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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 07-22-2009, 05:50 PM   #1
beowulf80
 
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3M Clear Protection film - verification of a terrible install

Hey all, just had the 3M film installed on my IBM 2SS. I had them do the front fascia, and the mirrors. Intention is to protect against rock chips. I did expect that they would have to use 2-3 pieces to do the whole clip. Install time was ~6 hours. I did not have a chance to inspect the car while I was there, when I came in it was pouring rain. I had heard that the installer was very reputible, so I was not worried at all.


However, as you can see in picures below they used many, many more than 2-3 pieces. I expect the piece count to be 17 seperate cuts. There is a 1/4" to 1/2" open seam at every bend of the sheetmetal, they did not wrap it over any of the corners. On the passenger mirror the gap between the film is closer to 3/4". I am dubious of its function of protecting against rock chips, not to mention the nightmare this is would be to wax.

Total cost was $400 plus taxes.

It is my intention to expresss my displeasure to the Ziebart who installed this and see what they will offer, but I wanted to be sure I'm not being unreasonable in my assumptions. For those of you who have had this done, is this typical for an install? Pics below. Sorry for the poor quality, had to use the flash for the seams to show up, washes out the paint color and messes up the focus.

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Old 07-22-2009, 05:51 PM   #2
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Yeah, not looking too fancy there.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:52 PM   #3
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And before anyone rags on me, yes the car is dirty; note the fact I just drove it through an hour of rain / puddles, bugs, etc.
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Old 07-22-2009, 05:57 PM   #4
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I'm dealing with the same thing here in CO...except yours looks better than mine...





Maybe its the color? LOL
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #5
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I'm dealing with the same thing here in CO...except yours looks better than mine... I'm dealing with the same thing here in CO...except yours looks better than mine...Maybe its the color? LOL
I don't know, Your seams look better than mine. That said, that wrinkling...ouch. I think we both got screwed.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:02 PM   #6
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Clear bra is dumb! IMO of course.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:24 PM   #7
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screw the bra.. Well, maybe in Co. with your nasty winters.. but hell, my bumber gets beat up, ill re paint it in 3 years.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:26 PM   #8
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I realize that using multiple pieces of material might be necessary given the various curvature points of a particular vehicle, but for $400 I'd expect a much better install job. The cut pieces look like they were made by someone who just finished a quadruple espresso or something. Did they cut the pieces on the car? If so, then I do not care how "careful" someone is as that razor blade will eventually hit paint.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:47 PM   #9
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Judging from how large and inconsistant the gaps are, I doubt they were cut on the car. Especially the mirrors, they aren't even close.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:55 PM   #10
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I am an installer and I can tell you that both installs are terrible. $400 is very cheap... but that said I would not be happy with that on my car even if it was free. Beowolf80, my advice is to take it back and have them remove ALL of the film. It looks like some of the seems are off and uneven... which could be a sign it was cut, meaning your paint may be cut. Clearly whoever did youre car is an amature and should not be doing installs. Angelics youres looks realy bad too. I have never seen that many work marks in film in such a small area. Another sign of an amature installer. I would also have that removed and go somewhere else. Both of you should get full refunds and both of you should check your paint after all the film is removed to make sure you do not have any cuts in your paint.

Having a good clear bra installation done will cost you more than $400. A resonable pricewould be around $750-800 since a good quality film will cost $300+ alone. Also the lower bumper should be 1 piece, the upper bumper (in front of the hood) should be 1 piece. 17 pieces is insane... in fact that is so crazy I would like to get with you to get your photos so that I can share them with some other clear bra installers. Send me a PM and I will see if I can help you guys find a good installer in your area.

As for he two guys that do not agree with getting a clear bra, go ahead. Pay 30+ grand for a nice car, let it get chipped up, and watch the resale value of your cars plummet when you get it repainted. Good luck with matching the paint as well... not easy to do.
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:57 PM   #11
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400 bucks is not much. and neither is that install. my teenagers do a better job of paint film. go get your money back and source a real installer. dont go by word of mouth. view jobs done. any good installer will have several cars, plus his own to show you, on any given day. sorry about your luck, but the film will still do its job where there is coverage. the shoddy gaps tho... yeesh. i have one word.
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Old 07-22-2009, 08:18 PM   #12
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I paid $600 for mine :(
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:00 PM   #13
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I paid $700 and I really do think that the IBM and Black paints will show every imperfection that the lighter colors would not.
I posted a few pics of my Camaro, with the 3M CLEARBRA installed about 7 weeks ago on this site. Since then I had my installer come back to work a few bubbles and "Silvering" out of the film. My gaps are all less then 1/8" and the total pieces used were 6 for the whole front end and mirrors. Hope this helps.
If my car was one of the lighter colors I would not have noticed 90% of the imperfections. But most people do not even notice the Bra until I point it out to them.
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:20 PM   #14
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bleh...

