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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:47 am 
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This write up is specifically for wrapping the 2000+ dash vents using 3M 1080 carbon fiber vinyl, but other interior parts on all years as well as different vinyl materials will also be a very similar process.



I ordered a 1'x5' roll of the vinyl from amazon.com for about $21 shipped and I still have a TON of it left, more then enough to do several sets of vents.


Remove the trim bezel from your vent housing, it just pops off. Clean it thoroughly with rubbing alcohol to remove any oils and dirt that may be on it to ensure a good hold for the vinyl.
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Lay the bezel on the wrap and cut out a section slightly larger then the overall size of the part you are working on.
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Peel the backing off the vinyl and lay the vinyl sticky side up on a flat surface, then lay the part down as centered as possible on the vinyl
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Pick the part with the vinyl attached, careful to not touch the sticky area as much as possible. If it is relatively flat you can just slowly work around the outside edges to get the basic area laid out, if it is not very flat use a blow dryer to add a little heat and make it smooth over the outer surface.
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I set the blow dryer on high heat, low fan speed on it's side on the edge of the counter to leave both of my hands free to work. Start with the outside edge, pull and stretch the vinyl over the edges, curves are the hardest part as the vinyl will want to wrinkle when going around them, just keep heat on it and pull it tight enough to remove the wrinkles then press and hold the vinyl to the surface until it cools and holds, usually a couple seconds.
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Continue your way around the outside and you end up with this.
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At this point you can cut little slits inside the area to be drawn into the vent area
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Heat it up again and begin to work it down.
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When you get to the bottom of the vent area, cut off all but about 1/8" and cut little slits in that all the way to the edge of the vent so you can heat it and bend them over the edge on the back side.
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Start on the other side repeating the process, I found that more slits makes it easier to stretch.
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Cut a few slits in the vent adjust section, one right down the middle and two on either side by the curved edge to make it fold into the inside easy.
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Heat and wrap that around to the inside.
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You now have a finished vent bezel.
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 11:53 am 
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Good tutorial. I will be doing this to the dash trim bezel for my 97. Looks good

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:09 pm 
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Got a lil wrinkle there.

It looks quite good. I may not have a market for real carbon pieces now. lol

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:15 pm 
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Yea, still not 100% perfect, this was only the second one I did :lol: any wrinkles seen here though are completely hidden by the dash, so I wasn't too worried.

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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 1:20 pm 
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Very nice work man. Im not sure I have the patients for that. At least I dont for myself, maybe if someone was paying me to do it.

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 5:28 pm 
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Good writeup Ryan!

Some may want to paint the grilles and adjustment cones black like a GXP vent, could use Krylon Fusion for that. Easy to use and holds up well. My OCD may get bothered by the gray. Other than that I like em a lot!

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PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2012 7:14 pm 
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Nicely done!

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 3:45 pm 
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I'm actually starting to like this better than GXP.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 6:36 pm 
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nos4blood70 wrote:
I'm actually starting to like this better than GXP.


I like them a lot better then GXP vents, they look really nice.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:03 pm 
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Yea this is awesome. Way easier and cheaper than hunting down real GXP vents and these look better. And a nice write-up.

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PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:21 pm 
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I am glad to see that many of you like this look! I honestly thought I would get a lot of people saying the exact opposite, that they hate this and the GXP looks much better and that this looks cheesy etc...

The vents aren't too terribly hard to do, but wow.... I just got done after about an hour or so working on one door handle bezel! Those are touchy, but wow does it look amazing!

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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:20 am 
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crash93ssei wrote:
I am glad to see that many of you like this look! I honestly thought I would get a lot of people saying the exact opposite, that they hate this and the GXP looks much better and that this looks cheesy etc...

The vents aren't too terribly hard to do, but wow.... I just got done after about an hour or so working on one door handle bezel! Those are touchy, but wow does it look amazing!

Pictures of those somewhere??!! Please!

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:31 am 
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sethjamesrimrodt wrote:
crash93ssei wrote:
I am glad to see that many of you like this look! I honestly thought I would get a lot of people saying the exact opposite, that they hate this and the GXP looks much better and that this looks cheesy etc...

The vents aren't too terribly hard to do, but wow.... I just got done after about an hour or so working on one door handle bezel! Those are touchy, but wow does it look amazing!

Pictures of those somewhere??!! Please!



I know you already seen them and replied, but just in case others are curious as well - viewtopic.php?f=27&t=32634

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2003 Bonneville SSEi - The Black Mirror SOLD!
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2003 BMW 540i M Sport, 2001 BMW X5 4.4i, 2010 GMC Acadia, 2017 Grand Design Imagine 3150BH
1982 Cutlass Supreme - The fun one

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:14 am 
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Yea they really look good man. I saw a thread a while back where someone had their GXP vents re-wrapped in carbon fiber and it showed how brown the factory carbon fiber was and how it doesn't really match a gray interior. Might have been Andrew, I don't remember.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:04 pm 
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Chris, that was ddadler... ;)

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:40 pm 
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That's right, thanks Will. That's one of those threads you find after cruising all the old posts cause you can't get enough Bonneville.

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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:46 pm 
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One more thing to add, is if you know you've used a lot of Armor-All or something on these, it would not be a bad idea to wash them using Tri-Sodium Phosphate, which you can get at a hardware store. It's a strong cleaner and will pull all the oils, grease, dirt, etc out of the grains of the plastic which can reduce adhesion of the vinyl over time. Even a quick wash in some soapy water would be better than nothing.

Definitely still wipe them down with alcohol before applying, but this is a good intermediate step to insure long-term full adhesion. Also works well if you're painting plastic or vinyl parts.

Just like anything else, the better you prep, the better the end result will be.

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Last edited by 00Beast on Mon May 07, 2012 12:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:10 pm 
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Oh yours has an adhesive backing...what I used was actually more of a fabric and I had to use headliner adhesive spray.

Not sure which would be easier...I'm sure there's some pros/cons to both.
I need to finish/redo what I've done so far.

But in any case, nice work Ryan, as always!

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Last edited by WhiteArrow3800 on Tue May 08, 2012 4:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue May 08, 2012 4:27 pm 
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00Beast wrote:
One more thing to add, is if you know you've used a lot of Armor-All or something on these, it would not be a bad idea to wash them using Tri-Sodium Phosphate.

That's one way, but I used paint thinner on everything I painted, it worked great. Paint thinner, not mineral spirits though, a lot of people mistake the two. (Years of retail hardware experience speaking.)

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92 Bonneville SSE | L67/4T60E | 70K mi | Med Slate Grey w/ Two-Tone Grey Int. | Low Miles Time Capsule
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PostPosted: Sun May 13, 2012 3:13 pm 
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Clean it with alcohol and put primer 94 on the edges. The natural tendency for this vinyl is to straighten in the heat. All those compound corners are going to lift in the heat.


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