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  #13  
Old 02-22-2013, 10:58 AM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

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Originally Posted by lysol View Post
I spent around $600 to have the 3m clear bra installed on my accord. It's lower to the ground so it's more susceptible to damage than my Jeep. It is amazing but it is also tedious to take care of. I'm guessing at around 50k miles, I'll have it replaced and the bumper/headlights/front portion of hood/side fenders/mirrors will look brand spanking new again.
Out of curiosity, why do you say it's tedious to take care of? I had one for 6 years and barely noticed it was on there. I could wash and wax it like it wasn't even there.
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:00 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

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Originally Posted by Dabitz View Post
Please do... my front bumper is a disaster, it makes me sad to look at it.
Can I ask what your percentage of highway/city driving is?
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Old 02-22-2013, 12:05 PM
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I spent about $125 on a full DIY kit and about 2-3 hours in the garage. It's not as hard as people are saying it is and it is some what forgiving if you're willing to spend the time pulling the film apart. The cost installers are charging is exorbitant and ridiculous. I could see $100-$200 go labor but $700 total cost even with custom cut is stupid.

Best decision I did on my 2012. Front end is still spotless. My 2009 silverado had all sorts of chips and wish I installed the clear bra on that one.
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  #16  
Old 02-22-2013, 12:22 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

Regarding the original question, as some of you here probably know, I keep going back and forth. When I first heard about the idea I was convinced it was a must-have. I've done a lot of research since then, and while the general consensus is that the bra definitely does keep the paint chip-free, here's what's giving me second thoughts:

1) It's expensive: about $600 or $700 for 1/3 of the hood, 1/3 of the front fenders, front bumper, and mirror covers. Add a couple hundred more for the full hood and another couple hundred for the full fenders to avoid the line (which some say is practically invisible, others say they hate, and either way it seems like dirt and wax tend to build up there, although it's probably not a huge deal). Yes, I know, it's a minor investment compared to the cost of the vehicle, but still.

2) The quality of the installer seems to be very important for a nice looking job, but unfortunately it's not terribly easy to know who is a good installer until after you have the work done.

3) 50% of the poll takers in this thread say they have no stone chips or permanent road rash, and since I don't do much highway driving at all, and try to keep ample room between me and the car in front regardless, I'm wondering if I really need it. Lately I've been looking at the front-end of other newer cars of various makes and models, and haven't noticed any damage from a couple feet away (and didn't notice a bra line either -- although maybe I just didn't see it ).

4) Because of the line visibility (if you go partial), and the possibility, however small, of an imperfect install (stretch marks, things caught underneath the film, poor pattern fit, etc), there is the possibility that the appearance of the bra will bother me more than any chips I might get.

So, a chip here and there (that can probably be touched up pretty easily) I don't think I'll mind, nor do I want to spend near a grand to protect against. I don't want to be a perfectionist or obsess over the little things in life that quite frankly in the grand scheme of things aren't that huge a deal.

On the other hand, if I know it'll prevent the front end from getting seriously chipped to hell and looking terrible... I wouldn't mind spending that money.

I think what I've decided to do is play it by ear. If I start seeing chips quickly and they look bad, then maybe I'll spring for one. I was also thinking about visiting the local car rental lot and asking if I can take a look at their Jeeps to see what kind of damage they see and if the amount they have bothers me.
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:35 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andoskyy View Post
Out of curiosity, why do you say it's tedious to take care of? I had one for 6 years and barely noticed it was on there. I could wash and wax it like it wasn't even there.
You can't clay bar it. So when it comes down to putting the next coat of wax on, anything you don't remove off of it get's waxed over. There were some small bugs that were almost glued to the clear bra that I just couldn't get off. I got the spots down to pretty small but I have since waxed over them. Now don't get me wrong, from a distance, you can't tell it's there, but up close (due to my OCD), you can see the imperfections building up.
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  #18  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:06 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

As stated in other clear bra threads on JG, IMO, a clear bra is a no-brainer, must-have.

Every woman should have one.
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  #19  
Old 02-22-2013, 04:39 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JeepersCreepers View Post
Regarding the original question, as some of you here probably know, I keep going back and forth. When I first heard about the idea I was convinced it was a must-have. I've done a lot of research since then, and while the general consensus is that the bra definitely does keep the paint chip-free, here's what's giving me second thoughts:

1) It's expensive: about $600 or $700 for 1/3 of the hood, 1/3 of the front fenders, front bumper, and mirror covers. Add a couple hundred more for the full hood and another couple hundred for the full fenders to avoid the line (which some say is practically invisible, others say they hate, and either way it seems like dirt and wax tend to build up there, although it's probably not a huge deal). Yes, I know, it's a minor investment compared to the cost of the vehicle, but still.

2) The quality of the installer seems to be very important for a nice looking job, but unfortunately it's not terribly easy to know who is a good installer until after you have the work done.

