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express2100

Cleaning substrate (vehicle body)

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I can't believe searching "cleaning substrate" "substrate preparation" "vehicle prep" etc produces zero results on this site. Even more surprised there isn't something pinned in the Instructional section. Oh well. I have searched youtube and there are too many dang opinions out there! Frankly I have come to trust the members here more than some dude with a camera.

 

I will be installing graphics on a truck for the first time tonight and I want to make sure I properly prepare the substrate.I will be installing two 15" x 29", two 6" x 29" and two 2" x 18" Oracal 651 graphics. My plan is this:

 

1) Clean with one drop of Dawn per gal. of water twice. Drying between.

 

2) Clean with Rapid Tac II three times. Drying between.

 

3) Clean with 50/50 alcohol/water once. Dry and install.

 

 

Am I on the right track here? Less or more?

 

Appreciate it guys!

 

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I searched 'surface prep' and got all this.

http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&fromMainBar=1http://forum.uscutter.com/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&fromMainBar=1

Just a good rub down with isoprophyl alcohol if the surface isn't very dirty is all that usually nssessary..

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Sounds like a good start but I use a wax and grease remover.  It will get any  old adhesive, tar, grease, sap  and wax off of the surface with out hurting the finish.

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I think you are probably over doing it.  Like Doug said check for wax, that will ruin your day. I use a cheap cleaning solution made from Denatured alcohol and water for basic wash down. It's a cheap version of glass cleaner basically and works good for overall and after using any kind of adhesive remover. After making sure there is no actual dirt left on there I do a final wipe with rubbing alcohol shortly before install to remove any oils (even from finger prints during layout etc.

That's how I do it. Here is a pic of the stuff I buy (or similar) at walmart to mix with water. Doesn't take much and beats using soap that may leave a residue.

 http://www.housecleaningcentral.com/images/stories/products/denatured-alcohol.jpg

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The alcohol will remove grease.

This is true but in the mix it's pretty mild so I use straight rubbing later. I'm not sure its a real safe thing to handle directly on a towel so I switch to rubbing but I have no proof one way or the other, I just don't use it straight. You can burn it in a coleman stove so I think it's probably a little hot to handle. LOL

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I highly recommend Rapid Prep from the makers of RapidTac. It will strip off wax, oil, grease, dead bugs, Rain X and other silicone products and doesn't harm automotive finishes.

I buy it in gallon jugs off of the big auction site for around $35-36 delivered. I also repackage it in small spray bottles to re-sell to customers that will do their own installations and make it part of my warranty - if you don't clean with my recommended cleaner, I don't warranty their installation. I only charge $2 for a 30 ml spray bottle full, so it's not like I'm gouging them, and that's enough to install several decals.

I like it so much I use it clean mirrors in my house - it never leaves streaks!

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I'm sure Rapid Prep is a great product but I have to say I've never had an adhesion problem with alcohol wash & wipe. Not one.

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Rapid Prep all the way, A gallon is less than 22 bucks, can not go wrong there. 

 

I assume you're picking it up somewhere at that price and that doesn't include shipping?

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Thanks guys. I washed with water then rapid tac 2 followed by alcohol. Had too many visitors and a couple problems so I only have one side partially completed  :angry: Time for bed!

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I assume you're picking it up somewhere at that price and that doesn't include shipping?

 

From my local Distributor who delivers to the shop every week. I think shipping if I bought it alone would be 5 bucks. 

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Ha Ha it's kind of funny lookin back at this one. It was my first project.

I consider every vehicle to be dirty and they all receive the same treatment regardless of how clean they appear.

Now if one rolled in plastered in mud I'd ask the owner to return after a wash.

The alcohol and Rapid Tac II are all I use. Nothing special is needed to remove the wax.

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We use In a quart sprayer, 16 oz. water, 16 oz. denatured alcohol, 2 drops liquid detergent. Works great, cleans great. The finger test is a must. Drag your finger across the vehicle, or whatever you're applying on. Squeeky clean is a must !

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