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    Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    Just investigating the whole area of paint protection, and getting it done in the UK. Looking at some sort of paint sealant treatment, and a 'Clear Bra' film for the front end.

    If anyone has any experience or advice for either of the above?

    There's a company called InvincaShield which make pre-cut kits of the 3M plastic shield stuff. In the USA, they already have 05 Boxster/Boxster S kits. >Link<

    In the UK www.invincashield.co.uk do not have an 05 Boxster kit on sale yet, so if other Rennteam members could hassle them... I emailed them yesterday, but no response so far. Will give them a call later on and let you know.

    Regarding paint sealant applications, I found this company in Essex called http://www.clean-image.co.uk that has lots of useful information and comparison on paint sealants (DiamondBrite, SuperGuard, LifeShine, etc) and they seem like they are keen to pamper your cars. I'm going to get them to LifeShine my Boxster next week, and possibly fit ClearBra stuff, though they haven't really got much experience of doing it.

    Anyone had a ClearBra done in the UK, and could recommend the fitter?

    Any thoughts or opinions welcomed!

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    Also http://www.invisiblepatterns.com.... who do pattens using VentureShield...?

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    And for those that didn't catch this link when I posted it before... an interesting test article that had me convinced of the value of this stuff.

    http://www.automotivearticles.com/Clear_Bra_3M.shtml

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    My .. uhm no.. my CAR's!... permanent body/paint protection was done by Lancaster Porsche in Colchester. Supposedly good for 6 years. It cost 299 GBP. I haven't had it for long but my guess would be that it's not as stonechip-resistent as the clear bra / film solutions.

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    Quote:
    wtsnet said:
    And for those that didn't catch this link when I posted it before... an interesting test article that had me convinced of the value of this stuff.

    http://www.automotivearticles.com/Clear_Bra_3M.shtml



    You had it done yet? How about a group buy??

    Mark

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    Group Buy could be a good idea...

    Anybody else interested???

    I'll be in if we can get a good price

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    I'd be interested in the shield/film but would a) likely prefer a UK supplier and b) see it on a dark car before deciding.

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    Got a call this PM from the guy at Invincashield. Sounds quite professional. He's based in Kent, and I think travels to peoples houses to fit it. He's getting the templates for the 2005 model year as we speak, and will be emailing me prices when he has them.

    I'll mention a group buy to him and see what he says. Anyone up for that?

    Re: Paint Protection and Clear Bra in UK

    Sounds good. Maybe he can reference a dark car to look at. Will definitely call, thanks WTSnet.

    The plot thickens

    Right, regarding the ClearBra stuff, there's basically:
    a) The film itself
    b) Companies that design and cut templates from a), and sort of franchise out the fitting work to c)
    c) Fitters, that buy templates from b) and apply them to your car for you.

    I think this is how it works!

    As far as I can tell (Very useful info from Danny at Clean-Image, thanks Danny) most people use 3M Film. Will give some examples and links to some of the UK providers (b) and their templates shortly....

    Re: The plot thickens

    Company: InvincaShield
    Location: Kent
    Company type: Kit/template producer and also on-site fitter.
    Website: www.invincashield.co.uk

    Kit Cost: Estimated Pounds400 fitted (TBA), possibly a little more.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Conmpany: ArmourFend
    Company Type: Template Supplier and Fitter, both at their site and they can also organise on-site fitting.
    Website: www.armourfend.com
    Costs (parts only, full details TBA):

    PR/2727/01 Bonnet Pounds70.00
    PR/2727/02 Door Mirrors (Pair) Pounds10.00
    PR/2727/03 Door Steps (Pair) Pounds12.50
    PR/2727/05 Front Bumper Pounds170.00
    PR/2727/04 Front Bumper Insert Pounds10.00
    PR/2727/H Headlights (Pair) Pounds15.00
    PR/2727/06 Inner Front Wheel Arches (Pair) Pounds10.00
    PR/2727/07 Inner Rear Wheel Arches (Pair) Pounds10.00
    PR/2727/08 Lower Skirt Pounds40.00
    PR/2727/09 Rear Wheel Aches (Pair) Pounds50.00
    PR/2727/F Spotlights (Pair) Pounds10.00
    PR/2727/10 Wing Ends (Pair) Pounds50.00

    Re: The plot thickens

    Company: PaintShield, AKA X-Pel
    Type: Template supplier
    Website: www.xpeleu.com

    Visit the website to see the templates!

