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hood wraps for older sleds.

43529 Views 40 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mardtyu
i was given the ok by a mod to post a thread from another forum, over here.

not stock decal kit - Page 4 - - Arctic Cat Forum

i have a 99 zrt 800. there is not a company that makes a hood wrap for this sled. anywhere.

so i started talking to lots of graphic makers, and long story short, i got a graphic maker to create a universal hood wrap. you can take virtually any design on his site, and he will make it and send it to you.

new wraps are precut to specific hoods, but we're old, and no one makes kits for us. this lets us take a pre-printed "sheet" of vinyl, and lay it ourself.

this works, imo, because were BIG hoods, and only real cuts or breaks are the vents.

that thread is my on-going search for graphics, and the latest solution.

if any are interested, make sure to pm jordan, and tell him your from here on snowmobile forum. maybe we can get him to vendor over here, if there is enough interest.

if you go to his site, that universal kit is not listed. its in BETA phase. meaning, im testing it, and getting back to him on how easy it is for a normal person to apply and cut, and making any necessary alterations, and he can then get his final price and set accordingly.

whether it goes into full production, depends on interest.
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any graphic he has, can be put on a sheet, can then be put on any sled you want to put it on, regardless of make, model, year, etc etc. the sheets are like 52"x60" if i recall correctly.

so as long as your hood is not bigger than that you will have complete coverage.

for that matter, i would not see why it could not be put on quads and dirt bikes as well, though the the funky angles of the fenders might prohibit a quality outcome.

heck, you could put it on the bug deflector on the hood of your truck if you wanted.
Ok got my interest!! Post a pic or two !!!
when i get mine next week, ill post up progress, and the install, and before and after.

time allowing....... :D

on a side note, can anyone tell me what time is? i dont ever seem to have enough for anything, id like to find/buy more. LOL
so, tonights project was prep work, getting ready for the vinyl.

as you can see, my paint leaves alot to be desired. it is literally flaking off.

so, first two pics are just before shots.

third and fourth pic is removal of that sticker, and with a heat gun, it simply pulls off. as you can see, complete, no problems, almost could put it right back on. it stretches juuuusssst a little bit when heated, just enough you cannot put it exactly back in the same spot.

fifth pic is all decals off the hood. ill give you one guess where the decals were.


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first pic is of the heat gun i went a bought. cost me $20. and im so glad i got it. you can fight with decals for hours just trying to peel them off, or scrape, or whatever.

i think it took me less than 10 mins to get them all off.

second one here, is a close up of the paint, and not paint.

i decided to sand the hood lightly with some 120. if the paint would not hold itself on, how could i expect it to hold vinyl on?

third pic is the flakes of paint that came off when sanding. if you look closely in pic 2, you can see everywhere that the spider cracks in the paint were. the entire hood is like that, not just in that pic.

last one is hood completely sanded, and i used a wax/grease remover over the entire thing, to get dust off, any oily residue from the decals, and any finger prints, off the hood.

jordan said there was a prep process that is included in the vinyl kit, so i didnt want to get to involved, as i would just end up having to do it again when his kit got here.

as of now, im ready for vinyl.


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so, YYYAAAAAAYYYYYY, it came today.

pic one is the box. i was happy, so i had to take a pic of it.

pic two is the wrap all layed out on the floor. its friggin huge when layed out like that, as you can use the door in the background as a reference. what you see are 5 different strips, layed side by side.

pic three shows the two individual decals on the bigger strips.

four. i took a chalk line, and snapped some lines on the hood, as a reference.

five. is two decals on. i cut them so the vertical surface of the vent cut out was not covered. i got some painters tape, ill just tape it off, and shoot a quick coat of paint on it. ill also replace the vent screens with new ones. probably green.


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so, i took some pics of progress also.

one. shows what i was talking about what will be painted.

two is just another pic.

three. now were getting to the point where we are wrapping over the side, as well as front to back. those ripples you see were a ABSOLUTE PITA to get to lay flat. and they do not lay perfectly flat. real close, but not perfect. i ended up cutting the ripples to get them to lay flatter, and if you apply heat to this vinyl, it shrinks a tad. that right there made it easier to deal with, knowing i just had to get it real close then apply some heat.

four. is a step back pic of what i managed to get done today.

very time consuming. easy, but time consuming. taking care to cut slow. lay it down, pull it up, turn it a tad, lay it down again.

this vinyl is very thick. most decals, when you lay it down, if you try to pull it back up, it will stretch or otherwise distort, or simply wont come up to begin with.
this stuff, if it goes down wrong, just pull it back up, and lay it again. it'll be interesting how it stays down, since i can pull it back up. i know some adhesives need to be applied for a while before it becomes "permanent".

tomorrow is another day. ill do some more then. it should go faster tomorrow as well, as i now have some time working with this vinyl.

i think the piece that i had some issues with, the one with the ripples, was because the vinyl was 6" wide. i am contemplating making a straight line and cutting it down to 3" wide. that should make those large ripples much smaller, thus much easier to deal with.


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Ok got my interest!!
Same here :cool:
so, YYYAAAAAAYYYYYY, it came today.
Whats with the credit card in pic #5?
He's using it as a spreader/smoother.
ok, some more updates.

when i unpacked the strips, i labeled them on the back side 1-10, so when i was picking them up, i always picked up the right one. most of the time the designs would match up from one sticker to the next one.

so if you divide the hood down the center with a chalk line, like i did, and i started in the middle and worked my way out, #5 goes on the left of the line, and to work to the left with 4, then 3 and so on.

the issue i ran into is this. 5 and 4 layed real nice, as the hood only sloped from front to back. now 3 is where i ran into the ripples in the pic i posted, because it slopes front to back AND side to side. the 6" strip itself is what caused the ripples. it was simply to wide to make lay flat, or close enough to use some heat and TLC.

