Removing Vinly Letters from Commercial van, keep breaking

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 7:54 pm
Just for some background. I have removed tons of vinyl stickers from Commercial vehicles but at most the stickers were 5 years old. Normally I pull up one end and slowly peel them until they come off.

I am now removing vinyl lettering from a E350 Van and the letters have been on this van since 98. I have use 3M adhesive remover and it hasn't helped. The problem is that once I get a corner lifted up and start to peel it breaks immediately or the corner will break once it is up. They are so brittle you can't pull them up and they aren't scraping up well either. I even let them bake in the sun today and it didn't help.

Is there a better technique? Maybe soaking them with some better adhesive remover? Any info would be appreciated. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:20 pm
in my experience a heat gun is an essential tool for any adhesive sticker/vinyl removal. just get it burning hot, and the adhesive should release.
PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 9:22 pm
Here ya go,,
Just remember, the speed of your drill is critical,,and also, dont push down to much when you use it. Let the tool do the work.

http://www3.3m.com/catalog/us/en001/aut ... utput_HTML



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 2:37 am
Old Dupont Guy wrote:Here ya go,,
Just remember, the speed of your drill is critical,,and also, dont push down to much when you use it. Let the tool do the work.

http://www3.3m.com/catalog/us/en001/aut ... utput_HTML


Ahh yes, I used these at Lockheed extensively. We called it a "Peter Wheel" though. We had two varieties, the soft white wheel, and the harder, opaque orange wheel. We used them to remove seal-bond tape from parts that either were not supposed to have the seal bond tape applied yet, or from between parts that had to be seperated and the seal bond tape had to be cleaned of so repairs could be made and the seal bond could be re-applied on a clean surface again.

They will burn paint if you are not VERY careful. Mostly its only to knock the vinyl itself off and leave the adhesive, then you use adhesive remover to clean up what was behind the vinyl.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:55 am
Thanks guys. Awesome. I have never used one before. I will get one ASAP. Any special tips or tricks? I will start slow because I have to save the paint. Do you guys normally put them on a drill or a buffer? Also is it best to start on top of the vinyl letter or just off to the side and then bring it in? Thanks Again.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:07 am
Its used on a drill. Like I said,,,the RPM of the drill is important. I think it tells you how fast it should be in the directions.
You use the edge of the wheel,,not the side of it. I have never had a problem with it burning the paint.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 7:27 am
Like ODG said. Follow the directions for speed. I've seen guys put them on die grinders spinning 10000 rpm. Not good :shock: The only time if seen paint peel off is on plastic bumper covers. never had a problem on metal.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 8:46 am
Do you guys think I should get the large wheel or the small 4 inch wheel?
Thanks guys.



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PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:45 pm
Thanks guys. It worked great. I bought 3M # 07498. It is a 4 inch rubber disc but very thick. My hands hurt right now so it takes me a while to type this. It worked great. It does make a mess and don't take a shower before doing this because you will have to shower right after.
I played with it for a little while and I couldn't get it to burn the paint easily at all so I would say most novices will do ok with it.
Also I feel it is important to get it broken in. Once broken it, it works 10 times better. The disc will conform to the way you hold the drill and the amount of pressure you put on the disc. Anyway, it is a great tool and works perfectly for taking old letters off. Thanks Again. You guys are true pros.
PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 3:41 pm
Yea,,,It will eat up thermoplastic. Glad you got the job done!

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