    Re: The plot thickens

    Can anyone who's interested take a look at the available templates/companies and give their opinions? I have mine, but it'd be useful to know what you think! If anyone has any experience of any of the above, that would be really great.

    Thanks in advance.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Very interesting - thanks for the info BUT! In the car manual Porsche warn not to put anything on the headlight covers, in order to prevent overheating.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Quote:
    dreamcar said:
    Very interesting - thanks for the info BUT! In the car manual Porsche warn not to put anything on the headlight covers, in order to prevent overheating.


    If you mean page 207, I think it's a bit ambiguous. There is a note which says 'to ensure optimum ventilation, do not cover up the gap between the headlights and the body.' I am hesitant about putting stuff on the headlights, I agree with you, but... perhaps Porsche is being a little over cautious on this one? I think there is also a question mark over the optical clarity of the film when used on the lights.

    You don't have to have the lights covered, it's just an option. My dealer specifically didn't recommend putting any film on the car at all, just to touch up and respray as necessary. You pays your money, you takes your choice I suppose.

    My thoughts on comparison of the various templates... where are the joins/edges? how difficult are they to fit? what happens when shrinkage occurs?... that kind of thing. I'd probably go for the ArmourFend template as the joins seem a little less obvious. The bumper is going to be the painful area to fit, but that depends on the competancy of c) as well as the design of the template.

    My preference for film versus respray is that you can always peel the film off and re-do it. I don't think it degrades the paint underneath significantly.

    I'll poke around more tomorrow. Any thoughts welcome.
    ArmourFend are the big players in the market it seems. Invincashield seems a one-man operation, though friendly.

    Re: The plot thickens

    This might be worthwhile to consider for cost reasons:
    http://www.invinca-shield.com/asp/genkit.asp?kit=3646

    Phone: +1.336.838.5947 (NC)

    It's the 987 Invinca Boxster S kit, but ordered from the US which might save some money. The full deluxe kit plus mirrors, delivered to the UK, should thus cost around 220-250 GBP (with the global delivery fee ranging between 17 and 32 USD).

    The drawback being that ordering from overseas likely means self-installation, which could be tricky for some parts (bumper?). I called the company and they confirmed that every order of a standard, deluxe or options package comes with an installation kit and instructions.

    Re: The plot thickens

    From what I understand, the UK agent (Simon) for InvincaShield either has, or is in the process of getting the Boxster templates. However his technique is to cut up the bigger parts (the bumper I guess) into smaller sections that are easier to fit by yourself. I was trying to find out from him exactly how the pieces would be cut, but I haven't had a reply to my email yet.

    I'd possibly be interested in a self-fit kit. It'd probably take much longer, and induce more swearing, but we'd probably pay lots of attention to the prep and fit. From other sites I've seen, the bonnet and wing pieces are two star (**) fitting difficulty, and the bumper sections are five star (****), which sounds like a two-person with lots of swearing job.

    Will the US ship to the UK? If not, perhaps Rich could bring some kits back?

    Re: The plot thickens

    By the way, Danny at Clean-Image seems pretty competant, and I think he's going the way of Invinca-Shield kits.

    While I was there getting the paint sealant done last Friday, they advised that the headlights/fogs probably didn't need protection as they're plastic not glass, and thus less prone to damage they reckon.

    I've got to wait 2 weeks for the sealant to cure before I can apply any 3M film to it.

    Danny showed me some of the film, and it's pretty thick stuff, which made me a little worried about how it would look. But I suppose it could always come off again. Who's brave enough to try it first?

    Re: The plot thickens

    Quote:
    wtsnet said:
    Will the US ship to the UK? If not, perhaps Rich could bring some kits back?



    Don't you start I've enough requests from her in doors!

