Pontiac GTO: Rim Decal Installation
A minor upgrade I had done to my GTO had been to install some decals on the outside of the rims. It’s a small touch and it helped to hide some curb rash I had picked up over the years. Originally, I had gotten some 1-piece decals that were designed for M3’s. These were referred to as “Speed Rings.” Unfortunately, a few years later after putting some new rubber on the rims I couldn’t find those again. This time I ended up picking up some decals from Amazon. Follow along as the installation is very easy and can be a nice add-on to any vehicle.
Parts for this DIY:
- Wheel Rim Stripe Decals
- Heat Gun
Tools You’ll Need:
- Heat Gun
- Small Blade or Xacto knife
- A Jack and Lifts
- A Spray Bottle (For Water)
First up we’ll need to jack the car up. Always make sure that you secure the wheels on the ground so the car doesn’t roll and then crack loose your lug nuts before lifting the car. Just makes it easier to take them off.
This is also a great opportunity to give your wheel wells and undercarriage a good cleaning. Remember no to rely on the jack for total support! Make sure to place a lift under the car just in case.
With the rim off the car, you’ll want to give her a good cleaning. This is also a good time to deep clean the inside of your rims and take off some of that baked in brake dust.
The decals come in quarter-rim pieces. There will be enough to have a little overlap between each piece. You will have to eye-ball them a bit to make sure you get the proper radius. Regardless, as you install them you can stretch them a bit to make sure they properly conform to the rim.
As I went installing mine I chose to put them right on the edge of the rim. This would allow me the opportunity to tuck the outside around the rim and allow them to conform to the shape. In the photo above you can see some of the curb rash I was trying to hide.
Before installing each piece I would wet the area down with a mist of water. If you can use some distilled water as it will have fewer minerals and evaporate more easily. The purpose of the water is to give you some time so that the decals can be slid and adjusted as need be.
With the decals fully placed we can see now how the outer edge is raised. To tuck this edge in you will first have to press it down manually.
Even tucking it manually though you will be left with small creases as there is more material than what the outer edge of the rim provides. To fix this we will use a heat gun and slowly heat up the vinyl. By heating up the vinyl you are causing it to shrink. This will have two benefits. First, you’ll be able to eliminate the wrinkles, and secondly, it will cause the vinyl to adhere with greater strength.
Here you can clearly see how the vinyl has completely wrapped around the outside of the rim giving it a nice custom look. To finish it off just complete the steps on all four of your rims and you’re ride will be looking hot.