Carbon Overlaid Interior Trim with DecalWerks Carbo-Noc (3M Di-Noc)

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When going out to buy this project car, I really wanted the carbon leather dash trim.   It looks awesome, with its matte carbon look.

Unfortunately, this car didn’t have it, but I knew I could wrap the trim myself for the same look.  I also knew that by using this trim, I could  match the trim on other interior components and it will all look consistent.

I wrapped the trim using a new product from bimmian.com by DecalWerks called Carbo-Noc.  It is nearly identical in every way to the 3M Di-Noc Carbon film that is so popular, except that the Carbo-Noc is available in 5 foot widths instead of just 4 feet with the 3M Di-Noc product.  This makes it ideal for wrapping hoods or roofs where 4 feet of width just isn’t enough.  This product comes in sheets cut to your speicifications before shipping. It is an easy to apply, easy to stretch material that you can use to wrap just about any item.

The material is also thick so it is highly stretchable with heat.  It will also melt just a bit with the right amount of heat so that it can form itself to the shape of the surface you are wrapping.

With some time and patience, even novices can use this forgiving material to wrap just about anything.  When installing, remember that we only need to make sure that the parts we see look perfect, the edges are often covered by the dash after re-installation so this makes the installation even easier.

Check the product out and get more information at http://www.bimmian.com/CFF

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A few “before” pictures.  I think this trim looks really out of place in this interior given that the center console is black.

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We start with a (gravity defying?) screwdriver, carefully putting it under the trim, and prying outwards to release the trim pins from the clips behind the dash.

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Once the trim is released, this piece is unique in that we have to unplug the wiring from the start/stop button….

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And the 4 way flasher/door locks near the central vent.

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We do the same for the outside dash trim….

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And for the doors.

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Once we have this piece started, we can use our fingers to pull it off the rest of the way.

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And the rears….

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We must take the vents off the trim which is done using a wrench or socket set.

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Then unclip the clips which further secure the vents to the trim.  These run along the top and bottom.

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And pinch the sides and push forward to remove the start/stop button.

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We have our material laid out, ready to wrap our dash trim.

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Pieces ready for wrapping.

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Begin by cutting out a piece of DecalWerks Carbo-Noc so that it is about one inch larger on all sides than the trim piece itself.  Note that on the ends, where the piece bends and the silver surface wraps around the side, we must leave extra material to cover that.

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Peel the backing off the film, and line up the piece so it is centered, and lightly set the piece onto the material.

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Flip the piece over and if there are no major wrinkles, press your finger lengthwise along the middle of the material so the center part sticks, then use your fingers to press outwards towards the top and bottom from this point so that the material is stuck across the entire surface.  We are trying to get all the air bubbles out at this time.  If you find you cannot get all the air bubbles or wrinkles out, peel the material back off and try again.  The material can be removed and reapplied many times due to is special adhesives.

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Flip the piece over and fold the material around the edges on the top and bottom sides so that it covers part of the back side.  We will leave this on the piece as much as possible as it helps the piece to hold.

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Slice the material around any protruding plastic bits that don’t let the material sit flat on the trim.

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Trim away any material that is blocking any holes or clips that will be required for re-installation (vent clip holes shown here).

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Trim away any excess material that would cover the back side of any holes in the trim.

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Now for the corners….. when applying a 2d (material) surface over a 3d (trim) surface, we get problems whenever there are corners.   The material wants to bunch up on the corners.  This is simple to work through with the following directions and patience.

First, as best as you can, fold the material around the bent edge so that the majority of this face is covered.  The corners will get really bunched up at this point.

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Cut the material so that you can finish folding down the top/bottom edges of the material.  This cut will be at the place where it bunches up the most, and it will leave flaps of material hanging over the top and bottom of the bent piece of trim. (see next pic for visual)

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After trimming.

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Cut out a triangle(ish) piece of material from the corner.  Cut the material so that you leave enough such that you can fold over the remaining material to both cover the silver surface on the front side, as well have enough material left over so it can adhere to the back side.

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Another example from another piece of trim.    Once this is done, fold the material over, and trim around any obstructions as noted above.

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Sometimes its impossible to get rid of wrinkles no matter how many times you try to remove and reapply the material. This happens especially when the material is either convex or concave.  The more convex/concave it is, the worse the wrinkles will be.

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In this case use a heat gun (or hairdryer) to slighlty melt the material and then press the air pocket or crease out with your finger.  I recommend experimenting with a scrap piece of material so you can understand how much heat the material takes to melt, and what it will do when it does melt.    This material can sustain high heat, and I have never melted it, however, heat it too much and it becomes uselessly flimsy, or can sometimes stretch the carbon pattern.

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Once we have the ends wrapped, we need to cut holes in the material for the vents and start/stop button.

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Start by cutting an “X” pattern from corner to corner in the material.  Dont cut all the way into the corners, leave about 1/3 of an inch from the corner.

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Use the heat gun to melt the material left uncut in the corners a little bit and then use your finger to push it tightly into the corners.

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While the material is still warm + flexible, wrap it around to the back of the trim and adhere it to the back side.  Reheat as necessary.

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Trim as we did before so that it doesn’t interfere with clip holes or bunch up too much.  One other thing that I recommend but is not shown, is to use the heat gun to significantly warm all the material along the back side and edges of the trim.  This will cause all the tension in the material to release, then when the material cools, it will form to the shape of the object for a better fit.  This takes the stress of the adhesive as well for a better bond.

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Repeat for the other vents and start/stop button.

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Reinstall the vents.

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Here is another example of how I cut the corners (in this case since there isnt such a dramatic bend in the trim piece, I was able to cut out the corners (the parts that would bunch up) before even wrapping the material around the back of the part.

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Another view of the material trimming.

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After wrapping around edges is complete.

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Repeat this process until all the pieces in your set are done.    What in improvement!

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The door after installation (for better pics of installed parts see http://www.bimmian.com/CFF)

 

 

Now…. before you look any further…..

 

 

Since we are always looking for new and unique ways to modify vehicles, I thought I would play around with some red vinyl as well.  I stuck some vinyl along the bottom of the dash trim pieces (in such a way that it can be really easily removed) sort of like what they are doing in the F30 3 series, coming out soon.

 

What do you think?   Post your comments!!! Keep it?  Remove it?

 

 

 

 

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