Removing 30+ Year Old Vinyle Stickers
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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Boone NC USA

    Removing 30+ Year Old Vinyl Stickers

    Is there a way to remove the old vinyl trim on the gas tank without damaging the paint? I know a hair dryer will work on fairly new ones but the old ones seem like they are on there to stay.
    Last edited by graywolf; 09-03-2013 at 07:54 AM.
    2013- '80 CX500 Deluxe with Standard seat and tank. (Rat Runabout)
    1984-1989 '81 CX500C, mod'ed to sport tourer


  2. #2
    Senior Member abecedarian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Elsinore / Temecula Valley, California
    Don't know if this will work for you but I've had decent results using WD-40. Spray the decal and let it set for a day, then spray some more as you're removing the decal, and let it set a bit before continuing.
    1982 CX500TC- JH2PC0300CM000120
    You can lead the horticulture but you can't make her think.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Bend, Oregon
    The best way I've found is a heat gun. Won't work if they're painted over with clear coat though.
    Q (Quantum Mechanic)

    81 GL500I

    07 Lifan 200 Dual Sport

    68 Honda Trail 90/140

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  5. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Lexington NC
    pm larry and ask him

    i think he told me he did it on one of the tanks he used in a restore

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Bluedirtrider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Tierra Azul, NM
    Try a citrus powered sticker remover and patience...

    I use Goo Gone
    1983 Honda Silverwing GL650I

    Past rides too numerous to list Mostly Hondas


  7. #6
    Senior Member stern-69's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    You will have to "play" with it a bit. WD-40 works great on "some" decals, but does nothing on others. Heat gun works almost all of the time, but you have to be careful. Test a corner and see if the heat makes the adhesive "sticky". If not then heat may not work either, if it does get sticky then its a take you time and peel process. If it has clear coat over it you will have to make sure the clear coat is "broken" all around the perimeter for WD-40 to get under it. Unfortunatly, some labels you will either have to "pick" off, or if your lucky you may find a solvent the wont attack the paint but will attack the label material. you have to be very careful with this.
    1982 CX500C
    1979 GL1000

    For detailed service and repair info, see the CX WIKI Pages
    Rebuilding a carb, do it right with Larry's Carb Book

    Some people are like answering machines..... they ask but are incapable of listening

  8. #7
    OCR is offline
    Senior Member OCR's Avatar
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    Sep 2010
    Groton NY
    I have had good luck removing old stickers from sled hoods by soaking a rag in your solvent of choice and just lay it on there for a day or two.
    The fumes will penetrate the decal and make for easier removal with heat applied.
    Past Master, Dryden Lodge #472
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  9. #8
    Senior Member decolvin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Chesapeake, VA
    After experimenting with different ways to accomplish removing the pinstripes on the various parts of my GL, I found the best method was a hair dryer. Heat guns are too hot and will melt the plastic parts. Simply apply heat to the end of the stripe & lift it with a sharp blade as the adhesive softens. Grab the end of the stripe (a pair of hemostats is handy for this) and gently pull as you continue to heat the adhesive. I found that this method removes the stripe as well as almost all of the adhesive. Other methods I tried removed the stripe, but left the majority of the adhesive. The adhesive is harder to remove than the decal. Ask me how I know this. lol.
    The name is Dan ... please use it freely.

    1982 GL500I

    1981 CX500C

    Chesapeake, VA

    Duct tape is like the Force ... it has a dark side and a light side and it holds the universe together.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Central Ohio area
    Mineral spirits will usually remove the adhesive once the sticker is out of the way. If not, I'd try Lacquer thinner in an inconspicuous place.
    '82 GL500 "GT"
    '97 K1100LT
    '02 GL1800

    "The desired effect is what you get when you improve your interplanetary funksmanship" - George Clinton

  11. #10
    Senior Member Speedysdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Kansas City, MO
    If you take 30 yr. old stickers off of the paint. The paint under the stickers will be so much nicer than the rest of the tank, you are going to want to paint it anyway. You are halfway there, just paint it when you are finished.
    Old Jim

    1983 GL650 "Dark Wing"

    Kansas City, MO

    Mechanic to my son the Hare Scrambler, Endurocross

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