Project LBZ Part 6

Standing On Top Of The World: Wrapping Up Project LBZ

March 2016 Build, Duramax, Feature Trevor Mason

Wrapping Paper

To really get the truck to pop, to have that wow factor when it’s rolling down the road, we decided we needed to wrap it. When it comes to truck wraps, nobody makes a better one than ECD Customs out of Haileybury, Ontario. We spent a lot of time talking to Eric Gosselin to show him our vision for how we wanted the wrap to turn out. He in turn spent over 12 hours designing the wrap, turning our vision into a reality. All credit is due to Gosselin for making the process so easy. Part of what makes it so easy is that after he designs the wrap, he simply sends the file electronically to a shop that installs it, who then prints it onsite.

We could think of nobody better to do the installation than Sign Pro in Idaho Falls, Idaho. We caught up with them while they were in the midst of the process. We talked to Andrew Petersen, account executive at Sign Pro, and he told us all about it. The wrap itself is essentially just a giant sticker that comes in a bunch of different sections for easier application. But if you think that means it’s easy to put on, you got another thing coming. You know how hard it is to put a screen protector on your phone without getting air bubbles or dust trapped under it? It’s the same process writ large. Making things just a little bit harder was the actual design of the wrap. Petersen says, “This wrap was hard, because it hides bubbles really well. You can’t see them sometimes unless the light hits it just right.”

Hard doesn’t mean impossible, though. As we watched, careful not to get in their way, Petersen and Bailey Whitehead, one of Sign Pro’s shop techs, applied the wrap to one door over the course of about an hour. They first used strong magnets to hold two different pieces in place while they determined the best position for them. With a busy pattern like ours, you have to make sure everything’s going to line up once you’re done. They then started applying the wrap to the right front passenger door about halfway down and worked to the bottom. They stopped every few inches to make sure everything lay flat, without bubbles. Aiding the process was a bottle of Windex and some credit-card-sized disks that flattened the surface out as they passed over it. Additionally, Whitehead applied heat with a heat gun to get the wrap to stretch just a little to get coverage over tricky areas, like the channel that runs horizontally along the truck’s side.

To continue with my screen protector analogy above, I thought this would be nerve-wracking, because those things are kind of a “one and done” type thing. If you screw it up, you have to start from scratch with a new one. Not so with these wraps.

“It’s got kind of a honeycomb texture to it that lets it breathe as you put it on,” says Petersen. “You wouldn’t be able to apply it otherwise. It’s really forgiving and durable, so you can stretch and pull it while you’re putting it on.”

Indeed, at various points they pulled back several inches of the wrap because it wasn’t laying right and tried again. Andrew says that the wraps are specifically designed to not be super adhesive at first because it would make them impossible to put on. Once they’ve been applied and sit for a matter of days or weeks, that’s when the adhesive really bonds to the truck and locks in for the long haul. With the whole wrap in place, it’s even better than a new coat of paint. It’s such a signature, eye-grabbing look. The graphics that ECD and Gosselin chose look amazing.

“I had no idea that in seven months you could take a truck that was unimpressive in most people’s eyes, and turn it into something that at every intersection someone screams at me how badass it is,” says Larsen. “So much of that is thanks to the wrap.”

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