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Old 10-19-2011, 03:42 PM   #1
1963 C-10 BBC/Muncie 4 spd
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Tailgate Lettering

I bought white stick on lettering for my tailgate from LMC. Is there a trick to putting it on without screwing it up? It is just die cut vinyl lettering.
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Old 10-19-2011, 09:57 PM   #2
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

Are there sheetmetal letters there now that you plan to cover? If not I would start measuring for the center of the tailgate and measure your letters. Lay them out to where they look good then to keep them there I would tape around the edges of them but not on them to mark the location. You could tape them down and the use a pencil to trace them in position.
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Old 10-20-2011, 03:23 PM   #3
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Re: Tailgate Lettering


1969 CST SWB - Project Blank Slate (4.5/6" ECE Static Drop, 6-lug disc brake upgrade (manual), Billet Specialties Vintec 20x8.5 255/40 (F) 20x10 295/40 (R), 250 I-6)
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:38 PM   #4
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

Windex works good for installing decals. It allows them to move around without wrinkles, then just squegee them down when in place.
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Old 10-21-2011, 05:54 PM   #5
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

no no no no not use windex!!! Use plain water with a few drops of dawn if you want to do it wet. The ammonia and chemicals in Windex® are not good for vinyl adhesives. Not to mention it evaporates to quick.
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Old 10-21-2011, 08:10 PM   #6
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

Originally Posted by 70-Shorty View Post
no no no no not use windex!!! Use plain water with a few drops of dawn if you want to do it wet. The ammonia and chemicals in Windex® are not good for vinyl adhesives. Not to mention it evaporates to quick.

this is how to do it properly
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Old 10-21-2011, 09:37 PM   #7
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

I also use water with a little soap.
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Old 10-22-2011, 05:44 PM   #8
1963 C-10 BBC/Muncie 4 spd
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

I used vinyl spray set stuff. Worked out well. The LMC letters are cut perfect
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Old 10-23-2011, 07:58 PM   #9
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

The soapy water and good hard plastic squeege is what I have used in the past with good luck.
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:13 PM   #10
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

yea i would definitely go the water and soap route if doing a dry lay isn't one of your options. Originally my tailgate has a trim piece that stretches across it (84 Silverado) however when i bought my truck it didn't come with the trim piece so i opted to paint the embossed letters with my brushes and one shot paint...turned out ok
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Old 03-06-2012, 10:24 AM   #11
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

I paint them,like factory,or give a custom touch. I like western picked outlined or mask and do a fade with airbrush. Embossed tailgate letters are special to me. It's the factory brand on the hind quarter of their stock shown with pride.
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Old 04-04-2013, 12:58 PM   #12
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Re: Tailgate Lettering

Vinyl Tailgate Letter Installation Instructions:

Materials Needed: Cleaning supplies to prepare the surface, Spray bottle with a mixture of soapy water (2 tablespoons dish washing detergent per quart of water), Drying Towel, Hair Dryer (optional).

The tailgate surface must be clean and free of dirt, grease, oil, road film, wax or other contaminants. It is recommended to use HOT soapy water to wash the surface. Wax, grease, and oil can be removed with solvent (paint pre-cleaner, bug and tar remover..etc.)- but be sure to choose one that will NOT harm your paint.
Once cleaned and dry, inspect your Tailgate Letters carefully for flaws such as scratches, dents, chips, or "trash" trapped in the paint. Some of these will show through the vinyl lettering if severe enough. You may wish to remove these flaws prior to installing the letters.
Peel off the heavy white backing paper from the Vinyl Letter you wish to install- leaving the reverse (adhesive) side of the letter exposed- but still attached to the semi-transparent transfer paper.
Spray the reverse (adhesive) side of the Vinyl Letter to be installed, and the appropriate letter on the Tailgate with your soapy water solution.
Place the Vinyl Letter in position over the embossed Tailgate Letter- and peel the Vinyl Letter free from the transfer paper. Be careful and avoid touching the adhesive area. The soapy solution will allow you to adjust the positioning of the Vinyl letter- to center it over the raised Tailgate Letter.
Once centered, let the Vinyl Letter just "rest" on top of the Tailgate Letter relief- and allow the soapy solution to dry completely. You can aid by patting the area dry with a towel. Do not be alarmed if the edges of the Vinyl Lettering do not stick- they will when the soapy water has evaporated completely. At this point, you can move on to other letters-to begin their installation- while your first few letters are drying.
Begin at the center of the Vinyl Letter and work outward -toward the edges of the letters- with your fingertips. Do not use any hard or plastic tools to try to work the letters down. This may tear the letter. By working from the center out, you also will avoid trapping any air under the Vinyl Letter. At this point, it may help to use a hair dryer to speed the drying process, and soften the Vinyl Letter so you can smooth the edges and corners more easily. DO NOT heat the letter to the point that it stretches while trying to work the edges down.
If you find that you need to reposition a letter- CAREFULLY peel it back off- the hair dryer will help in this situation, BUT avoid stretching the vinyl. Reapply the soapy solution to the Vinyl Letter (adhesive side), the Tailgate Letter, and begin again at step 5.
Once all the edges have been stuck down- PAT the area dry (do NOT rub!)- and allow the Tailgate to sit for about an hour. Then you can return and rework any areas that may have loosened.
When completed, the Vinyl Letters should not require any special care. They will adhere to the surface as good as painted lettering. Try to avoid using a high pressure washer directly on the Lettering- but spraying over them from a reasonable distance should not cause them to lift.
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