I don’t think it got mentioned on here but after a facebook vote we have decided to name the car Charlie! Obviously after the Captain in Mighty Ducks who actually shares our race number #96! Recently one thing that had been bugging me about the interior of my car was the state of the door cards. Rumour has it they started life off as White but these days were mostly just…dirt! as you can see below.
Now it would be fair to say that I’m not exactly known for having excellent DIY skills…or any at all really! So the easy option would have been to purchase a set of nice shiny door cards but I thought it’d be fun (and cheaper, we like cheaper) to have a go myself! So here is an overview of my DIY escapades…please do not take this as a ‘How To’! It’s probably a “How not” but I was quite proud of the end result!
What you will need:
– Door cards x2
– Vinyl Wrap (I chose Carbon fibre)
– Plasters (apparently it’s quite easy to cut yourself…………)
– Cutting tool (Scissors will do)
– Squigee/Credit card
To begin I spent one lunch break trawling through ebay to find some Carbon Fibre vinyl wrap to use. I settled on what I would describe as “high middle range” in terms of price, quality and looks on a roll plenty large enough for multiple efforts if need be…you know, in case my non existent skills failed me! The long break we had between Brands Hatch and Oulton Park seemed to be the perfect time to get this done. So I went off with my screwdriver (yeah, I have my only little tool set now!) and managed to remove the door cards! First achievement unlocked. Definitely the easy part…
Next up it was time to attempt the application! I took over the dining room for the night and started to plan my attack. I placed the first door card on the sheet of vinyl and cut off a chunk that would do the trick. Now I was stuck pondering how on Earth I was going to get this on the door card. Then I pondered some more. Finally I dived in with my first method which was to peel the backing off the Vinyl as I went. A complete disaster. Having ended up in all sorts of a messy tangle I quickly abandoned this plan and restarted. This time laying the vinyl out on the table, sticky side up, before laying the door card on top. This seemed to work! Sort of. The Vinyl was now at least on the door card, though with plenty of air bubbles, at least it was a starting point…
Now it was time to remove the air bubbles! Knowing that this would be going inside the car and not likely to be under delicate inspection I could accept a few air bubbles but wanted to do the best job I could. So I spent a fair chunk of time lifting the edges and delicately moving the air bubbles towards the edges and watching them disappear! This was cool. Unfortunately I had managed to leave a few small creases in my early attempts but when finished they don’t really show up much anyway! For those pesky bubbles that just won’t shift it came down to a very technical method of getting a pin and poking little air holes! Again, it works wonders and I’m left with a fairly good looking first effort. By no means perfect, a long way from it and a pro would weep in the corner but for my first go it had gone fine and looked pretty good!
As you can see, it didn’t look half bad right?! For the second attempt I honed my approach slightly. This time I cut a large chunk of vinyl, removed the backing, placed the door card on the vinyl lightly and then cut around the edges. It was at this point that my nice sharp cutter fought back and made a little slice in my finger! Oops. A quick evacuation away from the nice Cream carpet of the Dining room was in order whilst I grabbed a plaster! Dripping blood on the carpet may have led to more blood being spilt….All under control I then flipped it over and began the process of removing air bubbles which was easier having left the edges loose. Another quick use of my very technical drawing pin and attempt number 2 was complete! I then applied the Alpinestars and Eibach stickers and we were done!
The next weekend I popped back up to the car and with the aid of my local helper (the girlfriend) we were able to get them fitted back on in no time! Well. Almost. My loyal helper kept getting distracted leading to the light rarely being in the right place. There may also have been a slight issue where my stroke of genius safe place for two important screws was SO clever I never thought to look there when I needed them…alas! We got the door cards on and they looked good! Certainly for a grand total of £35 and an evening of blood (literally), sweat and tears I’m really pleased with how they ended up! I need to get a picture of them fitted in better light but here is a preview.