Exterior A Pillars Flaking

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sirius-c
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Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:04

The finish on my exterior A Pillars (I think that's what you call them) is becoming brittle and flaking off, can anyone suggest a repair method or is it a case of removing the seals and the windscreen and then 'wrapping' them? :shock:
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:07

Are your pillars black by any chance? Some Zeds had a vinyl wrap put on so it could be this peeling off?

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:14

Brian H wrote:Are your pillars black by any chance? Some Zeds had a vinyl wrap put on so it could be this peeling off?
Yes they are black but its bare metal underneath, looks galvanised??
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:15

The finish underneath is usually colour coded to your car, several members have peeled it off. Got any pics?

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:17

i'll just nip out and take a couple
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:36

That's good news, I'm guessing it doesn't look the same colour as the Z (artic silver) because its probably been exposed for a while and needs a good polish.

what is the best method of removing the wrap? using a hair dryer or just pulling it off cold?
Last edited by sirius-c on Thu 13 Jun, 2013 15:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 21:50

Image

Image
Last edited by sirius-c on Thu 13 Jun, 2013 15:16, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 22:17

sirius-c wrote:don't hold your breathe! I'm not at home, uploading to Flikr via a 3g connection on a netbook zzzzzzzz.

That's good news, I'm guessing it doesn't look the same colour as the Z (artic silver) because its probably been exposed for a while and needs a good polish.

what is the best method of removing the wrap? using a hair dryer or just pulling it off cold?
I would try a little heat from a hairdryer to make the wrap a little more flexible, you may need some cleaner to remove the wrap adhesive that is left behind. A good polish as you say will make the world of difference. Good luck :wink:

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Tue 11 Jun, 2013 22:21

Brian H wrote: I would try a little heat from a hairdryer to make the wrap a little more flexible, you may need some cleaner to remove the wrap adhesive that is left behind. A good polish as you say will make the world of difference. Good luck :wink:

Thank you very much for shedding some light on this, I was expecting an expensive spray or wrap job......
guess what I'll be doing tomorrow evening?
:D
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Southernboy » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 08:00

....please post some "progress" pics when you remove that vinyl...I be interested in seeing your method and results... :D
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 10:05

will do, i'll have a quick go on a section tonight to see how it goes and what it reveals
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Fender2004 » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 10:19

Should be interesting to see what you find :shock:
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Robert T » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 11:20

Took me a while to find a thread with pictures, but a number of people on here have successfully removed the black vinyl/plastic and it is body colour underneath.

For the results see http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopi ... 3&p=227835

Cheers R.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Eastsix » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 17:35

I asked exactly the same thing a couple of months ago- mine is silver too so i know what you mean- it looks worryingly like bare metal underneath. But i finally got round to doing a few things this weekend, including the vinyl. It is a bit of a pain to get off, but as mentioned, some determined hair dryer application makes it MUCH easier. I just need to go round and get the scraps left sticking out from the rubber, and get the adhesive off the paintwork. White spirit didnt seem to do much, anyone got any suggestions?

I would say though, dont be worried- just do it. Once heated it just peels off in chunks, you dont need to scrape or anything. I have perfectly preserved paintwork underneath- i'll post a pic later. It kinds transforms the look of the car too i think, if you're used to seeing it with aged and fading vinyl.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 17:48

Eastsix wrote:........ White spirit didnt seem to do much, anyone got any suggestions?
Try WD-40, apply and leave for a few mins and then wipe.

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Eastsix » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 17:51

Brian H wrote:
Eastsix wrote:........ White spirit didnt seem to do much, anyone got any suggestions?
Try WD-40, apply and leave for a few mins and then wipe.
Great idea! On it now!
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 17:52

Robert T wrote:Took me a while to find a thread with pictures, but a number of people on here have successfully removed the black vinyl/plastic and it is body colour underneath.

For the results see http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopi ... 3&p=227835

Cheers R.
Thanks Robert, I could not find this last night, no matter what I tried :head:

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 18:00

well i'm armed with a heat gun, a plastic spatula and wooden ruler (for raising the windscreen seal), some petrol (for cleaning the sticky residue off) and my assistant is on standby too as I think I'm going to need a few pairs of hands.

We are just supping a few 'Pre job motivational brews' :wink: and waiting for the camera charge.