    Personally not going to bother with this - had a few largish chips on my last Boxster and I manged to handle them well enough with carefull touchup application that the dealer didn't need to respray the nose - despite him warning me over the phone that they always have to knocka few hundred off for doing this.

    Saw a 986 (W reg) with this on and it didn't look too bad although you could see the lines - although I don't know how old the protection was - this particualr car was the Jade Metallic. To be honest the lines, no matter how discrete, would probably wind me up more than the chips. If I had a dark coloured car I may think differently though.

    Interestingly one of the exploded diagrams above seems to show coverage for infront of the rear wheel arches - hasn't the 987 already got this?

    Re: The plot thickens

    Thanks for investigating, Ente, by the way. How rude of me!

    Are you pretty keen to go for getting it done? I got so confused about all this I've put it on the back burner for a second. Looking at it again, the InvincaShield stuff DOES come in smaller bumper bits, you're right. Don't know how much of a trauma it'll be to self-fit.

    Also there's the problem with the licence plate, the washer jet nozzles and the towing-hitch cover. I'm sure they're possible to work around though. Some kits have pre-cut holes for the washer jets....

    Re: The plot thickens

    I'm looking at three major decision criteria:

    1. How visible is the film on a black car? Action: I'll stop by an armourfend customer this week to have a look at their applied films.

    If it's reasonably invisible, I'll move to the next step...

    2. Can it be self-applied (by me!!)? Action: A) I'll have to google through some forums to find installation testimonies of people equally clumsy and untalented. B) Alternatively, I'll contact some valet or installation companies to see if they'd be willing to do installation only, and how much it costs.

    If it can be self-applied OR I find a valet service willing to apply it for a reasonable fee, the final question will be...

    3. Can I possibly keep the total costs for a well applied kit under 300 GBP (order outside the UK, apply myself or through valet service)? I just don't see spending 500-800 GBP even though I am definitely shooting myself in the foot with that attitude when the first serious stone chip happens.

    And then I'll start getting serious about the idea. Bottomline is: I would like to have the added protection, but I don't want to spend too much cash on it .

    /edit: I have this vision of 3-5 Boxster owners all ordering the film and then meeting up for an application weekend so we can share the misery and roll the dice on which car goes first.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Quote:
    Ente said:I have this vision of 3-5 Boxster owners all ordering the film and then meeting up for an application weekend so we can share the misery and roll the dice on which car goes first.


    That sounds like a plan to me! I'm in. Let us know how it looks on black. Take a photo if you can?

    I'm thinking of up to Pounds400ish, but just Bonnet, bumper, wings and mirrors, as those are the parts that are more likely to get a serious chip. Sods law dictates that you'll get a chip at the top of the bonnet near the screen, or on the doors, so it's probably not worth going overboard. I really don't know! I think some of the other parts are to protect the back edge of the wheel arches... I've never had a chip there!

    Re: The plot thickens

    One advantage of an aluminium bonnet - if you get a stone chip, it won't rust.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Yes, aloominum don't rust.. but resprays cost.

    Just had a quote from ArmourFend people. About Pounds500 for Bonnet, wings, bumper, mirrors + fitment (Up in Essex - Doh! I just came from there!).

    Re: The plot thickens

    I don't want to rain on your parade or appear condescending in any way but are you seriously thinking of applying this stuff yourself after spending Pounds40k or more on a car??? You evidently have never worked with this type of material before. It is possibly one of THE most skilled jobs out there as the film will trap air underneath it, bubble and peel if not applied properly. It is also incredibly easy to ruin the adhesive at the edge of the sections as you hold it with your fingers to try and apply it. I use vehicle graphics applicators a lot and the difference between getting a good one who knows the job and a bad one who makes a mess is like night and day. I've lost count of the number of times I've had to have graphics removed and replaced by suppliers due to bad initial application. Despite laser cutting of the kits an applicator almost always has to trim some material away to get a good fit using a small knife. If you get this wrong you will cut through the film and your paintwork.

    The diamond brite etc paint treatments are also a complete rip off. These are polish treatments. Tell me the last time you saw a layer of polish prevent a stone from chipping the surface of paint? I had this treatment done for free on my previous car, a metallic black BMW 5 series. Within a week you would never know the treatment had been done and I had to polish the car continually to get it looking good. These treatments are the modern day equivalent of snake charmers oil and if you look on any car detailing forum you'll find that the majority of people agree.

