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#1 (permalink) Old 05-21-2004, 03:05 PM
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This product is also known as transparent bra, rock (rok) guard, stoneguard and probably a bunch of other clever names that I can't think of. 3m is the major manufacture of this type of material. There are some others that can be found on the net.

This document has 5 sections:
1) MATERIALS
2) INSTALLATION
3) MAINTENANCE
4) PRICING
5) LINKS TO INSTALLATION PICS


MATERIALS
---------------
Basically it's a thin sheet of clear plastic type material put on your car to protect your paint from chips and light scratches. The material definitely will scratch; like by a curb that I rubbed against with the lower right front bumper. Nothing to rub out; only replacement.

INSTALLATION
------------------
It's installed with a soap/water solution that acts as a lubricant and soft plastic/vinyl applicators of different thicknesses that are used to "push" it against your paint and remove air bubbles. For kits, that's about all that's needed. For custom work, see my links below. Some small areas such as mirrors and lights can be a DIY installation. Based on various reports, anything else should be done by a pro, just like installing tint. It's easy to screw up and the material can't be fixed after it's been creased or large air bubbles not removed.


Overall I had the an ArmourFend kit (it wrapped more completely than other kits) applied to the front bumper, the full hood covered with 3m (3 year warranty against yellowing), other stuff was done with Xpel (lifetime warranty against yellowing) material: custom splash guards (front/rear), door edges, door cups, rocker panels, custom full rear bumper, headlights, fog lights and back of mirrors covered.

Unless I point out the edges to you, they are not really noticable. The edges can collect dirt so they have to be wiped down regularly. If you look at the hood from different angles, you'll see that the clear bra is not exactly as smooth as paint. However, when it's cleaned and waxed, it feels as smooth as paint. Also, from more than 3 feet away, you won't notice it unless I point it out to you.

MAINTENANCE
------------------
It's maintained just like a painted surface. Regular washing/waxing. Scratches/dings don't rub out though (their pretty hard to see, though). I definitely don't clay bar it. I do use a paint prep material before a complete waxing.

Edges that wrap around curved surfaces may not adhere very well and will pick up dirt/grime in a few place and may need to be replaced. Keep a close eye for this problem. The Armourfend kit doesn't wrap around the very bottom of my bumper. I need to have it replaced and custom wrapped.

PRICING
-----------
Retail price: $1700. Imo, it's definitely worth it. The basic front bumper/hood is somewhere around $200-$300 installed. The custom splash guards were the next best thing I had installed. I don't have a seperate price for them though. It didn't use much material but took awhile to design and cut out.

Everything was installed by Envisage Design, Torrance,California: 310-787-7544. They install clear bras for many high-end cars for the public and dealers.


LINKS TO INSTALLATION PICS:
------------------------------------
Doorcups

Custom splash guards

Custom Rear Bumper

Custom Rear Bumper (round 2)

2004 E60 530is, Delivered 12/12/03, TiSilver/LGrey, PP, SP,PS, PDC, ACC, FRS, Step, Xenons, clear bra, body colored rear inserts. (Retired, 1983 henna red 320is)

2004 Corvette Z06 Commemorative Edition
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