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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The plan: Vinyl wrap a beautiful light blue 06 VW Beetle Convertible pink for my daughter.
Reason: She is graduating from college on May 16! Also, It gives me a reason to really get to know this car and the vinyl is easily removable in the future if she decides she would rather drive a light blue car. This is going to be a surprise gift so this is a secret from her.
My daughter has always loved Beetles and her aunt (my sister) drove a 1999 New Beetle. She used to have the pink Barbie Beetle toy. Unfortunately, my sister's Beetle seemed to have a lot of issues. When it came time for my daughter to get her first car, my wife wanted a larger car to keep her safe and she bought her a 2001 Buick Lesabre which has been a wonderful car for a high school girl and now a college attending woman. As she is now finishing college, she has started to discuss saving money to buy a Beetle or a Cooper Mini. I started to look around a few months ago for a good deal on a VW beetle and suddenly an automatic 2006 Beetle Convertible with 14500 miles showed up for sale at a local dealer. I took my sister to look at it and help me test drive it and bought it after the test drive. The car had just been traded in and I was the first person to look at it after it came back from detailing.
I have worked on mostly older cars with my sons including a 66 Mustang coupe and a 73 Dodge Charger and have done some painting but decided I really did not want to repaint an essentially new car. I looked into Plastidipping the car but decided that Vinyl wrapping would look better for a color change. I have never vinyl wrapped a car before and figured that there was going to be a steep learning curve. I read various how to articles on the internet and ordered my vinyl. I figure that it will be easier to do the project if the car is partially disassembled.
I initially washed and rinsed the car (a rare nice spring in Minnesota allowed me to actually do this in March!) then took a clay bar to the finish. After cleaning the recently detailed car, I called a pointless dent repair specialist for the few small dents that I had run across. He easily pulled out the dents and found a few more that I had missed using his powerful LED light. Total expense was about $175.
I contacted my daughter's boyfriend to get him in on the surprise and he assisted me in initial disassembly of the vehicle. I was able to figure out how to remove the front fenders and bumper from several excellent tutorials on this site.
Here are some photos of the initial car, debadging, dent repair, removal of the fenders and front bumper. I plan on updating this log of the project so that my daughter can read it after the project is done and she has been given her car.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
First try at vinyl wrapping

So I needed some early victories for vinyl wrapping and decided to start on the small accessories on the dash. I cut small pieces of vinyl and started out just applying the vinyl and then started using my heat gun to help stretch it over the sides of the pieces. It turned out beautifully and to be honest, after reading on this site regarding the coating of these pieces that everyone is sanding off, it may be easier to just vinyl wrap. My wife got into the excitement and suggested we try vinyl wrapping one of the fenders that was off. I quickly determined that this was going to be very challenging. The vinyl was sticking over everything, dust from the floor and the fender stand got onto the adhesive and we tried unsticking the vinyl and using the heat gun but after about an hour of struggling with the detached fender the final product looked horrible. Clearly I was not going to be able to vinyl wrap each fender off of the car. This was the end of my first day of trying to vinyl wrap. I decided to attack an attached panel the next day.
 

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Wife's 01 1.8T mechanic
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Nice work on the interior pieces.

How about doing the exterior two tone? Leave the fenders blue, and do the doors/quarters/hood/trunk in the pink? Would look great.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Success at last!!

The next day, I decided to start on the front A pillar and also the door panel top. It turns out that applying the vinyl to a smaller straight surface is much easier than a detached bubble fender, who knew? Next up was the trunk lid. I removed the brake light but I initially thought that I would be able to cut around the VW logo. After doing the vinyl, I tried cutting around the logo and ended up with blue showing through so I had to pull the vinyl off and try it again after removing the logo. The final product was beautiful. Next up, the door but this required figuring out how to remove the door handle and the top stainless belt trim so the door was stripped down and the window removed.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I did take the panel off and wrapped from the flatter front portion towards the window side using my heat gun. I originally pulled the vinyl over the sides but it puckered so I ended up putting patches on both ends. The fronts look great, the rears don't look quite as good. My daughter loves the car though and I am planning on painting the panels in the future.
 

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Do you have a picture of the final product? And I just want to say you are an awesome dad! I would love it if my dad did this for me. I'm thinking about taking on this project as well. Want to help?! Haha just kidding ;)
 
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