Installing Body Stripes

Help Support

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Haven’t seen any  thorough “How To” on putting the stripes on our cars so I figure I would do one while I did mine.  I hope this will help someone in the future.  They are not that hard to do.  Follow the directions that come with your stripes as far as what type of cleaner and application fluid to use.  I also don't have pictures of the Mach 1 decals since I haven't applied them yet.  Will update post later when I do.

The stripes kit I installed is for a 71 Mach 1.  I read the instructions that came with them and found a couple of online video that show putting  stripes on but can’t say I agreed with on how they were doing it – using Windex to clean the body?

To start get the needed tools and supplies together.  For the 3m stripes I used the following –

Dawn Ultra Dish Soap - VM&P Naphtha Cleaner - Squeegee - Painters Tape - Scissors - Paper Towels - Spray Bottle - Flexible Plastic Ruler - If Possible a Laser Line Level   - Milk container has mixed  Dawn soap and water.


I first got started by sorting out the stripes and their locations on the car and laid them out.  This will also give you the opportunity inspect each one.   Now you will need to clean the areas of the car where your stripes are going to go with the naphtha cleaner.  Test in small area to ensure it won’t hurt your finish.  Be sure to take you time and clean these areas thoroughly.  The stripes won’t adhere properly if these areas are not clean properly.   Follow your instruction on this.

Next is the aligning of the stripes.  This can take a little time and patience but is going to determined the finish look.  This is where a laser line level will come in handy if you have one.  If not, you will need to line sight for best fit.   The following link has dimensions for the stripe locations but leaves a lot to desire.  Would be nice if someone who has factory original could take a lot more dimensions with pictures and post them. 

Use the painter’s tape to hold the stripes in place.  Just tape them at the top.  Make adjustments as needed. I found that if you use the center of the door as a pivot point you will be able to adjust them a little easier.   I measured down 31mm from the body line at the center.  This was the difference between two of the measurements from the above link.  

Using the dimension provide in the above link and my laser level I attached the stripes to the car using the painters tape.  I had to make several adjustments to make them work.  Make sure that you have all the stripes aligned and where you want them because once you get started there is not adjusting them.  If you don’t have a laser you will need to line sight the best you can or use some other method for alignment.  

There will be excess paper on the end of the stripes.  Cut this off. It will make matching the ends of two stripes easier.  Also, cut the excess from around the wheel areas.  They will lay better.  Make sure that you center the door stripe to allow for wrap around on each end of the door.  This also applies to the stripes on each side of the doors.  Make sure you leave enough on the ends by the doors to wrap around the edges.  Once you have everything in place and are happy with their layout you are ready to start applying them.  

20200624_103051_resized (2).jpg

Aligning Stripes -Extra paper cut off by door and wheel well. 

Before applying a stripe add a few more pieces of painter’s tape along the top edge to make sure it well attached to the car.   Also make sure the surface is clean of any lint or anything that might get under the stripe.  Lifting the stripe up you will be able to peel the back of it off.   


Lifting up and removing backing paper.

 Once off spray the stripe and the car body with the application fluid.  Be generous and make sure everything is wet.  Rub the fluid on the stripe until it does not feel sticky.  Now lay the stripe back down on the car.  Make sure it is laying flat.   


Application fluid applied and getting ready to squeegee.

Using your squeegee start in the middle and work your way out to each end.  Once done, remove the painters tape and wet again with the application fluid and squeegee one more time.  Now you will remove the top  paper layer on the stripe.  Take your time and pull easy and make sure you don’t pull the stripe from the car.  On the short stripes I started at one end and worked to the other. On the door stripe I tore the paper in the middle and worked each one from the middle to the end. 


Removing outer paper from stripe on door.


Wrapping stripes around edges.

The outer ¼ inch stripes are the ones most likely to lift on you.  If they do gently push it back down and hold in place while you continue removing the paper.  Once the paper is removed take a paper towel and run over the stripe to dry it off and help make sure it is fully adhered to the car.  Now check for any air bubbles.  If you find any try to work them out before moving on to the next stripe.  Continue on doing the rest the same way on both sides of the body.


Completed stripe on passenger side.

The finish look for the stripe on the trunk is going to depend on how well the trunk and quarter panels extensions align.  In my case the trunk lid sits a little high on one side and a little low on the other.  I was able to get the stripes to look good but if you check the revel on the top and bottom of the trunk stripe you will see how it varies.  I also had to make a cut in the stripe at the bottom of the key hole to allow the stripe to bend.  The stripes on the extensions are a little tricky.  You need to make sure they are adhered all the way in the curve area.  Look from several angles to make sure there is no air bubbles.  The Mach 1 decals are pretty straight forward.  Just take your time.  You will need to clean the application fluid off the car when done.  Use warm water. 


Trunk stripe. Had to cut at the bottom of key hole to allow it to bend to meet booth ends of the extensions stripes.

Next is to put on the bottom pinstripes if they haven’t been applied yet.    This is pretty easy to do.  Cut several short pieces of pinstripe about an inch in length and bend one end back onto itself so you have a tab on one end.  This will allow you to remove them easily.  You will use these as spacers between the bottom black out and the placement of the pinstripe.  Make sure that you use enough of them to be able to run a straight line.  Just keep the bottom edge of the pinstripe in contact with the top edges of the pinstripe spacers.  

20200624_113804_resized (2).jpg

Using pieces of pinstripe as a spacers.  

Once done, sit back, break open a cold one and admire your work.

Last edited by a moderator:
Thanks... Yes that is how I did some stripes on my Ranger last year and it worked perfectly. This time around the technique was chosen for "exactness" of placement but didn't allow for smoothing or minor adjustments (until it was too late)... I will definitely take some of you pointers as well.

Latest posts