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My Stealth Raider Progress Inc Plastidipping

Thought i'd post up the progress of my Raider. It has been copied from another site so saves me typing it all up again :)

So i went to get the Akropovic Evo fitted yesterday morning at 10am by Northwest Performance. The zorst is superb and is worth every penny. A few pics of the fitting.....

First up, the diffuser was taken off


The instruction book that came with the zorst was showing that the old was one was needed to be cut near the back box in order to get the rear end out which wasn't the case. There was no room to cut where it was without risking chopping up the heat shield above so the rear axel was dropped to get more space


Old exhaust was now out and ready for the assembly for the new


The craftsmanship of the Akropovic is unbelievable.


First the rear hangers were put onto the new back box and was put in place


The back box clamp was then added and the 2 foot bend was sleeved on to it. Notched it up a little for easy movement till it was all in.


Main piece was put in and got away with changing the clamp that used to connect the cat to the pre cat in the manifold.


Everything was aligned and tightened up, checked for any leakages or blowing and all was fine. Finished job is this area


As i was moving onto changing the exhaust tips, i let Matt kindly clean the new zorst with some window cleaner to get rid of the fingerprints and grease mess that was lurking on it due to fitting.


Old tips removed


In with the new tips and diffuser was refitted


Car was dropped down and all done. Guess these tips would cost a few quid on their own as they were also superb craftsmanship


Took her out for a few blasts and is very impressive indeed. No flat spot created either which was a massive bonus. That's all the plans i had at the moment but i could be tempted with a remap depending on the Ktec group buy if i ever happens. I be taking the wheels off possibly next week for a good clean and i might paint the hubs as they are already proving to be a nightmare with stainage!!! I'll no doubt keep this area updated with things that may pop up and knowing me it will be very soon.

Hope it was a good read :thumbup: Lew


I decided that i wanted to try and get the whole car matt with little expense as possible and obviously to be different. If i didn't like the outcome then i would be screwed and i'd need another hefty chunk of cash to reverse the work. So, ive been following tutorials for the past few months on youtube about Plasti Dipping. Basically plastidip is like spray paint in a can but the texture is matt and has a rubbery/plastic texture to it. Not many colours are available in the UK as of yet but a few of your usual matt colours are available atm (Black, Baby Blue, Red, Green & Clear) Because the plastidip adheres so well to almost any finish, the durability can last a very long time and if you dont like it, with enough coats on you can peel it off without disturbing and maintain the finish of what ever is underneath.

With my gloss wheels on my Raider starting to acquire a few chips and a nightmare to keep defect free, this was now the perfect opportunity to have a go myself after a few months of watching vid after vid and get a new look whilst keeping the alloys in pristine condition underneath.

There are certain ways of spraying items and they end up with different textures I.E distance and speed of passes. To start with, i have got myself used to the spraying pattern of the can and covered my steering wheel insert and the roof aerial. 4 coats will be the MINIMUM i will be putting on anything as the more coats you put on, the easier it is to get off.

This will now also give me the option to get a sticker made to replace the hidden one underneath the insert


Next up were the mirror caps. I haven't got pics of removal etc or coat by coat but i wanted to try and achieve a textured finish like some standard plastics so these were sprayed quite close and with a medium passing speed. Again, 4 coats were applied to ease the removal if necessary.



Next up was the biggest job of all, the wheels. I will try and give as much info as possible but again, a few pictures are missing due to the amount of time on my hands.

I wanted to get all 4 wheels done at the same time due to the prep work that was needed so i decided to leave the wheels on the car and follow the tutorial this way. Whatever wax/sealant that was present on the wheels, it needed to be stripped in order for the plastidip to adhere to its max potential so i just used the good old fairy liquid. Once they were all washed, they were all dried using a silverline blower to make sure every drip of water was gone and doesn't interfere with the coating. The wheels were then wiped down using a mix of IPA and water to remove any present oils and grease.

