New Woodgrain Separating From Body Over Wheelwells

Discussion in 'Woodgrain' started by tfvesquire, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. tfvesquire

    tfvesquire Active Member

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    Update on my dad's 1986 Buick LeSabre resto project. I noticed that the brand new woodgrain I installed last fall is starting to peel off the body panels around both driver wheel wells (about 3 inches). There is a slight separation on the passenger wheel wells, but nowhere near as bad as on the driver side. There is literally a "bubble" where the wheel well indents and creates a nice arch over the tires. Any reason this is happening?

    I was going to use a heat gun and carefully coax the decal back into place around the radiused wheel well, but want to inquire first. I also noticed that on the driver rrear wheel well, the decal got torn about an 1/8" X most likely where a stone hit it while the decal was stretched out away from the panel. :( I'm sure once I go to heat that up to stretch it , it wil tear some more.

    I was thinking it would be best to wait until a really hot day and then use a combination of the sun's heat and the heat gun carefully to coax the decals back in place. Is there a way to keep them there? It is becsue the weather was too cold last November when I put the decal on?

    This really sucks considering I had brand new wood grain on his car, that is going to need some touch up on the driver rear wheel well.

    Any thoughts before I tackle this would be greatly appreciated.

    **** He is also having a problem with the car running rich once it warms up. Had a complete tune up and emissions testing, newly rebuilt carb with new TPS and idle mixture sensor installed. Could it be a vacuum leak? Possibly the ECU needs to be swapped out? Let me know and thanks forum members for all your help on this project!!!

    Ted, Chicago :)
     
  2. tbirdsps

    tbirdsps New Member Charter Member

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    A vacuum leak would make it run lean. Bad O2 sensors would make it run rich.

    I'm not saying to go out and replace them. Proper troubleshooting for a rich condition needs to be done. Is the car trying to flood? When it's hot check to see if there's fuel dumping in the carb throat. DO NOT REV UP THE ENGINE WHILE LOOKING! Wear goggles. It it were to backfire/flash out the carb you could be blinded and/or loose your hair and get burnt. If so the bowl inlet could be sticking open overfilling the bowl or the accelorator pump could be leaking. During idle there should be no fuel above the throttle plate. If there is there's your rich condition when hot.
     
  3. 90merc

    90merc Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ted,

    Sorry to hear about the issues with that great looking wagon. I know with this era Buick, Chevy and Olds wagons, the sheet metal for the wheel arches is stamped into quite a severe angle with the rest of the panel, and I've seen quite a few of the woodies with ripped, split and missing di-noc around the wheel openings. The degree to which the vinyl has to be stretched to conform to the curve leads to it re-shrinking and losing contact with the paint in those creases, creating the air bubbles. I'm not sure which product you used for the woodgrain, but 3M recommends using a special primer on the compound curved areas before applying the woodgrain. It might be possible to perforate the existing bubbles and put some additional adhesive under the vinyl, and then heat it and press it back into place. I think if you start trying to trim and patch with new vinyl it'll end up looking worse. Good luck and let us know what you end up doing.

    Owen
     
  4. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Hi Ted. I got mine from J.C. Whitney. What Owen (90Merc) says is right. 3 of my wheel wells are fine. The bad one is where I used a hair dryer, instead of a heat gun (that was the first one, and the hair dryer died trying to get in place.)

    I didn't use the 3M primer either, which I should have, because the others will popup in a couple years, and then I'll handpaint my woodgrain, instead of buy it.
     
  5. Istvan

    Istvan Member

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    Isn't the woodgrain from JC Whitney a very heavy vinyl and not actually Dinoc? Dinoc is thinner and easier tp form over complex shapes.
     
  6. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    Haven't seen the DI-NOC product for thickness, but the original Ford stuff had 3 films, and the JCW stuff does too. I just didn't heat it up enough when I did mine. I used a woman's hair dryer, instead of a real heat gun.

    The JCW stuff holds up well, against fading and roadsalt staining, not an issue for Southern folk.
     
