The following are the application instructions recommended by Universal Products. These procedures must be followed prior to any consideration by Universal Products in regard to replacement or credit. Failure to follow instructions listed below in bold red letters may result in product failure and be considered non-warrantable. Please note that any horizontal application of products, such as a vehicle hood or roof, is never warrantable.
Storage and Rotation:
Stock rotation and climate-controlled storage are important. Age and temperature extremes degrade the adhesive and can dramatically reduce its effectiveness. Product should be used within the recommended storage life of two years. In addition, product should be stored in an environment between 60 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
All surfaces are contaminated to some degree. To ensure good adhesion to any vehicle surface, it is critical that you follow these recommended procedures in decontaminating and preparing the surface prior to any vinyl product installation. A clean, lint free towel or cloth must be used between each of the cleaning steps to prevent cross-contamination.
- Remove heavy road grime or tar using a solvent such as acetone. Repeated use of such solvents may cause damage to painted surfaces. Test for negative reaction on an inconspicuous area of the vehicle.
- When a silicone substance or residue is suspected, wash and rinse the contaminated area with liquid dish detergent and warm water. Dry the surface with a clean, lint free towel or cloth.
- After the detergent wash, use Universal Products' TFX cleaner and a clean, lint-free towel or cloth. If you choose you may finish the process by wiping down the entire area with isopropyl alcohol. Again use a clean, lint-free towel or cloth.
- Surface temperatures should be between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit before attempting the installation. As a general rule, if the surface is hot to the touch it's over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. Adhesive becomes brittle when it gets too cold and gummy when it gets too hot. Applications outside the recommended range of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit reduce the adhesives' ability to perform.
- Do not excessively stretch pin stripe during the application. This is the main cause of end lift. Pull the stripe only as taut as necessary to keep a straight line.
- Because vinyl is a pressure-sensitive product, a squeegee must be used for all installations.
- Apply graphics using a squeegee. After the application tape/premask is removed, squeegee a second time focusing mainly on the edges and tips. You may want to use a protective sleeve on the squeegee to avoid damage to the paint.
- Pin stripe can be laid down initially using your thumb. However, after the application tape is removed, a squeegee must be used on all cut ends including door breaks as well as the ends of the stripe.
- When removing the application tape/premask, always pull it slowly, back onto itself, at a 180-degree angle. Bubbles should be punctured using a sharp air release tool. Do not slit the vinyl to release the air. If the vinyl is slit it will spread or gap.
- The cutting or trimming of any stripe or graphic should be done using a very sharp knife and very little pressure. Any openings, such as doors, should be trimmed back away from edges at least 1/8 of an inch. Do not wrap the vinyl around door edges.
Universal Products understands the challenges the applicator faces today. The TFX Pro System is a tested and proven process, developed to address these issues. We recommend you adopt this as your standard practice.