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Installation

 

How easy is it to install the kit I purchased?

 It’s easy if you follow the right instructions and pay a little attention to details. It’s true that if a vinyl isn’t applied correctly you could end up with air bubbles and crooked results. If you take the proper precautions and use the correct techniques, you can apply vinyl wrap smoothly and efficiently at home.

Besides, today’s vinyl is designed to let air out as you apply and the adhesive doesn’t set right away. You have all the time to apply, adjust, reposition and eliminate bubbles easily. We make sure that the product you have purchased is flexible enough and easy to manipulate around curves and edges.

The basic steps are the same for professionals that do it in a shop and for anyone who does it at home. You don’t need to be particularly handy or experienced, just patient and methodical. Follow the right steps and enjoy the process.

Wet or dry installation?

It’s actually up to the manufacturer and it has to do with the vinyl adhesive. The vinyls we use are polymeric and are installed by the dry installation method. This means that you don’t have to wet the surface of the panniers.

What tools or help do I need for a proper application?

You’ll need surface cleaning wipes, a squeegee, cotton gloves, a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution, a heat gun (preferably; otherwise a hair dryer will do) and maybe a friend to help you – particularly when working with large pieces of vinyl. If it is your first time, you should remember that it is not that difficult to hold the vinyl in a manner that will lead it to stick to itself.

Do I need a special area or a workspace?

All you need is a steady table with enough space to keep the panniers and/or the top box stable and to lay your tools. The location where you will set your work-space should be dry, clean, dust free and preferably indoors in a warm environment (15-35 degrees Celsius/ 60-90 degrees Fahrenheit). Vinyl adhesives attract dust, so clean the area thoroughly before you introduce the vinyl wrap. Sweep and mop the area to keep dirt particles from sticking to it. Don’t forget the heat gun (or the hair dryer) needs electricity so you need to work near a plug.

How do I clean up the surface of my panniers/top box?

Wash down the surface of the area you want to wrap with soap and water, making sure that any dirt and grime is completely removed. Avoid using wax or car/motorcycle shampoos that contain wax, as this will affect the film’s adhesive. Use a lint-free cloth to buff the surface. Move the cloth in counter-clockwise circles until the surface is completely dry. Dirt and moisture will keep the adhesive from sticking properly.

Then clean up again! You might think your surface looks really clean, but you’d be surprised what’s left behind after a simple wash. You may use special cleaning wipes to wipe down the panel or component again to ensure that all potential contaminants and residues are removed. We recommend wearing gloves when cleaning to avoid oils from your skin getting on the surface and to protect your hands from the cleaner.

You may use a 70% isopropyl alcohol solution to remove any remaining fine particles and dust.

Is cleaning up the surface area necessary?

Yes, it is! Any oil, grease, debris, dust or waxy residues left on the surface may cause scratches during the application and will seriously affect the long-term holding power of the film’s adhesive.So don’t skip this task. You need to give a proper, thorough clean to make sure that your wrap holds fast and lasts as long as you want it to.

My vehicle’s and/or my panniers’ surface has chips, scratches and other surface marks. Will this affect the installation?

You may need to work on these issues first using some touch-up paint or whatever is indicated. Each imperfection will be magnified to some degree by the vinyl and no matter how great the installation goes, you may always notice those areas.

Will the adhesive stick immediately?

The adhesive doesn’t set right away. It will stick once you apply pressure on it. Remove the backing paper from the wrapping film and make sure you don’t touch the adhesive or get it dusty, oily or dirty. Slide the film into position and get it in exactly the right place. If the film is not in the desired position it can be gently peeled back off and reapplied.

Do I need to stretch the vinyl?

No, our kits need no stretching at all. Just remove the backing paper and slide the film into the desired position. Once you have the perfect fit you are ready to apply pressure in order to activate the adhesive.

How do I put the pressure on?

Use the felt (not the hard) edge of the squeegee to apply firm pressure in wide, even strokes. Work from the center with overlapping strokes, smoothing air outwards towards an exit point at the edge of the film. Special channels within the adhesive backing will minimize the risk of bubbles – but the odd one or two can be worked out carefully with your finger.

You may heat the vinyl a bit and use the hard side of your squeegee to lay the vinyl into crevices and welded seams.

