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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
147's have a black crackle finish on the B-pillar that often looks shabby after a few years. Mine was OK on the nearside, but a right old mess on the driver's side - some of the finish had actually gone. Replacing or refinishing them wasn't going to be cheap, but I recently found some textured black vinyl wrap on eBay. This turned out to very closely resemble the OE finish, and no dismantling was necessary to fit it. The only thing is that it appears to contain tiny glass beads that sparkle rather dramatically in direct sunlight, which is a bit Liberace (see middle photo), but in overcast or shade it's pretty much identical to AR's OE finish (the other 2 pics).

Best of all it's a 10-minute job that requires no dismantling, and vastly improves on the shabby rusting mess I had before. It may only last a couple of years, but easy enough to peel off and replace it.

The vinyl I bought was http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Textured-Matte-Black-Vinyl-Wrap-Cars-Adhesive-Decal-Film-Bubble-Free-All-Sizes/141931413791

(it's not actually matte, more satin black - not sure how well that shows in the photos)

You'll also need
  • Some isopropanol or cellulose thinners
  • If your pillar cover is rusty, perhaps some Scotchpad or fine wet and dry paper
  • A scalpel, razorblade or Stanley knife (new, sharp blade)
  • A couple of plastic scrapers or other tools for lifting the trim. I have a plastic chisel and an ice scraper blade, but even credit cards would do.
  • Some lint free cloth
  • On a cold day, a heat gun or hairdrier. Hot, 30C like today, not needed.
It's easier to do it than to write it. On a cold day you'll probably need a heat gun or hairdryer to keep the vinyl pliable and its self-adhesive sticky.

  1. If there is surface rust or loose OE crackle, sand it smooth. Otherwise I left the old crackle finish as it's a good key.
  2. Open the window. This allows enough movement of the window channel trim to get the vinyl wrapped underneath.
  3. Clean down the old crackle finish with the isopropanol. Lift the window trim using a plastic scraper, and use cloth+isopropanol on another plastic blade or credit card, to clean the return of the B-pillar cover, ie behind the trim
  4. Cut an oversize piece of vinyl, remove the backing and stick it onto the B-pillar cover, ensuring no bubbles, so there is overlap all the way round.
  5. I cut the top first as a simple butt joint to the trim, but wonder now if I could have lifted the trim and got a couple of mm of vinyl underneath - which would be better
  6. Cut the bottom so it'll go a few mm under the rubber trim, and poke the vinyl in there with your plastic blade
  7. Trim the window-side edge enough to wrap round the edge and go under the channel rubber. Then lever the rubber to give a few mm space, and use a credit card or scraper to push the vinyl into the gap and press it against the return of the cover. This is easier to do than expected. Once you've done that, raise the window, which will press the trim against the vinyl and help it stick.
  8. The door edge side is even easier. Wrap the vinyl round and cut to the edge of the flange.
  9. Feel amazed how easy that was and how much better it looks, for 10mins work and almost no money.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
BTW this vinyl wrap is not as pliable as some. It's fine on a flattish area like the B-pillar cover, but anyone wanting to wrap a door mirror housing should probably look somewhere else. I used some of the same stuff on some motorcycle hand guards (the OE pretend carbon-fibre print was worn off), and despite 4 attempts wrangling with a heat gun, they aren't quite perfect. I suspect proper 3M would have worked much better.

If only someone made rubber wrap for interior door handles...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes, I've thought about Plasticote, and Halfords do a latex film aerosol, but using anything will lose the legends. So I'm just leaving them until I can't stand the peeling mess anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's a nice job. Now I am ashamed :)

How on earth did you persuade the leather to stretch and stick?
 

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experimented a bit, leather is quite cheap in those amounts.
Took a bit of experimenting to cut to right shape. Removed the handles, then covered handgrip with special leather glue and just applied, with the seam at the back of the handle. Leather is also quite easy to stretch, more a matter of being carefull not to stretch to much ;)
Even though they are not meant to be removed, you can remove the handles .....
 

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