• Protip: Profile posts are public! Use Conversations to message other members privately. Everyone can see the content of a profile post.

How to Remove Protective Tape on Roof Panel?

3 November 2011
Saskatchewan, Canada
On the front edge of the Targa roof panel there is a clear protective tape that runs along the bottom of the front edge. The tape wraps up to about the mid point of the front edge so its normally not visible when the roof panel is in place. I assume that the tape is there to protect the paint on the lower edge of the roof panel from scuffing as a result of contact with the gasket or to act as a slip surface to stop squeaking at that interface. The film does not wrap up high enough to prevent chips to the front edge of the panel (I have a couple of chips as proof).

The problem with my panel is that the tape adhesive has started to fail all along the top edge with the result that what was previously invisible is now visible because the clear tape tends to turn white at the edge as the failed adhesive accumulates dust and other stuff. I was working on the roof panel yesterday and had purchased some 3 M door edge paint protection film with a plan to use it as a replacement for the failing tape on the panel (the Acura product 85121-SL0-T01 lists for over $100 Cdn). The problem is that the un failed portion of the tape adhesive is tenacious and as I picked at the tape with my fingernails it just tore off in tiny pieces. At the rate I was going I estimate it would take a minimum of 4 - 6 hours of frustration before I got the tape off. I tried applying some acetone to soften the adhesive; but, it had no obvious effect. Has anybody removed this protective film and can advise on the best method for safe removal? Also, any observations about my plan to use 3M PPF as a replacement?

On a related matter, the liner of the roof panel has suffered some scuffs that I would like to fix up. I believe the inside panel color is Real Black NH188L; however, I have not been able to find any touch up paints in Real Black. I get zero hits when I search using the NH188L paint code. Can anybody advise on a source?
Acetone will ruin your paint, don't use that. (acetone destroyed the paint under my hood emblem, fortunately its completely covered up)

I would use a heat gun to try to get the existing film to come off, that's the typical method for removing PPF or wraps. If its been on there for decades there is a non-zero chance that it just won't come off cleanly no matter what you do and will have to be done very painstakingly. There's also a chance that it pulls chunks of paint off with it.

PPF should work well for that. Just make sure to peel it off and replace every 5 years or so so you don't have the same problem.
Last edited:
Yuk! I am assuming by heat gun you mean something like a hair dryer? I have an adjustable heat gun; but, even on the lowest setting the exit temperature is around 100 C. On the higher settings it is into the paint melting territory.

Ominous comment on the PPF 5 year replacement. I had the hood, front fenders and front bumper wrapped with PPF after a repaint to fix a rash of stone chips from the previous owner. That PPF is now 9 years old and I have been wondering what the future was going to hold.
UV is the destroyer of any PPF/decal/wrap..so if your car has been in the garage and seen little direct sun in its life I think it will be ok.
For old PPF removal, some online vids suggest using hot/boiling water (i.e. from a kettle) to pour over the PPF to soften it the adhesive, and perhaps go at it with a plastic scraper as well. Even plastic will marr paint though under the right circumstances. Maybe you could soak with a solution of isopropyl alcohol as well, it strips wax and grease but doesn't affect the paint. The only place I'd use acetone is on finished metal surfaces like the engine, it's not friendly with almost any other material on the car.

If that doesn't work, the only other way I've seen is setting aside the few hours to pick away at the film. You can use a heat gun and waft it over the area you're working without focusing on one spot, you should be working with your hands enough to feel when the area is getting too hot.

A friend of mine has a yellow C5 Z06 where the front bumper had old, maybe original PPF that he wanted to remove and it took several days by hand. 9 years is a long time, like Doc said the more UV and element exposure the more brittle the film will get (especially if the film has changed color over time), and the more the adhesive will bond to the paint instead of the film which further complicates removal. Living mostly in the garage will drastically increase the lifespan to where you might get lucky in this case. Maybe it'd be worth getting it redone soon with new film, I'm sure the material engineering has improved since a decade ago.

For the paint code, you're talking about the color of the vinyl or interior fabric, right? I'm not aware of color matched touch-up paints for dyed fabrics like those, just enamel or lacquer finishes. Depending on the size of the repair, it might be adequate just to use a vinyl paint with a close-enough satin black (like SEM vinyl coat https://manage.semproducts.com/public/content/techsheets/Marine Vinyl Coat Color Card_0818_web.pdf) and apply with a detail paint brush or airbrush (if you're into model kits ;)). Or get a specialist like Fibrenew to do it for you if you're not confident it will turn out to your liking.
The car is a garage queen and sits wrapped up in a sealed bag from mid Oct to mid Apr so it definitely does not get much of a sun tan.

The interior roof panels on the targa are not fabric. They appear to be a resin of some sort that is a light beige in color and appears to be sprayed with black paint. The primary area that is marked up is right back from the drivers sun visor and I expect that it comes from reaching up to flip down the sun visor and having fingernails scratch along the painted surface. There is some marking around the release levers for the targa, again probably from fingernails. The parts listing refers to the various interior panels as NH188L Real Black and I assumed that NH188L was the paint code; but, I get no hits on NH188L.

The interior panel finish is a satin bordering on flat and the color does look fairly close to Colorbond Ford black which typically applies as an almost flat finish. I have a little Colorbond left in a can and I may do a test spray on the back of one of the interior panels to see how good or bad the match is. I just figured that if there was a paint code I would be able to get an almost exact match.
You might be okay then. I think the C5 also sat inside for years though, so age is a factor. Like how I rifled through some manufacturing plant equipment drawings from the 80's and the rubber bands holding them together just turned to dust.

Oh, I didn't know the targa panel was different. Maybe phenolic resin similar to that used in the seatbelt/kick panels, etc.?

I also haven't had any luck finding that paint code, I think you're stuck trying to match something close enough. Unsure if providing that code to a paint shop would allow them to mix up some paint for you instead, that's definitely an option for a lot of OEM paints. Some of the paint you already have might be adequate though, I think the most noticeable part of the touchup would probably be the raised edge of the paint vs. the rest of the surface, not necessarily the paint color itself. If it's small enough and out of the way it likely won't be noticeable though.
I like the low tech tea pot method!

On the interior color question, I did a test on the back to the interior roof panels and Colorbond Ford #119 is a spot on match for the NH188L (or whatever that stands for). The color match and finish (borderline mat) were good enough that after degreasing the surface I was able to just spray over the area that had the surface scratches and feather out rather than repaint the complete panels. After it dried you cannot differentiate between the repaired area and the adjacent original finish.