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Discussion Starter #1
One of the now-former Volt owners on this forum posted a thread on how he had all the lower dark-gray/black plastic unpainted panels on his Volt custom primed and painted, and it looked amazing on his white car. I have a black car, and I think that it would probably be a lot easier/cheaper to simply have those lower panels wrapped in a glossy vinyl wrap by a local shop. Basically, I'd like to have the entire side of the car have a similar finish top to bottom, and not have the shine stop when you get to the bottom few inches.

I have searched these forums to see if anyone here has done something like this, and aside from the clear protector wraps along the front bumper and hood (which I plan to do also), I have come up empty. There are multiple shops near my home that do this kind of work, and I plan on going by them tomorrow to discuss this with them and get some estimates. Minimally, doing just the panels under the doors, but possibly the more complex front and rear panels - all in black, as close of a match to the factory paint as possible. If it's not a lot more, I might get a Volt logo custom printed on the vinyl so that when you open the door, you see it at the threshold.

Any comments or thoughts on this idea are welcome.
 

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You could do what I did, using 3M Reflective Black and not do the letters as I did. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I'm nearly a geezer with bursitis, arthritis and Festusitis.

Mine are holding up well after numerous runs in car washes. And the gloss on a black Volt looks so much beter IMHO than the dull gray.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestusa/7721076270/
Sterling Silver, is there any way to see those pictures in your Flicker account without logging on to Yahoo? I'd like to see the picture but don't have a Yahoo account.
 

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Sterling Silver, is there any way to see those pictures in your Flicker account without logging on to Yahoo? I'd like to see the picture but don't have a Yahoo account.
I shot over the data card and I don't think I saved the file on my computer, but the link should work without having to have a Yahoo account. In fact, you probably can get to it through a Google search, "Chevrolet Volt High Above Texas, 3M Reflective" should get you there.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Sterling Silver - I have seen your Flikr page before, found it here, and in the video you posted, it shows a side shot with the reflective thing you did on the bottom near the beginning:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestusa/7983003532/

That's kinda the idea I was thinking of, just using a gloss vinyl wrap. I have used that 3M reflective product before - I got strips of it and put it on my black motorcycle wheels on the rim, so if a car shines their lights at me at night, they see 2 large reflective circles shining back at them, works pretty well at reflecting bright light, but still has a gloss finish to it in normal light.

I dropped by the Wrap1 place near my house this morning, and the guy there told me the vinyl wrap wouldn't stick to that type of surface, so they wouldn't even try. :-/ Weak.

Sterling Silver, can you post a bit more info about what you did, maybe with some close-up pictures with the door open? I am thinking of trying to cover all of the dark plastic unpainted bits, but this may turn out to be a real whip to do well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
GM, why do you frustrate me so? Why stick us Americans with the crappy looking Aztek cladding when you give the nice stuff to Opel???

http://wot.motortrend.com/electric-...l/2012-opel-ampera-left-side-1/#axzz2GpY6a9Vm

I have to think that the side skirts at least would be a direct replacement part. The front and rear bumpers would be a much more involved swap. There's probably already a thread on here about that idea. I like the Ampera rear bumper better, the front end, I'm not sure I'd pay hundreds of dollars to swap out.
 

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Sterling Silver, can you post a bit more info about what you did, maybe with some close-up pictures with the door open? I am thinking of trying to cover all of the dark plastic unpainted bits, but this may turn out to be a real whip to do well.
I might have some pictures on my computer at our other farm and I'll look tomorrow when I go there.

I think the most important part of applying the 3M product is surface prep. I first cleaned the plastic rocker panels with common Windex and paper towels, let it dry and then I cleaned them again with 91% alcohol (not the 70% or 50%) and I did this twice, the second time suing a lint-free rag made of linen. The paper towel products seem to leave some lint on the plastic, I suspect from the static build up. Also, warm weather or a very warm garage is needed to make the vinyl stick and when I pulled the paper backing off, I also used a hair dryer to make the paper backing more flexible and come off easier. A very sharp razor blade helped me trim the excess 3M product off the rocker panels at the juncture where the edges curve back back under and into the wheel wells and under the bottom of the Volt.

