How To Remove and Install Door (or other) Emblems
Removing and installing the door (or other) emblems on the SRT8 is a pretty common visual modification, either to de-badge the vehicle or to replace the original equipment emblems with a different style or color. One might assume that this is straightforward enough to not require a 'How To" but enthusiasts come in all skill-levels so I thought this might be beneficial to someone down the road.
In my particular case I wanted to replace the chrome door emblems on my 2013 Brilliant Black SRT8 with the gloss black emblems from the Vapor and Alpine editions. A common mod. I had already replaced the JEEP hood emblem with the gloss black version, so I took time to photograph the steps taken with the door emblems to document the process here.
- Fishing line (10# Test worked fine for this)
- Heat gun
- Clean microfiber towels, one of which you can bear to part with
- Gasoline (or other petroleum based, paint-safe solvent)
- Quality painters masking tape (I used 3M blue, 1" wide)
- New emblems to be installed
- Detailing spray
- Quality automotive wax or last-step sealant
Here we're starting with the factory chrome door emblems and the goal is to replace them with the gloss black factory emblems sourced from the Mopar parts department. Since we are replacing the emblems with dimensionally identical emblems, we want to make sure that the new one goes back where the old one was. The easiest way to do this is to lay down two pieces of painter's tape to mark your X and Y axis.
Once you have your axis marked to align the replacement emblem, it's time to remove the original one. For this we will use the heat gun to gently warm up a letter, or section, of the emblem and then slide a length of fishing line beneath the emblem to separate it from the adhesive beneath it.
After the emblem is removed, you will be left with something similar to this still stuck to the painted surface:
Now it's time to remove the bulk of the adhesive using the heat gun to warm up the bit left behind and then your finger to slowly roll away the warmed adhesive. Be careful! The adhesive gets hot fast and holds heat, so use the heat gun sparingly so as not to burn yourself when you begin removing the adhesive. A little heat goes a long way!
Once you have the bulk of the adhesive removed, you will be left with a thin residue of adhesive film on the paint.
Now it is time to set the heat gun a safe distance away and use a clean microfiber towel that you can bear to part with, and some gasoline or other petroleum based paint-safe solvent, to remove the residue from the paint. Gasoline works just fine and I recommend you wear some disposable latex or nitrile rubber gloves when working with it, and do so in a well ventilated area.
To remove the residue you will simply wet a section of the microfiber towel with gasoline and then use light finger pressure to "scrub" the adhesive off of the paint. Several passes may be necessary, but the residue will all come off.
Once you have removed all of the residue, use a detailing spray or cloth dampened with a light-duty mixture of car wash soap and water, to clean away the solvent and leave the painted surface ready for the new emblem.
At this point if you are simply de-badging the vehicle, you are done and can remove the painters tape and then apply a quality wax or last-step sealant to the paint to protect it. Remember, the solvent removed any waxes that were already there.
If you are installing a new emblem, most come packaged with a backing film to protect the adhesive in transit, and a transfer film which holds the emblem's components or letters together while it is being installed on your vehicle.
Peel away the backing film to expose the adhesive and then use the painters tape guides that you established in the first step to carefully line-up and install the new emblem.
With the transfer tape still in place, apply moderate pressure to the emblem to fully seat it onto the paint. I used a clean microfiber towel to rub back and forth across the emblem to make sure it was seated completely across the full width.
Now, slowly and carefully begin peeling away the transfer tape. I recommend pulling the transfer tape down and away from the emblem at an angle to minimize the risk of pulling away the emblem itself.
And with that you are done! Peel away the painter's tape, use some detailing spray to clean the entire area again, and then wipe down the exposed paint with a quality wax or last-step sealant to re-protect the surface.