3) 50% of the poll takers in this thread say they have no stone chips or permanent road rash, and since I don't do much highway driving at all, and try to keep ample room between me and the car in front regardless, I'm wondering if I really need it. Lately I've been looking at the front-end of other newer cars of various makes and models, and haven't noticed any damage from a couple feet away (and didn't notice a bra line either -- although maybe I just didn't see it ).

4) Because of the line visibility (if you go partial), and the possibility, however small, of an imperfect install (stretch marks, things caught underneath the film, poor pattern fit, etc), there is the possibility that the appearance of the bra will bother me more than any chips I might get.

So, a chip here and there (that can probably be touched up pretty easily) I don't think I'll mind, nor do I want to spend near a grand to protect against. I don't want to be a perfectionist or obsess over the little things in life that quite frankly in the grand scheme of things aren't that huge a deal.

On the other hand, if I know it'll prevent the front end from getting seriously chipped to hell and looking terrible... I wouldn't mind spending that money.

I think what I've decided to do is play it by ear. If I start seeing chips quickly and they look bad, then maybe I'll spring for one. I was also thinking about visiting the local car rental lot and asking if I can take a look at their Jeeps to see what kind of damage they see and if the amount they have bothers me.

You do make valid points. Amount of time in conditions where road rash can occur is probably the thing you need to think about the most. In my case, $500 for the full front fender, lights, and fog lights. I did not do the hood and because the side mirrors are chromed cannot put the film on them, (You can physically apply film, but it makes the Chrome look Blue)

You have to find a profesional installer that does this full time. Although you can do it yourself it is not an easy job to do. I found a guy locally by seeking out the high end car blogs and asking who they used. He did a proper job, using 3M shield, with a custom cutting plotter he has on site. As far as taking care of the shield, it is no better or worse than how you take care of your paint. Contrary to another post, you can clay the surface, I have done so. You can also wax the surface as well.

I would at the least seek out someone in your area that does this for a living and go see them doing the work. It may sway you one way or the other and give you a better sense on how visible the seems are.
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Old 02-22-2013, 04:42 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

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Originally Posted by lysol View Post
You can't clay bar it. So when it comes down to putting the next coat of wax on, anything you don't remove off of it get's waxed over. There were some small bugs that were almost glued to the clear bra that I just couldn't get off. I got the spots down to pretty small but I have since waxed over them. Now don't get me wrong, from a distance, you can't tell it's there, but up close (due to my OCD), you can see the imperfections building up.

I have clayed mine with no issues at all. Even used on bugs and have gotten them all off. What lubricant are you using for the spray?
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:00 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

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Originally Posted by JeepersCreepers View Post
Can I ask what your percentage of highway/city driving is?
80%hwy/20%cty

Trying to find a body shop in north jersey that would not ask for an arm, a left and my left nut.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:16 PM
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Shades Of Gray outside Philip did my clear bra. Came out perfect. Did the lower valance, bumper, quarter hood and quarter of the quarter panels, grill, headlights. Can't even tell its on unless at certain angles
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:55 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

No way I would put it on my vehicle. Got the 3M brand (the same one lining the props on helo's) put on my wifes car and 7 years later it has spider webs all over. Sure, it wsa great for the first couple years. However, since we keep cars for a while, I would just opt out and maintain a greater gap between me and the car in front. After 2 years in the JGC and 4 years in the F250 there are few poc marks on the front of those vehicles.
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  #24  
Old 02-22-2013, 11:22 PM
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Re: Are you going to clear bra?

Couple thoughts.

- The clear bra is installed on both my vette and wife's caddy. The vette was $550 and the Caddy was about $600+...same guy did the work locally. I found him through the local cadillac dealership and their body shop. Suggestion, just the high end car dealers and see who they use. The cadillac dealer body shop let the guy use their bays to work on both of my cars...found they had a great working relationship and it worked to my benefit (IMO).
My vette is an 08 with about 10 miles over 12K miles...not a lot of road time. I was on a local drive from a cars and coffee and a rock/boulder/object fell off the vehicle in front of me (I used the same concept....several cars back, give me space,etc)...I watched as the object bounced right at me and over the hood with a big bang...talk about reaction time or move out of the way...not going to happen on a narrow two lane road with vehicles on my right...
Long story short, the object road the 3M film up the hood, literally rolling it up with it. The only damage, was about a 4inch relatively deep scratch of the paint...I am pretty anal about my vehicles, so there was no way I was going to leave it as is...
Took it to the cadillac auto body shop, had their technicians look at it...about $200 later for the paint, and a new install of the 3M film for free (same guy with his warranty)...my vette was good as new...Speaking with the technicians who repainted the area and had to pull the film off...they said without the film to slow down the rock (kind of caught it and rolled), I would be looking at a $750-$1K hood repaint...
So, to me...the film is work every penny...

Before installing though, I would highly recommend you clay, polish and wax the areas getting the film. Did this on both the caddy and vette...thinks it looks better and gives the guys installing a nice, smooth and clean surface.

Hope that helps...
Scott
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