Applying Stickers

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motobene, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    I have heard of the trick of using fluids to apply stickers. I finally saw a production example of applying stickers in a video BMW motorcycle production.

    This video shows how it's done at 25:05:



    What, exactly, the fluid is is not disclosed. It looks and acts like water.

    Some have said to use soapy water. What do you all think she is using?
    #1
  2. motomofo

    motomofo Been here awhile

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    Windex works best for me.
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  3. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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  4. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    The MSDS on Rapid Tack says 10-20% ethanol.

    MSDS of Windex is more secretive, with "volatile organic compounds 0.2%."
    #4
  5. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    Probably a mix of water and some alcohol so it evaporates quickly. Guys that apply automotive protective film do the same thing.
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  6. Norman Foley

    Norman Foley Devotee of the Husqvarna

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    I've used Windex or soapy water. As mentioned alcohol mix will evaporate more quickly. I've watched guys who have a real knack for doing it dry.... patience is the key either way.
    #6
  7. Brewtus

    Brewtus Buffoonery, Inc.

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    I have a method of getting a running start to slap them on. Of course the end result reflects that method.... :lol3
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  8. CDN Rick

    CDN Rick Canoodia Eh?

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    I've always used Windex and a heat gun. With great results.
    Probably best for beginners.

    Pro's that do it all day long skip the windex and just place them on. But they've got a lot more practice than I do.
    #8
  9. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Long timer

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    According to VW (instruction how to apply the protection foil on a wagon Passat typ Variant)
    and according to the guys of my car Workshop that do car foils and also restauration of cars:

    destilled water and some drops of dish soap* per liter and that's it.

    What the soap does that natural surface tension of the water disappears,
    the more soap is desolved in the water as less the decal will stick, no alcohol at all!

    *Pril works very nice, I have applied an Ultra thick foil to my Passat wagon and the foil sticks well for now many years
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  10. Bronco638

    Bronco638 Nobody Home

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    When the GTP cars were still running in IMSA, I watched a mechanic on the Miller High Life Porsche 962 apply decals with Windex as the 'float' solution. He applied one big Miller High Life sticker, on the nose of the car, by spraying Windex on the bodywork and then used a squeegee to finish things up. Granted, it was probably the umpteenth time he did but it took him about 15 minutes, max.

    This car:
    [​IMG]
    #10
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  11. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    you are trying to come up with the "solution" I assume instead of buying the solution, right? Id call or find the guys that do tinting. in the 70's we installed this film called Solar-X, onto windows. pretty sure it was just tiny bit of soap in really clean water (distilled) since it went onto office and or house windows to block the sun, but you still could see out fairly well.

    I would suspect, that there is probably no big deal on quality of solution in comparison, on race cars that quality of decals really only have to last week or two, before competition day where everything gets dinged up and all that.

    That show on TV, "graveyard cars" uses some solution, since those cars have to look pristine for year or more for those owners that just park them or museum them. So, I bet that either the decal company has figured out the solution, so the film being put on doesn't react/discolor over time.

    Course my new bike's the decals last until I put the 1st tank of gas in it, so I would think a few drops of cheap dish soap in treated drinking water, would be fine for anything not going into museum?

    Id try windex next time, but seems to me if more than the size of average man's hands, that stuff evaporate too fast for me to have assumed worth a try.
    #11
  12. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Wasn't trying to get around paying for a great product as much as just trying to understand the sticker-applying process better.

    All the wisdom here is helping a lot, thank you!
    #12
  13. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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    There's a show on Velocity called Graveyard Cars. It's a Mopar restoration shop in Springfield, Or. The owner is Mark Worman, & he's an absolute master at applying decals. Everything from little Road Runner decals to rear quarter billboards on Cuda's. If you can find some past episodes on yootoob with some of those scenes, I think you'd find a wealth of useful information.
    #13
  14. Gordo83

    Gordo83 Been here awhile

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    And they can also run back to the parts department and grab another graphic, if they screwed up the first one.
    I've never used any liquids, but definitely use the heat gun. I did the graphics on my H1 500. It was like putting a sticker on a bowling ball. The heat gun really helped soften and stretch it just enough to get it in place. Then squeegee it out as quickly as possible, while still using the heat gun. I was very happy with the results, as I was told, on my particular year H1, they actually painted the graphics, because of the roundness of the tank.
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  15. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    Good decals, slightly soapy & water doesn't mess with the glue on decals, but I would have thought alcohol like in windex might, hence I never tried windex...
    #15
  16. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Apparently ethanol at 20% and below doesn't screw with the adhesive.
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  17. Monty348

    Monty348 Adventurer

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    Glass Plus was recommended by the graphics maker that supplied custom graphics for my BMW bike. Worked well and didn't evaporate too quickly. Graphics stuck tight for years.
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  18. PSchrauber

    PSchrauber Long timer

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  19. Sting32

    Sting32 Trials Evangelist

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    I didn't mean it in the not paying way, more like something you can source locally way... :D
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  20. Huzband

    Huzband Team Dirt

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    What we need is a KLR trials bike. But then that milk crate would constantly be in the way. :D
    #20