This write up will detail my installation of the Rider Graphix Hood bump and side stripe vinyl decals on my Area 51 4 door BL Sasquatch. I’ve never applied a bumper sticker to a vehicle, let alone a vinyl decal kit. I’m pretty handy though so I gave it a shot. I’m 100% satisfied with the look and the service from Rider Graphix.
First, huge thank you to Brian @Ridergraphix for excellent communication and next day priority shipping. His customer service is the best I’ve experienced in a long time. Don’t even bother looking for cheap off shore kits, support a US business!!
I ordered SKU 00495 (above the body line, lower pin stripe only, key code cutout, radius corner, no custom text). I think it pairs well with the hood bump graphic SKU 00480.
Quality: These things are top notch, excellent thickness and perfect color uniformity. Straight lines, no dimples, print defects, pin holes, odd cuts, etc. I’m not a Vinyl expert, but it seems these are about as thick as you can get without having issues with odd raised edges and trouble bending corners. I have zero durability concerns.
Color: The flat black matches my Bronco badge and the Ford Trim really well. Color is consistent on all pieces.
What you’ll Need: The stickers, Isopropyl Alcohol, Dawn classic dish detergent, a large spray bottle, sharpie, tape measure, a pack or two of new, clean microfiber rags. A shady place out the sun or garage.
Installation: Give yourself several hours to complete this job. Between washing the truck like you normally would to remove dirt, several passes wiping down with Isopropyl alcohol and new microfiber towels, then dry fitting it took at least 5 hours. You need to be patient, have a clean work area, be organized, and read the instructions more than once. Go to the website for more FAQ’s and tips. Everything you need to know is spelled out.
- A big spray bottle of soapy water is your best friend. As long as its wet, you can keep tweaking the position.
- Use good scissors to trim the decals to about 1/16″ outside the vinyl before you start placement (use the tips in the instructions to dry fit them before you stick ’em)
- Mark the squeegee in the kit with the distance between pinstripe and main sticker so you can keep a consistent gap as you apply (once its off the backing and adhesive, the stripe can float until you dry it out/get firm pressure on it. This is a good thing so you can really dial in the gap)
- Be precise. If you have a slight angle at the front of the driver’s door, that will be an inch or two at the back of the truck. DON’T RUSH
- Don’t trim anything. Center the stripe and wrap the extra inside the doors
- Don’t drop it. If you get dirt on the adhesive side, you’re done….time to order a new one.
- I started with the drivers door to get the key pad cutout centered. Everything else was referenced from that one. Now measure the gap between the window and the top of the stripe and mark that on your squeegee. That’s your reference for the passenger side alignment.
- I measured from the back of the hood to the tip of the rounded edge on the fender decal to keep them consistent from side to side. You can play with where you want that to land, I continued the curve from the hood bump decal in an arc to figure out where I wanted to land the tip of the fender decal.
- The parts that wrap the door won’t stick well until they are dry. Be patient, work the bubbles and fluid out of part stuck to the doors….keep the pinstripe level…..then worry about the wrap around the back of the doors sticking after 15-20 minutes. Once its dry, it will stick. Don’t get cute and try novel ideas to make it stick….just wait.
- The gap between the front door and front fender is the hardest to get my sausage sized fingers into…I used the squeegee and a screwdriver to carefully guide the stripe around the door, then stuck it on the backside. You may take the door off for better access….I didn’t really need to.
- A note about the alcohol: use sparingly and wipe while wet. If you douse it then wait for it to evaporate you haven’t actually removed any grease/wax. Google paint prep cleaning techniques if you want more detail.