If you run into a bubble that is too big, use the squeegee to divide it into several smaller bubbles first. This will allow the air to escape more easily.

If you make a mistake, the film can be gently peeled back off and reapplied. Be careful though not to overstretch it.

You’ll know when you’re done when you’re happy with the result.

How do I re-position the vinyl after I put the pressure on?

If you make a mistake, the film can be gently peeled back off and reapplied. Lift the vinyl and apply heat to remove imperfections. If you come across imperfections in the vinyl such as wrinkles, start at the outside edge and lift the vinyl up to un-stick the area. Hold the vinyl up and away from the surface; apply heat with a heat gun until the imperfections disappear. Keep the vinyl taut by pulling it on both ends and then replace the smoothed-out vinyl on the surface. Be careful not to lift up on the places where the vinyl is already smoothed out.Simply lift the vinyl without pulling it. If you pull on the vinyl while heating it, it will stretch.

What do I need the heat gun/ hair dryer?

When wrapping around curves, edges, welded seams and crevices use a heat gun or a hair dryer to gently warm the film to make it more flexible; you can then stretch it a little to stick it to contours. Be careful not to overstretch it or use excessive heat, as this can cause matte or textured effects to sheen, or the film to melt.

What do I do with a trapped bubble that is impossible to smooth out?

If you are patient and thorough you’ll probably avoid this mishap. You have two choices. The first one is to reposition the vinyl as indicated previously. If you think this action is not applicable then you’re left with second one which is to use an air release tool as experts do. If no official air release tool is available, we urge you not to use any razor blade to pop the bubble. Experts say that it is safer to use a pin. It creates a perfect circumference and pops the bubble and you don’t lose the inherent strength and integrity of the film. However, this should be your last resort. You don’t want to end up with a lot of it.

What can I do if I damage a piece of the product permanently during the installation process?

We are pretty sure that this will not happen, but if it does, don’t worry, we are here to help. Please contact us as soon as possible and we will make arrangements for its replacement.

How long can I keep the vinyl on my vehicle and/ or on my panniers/top box?

It depends upon the durability information given by the manufacturer and the real life environmental conditions it is exposed to. We use materials that are indicated to have a durability of 5 to 7 years or more. Please check the product’s description before purchasing.

For the easiest and cleanest removal, manufacturers recommend that you remove the vinyl before the end of the warranted durability period.

If it starts to discolor or turn brown (which is caused by acidic pollution), immediately remove the vinyl to avoid staining the underlying paint.

How easy is it to remove the film?

With today’s high-tech vinyl, removing is easier than ever before. The film can be easily removed without causing any damage to the underlying surface. When removing your film, use gentle heat from a heat gun to soften the adhesive and reduce any risk of paintwork damage.

How is the underlying surface going to be after I remove the film?

The film can be easily removed without damaging the underlying surface. Use gentle heat from a heat gun to soften the adhesive and reduce any risk of paintwork damage. Today’s vinyl, when you heat it up, leaves very little adhesive behind. This way you can go back to your original state and start from scratch.

 

Care

 

How often can I clean the vehicle or the panniers/top box?

Clean the vehicle as normal with non-detergent soap, water and a soft sponge. Ideally, we recommend special shampoos produced by vinyl manufacturers which can be found online. An initial rinse will help to get rid of dust particles that may scratch during washing.

Are waxes recommended?

Almost all manufacturers do not recommend using wax or other similar coatings on vehicle graphics and other applications.

How about pressure washing?

Hand washing is the preferred cleaning method. Pressure washing may be used under these conditions:

  1. Ensure the water pressure is kept below 2000 psi (14 MPa).
  2. Keep water temperature below 180 °F (80 °C).
  3. Use a spray nozzle with a 40 degree wide angle spray pattern.
  4. Keep the nozzle at least 1 foot (300 mm) away from and perpendicular (at 90 degrees) to the graphic. Holding the nozzle of a pressure washer at an angle to graphic may lift the edges of the film.

How can I clean difficult contaminants such as bug splatter, bird droppings, tree sap and similar contaminants?

Soften difficult contaminants by soaking them for several minutes with very hot, soapy water. Rinse thoroughly and dry. If further cleaning is needed, test one of these products in an inconspicuous area to ensure no damage to the graphics: Meguiar’s Gold Class™ Bug and Tar Remover or 3M™ Citrus Base Cleaner. Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) (2 parts IPA to 1 part water) or denatured alcohol may also help. Spot clean the contaminants. Do not use rough scrubbing or abrasive tools, which will scratch the film. Wash and rinse off all residue immediately.

