Articles

How to wrap a Shark Fin Antenna

by Maryam Shaikh Blogger by Passion


You might remember the environmentally-concerning craze around shark fin soup, but these days you’re much more likely to see shark fins on a souped-up sports car. That’s because these sleek antennas are not only rugged and resistant to extreme weather conditions, but they also offer better functionality. The aerodynamic design reduces drag and can prevent damage, giving them a long lifespan. Plus, they look awesome. 

If you already have a shark fin antenna and you’re looking to upgrade or change the colour of your vehicle with a vinyl wrap, it can get a little tricky. There’s more than one method to get a smooth finish on a shark fin wrap, but no matter which you choose, it’s going to require patience. The good news is that you’ll be working with a small piece of vinyl, so a few extra tries won’t cost much more than your time, and are a good way to increase your skill. 

Depending on the type of shark fin antenna you have and your handiness at removing it, you can opt to wrap it in place while it’s still on the roof or detach it before you begin. Either way, make sure the fin is perfectly clean by first wiping it down with a microfibre cloth and a solution of 70% isopropyl alcohol.  

If you’re working with it as handheld piece, use an open window to hold your vinyl in place as you work, sticking it lightly to the top and bottom of the frame. Remove the backing and stretch it carefully before heating it up slightly to get it ready for your antenna. Starting at the back of the fin, which is the most difficult part, work the antenna into the softened vinyl, being careful not to overstretch it. 

Moving from back to front, use your heat gun and enough tension to ensure a good, smooth stretch over the sides of the fin. Smooth out any bumps by hand, working them towards the outer edges. Once you’re happy with the result, another pass with the heat gun should shrink the wrap into place so that you can simply trim off the underneath to finish. 

Some shark fins aren’t worth the time and energy to remove. You might also be concerned about breaking the silicone seal that protects it from water and other damage, which you’ll need to replace if you remove it. If that’s the case, you can wrap the antenna in place. Tape off the antenna as close as possible to get started. 

You can wrap the fin in one piece or two, but be prepared for multiple attempts, especially if you’re new to wrapping. Start at the back and gently stretch the film forward to cover the fin, expanding it out at the sides so that it’ll want to hug the bottom lip. Use your heat gun to shrink down the wrap, smoothing it out by hand as you go to get rid of any wrinkles. A squeegee can also help remove any imperfections or air bubbles before you finish it off with a wrap stick to ensure a good seal around the bottom. Once it’s perfectly in place, use a fresh blade to make a precise cut, carefully avoiding contact with the silicone seal. Give it a final shot with the heat gun, looking for any air bubbles you may have missed. 

If the fin has a gentle slope at the back, you’re more likely to have success with the single-piece wrap. If it’s completely vertical, you can use two pieces that create a seam running down the centre of the fin. Since it’s at the highest point of the vehicle, you shouldn’t have to worry about the seam being noticeable, even on close inspection. 

Once you’ve taken care of your antenna, you can still cover the rest of your roof either with the same vinyl or with something different. If the fin is attached, tape it off and drape your vinyl over the roof, carefully centring it and holding it in place with magnets. Use a water-soluble pen to mark off where the fin is so you’ll be able to make a small relief cut in the vinyl. Slide it down onto the back window for a safer cutting surface and make a cut that’s just big enough to accommodate the fin. You don’t want to find yourself coming up short later. 

With your cut made, place the vinyl back onto the roof of the vehicle. It’s best to work in triangles, removing half the backing first and pulling out towards the corners of the roof to get a glass-smooth finish. Use your squeegee to get a good fit around the shark fin before tucking and trimming any edges.

Of course, if this sounds like an exercise in frustration, you can always opt to have your antenna or roof wrapped by a professional. They’re skilled at getting a flawless finish on your vehicle, and can decide if it’s better to remove the shark fin or wrap it in place. 

Adding a custom vinyl wrap to a car that’s already outfitted with a shark fin antenna is a sure way to get noticed on the roads. The process is actually pretty straightforward as long as you take your time and don’t rush. If you can muster the patience, you’ll soon be on your way to having a vehicle that’s optimized both for sound and for looks.


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About Maryam Shaikh Freshman   Blogger by Passion

9 connections, 0 recommendations, 31 honor points.
Joined APSense since, March 17th, 2021, From Mumbai, India.

Created on Apr 18th 2022 04:45. Viewed 220 times.

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