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Audi Trunk Debadging
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Audi Trunk Debadging

Peter Bodensteiner

Time:

1 hour1 hr

Tab:

$0

Talent:

*

Tools:

Heat gun, razor blade, solvent

Applicable Models:

 
Audi A4 (1997-01)
Audi A4 Quattro (1997-01)
Audi TT (2000-04)
Audi TT Quattro (2000-04)
VW Beetle (1999-02)
VW Golf (2000-02)
VW Jetta (2000-02)
VW Passat (1996-00)

Hot Tip:

Take your time and be careful no to scratch the paint.

Performance Gain:

Stealthy looks

Complementary Modification:

Change the Audi badges

Among the most simple things you can do to add a custom touch to your car is to remove select badges or emblems. This modification a popular one for European cars in particular (many manufacturers even offer a "badge delete" option). The reasons behind this practice include the desire to be subtle about what you're driving and what's under the hood, a preference for a clean, less "blingy" appearance, and even the fact that a car with fewer badges is easier to wash and wax.

I'm behind all of those reasons, and I'd add that if you happen to have a badge for Barry's Discount Auto Barn, or something similar, on the back of your car, follow the instructions below as quickly as possible. You don't need your car to be a rolling billboard for a dealership, and these cheap badges always look out of place--on any car.

There is a little trial and error involved in this project depending on how tenacious your badges are. Be advised that badges on some cars (not on the A4) are affixed to the body with a post or two that fits into the sheet metal. To permanently remove a badge like this, you'd have to have the hole welded up, sanded flat, and painted. Therefore it's best to do some research about the badges you want to remove before you peel them off, unless already know you want to take it that far.

On this A4 I elected to remove the A4 badge and the 1.8T and Quattro badges from the trunk lid, but to leave the four-circle Audi logo in the center of the trunk. This cleaned up the look of the rear of the car without the risk of having the car mistaken for a Chevy Malibu.

Here's the starting point, with the factory Audi badges in place.
Figure 1

Here's the starting point, with the factory Audi badges in place. Not bad, but a bit cluttered.

About 30 seconds of heat applied with a hair dryer will warm up the adhesive on the back of the badge and make it easier to peel off of the car.
Figure 2

About 30 seconds of heat applied with a hair dryer will warm up the adhesive on the back of the badge and make it easier to peel off of the car.

Here's the back of the A, showing the configuration of the adhesive tape.
Figure 3

Here's the back of the "A," showing the configuration of the adhesive tape. Inevitably, some of the tape stays on the badge, and some of it stays on the car. It's rare that everything comes off with the badge, and much of the work of this project involves removing the adhesive that remains on the car.

Moving over to the other side of the trunk, I applied a little heat with the hair dryer and then wedged a small plastic squeegee (normally used for applying vinyl stickers and stripes) underneath the edge of the badge to begin working it free.
Figure 4

Moving over to the other side of the trunk, I applied a little heat with the hair dryer and then wedged a small plastic squeegee (normally used for applying vinyl stickers and stripes) underneath the edge of the badge to begin working it free. You could also use a credit card or something else with a firm edge that won't scratch your paint. Start at one side ...

.
Figure 5

... and work back from the other side to loosen as much of the badge as possible. This will make it easier to pry the badge off without bending it.

Now the badge is free.
Figure 6

Now the badge is free. Note how much adhesive tape remains behind.

Here's my secret weapon for removing the adhesive.
Figure 7

Here's my secret weapon for removing the adhesive. This version of Goo Gone is a gel, which sticks to a vertical surface better than the less viscous version of the product.

Once you've sprayed the adhesive remover on the car, patience is your friend.
Figure 8

Once you've sprayed the adhesive remover on the car, patience is your friend. You need to give the solvent a chance to work; clean up any drips but let the Goo Gone work for a couple minutes.

I used the edge of an old compact disc to scrape the tape off.
Figure 9

I used the edge of an old compact disc to scrape the tape off. The plastic disc has a bit of an edge and enough rigidity to support the scraping action without posing a major scratch risk. Again, a credit card would probably work well here.

The first round of scraping removed the spongy foam layer of the adhesive tape, but there's still a thin layer of grunge left.
Figure 10

The first round of scraping removed the spongy foam layer of the adhesive tape, but there's still a thin layer of grunge left. A second round of adhesive remover and scraping is needed.

The second round is doing the trick.
Figure 11

The second round is doing the trick. It will be a bit hard to tell if you have removed absolutely all of the adhesive in one pass. If you miss a spot, just spray and scrape again.

There, the Quattro badge is gone.
Figure 12

There, the Quattro badge is gone. Simply repeat the process for all the badges you want to remove.

Here's the right side of the trunk, fully de-badged.
Figure 13

Here's the right side of the trunk, fully de-badged.

And here's the left side, minus the A4 badge.
Figure 14

And here's the left side, minus the A4 badge. I scratched the paint a bit on this side while experimenting with more aggressive scrapers, but I'll be able to remove these scratches with some polish later.

The rear view of the car is now cleaned up and, in my opinion, significantly improved with the removal of the side badges.
Figure 15

The rear view of the car is now cleaned up and, in my opinion, significantly improved with the removal of the side badges.

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Comments and Suggestions:
howedoo Comments: Thats a lot of work. One can simply use dental floss to cut through the glue and wipe it down
March 23, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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