Removing High Performance Vinyl

Hi all. Im trying to remove high performance vinyl from a cargo trailor. I applied it last year, and now he needs it removed because he is selling it. I've tried hairdryer, heat gun and razors. Hairdryer didn't really do anything, the heat gun seemed to melt it on instead of take it off, and the razor began making scratches. Any tips???? Thanks!
 

Gino

Premium Subscriber
Zapper.


Works great. It will take a while, but it will completely do the job. Charge accordingly.


If you don't have one, this job will probably pay for it by itself and still have change left over.
 

tattoo.dan

Active Member
zapper. just got mine yesterday and am removing vinyl from old police car today. about half done. takes a while, but does a great job. hell of a lot faster than heat and plastic razor too!
 
I just googled the zapper, and now know what it is. I actually used it at the beggining of this project, and it dulled the sheen off of the trailer. I dont think that there is a clear coat on it.
 

Kottwitz-Graphics

Very Active Member
Zapper? Sounds like thats what I need. Is it a tool? A liquid? Where can I find one/it??? Thanks!


NO NO NO NO!!!!!

The zapper (or vinyl eraser) is a great tool, but like most tools, it has its place. It is good for vehicles (with steel doors and body panels) as the paint doesn't do funny things.

You cannot use it on alum panels, as it does heat the metal much faster, and that will cause the paint to "burn". Don't use it on fiberglass (like an ambulance), because it will mess the paint up as well.

The only choice you have is to use a little chisler, get under a corner, and gently lift, and use a heat gun only to loosen the adhesive. Too much, and the vinyl will stretch and pull apart, not enough, and it will "break".

What I do is tell the customer that its an hourly charge, ($75 per hour), then I get a couple of nephews and my son, and go at it. I pay them each $20 an hour, and buy them lunch and sodas. They are happy, and I make money on the deal. (Charge for manhours).

Before I start, I give the customer an "idea" of how long it will take, and they sometimes think that it won't take as long. I have them pull a couple of leters, then remove the adhesive. When they see how much work it is, they will pay ususally come around.
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member

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TheSnowman

Major Contributor
I own the zapper, but would never use it on a vehicle. Maybe I'm not using it right, but when I've used it on Alumalite, it's left a haze that I can't get off of there, but I didn't try CRAZY hard to get rid of it since it was an old sign.

Today I had to remove graphics off of a cop car, and they were the most baked on graphics I've seen in my life. I went to Car Quest and go a 3M eraser deal, just like the zapper, but less agressive looking, and it fits in a regular drill, which is way more adjustable on speeds than a zapper, so it's only a $40 investment to see how you like it, instead of the hundreds on the zapper.
 
I own the drill eraser too...and works really well...but after reading the posts..will not work on alluminum...leaves a haze...the drill attachment only cost $14. Fred...how does the steam penetrate the vinyl? Do you use the unit just like you would on wallpaper???
 

Fred Weiss

Merchant Member
I own the drill eraser too...and works really well...but after reading the posts..will not work on alluminum...leaves a haze...the drill attachment only cost $14. Fred...how does the steam penetrate the vinyl? Do you use the unit just like you would on wallpaper???

Yes, that is the unit I use. It works very well on sheet stock and okay on cut letters. What works so well is the wider, more even and just right application of heat. It softens the vinyl and adhesive just enough to make it peel off nicely and with little to no adhesive remaining on the substrate.
 

Custom_Grafx

Very Active Member
Yes, that is the unit I use. It works very well on sheet stock and okay on cut letters. What works so well is the wider, more even and just right application of heat. It softens the vinyl and adhesive just enough to make it peel off nicely and with little to no adhesive remaining on the substrate.

:thankyou::goodpost:
 

Mosh

Major Contributor
Sandpaper? NOT, now a days we use a hotsie pressure washer, then 3M adhesive remover to get rid of the glue.
 

boxerbay

Active Member
Yes, that is the unit I use. It works very well on sheet stock and okay on cut letters. What works so well is the wider, more even and just right application of heat. It softens the vinyl and adhesive just enough to make it peel off nicely and with little to no adhesive remaining on the substrate.

do you have to use a pounce tool to make little holes so the steam get in there under the vinyl?
 

thinksigns

SnowFlake
I can't believe the dislike of the zapper. When Time Warner moved out and Comcast moved in here a few years ago, I was lucky enough to get the job of removing the TWC logos from over 200 company vehicles. The zapper may leave a yellowish "scuff" marks if you press too hard or you don't change the eraser often enough. However, a couple of days of sitting in the sun and the discoloration faded away. 150 of the vehicles were standard cargo vans and the rest were Rangers and F150s. They were all white, maybe that was why it worked so well.
 
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