Paint Protection Film (PPF)

Paint Protection Film (PPF)

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spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Saturday 10th March 2012
quotequote all
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.














Edited by spareparts on Sunday 11th March 10:28

PocoLoco

112 posts

108 months

Saturday 10th March 2012
quotequote all
Great post - thanks!!!

One question: why did you go for the all-over coverage rather than the usual bumper + front/fenders job?

Also, can I ask who you had apply the film? Looks like a perfect job.

spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Saturday 10th March 2012
quotequote all
PocoLoco said:
Great post - thanks!!!

One question: why did you go for the all-over coverage rather than the usual bumper + front/fenders job?
Peace of mind. Initially I was going to go for just the frontal kit with bumpers and 'show off' the widebody hips in raw paint; but after seeing the quality of XPel as installed on another car, I felt the topcoat evenness and gloss quality was good enough to have the entire car covered and provide the extra protection/peace of mind. The only real world sacrifice is your wallet!

PocoLoco said:
Also, can I ask who you had apply the film? Looks like a perfect job.
Paintshield did the 3M and XPel. Tom and Ann have been superb from start to finish, providing a professional quality of service as one would expect.

rog007

5,115 posts

169 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
I just couldn't plaster Sellotape all over my nice new shiny car, I couldn't. I guess if it was the right thing to do the manufacturers would be jumping on the bandwagon and offering it/fitting it as standard?

SonnyM

3,417 posts

138 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
rog007 said:
I just couldn't plaster Sellotape all over my nice new shiny car, I couldn't. I guess if it was the right thing to do the manufacturers would be jumping on the bandwagon and offering it/fitting it as standard?
They do - but only on the mud guards! smile

Have to say the clear coat on the pics above gives it a better looking finish to the older films. Would be interesting to see how it weathers over time on a black car.

Edited by SonnyM on Sunday 11th March 22:21

rog007

5,115 posts

169 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
Exactly!

khushy

3,597 posts

164 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
FYI ArmourFend, who I have used for over 10 years, now utilise the VentureShield film - personally, I get on well with Dean at AF, he has always done a top job for me, but having just received some VentureShield product to cut and apply myself on my new track bike - I dont like the new film.

I thought the 3m product was easier to work with - but tats just MHO.

would still use AF on all future work.

Khushy

gowmonster

2,445 posts

112 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
1.so how much is this to apply roughly, and how much does it protect against stonechips? i'm guesing the point is it's cheaper than a respray as it's harder to get the colour match.
2. How long does it last for?
3. is it easily replaced if you get a stonechip on the film?

spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
SonnyM said:
They do - but only on the mud guards! smile

Have to say the clear coat on the pics above gives it a better looking finish to the older films. Would be interesting to see how it weathers over time on a black car.

Edited by SonnyM on Sunday 11th March 22:21
Indeed, the Xpel clearcoat has a superlative finish compared to VS and 3M ScotchGuard.

In terms of durability, Xpel's blurb on their product warranty in litigous America sounds good enough to me, and I don't plan on keeping the car 10 years... http://www.xpel.com/products/xpel_ultimate_paint_p...

khushy

3,597 posts

164 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
OP car and PPF finish looks stunning!

SonnyM

3,417 posts

138 months

Sunday 11th March 2012
quotequote all
gowmonster said:
1.so how much is this to apply roughly, and how much does it protect against stonechips? i'm guesing the point is it's cheaper than a respray as it's harder to get the colour match.
2. How long does it last for?
3. is it easily replaced if you get a stonechip on the film?
IME:

1. c. £3k for whole car
2. Don't know, but mine has been on for 2.5 years
3. I have done over 20k miles and not one stone chip has penetrated my film (XPEL).

gowmonster

2,445 posts

112 months

Monday 12th March 2012
quotequote all
Thanks!

spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Monday 12th March 2012
quotequote all
Guam said:
spareparts said:
Indeed, the Xpel clearcoat has a superlative finish compared to VS and 3M ScotchGuard.

In terms of durability, Xpel's blurb on their product warranty in litigous America sounds good enough to me, and I don't plan on keeping the car 10 years... http://www.xpel.com/products/xpel_ultimate_paint_p...
Sorry to interject here, but one key point we do not offer that 10 year warranty over here, as its not supported currently outside the US
We offer our extensive four year warranty on this film over here.

Just so there is no confusion smile

Cheers
Thanks Tom for reconfirming your/Paintshield terms. If XPel are willing to back the film for 10 years in the US where litigation is rife, I think that demonstrates a significant confidence in their own product - and one that is far beyond the typical duration of most people's single Porsche car ownership.

spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Monday 12th March 2012
quotequote 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









PocoLoco

112 posts

108 months

Sunday 18th March 2012
quotequote all
I didn't have a chance until now to take a good look at these photos - STUNNING! Congratulations.

Out of interest, are there any visible lines? (eg. around the Porsche badge, headlights, etc?)

spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Sunday 18th March 2012
quotequote all
PocoLoco said:
I didn't have a chance until now to take a good look at these photos - STUNNING! Congratulations.

Out of interest, are there any visible lines? (eg. around the Porsche badge, headlights, etc?)
Not around the Porsche Badge, leading edges, or headlights - you can see this in the photos in the first post - or rather you can't see them smile The film is wrapped into the headlight apertures, and the film is completely underneath the badge. There are a couple (and I mean only a couple) of visible lines - only where you know where to look for them. They are very discreet - only up very close and only under close examination.

PocoLoco

112 posts

108 months

Sunday 18th March 2012
quotequote all
spareparts said:
Not around the Porsche Badge, leading edges, or headlights - you can see this in the photos in the first post - or rather you can't see them smile The film is wrapped into the headlight apertures, and the film is completely underneath the badge. There are a couple (and I mean only a couple) of visible lines - only where you know where to look for them. They are very discreet - only up very close and only under close examination.
Presume they removed the badge, but did they need to remove the headlights for that ?

spareparts

Original Poster:

6,440 posts

172 months

Sunday 18th March 2012
quotequote all
PocoLoco said:
Presume they removed the badge, but did they need to remove the headlights for that ?
Just slide the headlights out for them so they have free access to wrap the film as needed.

PocoLoco

112 posts

108 months

Sunday 18th March 2012
quotequote all
Thanks. Still happy with it?
Looks incredible.

crystalmethod

572 posts

124 months

Sunday 18th March 2012
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Looks great.

Am liking the GTS badge. Was it difficult to remove and realign as you have now? If so am tempted to do the same.