those look terrible... I would get my money back...
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Old 07-23-2009, 02:57 AM   #15
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These tools do your install? I feel your pain, I had some jack off install my stripes and totally F*#$d em up. I removed them, bought new ones and now I'm doing them my damn self.
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Old 07-23-2009, 03:04 AM   #16
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But it's hard to tell what it looks like the pics are all out of focus , think you need a new Camera too , sorry but I can't make heads or tails outta those photos
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Old 07-23-2009, 04:30 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by htp autoworks View Post
I am an installer and I can tell you that both installs are terrible. $400 is very cheap... but that said I would not be happy with that on my car even if it was free. Beowolf80, my advice is to take it back and have them remove ALL of the film. It looks like some of the seems are off and uneven... which could be a sign it was cut, meaning your paint may be cut. Clearly whoever did youre car is an amature and should not be doing installs. Angelics youres looks realy bad too. I have never seen that many work marks in film in such a small area. Another sign of an amature installer. I would also have that removed and go somewhere else. Both of you should get full refunds and both of you should check your paint after all the film is removed to make sure you do not have any cuts in your paint.

Having a good clear bra installation done will cost you more than $400. A resonable pricewould be around $750-800 since a good quality film will cost $300+ alone. Also the lower bumper should be 1 piece, the upper bumper (in front of the hood) should be 1 piece. 17 pieces is insane... in fact that is so crazy I would like to get with you to get your photos so that I can share them with some other clear bra installers. Send me a PM and I will see if I can help you guys find a good installer in your area.

As for he two guys that do not agree with getting a clear bra, go ahead. Pay 30+ grand for a nice car, let it get chipped up, and watch the resale value of your cars plummet when you get it repainted. Good luck with matching the paint as well... not easy to do.

htp autoworks--how close are you to Shreveport? I may be able to use your services!!
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:32 PM   #18
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Wow. And that's a bad "Wow." 17 pieces??!! What a patchwork quilt of ineptitude and inexperience.

I had XPel clear film installed on my vehicle - the complete front bumper, halfway up the hood, the mirrors, behind the wheels and along the rocker panels: $1200. And my installer is do the front pillars and the roof line for free as he's been getting business from people who've seen my car at shows.

Truly unbelievable. The widest seam line on my car is perhaps 1/16th of an inch or so, but the gentleman who installed my XPel is used to covering vehicles routinely costing 5 - 10 times as much as mine and is a much-appreciated perfectionist.

Get your money back and demand they remove that mess from your ride in broad daylight so you can document any damage. And make sure your trunk monkey is handy :-)
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Old 07-23-2009, 07:37 PM   #19
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Do all you guys still have that ugly plastic film on the face plate of your cell phone? And on the stereo display on the inside of your car?

Sometimes "protecting" a car isn't worth making it look ugly.
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Old 07-23-2009, 08:00 PM   #20
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Some others members have had better luck maybe better quality with theirs, You might check your paint to see if they did any damage. Good luck, Last thing you want to hear is a dumb a$$ analogy after you wasted 400 dollars.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:23 PM   #21
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Like some of the other posts I'm thinking the color has a ton to do with it. I paid $500 and mine looks like a dogs breakfast (wrinkles, bubbles, bad seams). I used the same company that did my Dad's CTS and it was mint. That being said his CTS is pearl white while my SS is ABM. They told me to give it three weeks to shrink into place but it is still a mess. People love the car and then look at the front end like somethings wrong. Tired of standing there and explaining it's a clear bra. Done right it is money well spent. If it ever stops raining here its going back for either a refund or give them one more shot.
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Old 07-23-2009, 09:36 PM   #22
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I paid 800 for mine and there's only 3 spots I don't like. 2 are hair and another was when I had to cut the film because it didn't lay right and got dirt under it.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:32 PM   #23
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I purchased the 3M kit for the LT, included pieces are two piece front bumper, leading 17" of hood, front fenders, Roof, A-Pillars and the light kit. I paid $265.00 for the whole kit. I am going to attempt to install it over the weekend myself. I hope that every thing works out good. I will advise later of the difficulty and time spent. I have never atempted this before, but I feel safer doing the work myself, than going to a fly by night shop and get a crappy job done.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:24 AM   #24
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damn that sucks sorry thats happening to you guys.

Hey Viper I'll be waiting to see piks since were SIM 2LT/RS brothers ...
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Old 08-07-2009, 06:26 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by luckynuts View Post
Like some of the other posts I'm thinking the color has a ton to do with it. I paid $500 and mine looks like a dogs breakfast (wrinkles, bubbles, bad seams). I used the same company that did my Dad's CTS and it was mint. That being said his CTS is pearl white while my SS is ABM. They told me to give it three weeks to shrink into place but it is still a mess. People love the car and then look at the front end like somethings wrong. Tired of standing there and explaining it's a clear bra. Done right it is money well spent. If it ever stops raining here its going back for either a refund or give them one more shot.
Same company but maybe not the same installer? It makes a difference who is doing it. I would say this is more like an art than anything else.
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