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Vehicle Wraps on race car gelcoat and or primer

Discussion in 'General Signmaking Topics' started by gofastgroup, Jan 22, 2014.

  1. gofastgroup

    gofastgroup New Member

    Dec 13, 2013
    I have read a number of posts - never to install vinyl wrap on automotive primer, yet to contradict that, I have seen a number of images where shops have installed on primer and fiberglass gelcoat.

    I have a race car shop that wants me to install wrap on some cars that are about 50% primer coated where bodywork is completed and the remainder of the body in fiberglass gelcoat.

    As long as a wrap edge or overlap is not on a large primer area, OK on a 200 mph+ car????

    Input is greatly appreciated
  2. ChicagoGraphics

    ChicagoGraphics Major Contributor

    Feb 27, 2007
    Welcome to :signs101:
  3. MrSalumi

    MrSalumi Member

    Oct 27, 2012
    I can't comment on the installation over primer specifically because I've never done it but coming from my body shop days there is a distinct difference between primer and sealer. Usually both gray in color and a lot of the time confused with each other, sealer is made to seal the body work underneath and can be left out in the elements just like paint. Primer on the other hand is not intended to see the elements and becomes dusty,which is why I assume you wold have trouble installing wrap cast over it.

    If I were you I would make sure the car is sealed properly and wrap away.
  4. danno

    danno Member

    Mar 26, 2013
    Birmingham, AL
    I would attempt a section of both areas first. We have done boats and primered race cars, but not a combo of both. Our wraps have stuck well to the gel coat on the boats. Yes, we used edge seal at all seams. On the primered race cars, the adhesive was more aggressive than usual. After the race, the uninstall took a little longer than usual.
  5. Mosh

    Mosh Major Contributor

    Oct 19, 2009
    Not on primer. It is too porous (that is why paint sticks too it, it gets inside of it) and the wrap will not stick well cause it just sits onto and can't penitrate the primer.

    SIGNTIME Active Member

    Aug 13, 2012
    the only way I would put vinyl on primer is if it was wet sanded with at least 1000 grit and even then I would make no promises
  7. Gino

    Gino Premium Subscriber

    Jun 7, 2006
    Welcome from PA...............
  8. GRGraphics

    GRGraphics New Member

    Apr 28, 2011
    Grand Rapids, Mi
    First of all it depends on what kind of racecar we car talking here. A dragcar where in most cases (hopefully) will be using the same body for a full season or 2 or more with little to no contact. Or a circle track car where it is going to be bumping and rubbing, and you're going to have to replace half of it in 2 weeks? But I would talk with the guys preparing the body. Depending on if they used body filler, and what kind of primer they used, and the amount of dry time. If they used a sandable primer then Mosh is correct, you are going to be fighting adhesion issues. If that is the case you may ask them if they can just seal those areas with any sort of top coat. That I would base your decisions on that info you obtain.

    As far as the gelcoat, you will be fine just make your self familiar with the 3M primer. Use it wisely and correctly in the proper areas and you'll be good to go.

    However you handle it, go to your local auto body supplier and GET SOME TACK CLOTHS. It will save you a ton of prep time. you may have overspray on the gelcoat, and dust and crap in the pours of the primer. That gelcoat on some of those bodies can produce a ton of static electicity attracting everything, including your film when applying.

    hopefully that can help some.

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