BTW i was going to use brake cleaner to remove the sticky residue but a guy i know who works on veteran cars said use petrol, put your finger in a rag and dip your finger in the petrol, he recommended that I try refrain from touching the seals but said if any petrol comes into contact with the seals, that I shouldnt worry as it'll evaporate before it does any damage.

tick tock

PS: thanks for finding the link Robert T
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Eastsix » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 19:54

For reference, this is what you get when you strip it off. Ill post a pic once i get a chance to apply the wd40


Image[/URL
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by GE45TON » Wed 12 Jun, 2013 20:52

Hope it goes well, I did mine a few weeks ago on a nice hot day so didn't need the hair dryer, I was lucky it all came off in one piece apart from the already cracked pieces at the top of the A pillar. I used WD40 as previously suggested and it did work but took some elbow grease too, not sure if I'd be willing to try petrol...

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 01:12

Mission successful, with some trial and error,

will write up and post experiences with pics and vids tomorrow night........tbc
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Southernboy » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 17:02

Getting it all stripped off took about 1/2 an hour...dead easy with the aid of a heat gun....used a plastic blade to lift the rubber trim and heat both sides about 4 inces at a time, and then eased it out all in one long piece....Just have some glue residue which needs removing...I'll try the WD40, but I'm sure some PTFE spray may be as effective... all else failing, I may try some petrol.
Thanks for the heads-up on Vinyl removal method... :D
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 17:14

Well here is my experience of removing the vinyl wrap on the a-pillars for your perusing pleasure.....


I highly recommend that two people remove the vinyl, it makes the job a whole lot easier.

I tried many different methods before finding a quick and easy way to remove this stuff, this is my solution.....

One person (with good finger nails!) pulls up the vinyl carefully and always keeps their fingers as close to the metal as possible whilst pulling,
IE: pull up about an inch of vinyl then reposition fingers closer to the metal and pull up again, repeat this process.
this way it should come away continually in one piece.....if done right, you don't even need to lift any seals as the vinyl will just pull out completely from under them.

The other person does the following.....
To start the pulling process, heat at about 5 inches away, constantly moving the heat gun rapidly in the general starting area.
Please be careful so you don't crack your windscreen or melt your rubber seals!

next, they keep a constant stream of heat on the general area being pulled,
IE:in-front of the pulling direction of the vinyl and behind it, waving the heat gun back and forth from about 15 inches away.

This is the best way I can describe the removal process that I had the most success with.
all I can say is you'll get the feel for the amount of heat required.....
If you're heating too close then as your helper pulls up, the vinyl will just shrink and snap, plus he'll scream in pain from the heat! :roll:
If you're too far away then there isn't going to be enough heat to keep a nice pulling process going and it'll just snap off when you pull it.
There is definitely a balance/distance to find.




Once all the vinyl is off, You'll be left with a film of tacky glue residue.....
I found a real easy way to remove all this after a few previous failed attempts.

Believe me i spent about an hour pissing about trying to remove this stuff, I was knackered! i tried WD40 and no matter how hard i tried and scrubbed,
and no matter how long i left it to soak in, It just wouldn't shift this left over residue, the same can be said for the petrol as well although it did break through the surface (see pics below),
I put on some petrol and I scrubbed, scrubbed, and scrubbed harder and so on.....to the point of having no feeling in the end of my index finger,
and it only took away about the size of a 5 pence piece of the residue.
Breaking through this residue was a tough cookie and I thought it was going to take all night.


Then I tried this:-

dampen a rag with WD40, wipe over the area, this will remove all the sticky black bits, some require a bit of a harder scrub to remove.

Then take 2 x microfiber cloths, put your finger in one, then in the petrol, rub with the pad of your finger,
wait for about 15 seconds,
next take your dry microfiber cloth and scrub with the pad of your index finger in the cloth,
If you put some pressure on your finger with your other hand this helps tremendously.
As you're rubbing you'll feel and see the glue stretching until it bunches up to reveal the nice shiny paint underneath,
the more you scrub the easier it starts coming off, It starts grouping together in clumps
a bit like those wet bogeys you pick out of your nose, you cant flick 'em so you have to roll it around a bit so it clumps up and becomes flickable.....
Oh C'mon don't deny it you've done it
:oops:


A short video showing this process.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10876217@N03/9027938131/


There will come a point when it will get harder to remove the residue and clumps as your'e rubbing, so take your wet microfiber again,
apply a little more petrol and repeat the process.....


as shown in this video:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/10876217@N03/9030059994/



Easy Peasy and removed in no time at all.







To Summarize,
I started this job at 6:30pm yesterday evening and finished at 10:15pm....
as soon as I stepped outside to do this job it started raining :roll:
This took so long because i was experimenting.
If I had initially used the techniques I've just written about, then I would say it would take 1/2 an hour absolute
maximum to remove the vinyl and a further 20 minutes,if that, to remove all the leftover sticky glue residue.


Once all that was done, I applied some Autoglym super resin polish and now it looks mint, to be honest it looked pretty good after rubbing the glue off.
I'll be doing a proper job, that is polish, wax etc when i get home next week.

