Removing old 3m reflective tape and getting rid of the goop/adhesive that remains

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I'm steadily removing the old 3m reflective tape left over on my 80 from it's early life. I got the sections off under the side cargo windows at the back using a heat gun (type used for heatstrink on cables, etc.) and a plastic body trim tool. Is there an easier way? I have to re-paint anyway at some stage so a little bit of damage to the surface is ok but trying to remove the stuff as cleanly as possible.

Ta if you have some tips.
 
Joined
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Toronto, NSW, Australia
No personal experience but I have seen these recommended many times:

Amazon product

Yes ye olde 'caramel wheel' - they're good for removing what remains of the adhesive but don't work to remove the tape itself. 3m does make a solvent but getting that here in Oz - good luck.
 
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Righto I've successfully removed the old 3m reflective tape from both of the front outer fender panels using my heat gun set to 300 C and a wide body trim tool. Took about ah hr all up. It's left behind an amount of the glue plus on one side a little paint damage. Don't have a caramel wheel but might go grab one and give that a crack.

My spare tin of POR solvent did nothing to the 3m tape glue remains. 3m's website says 'Recommended solvents, such as isopropyl alcohol, 3M Citrus Cleaner, brake cleaning fluid, or paint remover (on non-painted, bare metals).' I don't have any of these products except brake cleaner so will try that as I've quite a few aerosols.

I took some other bits off about 5 yrs ago (under rear cargo windows) but don't recall how I cleaned it up. I'll see how brake cleaner goes. .... it sort of works but not.
 
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Hmm got some isopropyl alcohol and it had very little effect with removing the remaining adhesive left behind. I wonder if the only really effective removal method will be using a sharp Stanley knife blade or similar run along the panel contour so as to damage the existing paint layer underneath as little as possible...

Tape has been on the vehicle 12 years. Here are some pics to show the after-effect of removal (with various forms of surface damage).

RHF

LHF

LH barn door Evil remnants from removal of 3M reflective tape plus damage to paint it was hiding - https://www.flickr.com/photos/bondagoo/52307257811/

You can see the remains of the adhesive that is left from heat-gunning to remove the bulk in small sections at a time. I haven't taken the tape off either of the front doors yet which gives you a comparison between the remnants and the state of tape before removal.
 
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Righto - went to my local hardware store (short walk) and found that it stocks 'Goof Off' graffiti remover and regular acetone in the paint dept.

The Goof Off works quite well. Gotta shake the can for a few minutes than just gently spray or wipe with a cloth onto the affected area and after a minute or two the remaining 3M tape goop/adhesive almost all comes off.

I'm using straight acetone with a second cloth to clean up afterwards (and get any small remaining bit of the goop away).



Sadly however I found a very big rust hole at the bottom front of the outer left fender panel, and the right one isn't pretty either, so I was going to give the damaged paint in a few spots a quick squirt but now must just try to get replacement panels instead.

I'm pleased with the result of the product combo for getting rid of the annoying 3M tape goop/adhesive remnants though the paint surface damage it's caused (or hidden) isn't so pleasing. There's rust, paint peel off the factory undercoat (or even the base metal), and scratches, etc..
 
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So I got inspired and removed the remaining section of tape off the two front doors so now it's all gone. This is the drivers side (RHF being in Aussie land) one before any cleaning up is done. The LHF door looks basically the same.

 

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