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spareparts

Original Poster:

4,920 posts

110 months

[news] 
Saturday 17th March 2012 quote quote all
Originally posted in the Porsche forum, but this topic is probably more apt to this subforum.
---

There have been a number of discussions about PPF (Paint Protection Film) including the upsides/downsides of filming a car in the first place. This thread is not to discuss the merits of whether to film or not to film - there are benefits to making either choice. If you regularly enjoy concours events where freshly polished raw paint is unbeatable for shine and brilliance, then clearly PPF is not going to be a good choice. If you want protection from stone chips and scratches during your car ownership, however, PPF offers benefits at the sacrifice of ultimate paint brilliance/shine etc. Urban/street parked vehicles or aggressively driven/tracked cars tend to be more prone to stonechips/scratches than those living a pampered life in rural areas only taken out of covered storage to car shows/events/etc. DIfferent owners will clearly have different appetite and benefits from PPF. I live in an urban environment, I dislike the appearance of stonechips, and I want to retain the original factory paintwork, so PPF was my choice. The question is, which one?

I have had silver, grey, and now a Basalt Black car. Light colours (silvers) or strong bright coloured cars such as Speed Yellow/Guards Red/Viper Green colours can hide PPF film flaws quite easily. The colour that shows up the MOST imperfections in PPF is, without a doubt, black. You see every flaw that might be, and PPF works to accentuate flaws - in either the film itself (more on this later) or the paintwork.

Which brings me to the point of this thread, and that is to share my experience of the different PPF products as I have had personal experience of Armorfend, 3M ScotchGuard, Ventureshield Ultra, and most recently XPel Ultimate film.

Armorfend
Armorfend is, imho, very old school technology: This was installed on my silver grey CSL a few years ago - it was very thick, it was obvious, and it went yellow after a while. Was it effective at doing its job? Yes, but it was a relatively crude product. I am unsure if it can be sourced today, so it is safe to eliminate this as an option for anyone thinking about it. I eventually had the Armorfend replaced.

3M Scotchguard
3M ScotchGuard was touted a few years ago, and I also had my Polar Silver GT3 filmed in this about 5 years ago. It was a complete frontal kit with other selective areas filmed including the doors, sills, rear spoiler, bumper etc. It was one of the earliest 911s to be filmed in the UK, and the overall quality of 3M was superb: it was shiny, it was very durable. The only downside was that it could not quite cover the entire bonnet in one piece because 3M did not manufacture it (initially) in a wide enough film to cover the entire width of the 996 bonnet as it approached the windscreen. Against Polar Silver, the film disappeared completely and you could only see it when you looked very closely and knew where to look. It was durable, and despite many trackdays the film never let a stone through.

Ventureshield
Recently, I decided to try Ventureshield Ultra on the recommendation of many friends who had had their cars filmed in VS. The most remarkable aspect of Ventureshield is how thin it is. It is noticeably thinner and more pliable than 3M, and it is this quality that allows it to be easily applied and 'wrapped' around body panel edges making for what should be an invisible application. This time the donor car was a Basalt Black 911 and the car was to have a complete wrap front to rear, and there were no film 'joins' anywhere on the car. This was going to be a challenge! The quality of the install was ok with all edges wrapped, but the film itself fell far below my expectations.

Ventureshield film is reasonably glossy, but probably less so than 3M Scotchguard. Not great then. Importantly, the film evidenced flaws: both in the film itself as visible particles, and because it is so thin, the film showed stretch marks which looked unsightly and very obvious on a black car. Worse yet, the film failed on it's primary purpose: protection. Because it is so thin, a stone went straight through the film and marked the paint underneath shortly after it was installed. Despite being highly recommended, the product is mediocre at best, and I decided to have the VS film removed.

XPel
XPel Ultimate is the latest product in PPF, and is touted as the world's first 'self healing' film. XPel demonstrate the self-healing properties on their website - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fUqzFvRw4-A , and I can attest to trying that test myself (on a test patch of XPel, not my car!) and seeing the scratches disappear in front of my own eyes. It was remarkable. After being disappointed with Ventureshield, I decided it might be worth trying XPel. Full coverage too, so the results can be a direct comparison to Ventureshield.

