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Installing Clear Bra


bjoeaull
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I have never had clear bra installed on my vehicles but my wife and I both just got new vehicles and both are black with black painted bumpers and front ends.  Now we have both had that combo in the past which is why I think the bras would be nice.  My question is, having two vehicles to do, its pretty pricey, plus nobody really local that does it.  I am wondering how tough it is to do your self with no experience with one of the quality precut kits sold online.  I must say watching the youtube vids makes it look somewhat easy if your a detail oriented person.  Have any of you attempted this yourselves?  

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I've done full decals on cars and stripes, but never tried the clear bra. With them, the trick is soapy water, but I believe the clear bra goes on dry.  I don't think I would have the kahones to do it myself.  I have it on both cars, but we have a great guy local who does it. Good luck.  Let us know how it works out.  Black is forgiving, but any bubbles show up more on it.  

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I think Xpel rates them based on difficulty level on their website. I hear that some can be pretty challenging based on the bumper shape. I haven't done it, but I always thought about giving it a try. I agree that it seems fairly easy if you just keep it wet and pay attention and try to get all of the bubbles out. I know that some bubbles will even come out on their own as it dries, but I don't know how to tell what will and what won't.

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Xpel is fantastic and they do rate based on vehicles. When we had it put in my wife's Camaro the installer said it is one of the most difficult vehicles to work on because of the contours. A month later it had to be taken off and reapplied because it wasn't right. Xpel rates that as 4 of 5 stars in difficulty.

 

When I went to out it on my Volt, it was also rated 4 of 5. I may have considered doing it myself, but if a pro that had done hundreds of installs had troubles with a 4 of 5......

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Hmmm... I'll go check out their website and see.  I'm sure it would be somewhat challenging, but man the videos make it look doable.  I'd really hate to screw it up though, those kits are not cheap.  I guess its the two vehicles that I have to do that really makes me want to try.  Hell if I got good at it, I could possibly do it on the side, like I mentioned nobody else around me does that I know of.  

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Not sure if you are a "try a small area first" kind of person, or not. But you could get the door sill kit to get a feel for it. They sell it by the foot too. You could get a couple feet and play with it.

 

I had my Camaro done with a PPF and it took two professionals about 4 hours to do front clip, splitter (which had to be custom cut,) headlights, and partial fenders. (The point is this shop is small and they took their time to do it right. OCD is probably a requirement to work there.) A super clean installation space is essential. Any speck that flies in while installing will show up. I have no doubt, if you are a member of this forum, you probably have that aspect down. Making sure your edges and where they butt will be a place for hyper attention.

 

Calculating possible time invested and risk for learning mistakes, I realized (in my situation) a professional install would be less expensive in the long run. Let us know how it goes!

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Yeah, it seems a touch intimidating honestly, but there is something about it that makes me want to try!  I wish the kits weren't so expensive, screwing one up would be pretty costly just in materials.  Im still undecided, just curious at this point.  The idea of testing the smaller areas is a good idea!

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Hmmm... I'll go check out their website and see.  I'm sure it would be somewhat challenging, but man the videos make it look doable.  I'd really hate to screw it up though, those kits are not cheap.  I guess its the two vehicles that I have to do that really makes me want to try.  Hell if I got good at it, I could possibly do it on the side, like I mentioned nobody else around me does that I know of.  

 

Of course they're going to make it LOOK simple. They're trying to sell the product.  The guy I take my cars to works at a dealership in a nearby town. Check all the local, and even not so local dealerships.  I'm sure someone at one of them does installs. It's a very popular product these days and dealerships are losing money if they don't offer it. 

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This is one of those things that I would compare to installing carpet in your house.  People that do it everyday make it look super easy.  You can buy the kit and do it yourself and take the chance of not getting it right the first time and have to buy it twice.  At that point it may have been cheaper to just have someone do it.  

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This is one of those things that I would compare to installing carpet in your house.  People that do it everyday make it look super easy.  You can buy the kit and do it yourself and take the chance of not getting it right the first time and have to buy it twice.  At that point it may have been cheaper to just have someone do it.  

 

 Thats spot on. At the dealer I work at, we have a sublet company do them. 2 guys can do the front of the vehicle up to the windshield in under 2 hours. Including mirrors, bumpers and pulling headlights and hood badges. They make it look super easy, but its a real pain your first time out. If you were just doing tail lights or headlights- you could easily tackle it, but large precut pieces that big, you might want ot leave it up to a pro. Its just like painting a car, prep and cleanliness is 90%. You can leave finger prints under the film that will show up. Even specs of dust or lint will show up as raised spots. 

 

 If you do try and tackle this job. You will need to first prep(clean, clay, dry and inspect the paint). You will need a spray bottle of water with a little soap in it(our guys use a few drops of baby shampoo). You will need another bottle of isopropyl alchol mixture(helps set your edge that you want to work from), not 100% needed, but just in case. Of course a squeege for applying film, probably a few different ones. Our guys you flexible rubber ones versus the hard plastic ones you see online. A heat gun for softening and relaxing the film. and a lot of time to get it right.  Patience is key. 

 

 Note: if you have any flaws in the paint material like chips or blems under the paint, they will show up when you wrap them. 

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... (The point is this shop is small and they took their time to do it right. OCD is probably a requirement to work there.) A super clean installation space is essential. Any speck that flies in while installing will show up...

 

My brand new BRZ is back at the dealership for the 2nd time getting the clear bra fixed. I'm pretty sure they are not using a clean room environment for install. There is debris under the bra even on the one they replaced last week! You would think they would have been hyper-vigilant considering. Anyway, if you tackle this set yourself up a clean room. 

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