I hope this helps others. :)








1
The reason i removed the vinyl in the first place, is because it looked like this
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1st attempt done cold
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experimenting with distance of the heat gun here
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getting the hang of heat required now, its coming off nicely
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that's 16 year old paint I'm exposing
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applying petrol
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Dry rubbing with microfibre cloth
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30
After applying some Autoglym Super Resin Polish
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For those of you that are contemplating undertaking this job but are yet indecisive as to whether it will look better with or without the vinyl
I took a fair amount of before and after photo's at different angles to give you a better feel for how it looks,
you be the judge.....IMO it looks a lot better without the vinyl, it makes the Zed look like a newer car to me.


BEFORE & AFTERS


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Last edited by sirius-c on Tue 10 Feb, 2015 17:14, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by SeriousRikk » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 17:36

A subtle change, but it does looks a lot better for it!
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Mint » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 17:49

A brilliant write up with great pictures. I'm glad I don't have any vinyl wrap on mine - it looked quite a job to get it off. I agree with you it looks better without :)
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Fender2004 » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 18:02

Wow great write up love all the pictures as they say 1 picture saves a thousand words.

Yes I agree it does look better with the vinyl covering removed. :cheers
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 18:52

Glad you managed to get it sorted, looks tidy now :wink:

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by snoops » Thu 13 Jun, 2013 21:37

Good write up - have to agree looks better without the vinyl.. :D

What was BMW's idea of putting it on some cars in the 1st place, did certain models/years come that way as standard or would it have been specced that way by the prospective owner, anyone know ??
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Southernboy » Fri 14 Jun, 2013 10:27

I removed all the "glue" this morning before work...It's quite easy really...just soak a cloth in petrol, wipe aprox 6 inches of "glue" area allowing the petrol to "soak" into it...then wait 15 seconds, and used a plastic scraper, and the glue came away over a 6" area within 1 minute...no sticky bunching up, no hard rubbing, just wipe petrol on, scrape off and wipe away loosened glue with the petrol soaked rag. Seems the petrol "degrades" the glue stuff so it releases from the paintwork, but remins quite brittle and easy to scrape away.
Managed to get the plastic scraper under the rubber seals and remove the stuff there too...It comes away without any fuss at all...I may use a syringe, and squeeze a thin bead of silicone under all the seals to make sure there's no water able to get under and through anywhere...then I'll clean up any mess when it's set and finally polish / wax etc.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Fri 14 Jun, 2013 10:46

at one point I thought i was removing the clearcoat! :shock:
(pics: 17 to 21 above)

good point Southernboy, i think im going to silicone under the seals too.

as for why it was fit in the first place, I dunno...obviously it adds extra protection, maybe it was fashionable at the time?

All i can say is thanks BMW for taking the time to paint the a-pillars underneath, because i guess they could've just left it bare metal, which is what I though it was before I took it off
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by geminimustang » Fri 14 Jun, 2013 11:55

Ours,a 1997 1.9,is vinyl wrapped but it's starting to come away.I know i'm in a minority of one but i like the front pillar black as it ties into the colour of the roof and,i think,looks right.However,credit where credit is due,this is a superb write-up with the photos helping no end.I'd be tempted to remove the wrap and have the front windscreen surround sprayed black to keep the look i like.Don't know if there are places that will replace the wrap like-for-like?Great write-up which provokes some thought.

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Fri 14 Jun, 2013 12:07

IMO I think when the lids up the a-pillars looked better black, to tie in with everything like you say.
But, I much prefer it silver when the lid is down.
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Brian H » Fri 14 Jun, 2013 12:40

geminimustang wrote:....I know i'm in a minority of one but i like the front pillar black as it ties into the colour of the roof and,i think,looks right.......
Make that 2, i like it :)
geminimustang wrote:.....Don't know if there are places that will replace the wrap like-for-like?.......
Just had a quick look on Google, These guys would be able to re-apply the wrap.

Car Wrapping

I do not know the company but I am sure there will be more able to offer the service.

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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by Eastsix » Fri 14 Jun, 2013 22:44

Superb pictorial, great job. Ive been rubbing away at the residue this evening- thats pretty tough going!

Wish i had your workshop to do it in. . .
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by sirius-c » Sat 15 Jun, 2013 02:59

Eastsix wrote:Wish i had your workshop to do it in. . .
I wish it was my workshop :lol:

I can use it whenever I want so that's a bonus
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Re: Exterior A Pillars Flaking

Post by eddie1 » Wed 18 Jun, 2014 07:48

Great post, got a Cosmos Black 2.8 with a little flaking around the drivers top corner. Gonna attempt it when I'm feeling brave!

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