- A clean look on the exterior of your vehicle
- Easier to detail without having to work around them
- You don't have to be a rolling billboard for the car manufactures
So our subject vehicle, my new 2012 Silverado:
The writeup will be focusing on this big gold eyesore right here:
WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- Fishing line
- Thick gloves
- Isopropyl alcohol
- Multiple microfiber towels
- Clay Bar with Detail Spray
- Heat gun or hair dryer
- Patience... lots of patience
OPTIONAL THINGS THAT WILL MAKE THE JOB EASIER:
- 3M Eraser Wheel (available online)
- Professional grade adhesive remover designed for automotive surfaces
- Plastic razor blades
Start with a clean vehicle or by wiping the area around the badge clean with waterless wash and a waterless towel
Next use a low setting on your heat gun to begin warming the area. Use caution not to overheat the panel. If using a hair dryer try to park with the sun facing the panel for about 30 minutes before hand to get a jump start on the warming. Be careful as the panel around the badge will be hot!
Occasionally push the badge sideways... as the heat begins to act on the adhesive backing they should start to wiggle and feel loose.
Next, grab your fishing line by either end and wrap a few times around your fingers (wearing gloves at this point) to keep a good grip. Work the line in behind a corner of the badge and begin slowly, but firmly pulling the line parallel to the panel, essentially cutting the badge from the surface.
Work slowly and use a sawing motion if necessary to keep working the line thru the area. If the line begins to get more difficult to pull try heating again with the heat gun or blow dryer
Once the line gets thru most of the way the badge should be easily pulled from the surface
Try peeling whatever large chunks of the remaining foam backed adhesive from the area. Be patient! This stuff was designed not to come off so its going to fight you most of the way.
If using an eraser wheel, here would be the time to use it. Be very careful... the wheels spin at a high rate of speed and can potentially burn thru a paintjob if used without caution, for this writeup I stuck with the "manual" method.
To aid in the process heat the area occasionally to keep the adhesive soft. Be careful not to burn yourself as the panel and glue can be hot.
If you're patient and work slowly larger areas of the backing should come off at a time.
Continue heating occasionally, typically the outermost edges are the most stubborn as they've hardened the most with exposure to air/water.
Once most all of the material is removed wipe the panel with Isopropyl Alcohol to remove as much of the adhesive residue as you can. Use a short knap towel that you won't mind tossing after you're done. The adhesive will likely clog the towel up and create hard spots.
If you have a professional strength automotive adhesive remover that should be used in place of the alcohol per the manufacture directions.
Once most of the adhesive is removed clay to remove any remaining small specs. Generally it takes 2-3x of claying to get all of the remaining residues from the surface.
On darker colors or a vehicle thats more than a few months old you may notice some "ghosting" or a residual outline of where the badge was previously. Simply go thru your usual polishing process to remedy the issue. Sometimes more aggressive steps might be needed. In most cases Fine Machine Polish is all thats required.
Remove the residues, inspect, then apply your preferred sealant/glaze/wax or combination.
Definitely don't reach down for the heat gun without looking and pick it up by the wrong end unless you want to take the tip of your finger off.