Some rocker panels, like Mercedes’, have a severe 90-degree turn at the corners, which is tricky to wrap with vinyl wrap film. It is easier to wrap this section separately. But sometimes you have to wrap it in one piece. Here are some tips that can help ease your process:
Undoubtedly, you should clean up the section before applying vinyl wrap film. A rocker panel is an area that is always exposed to dirt and moisture. Thus, you should pay extra attention when cleaning it, ensuring it is 100% clean and degreased.
Then, put two pieces of masking tape at the bottom corners of the two doors near the rocker panel's two upper corners. The masking tape will lower the surface energy and help you pick the vinyl wrap up easily.
Next, hold the material onto the surface, and secure it with magnets. Do not remove the backing paper for now, and you should only release it bit by bit. To wrap a rocker panel like this, it will take you quite a long time to handle the severe corner.
If you release the whole liner and let the adhesive set on the surface for a long time, it is hard to pick the material back up later. Work incrementally and keep the liner on if possible.
You can start wrapping the section as soon as all the prep is done. Deal with the corner at the front first, which is also the most difficult part. Release just enough backing paper and tack the material to the surface. You can run your finger along the edge to secure it in place.
Next, apply light heat to the vinyl wrap film to relax the material. You can now use the soft part of your squeegee to feed a bit of film to the top edge near the upper corner. This way, you neutralize the tension on the severe turn by hooking the film to this corner.
You can then spread the material out along the body liner on the side. Run your finger on the line and lock the film in place. Next, Use your squeegee to feed the material away from the corner to shift the tension away.
Then, add heat again. The vinyl will shrink back and suck on the edge. You can cut away the excess on the sides of the upper corner, use your squeegee to seal the edge, and you have achieved a durable wrapped corner by now.
Once the most challenging part is wrapped, you can wrap the middle area, which is flat and easy. Again, release the backing paper bit by bit as you work in stages.
The middle area is long. Before you handle the last portion, use heat to double-check if everything is set in place correctly and activate the adhesive simultaneously so that the material can stick to the surface better.
As you get to the back section, where there is the other corner, you can handle it as you did for the front part. And as soon as everything is done, remember to double-check if all edges on the rocker panel are sealed.
Because dirt and moisture tend to get underneath the vinyl on a rocker panel, you can add edge seal tape to the bottom edge after everything is done. This can help the material stay well to the edge for the long term.
Visit teckwrap.com for more wrap tips.