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How to properly install exterior parts with 3M double-sided foam tape

3M double-sided adhesive backed foam tape is one of the greatest things to come along for car folks in a long time. It allows you to securely mount all manner of accessories to the outside of your car without making a permanent commitment. However, amid reports of spoilers flying off, parts failing to stay put, and items being mounted crookedly, we felt the need to present some tips on how to best install items using this tape, as many items from Fastline Performance and ATLP use it for installation.

In this post we are installing a Fastline Decklid spoiler on a TSX. You will use the same techniques involved with installing the spoiler in this post on any part that has double-sided tape; S2000 bumper caps, ATLP roof spoilers, A-Spec or OEM lip kits...anything that needs to mount in a specific location with double sided tape.

First get all your materials ready:

  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Blue Painter's Tape
  • A clean rag (mine's stained but clean)
  • Part with 3M tape preapplied

Prepare the surface where the item will be mounted with the alcohol. A clean, dry surface is required in order for parts to stick properly. Alcohol removes contaminants and evaporates quickly without damaging painted surfaces.

Here is where the special method comes in. Instead of pulling away all the backing and trying to stick the spoiler on, pull just an inch or two of backing away and attach it to the outer side of the part with the painter's tape.

On many of the Fastline or ATLP parts the strips terminate in the middle of the part as well as at the ends. I like to do a small section at either end of the tape strips.

With just a small section of the backing pulled away, you can put the part where you want it to go, without having it stick in place so much that you can't reposition it.

Thoroughly examine the positioning of your part, making sure it is centered and matches the curvature of the mounting surface.

On this spoiler we have gotten it to a good position. Now we can peel the rest of the backing away to stick it in place exactly where we have it.

Check out the technique here...the backing can be pulled out from under the spoiler from the side.

Here is a side view. Gently pull the backing out, putting light pressure on the part to keep it steady or in place as needed.

You can even do a double move. I am peeling from the middle here. Usually, I like peeling from the middle first, toward the edges.

Once all the backing is peeled form under the part, apply some really firm pressure for about 30 seconds in all mounting places. The 3M tape needs to bond with the mounting surface, and it needs pressure to do this. The part will seem like it is stuck on, but keep pressing for at least 30 seconds.

And there you have it, mounted flat just where you want it! Now for some gratuitous shots of our Fastline Performance Decklid Spoiler for the 04-08 Acura TSX :)

This spoiler was modeled after the EDM Ducktail spoiler, which has a nice , low profile look but is fiendishly hard to get and is very expensive.

We are proud of this part. It is definitely a cut about eBay quality, for sure. Also available in carbon fiber.

Thanks for reading!


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4 Comments


 
Brian Burton
01-12-2013 01:38 PM at 1:38 PM
no mention is made of minimum temperature to ensure adhesion
**************
MrHeeltoe - This is true, although we expect people are not installing items in extreme cold conditions. It should be at least 60-70 degrees F ambient when installing 3M tape items.
 
OhMyHead
10-21-2012 04:31 PM at 4:31 PM
Thanks so much for this! I'm about to do this very thing and appreciate the How To very much.
 
Jason Davidson
01-27-2012 07:14 PM at 7:14 PM
Sweet! Thanks for posting this! I will use your technique when I apply my tail!
 
miguel
01-23-2012 12:50 PM at 12:50 PM
3m double_side is great stuff ive use it to mount heavy picture frames and tonds of parts and never had a issue, anyones having issue is ethir using some cheap bs tape or didnt clean part rite... this stuff works good

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