Raised White Letters - RWLs

Discussion in 'T&AA - Travel and Anything Automotive' started by JD666, Aug 16, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    For that classic look on modern cars, Raised White Letters or RWLs are a neat addition. I was eyeing this ever since I got the Challenger. Getting them was a bit of a hassle with the dealer in ME going thru changes, but I finally got my hands on them.

    I ordered the set for my GoodYear Eagle tires on the Dodge.

    First up I had to get a tracing of the existing lettering from the tire, so as to be able to determine positioning for these.

    The existing lettering was only 0.5 inches in height. I ordered these to be 0.75 inches.

    IMG_7373.JPG

    I initially had planned for using butter paper, however the tire surface was so strong/deep that the paper just shred itself in a few swipes with the pencil.

    I then stuck 2 A4 sheets together and got the above trace. You can see the letters (made of dual layer PVC at the bottom.

    IMG_7374.JPG

    Got the "GOOD"


    IMG_7375.jpg

    "YEAR" turned out not too bad either.

    The issue was with the flying boot, which was at the center of the page.

    IMG_7376.jpg

    'EAGLE"

    IMG_7377.jpg

    RS-A

    Now, let's have a look at the letters -

    IMG_20150728_031913.jpg

    The letters are made by a company called Tred Wear. They can make any size/type/design of letters, provided you can provide them with a design. In fact they even offer to make a design on the basis of a etching of what you want.

    People go for all size of letters, but since this was my first attempt, I wanted to keep them reasonably sized.

    IMG_20150728_031926.jpg

    They come with instructions, glue (proprietary) a small piece of sand paper (for surface preparation).

    IMG_20150728_032630.jpg

    The letter is made of dual layer PVC, black on the back, and white on the front. It appears slightly yellow, since there is a protective layer on the white portion. This comes off in a few days of running.

    IMG_20150728_032554.jpg

    The rear has a serrated surface that offers sufficient grip for the glue to hold onto. This reminded me more of belts, than anything else.

    IMG_20150728_032617.jpg

    The letters are not too thick. Perhaps 2.5 mm at the most.

    IMG_7378.jpg

    Starting from the center, I had to increase the current arc by 50% to account for the increased size of the letters (0.5 inch to 0.75 inches).

    This was done by spacing the letters out on the same curve, but with more gap in between.

    IMG_7381.jpg

    For instance, the original GOOD and YEAR were between the OOD and the YEA of the above layout.

    IMG_7382.jpg

    After this was done, I got clear sticker sheet (above) and placed it over the letters. This confirmed the position of the letters, and their spacing for the remaining 3 tires.

    IMG_7384.jpg

    Once completed, this is how they looked. Same was done for EAGLE and RS-A. This was a lot of back breaking stuff, and a reminder to order smaller, single piece words in the future :D

    Sticking them on the tire.

    This was harder than it sounded. First up, I washed the tires with water. Then used a cleaning solution to clean the surface.

    I had some sand paper lying at home, so scuffed down the tire surface. The idea is to remove the smooth outer layer, and reveal the inner tire rubber. This will ensure proper adhesion.

    Also if you have any kid of tire polish/shine on, it would be best to remove it first, and then do this. You can apply the shine/polish again once this is done.

    After scuffing down, I used their glue (which is like a thicker version of super glue). Managed to get quite a bit all over my fingers, but ensure the surface remained clean.

    And this is how it looks -

    IMG_7389.jpg

    IMG_7391.jpg

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    All in all, it is quite tiresome and troublesome to be honest. Unless you have bigger letters and a well prepared surface. But the look/appearance is totally worth it. I have probably seen one other car that runs white letters.

    And why is this better than paint or sticker? Well paint cracks/fades/washes off.

    Sticker also does the same.

    This should last the life of the tire. Though not re-usable, they can withstand any amount of washing/spray once the letters are settled in completely.

    Feel free to ask any questions about the installation!
     

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  2. MOZ

    MOZ RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I'm interested in knowing how long these actually last on the tyres.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2015
  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    People have reported 2-3 years with no issues. The only trouble that comes is if you get kerb rash or when you rub your tires against the sidewalk.

    Mine might not last as long, since my surface preparation was not the best. Some people use motorized palm sanders to completely remove the side wall design/lettering, until bare rubber is left. That would be the ultimate surface prep.

    I didn't want to risk it, since that would involve removing the tires, and possibility of touching the rim with the sander.
     
  4. BANHAMMER

    BANHAMMER Teh Almighty BanHammer Staff Member

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    you are kinda interesting.
     

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