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Clear bra, ceramic coat, or both?

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Old 05-21-2017, 12:19 PM   #21  
tbasco 6
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Originally Posted by GoNDeep11 View Post
This was true with the original technology, 5-9 years ago. The new design allows UV light to pass thru to your paint vs blocking UV rays. This is why old clear bra turned yellow, it was designed to absorb the harmful light.

I just did my front end and it's almost invisible, I did the headlights as well. You want to get a quality film, I'm a little Biased since this is what I do for a living work for (3M) .... The pro series is amazing, self healing... I can take a wire brush and scratch up the bra and a little heat from the engine or a cup of hot water and it looks 100% new.

And this used car buyer will pay more for a vehicle that doesn't look like Swiss cheese and the owner took the care to protect it....trust me it's a wise choice...
I'll see if I can post some photos tonight...

Remember, you'll never forget your first chip!

Pete
A good friend of mine wraps commercial vehicles in his sign shop. He also does race cars, including an NHRA pro funny car, using 3M products I believe. What is your opinion on using black wrap on the lower portions of a black Z06?
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Old 05-21-2017, 01:30 PM   #22  
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I did both..... Expel on the front (for the bra), and C-Quartz on the entire vehicle, including wheels. Looks great!
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:00 PM   #23  
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I did full paint correction, Suntek PPF and ceramic coat on top. There is a self healing ceramic coating on the market as well.
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:05 PM   #24  
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Have used Gtech ceramic pro on my GT 86/Fusion/Challenger. And I'd highly recommend it. Lasts 1-2 years easy, keeps the paint smooth. No orange peel, protects from UV and Can be re-done with a simple rub down and reapply. The hard part is applying it for the first time, surface prep needs to be good.

Won't work as a clear bra. Go with Plastidip there.
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:05 PM   #25  
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Clearly, I do a classic detailing, slowly to let glazes and sealent pass under the varnish and then a ceramic coating DIY. After one month, I do a PPF by ba professional, a great professional, because the ceramic does to slide everything on it, it's not for a beginner poser. Then prefer to cut the film by computer and not with a cutter on your car, trust me
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Old 04-16-2018, 03:59 PM   #26  
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Originally Posted by brandon.rush1 View Post
I'm looking for opinions/advice on what to get done. I originally thought I wanted a clear bra, but think it may look out of place.
As someone who has had the car both clear bra'ed with xpel and ceramic coated I'll give you my thoughts.

The drawbacks:

There is a slight loss of paint clarity with a clear film. Worse with dark colors than with light colors.

No matter how good your installer is you will have some seams. Depending on the quality of the installer and/or how much you are willing to spend there will be more or less visible seams. (I would expect that a full wrap mostly hand cut and tucked would cost at least $6000, probably more. You are talking about removing both bumpers, side mirrors, lights, etc. to get that level of wrap.) The seams will eventually get some dirt along them. If you maintain things well the dirt is at the edge of the seam and can be mostly cleaned but if you don't you might get some lift and get dirt under the film which is more problematic. Dirt shows more on light colors than dark colors.

Most installers won't wrap vinyl, so if you have stripes of any kind on the car that means more cutting and more seams. Also the vinyl will be unprotected and I can tell you that the carbon flash vinyl from GM will swirl if you look at it funny.

The pros:

Clear film really does work for chip protection. You can still get chips if something big enough hits hard enough (and that can cut through the film) but it will stop 95% of the rock chips you'd get.

You don't have to worry about swirling the paint nearly as much as the xpel will self level slight marks when it gets warm. This makes cleaning up things like bugs a lot easier.


As to what you should do. It really comes down to what bothers you more, rock chips (filled or not) or the loss of clarity + seams you get with the film. I've had cars both with and without and for me personally, while I find the seams damn annoying rock chips bother me a lot more. My old FD RX-7 (back before clear film existed) literally sand blasted itself to the primer behind the rear tires. So I tend to film my cars. I also only own one vehicle, if I am going somewhere it's either in the Corvette or I borrow my wife's car. So my car is much closer to a daily driver than a weekend garage queen.

