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MG MGB Technical - Adding MGB lower decal 'HOW'

I tried once to add the lower decal on my 1979 MGB...really made a mess of it. What I'd like to do is add the black one to my roadster.

Any "tips" ideas, suggestions and "how to's" ???

(Already tried to get the local body shop to do it, they wouldn't).

Looking forward to your responses.
Carmine 1979 mgb roadster
Donald Wheeler

OK, I have never added a decal to an MGB but I was a sign painter for several years and believe this would work. When I had to apply a decal or self stick type face to a sign blank, (usually aluminum) I would use a wet soapy cloth (not too much soap, just enough so the water stays) lay the decal down and use a stiff plastic squeegie to push the soapy water out from under the decal, starting at the center and pushing out. It sounds like the soapy water would cause the decal to not stick but as you squeegie the soapy water out it does make good contact. I believe some also use a Windex type product in the same manner. The soapy water also allows you to slide it a bit if it isn't exactly where you want it.

If you really do not want to do this yourself, check with some of the new car dealerships. Usually there is a third party outfit that comes to the dealership and installs spoilers, striping & other decals. Have them do it.
Carl Floyd

When I tried to do this last time... as soon as I removed the backing paper it "stuck" fast and not easy to work. Also, I tried to do it as one long piece. I think if I do the decal in sections (pre-cut, soap-up the area, and as you suggest Lewis, use a squeegie to smooth out the water/soap) it would be much easier.

1. what is a good way to remove the wax before I start this project?
2. is there a easy way to mark a "line" to get the decal on straight?
3. should I wax over the decal?
4. Soap or Windex? Which would work the best?
5. Does the temperature matter? Now that it's cooling down, I thought this would make a nice winter project (unheated garge).

Looking forward to your replies,
Donald Wheeler

I would suggest that you heat up that garage of yours. The warmer the better for the adhesion factor.

You can use bug and tar remover to remove the wax in the area, before you start.

Use a strip of blue painters masking tape to get a straightline guide, somewhere above where you want the stripes to be. Use that as your guide.

Spray the area with soapy water, lots of it. This will allow you to slide the decal into exact position. Once your happy with the position, use a plastic or rubber squegee (a bondo squegee is OK) and working from the middle, work the water out from behind the decal. Slow and steady! Get the bubbles out. If you have a stubborn bubble, you can puncture it with a pin if necessary. Having a hair dryer or heat gun handy would be useful.

I would start with the fenders, using the rubber bumpers as a good start point, since the stripes are suppose to be a visual extension of them. Then finish with the door, allowing you to match both ends front and back.

Good luck.
Pete C
Pete c

The standard rule of thumb for applying window tinting film is a few drops of dish soap in a gallon of water. I would guess that the same should work for decals. Too much soap might lessen the final adhesion. About a 4" SOFT squeegie would work great - anything that doesn't conform easily to the body will just push the decals around. Use lots of extra soap (Windex?) on top of the decal to aid the squeegie.

I'd work with the decal cold. When its in exactly the correct position, warm it with an electric hair dryer so that its sticks permanently. You can wax it later in life to bring some shine if it fades.

3M makes a great wax remover that you'll find at your local auto parts store or anywhere you can buy automotive paint.
Jeff Schlemmer

Pete and Jeff,

Thanks for the responses! Now that I better understand the process it looks like this is my next project for the MGB.

Have a Great Holiday!
Donald Wheeler

Don and all, I plan on replacing the silver side decal on my 79 LE. All replys to this question have been very helpfull. My question is how do you remove the existing decal from the sides of the car ?

I look forward to any replys, Davy 79MGB
Davy Crocker

Heat. A hair dryer will soften the adhesive and decal material for easier removal. Clean off the remaining afhesive with a glue disolver type product, test on an inconspicuis (did I spell that right?) area first, of course. Use a plastic scrapper, gently, for areas with heavy glue deposits.


There are several methods for removal.

The fastest and easiest method IMHO is using a decal removing wheel that you attach to your drill. Available from Eastwood and other paint sources.

3M makes a decal removing liquid that works quite well if you let it soak in. It slightly disolves the plastic while disolving the the adhesive

The last option that I have used is a heat gun with a plastic razorblade. The razorblades are available from most autoparts stores. The blade is very sharp but it is also somewhat flexable to form to the shape of the body. This is also the most work intensive method of removal.

Cris DeYoung

Davy, the PO only had the front portion (MGB) on when I purchased the car.... looked kind of odd. I heated a corner with a hair dryer and was able to peel off.

Glad to hear that this post helped you too. I am getting ready to order the stripe kit. Best price is from VB $49.99 vs Moss $64.95...

Anybody have an idea before I order why the big difference?
Donald Wheeler

The black is $49.95 on sale right now from Moss, silver and gold $10.00 dearer.

Paul K

This thread was discussed between 21/11/2005 and 24/11/2005

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