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Old 08-10-2018, 02:01 PM
f14av8r's Avatar
f14av8r f14av8r is offline
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Tampa (Wimauma actually)
Posts: 421
Default Removing N-Numbers / Decals

I want to change my N-Number. I've accomplished the paperwork but now I have to actually change the numbers on the airplane! I thought these decals would just peel off. Wrong! I think maybe they have been clear coated. Scraping with plastic razor blades isn't working. Heating with the heat gun isn't working.

I'm afraid to try the chemical approach. Any ideas?

Randy King
Tampa (Wimauma), Florida
RV-4 N212CS (sold)
RV-8 N184RK (flying)
Flying an A320 to pay the bills
Exempt and gladly donating anyway - Current through March 2021
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Old 08-10-2018, 02:12 PM
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Mark Dickens Mark Dickens is online now
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Collierville, TN (KFYE)
Posts: 1,429

Call Jonathan McCormick. 256-490-1541.
RV-8 #81077 Super Slow Build
Dynon Skyview HDX, Titan IOX-370, Dual P-Mags, AFP FM200A FI, Whirlwind 200RV CS Prop
First Flight 11/20/2016
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Old 08-10-2018, 03:52 PM
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snopercod snopercod is online now
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: Asheville, NC
Posts: 2,057

They make Vinyl Decal Remover Wheels. I have no idea if they work and I definitely would want to try them on something else rather than my airplane.
(2020 dues paid)
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Old 08-10-2018, 05:27 PM
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Larco Larco is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: DVT Phoenix
Posts: 1,176

Recommend having someone of experience look at it. It should be easy for an experienced eye to tell if they are just vinyl or clear coated over or painted on. Then you can form a plan of attack.
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:04 PM
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JohnInReno JohnInReno is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Prescott Valley/Chandler AZ
Posts: 351
Default Paint?

My painter used the vinyl numbers that I supplied as a mask for the paint. The whole plane was painted white. Then the numbers were applied. Next, the red paint was applied over the vinyl and finally, the vinyl removed leaving behind white numbers on a red background.

It would require a re-paint to change my numbers.
John Morgensen
RV-9A N946PM 600+ hours since 2013
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Old 08-10-2018, 06:15 PM
tim2542 tim2542 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Redding,Ca
Posts: 633

Originally Posted by snopercod View Post
They make Vinyl Decal Remover Wheels. I have no idea if they work and I definitely would want to try them on something else rather than my airplane.
Yep, those things will scare you but they work fantastic without damaging the paint.
Tim Andres
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Old 08-10-2018, 10:25 PM
deene deene is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 394

Eraser wheels work extremely well and are easy to use. A little pricey at you local auto paint supply outlet.
Deene Ogden.
N399AD RV-12...flying
N299AD RV8 QB, IO-390X, BA prop...SOLD
N199AD One Design...SOLD
N99AD BD4, flew for 22 years...SOLD
EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
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Old 08-11-2018, 01:27 PM
UH1CW2 UH1CW2 is offline
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: Lenox, Michigan
Posts: 174

If they are a paint match to the white on the aircraft, they are most likely painted on. If they are an off-color get a magnifying glass and look close at the edge of one of the numbers, you'll be able to tell if it is paint or vinyl clear coated over.
Phil Camarda
US Army 2nd/17th Air Cav 101st Airborn
A&P, Commercial & Instrument Pilot
Helicopters (UH1's, AH1's, S76, H269)
Test Pilot (Military)
Long EZ Driver but love RV's
Dues Paid 5/2020.
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