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Thread: Emblem removal / debadge

  1. #1
    Registered Member

    CX9 GT 2017

    Join Date
    Nov 2018

    Emblem removal / debadge

    This is meant to be something resembling a how-to. Im not much of a technical writer and I'm not the best at document design. Sorry.

    Items needed:
    Plastic pry tool
    Rubber Eraser
    microfiber cloth
    Vinyl dots to cover emblem holes (I've got extra dots that I cut and can mail them to you if you have a black CX-9)
    Good tunes

    Optional items:
    Beer / cocktail
    Man's best friend(s)

    The three badges on the rear of the vehicle all have plastic pegs holding them in place. First thing you should do is open the hatch so the emblems are at a good height for you so you aren't straining. Otherwise, grab a short stool or a milk crate and grab a seat so you aren't left standing hunched over. Next thing to do is use a plastic prying tool and work those emblems off. I just started on one of the edges and from there it's just a wiggle and push with a lift and the occasional pry action. After enough of those you've got a bunch of ugly adhesive strip left over, but a hatch that is on its way to looking clean and badge free.

    Grab yourself a heat gun, rubber eraser, and a microfiber cloth for this next part. Slowly heat up the adhesive strip with one hand, and have the rubber eraser in the drill ready to go in the other hand. Once the adhesive is soft and tacky, let that rubber eraser work it's magic. From there it's just a wash-and-repeat, until all of the adhesive is removed. The microfiber will brush away the used rubber eraser. NOTE: as the rubber eraser is spinning you may see some white marks/streaks behind the yellow crumbs from the rubber eraser. It wiped away no problem which made me think it wasn't scratched off clear coat, but I did have a flash moment a few times where I thought I had scratched the clear coat all to hell.

    **WARNING** If you are holding the heat gun in your non-dominant hand and the drill/rubber eraser in your dominant hand, make sure that after heating the adhesive and you switch over to the drill, be aware as to where you are pointing the heat gun while using the rubber eraser. You don't want to accidentally overheat your paint, or have the gun pointed at you or your bumper, or any other thing that isn't ugly adhesive strip.

    This last part is where you may or may not want to continue with this project. I cut out some 1/2" vinyl dots to cover the mounting holes in the rear hatch. If you are someone who would prefer a seamless custom look, this will probably look awful to you and you should consider having this professionally done. I'm right there with you in regards to the clean aesthetic, but the cost doesn't provide much value to me. This was a good economical option that looks better than stock. I'm not in love with it like I would be if it was done by a body shop, but for 20 minutes of my time I like it.

    I've got three ideas to make this look better next time.
    1. Thicker automotive vinyl for potential longevity or to prevent the vinyl from depressing into the emblem hole. For anyone who knows vinyl I'm thinking 3M Scotchlite or perhaps something a touch thicker from R-Tape.
    2. Cut the dots to roughly 5/16" so there is less to see and hopefully a smoother finish. Potential downside would be lack of longevity because of the reduced surface area.
    3. Use a cheap fridge magnet with one layer of plastic wrap (for paint protection) to apply even, firm pressure on the vinyl to seal it properly to the surface of the hatch and keep the vinyl from depressing into the emblem holes. Kinda janky, but that's the best I could come up with off the top of my head. If you wanna get crazy you could apply some bondo to the holes and then use the vinyl. I don't know much about bondo, so I would refrain from that until speaking with someone who would know more, because that seems like a commitment that I wouldn't want to make without researching.

    Washed and looking pretty clean from a few feet away.

    Unwashed, but still looking clean(er) from a few feet away.

    Skyactiv badge removed

    Mazda emblem. Those aren't scratches, that's residual dirt and a little bit of leftover adhesive. If you use the very edge of the eraser, it makes getting these last fine spots of adhesive much quicker.

    The small scratch is from my last attempt at removing the badge, not this time. Lesson learned on my part.

    1/2" vinyl dots. I would guess this is something around 2mil/120 micron...? If anyone here has any better knowledge of automotive wrap/film, perhaps you could chime in to offer some feedback.
    Last edited by ACBGoldie; 06-28-2019 at 05:20 PM. Reason: To add...and fix all my typos.

  2. #2
    Registered Member

    2019 CX-9 Sig

    Join Date
    Mar 2019
    Motor City
    Did you use paint matched vynil? Like this from color x labs

    Sucks that Mazda puts holes in for the badges. I guess no debadging for me

  3. #3
    Registered Member

    CX9 GT 2017

    Join Date
    Nov 2018
    I didn't use color match vinyl, but thanks for the link. I wouldn't be opposed to trying it in the future. The vinyl I used was just some scrap I had left at my shop.

    In driving home last night another CX-9 drove by me on the freeway and they gave me the lamest thumbs down as they passed. I guess they weren't a fan of badge free hatches. I love haters. That's when you know you've got something different from the rest.

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