DIY: Wrapping your C pillar! It's not X-mas but let's do this!

The C pillar has gone through a few different changes over the years on the Forester. Earlier models had it as a black unit, then when the 2003 model came out it was a a dark gray C -pillar now matter the car color. Lastly the 06-08 models came with color matched to your exterior color.

A 2000 model and 2003 shown with their C-pillars from the factory.

A 2000 model and 2003 shown with their C-pillars from the factory.

During the 06-08 Forester years Subaru decided to color match it.

During the 06-08 Forester years Subaru decided to color match it.

Like many things in the world some colors look better than others in the C-pillar area. This is an area that also tends to have fading on the clear coat. So if you are unhappy with your C-pillar color/paint quality it is time to change it up!

Time

This project took me around 15 minutes and with minimal tools and vinyl wrap necessary to completing it.

Tools

On to the tools! You won’t need many for this project, your favorite color of vinyl, a nice sharp exacto knife, a set of non-marring trim removal tools, a car cleaning soap and lastly a soft micro fiber towel.

Links for the tools above! VVivid vinyl in gloss black Vinyl film tool kit Microfiber towels Trim tools

Install

On to the task at hand! We will need to locate our car and open the rear door. I find the lower tab near the passenger window is the easiest way to get the C-pillar started. Once it starts to come off the car you can keep sliding you hand underneath it and follow it to the top of the car.

Here is where we start, back of the car.

Here is where we start, back of the car.

I find the bottom of the C-pillar the easiest place to begin.

I find the bottom of the C-pillar the easiest place to begin.

It is held in by a bunch of snap in clip that are visible when filpping the C-pillar over.

Here is what hides beneath the C-pillar. Quite a bit of dirt resides here..

Here is what hides beneath the C-pillar. Quite a bit of dirt resides here..

Backside of the C-pillar

Backside of the C-pillar

After it is off the car we can take it to an area for cleaning. You can do this on a towel set on the table or in your sink. Lightly spray your C-pillar and now you can spread the soap around to prep the surface. After a light rinse you can now dry it off and get it ready for the vinyl.

Ready to prep the surface. The better the prep the better the adhesion.

Ready to prep the surface. The better the prep the better the adhesion.

Soaped up and drying it off.

Soaped up and drying it off.

Now you can lay down the C-pillar on the vinyl and make a rough tracing of the shape. Cutting this out will help save vinyl for the other side and your next project. Next you remove the vinyl backer and begin to adhere it to the C-pillar. I start from either the top or bottom, then you can use your micro fiber towel and plastic card( credit card) to help smooth down and wrinkles.

Start tracing a rough outline to save on wasted material.

Start tracing a rough outline to save on wasted material.

If the wrinkles become overwhelming you can always remove it and restart the vinyl adhesion again. Given the very flat nature of this piece you shouldn’t find it too difficult to keep wrinkles at bay. When running it down over the edges and corners you can use a little heat from a hairdryer or heat gun to help promote the bond.

Rough cut. This should cover everything and make the vinyl easier to work with than trying to manhandle a large sheet.

Rough cut. This should cover everything and make the vinyl easier to work with than trying to manhandle a large sheet.

Not shown, I generally start my vinyl wrapping from the top or bottom and continue up slowly applying pressure to keep wrinkles and bubbles from forming. If you are having issues with either you can always slowly pull the vinyl back off and try again.

Having flattened the vinyl down you can now trace the outside edges on the C-pillar with your exacto knife. Take your time and get it right, you don’t want to have to redo the previous steps. Now you can start on the other side. Then snap them back into place on the car!

Trimming off the excess we have a completed C-pillar! I left the black plastic free of wrap. Just very gently cutting along the dip in between the painted side and raw plastic.

Trimming off the excess we have a completed C-pillar! I left the black plastic free of wrap. Just very gently cutting along the dip in between the painted side and raw plastic.

Congratz! You have now completed your C-pillar modifications. I went with the a shiny black vinyl to match my window tint and give a a consistent look through the window section.

Hard to tell in direct sunlight but there it is. Blends in well with the other black areas on the rear window.

Hard to tell in direct sunlight but there it is. Blends in well with the other black areas on the rear window.

A little better image to show the difference.

A little better image to show the difference.

Dan Engstrom2 Comments