A Tutorial to Herbie Graphic Installation.
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to consider before you begin
Vinyl graphics are very thin once off their backing and can be stretched out of shape very easily, resulting in lumps, bubbles, and creases. It may be worthwhile to have a sign shop install them for you. However, if you're patient and good with your hands, it's possible to get perfectly good results yourself if you take the time to prepare the surfaces carefully, and avoid contamination by doing the install indoors or on a calm day.
Please pay special attention to the PLACEMENT MEASUREMENT INSTRUCTIONS and take note that there are 3 standard 53 "gumballs" and one slightly larger one to be used on the hood. Graphics purchased from www.LoveBugFans.com will not be replaced due to improper installation. Important measurements are highlighted in black. Please read carefully. MANY Herbies are botched in this final, all important stage, especially the hood gumball. It's often placed far too high on the hood.
Start with a Love Bug graphics kit available from Dr. Herbie at www.LoveBugFans.com.
Kit includes four 53 "gumballs", racing stripe, application squeegee, and full placement instructions.
Cut gumballs out very carefully. Avoid cutting into the black circle.
Remove chrome strip from hood and draw marks where graphics are to be applied with a water soluble pencil.
Door gumballs are centered horizontally between front and rear door openings; vertically between running board and chrome door trim.
Take notice: These measurement are often botched.
Clean off any wax or dirt from body of car where graphics will be installed using wax and grease remover.
Tape door graphic in place horizontally with a strip of masking tape.
Peel top half of backing paper away from back of graphic and cut off backer.
Spray on liquid and squeegee top half down flat, pushing out the air bubbles and liquid.
We're using a special liquid called Graphic Tack (or try Rapidtac), but Windex or soapy water will also work.
After the top half is flat, repeat process on bottom half.
Spray and squeegee, working from top to bottom. This method assures the gumball stays straight.
Process is repeated on right door.
Bottom half of gumball is finished after top half.
Repeat process on rear. Start by taping gumball in place. Tilt of gumball shown is accurate for "The Love Bug" movie (Upright section of the "5" is parallel to the "spine" above the license plate light ). Reference your favorite Herbie movie for the ever-changing rear gumball placements!
If using a small license plate light, center the gumball with about 3/4 to one inch gap at the top, right side, and by the license plate light housing. If using a later style, larger license plate light, remove it first. In general, if your gumball is at the edge of the decklid, it's misplaced.
Later decklid with vents? Delete the rear gumball, or apply as directed and carefully cut a slit down the center of each vent and press decal in. be sure vents are clean.
Liquid and air bubbles are squeegeed from center outwards.
Line is drawn on front hood for inner line of stripe, which is about 1 3/4 inches from center hood ridge when measured from center of hood, or about 1/4 inch from the edge of the VW emblem.
Stripe is measured, cut, and applied to hood with liquid. Red portion goes on the inside, blue towards the outside!
Stripe is applied from windshield downwards.
Stripe is lifted off and reapplied until it lines up straight, and then liquid and air bubbles are squeegeed out,
starting from center of hood and working upwards and downwards.
Stripe is carefully applied to top of hood and cowl. Edge of red stripe stops 1/4 inch from VW emblem.
Cut stripe at lid opening and fold over edges. Cut stripe at edge of window rubber and tuck under rubber.
Stripe is squeegeed to get a flat fit over hood ridges.
Line is cut for stripe to be removed behind front hood gumball. Black ring of gumball should overlap edge of stripe.
Use just enough pressure to cut through the stripe and not the paint! Bottom of hood gumball should start 6 to 7 inches from the top of the hood handle.
This is the measurement most often done incorrectly. (Gumball orientation is to the front of the car, not the center of the hood or top of the hood. Trust us - this is correct.)
The hood gumball is slightly larger and is designed to be placed centrally. Be sure you use the correct piece. The 5 is physically wider than the 3, so be sure to keep this in mind when cutting the gumball and placing it. You'll be tempted to place the gumball slightly off center to get the center line exactly between the 5 and 3: Don't!
Clean off area prior to installing hood gumball.
Gumball is cut in half vertically, and each half is applied separately starting with the left (stripe) side.
The halves are applied in the same manner as the doors. Tape down horizontally, apply top half, then bottom half.
Apply the right half of the gumball after the left half. The dividing line will be covered by the central chrome strip.
Apply roof and decklid stripe. Cut stripe at edge of window, lift window rubber, and tuck under.
Cut down center of louvers with Exacto knife and press over edges. Edge of red stripe aligns with license light on this '63 model.
License light must be removed to install deck stripe on '64 and later models. Bottom of stripe is worked to conform to lid.
Measure and cut pieces of graphic to fit front and rear aprons, under hood, and around exhaust cutouts.
Heat is applied to help soften and stretch graphic over body indentations. Use a hairdryer.
A sharp Exacto blade is also used to pop and flatten stubborn water bubbles (use sparingly).
Small bubbles in graphics will eventually dry out and flatten on their own.
Loosely reattach chrome hood strip and install the graphic hood molding camouflage strip included in the kit. Be careful to get it straight.
Edge of camouflage strip is pressed under edge of hood molding with fingernails.
28 - The Finished Herbie
Finished car looks great. Electrical tape can be applied to headlights for added effect at car shows.