    My advice would be quit worrying about stone chips, they happen and cannot be avoided. It is better to learn how to cover them up more professionally using a touch up stick and Langka chip repair kit. Again you can find details of how to do this on good car detailing forums, just do a Google search.

    As I said, don't want to preach...merely give advice to save you money and stop you making a costly mess of your car that has to be professionally sorted.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Quote:
    ISUK said:As I said, don't want to preach...


    Sounds like you do, actually.

    While I take your point about the professional vs amateur application of protection films, I think you have to take a balanced view. It is also entirely possible to PAY someone to do a lousy job, as you indicated with your experience. At least, as owners, we have more interest in doing things slowly and carefully. We are looking into the best and most cost-effective way of doing this, and whether the pros outweigh the cons. That's the purpose of this thread.

    With regard to paint sealant treatments, I have personally had very good experience. (With AutoGlym LifeShine) Again, it may be down to the people doing the work - I got my Boxster done at a valeting company because I didn't trust the dealership to do a good job. These sealants are not just polish treatments, but aren't meant as armour against chips either. They are there to give additional protection against long-term deterioration. I personally reckon it's worth it. I know a lot of people have had not-so-good experience with this. For me it was a personal choice.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Quote:
    ISUK said:...merely give advice to save you money and stop you making a costly mess of your car that has to be professionally sorted.


    I do appreciate your input though. Thanks!

    Re: The plot thickens

    The sealant is more a psychological factor and a belief issue. If you belief it helps, you'll be happy. It's not meant to prevent stone chips but if it keeps the bird sh*t from eating through my clear coat that's a definite plus.

    I appreciate the input regarding self-application and it is one of the biggest desicion points. If it is indeed completely impossible for a novice I'm not going to do it myself, end of story. However, that doesn't prevent me from checking it out.

    My car is not a garage queen which will occasionally be shown the sunshine. It's my daily driver on the motorway, and stone chips will happen. I have no garage where I live, and there are plenty of trees and birds around, not to mention people. Care-taking par excellence, immediate removal of bugs etc? Uhm.. not me. The exterior WILL see more abuse than that of other P cars and thus I am somewhat interested in protecting it from the getgo.

    Generally I don't do aftermarket. However, those films intrigue me as they seem to provide an excellent protection layer. If it is reasonable invisible and the whole thing doesn't cost too much, I'm interested.

    Re: The plot thickens

    Quote:
    Ente said:
    ...The sealant is more a psychological factor and a belief issue....

    ...It's my daily driver on the motorway, and stone chips will happen. I have no garage where I live, and there are plenty of trees and birds around. Care-taking par excellence, Uhm.. not me. The exterior WILL see more abuse than that of other P cars and thus I am somewhat interested in protecting it from the getgo.



    Sealant: Well, I believe... and have seen the result - Partner's car LifeShined, only washed about once a year, paint still looks really good. I was advised that I shouldn't wash the car for a couple of weeks after application, while it cures. The stuff applied (I was shown the bottles by the valet company) is different to stuff you get on the shelf, and is professional application only. It has a higher polymer resin percentage than off the shelf stuff. I only have experience of AutoGlym LifeShine though. I don't blame you all for being sceptical!

    I have the same reason for looking into this as Ente. After a honeymoon period, the car won't be pampered, and it'll be driven on country roads in all weathers and left outside the house. It's going to be a working car! I'm not going to inspect for chips after every drive, and the car's going to be covered in dirt a lot of the time so chips won't be noticable.

    My main concern with the film is that the edge is going to attract dirt and stand out. I was looking into covering the whole bonnet, but it seems this cannot be done in one piece. Ideally I wanted the majority of film edges to be tucked into shuts and panel gaps. Still investigating... You're probably looking at Pounds500ish for professional fit. Assuming you get a good fitter, the Pounds200 saved is probably worth sparing my time and frayed nerves. But I'd have to really trust the fitter!

     
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