Custom White Tyre Lettering

I wasn’t planning on adding white lettering to the tyres. However, since changing to the Dean Cross Country wheels in black and having such a stealthy look to style of the Jimny I felt it needed some contrast.

This is purely a looks thing. I’ll not bother going into why I continue to use Toyo Open Country tyres but I will say that I wish I’d ordered the Yokohama G015 now that I’ve sen them in person on Denis’ white Jimny from @last_see_exploring.

The Toyo tyres have a more rounded profile in comparison to BF Goodrich KO2’s and the Yokohama’s.

Combine this with the style of the Dean wheels and the tyres seem to get lost in the wheel arches. I love retro styling but it’s looking a bit too much like a classic car. I’ll need to start wearing high waisted trousers at this rate…

Adding the lettering will hopefully lift it a bit adding some contrasting colour beyond the chrome centre caps. I may get the car wrapped a different colour entirely in the future but we’ve got a long list of house projects to prioritise first… pfft.

Ordering the lettering

I chose permanent exact match tyre lettering from TyreWallStickers.com. I’m not being paid or getting any discount for writing this blog but I did manage to get 10% off due to doing a small part of the illustrator work on the final design. Thanks for that guys!

To get exact match lettering I had to trace the outline of the letters on the tyres. I also measured them precisely to 26mm in height. I then had to scan the tracings and send them over via email.

I received back a PDF that shows the exact shape of the letters and they suggested they send me some samples before I go ahead and order them. The reason for this was that I originally wanted outline lettering as seen below in my first and only time I’ll ever hand paint tyres. I quite liked the look.

(My advice is to never paint white lettering on tyres unless it’s for a temporary reason. It’s a good job I had a few drinks doing that as it got super tedious and worst of all the letters didn’t last 3 months before they looked like shit.)

A few days later the samples arrived. They looked good but the advice from TyreWallStickers.com was to go for the solid letters as the bonding will be far stronger.

I went ahead and ordered the full set plus an extra set for the spare tyre. They arrived two days later. Once again, I’m not being paid to say this but the service is spot on from these guys. Friendly and super efficient. Here’s what you get for your money.

  • 4 sets of lettering (+ 1 spare)
  • Tyre Cleaner
  • Glue
  • Installation guide

Installation

Like anything in life preparation is key. I followed the guide to the letter (pardon the pun), thoroughly cleaning and lightly sanding the raised letters on the tyres. I also had to remove the little sprues from each letter with some small pliers and a scalpel.

The Toyo tyres are not ideal for adding white lettering as they already have chunky raised letters. Flat lettering would be better or sanding them down which was a step too far for me time wise. At the end of the day this was as much about trying it out than expecting perfect results.

The cleaning preparation took almost as long as sticking the letters on as my dumb ass put tyre shine on a few days ago just to see what it would look like… it looked stupid, if you were wondering.

You can glue the letters on with the wheels fitted but I decided to remove each wheel as I worked through them. That way I could position them more accurately. I placed a few letters out of alignment. It’s zoomed in here and at worst some are 1mm out.

When viewed as a whole, you can’t notice the less than perfect positioning.

It took approximately 5-6 hours to do all five tyres that included removing each wheel one at a time. It’s not difficult but it is obviously repetitive. If you like attention to detail you’ll enjoy it. I did!

Final result

It will take a bit getting used too and I’m not instantly sold on the look but it certainly has delivered on the promise. I wanted to add some contrast to the wheels and these pretty much poke your eyes out.

Perhaps I would have preferred outline lettering but the more I see them on the car the more I like it. In future I’ll definitely look harder for tyres with OWL standard as I feel it adds a little something extra to the overall style of the car I’ve been working towards.

There’s still a fairly large list of mods I want to make. It’s a gradual process I’m trying to enjoy instead of being impatient as I am with every other aspect of my life 🙂

I’ll post some pictures of the full view of the Jimny with the white lettering on the toyos in a few days. I’m off camping with Denis @last_seen_exploring so the locations ought to be a nicer backdrop than my front driveway.

Lastly, if you really want white lettering on your tyres all I will say is it’s just a short labour of love project. It’s not difficult and if you like projects you can do while listening to an audiobook or music it’s a nice productive way to spend your weekend. If you try it yourself, comment below and link to pictures if you have them. It’ll be cool to see.

I hope it has helped you decide if this is something you want to do yourself.

Cheers Paul

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