Next up was to cover the components behind the wheel so i didn't get anything on the discs, pads, hubs and calipers. Using tape would consume too much time and would be an effort getting it all out afterwards so large bin bags were used. Each bag was cut down the middle (creating a hotdog bun effect) and then one end was passed through the wheel right round and back on its self. One half was put over the calipers and disks and the other half covered the hub, remembering not to let the bag touch the wheel for paint coverage. A few bits of tape was placed to strengthen the sitting of the bags so they wouldn't blow out of the way when spraying. The front wheels were a little harder as the clearance from the caliper to the wheel was very minimal. Took just over an hr to wrap all 4 insides but this had to be done properly.





Just as an extra precaution, i decided to bag up the outer arches in case any over spray blew on to the closest areas and save me a job getting it off the matt paint afterwards!!



The tires didn't need covering and i will show why later but the plastidip will get into any nook and cranny with minimal effort. The first coat was applied very thinly (seeing 50% transparency) at a distance of say half a foot with quick passes, ensuring it would be texture less as possible. I sprayed roughly 3 cm over into the tire to ensure the pastidip would get down the back of the rim. Building thin coats are the key here. No picks of the 1st coat unfortunately.

10 mins waiting time and the second coat was next. Again quick passes and same distance used, seeing the wheel more or less covered. Up close you can still see the gloss underneath but again, building up thin coats will get the best results out of a can. The piece of tape on the wheel is to tell me where the bottom is when i push the car back to check coverage of the hard areas. Waited 10 mins and back to inspect.


Same process for the third coat with the gloss completely gone underneath. Pic of the wheel just coated.


Another 10 mins wait and the fourth coat was done. I waited until this dried and then had a good look around all wheels to see for any tiny bubbles etc and noticed a few. Not bad for a first try but i wanted these gone so i slightly touched everyone of them with my finger. Yes it left a slight fingerprint where i had been but then decided to do a very light fifth coating to cover these over which turned out great.

The spray work was now finished and the waiting time was half an hour to make sure it was touch dry in order to get the bags out from behind the wheels without disturbing the finish.

Half an hour was up so i took the bags off the outer arches



As you can see, the wheel nuts and the center caps were painted but i will be etching out the RS logo in the center caps tomorrow with a c**ktail stick once it has had time to fully dry and retain a little detail and colour. Trying to do this whilst its still wet will only interfere with the plastidip around the logo and possible ruin them.

Now it was onto the tyres. With the over lap of 3cm onto the tyre, it enabled me to get the outer wheel lip covered. The overlap had formed its own coating so whilst its touch dry, you can roll the lip up and simply peel away from the tyre. If its thick enough, it will be an easy job to remove. Doing an overlap on everything you do will enable the excess to cut away itself, not worrying about the painted part.


Once all 4 tyres were done, it was time to remove the inner bags. The trick here is to work the bag through one spoke of the wheel by compacting the bag inside the wheel with one hand and the other to push it in the hand. This way will save you dragging the bag out and damaging the surface whilst its still not fully dry.

I drove home and here are a few close up pics so you can decide for yourself what you think :thumbup1: Please excuse a little break dust as it shouldn't be there :lol:







Next up will be the etchings out of the center caps (hopefully tomorrow) but then i will be moving on to the front gloss bumper area and splitter, with the fog surrounds a possibility. See how i feel next weekend.

Overall i am very happy with the outcome. Hope you enjoyed the read so far :)


After doing my wheels and mirror caps with plasti dip, it wanted more of a challenge by doing the gloss area around the number plate and also the blade underneath. As most will know, rattle cans over a large surface area can be a nightmare so the distance and timing has to be spot on with every pass. Front end was first taped/bagged up, remembering again to leave a slight overlap of every painted area so it will peel away afterwards and cut itself out once removed. I haven't removed the front reg plate purely because the sticky pads have set like concrete so i have decided to spray into the surface clearance instead which should hopefully have the same result. I covered up most of the bonnet too and front bumper to ensure no overspray would travel.


All grilled areas and gaps into the car were taped up so nothing would get on the radiator and other mechanical bits, again leaving a slight overlap for removal of cutting out.




Once all taped up, all gloss areas were wiped down with IPA for a nice clean prep and it was time for the first coat. There should be a very fine coating 1st time round so it adheres properly and transparency should be about 50%. I found that walking the full area with each pass was better than doing bits as it was laying down in areas a bit thicker.