For a car you take to dinner and car shows on the weekends I'd lean towards not filming it or perhaps doing minimal film on the really problematic areas. If you do a lot of highway driving on those weekends you might want to think about film on the front bumper, hood (if you do the hood ALWAYS do the entire hood so they can tuck the edges), and rear quarter panels if you have a wide body.

Regarding ceramic coatings, this is the first car I had a coating on. My thought process was that one of the effects of coatings is to make it easier to get things off the paint, and my hope was that the coating would make keeping the clear film seams clean easier. Still too early to pass a verdict on that.

Ceramic coatings do look different than wax, I would not say better or worse, just different. Which you like better would be a personal preference. My opinion is that ceramic coatings give more shine and reflectivity than wax but have less depth (although that could be the underlying clear film). Coatings are also great at repelling water, and obviously last a lot longer. I do cover my car with CarPro Reload every 6 months to minimize wear to the coating.
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Old 04-16-2018, 04:02 PM   #27  
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Here's my mumble opinion. If your car is a weekend warrior, and won't be out on the interstates for long distances you should be fine with a good ceramic coating. But, if you think you will ever take it on a road trip you need to seriously consider a PPF. Believe me, I've been on many road trips, and have never came home without a little nibble on the front somewhere. One trip sent my C6 to the body shop ( it had a standard front bra on it at the time), and another required my F-150 to make a visit also (it wasn't protected at all). There's so much crap on the road these days, if you care about your car, you need something to protect the paint.
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Old 04-16-2018, 05:34 PM   #28  
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There is one negative thing to ceramic coatings if your car is damaged and has to be painted. The ceramic coating has to be removed from the areas or parts that need to be painted. You will need to tell the shop that your car has been ceramic coating or the repaired panels will look like crap.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:02 PM   #29  
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On my Vette I just did a 5 year ceramic coating. My Lambo I did a lifetime coating(probably not worth it and should of done 5 years) and a bra on all the important parts. My C7 is a daily driver, my only reasoning for not doing the PPF was that if it got a ding in the c7 it's a lot easier and cheaper to fix than the Lambo and the value in the vette wont drop as much. I really have no clue how true any of that is but it was my thought process at at the time when I bought the C7 this past Jan and it seemed to make sense to me then so I went with it. If you do a coating I've heard from a couple different installers that the 3 or 5 year options are typically the best ones to go with. No one really seems to know exactly how long the "lifetime" actually lasts with ceramic coatings. But I'm guessing somewhere in the 8-10 year range.
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:13 PM   #30  
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Its a car, not a work of art. I drank the koolaid 11 years ago. only the best 3m clear bra. and side pieces. Car under cover, garaged, 2300 miles in 10 years. Artic white, except where the clear bra was, pee yellow. remember: under a cover. So I drove it a little. what happened in all those nooks and crannys of the bra material? black road dust.

proof of the pudding, trade in time. remember, 2600 garaged miles. clear bra'aed 75000+ car, tada! $29,000 trade in offer. Think I would have gotten less, about 10K, if it would have had stone chips? well, that's my next experiment.

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Old 04-16-2018, 06:25 PM   #31  
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So, can you put the ceramic coating ON TOP of the clear 3m ?
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Old 04-16-2018, 06:34 PM   #32  
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Originally Posted by orca1946 View Post
So, can you put the ceramic coating ON TOP of the clear 3m ?
Yea, that is what most people do. That is what they did on my Lambo. If for some reason you have to replace a section of the bra then you would also need to get that section re-coated. I've heard of people getting it done under the bra but to me that kind of defeats the purpose of the coating. It's to protect(relatively speaking I guess) the outer layer and give it a nice wax like finish.

Last edited by blb078; 04-16-2018 at 06:35 PM.
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Old 04-16-2018, 08:01 PM   #33  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brandon.rush1 View Post
I think I'm gonna pass on the clear bra and do the new modesta coating. My detail guy talked me into doing that along with modesta wheel protection.
LOVE the Modesta I think it's the best out there in my opinion . Definitely do the barrels, calipers and the whole 9 yards on the wheels you won't be disappointed. Much easier to clean and greatly reduces any brake dust you get, especially if you have ceramic brake pads good luck
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Old 04-17-2018, 05:27 PM   #34  
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Thanx guys.
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