Just had 1/4 hood, fenders, bumper, a pillars, and 13" of roof done on mine. I have had this on my previous 4 vehicles and it looks great for the few years I have kept them. We didn't put it on my fiance's Matrix, and looking at it to the Corolla S we bought at the same time, I really wish we had.
One of the reasons the 3M vinyl applications have gaps/multiple pieces is that it is nearly impossible to get it to adhere to curves that are too tight/complex, even with a heat gun...Because it is thicker/stiffer than graphics vinyl, it is less pliable...
I started doing vinyl on my own vehicles years ago; buying the bulk film for about $9 per sq. foot, and then cutting it to apply it wherever I wanted it...
I don't worry about plastic panels as much, my biggest concern is metal surfaces where the chips can allow rust to penetrate the paint surface...
I wax it with the paint, it helps to prevent scratches/swirls in the vinyl as well...
I found a local guy on Craigslist that will install the 3m kit for me.
I picked up the stock today, and will make an appointment for it to be installed soon.
The dealer told me $699 was his cost and that was the best he could do.
I bought the kit from a local distributor as suggested by the installer for $275
He gets $100 to put it on, and that gets you the 2/5 year 3m warranty.
These are helpful posts. I know some don't think the dealers give a fair price but I usually try and remember that they are selling cars, parts and service as a business and need to make a living. I don't work for free, well actually, sometimes I think I do, but my point is that they have to make some profit to pay all the people who work there, and we expect to get good help when we go shop there.
It would make me nervous to use someone off craig's list, unless I knew someone who had and could see examples of their skill as, from reading about this, I don't think it is an easy thing to do without experience.
thank you again to those who've shared what you did and how it is working.
The kid that put mine on did an ok job, he left a couple of areas that were less than perfect.
But its warranteed, and it looks good, and it was $375. Not the $700 that the dealer wanted.
The Rav4 is a class 5 install per the 3m book (the hardest), it is listed as 2.5 hours to install. It took him 5.5 hours.
It looks good, and will protect the front of the car for a long time.
I just had them cut the light kit for me, I have to go pick that up this afternoon. $55.
from one of the previous posts, searched this site ... clearmask.com , anyone have experience buying and installing themselves? How easy it is to install these yourself. I guess the hood and mirrors will be pretty easy, the bumper & headlight can be tight ? And, AeroGuard or ClearMask ?
btw - any local Bay Area, CA guys here who know a good installer, pls lmk.
I bought the clear mask front end kits from the Texas dealer and thought I could apply it myself to my 2011 sport. I had done my 2004 bmw 330CI without any problems. Well, way different experience.. If you watch the how to video it looks like a piece of cake. I started with the hood and got into trouble right away. The material has to be stretched correctly to fit the compound curves and trust me it isn't easy. After working on the hood for 2 hours I ended up having to cut some material because I had stretched it wrong. I'm kind of a perfectionist so for me it was a disaster. After the hood I called it quits because the bumper looked even harder.
I went on line to find someone who was willing to fix my mistake. I found a local San Francisco guy who came to my garage and did a great job in 3 hours. He was decidedly
less expensive than the shops and the fact that he did the job at my house was great.
So in the end by trying to do it myself I spent $190.00 more than if I had had the installer do it from scratch and the finished product from the pro was great. Food for thought.
The installer was an experienced pro who I can definitely recommend to anyone in this area looking to protect the less than great paint on their Rav.