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Discussion Starter #1
So quite a few of you wanted to know what a 3M is and isn't so I'll show you mine. It may not represent exactly what everyone else have so people please contribute so others can make an educated decision.

Sorry for the bug splatters and the crappy cell phone camera pics. (Samsung Eternity. Not bad for a cell camera but not exactly the quality of my SLR).

My wife's car is 1.5 years old with 32,000 miles at the time the pictures were taken.

First my wife's Rav4 1 week since the last wash. Please ignore the Tare Panda logo she slapped on the front.


First I'll show you the side mirrors from far away.



As I get in closer, you can see that the side has some areas uncovered. I personally think the 3M should have made a bigger piece to cover more of the side and top. You can even see from the bug splatter why that uncovered area leaves the paint vulnerable.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Now let me show you the front.

As you can see, that darn bra is very hard to see on a somewhat clean car.


Let me zoom in on the left side near the 1/4 panel.


Now you can see just how much of the front 1/4 panel is covered. Notice not all the forward facing paint is 100% protected... even the bumper.


Here's a pic of the foglights. See the round gap inside? At least that paint isn't forward facing so less of an issue there.


Here's a pic of the piece between the headlight and the grill. Notice near the grill it doesn't quite cover and that small patch of paint is forward facing too! Same with the section right below the headlights.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Next let's go lower on the bumper.

Notice there are some forward facing paint that isn't quite covered. You'll notice a line. That's where the clear bra is not 100% a whole piece. You'll see more later. It's done that way on purpose from what I was told.


Ok... going further down still. You can see around the edges the forward facing paint isn't quite covered.


Here's the bottom from further away.


Notice the bottom of the bumper comes in multple pieces doesn't cover the gutters and doesn't quite stretch all the way to the back. That exposes a lot of forward facing paint.


Finally here's the hood. You see it' only covers the front 1/4. You can see that the hood piece doesn't wrap the front edge of the hood which leaves that section exposed.


Here's a more zoomed in shot.
 

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I have the full Ventureshield kit on my Limited. Compared to Zeoth's here's what I noticed:

1. Coverage of mirrors is about the same. There has not been any damage outside of this area anyway.
2. Coverage of the hood is about the same.
3. Coverage of the bumper is more extensive - there are still some narrow gaps around the grille and headlights but the film goes further into the fog light openings and covers the sides of the front bumper right to the wheel wells (the fender flares are also covered). It's also tighter around the lower grille openings where the license plate is. However, it also doesn't go down to the very bottom of the sloping painted area at the bottom of the bumper and this area has gotten nailed over the years.

My installer will do custom cuts if you want additional coverage above and beyond what the kit includes. I have only had a couple of light nicks above the windshield and don't regret not getting this area done. However, I wish I'd had it installed along the rocker panels, since the paint has been noticeably affected there by salt and gravel. I'd also get the film added to the bottom of the front bumper where the kit doesn't go.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Magnus1350 said:
What did those full kit's cost installed?
Mine was $550 installed. He too can do custom installs of additional pieces. He had done complete cars before (yes the ENTIRE car). Those are more reserved for classic cars that goes on those speedway races but don't want to damage the 10's of thousands of dollar paint jobs.
 

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Very nice dude! Are they pre-cut? I'm planning to take the hood deflector off, I get bored after a bit over 2 years.
 

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Aribus said:
Do wax right over the clear material?
You could, but why would you? The sheet metal underneath the clear plastic is well-protected. I generally avoid getting wax on the plastic for fear that I won't be able to get the wax completely off of it.

I had the 3M film on my last car for nearly 10 years, and it was great - it didn't tear, peel up or turn yellow. As a result of that experience, I had it installed right away on my RAV when I bought it brand-new.
 

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Zeoth said:
Magnus1350 said:
What did those full kit's cost installed?
Mine was $550 installed. He too can do custom installs of additional pieces. He had done complete cars before (yes the ENTIRE car). Those are more reserved for classic cars that goes on those speedway races but don't want to damage the 10's of thousands of dollar paint jobs.
Zeoth,
Thanks for the pictures. Is your hood completely covered or partly covered? I am in Dallas Texas and am gettting quotes around $700 for front bumpers and 24" on the hood. I would like to cover the entire hood. Mine is a Metallic Gray and would like others opinion, should I get the entire hood or just the front portion once I get the right price?
Thanks
 

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Zeoth said:
So quite a few of you wanted to know what a 3M is and isn't so I'll show you mine. It may not represent exactly what everyone else have so people please contribute so others can make an educated decision.
Zeoth,
Do you have the whole hood covered?
Thank you
sailakfan
 

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I have had this product on my 01 Maxima within two days of taking delivery in Feb of 01. I would definately do it again. With lead no longer available in paint and the increasing demands of the EPA, paint is just more and more brittle and does not wear in the newer generations of cars.

You can wax/whatever just like paint. Just dont let the wax "cook" on it and you should be fine. Mine has not yellowed at all and its an outdoor car (not garaged). However, probably due to installation, some of the edges are not "stuck" down after 9+ years of service and some dirt has gotten under. And the panel line on the hood is much more noticable over the years as its has worn/given service.

I have not seen a precut version go edge to edge on the panels. There are subtle manufacturing differences on each car and the company errs on the side of a little gap. Its also like window tint. If you go to the very edge of the window, you greatly increase the chances of peeling. You would need to have a GOOD installer cut a custom version and that gets pricey as I would not cheap out. You will pay for the experience and expertiese.
 

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I've had the 3m clear bra on mine ('06) since new and no yellow, no cracking. Has defeated many tire chunk, rock and metal street sign kicked up from a truck strikes. The only thing to get through was my ex driving the front end up on a boulder and digging through the plastic.

I'd buy one again no question!
 

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I did mine a couple of years ago just a few months after I bought it. Now, 2-1/2 years later the nose of my car still looks great. No stone chip damage, bugs wash off fairly easily and the film protects lights, especially the fog lights from getting a broken lens. All in all, money well spent.

The only thing negative is, once a year I have to remove a line of dirt that builds up along the edge of the vinyl. Charlies Soap takes this off with ease.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
TobyIIDog said:
If the 3m clear bra was to get damaged (in sections) and you wanted to replace it. Is it easy remove?
Yup. Like removing decals but imagine the decals are thicker and less brittle so it doesn't break apart when you pull. Of course I haven't tried yet but the 3M is much much thicker than those cheapy vynl decals.
 
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