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  #1  
Old 04-16-2013, 01:34 PM
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Clear bra

Hi,
Just picked up my new X5 last week. I am wondering anybody here installed clear bra (partial hood and full hood wrap) on their X5. I am considering to have it done full hood/bumper/fender/lights/side mirror and rear fender flare wrapped with either Xpel or 3M. I am curious about pros and cons. Thank you for your feed backs.

Justin
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2013, 04:41 PM
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I have a clear bra on my Porsche, but I never considered it for my X5. With a relatively horizontal hood, high up, it is far less prone to stone chips. Perhaps the painted parts of the bumper will get some, but most of the front is unpainted, and it is a utility vehicle, so some wear and tear is expected - I would think it is less expensive to repaint or use a chip repair product at some point if it is a concern.

Another 'con' for clear bra is that, regardless of brand, even a full wrap with no seams is noticeable under many conditions, for instance when wearing polarized lenses.
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Old 04-16-2013, 08:34 PM
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If you have an M-package, then I recommend getting at least below the door moldings and rear fender flares. I did the entire front and partial hood, front and back fender flares, below the front and rear door moldings, and behind the rear wheels.

If I had to do it all over again, I would only have done below the front and rear door moldings, half way up on the rear fender flare and behind the rear wheel. The hood does not receive road rash due to the angle. The front fender flare was over-kill.

I have Carbon Black and can see very small bubbles on the fender flares in some places due to the small application area and angle. I can see some imperfections on the front also, but must be 12" away to see it.

Make sure wherever you get this done, it is above 70 degrees for at least 3 days after application of the film. I had mine done during the winter in Germany and was inside only one night. I did some research and I think this is why I have small bubbles in tight locations because it did not cure properly.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:34 AM
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I've done a few of these myself- using the XPEL product. IMO you don't need more than the partial kit- partial hood, leading edge of the fenders. I agree with Alan- you don't need it below the hood- there is so little body color on the front. Small bubbles under the film are usually small dirt particles that keep the film away from the paint. It is a warmer weather job, but as long as the temperature is reasonable, you should be fine.

XPEL used to be 3M film, I don't know if they still are. When you peel it off, you will have to polish the parting line between the film and the paint or you will see a "dirt" line in the clearcoat.

In my experience, the stuff works great. You can see it, but it sure looks better than a plastic shield. From any distance you really have to look to tell its there.
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Old 04-18-2013, 11:25 AM
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I did the partial front and rear view mirror on my X5 and highly recommend it. I paid $220 installed. My previous X5 did not have it and I had a number of rock chips on the front end. I have a white X5 and yes it is noticeable. Does not bother me though and worth the piece of mind. Find a good installer is important especially if you want to do more than just the partial front.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2013, 01:45 PM
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Pros: protects paint
Cons: will yellow over time. Standing 2ft from hood, you can tell that its a shade different than the rest of my white hood.
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Old 04-19-2013, 09:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toneaero View Post
Pros: protects paint
Cons: will yellow over time. Standing 2ft from hood, you can tell that its a shade different than the rest of my white hood.
Incorrect. The old stuff back in the day like 12 years maybe did that--but the new stuff doesn't. I've had it twice on my '01 X5 (got hit so had to replace it) for a total of 9 years---and have it on my current. It's a no-brainer to protect your investment. I have 3M's VentureShield on mine--front bumper,partial hood and quarter panel, mirrors and headlights.
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Last edited by BGM; 04-19-2013 at 11:34 AM.
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Old 04-22-2013, 07:34 AM
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i have done "clear bra" application on motorcycle...(both BMWs)

the white motorcycle looks gross after two years

the dark (black) motorcycle is fine...worth it!!

so, if i had the black car, i would do it...it it was white...nah...
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Old 04-23-2013, 07:51 PM
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I've had it on my last two cars and love it. Bugs clean up easier off it on trips and it even helps with door dings if you line the door edges. More important for darker colors that show off lighter primer when nicked.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BGM View Post
Incorrect. The old stuff back in the day like 12 years maybe did that--but the new stuff doesn't. I've had it twice on my '01 X5 (got hit so had to replace it) for a total of 9 years---and have it on my current. It's a no-brainer to protect your investment. I have 3M's VentureShield on mine--front bumper,partial hood and quarter panel, mirrors and headlights.
Yeah but your X5 is black. On a white car, the yellowing is definitely noticeable, even with the best film, it's inevitable.
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