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Old 08-21-2012, 02:18 PM   #1
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3M Clear Bra Alternative

I came across this kit when researching clear bra kits. 3M obviously has great reviews but is pretty pricey. I know Headlamp revamp sells Xpel products and I asked for reviews on his product in one of his threads (not sure if anyone used it or not). Anyone heard of these guys?
www.clearbra-kits.com

It's $115 for the hood and headlight surrounds so still not overly cheap. I have a few dings that I need to repair, then I want to protect the hood a little better. Any input, even if it's for the 3M or Xpel kit is welcomed!
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:21 PM   #2
wo ai ni bao bei ^_^
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or buy two gallons of clear plasti-dip, find a buddy with a spray gun set up, thin it out 20%, and clear-bra your entire truck for less than $150.
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Old 08-21-2012, 02:27 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackhawke88 View Post
or buy two gallons of clear plasti-dip, find a buddy with a spray gun set up, thin it out 20%, and clear-bra your entire truck for less than $150.
Whoa.... I never knew that stuff existed (clear, obviously, being a member here, it's kind of tough to not know about plasti-dip in general). And wouldn't you know, I googled it and this was the first thing that popped up
http://www.tacomaworld.com/forum/det...ml#post4743047

We really should re-name this place to plasti-dip world.

The only thing I don't like about that is it seems to be dull. If doing the whole truck, it'd be matte white and probably look pretty cool. Truth be told though, I won't plasti-dip my entire truck and don't like the transition, or lack of durability of the PD. I'd want something more permanent that could take a waxing and not stand out when the rest of the truck is fully detailed.

Great idea though, I'd honestly never heard of the stuff
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:51 AM   #4
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Bump. Anyone buy and install a clear bra, either 3M, Xpel or the brand I mentioned?
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Old 08-22-2012, 11:53 AM   #5
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Great find...would also be interested to see if anyone has tried. Subd
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Old 08-22-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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I have 3M on my truck, pretty bulletproof stuff except the piece on my hood has shrunk in 4 years of use. Truck is in the shop so no pics until I get it back. (honestly that's why no pics )
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Old 08-22-2012, 02:44 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurtin Albertan View Post
I have 3M on my truck, pretty bulletproof stuff except the piece on my hood has shrunk in 4 years of use. Truck is in the shop so no pics until I get it back. (honestly that's why no pics )
What do you mean it shrunk? Has it wrinkled or just pulling in at the edges?
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Bump. Anyone buy and install a clear bra, either 3M, Xpel or the brand I mentioned?
I cut and install VentureShield clear bra which has been known by many as the best film on the market for years.(3m purchased them over a year ago so they could get their hands on it)

What would you like to know?
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanClaude View Post
I cut and install VentureShield clear bra which has been known by many as the best film on the market for years.(3m purchased them over a year ago so they could get their hands on it)

What would you like to know?
Perfect! To be honest, I had never heard of the stuff and it's priced below 3M and Xpel so I was just trying to find some credibility for the product. Since you're an installer, I would ask about the ease of installation, long-term durability of the kits and how it holds up to washing, waxing, the elements, etc. I'm looking to just the basic hood kit that does what looks like 6-8" of the hood and the leading edge of the front quarter panel. Any input, tips and tricks would be very helpful! I'm just looking to fill in the knicks on the hood, then protect them long term.
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Old 08-22-2012, 05:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pugga View Post
Perfect! To be honest, I had never heard of the stuff and it's priced below 3M and Xpel so I was just trying to find some credibility for the product. Since you're an installer, I would ask about the ease of installation, long-term durability of the kits and how it holds up to washing, waxing, the elements, etc. I'm looking to just the basic hood kit that does what looks like 6-8" of the hood and the leading edge of the front quarter panel. Any input, tips and tricks would be very helpful! I'm just looking to fill in the knicks on the hood, then protect them long term.
I do not know of that brand. That is not to say that it is garbage, but I do think I am in touch with quality brands. I can say without a doubt that VentureShield, 3m and xpel are quality products. I can't say anything about that brand/product.

Be prepared for the install to be stressful(any mistakes are expensive) and not fun. You can still install it but you will likely have issues with alignment and bubbles if you install it yourself. It takes a lot of experience to get quality results. With that said, you can save some money installing the hood yourself.

The fenders will not be too difficult to install. The hood will be a bit more difficult. I would suggest you and a buddy do the hood. One can focus on squeegeeing and the other can focus on laying and stretching the film as you go. Once you squeegee out a section, you really should not pull it back up. So you get 1 shot to do it right.

Keep both sides of the film wet with your slip solution. Keep a hair dryer on hand for the edges when you're ready to lay down a portion that is fingering up(like a wrinkle on the edge).

There are videos on youtube that give some advice, but watching a pro do it and doing it yourself is not the same. A pro makes it look easy.