XPel is thicker than VS, and it has a much smoother and more even topcoat than VS. It is glossy, and it is very even. The film has negligible flaws in the film itself - in fact, across the entire car, I can't see any flaws in the film itself. Unlike VS, it does not show any stretch marks, so the films is invisible against the paint. The combination of being a thicker film (compared to VS) and the very smooth/even topcoat suggests that it will be more resilient to marking and stone chips than VS. The application itself is superb, and 'full coverage' is genuinely full: everything is covered - more than Ventureshield covered - and they also covered the rear louvred spoiler. XPel does not cover the car in one piece, in particular from A-pillar through the rear quarter. There is a join, but you really need to look for it very very carefully to see it. When I first looked for it (and knowing where to look), I could not find it - it required a second and more detailed look to find it.

The headlights are also covered, but in a different XPel Headlight film that is much thicker especially designed for headlights. http://www.xpel.com/dealer/member/documents/mkt304...

Despite this lengthy post, I took some photos today to show you the results covered in XPel. It is, imho, the best PPF product I have encountered. Remember - the entire car is protected.

Thanks for reading.












spareparts

Original Poster:

4,920 posts

110 months

[news] 
Saturday 17th March 2012 quote quote all
So the next question is, can XPel be waxed and sealed like normal paint? And do the results improve?

Today's weather has given me the chance to wax and seal the Film using the same process as I have done on all my cars. As this is the first time waxing the film, I like to use a good quality wax as a 'base layer' which also gets sealed. Once waxed properly the first time, subsequent 'top ups' can be much lighter/faster and does not require the lengthy waxing process.

After washing and drying the car, my choice of wax is Zymol Vintage: a great wax which I've used the past 5 years.




This gets smeared on using my hands, and it takes about 1 hour to do the whole car. My neighbours do think I'm a bit strange, but hey ho.






After another hour that the wax is allowed to bond to the film, the buffing starts...




Then a light spray sealant is misted over, and lightly buffed down to reveal the waxed and sealed XPel Film.






Then out to the harsh 3pm sunshine for some photos in the park. I am quite happy with the results. Is it the same as raw paint? Not quite. But neither does raw paint have protection like a PPF'd car.

Thanks for looking smile









bunyarra

203 posts

95 months

[news] 
Sunday 17th June 2012 quote quote all
Would love to know if the film is still working well and looking as good as those photos? Thinking of getting an XK done with it so any update appreciated smile

Craikeybaby

3,199 posts

108 months

[news] 
Tuesday 19th June 2012 quote quote all
That's an interesting read, to me I couldn't tell there was a film on that.

Pig Skill

1,368 posts

86 months

[news] 
Friday 22nd June 2012 quote quote all
Is your name tom by any chance? laugh
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spareparts

Original Poster:

4,920 posts

110 months

[news] 
Sunday 24th June 2012 quote quote all
Craikeybaby said:
That's an interesting read, to me I couldn't tell there was a film on that.
Neither can anyone who has seen the car until I tell them. smile

bunyarra said:
Would love to know if the film is still working well and looking as good as those photos? Thinking of getting an XK done with it so any update appreciated smile
Several months later, the film is actually looking even better. The film has cured, all moisture is out, and it has washed and rewaxed up beautifully.

Pig Skill said:
Is your name tom by any chance? laugh
:haha: I'm a bit heavy and going grey, but I'm not THAT heavy or THAT grey biggrin

(sorry Tom biggrin)

Guam

20,939 posts

151 months

[news] 
Monday 2nd July 2012 quote quote all
spareparts said:
:haha: I'm a bit heavy and going grey, but I'm not THAT heavy or THAT grey biggrin

(sorry Tom biggrin)
You would do well to be such a fine figure of a man when you reach 57 smile

simonx50

665 posts

43 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th August 2012 quote quote all
Looks great!!
Can you reccomend the company that fitted it as i would like to have my noble done...

kds keltec

1,352 posts

73 months

[news] 
Wednesday 8th August 2012 quote quote all
simonx50 said:
Looks great!!
Can you reccomend the company that fitted it as i would like to have my noble done...
Thats easy







kelly

RichyBoy

2,543 posts

100 months

[news] 
Friday 5th October 2012 quote quote all
What is the approximate cost of this xpel paint protection and anywhere near london? Wouldn't mind getting my gt86 done before I start getting stone chips.

spareparts

Original Poster:

4,920 posts

110 months

[news] 
Saturday 6th October 2012 quote quote all
RichyBoy said:
What is the approximate cost of this xpel paint protection and anywhere near london? Wouldn't mind getting my gt86 done before I start getting stone chips.
Cost varies from car to car: best to contact Paintshield and tell them it is for a GT86.



