THANK YOU for purchasing the MINI F55/F56 Hood Stripe Decal Kit by CravenSpeed. This product is made from the highest grade materials and is guaranteed to be free from defects.
- 1 x Hood Stripe Decal Pair (Black or White)
- 1 x Squeegee with Microfiber Edge
- Microfiber Cloth
- Paper Towels
- Painters Tape
- Utility Spray Bottle
- Dish Soap
- X-acto Blade or Utility Knife
- Measuring Tape
- Marking Pen
NOTE: We highly recommend reading through the entirety of these instructions beforehand so that you are aware of the complete procedure and can plan accordingly. The process described is known as the ‘Wet Method’ for applying vinyl decals. There is a wealth of information online that covers this procedure and we suggest researching it further if you require a more thorough explanation of the process.
Clean Hood Surface
- Let’s start by giving your MINI’s hood a thorough cleaning in preparation for the decals. A clay bar treatment would be perfect at this time, but we understand this process is not for everyone. Once the surface is dry, wipe down the area again with a lint-free, soft cloth making sure there are no swirls or debris left behind.
- Take your utility spray bottle, fill it with water and add a couple small drops of dish soap. Shake it up and set it aside.
Measure the Stripe Layout
- Before we begin slapping on the decals, we’ll need to mark off where they will lay on the hood, so grab your painters tape, a marking pen, and a measuring tape and let’s get to it.
- First we need to mark off the centerline of the hood. This process is much easier with an assistant, so go recruit a buddy to help you hold the tape measure while you find and mark the locations we’ll need. Add a piece of tape to the windshield side and another to the emblem. Find the center of each piece of tape and make a mark with your pen.
- Measure out the width of 30.75" (inches) and center it on the windshield side of the hood. Lay your tape so it is perpendicular to the beltline trim and it’s outside edge is the measurement. The front width will be 19.75” (inches).
Prepare the Hood Stripe Decals
- Lay out the decals on a flat work surface and trim the top and bottom edges down to approx .250” (¼”) from the vinyl. This will give the proper spacing away from the beltline trim and from the tape indicators you previously laid down.
- Bring the decals over to the hood and lay them down onto their correct sides. You may temporarily tape the decals into place so you can step back to visually inspect their alignment. Once you’re pleased with how it’s looking, remove the decals and set them aside.
Apply the Hood Stripes
- Have your soap/water solution bottle handy and ensure that the hood surface is still clean. Spray the stripe areas of hood down with an even coat of the soapy solution.
- Take one of the hood decals and completely peel the transfer paper backing off so that the sticky side is exposed. Do your best not to touch the vinyl and leave any fingerprints on it that could affect the adhesion, and whatever you do.. don't drop it! Spray an even coat of your soap/water solution to the adhesive side of the decal. It doesn’t need to be completely soaked… it just needs enough for you to be able to readjust the decal if you don’t set it down perfectly straight on the first try.
- Carefully set the decal down onto the hood with the windshield edge of the decal right up against the beltline trim and lining up the inside edge with the taped layout marks.The mixed solution should allow you to pull up and reposition the decal if necessary and you may even be able to slide it around a bit.
- Once you’re pleased with its positioning, start from the middle and gently squeegee the soap/water solution out from under the decal. Use paper towels to clean up any excess solution while you work the decal down. Use the hard plastic edge of the squeegee on the paper backing, but once you peel the paper backing off, to avoid any scratching of the vinyl only use the microfiber edge.
- Once you’ve thoroughly gone over the first decal a couple times, give it a rest and proceed with the other side. This will allow the solution to evaporate a little bit and assist with adhesion before peeling the backing off.
- Ok.. you’ve fully squeegeed both decals down. Starting at one end, gently peel the transfer paper back upon itself to facilitate separation of the vinyl from the paper. If the decal wants to come up with the paper, use the soft-side of the squeegee to press it back down again. Don’t worry too much about any air bubbles or creases at this time. You can address those once the paper backing is completely removed.
- Once you have the paper backings completely removed, inspect the decals for any creases or solution bubbles. If your application has no bubbles whatsoever, congratulations! You are a master and should consider opening your own car-wrapping business! In all likelihood however, you’re probably going to have bubbles to some extent that will need attention. Use the microfiber side of the squeegee to work the bubbles to the edge of the decal and then soak up the solution with a paper towel.
- For pesky bubbles that don’t want to slide to the edge, try to combine them by pushing them toward one another and then piercing the vinyl with your X-acto blade. You should then be able to squeegee the solution out through this tiny hole. Any minor bubbles or surface imperfections that you can’t seem to eliminate should disappear over the next couple of weeks as the solution evaporates and the vinyl decal shrinks a wee bit. Leaving the car exposed in the sun will help speed up this process.
Congratulations… your install is complete! Stand back and admire your handiwork!