R/T Stripe
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Meet Jason Derby who owns Stillwater signs in Salem, Wisconsin. Jason came recommended to me by my friends at the Hot Rod Haus to be the one to tackle the R/T stripe on my Charger. I thought of doing this myself but decided not too so I had another person try it but that wasn't a good idea either as both side stripes got wasted. Jason came into the deal with an offer I couldn't refuse that for a price, he guaranteed my happiness with the stripes and if he screwed them up he would buy me new ones. Here Jason is starting to measure the car for the stripes.
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Here Jason is reading the directions that came with the stripe kit from Performance Car Graphics in Florida. Jason educated me on vinyl stripes in that some stripes are made by stretching the vinyl into shape then cutting it ala cookies. These stripes tend to be thicker and will try to shrink back into their original shape. The other kind of vinyl used for stripes is cast like a pan of brownies. Sorry for the food references but I am getting pretty hungry and it seems to affect my writing. The cast vinyl is cut into stripes and is thinner and more durable once set.
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Take your time and measure and fit and measure and fit until you are satisfied with the position of the stripes. The R/T should be split by the bodyline and the center portion is centered on the side marker. The more time you take here the better the job. Once the stripe is where you want it, mark the edges of the stripe with a grease pencil on the car. Don't freak out, it will come off later.
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Here Jason has sprayed the stripe and car with a soapy water solution to allow the stripe to be positioned. Don't try to slide the stripe around just lift it off if it needs moved and re apply it to the car. Center the R/T on the bodyline and work out from there to the marks you put on the car with a grease pencil.
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Using a squeegee carefully work the water from the center of the stripe to the edge. Don't pull or press too hard as this is bas and can warp the stripe. Work carefully and slowly until all the water is gone. If you are left with some very small bubbles of water they will evaporate and the stripe will lay down once the water is gone so don't worry.
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The backing paper should be smoothed down and if it is any bubbles will be evident. Try not to work over the same area many times as it could damage the stripe. Soon the paper will be smooth and the majority of the bubbles will be gone then it is time to move on.
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Here Jason repeats the procedure for the other side. Make sure the edges along the bottom and the trunk lip are smoothed out and the stripe has gotten a good grip on the body. .
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Make sure you have gotten out all the bubbles you can before removing the backing paper. The backing paper protects the vinyl from the squeegee as it will leave marks in the stripe if not isolated from the vinyl. Start by carefully lifting a corner and slowly pull the stripe back onto itself keeping an eye on the vinyl the whole time.
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Keep peeling the paper back onto itself and never pull out on the paper as this could pull the vinyl away from the car. As the water evaporates the glue on the stripe will set and it will become a semi-permanent part of the Charger.
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Work your way up to the end of the stripe with special care taken here. At this stage the ends of the stripe could stretch or tear if you are not careful with the removal of the backing paper. After it is all peeled off make sure the sends of the stripe and pressed tightly against the body so the glue will set the stripe to the paint.

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