In terms of London... well, it's a timely question because I had a pleasant delivery today smile (I live on the outskirts of London)

After collecting my new TurboS, I decided to have it covered in Xpel again, just like the GTS4 in this thread. Time was short due to work commitments, and I didn't have the time to deliver or collect my car to/from Paintshield. Solution? Paintshield now collect and deliver! smile A great solution that also avoids you damaging the car driving it to/from Peterborough.

A few pics of their trailer (fully covered) as they delivered the car back today. (they collected in the same trailer)

What's inside?


Hint


Peaking out


Hello!


It started raining shortly after, so I'll take some snaps of the car when I have the chance.

bunyarra

203 posts

95 months

[news] 
Sunday 7th October 2012 quote quote all
<grin> Hope the reversing has gotten better in that thing smile

+1 on the Xpel film. Had the XK's front done - the film keeps gets better over the weeks after install and now you struggle to see anything was installed. I can already tell where the film has saved the paintwork from some very nasty damage - would have been a substantial chunk out of the bonnet I reckon.

Polishes well too - bonus.

Guam

20,939 posts

151 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
bunyarra said:
<grin> Hope the reversing has gotten better in that thing smile

+1 on the Xpel film. Had the XK's front done - the film keeps gets better over the weeks after install and now you struggle to see anything was installed. I can already tell where the film has saved the paintwork from some very nasty damage - would have been a substantial chunk out of the bonnet I reckon.

Polishes well too - bonus.
Oi that was the first day I had it lol

spareparts

Original Poster:

4,920 posts

110 months

[news] 
Monday 8th October 2012 quote quote all
bunyarra said:
+1 on the Xpel film. Had the XK's front done - the film keeps gets better over the weeks after install and now you struggle to see anything was installed. I can already tell where the film has saved the paintwork from some very nasty damage - would have been a substantial chunk out of the bonnet I reckon.

Polishes well too - bonus.
Agreed - at first the film is a little noticeable whilst the film is 'fresh'. But a few weeks later, and the film evens out even more so as the adhesive melts.

Here are some pics just two days after the install. It has been waxed just once. Note that the sun is not fully out, so it is a typical slightly overcast day. One thing I like about XPel is that the topcoat is really even - more so than any of the other PPFs.




Guam

20,939 posts

151 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
spareparts said:
Agreed - at first the film is a little noticeable whilst the film is 'fresh'. But a few weeks later, and the film evens out even more so as the adhesive melts.

Here are some pics just two days after the install. It has been waxed just once. Note that the sun is not fully out, so it is a typical slightly overcast day. One thing I like about XPel is that the topcoat is really even - more so than any of the other PPFs.



Its not so much the Adhesive melting <that would scare me> smile

Its more the nature of the new clearcoat, what is going on is it retards evaporation due its density, therefore the water takes a bit longer to completly make it its way out through the film. consequently on dark cars it lacks a little clarity at first <still much better than previous generation films>. The curing therefore takes a bit longer than people are used to.

As has been seen above it does correct itself in time.

Pig Skill

1,368 posts

86 months

[news] 
Tuesday 9th October 2012 quote quote all
How much did that cost then? (the film)

RichyBoy

2,543 posts

100 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
I was quoted £425 plus VAT for just the front bumper and it takes 4 hours to do.

Guam

20,939 posts

151 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
Pig Skill said:
How much did that cost then? (the film)
Cost in the PPF industry is a function of Labour and raw material used and difficulty of the vehicle.

You will need to call to get a costing from vendors

As an example, Some bumpers are 18" or 24" or 30" or 36" depending on the vehicle and if they are one piece designs. Multi piece designs can be cut on cheaper film sizes and will take less time to do <or should> so will generally be cheaper.

Very few vendors will discuss pricing on forums due to the variabilities involved.


Cheers

Mermaid

16,935 posts

54 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
Guam said:
Cost in the PPF industry is a function of Labour and raw material used and difficulty of the vehicle.
In a typical installation what percentage is raw material?

Pig Skill

1,368 posts

86 months

[news] 
Thursday 11th October 2012 quote quote all
Guam said:
Pig Skill said:
How much did that cost then? (the film)
Cost in the PPF industry is a function of Labour and raw material used and difficulty of the vehicle.

You will need to call to get a costing from vendors

As an example, Some bumpers are 18" or 24" or 30" or 36" depending on the vehicle and if they are one piece designs. Multi piece designs can be cut on cheaper film sizes and will take less time to do <or should> so will generally be cheaper.

Very few vendors will discuss pricing on forums due to the variabilities involved.


Cheers
Ahhhh so the op is the vendor then?




Edited by Pig Skill on Thursday 11th October 17:32

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