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Old 04-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #1
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3M film removal

Does anyone have any experience in removing 3M film from the front of a painted motorhome? The previous owner of my Country Coach appearantly ran it through a truck wash and it badly scratched the film. I want to remove it and have new film installed, however i am afraid it will pull the paint off. Any suggestions?
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:54 PM   #2
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A call 3M and ask, Their tech help folks are very knowledgeable.
B What works for 3M VHB tape is Goo Off an orange cleaner
C use a hair dryer/heat gun with a plastic scraper to get most of it off, be VERY careful!!!
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Old 04-26-2012, 05:57 PM   #3
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Do a "search" in the search mode, on the home page, include key words, "film removal, 3M, try several. There have been some pretty good discusions on this topic. As I recall you can get some chemical from Napa, or a body shope supply store, maybe a heat gun, and have at it. Seems like most folks have to repaint after the fact, but, if it looks nasty, well, who wants to drive nasty??
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Old 04-26-2012, 06:06 PM   #4
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I've seen Diamond Shield removed from a front of a motorhome (pretty much the same stuff) and it peeled off the paint. It was done by an authorized Diamond Shield installer.

50-50 chance it will peel the paint off when it's removed.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:41 PM   #5
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I don't know what the film on your coach looks like but I've had good luck taking scratches and haze out of mine with plastic polish. Use the same stuff that you use on headlights. The film is pretty thick so you can polish it just like you would any other plastic.

I talked to 3M when trying to learn how to care for the film on the front of mine. One of their techs told me that this stuff almost always takes the paint with it if it is on fiberglass. He said you can take if off painted metal surfaces with a reasonable chance of leaving the paint but usually not fiberglass. Just passing it along. I have no experience with removing it and don't know of any body that has.
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:43 PM   #6
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If your're going to have new installed, the installer should know how to remove it.

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Old 04-26-2012, 07:52 PM   #7
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I removed mine by working it on hot summer days when the sun was shining on it. I lost the clearcoat in several places, but only on the light tan color. I worked small areas at a time, removing the remaining adhesive with GooGone and a paper towel.

I doubt a truck wash or anything else caused the problem you are seeing. The film seems to craze/crack with age. I blamed the problem on the front on different things I used to scrub bugs off, but I see the same problem on a strip on the rear under the engine cover where nothing like that has ever been used. I will NEVER put film on a vehicle again unless maybe I am planning to sell it within 3 years.
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:58 PM   #8
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There are professionals in our area that use steam to remove the film. They found this greatly reduced the chance of removing paint as well. Having said that "age" of the coach enters into the factor.
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Old 04-26-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
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Don't know the brand you have but assume its probably Diamond Shield. I did remove myself. My suggestion is don't. It took me a month of off and on work to finally get the 3m adhesive removed. I used all recommended solutions and would never try it again. Pay a technician to do it. Diamond Shield has a guy that travels country just employed to remove shields and he's very busy and expensive. Diamond Shield (888) 806-5862.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:29 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for your input. It sounds as though I need to rethink this situation! I may try the headlight cleaner since the sctatches are very fine, but has greatly dulled the surface.
Jerry
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Old 04-28-2012, 08:38 PM   #11
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I've been reading this thread with interest and have a question. My '95 has a stripe on the front maybe 1.5" to 2" wide and so faded you can barely tell what color it was. I think it was maroon or something. I was going to try and remove it but am having second thoughts based on what I've been reading in here. I'd hate to lose any paint.

What about taking some steel wool and going over the stripe to remove any grime and roughing up the surface somewhat. I would then mask the stripe off, apply a coat of primer (spray) and then spraying a color of my choice over that. Worth a shot? If anyone else has tried this I would very much like to know the results.
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Old 04-29-2012, 04:18 PM   #12
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I went to a seminar on film removal at a recent rally. The representative stated that he removes the film with a clothing steamer he buys at Target for about $40. He stated that it takes about 8 hours to remove the film as it has to be done slowly to avoid damaging the paint from pulling the film but the steamer will not heat the paint to the point of burning it like a heat gun will. For information, he charges $1100 for removal and $1200 for reinstallation. Big bucks.
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Old 04-29-2012, 05:41 PM   #13
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Hey, try one of the vehicle wrap companies in your area, they can do and match graffics very well. Just wrap the front cap...may get a few more years. Try one of the new carbon fibre look wraps, you will look like a B2.
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Old 04-30-2012, 01:25 PM   #14
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3M has a 5 year warranty on THEIR film to the original owner. The procedure is to remove a piece at least 1 inch sq and send it to 3m for analysis. Once they are certain that is is their film they will put you in touch with a local shop for removal & installation.
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