Sharka’s metal door sills are really old and crappy. When I got them, they also lacked the desirable feature known as flatness. If I remember right, they came out of a very very wrecked car for the price of shipping. I bent and beat them back into shape as well as I could. I’ve had them for about 6 years.
It was time to modify them.
The problem is that Miata script. It exists only on the door sills and floor mats on my car. All other traces of “Miata” are gone.
I got it in my head that I could just cover up that Miata logo and put something else on top. I had the idea of using aluminum tape for it. The sills are aluminum… why wouldn’t aluminum tape be perfect? Ummm…. yeah…. it wasn’t. The tape was a good 100% shinier than the door sill metal. I found this out after carefully cutting out an oval worth. I peeled it off and resigned myself to keeping the Miata script on the plate.
When I peeled off the aluminum tape, the Miata logo started to come with it.
Out came the Goof-off and metal polish. Together, they gave me a perfectly clean surface on which to stick fresh vinyl. These two cleaners work quite well together.
Note to anyone who might follow along in the future: you want a CLEAN surface before you apply stickers. If there’s any Goof-off left, your new decal will suffer greatly. And if there’s any metal polish left, you’ll get bumps under your stickers just like if there was sand on the panel.
Three more steps and I got a finished project. First, I measured a bunch (twice? pshaw.) and got the center of the panel located. Then I stuck on the vintage Mazda sticker. I then covered that with Xpel clear bra and got rid of the air bubbles.
I probably could have just gone with the vinyl decal by itself. The door sills don’t really get a lot of wear, at least not back where the logo sits. Still, I didn’t want to lose an M and not notice, so I chose to cover it with some clear vinyl. It added about a half hour of work while I got the bubbles out and smoothed the edges of the letters, but it was worth it. Now I have a fairly permanent vintage Mazda logo.
It actually matches better than the original metallic Miata sticker. That sticker was decent, but the silver color wasn’t quite the same as the panel itself. Now it’s all just the same bare aluminum. No funky color changes.
So how does it look installed?
It’s all in the details. I’m really happy with how this turned out. I guess I need to track down some creampuff M-edition door sills for rebranding… get rid of these knackered ones.
And I might need to de-Miata the floormats.