  7. tfvesquire

    tfvesquire Active Member

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    Update: so my dad met me at a restaurant parking lot Sunday and it was about 90 degrees so I tried to smooth out the woodgrain above the left wheel wells. I was able to carefully coax them back into place and used a pin to poke a few holes and relieve the air pockets. It only lasted about 15 mins and then the decal separated from the body again. Granted, I did not use a heat Hun and a squeegie, but is there a trick to heating it up to activate the adhesive, putting it back in place and then curing the decal with an ice cube or something so the decal doesnt shrink again, causing separation? The passenger side is fine except for 3-5 dime size air bubbles I'm sure can be flattened. I used the same prep and install method on both sides. Let me know. Thanks! Ted
     
  8. tfvesquire

    tfvesquire Active Member

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    Well, I'm back on this site again after several years following the 86 Estate Wagon resto for my dad. Looks like the woodgrain I installed has gotten so bad that one side is literally shredded and falling off. I haven't seen the car yet, but from what my dad has told me, I am going to have to remove all the woodgrain and redo it. Not looking forward to doing this again, but I am thinking since it hasn't been on there but a few years, it should come off fairly easily with a heat gun on low heat.

    My biggest question is why the h*ll did this happen? I used two original rolls of factory woodgrain decal I bought several years before the project. They were kept inside my dad's house in a closet all nice and cool and dry. When I installed it, it semed like the adhesive was plenty sticky. I did not pull the decal too much when contouring it around the wheelwells, etc. I have no idea what happened and more importantly, how to prevent this from happening again in such a short period of time (3 yrs) Is there something I missed the first time around?

    Finally, I have read that DiNoc is too thick (6 mils) to do this job properly. Is there some other product out there I can buy that would provide a quality product and a reasonably close factory woodgrain match to the mid 80's Buicks?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated. Someone suggested Shopline 2 mil woodgrain printed on 3M high perf film. Where do I get this done?

    Will keep reserching this. Looks like I'm til not finished with this land yacht!!

    Regards,

    Ted V.
     
  9. tfvesquire

    tfvesquire Active Member

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    Ok, latest update. After locating a parts car with dark blue interior last winter and then storing it until last Saturday, I unvieled it and made short work of getting all the interior seats, belts, trim, etc and then selling the carcass to a guy who wanted a heavy duty demo derby car.

    Now, I am back on my crusade of fixing the woodgrain one last time (we have all said that before) for my dad. I contacted Brandon at TA Graphics in Wisconsin and was able to locate a large sample piece from when I did the woodgrain several years back that he can scan into the computer to use as a sample. I have been told they new and improved woodgrain decal will have some UVprotection, but nothing is guaranteed. I assume the replace decal I bought through JC whitney had none which is why the woodgrain literally peeled away like snake skin. I am just hopeful that because the decal is only 3 years old it will not be so difficult to remove like the original. I am hoping aheat gun on low or hair dryer will heat up the adhesive just enough to be able to pull the decal off and lay the new one on.

    I will post results when I get around to doing this. I still have to get the sample to Brandon and he has not told me how long to get the material back. Estimated to be about $350 to 400 so I will post that price as well.

    Thanks everyone for your support and I am glad to kow I am not alone in this nightmare.

    Ted
     
  10. ModelT1

    ModelT1 Still Lost in the 50's

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    Good luck Ted. I've never had a wood grained wagon or car but always liked the looks. I can see the problems with weather changes.
     
  11. Stormin' Norman

    Stormin' Norman Well-Known Member

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    I was downtown on a side street, and saw a special police car body shop, where they're removing all the old insignia decals, some run the whole length of the cars. I asked the guy what they used. Heat Gun, and thinners or adhesive remover (not lacquer thinners or acetone) - varsol or mineral thinners. He and his 4 co-workers do 9 cars a day. Took me 3 days... with a hairdryer.

    I used a high output hair drier when I first did it, and fried it. A heat gun is much better, even the cheap ones. Now I have to remove the JC Penny snake skin too.
     
  12. chrlsful

    chrlsful Member

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    we use "an eraser". Its a lill rubber wheel we put ona rt angle die grinder (pneumatic) a small light one-hand held tool. It literally erases, some crumbs must be wiped off after done just like when erasing pencil on aper. Can't tell if the letters on the truck are painted on or decals.
     

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