2 and 1 layed nice again.

im gonna cut the other sides #3 in half, down to a 3" strip, and see how that works. if i dont like the way it turns out, ill just buy another decal.

as far as i know, no one has ever put a decal like this on a sled, so i cannot ask some one for pointers, or tips. i gotta just chug along, and learn as i go.

jordan gave me some tips and pointers on how to work with the vinyl itself, and some general do's and dont's, but im still guinea pigging it on.

if you think about it, its like trying to lay a sheet of paper around a mcdonalds cup, cuz the top is larger than the bottom, with out it having ripples, cuts, tears, stretch marks, and having the design all match up when your done.

a trick i found, doin the one side, is figureing out where to cut it so its in a inconspicuous place, and where it then butts back together the design is close enough that it dont stick out that you cut it there.

another, is the way my hood lays out, and how the vinyl has to go down to match up, getting all the little air bubbles out is 100% impossible. i can do large ones, but not the small ones. so i took a sewing needle and poked a pin hole in the vinyl and bled the air out that way. try to work as many bubbles together as you can, then you poke as few holes as possible. i had 2 hours &$%$#ing with air bubbles before i got that idea. i cannot tell where the pin holes are. time will tell if that was a good idea or not.
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so to rethink, and recap. it took some messing around, and learning as i went to do this. imo, anyone can do this, as long and you have patience, and really think about what your doing as you lay it down.

when, not if, you cut it, its cut. period. you better make sure its in the right spot.

looking back, it was way more time consuming than i thought it was goin to be. but, at the same time, i had about 3 hours to do the first side, but only about 1.5 hours to do the last side.

alot of that time savings was i did end up cutting that one decal down to three inches wide. and am i ever kicking my self in the a$$ for not doin that to the other side. that made laying that piece so easy, its not funny. that was the answer right there. i dont know what the question was, but that was 100% the answer.

would i do it again, i'd have to say yes. it's not as hard as i had imagined. the vinyl was real easy to work with, layed nice, cut nice, stuck nice.

it wasnt till after i got the first side done that i decided i didnt want complete coverage. by that i mean, around the vents, and what would be under the windshield. for some reason, i feel i want to paint those surfaces. i REALLLLLLLYYYYY wish i would have come to that conclusion BEFORE i put the vinyl down. but, what can i say. projects like this usually get changed a couple times mid project.

so, heres the end result of vinyl. couple quick pics.

ill try to get it pushed outside hopefully tomorrow, and see if i can get better pics. ones that dont show the glare of the overhead lights in the garage. i dont have carbs or clutches, goodwin performance has them, but i guess a little man power never hurt anyone. :D

ill post up more as i get the paint done and hood vents on. im goin to strip the paint off the tunnel, and i have not decided what to do there. i got enough vinyl left over i could put vinyl there, or i might paint it, or i might just leave it bare aluminum. i dont know. what you guys think? the paint has to come off anyways, as its peeling, its just a matter what i do after that.


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If you use it on the tunnel, just use short strips and taper them.

:thumbsup: Looking good!!!
im goin to strip the paint off the tunnel, and i have not decided what to do there. i got enough vinyl left over i could put vinyl there, or i might paint it, or i might just leave it bare aluminum. i dont know. what you guys think?
Bare aluminum with decals :D
Waz it hard to put on?
the first half, when i went from the center to the left, was just a cluster _____.

my complete lack of knowledge on how to make it do what i wanted to do, and no references, no pics, no one to ask well how did you do this, how did you make it do that, made it that much worse. i had to go in blind.

the second half of the hood, just fell together. i would have to say, the determining factor to whether or not i would do it again, was when i cut that strip in half, down to three inches. that right there, that choice, made me more than willing to do it again. there was no fighting the decal, ripples, or bubbles.

that was 100% the best idea i have had in the last 6 months, and its been a good 6 months. i've had some marvelous inventive ideas, and my problem solving ingenuity has been pretty high lately, and i would rate that idea right at the top. if you get this decal kit, regardless of the print, you will understand why i rate it that high when you try it yourself. :D

ill take some some close up pics, of some of the places i had to cut to make it curve, and post them also, so ppl have a reference of that. to at least have a idea of what i did, and how i did it. i'll try to do some other close ups, and try to give a walk through of my install, so when the next guy does it, he can go, well, he said he would not do it this way again, so lets learn from him and do this, or i didnt like how he did that, im goin to do this.

i would have to say, that after i attempt the pic included write up, as long as someone reads that first, and learns, and understands before they attempt the install, that no its not hard.

i'll tell you right up front, i f_____ the first side up. im not the happiest with the first side. my pics will reflect that as well. i made some alternate decisions on the second side, that made it much easier. pics will reflect that as well. it'll take me a couple days to get that wrote up though.
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Bare aluminum with decals :D
and because i have to strip it anyways, i might just see about that. i might take some simple painters tape, and tape the decal on and see about that as well. lets me put it on non-permanent.

i dont know, ill come up with something.

any of you guys have a "creative" ideas on what i can do there?

nothing is off-limits on what can or can not be done. i usually end up taking two or three ideas and putting them together anyways, when i ask for creative ideas.

if you could do it, what would YOU want to see on your tunnel. time, money, and effort not a issue, even it the idea does not exist yet, so what. i mean, heck, i ended up with a decal kit for a sled, and the kit got manufactured because i gave them the idea. and it was a good idea.

so dont hold back. get creative. paint, polish, decal, pinstripe, color options, you name it.

the only restriction i have, is it has to go with the hood, in some way, shape, or form.
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