How do I clean fuel spills?

Wipe off immediately to avoid degrading the vinyl and adhesive. Wash using a wet, non-abrasive detergentas soon as possible. Rinse thoroughly with clean water. Use a silicone squeegee to remove water and finish drying with a clean microfiber cloth.

What can I do to keep the vinyl in good shape and looking at its best?

Do not use any abrasive polishes or cutting compounds.

Do not use any polishing or wax products on matte or textured films. If there is wax or waxy residue on the surface, remove with an all-purpose cleaner.

You may use available products from vinyl manufacturerto help restore your vehicle wrap. Before using, we recommend that you always test and approve in an inconspicuous area.

Store indoors or under cover whenever possible.Vinyl graphics (just like paint) are degraded by prolonged exposure to sun and atmospheric pollutants. Whenever possible, store in a garage or at least in a shaded area during the day. At night protect the motorcycle and the panniers from dew or rain, which may contain acidic pollutants (a common problem in many large metropolitan areas). When a garage is not available, consider using a cloth car cover at night.

About your order

 

What does the panniers’ kit contain?

Each kit includes a number of vinyl pieces that fit the right and the left pannier. You may find relevant information in each product’s description box.

What does the top box kit contain?

Each kit includes a number of vinyl pieces that fit the top box. You may find relevant information in each product description box.

Why are there a kit for panniers and a separate kit for the top box?

We want to give our customers a plenty of choice. As you may have noticed, there are kits of the same style as well as others with overlapping style. It’s all about the freedom of customization. For instance, you are free to select a digital print for your panniers and a vinyl cut for your top box, or a kit from one collection for the panniers and a kit from another collection for the top box.

How long will my order take to ship?

We try to fulfill each order as soon as possible. If a product is immediately available your order is dispatched the same or the next working day. Digitally printed products are usually dispatched in 2-4 days, while die-cut vinyl products in 3-5 days.

How long will it take for my order to be delivered?

Please visit our dedicated delivery page for detailed information about delivery estimates. For almost all European countries an order is usually delivered the next day after dispatch.

Can I track my order in real time?

You may track your order using DHL’s tracking page. The truth is that you will not have to. Once an order is shipped, DHL shall inform you about its course (picked-up, customs clearance, out for delivery, delivered) by e-mail.

Can my order be delivered to a different address in my or in another country?

Your order will be shipped to the address you will state once you are in the process of completing your order.

Please be cautious when filling the necessary information: the telephone number you shall need to provide must be a valid telephone number for the destination; the e-mail must be the e-mail of the recipient. So, if you order and want it delivered to some other person and/or in another country, the telephone number and the e-mail must be the ones of the recipient.

What is the shipping cost for my country?

There are no shipping costs. We ship worldwide for free.

I have changed my mind about my order and wish to cancel it. Can I return it?

Of course you can. You have 28 calendar days to return an item from the date you received it. First you must contact us at info@pathfindersoul.com and notify us about your desire to return a product.

To be eligible for a return, your item must be in the same condition that you received it and in the original packaging.

Once you contact us and we shall give you instructions about how to arrange with DHL to pick it up.

Will I get a full refund if I wish to cancel my order?

To be eligible for a refund, your item must be in the same condition that you received it and in the original packaging. Once we verify the good condition of the item, we will immediately initiate a refund to your credit card, PayPal or original method of payment. You will receive the credit within a certain amount of days depending on your card issuer’s policies.You will be responsible for paying for the shipping costs for returning your item. Shipping costs are nonrefundable. The cost of return shipping will be deducted from your refund.

I have changed my mind about my order and would like to purchase another product. What can I do?

You may exchange the product you purchased for a different one. You have 28 calendar days to do so. Please contact us at info@pathfindersoul.com.

There are one or more pieces missing in the kit I received. What do I do?

We are very sorry to have caused such a mess! Please contact us as soon as possible and we’ll ship the missing piece (or pieces) right away.

There are one or more pieces damaged in the kit I received. What do I do?

We are very sorry to hear that! Please contact us as soon as possible in order to make the necessary arrangements for re-shipping.

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