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Cosmetic Maintenance: Washing, Waxing, Detailing, Bodywork, Protection Anything related to keeping your Camaro clean and in good cosmetic condition.

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Old 05-06-2013, 02:10 PM   #1
Skogen
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Question Paint Protection/Clear Bra Questions

I have about a 2 mile drive of gravel to my house. Yes I know Gravel is BAD! as my neighbor (fiftydriver) would say.

Besides driving slow and having the moulded mud flaps on the front and rear of the car, what are you using for paint protection or to prevent rock chips.

I used the search function, but most of the information i pulled up is old. I know there are alot of products out there and more important some time for the product to perform or fail.

I live in Great Falls, Montana, our local shop uses dura shield, but they said they cut the clear plastic on the car free hand, not with a machine. Not sure if i like that option.

Anyways, I am looking for opinions and reviews. What brands of clear plastic to stay away from and which to look for. Also how does it hold up? Pro's/Con's or if there is a completely different product I should be looking for.

Also a long shot, but if you are from the Big Sky State and know of a good shop that does this?

Thanks

Brian
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Old 05-06-2013, 03:33 PM   #2
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The shop that did mine used Llumar clear bra. I've only had it on for a few days but I love it so far.

I put the pink paper on the line where the bra ends. Unless you know what you're looking for and are up close you can't tell it's there. Those white lines you see are just the reflection of my garage ceiling, not the bra.
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Old 05-06-2013, 04:56 PM   #3
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Clear bra is where its at to prevent rock chips. Xpel is one of the best brands in my opinion, but one of the most expensive. It absolutely saves your front bumper, so I definitely recommend one, not Xpel in particular, it moreso depends on the person applying it.

I'd recommend the front bumper and side mirrors in particular since you're mainly driving slow speeds at the most susceptible time. Another area that could possibly help is the beginning of the roof, I have a couple chips up there from rocks.

Personally I'm not a fan of going up the hood, it helps quite a bit, but I find it a pain when detailing a car.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
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I am thinking front bumper, maybe partway up the front of the hood, mirror, but the biggest area of concern for me is the lower rocker pannels, bottom portion of the door ect...

These are the area's I would like to protect.
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Old 05-06-2013, 05:50 PM   #5
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I've been trying to schedule a PPF installation for over a month now, so 1) start looking for installers you'd trust with your car. For film, XPEL and 3M seem to be the most popular brands. I've decided on XPEL ultimate since it has a longer warranty, self-heals to remove minor scratches, and doesn't have the "orange peel" texture people have said about the 3M film.

For coverage; I'm getting the front upper/lower bumper, lights, and mirrors covered. I'd also like patches on the underside of the rear bumper behind the rear wheels since I've got chips there and don't personally like the look of spash guards. One installer I talked to recommended covering the "gilles" in-front of the rear wheels, but I don't really want to see the edge of the film running along the side of the car. I'd like to cover the rockers too but there is already some coverage & everything else will be $$$ enough.

Definately shop around, I've gotten about a 2X difference in prices.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:00 PM   #6
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bluBlud its a bit of a ride but take a look at automobiliaautosalon.com they are in West Haven. They did my front bumper and facia, their work is second to none you wont be disappointed.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:10 PM   #7
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I have heard from an installer on high end cars that they aren't worth it.. You hear to replace them every 2-3 years, they're expensive, and if left on for too long, they damage the paint.. That is, for the clear bras..


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Old 05-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #8
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I use my car as a daily driver and I was always afraid to drive anywhere for fear of chips on my paint. I went on a 500 mile round trip with mostly interstate driving and was very careful to stay far behind any vehicles and still ended up with about 10 new chips before I got the clear bra.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:27 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPittbull View Post
I have heard from an installer on high end cars that they aren't worth it.. You hear to replace them every 2-3 years, they're expensive, and if left on for too long, they damage the paint.. That is, for the clear bras..




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Well, you heard wrong. Completely wrong actually.
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Old 05-06-2013, 09:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPittbull View Post
I have heard from an installer on high end cars that they aren't worth it.. You hear to replace them every 2-3 years, they're expensive, and if left on for too long, they damage the paint.. That is, for the clear bras..


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it takes quite a bit of skill to stretch the material. Also many installers don't spend the money to buy the cutting machine to cut it exact, instead they'll lay it over the vehicle and cut. As long as you choose an Xpel or high end 3m film and applied properly, there is no damage to the paint and no chance of yellowing.

If they are installed poorly, without washing beforehand, applied by someone with little experience, then yes it will trap contaminants, dirt, that can shift minority scratching the paint. And if the film is cheap it will yellow after a few years.
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Old 05-07-2013, 09:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 67RS2010SS View Post
bluBlud its a bit of a ride but take a look at automobiliaautosalon.com they are in West Haven. They did my front bumper and facia, their work is second to none you wont be disappointed.
Thanks. I did get a quote from those guys, they were still about 2X another installer that is highly recommended on this site and others. The shop I ended up using is comparable to the later and had enough examples on their website for me to be comfortable using them. I plan on posting more details with pics in the New England forum later today (install is happening as I type).

Edit: maybe you do get what you pay for after all. Not entirely pleased with my installation (see New England forum for details). Installer pics can be helpful, maybe biased. Actual customer pics are better. I'd be interested in seeing other owner (not installer) pics of what an exceptional install should look like if anyone has what they think is a really good install and is willing to snap a few pics. I'm thinking of getting mine redone.
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