10 water, so I bought rubbing alcohol. That'll work right?
Be careful, there are two strengths of rubbing alcohol available -- can't remember the exact figures, but I believe the most common one is ~10-20% and the stronger rubbing alcohol is ~80%.

My best guess is they mean real (not 'rubbing'), full-strength alcohol that is used as a solvent for shellac, commonly (and inexpensively) available in the paint department of your local hardware store.

If you have the 10% rubbing alcohol and cut that 10 to 1, you might as well just use plain water.

Just my as an old wood worker/finisher.
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Old 07-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never seen Ethyl rubbing alcohol before! Usual stuff I see is Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. That comes in "rubbing" alcohol strength of 70% or sometimes 75%, and "antiseptic" (not "rubbing") strength of 90%.

Not sure what that bottle you have is though! See if it gives a % value anywhere and add enough water by volume to make it ~10% (don't need to be particularly accurate, you just need to use it to cut any grease and wax residue).
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Old 07-03-2011, 09:27 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the catch, this is 70% alcohol by volume so I'll make it 1.5 parts per ten. That should get it roughly to full strength. The shop opens at 9 so I'll start prepping the surface now.
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Old 07-03-2011, 03:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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hmmmm I'm subscribed,
so this is instead of painting??? and obviously turns it black??
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Old 07-03-2011, 06:24 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes, when I asked around body shops either had no clue and didn't want to touch the windshield surround and tulip panel, or they wanted 550 dollars to do it, using tape and masking.

Well it's been a long day at the hobby shop. I initially thought this would be a quick three hour job, the installation guide video certainly made it seem like a breeze. However being a novice at vinyl installation it took me significantly longer.























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Old 07-03-2011, 06:25 PM   #7 (permalink)
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More pics:





















So, got to the shop at around 10 set up and cleaned the surface with a mixture of 1.5 party ethyl alcohol to 10 water. Checked the weather stripping for gunk and double cleaned them. Mocked up the location of the vinyl and taped it in place using masking tape. Then it got tricky.

The main problem I ran into with the installation was air bubbles. Holy **** did they drive me crazy. The teflon squeegee included in the kit helps, but it can't eliminate them all, and laying it down I wasn't able to prevent them from forming. The vinyl doesn't adhere to everything (at first) so I relayed the vinyl down several times to get a good fit and as few bubbles as possible.

The material is resilient, a little heat and it looks good. Too much heat (you'll know trust me) and pressure and it will rip, but you have to really screw up for that to happen. I used a heat gun from the hobby shop and the vinyl heats fast, just a little waving over the surface a hands distance away will do the trick.

Trimming, for ****s sake I know its old and tired but measure twice cut once. I erred in trimming on a couple spots and had to use left over vinyl trimmings to cover where the silver showed. You can do this and it will blend in fairly well but I know where the spots are and can see them if I look at an angle. On the side facing the windshield tuck your edge between the surround and the weatherstripping in between the glass and the surround. I didn't leave enough there and ended up edging it against the weatherstripping and it doesn't look as professional.

Be especially careful where the surround meets the door, the weatherstripping there was held in place by black double sided foam tape or something and it grabbed hold of the vinyl and ripped it (facepalm). Don't cut your car either! I did in one spot hidden by weatherstripping where it meets the door and thankfully its hidden.

Really to be honest with you I'm not satisfied with the job I did, and if I truly intended to install the vinyl wrap myself (nothing wrong with the kit mind you, user error here) I would buy a second one and start over. Luckily this was a learning experience, and let me see what the vehicle looked like with the surround colored black. I haven't done the tulip panel yet and probably won't for some time. I was at the shop from ten till 3 pm and worked through lunch. If I like the way the black looks I intend to have it professionally wrapped or painted.

If you know what you're doing, don't mind a few air bubbles or rough edges and want to change the color of your surround and tulip panel inexpensively I say go for it. If you demand perfection and are a novice like myself get the kit and have a professional do it, or go to a shop and have them wrap it with their own vinyl.
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2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP Pure

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WERKS Racing 6758 EFR Turbo Kit
WERKS Racing Single Valve Spring Kit
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WERKS Heat Dispersant Coating
WERKS Phenolic Spacers
Turbo XS Oil Catch Can
JPM Coachworks Seat Belt Loops
Opel GT Antenna
Black A-Pillar Wrap

Last edited by Fobbit Frost; 07-03-2011 at 06:54 PM.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The tulip is MUCH harder to do.
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Old 07-03-2011, 07:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The tulip is MUCH harder to do.
That's what I was afraid of, and that's why I'll probably be waiting till I find a good shop to do it for me.

I will say this though, I like how the black lessens the visual impact of the windshield surround. I'd say it definitely makes the solstice appear more low slung, which is a good thing in my opinion. It also looks miles better with the top up. So if you have a white car and don't like the stock silver, thumbs up on the black.

Update:

A day later and a lot of the air bubbles are gone, maybe the advertised "air release properties" at work? In any case it looks better, if it weren't for my messed up trimming on the inside I could see leaving this on the car. Anywhere but up close it looks good, only when you get a foot or two away do the flaws reveal themselves. If I had another A-Pillar wrap I'm fairly confident I could turn out a good result. But another five hour headache really doesn't appeal especially at the cost of buying a whole new kit.



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2007 Pontiac Solstice GXP Pure

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WERKS Racing 6758 EFR Turbo Kit
WERKS Racing Single Valve Spring Kit
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WERKS Heat Dispersant Coating
WERKS Phenolic Spacers
Turbo XS Oil Catch Can
JPM Coachworks Seat Belt Loops
Opel GT Antenna
Black A-Pillar Wrap

Last edited by Fobbit Frost; 07-04-2011 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Update:
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Old 07-08-2011, 04:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Looks good man. I've been wanting to get mine done for a long time, but always had something else I ended up spending the money on. After reading the difficulty you had though, and knowing my own patience I think I'll just get it painted instead!
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Old 07-08-2011, 07:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Pure-Sol View Post
Looks good man. I've been wanting to get mine done for a long time, but always had something else I ended up spending the money on. After reading the difficulty you had though, and knowing my own patience I think I'll just get it painted instead!
All the air bubbles have worked their way out at this point, it looks pretty good except where my trimming along the windshield shows silver. I screwed up there, should have measured more accurately. But yes it was quite a bit more work than I envisioned.

If you have the funds, I would definitely get it painted instead.
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WERKS Racing 6758 EFR Turbo Kit
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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If you have not yet, I think you need to look for someone who specializes in putting clear bras on. Or film protectant on cars. I am sure they could do it much easier than a body shop. Good luck!
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Old 07-09-2011, 08:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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That method is good for giving you an idea of whether you like the different colour, but once that is decided, I think a repaint of the area would give a superior result.

I rather like the body colour surround, but then I own a coupe that already has that.
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Old 12-03-2011, 09:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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interesting look. do yo have any pics of the car with the top up further away? some that ive seen dont look as good as one would hope, but urs is better than a few ive seen (including one on autotrader right now)
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Old 12-03-2011, 11:24 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Looks good on your white car there Frost.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RotaryPiston View Post
Do you have any pics of the car with the top up further away?

Notice the C6 Corvette has the black windshield surround while the Ferrari is body color red.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fobbit Frost View Post
All the air bubbles have worked their way out at this point,
it looks pretty good except where my trimming along the windshield shows silver.
A few dabs of black touchup paint will fix that.
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