[Top] [All Lists]

Re: 1980 MGB LE - Stripe Installation

To: <>, "MG List" <>
Subject: Re: 1980 MGB LE - Stripe Installation
From: Max Heim <>
Date: Sat, 15 May 1999 12:40:36 -0700
There are several good photo references in the book Original MGB by 
Anders Clausager, Bay View Books, available through Classic Motorbooks 
and other places. There are probably lots of photos on the various MG web 
sites, as well, though the quality of web pictures is pretty dubious, to 
say the least. From the pictures, it is pretty obvious that the top of 
the stripe aligns with the top edge of the rubber bumpers. Since it 
doesn't actually contact the front bumper (ending at the wheel well), I'd 
pull a string across from front to back and mark it at intervals with 
small bits of tape. Wouldn't want to snap a chalk line and have all that 
dust caught under the adhesive! I'd then check my line to make sure it 
was parallel to the bottom edge of the rockers and the door bottom edge, 
and adjust it if necessary by moving the front end of the string up or 
down (the rear end of the string needs to stay put to maintain alignment).

I've never applied these particular stripes but my experience with 
applying large decals and vinyl art leads me to suggest the following:

Have alignment marks at reasonably short intervals (6-12 inches).

Start from one end (obviously) and work towards the other.

Peel the backing a little at a time (2-4 inches) starting from the end, 
and fold it back sharply with a crease to keep it out of your way. Cut 
off the excess backing at intervals as you go for the same reason.

With a small amount exposed at the end, hold the stripe in position 
(either a helper or a little bit of masking tape can be handy for long 
pieces) and make sure it's parallel and aligned properly, then gently 
press down the exposed part, working from top to bottom. Slide your 
fingertips along it pressing as you go. Don't work back and forth because 
you might trap air bubbles. Don't press too hard because you don't want 
to stretch it. Only press down about half of the exposed area at a time, 
you don't want to run all the way up against the folded-back backing 
paper. If you're doing it right you will be pressing down about a thumb's 
width at a time, in parallel overlapping stripes from top to bottom.

Then reach underneath and peel back more backing paper, holding the 
stripe away from the body, then continue rubbing it down from where you 
left off, overlapping strokes.

Once you get a feel for it, you can take bigger chunks at a time, using 
the side of your palm. You can use a plastic or rubber squeegee instead 
of your hand, but on the curved car panels it will be tricky. Be sure to 
keep checking that the remainder of the stripe is still aligned to your 
marks. If you do find yourself out of line, you can carefully try pulling 
away part of a section and doing it over. I don't know how aggressive the 
adhesive is on these stripes. Don't try making sudden changes in 
direction -- it will look like "jiggles" in the stripes. Sometimes you 
can recover by slowly pulling back in the direction you want, making a 
long, sweeping curve, but in this case, I would think being straight and 
a quarter-inch out of parallel would be better than crooked. 

Don't pull hard enough to stretch the material, and don't pull on the 
diagonal, skewing the stripe. Just keep enough tension on it to keep it 
taut and straight. If you get an air bubble, slowly pull the material 
back to create an escape route, then push the air out from the other 
side. If you notice an air bubble after you're finished, prick it with a 
pin and force the air towards the hole, then burnish it down. After the 
whole strip section is down, go back over it, rubbing harder to burnish 
it down. Here is where the squeegee would be useful.

Anyway, as I said, I have no particular experience with these stripes, 
but these are the techniques I have used to apply adhesive vinyl 
lettering, art, and logos, on cars and other things.

Good luck. had this to say:

>G'day All!!
>I have now completed the MGB LE's exterior and it is time to install the
>stripes which I bought from Moss.  AS recommended I will wash the panels
>with Dupont Cleans-all 
>I have lost my notes from the dismantling phase of the project.
>Can someone provide me with dimensions on where the stripe should be
>located; say from the top pf the rocker or bottom of the door or some
>other reference point(s)?
>These are stripes which have the adhesive already activitated so it is
>necessary to remove only the backing paper.  I have never worked with
>these before.
>So I need advice re location of the stripes and pitfalls and tips that
>reflect the experience of others.
>Our newly painted 80 MGB LE is on the road and our 62 MGA 1600 MK II needs
>some work Betti Ann and Preston Smith in the Head of St Margaret's Bay,
>Nova Scotia, Canada. email:


Max Heim
'66 MGB GHN3L76149
Runs great, 
looks particularly bad since some SUV clown backed into it.
If you're near Mountain View, CA,
it's the red one with the silver bootlid.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>