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Old 11-14-2011, 12:38 PM   #1
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Freightliner Owners Club
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Diamond Shield Removal

To those of you who are like me, handy and retain just enough knowledge about "everything" to be dangerous, I need to pass on somethings I've learned about the Diamond Shield that adorns most Class A coaches. First, the Diamond Shield is a good product and I've had it installed on another vehicle in the past. My coach "Diamond" was discolored a little and just didn't look as good as the surrounding paint color and shine. So I decided I would remove the top portion, down to the headlights. Thankfully, I didn't remove it on the generator access panel or the lower portion. I started this project in July which is a determining factor that I'll explain. So I removed very slowly and with a heated blower. No problem except in one area below windshield and behind rear view mirror mount about the size of a silver dollar. The gel coat and paint came off down to the primer layer. Ok, the shield was off but not a thick layer of 3M adhesive. I called Diamond Inc and the manager was very helpful and wanted to know all about the shield--age, etc.. He said he had a subcontractor that traveled around country removing shield for $600. Well, knowing all, I blew this off and knew that I could do the job. I looked online for remedies and advice on the removal of the glue. The suggestions were for numerous solvents and removal products. One suggestion was Xylol. Got it. It's like a fuel NASA would use to power rockets. Tried it and I immediately knew this stuff was a little strong, especially after it almost dissolved my right headlight. Thanks to my favorite products, Meguiar's, its Headlight Restorer restored the lens to about 95% of its original design. The next product I tried was 3m's own remover--3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner. Didn't work. Then Denatured Alcohol. Didn't work. As with all these products the real problem was--especially in July/August--evaporation. But even in a colder environment, all evaporate pretty quickly. I used plastic one edge razor blades. Detailers use these and they work great without damaging paint. This is getting long so I'll cut to the chase. 1.) If you can't get plastic shield to look decent with the many--Meguiar's and other--plastic cleaning/shining products, PAY THE $600. 2.) Don't remove in warm climate. Wait until late Autumn, or Winter. 3.)Allocate hours to the project. 4.) The absolute best product to use with plastic blades is, plain old 87 Octane gasoline. It's still available--as of this writing--and it's a whole lot cheaper than all the recommended solvents mentioned. Use a terry cloth rag and soak an area about 6" x 6" with gasoline, rub--hold in place--over glue to soak, and then scrape and rub. It works really well. I cleaned and shined remaining shield, waxed area once covered with shield and front end looks new. It only took about 24 man hours. 30 minutes to remove shield and the remaining 23.5 hours to remove adhesive.

Don in NC
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Old 11-15-2011, 09:30 AM   #2
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Other than being difficult to remove, what is true for Diamond Shield apparently is not the case for 3m Vinly Shield ... I tried some stuff (think the name was Vinyl Off) on my 3m, but it didn't make much difference. I found mine easiest to remove on hot days when the sun was on the surface. I worked it over several months one summer, parked pointed West, working it in the hot afternoon hours when the film was most flexible. After clearing a small area I used GooGone on a paper towel to coax the glue off. I could not work it every day due to sore fingers & blisters on the working fingertips.
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