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7" retrofit (GDAA WRX)

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  • satrya
    replied
    ^
    Well, the electrical tape not staying long enough to curve the film's edges may not be a lost cause; I can try some other means, or if all else fails, just trim the film to a shape that most pre-cut films do. Pre-cut films typically don't go that far, so if that's a fallback position, I'm no worse off than using pre-cut films.

    But the other thing is that goo. I hope it can be removed with enough patience.

    Live and learn I suppose.

    Leave a comment:


  • phantom240
    replied
    Originally posted by satrya View Post
    Bad idea!

    The electrical tape stretches, and creeps from its original location on the side to the front of the lens. Now there's a layer of translucent goo:


    And the electrical tape didn't hold itself to the desired location long enough to help set the clear film's edges to follow the curved contour.
    Fack. Back to the drawing board on that issue?

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    Bad idea

    Bad idea!

    The electrical tape stretches, and creeps from its original location on the side to the front of the lens. Now there's a layer of translucent goo:


    And the electrical tape didn't hold itself to the desired location long enough to help set the clear film's edges to follow the curved contour.

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    Curving the edges of the 40mil film

    Most pre-cut films are patterned to terminate at a rather flat or mild curve. There's a good reason for this. Even though that means lens coverage may not go all the way to the edge, installation is a lot easier.

    Sounds like a challenge then.

    The edge of this glass lens is no exception. The first pass during the install leaves the edges too wet for it to curve, compress, and stick. The film wants to go back to its un-curved shape. After leaving it untended for a while (it has been weeks!), some of the adhesive has cured, further complicating things.

    I try to salvage the situation by heating the edges again:


    Now that it is more malleable, the edges can be re squeegeed to compress and hug the rounded corner, moving gradually from the left to the right (pausing somewhere on top in this picture):


    Here's a closeup of the re squeegeed edge:


    You can see that the film tries to separate, as evident by the air pocket starting from the top to the right in that picture above. After adding a bit of heat and more squeegee action, the edge eventually follows the contour like so:


    But because it is impossible to completely evacuate the water-alcohol solution from the gap between the glass and the film, and because natural evaporation may take a while, I needed something else to mechanically hold them together as the film hardens into the curved shape. I try using electrical tape, would around in tension. Hopefully this works.



    We'll see...

    Leave a comment:


  • Fstrsn
    replied
    Originally posted by satrya View Post
    Going to China?

    Time to look around those HID factories.
    Not anytime soon for me. But it's not uncommon for us to go over there for a week or two to meet with the factory owners and engineers.

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
    Ah, fair enough. I'm not looking forward to, but I am at the same time of when they decide to send me to China. X_X (Probably won't happen anytime soon.)
    Going to China?

    Time to look around those HID factories.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fstrsn
    replied
    Originally posted by satrya View Post
    Sorry. Been out on a business trip; need to catch up with untended work & getting back to the right time zone...
    Ah, fair enough. I'm not looking forward to, but I am at the same time of when they decide to send me to China. X_X (Probably won't happen anytime soon.)

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
    BUMP for an update?
    Sorry. Been out on a business trip; need to catch up with untended work & getting back to the right time zone...

    Leave a comment:


  • Fstrsn
    replied
    BUMP for an update?

    Leave a comment:


  • Fstrsn
    replied
    Originally posted by satrya View Post
    Mmmm.. cheddar cheese....

    As to whether the project is almost finished or not, it depends on whether or not I'm going to make a new foglight cover trim, or just modify the current, beat up one:
    Gah, I forgot about the fog trim predicament.

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    Originally posted by phantom240 View Post
    LOL cheddar cheese slices.

    Looks like this epic journey is nearing completion.
    Originally posted by Fstrsn View Post
    Mmmm, I can't wait to see these installed on the car and dubbed "finished"
    Mmmm.. cheddar cheese....

    As to whether the project is almost finished or not, it depends on whether or not I'm going to make a new foglight cover trim, or just modify the current, beat up one:

    Leave a comment:


  • Fstrsn
    replied
    Originally posted by phantom240 View Post
    LOL cheddar cheese slices.

    Looks like this epic journey is nearing completion.
    Mmmm, I can't wait to see these installed on the car and dubbed "finished"

    Leave a comment:


  • phantom240
    replied
    LOL cheddar cheese slices.

    Looks like this epic journey is nearing completion.

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    Tools for film install

    In addition to the green squeegee provided, I decided to have ones I've collected from past installs along. To the left is a white plastic squeegee that has a ruler on one end, which can be useful to help with the guesstimate when trimming sheets on the fly. The middle one is identical to the left one, but wrapped inside a felt blanket. The blanket makes the edges a bit rounder, and can absorb some of the excess liquid being squeezed out of the center of the film (during install).


    The 8 x 16" sheet, cut into two. Because of its 40 mil thickness, it is stiff enough to stay curved at room temperature. It needs to be warmed up to allow for stretching during install.


    I almost always start from the middle, and leave some part still masked by the backing to control the amount of film that starts sticking. On larger surfaces, using the water+baby shampoo solution helps with this.


    Note that the sheet is no longer as stiff as before; this was after a few seconds under a low heat gun setting. This is still too stiff for curving the edges, but is better left this way at this stage while it is being applied to the frontal area of the 7" lens, which is relatively flatter.

    Closest thing I can think of is the consistency of those rectangular cheddar cheese slices in cheeseburgers, as it comes out of the fridge.

    Leave a comment:


  • satrya
    replied
    40 mil clear film

    Prepping for installation of a 40 mil clear lens protection film. The DIY housings are propped up by the tape rolls on top of a microfiber towel. The 7" glass lenses are cleaned with alcohol solution.


    I bought a generic 8 x 16" sheet. I prefer generic rolls/sheets rather than pre-cut templates, because most of the time, the pre-cut templates don't allow the film to go all the way beyond the immediate frontal surface. I've bought from Lamin-X as well as other sellers before (xpel, weathertech), and this is not an endorsement for any brand in particular.


    The upper pouch contains a sheet of instruction, a green squeegee, a small spray bottle, a cutter, a business card to help find a professional installer, and a decal.


    Interestingly, this instruction sheet specifically says only use water for the spray solution. Prior instruction sheets from the same company and others mention some 1:2 to 1:3 ratio of isopropyl alcohol and water, in addition to a separate spray bottle of water and a drop of baby shampoo. The latter is very important for large complex surfaces.

    I decided to go off label and use a 1:3 isopropyl alcohol and water instead. It has worked in the past, although it is possible that they've changed the adhesive backing formulation.

    Leave a comment:

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