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As part of my carputer project I decided I'm going to refurbish some of my car's internals. It's an old car so most of the plastics black coloring is starting to fade and it lost its shine. One of the thing that really bothered me is the automatic gear handle's lettering sticker which started to peal off and shows some really nasty bubbles.

I've been told by people who are experts in this particular car that Mazda made a mistake by putting a very hot light bulb just underneath the sticker and that all cars of this model have this problem. Well, I decided it's time to get it fixed... my way :)

So the first thing I had to do was to come up with a way to make a perfectly printed new sticker. No manual work can be done here because this must look completely OEM. So I opened up photoshop and designed myself a band new gear sticker.

I'm very please with how this turned out. I like it even better than the original.
Next step was to print this out on a transparent paper. I used a regular home inkjet printer on a special inkjet transparent paper. In order to keep the ink from fading away I printed this out twice one of them being flipped. Then I glued the two pieces together making the ink sit between the two plastic papers. This also serves as doubling the ink ensuring no light will pass through.

It was time to remove the original sticker. This is where I started having problems. Some of the deformed parts pealed right off easily but when I got to the parts that were still intact it just wouldn't come off. I tried everything; alcohol, warm water, citric acid, lighter fluid. When I got desperate I tried nail polish remover. Guess what it worked.... too well. It started eating off the plastic and the original plastic glass was destroyed. It also ate some of the coloring on the black piece around it. No worries though as I wanted to repaint it black anyway and the glass can be recreated easily. Just more work.

So for the moment this is how it looked. Plastic color eaten away and the new sticker showing. So far I'm very pleased.

Time to make the new window. I was looking around the house for transparent plastic stuff I don't need and found this CD case which was in perfect condition. All I did was cut out the shape of the original window.

Will update more later.