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how to put on graphics

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i know this has been asked before but i forgot and the search isnt working. what is the best way to put on # plate graphics? shrouds? and fender graphics. what should i spray on first and what to use to clean it?

i need to get them on by tomorrow night

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Decal Works makes a great little kit for this. But since you say you need to get them on by tomorrow night. I doubt you'd be able to get a kit in time. Clean the surfaces with 91% alcohol to get all of the dirt and oil off. You then need some type of mild soapy water to spray on the surface. Then peel off the decal backing and float it into place. Next, you will need some type of plastic, flexible, flat edge scraper to squeeze out the soapy water and air bubbles. Clean Bondo applicators work great for this. It takes some time to do this and even if you do it this evening, I'm not sure how well it will cure by tomorrow. If you have a real steady hand, a lot of patients, and have done this several times before; you may be able to get away with doing it dry. It's much tougher and less forgiving than the wet process.

Good Luck,

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Here's a copy/paste from xgxracing. I used Windex instead of soapy water. The exhaust side on my 450 was the most difficult.

7. I've never applied my own graphics before. How do I apply these new XGX graphics?

Remove all dirt, oil, and grease with soapy water. Once they're clean, do not touch mounting surface, the oils in your hands will affect adhesion. This is the most important step in successful graphic application. If you are applying to new plastic or paint, lightly scuff application surface with fine steel wool or scratch pad.

· We recommend spraying or wiping a soapy water/alcohol solution onto the plastic to allow the graphics to slide around before final placement. Some types of Window Cleaner will work as well.

· Align graphic with any interior holes, this is usually easier and more precise than using the perimeter.

· Lay plastic down on flat surface.

· Lightly place the graphic on the plastic. Do not push down on graphic until alignment is finalized. Do not try to slide graphic to proper alignment. We use a pressure sensitive adhesive, which allows for peeling and replacing if pressure is not used. M

Once you are happy with the alignment, begin applying pressure to graphic beginning at the center and moving outward to the edges, pressing out fluid and being careful to press out any bubbles. We suggest using the backing paper between the graphic and applicator to avoid "digging in" to the vinyl. Be sure to apply ample pressure especially at the edges. Allow graphics to sit for 24 hrs. prior to riding. We also advise re-applying pressure to the graphics after a couple of hours, especially if using an application fluid to ensure complete bonding.

If you encounter bubbles that cannot be rubbed out, take a sewing needle and prick the bubbled vinyl a number of times and reapply pressure. This allows the air to escape and the graphic to contact the plastic. If you are having trouble getting the graphics to stick on to the plastics, try using a heat gun or blow dryer. Make sure you don’t get it too hot, or it may melt the graphics. This is just helpful to let the liquid underneath evaporate to allow the graphics to ahere to the plastics and conform around the edges.

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The wet method is sometimes too forgiving. When I worked at a sign manufacturer we had a girl who would soak the surface before putting on the graphic.

Most of those signs needed new vinyl in a month or 2.

Use as littls spritz as possible. It is really just to allow you to work the air bubbles out. You can also use a hair dryer when working the bubbles out. Most sign and vinyl shops have "squeegees", plastic applicators for smoothing out the vinyl. You can get them at art supply stoires too. The more flexible the better.

You can use masking tape on any graphic with a straight edge. Leave the backing on and hold it in place with one hand, apply tape along the edge, 1/2 on graphic and 1/2 on adjacent surface. It will form a "hinge". flip the graphic up and peel the backing from the masking tape edge a little bit.

Start lightly pressing the edge down and make sure it is aligned correctly. Then you work from that edge smoothing toward the rest of the decal a little at a time.

If you get a wrinkle, stop right a way and peel it a little. If you have compound surfaces and are using the hair dryer, you can actually heat the decal a bit and stretch it slightly to make it fit better.

Be careful squeegeeing too hard as you might scratch the surface of the graphic.

If you have an aftermarket tank and it is rotationally molded (you can tell because the plastic has a rougher surface and is thicker than blow molded) heat the whole surface up as hot as you can stand with your hair dryer, work your squeegee. You will probably not need spritz b/c the rough surface will let the air out. work the graphic keeping it warm untill it is all down and the air is out. then keep working it as it cools. THe heat will activate the adhesive and it will stick beter.

Just make sure not to use a heat gun around the gas tank as you will melt the graphics and tank and blow your self up. You might want to empty your tank first.

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hmmm ive always used dry way and turned out fine

i clean surface then put graphics on but not all the way, leave corners unadhered, when youre satisfied push corners down and rub with hand then ride all u want

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Thanks guys for all the help. I tryed both ways and for some spots the water worked better and for other dry works. I will get pics up tomorrow or later this week.

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