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Ambulance orange 8" reflective stripe: 3M or GMI 8100EG

Discussion in 'Vinyl' started by RG, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. RG

    RG Member

    Dec 6, 2006
    South Mississippi
    Another ambulance company asked me if I could replace their logo and the 8" orange, reflective stripe that goes almost all the way around the ambulance. Without even looking at it, I said, "Yes." That was my first mistake.

    The main problem is that recessed portion that runs all the way around the sides and rear of the ambulance. The attached picture is not the one I will be working on--it is just to show that recessed portion. This recessed line runs through the lower part of the 8" strips and through the word "AMBULANCE". I have asked 2 suppliers about this and got different answers. The Grimco sales rep said that you can NEVER put on reflective wet and that 3M 680CR would be the only way to go. The JSI Sign Supply rep said that GMI 8100EG would work just fine and he said that I can apply it wet. If anyone out there has ever done this before, I'd really appreciate it if you would tell me the way to do this right (the first time) and which vinyl I should use.

    I plan to get a 24" roll, mask it, and hand cut it. No waste, if I can hand cut it straight. Maybe, hinge tape at the top (on the vehicle), lift it up, and remove backing paper from the top as I go down with a big squeegee. If there is a better way, please explain. Thanks for any suggestions.

    Attached Files:

  2. CS-SignSupply

    CS-SignSupply Very Active Member

    In my opinion and experience, you need the 3M 680 as it is designed to be conformable.

    Per the JSI website, the 8100 series is "..designed for use mainly on commercial signs and various labels".
  3. Rydaddy

    Rydaddy Member

    Feb 23, 2010
    Use the 680cr. Put primer94 in the "groove."
  4. ncpdfsb

    ncpdfsb Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    new york
    3m 680 is the way to go, air egress is aggressive. you may want to pass on wet applied. and that countour may distort the color of the tape. if you have ever applied a reflective tape and pulled it to conform to a sharp curve or lets say rivet you can notice the reflective color turn dark. you actually pulling the refelective coat apart. just informing you, you sure dont want a color dispalcement on that line all the way around the van. your best bet would be applying the tape from top to bottom, maybe peel back and inch or two from the top and slowly conform to the curve as its fed from the bottom. 3m cr680 has a great conform-ability but you will need some practice. also dont apply in high temps make sure the vans surface is cool to the touch and dont use a sharp squeegee. good luck!
  5. RG

    RG Member

    Dec 6, 2006
    South Mississippi
    Many thanks for all the help, guys. I really appreciate it.

    Bobby, I also read that on the JSI website. But that's the only reflective my local supplier has. They said that others use it on ambulances and apply it wet.

    Rydaddy, I will definitely buy some primer94. Great tip that I had not thought about.

    ncpdfsb, great advise. Applying from top to bottom was what I had in mind. Could get interesting when doing the 12' section. If I apply masking tape to the vinyl, there should be much less chance of stretching. But, the extra thickness may make it harder to work into the grove. As for "don't apply in high temps," it was 99 in the shade here the day before yesterday. They may have to wait until November for this.
  6. pinhead3616

    pinhead3616 New Member

    Aug 24, 2007
    van ambulance

    that groove huge pita... rear corner over tailight is a
    night mare
  7. I would backroll the vinyl lengthwise and apply top to bottom so you didn't stretch the groove, saving the corner over the tail light for last. (leave the backing on that part leaving a folded tail to pull from)
    FYI - I never apply reflective wet... & I would remove the tail light lens, but I'm sure you already planned for that.
  8. SightLine

    SightLine Very Active Member

    Here is a tip for that pain in the rear back corner...

    First hand cut a couple of bits of 8" or whatever highth your main stripe is going to be out of app tape about a foot long. Stick those to the van on the rear and side ov the van to about 8 inches from the corner. Then cut a nice oversize hunk of app tape and apply it to the corner. Hand draw on the app tape with a pencil around the corner to the pices sized the same as the stripe you applied first. Carefully remove - scan/photograph your handiwork, then trace that in Illustrator and add it to the end of the main stripe shape. Now you have a nice funky upturned curve on the end of your stripe that will run around that corner easily. :smile:

    I simplified this slightly on the tracing part but I hope you get the idea...


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