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      09-01-2014, 06:03 PM   #1
Rekraps01
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3M Clear Bra 3 Year Review/Removal

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Wanted to share my experience with the performance of the 3M clear bra product and the process I used to remove it.

The product was professionally installed by the dealer in July of 2011, shortly after delivery of the 1M. Full front bumper, 1/3 hood, 1/3 front fenders, mirrors, side skirts and front facing of rear fenders.

In the 3 years since, the number of hits on the protected area were pretty significant, with numerous mars, scratches etc. Hit hard was the front bumper, and skirts just behind the front wheels.

Today, I decided to remove the product, as it was starting to show the damage. Using a heat gun, I warmed the edges and then pulled the material at about a 30% angle away from the start point. Using the heat sparingly, the material came off without much effort.

Then the surprise, the material (picture attached) was noticeably yellowed! Now, on the car I could not see the color (I have a VO) but I would be that on White it would contrast.

The paint underneath the product was perfect, no mars or scratches! Just like new (17,300 miles). Once off, I took a soft microfiber towel and gently rubbed the bra linen, removing any remaining residue. the car looks perfect!

So, the product performed with excellence, but it was time to remove, and possibly replace.

Anyone else out there have a similar experience?
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      09-01-2014, 06:33 PM   #2
sergeremi
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Curious, was the car mostly garaged when parked (home and work)?
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      09-02-2014, 05:26 AM   #3
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I took mine off after about 18 months as it started to look obvious due to the yellowing on AW and it did about 22000kms. The film was 3M VentureShield.

Car is always garaged and parked under cover whenever possible.

Decided not to replace the film as it is cheaper to respray the front bar if I get too many stone chips.
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      09-02-2014, 05:43 AM   #4
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I have had my clear bra on for almost four years, now. And I LOVE it! It's saved me countless times from stone chips and debris. I always park inside a garage... so mine (clear bra) looks like new.


Here is my Clear Bra DIY....
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=361895
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      09-02-2014, 09:07 AM   #5
flzrider
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Your experience sounds pretty similar to mine. I had it on another vehicle (since new as well) and removed it after 5 years. I didn't notice any major yellowing of the material when it was on the car (and it was a white car, too) but once removed, you can see the yellowish color. If major yellowing occurs, 3M has a warranty that lasts 5 years, if I remember correctly.

I'm a big proponent of clear bras. They work great.
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      09-02-2014, 09:43 AM   #6
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All clear films will yellow over time. The yellow color you see opposed to clear is not the color of the film but actually the adhesive underneath the film which helps it stick to the paint during application.

Around 3-4 years is when most clear films begin to yellow. Depending on the car you may or may not see it. VO would be super hard... alpine white however you may have seen the yellowing on the car already.

The film did its job happy
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      09-02-2014, 10:00 AM   #7
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Avery Dennison Nano Fusion -- a relatively new product -- is the best ppf I've seen in term of resisting yellowing.

I have it on my AW 1M.

Neil
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      09-02-2014, 10:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDD
All clear films will yellow over time. The yellow color you see opposed to clear is not the color of the film but actually the adhesive underneath the film which helps it stick to the paint during application.

Around 3-4 years is when most clear films begin to yellow. Depending on the car you may or may not see it. VO would be super hard... alpine white however you may have seen the yellowing on the car already.

The film did its job happy


This is a wear item.
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      09-02-2014, 12:12 PM   #9
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I have the Xpel film on my BSM 1M. Seems to be holding up well so far and doing its job two years and 19000 miles later. No discoloration that I can see.

It's marketed as "self-healing." I'm not sure what to make of that as it does have some rock chips that haven't "healed." Who knows, maybe there'd be more if I had the 3M product?
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      09-02-2014, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Adjuster View Post


This is a wear item.
Yes, most car parts are

Neil
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      09-02-2014, 12:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1MOz View Post
I took mine off after about 18 months as it started to look obvious due to the yellowing on AW and it did about 22000kms. The film was 3M VentureShield.

Car is always garaged and parked under cover whenever possible.

Decided not to replace the film as it is cheaper to respray the front bar if I get too many stone chips.
Hi,
I also installed this in my other car,
I am very worried about it making the paint uneven, since I only wrap half of my hood and fenders.

recently I opened the ones on the hood and nothing happened,
only installed for 6 months..

wow 3 Years how did the paint cope with it ?

thanks
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      09-02-2014, 01:12 PM   #12
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I had the 3m product on my white Ralliart and within a year the discoloration became very obvious. I am going to try out xpel next, but if I'm totally honest the design of these products causes dust and dirt to get trapped inside of them which then leads to growth of things like moss. Especially in a climate like the pacific northwest its not at all uncommon to see a light green hue over parts of cars covered by a clear bra.

As far as discoloration of paint due to UV fade differences this is much lower of a risk with the modern day films.

My personal opinion if you care about how your car looks visually. IE you're a detailing nut then don't get a clear bra. Otherwise, they are a good way to protect the front end of your car from rock chips but you will always be able to see them and they do take on a yellow or green hue over time depending on your climate.
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      09-02-2014, 02:32 PM   #13
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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CCOBOI4/...I1RA44XWCFUUPD

another option
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      09-02-2014, 11:17 PM   #14
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Garage List
The 3M PPF is notorious for yellowing. I've never heard of anything getting trapped inside them as a professional installer would clay bar your car prior to installation. The new films like Nano Fusion and Xpel resist yellowing better and also self-heal from minor scratches. I plan on removing the 3M from my AW M3 as the yellowing is starting to get to me, but I do love the protection.
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      09-03-2014, 08:02 AM   #15
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This is nothing new. It is very recommended to remove the clear bra after a few years and install a new one.
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      09-03-2014, 10:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay-K View Post
Hi,
I also installed this in my other car,
I am very worried about it making the paint uneven, since I only wrap half of my hood and fenders.

recently I opened the ones on the hood and nothing happened,
only installed for 6 months..

wow 3 Years how did the paint cope with it ?

thanks
Paint is perfect, excellent shine and just like new. There is no visible difference between the area covered by the film and the exposed paint. There was no issues with residual adhesive either, the film came off really nicely. I note that instead of a hair dryer, i used a professional heat gun, low setting. Be careful not to make the surface too hot, or the film will melt and the paint could blister. Just hot enough to ease removal.
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      09-03-2014, 11:20 AM   #17
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You can see yellowing on a white car after 3months with 3M, Xpel is way better
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      09-03-2014, 03:14 PM   #18
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Great post many of the used cars I'm looking at have it on and I was worries about it coming off. I think if you leave it on past it's life of 4-5 years you can run into problems. Anyone taken it off a 10 year old car?
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      09-03-2014, 04:38 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Amnizu View Post
I had the 3m product on my white Ralliart and within a year the discoloration became very obvious. I am going to try out xpel next, but if I'm totally honest the design of these products causes dust and dirt to get trapped inside of them which then leads to growth of things like moss. Especially in a climate like the pacific northwest its not at all uncommon to see a light green hue over parts of cars covered by a clear bra.

As far as discoloration of paint due to UV fade differences this is much lower of a risk with the modern day films.

My personal opinion if you care about how your car looks visually. IE you're a detailing nut then don't get a clear bra. Otherwise, they are a good way to protect the front end of your car from rock chips but you will always be able to see them and they do take on a yellow or green hue over time depending on your climate.
This is not always a bad thing. Over 25 years ago, this guy had a clear bra installed on his Alpine White E28. Fortunately, he had the presence of mind to have the whole car done and not just the hood and front fascia.



Picture is from Dack's awesome photos of the Weyermann Malzfabrik classic car show (here).
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