Waited 10 mins to see how it has settled


Second coat was then sprayed on using the same technique but still leaving a little transparency


Waited another 10 mins and onto the 3rd coat which was applied more liberally until i could see the finish becoming wet. I won't put too many pics up but the 3rd coat should now hide all the gloss area underneath and start building a nice layer. 4th coat was then applied after a short wait and the finish was now coming together and thickening up


I waited 20 mins for this coat to dry as it was applied a little heavier.


Onto the 5th and last coat. Again this was sprayed until the wetness was appearing on the surface so a fair amount had been put on this time round. With this being the final coat, i waited for half an hour until the surface was touch dry so i could remove all the taping without risking damaging the surface. Also, i needed to do the cutting out before it has fully cured (roughly 3 hours) Trying to cut out hours after the finished job will only make it harder to remove. I left it for 45 mins as i could still see darkened areas. The finished look


All tape was then removed leaving the overlaps of the painted areas



All the overlapped areas was then removed, making sure to pull away from the painted areas. This will have the self cutting effect and also won't disturb the finish adjacent to it. The thicker the coating is, the easier it is to remove in one go rather than snapping bits off and also to pull out the plasti dip in the deeper crevices



Same was done for the numberplate and around the bottom blade. I had actually forgot to etch the R.S badge out of the grill so ill put a pic up of that next. The finished Job




I then etched out the R.S badge in the grill and fitted my stickers that i went to pick up today



I also forgot to post up the etching out of the center caps so a couple of pics on the result of these



A few final piccies of how she currently stands. I'm not sure on the rear badge as i think its little to close to the original badge and possibly too much going on so i will either refit these tomorrow or leave them off as i have a few of them.






Next up will be the back end. I don't know when ill get round to doing this because of the big under tray so need a little time to think about the best way to spray it. Hope you have enjoyed the progress :thumbup1:
  Superleggera'd Bean
Loving it, just a shame that the finish of Plastidip is a little bobbly.

Be a man and properly spray everything matt black :)
Loving it, just a shame that the finish of Plastidip is a little bobbly.

Be a man and properly spray everything matt black :)

I know but can't really see it unless you scrutinize up close. I'm currently looking into getting a compressor, guns etc and doing it properly. Hopefully i will be introducing it to my customer base as a lot have praised it to death, lol. I don't really want to respray it because of how limited it is. Might not be someones cup of tea. The whole concept was originally to protect the chipping areas with the clear but turned into something a little different :banghead:


ClioSport Club Member
Nice work... you've got balls to do that to a brand new car. My OCD wouldn't allow it. :eek:

Not too keep on the Akrapovic stickers everywhere though... especially the one on the front 'blade'

It cheapens the whole car IMO.


ClioSport Club Member
  Evo 5 RS
Nice plate, car looks lush. :) The exhaust is a nice touch but not sure why you opted to spray the bumper as you did, looked better before IMO
Looks nice, but I am not keen on all the Akrapovic stickers.. kinda makes the car look 'cheap'.
I'm conused, that original exhaust has been cut?

Yes it has. You can't get it out in one piece. The booklet that came with the Akrapovic says that you have to cut it at the U bend near the backbox. Even tried dropping the rear axle but no joy that way either!!


ClioSport Club Member
Cal (the lad with the other raider) managed to get his old system off in one piece. I lot of messing around but it's worth it.
Cal (the lad with the other raider) managed to get his old system off in one piece. I lot of messing around but it's worth it.

All's i can say is that they have done really well to get it out. Putting it back in can only be worse. The Akrapovic handbook tells you to cut it at a certain area so it can be sleeved properly if reverting back to old. Mine will be staying on the car along with the plate when i come to sell.
  RB One Eight Two
I actually had a look at one of these a few weeks ago, and it's much nicer in the flesh than it is in pictures, although this one looks superb, minus the stickers.

I just would never be able to own one, as being a OCD cleaning freak, you can't do much to it lol.


  Ph2 172
The stickers should go, spoils the car.

I've actually brought some plasti dip after reading this.


ClioSport Club Member
Looks great, love the matte front bumper and blade.
Out of curiosity though why didn't you remove the wheels, surely quicker and easier? Also I presume the finsih isn't as good on the insides especially at the top.