If you're going to install it yourself, do a superb job cleaning before starting the install. I suggest you find a local installer and pay them to do it. It will save you a ton of headache and won't cost a whole lot more than what you are paying. I would install a similar job and provide the film for about $285. So for another $150+ you can shut your brain off and know it will be done right. You mess up once and you're buying another kit and you will probably take it to someone anyways.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:33 PM   #11
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This is an example of shrinkage on my hood. 4 years and 72000 miles. I returned to the shop it was done at and the owner wants to re-do it under warranty, says he has never seen it act like that. I do know that it has happened to others though...
3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345684361.537992.jpg

3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345684384.586395.jpg

This is the sill of the drivers door, not bad for all the use and abuse
3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345684686.737719.jpg

Drivers side headlight, note rock damage where it's unprotected
3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345684782.207244.jpg

Rear door drivers side, again plenty of damage where it's not protected
3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345684910.599019.jpg

Leading edge of the bed on drivers side, the 3M shows that it has been doing its job
3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345684983.600217.jpg

I had my tailgate entirely coated because it is down when I haul my quad. Rocks bouncing off my trailer have knocked some gnarly chips outta my bumper but the tailgate is pristine
3M Clear Bra Alternative-imageuploadedbytapatalk1345685070.566264.jpg

I agree with JeanClaude about it being tricky to install. IMHO it's best left to the pros. Especially if the paint is white... Tricky to line up and risking particle contamination each time it's lifted to re-align. Let someone else have that stress.
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Old 08-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #12
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LOL, I just read your profile "Plasti-Dip Free Tacoma!" If you Plasti-Dip 2 gallons of clear then you only need to edit the "Free" out.
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Old 08-23-2012, 05:08 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeanClaude View Post
I do not know of that brand. That is not to say that it is garbage, but I do think I am in touch with quality brands. I can say without a doubt that VentureShield, 3m and xpel are quality products. I can't say anything about that brand/product.

Be prepared for the install to be stressful(any mistakes are expensive) and not fun. You can still install it but you will likely have issues with alignment and bubbles if you install it yourself. It takes a lot of experience to get quality results. With that said, you can save some money installing the hood yourself.

The fenders will not be too difficult to install. The hood will be a bit more difficult. I would suggest you and a buddy do the hood. One can focus on squeegeeing and the other can focus on laying and stretching the film as you go. Once you squeegee out a section, you really should not pull it back up. So you get 1 shot to do it right.

Keep both sides of the film wet with your slip solution. Keep a hair dryer on hand for the edges when you're ready to lay down a portion that is fingering up(like a wrinkle on the edge).

There are videos on youtube that give some advice, but watching a pro do it and doing it yourself is not the same. A pro makes it look easy.

If you're going to install it yourself, do a superb job cleaning before starting the install. I suggest you find a local installer and pay them to do it. It will save you a ton of headache and won't cost a whole lot more than what you are paying. I would install a similar job and provide the film for about $285. So for another $150+ you can shut your brain off and know it will be done right. You mess up once and you're buying another kit and you will probably take it to someone anyways.

If you have any more questions, feel free to ask and I will do my best to help you out.
Thanks for the help! That clear-bra website I listed up top says they're selling the ventureshield so it's good to hear that it's a quality product. I guess, in my head, I'm equating it to applying window tint. I'm pretty decent with that, even on curved windows so I'm hoping that with 2 people, we can lay this out nice and get it done. I'm more concerned with the hood, I might even skip the quarter panels, they just come with the kit.

Thanks again and I'll post up some pictures of how it goes and which product I choose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hurtin Albertan View Post
LOL, I just read your profile "Plasti-Dip Free Tacoma!" If you Plasti-Dip 2 gallons of clear then you only need to edit the "Free" out.
No way! I've held out this long, I'm not giving in. Plasti-dip just made it's way into my motorcycle forum also... some goober is going to plasti-dip his whole bike... There's just no running from it but I'm keeping it off the truck as long as I can!
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:20 AM   #14
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Im a believer in clear bra's... I have full (VS) frontal protection on my 993 and want to do full hood on my Tacoma. My installer wants $730 for full hood (only) since there's no kit and needs to be custom cut. Ouch! I'll prob do it but that's a big nut.
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:28 AM   #15
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I just washed and waxed the truck last weekend with the intention of applying the paint repair and then deciding on the clear bra kit. I ultimately decided against the clear bra kit because the areas that have it applied from the factory all have the dirt stuck in the edges and it doesn't look good. Those areas are down low, near the rear fender and I would not want to have that dirt line form on the hood. I've decided to just keep up with the chip repair as they happen. In 5 years, I've got a decent number of chips to repair!
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Old 09-04-2012, 08:32 AM   #16
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Mike a good install will wrap the edges and you won't see them as they'll b tucked behind or under the body panels
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:32 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by B737 View Post
Mike a good install will wrap the edges and you won't see them as they'll b tucked behind or under the body panels
I'm not going to wrap the entire truck so there will be an edge in the middle of a body panel somewhere. I'm most concerned about the one that will be 8" up the hood. I don't want to have a dirt line across my hood in a few years.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:44 AM   #18
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Totally agree. That's why I'd rather go full hood or no hood.
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Old 09-04-2012, 09:50 AM   #19
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Totally agree. That's why I'd rather go full hood or no hood.
On a new truck, that makes sense. I started looking into this way too late. My 2007 is pretty beat up from things flung from the road. Unfortunately, I think the best I can do is keep up with the chips and keep a good coat of wax on the old girl

IMO, although I can understand and appreciate the desire to protect your new truck, but for $700, I'd just wait 5 years for the old one to get beat up, then buy a new hood or pay to have it repainted. $700 would pay to repaint the hood twice!
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Old 09-04-2012, 03:34 PM   #20
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Washing the truck takes care of the dirt that may be on the edges. Don't judge a quality clear bra like 3m, venture or xpel based upon that cheap crap Toyota throws on the lower portions. That cheap crap yellows within a few years.
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