I received this order and everything was in excellent condition, exactly what I ordered, packaging was good and shipping/notifications from you folks were all great. The pictures on the website were accurate to the product and once I finally got everything installed, it looks great and I think it’s a good sturdy product that’s going to stand up for quite some time. Here’s my issue, it’s the second batch of front door sill protectors that I had to order. There wasn’t anything wrong with the first set, they were in NO way defective nor were they sub-standard quality.
I read the instruction sheets that came in the packaging and watched a few YouTube install videos to make sure I had a good feel for what was going on. I knew I had one shot to get these right and wanted to be prepared because I didn’t want to screw them up. I started the install with the rear door sills Since they were considerably smaller and fewer people would see them, I figured that if I screwed them up a little it wouldn’t bug me too much. The rears went fairly straight forward and they looked good. Not perfect but I’m detail oriented and no one but me would ever notice that they were off just a little tiny bit. I started the first front sill and that’s where the install went to pot. I tried to be super careful but it came out terribly uneven. It was so bad that by the time I got all the bubbles smoothed out the lettering was stretched and distorted. I had no choice but to rip it back off. I know this is 100% operator error and has nothing to do with the quality of your product. I begrudgingly ordered a second set of front sills and waited. This time I was determined to get the install right so I started thinking about what I could have done differently.
Here’s the thing, if the instructions that came in the package included a few more details and/or the website had a direct link to an installation video link it might prevent future customers for having to double order a product because they screwed up the install. Here’s how I made sure the second install went more smoothly than the first.
I did a little research through the tech stuff on the 3M website you’ll find that 3M has a process for a wet application process for double sided adhesive tapes. Check it out yourself.
I know this Tech Bulletin is outdated from 2012 and the 486MP/200MP adhesive you use for printing these skins isn’t called out directly but I’m SURE your company buys enough 3M products that one of their product solution engineers would be more than happy to help with updated information.
Here are some additional points that I learned with my second set of Tufskinz and would suggest be incorporated into an improved install video or inside the package instructions:
- Make a spray bottle of soap water, 3M calls it surfactant, with 3 drops dish soap per liter of cool water
- Before you start peeling the paper backing off to expose the adhesive THROUGHLY wet your fingers with the soap solution. This keeps the dirt/skin from your fingers from clogging the adhesive creating spots for a weaker bond
- Begin peeling the first 3/4” of the paper backing ON A FLAT SURFACE. This makes it easier to evenly remove the backing in a straight line which helps prevent things from getting crooked during install.
- Put a crease in the paper backing with your finger-nail where you’ve stopped peeling. The paper backing has a serious curl to it once it’s off the adhesive and this gets in the way of making sure you can line things up correctly.
- Spray just A FEW DROPS of the soap solution onto the door-sill edge that you’re staring with top or bottom. This will allow you just enough slip to make a small adjustment without having to pull the sticker back off and risk stretching it (which is what happened to me the first time.
- When you’re satisfied that your lineup is as straight as you’d like you continue the application following the rest of the directions working from the center out a little at a time.
I’d be willing to bet that if I had access to this additional info I wouldn’t have needed to order a second set of front sills. If I had to guess, and you look back into your sales records, I’m not the only customer who has a second order for the exact same product within a week or two of the first order. I get that there’s no way to know if the re-order is install related but they can’t all be super satisfied customers that just HAD TO HAVE another set.