Showing posts with label 3M Film. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 3M Film. Show all posts

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Can There Ever Be Enough Protection (OCD Goes Extreme)?

Although my most recent post on Speedhunters gives a more concise story, I thought I'd show in detail the effort made by Ishiguro-san from Yes!PPF in the application of paint protection film to my car.

Background: A few months ago I had washed my car to clean up the salt and rain that had gotten onto my car during my trip out to Worx Auto Alarm.

After washing, I decided to take a quick drive to "air dry" what water I couldn't reach.  Since I had just picked up my Lexus from Yes!PPF at CREF and was happy with the work they did in installing a clear bra on the car, I stopped by to see what they could do for the GT-R.

Unlike the Lexus IS-F, (which is sold in the USA and thus data on the bumper shape, etc. is readily available), this GT-R, not having been sold overseas (with limited exceptions), would require a custom job, as the worldwide Xpel database does not contain pre-measured templates by which the film is cut to shape.

Having called ahead, Ishiguro-san was ready with his clipboard, tape measure and sticky paper as soon as I arrived.  Since the bumper and the bonnet are in near perfect shape, these two are the areas I asked for an estimate.

Apparently not many Japanese cars park where I did.
Interestingly, the number and size of inlet scoops didn't really seem to matter.
Sticky paper to get an accurate reading of how much film area is needed

I have to admire how he squats and keeps his balance there...

Amazingly, we agreed on a very reasonable price.  So then it was just a matter of arranging for me to drop off the car...

Flash forward a few months, and I finally have some time to drop the car off in the morning.
WOW. That DR30 sure is gorgeous...although I was told that most R30 owners aren't too keen about the RB26 Skylines lol
So the plan is to have the newly painted front bumper and bonnet (hood) protected.

And here is their booth - they had just come back from some show, so they were embarrassed by the mess.

I was pleased to learn that, they used the top line Xpel Ultimate film, which apparently has some self-healing qualities! Unfortunately, they would not let me go full Speedhunters-mode while they installed the clear film, however they were kind enough to take some photos FOR me during the process, as here (so ALL photos below are Copyright Yes!PPF):

Looks like an initial clean/wetdown

I was particularly happy with how this hood lip was covered -
 frankly it looks BETTER now, with more gloss, than before

I bet getting all that water solution out is satisfying...

Love the attention to detail, how the curves were handled!

This bumper has GOT to be a nightmare, with all those holes...

You can see the precision cut where the intercooler cut out is.

Love the way some extra is left, to wrap around the inside of the bumper's wheelwell

This has got to be the toughest part...

Lining up the two cuts, just perfectly!

This was unexpected, how they decided to go ahead on the black part of the intercooler surround!

Look! Can't tell the film is there!

So now, except for the front lip spoiler (which has some cracks and chips; although there was film applied to the center, I'll eventually get repainted to perfection), the front end is protected from the inevitable road debris and rock chips... yes it happens even here in Japan!

Whether this means I actually drive my car more, remains to be seen, but for now, a little bit of protection makes me feel better!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Clear Film Paint Protection... Sort Of

So having gotten my car refreshed (i.e. front bumper repainted) recently, this time I'm determined to make sure that the newly painted parts remain as clean and pristine as possible.

One solution, of course, is to never drive the car, but this is not practical.

After doing some research, I believe there are four solutions:

1) Do nothing. That is, just have the bumper and front lip spoiler repainted every other year or so, whenever the damage becomes an eyesore.

2) Application of 3M Scotchguard Paint Protection clear film.
This would actually be the best solution...
The drawbacks are, however, expense (I have found very few shops in Japan that do this film application which means very expensive), and in this particular situation, the inability to cover all the painted areas, given all the openings, scoops and complex shapes on the front bumper and the lip spoiler.

I actually tried doing this myself before with limited success (the headlights came out great):
Using tracing paper to create patterns for the 3M film
During application: before squeegeeing the liquid out
However even though I managed to wrap the front lip spoiler, it never looked right as the cutouts for the front brake ducts were sloppy, and then when I scraped the lip spoiler, the impact left the film scarred and scraped up too. So when the lip spoiler was repainted, it was removed of course.

3) Application of 3M Paint Defender Spray Film (I have no experience with this, but hope to try it out in the near future)
Check back as I experiment with this in the near future!
This seems very promising - almost the quality of the 3M Scotchguard film, but in a spray format? The internet reviews are mixed...

4) Application of Road Warrior Plus
This is the basic kit - the liquid in a quart bottle, plus application tools.
This is what I ended up getting.  Basically, this is a liquid that you paint onto those car surfaces that you want to protect, and when dry it is supposed to serve the same purpose as the clear film.  That is, provide impact protection from stuff on the road. Of course, given its relatively thin (when dry) nature it is marketed more as a temporary solution for track days (apply, race, then peel off) and long distance driving where road debris can be expected to hit at high speed.

Ingenious in concept, but a) is it really that easy, b) does it look ok when dry, and c) does it work?

So I got to work. First, as many reviewers remarked, this stuff DOES smell, and have the same consistency, as Elmer's glue.
Ok this roller is cute, but will it do the job?
Before pouring the RWP into the tray, I wiped down the front bumper and lip spoiler. Also, I decided to do my left side mirror as well, more to be able to demonstrate to people who ask.

I seems to go on very thick.....
But after you start spreading it out with the roller....
You end up with a very thin coat of spackled Elmer's glue-like stuff
This whole process took only about 30 minutes, and I did two coats (dried the first layer with a hair dryer), at night, when it was about 18 degree C outside (so maybe a bit more inside the garage?)

Here is what it looks like, in daylight after it is dry.
Can't really tell from this distance...
But close up, you can see the orange peel effect quite clearly
Close up, it looks like really bad orange peel, but it feels like plastic, not paint. There were some areas where I had forgotten to smooth out the liquid well, which resulted in some clumping but in the end they dried clear too.  As you can see from far away it doesn't look too bad, I think.

I had actually done this right before my visit to Do-Luck and Nissan Prince on the 30th, and both Ito-san and Koyama-san thought I had subjected my car to the worst ever repaint...before I explained that it was a roller applied film...

Now to test it...seems almost too good to be true if it can actually provide significant protection. Yes I've driven to Shinagawa and back, but I think we need a longer trip. Stay tuned....