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New graphics done...


trimster
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Finally got around to replacing the graphics on our 2004 5er. The before is in the signature below. Pretty simple and sun-baked after all these years. Purchased the graphics off eBay. $300 for both sides. Material is not 3M quality but not bad either. I purchased some graphics from them years ago and it's still holding up.

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Biggest pain in the process is prepping the mondo amount of square footage. Used a graphics eraser (2 actually). I like these. Easy to use and does a darn good job without damaging the paint/gel coat. Cleaver design.

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Then there's the hours of buffing with an orbital buffer to get all the oxidation off. Lots of ladder time.

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Trick to the graphics installation is prep, wiping the install locations down with alcohol, and doing it with no wind. We've had an unusually windy spring. Stopped installation for days. Working around slides, access doors, etc., is challenging. You will go through quite a number of razor blades.

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It's a definite improvement. Will take a new total-rig photo next week when on the road. After a few hours of re-waxing the beast.

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I've tried several. Here's my take:

- 3M Marine Oxidation remover.  Best if you have lots of oxidation.

- Meguiar's- M110 Mirror Glaze Ultra Pro Speed Compound – Heavy Cut.  I like their products. This is an aggressive compound similar to the 3M stuff.

- Meguiar's® Mirror Glaze® Professional Heavy-Cut Cleaner, M0416 –  This is less aggressive compound. If you have light oxidation, this will work fine.

- Turtle Wax Clean Cut rubbing compound- Much like Mirror Glaze Heavy Cut-cleaner. Worked well.

NOTE: you will use several buffing foam pads during this process. They get clogged up with the compound and oxidation. I would soap-n-water clean them every once and a while.

On the tool side, I used the Harbor Freight Bauer 6" orbital polisher (about $100). Variable speed. I've done a ton of stuff with this unit and it has not missed a beat.

I also used the Harbor Freight cutting pads. These are not the best and don't last as long as the better ones found at any auto paint supply store or on-line. But they are good-nuff for this kinda job. I used/depreciated 2 heavy cut pads and 2 fine cut pads on the job

If you have heavy oxidation and want it to look really good when done... use the heavy cut compound with the aggressive pad first. Then go over it again (ya, the arms will be worse for wear) with the medium or fine cut pads and the Meguiar's® Mirror Glaze® Professional Fine-Cut Cleaner, M0216.

Once the trailer is naked.... Apply the graphics making sure you wipe the area the graphic will stick to with rubbing alcohol.

Now, stand back and look/admire your work. If you made mistakes, stand a bit further back.

Give the trailer a good soapy wash and rinse.

Next... ya, it's a process... wax the whole thing. Some say not to wax the graphics as the chemicals will damage them. Aerospace 303 is really good as a protector. Some wipe the whole trailer with it. I've done that and it does work well with less effort than wax-on, wax-off. I prefer to wax it. You can easily work around the graphics, hitting those with 303 later.

And now you know why they charge a bunch to replace graphics on our rigs. It's not hard...just labor intensive. And... the beer budget could get out of hand.

Hope this is helpful.

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Nicely done Bob.

I have restored different 5ers in the last decade or so.  Your approach was very similar to mine.  It worked for who it was for.

I am currently doing my Teton, so no vinyl on this one, but on the black painted graphics, there is some heat checking.  I have gotten some quotes to repaint it or repaint the graphics.  Figured I would just start with a cut and buff.  Well after doing the lower half, it will work for who its for.  The effort has reaped some pretty good results, not a new paint job quality but satisfactory for a 14YO trailer.  And getting some polish and wax on it has really made a vast improvement.

I did discover a product that I am using as a top coat that I really like.  Car Guys Hybrid Wax.  Its similar to a quick detailer, cherry wax type product but with some carnauba and polymers in it.  Applies from a spray bottle and just a quick buff.  Added some shine and really compliments the carnauba wax I used on the truck and trailer.  Maybe this will add some life to the wax and to my shoulders/wrists/hands.  Oh and knees too, climbing up and down the ladder can be a chore.

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