Jump to content

IGNORED

Vinyl Wrap Anyone?


Jeff Berk

Recommended Posts

I'm considering a vinyl wrap as an alternative to a repaint due to cost and a lack of a paint booth. Has anyone wrapped their vehicle and can offer suggestions on amount of wrap needed and any problem areas that I might encounter on a Series 1 Z?

Link to comment
Share on other sites


17 hours ago, psdenno said:

Here's a link to one being wrapped over on Hybridz:

https://tinyurl.com/y884g3q2

Dennis

I don't visit Hybrid-Z very often, but that's a good post.  The author makes a point of emphasizing the challenges and things to watch out for, rather than just posting a fluff piece about how easy it was.  I hope we'll see more write-ups on wraps because I think they may be the path forward for automotive finishes. 

In fact, it's going to be really interesting to see whether vehicle manufacturers will transition from paint to vinyl wrap in the near future.  Production-scale paint facilities are extremely expensive for them to build, operate and maintain.  And then there are the environmental issues (even with water-borne paints), the electrical power consumption costs, the cost of the paint, and the QC/QA challenges.  I don't think that 3M got into the automotive wrap business line because of the customizer aftermarket.  I think they may have their eyes on the larger prize.

As for those of us who occupy the DIY sector of the old car hobby, I have to wonder how long paint can be justified over a professionally-done wrap.  It seems that a garden-variety paint job by a body-and-paint shop starts at about $5,000 these days (unless you have a relative who runs a shop), while a pro wrap looks like about $1500.  That price difference may start to resonate if/when word gets out within the hobby that a professional wrap can compete with paint for both appearance and durability.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Namerow said:

That price difference may start to resonate if/when word gets out within the hobby that a professional wrap can compete with paint for both appearance and durability.

I'd be interested in hearing more about wrap durability - how it takes door dings & scrapes, ability to color match if a repair is needed, fading, harsh weather resistance,

Dennis

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The wraps that we've seen here in Phoenix just don't last.  I don't quite get why not (i mean other than the harsh climate...).  There's obviously a difference in material - my wife bought a G35 Sedan in 2007 and had a "clear-bra" product applied by the dealership (or contracted by the dealership) to the front end and other common "chip" points.  It's held up remarkably well to our desert southwest conditions.  But, we had an RX-7 in the shop last year.  The owner had it wrapped a few years prior to avoid repainting.  It scratched easily and our Arizona sun was really hard on it.  It stuck well - some of the underlying paint was pulled off the car when they removed it...  All of the wrapped cars I've seen here have very obvious surface scratches.  We see a lot of kids here going to ASU driving wrapped GTR's.  A few corvette's.  The only really nice wrap I've seen was on a McClaren that pulled into the Pavillion's one Saturday night.  I'm sure there was a LOT of money in that wrap - it was clear, and it was perfect.  I guess I'd want to protect the paint on the McClaren too, it was awesome...  Which brings me back to scratching my head about my wifes 11 year old "clear-bra" that still looks very good... 

It's probably just like paint - you get what you pay for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've wrapped interior panels and other bits and pieces, with varying levels of success. General comments from my experiences:

It's harder to apply than you probably think.

Paint and vinyl probably have a similar margin for error.

Vinyl won't last anywhere near as long as paint.

Vinyl allows for some more interesting finish options (if you're into that), but a good paint job will always have a cleaner application (e.g. no seams or cut lines) than vinyl.

Vinyl is thin, and therefore only marginally more forgiving than paint. The panels still need to be straight.

A good vinyl install isn't likely to be cheap , but if you're looking for something different or non-permanent, it's a nice option.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking about putting a wrap on my Z but realized, after doing a paint adhesion test, that the paint needed to come off and be redone.  The respray before I bought the car was poorly done.  Life of the warp also seems somewhat limited, more $$$ material will last longer, less $ gives you a few years at best. I decided if I was doing all the work to get to a good starting surface for the vinyl I might as well do it correctly and paint it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case, I think I'm going to go with the wrap. The last time my car was painted was in the 1980's but was very well done. The finish, however, is faded so I cannot touch up the paint without it sticking out like a sore thumb. The fade was also uneven so I cannot even get the paint "shot" to try and match. The car is garage stored and never goes out in the rain so I should be able to get reasonable life out of the wrap. I'm a few months away from attempting this so I'll keep you up to date on the progress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...

Just found this thread.  I have a '73 Z that has a good paint job, but it is in a pearl white, not the original Kilimanjaro stock white.  I'm wondering if a wrap is the better way to go.  Can I even special order a vinyl wrap to match the original stock color?  I would not want to do the wrap myself.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

IMHO, wrap is great for race cars and it's great when done clear as a paint protector, but every wrapped car I've seen has had the same issues which is minor lifting at the edges on convex panels.  Shortly after even 1mm of vinyl lifts a hair, dirty water gets under the edge and it starts looking shabby.  This will continue over the life and get worse over time.  Wrap is a fantastic temporary coating.  That's why it's so good on race cars.  All of the sponsors and graphics can be printed right on the wrap.  A good quality paintjob is still the better option for long-term durability on a street car.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

FYI, The wrap I ended up using was manufactured by Vivid. My son and I wrapped a second car afterwards with Avery material which we liked better due to it's stretch. We made several mistakes with the 260Z and had to go with matching paint on the headlight buckets. Now that we have a little more experience, I think will rewrap the car next year in metal flake red and include the headlight buckets by using knifeless-cut tape. 

The advantages of a wrap for us is that we can change the color, we can do it ourselves, the color options and special affect vinyl are numerous. Note that the black stripe on my Z was done because I wasn't able to smooth the vinyl out without a wrinkle on the hood. I'm attributing this to Vivid's rigidity and hope to do the hood in one sheet when I go with Avery. Note that the air dam on the car was paint as was the  headlight buckets. It is definitely a two person job.

Avery offers group classes in car wrapping for around $900. At the end of the class, you get a $900 credit for their wrapping material. I might take their class next year so I can get some training beyond You Tube.

20191007_190753698_iOS.jpg

Edited by Jeff Berk
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We used Avery at work for race cars and it did a pretty good job around complex curves.  I've always heard that the S30 headlight buckets are extremely difficult to get right.

My buddy Dean owns an IMSA team and this was one of the most difficult wraps he ever had done due to the chrome.  It wasn't as forgiving on the contours.  He said that the "hips" right below the quarter windows was all but impossible to get smooth.  The cars always looked like a Jiffy Pop container in that area when viewed up close.  The S30 has a very similar contour there, so certain types of wrap might be an issue.

I think think this one of the best looking race cars ever though (after the BRE cars of course).  It's inspired by the Gentleman Jim WWII P51 Mustang livery.

Michelin IMSA SportsCar Encore Debuts to Great Acclaim

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Chrome has a really bad reputation for durability but it really looks great on the few cars I've seen it on. Everyone wants to touch it and unless there is no dust or dirt on their finger or the car, it will leave behind scratches. I have a little chrome wrap at home to experiment with and it IS IMPRESSIVE. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, siteunseen said:

I can't remember the member on here that did one hell of job on a white 280. He did car wraps for a living and cleared his and looked great. Houston Texas  is where he is but I can't find any threads. He did such a great job and sold the car. We got mad at him. LOL

 

Was he the one who used a plastic fuel tank that fit an old Plymouth?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, siteunseen said:

I don't remember that. He would have bought the OE tank if needed, top of the line kinda guy. I'm going to find him...

The plastic tank was brilliant.  It fit the Z with no mods.  I'm guessing it was the same guy.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.