Taking a car to the rack track and driving it flat out with other cars can take a heavy toll on the car's exterior, especially the paint. I had been on the fence as to should I spend a few thousand dollar for a well installed paint protection commonly referred to as clear bra. As I am fearless in tackling just about anything that I have zero experience I would finally decide that I want to give my hands and my head a try. I have no disillusion that it would be challenging and most first time DIY fail. I expect it to be as challenging as drywall or big concrete job for first time DIY without training, let alone cumulated experience.
The most common and highly touted film maker is Xpel and their highest grade film is almost all Porsche owner of new cars install. The thing is, not unique to this industry, Xpel does not play ball with DIY and plays hard to get to keep the price high and supply scarce. Fortunately there is 3M. From what I infer, 3M is the best quality film that DIYers can buy from a few online sellers.
I found this online vendor that has the various kits for the Porsche GT4. I have little doubt the vendor orders the specific pattern from 3M which has a database of machine cut patterns. The computerized cutting machine functions like a big plotter and laser cuts the film to the specific piece for the part of the car.
So which part of the car should I first buy and try my hands on first. Common sense suggests starting with one that is easiest. As I am nearly always a contrarian with most things, I chose the most difficult one - the front bumper. There is a reason for the madness, please bare with me.
I chose this most difficult kit that is the front bumper
There are a number of reasons to start with the most difficult kit.
- You can pay 10% extra for a screw-up insurance which you can get a replacement by paying something like 40% of the full price.
- If you find out that you totally screwed up in the process and realize you are simply not cut out for this skills you can just quit.
- Despite being the most complex this kit is one of the cheapest as it is a same flat piece of film as any other much simpler kit that cost many times more due to their greater area (like hood, door, and roof).
I have this for months while I dread to try and fail; it is very intimidating
the urge to take the GT4 to the track was the strongest motivator as I didn't want another season to slip by
I put the car up on the Quick Jack to make the installation less taxing on the back and knees
I took this video for no reason, and I decided to upload it because of the soul moving sound of the Stradivarius violin in this one of my favorite Russian work; I am also amazed to the fidelity captured by the iPhone 6S Plus
The most difficult part of doing this job by oneself is the beginning. Thankfully my neighbor gave me a helping hand to unroll the film from the backing paper of this big expanse of film while I spray it with hair shampoo solution (slip agent) to prevent the adhesive side from sticking together (game over if that happens).
I am not going to get into the trial and tribulations of the process that demands dogged tenacity and quick thinking on one's feet. A few hours later just before dusk I managed to raced the clock to get most of it done in late autumn.
this is what this kit covers - the front bumper that has the most complexity and requires the most amount of stretching of the film