There is a good video on YouTube show a professional applying RTA graphics at this link... and his tips explain the process better than I can. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OkGTv6vFUr0

I later added "Chevrolet Volt" in glossy black over the 3M Reflective Black and at night, I like the way I am "promoting" my Volt because the text can easily be read... Not too many folks out here in this part of Texas have embraced this car. Old habits and "that ain't what grand-daddy drove" are hard to break, and I'm like an old "cheer leader" out here hollerin' "Go Volt, Go Volt, Go Volt..." Good-old-boys sitting in coffee shops in town watch me drive my "E-Lek-Trick" car down main street and they remove their cowboy hats and start scratching their heads. I love it when they see me go to the feed store where I buy bags of feed and toss it in the back of my Volt... I'm probably the only one in Texas who drives a Volt to a livestock feed store. By the way, my Volt is named "Dusty" for obvious reasons.

I'll look for my photos tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I'm in Fort Worth, and I'm sure my Volt will be parked in front of the feed store at some point too. I enjoy explaining to people how my Volt is powered 100% by TEXAS resources, from the gasoline I buy at Tom Thumb, to the natural gas that fuels the electricity plant for the battery power. As best I can figure, I'm 100% OPEC free!

I am going to another shop that does installations for the clear protector wraps later, I'll see what they say about doing a cover of some sort for the side skirts.

I think this product is more or less what I'm looking for, but I'd buy it in a longer roll so that I could do the whole side in one strip without having any cuts.
http://www.amazon.com/3M-1080-Gloss-Black-Vinyl/dp/B007ATG8AA
 

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Has anyone tried Plasti-Dip for this? I'm thinking primarily for the protective aspect (although it can add gloss too). I plan to spray on 6 or 8 coats, thick enough to protect from stones etc. Total cost about $15. When it gets dinged up, peel it off and do it again.

https://www.dipyourcar.com/home.php?cat=8
 

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You could do what I did, using 3M Reflective Black and not do the letters as I did. If I can do it, anyone can do it. I'm nearly a geezer with bursitis, arthritis and Festusitis.

Mine are holding up well after numerous runs in car washes. And the gloss on a black Volt looks so much beter IMHO than the dull gray.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/southwestusa/7721076270/
Sterling,

I don't know what changed but, I looked at your Flickr stream before several months ago without any issues. It never asked for a Yahoo login back then. Now, like the other person said, it wants a Yahoo login. My Yahoo account had gone dormant for a couple of years. I re-activated it, logged in and now the link says that the photo is marked "Private."
 

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Hopefully the black plastic stays looking good at least. All that stuff has turned a worn out shade of gray on our other vehicles.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Hopefully the black plastic stays looking good at least. All that stuff has turned a worn out shade of gray on our other vehicles.
That's exactly what I'm afraid of... on my Vue, one of the big reasons I bought the Redline over the base model is that the RL was painted top to bottom. The only black plastic that I had was the bumper cover, which I put on, and even though I treated it several times a year with silicon protector, it still faded out.

I got my windows tinted today and they recommended I go by another shop that does vinyl work to see what he says about it. After looking at that area closer, I can see how that flap of flexible rubber (weatherstripping on the frame) might get in the way. I'd honestly rather just order the Ampera parts and swap them out, if they're a direct fit, but then you're more likely to get a chip in the paint. With a 3M wrap, it could get holes ripped in it too, but it's probably easier to replace. I think I'm obsessing over this far more than it's worth, but I figured it's at least worth looking into. If ol' boy Sterling Silver did it with his himself, I see now reason why a pro vinyl wrap place couldn't do it, except that they would not want to warranty the install.
 

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Sterling,

I don't know what changed but, I looked at your Flickr stream before several months ago without any issues. It never asked for a Yahoo login back then. Now, like the other person said, it wants a Yahoo login. My Yahoo account had gone dormant for a couple of years. I re-activated it, logged in and now the link says that the photo is marked "Private."
Norm:
Try going "through the back door" by entering this text in a Google search "Flickr, High Above Texas, Chevrolet Volt Set" and that should give you access on one of the several choices that Google will provide. Please overlook all my recent photos and ranting about OnStar... there is a set of mine showing my Volt and I also am the administrator on Flickr for "Chevrolet Volt".

The other option is going through my cheesy website www HighAboveTexas com. There is a link that will take you to a Twin Bonanza and from there, you should be able to see the Volt sets.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Went by another Vinyl Wraps shop today, and the guy seemed like a real pro. He got a small sample of the product we'd want to use, cleaned a corner with alcohol, tried to get it to stick, and it had ZERO desire to stay on there. So much for that. I don't think I want to use something that is super-tacky-sticky on the back because it will probably make a gawdawful mess trying to take it off.
 
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