Discussion in 'Paint and Body' started by david85, Jan 11, 2015.
Coming together nicely. It’s a pretty truck.
Pin-striping time! (Long read)
So it turns out that trying to find the OEM style pin-striping for 1986 is all but impossible. Even finding a nice multi-color solid bar is very hard these days. Most are a twin stripe with a gap in the middle. That wouldn't work for me, because these paint lines are kinda all over the place. That's what happens when the parts were painted in separate batches while off the truck.
I managed to identify a Prostripe product (claimed made in USA) a while back but finding a vendor that had it in stock was a problem. It isn't a perfect match to the original, but its really close. Main difference is the original ford stripe is 1" wide, while this one is 3/4". Still plenty wide to cover the paint line irregularities on the truck. Color and style is a good match though, and the silver even has metal flake in it just like OEM. Nice.
I ended up sourcing it from an outfit in Texas, I believe. Then someone phoned me shortly after placing my online order to let me know they didn't have the particular one I wanted at their main location. They could still get it from another location, but it would be delayed but up to a week. I said no problem since I wasn't in a hurry (really happy with the service). Even with the shipping delays, it sat on my shelf for a couple months before I could get to it.
First problem was getting the truck symmetrical from side to side. For that, I used a laser level to get two reference points a the rear corners of the truck. Once I was happy with the positioning, I marked it with two small pieces of masking tape.
Next problem was figuring out how to get the line straight on a truck that's nearly 20' long and has plenty of separate panels to bridge across. Most examples I saw online do it in one stripe on the whole side and then the body gaps with a razor blade. I didn't like this because it limits the amount of wrap-around at the end of each section. I wanted to wrap well inside the door frame and at least 1" in at the cab-to-box gap.
My solution was to lay masking tape to the upper edge of where I thought the pin-striping should be. This also allowed me to triple check alignment, since there are no second chances with the real thing. I spent a good hour just getting the guide tape where I wanted it, but the time was well worth it.
Then there was another a problem.
The front half of the truck ended up getting the white redone, due to a mismatch in color to the box. That's the risk I took when painting parts individually, and white is not forgiving in that regard. Not a big deal, but since there was no longer a common clear-coat, it resulted in a significant ridge between the new white, and old red. Any sharp line would show through the pinstripe, so it had to be sanded down. To do this I masked narrower than the footprint of the pinstripe and sanded with 600 grit. Here we see it after sanding was finished. Gap in the tape is only about 3/8" wide, so the pinstripe will cover it.
Once that was done, I removed the extra masking tape and was left with only the upper line I laid down at the beginning. One last check to make sure I was happy with my guide tape, and it was time to cut a length for the first section.
Couple things I realized while doing this.
Using a guide tape is a big help in starting the pinstripe properly straight to the vehicle. Although it can stretch slightly, it didn't really want to turn out straight. Best to peel it back, and reapply. Thankfully, you can peel it back fairly easy if its still fresh and was only gently pressed down.
Also, do yourself a favor and start peeling a small section of the clear protective plastic BEFORE laying the end of the stripe down. It can be picked off with a razor blade later, but its much harder to do without damaging the stripes underneath. With one end started, it was pretty easy to follow a hairline gap between the pinstripe and my guide tape. And since I could now have excess on each end, I had plenty of wrap around to make sure the ends of the pinstripe were well protected.
Here's what I meant by a proper wrap around. The end not only lines up with the edge of the white paint, but it also plants right to an inside corner, so nothing can snag or damage the end of the pinstripe.
Guide tape removed:
Bugs get pretty pliable at 80 MPH, and these front corners of the body always take a beating. The OEM tape only wrapped around the first outside corner, but I took mine to the far side of the inside corner. Well behind the black plastic shield.
And here's the end result:
I tried to get started on the passenger side today, but I got bogged down on getting the guide tape lined up right. I think it's good now, but I decided to walk away and have a fresh look tomorrow just in case I messed something up.
Man that looks great! Do you remember who had the pin striping?
Thanks, it turned out better than I expected considering I have no prior experience with pin-striping.
I think these were the guys I ordered from:
Though looking at the contact details, I may have been wrong about Texas. Looks like their HQ is in TN.
The Email listed on their contact page is the same as the one used to contact me after my order was updated. But that was after receiving a phone call to double check with me. Again, really impressed.
EDIT: I was wrong about the width too. It's 5/8", not 3/4"
New rear window trim. I accidentally ordered trim for a 73-79 ford pickup but it didn't seem to matter.
The only minor snag was the new one had a thicker vinyl cap than OEM. It still fit the rubber glazing just fine, but the stainless steel cap wouldn't fit until I bent it a little.
The roll itself was also a good 8" longer than needed, so they don't short change either. Turned out nice.
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