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1959 Cadillac, 1980 Cadillac,Former 2005 CTS-V; now a 2009 V
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Discussion Starter #1
I did some research and one of the guys at the corvette forums had recommended a guy called 'Greg'; i called him, and he said the entire 3M bra, covering upper and lower bumper, hood, and both mirrors, comes to $495, which includes installation.

That number's a good $300 less than anyone else though, plus he came with a recommendation, so i'm going to go for it. He said it'll take around 3 hours to do.

First off, does that sound right? Does it sound suspiciously too cheap? I need to get it done soon though, cause i noticed my first rock chip today and almost flipped :(

Also, before taking it over there do i need to wax and buff it and all? or is that done by them right before installing? They've got to clean it before installing the bra, right? I'd hate for the bra to be installed and have dirt, or a 'dull' finish underneath, so that when i wash the car the whole car looks great and shiny except for the front end :(


And one more thing, a side-note, does anyone know which Cadillac dealership in Houston they recommend to do work on the Vs? I've got quite a list that's built up of (minor) things that need to get fixed/replaced, and McGinnis Cadillac on Katy Fwy seems like the best because out of all 4 of the dealerships in Houston, they're the only one that guarantees a loaner car, although i have to pay tax on it (which comes to like $7.00 a day).
 

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I paid a little more than that two years ago but had the headlights done also. Some states don't allow any cover on the headlights according to the 3M site. Only the first foot or so of the hood was covered. Also the tops of the fenders. I really don't like the line that shows where the plastic cover stops. And the clear bra does NOT wax as well as the rest of the hood.

On the positive side, the protection works. A dump truck pulling a trailer was traveling in the opposite direction on the interstae and dropping pieces of small gravel. A few pieces hit the clear bra and left smudge marks. But the metal underneath was untouched.

Wash but don't wax the car. The installer will actually remove any wax prior to the install.
 

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Sedan de Ville, CTS
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Get a receipt showing that product was real 3M. I would have expected it to be $500 to $600, ballpark. 5 years parts and labor. Go for it.
 

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And one more thing, a side-note, does anyone know which Cadillac dealership in Houston they recommend to do work on the Vs? I've got quite a list that's built up of (minor) things that need to get fixed/replaced, and McGinnis Cadillac on Katy Fwy seems like the best because out of all 4 of the dealerships in Houston, they're the only one that guarantees a loaner car, although i have to pay tax on it (which comes to like $7.00 a day).
I take my V to Tom Peacock Cadillac on the North Freeway, which is where I bought the car. They are super friendly and courteous. Their parts guy gave me a good price break on an extra wheel I bought for a spare. They have given me warranty clearance on minor modifications (a pending UUC flywheel, a UUC shifter, and Corsa exhaust), but I have not tested them on serious modifications. Additionally, I have not had a single warranty issue yet (in 2/12 years, 13.6k miles) so I have not tested them in that regard. In summary, "so far, so good."
 

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1959 Cadillac, 1980 Cadillac,Former 2005 CTS-V; now a 2009 V
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Discussion Starter #6
really? so actually REMOVE the wax? no kidding...
 

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1959 Cadillac, 1980 Cadillac,Former 2005 CTS-V; now a 2009 V
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2,210 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
oh wow. ok that's news to me.

so afterward, when i wax the car, i'd still wax the clearbra as if it were the regular paint?
 

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oh wow. ok that's news to me.

so afterward, when i wax the car, i'd still wax the clearbra as if it were the regular paint?
Yup - but the reflected image will not be as crisp and clear as the image reflected in the paint w/o the plastic.

And from the side, you will see the clear bra seams.

If the installer doesn't strip all the wax off, the covering won't adhere well.
 

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Got my clear bra put on the front of the hood, fenders, back of mirrors, and on headlights and parking/turn signal light assemblies for less than $250. Not sure if it is 3M but it still looks great after 3 years. I do NOT wax the clear bra. It is plenty glossy the way it is and it blends in with the waxed paint finish fine.
 

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1959 Cadillac, 1980 Cadillac,Former 2005 CTS-V; now a 2009 V
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Discussion Starter #11
so just wash the crap off of it with soap water or something when i was the car?
 

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Current: None Past: '94 STS, '93 Eldorado, '98 ETC, '03 CTS
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They will probably use a prep solution on it to remove wax or any other buildup. You shouldn't need to do anything beforehand (wash it, but do not wax it right before taking it in to them; This will make their job easier).

You want the vinyl to adhere to the car, not the wax.

The high prices for these are usually due to the fact that most installers need to buy the templates to cut the vinyl and only a few companies offer them (the ones I have looked at work almost like franchise agreements).

For the price he is offering you, he is either using a design of his own or using a thinner vinyl (3M makes many different kinds, so don't see that as evidence you are getting the right one). You want to make sure it is the 8mil. thick Scotchgard film. There is a 14 mil. version for off-road vehicles, but the seams are too evident in my opinion for most automotive uses other than racing (where no one looks over the cars real close). Also make sure he isn't using common 2 mil. ControlTac (which is used for vehicle wrap graphics and while beneficial, isn't specifically designed for protection).

3M, Meguires, and many other companies offer vinyl waxes that you can use when waxing your car. They will give the vinyl the same deep shine as the paint exposed portions of your car.
 

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Goth - I agree with all that you say except about depth of shine. I don't know the gauge of plastic used on my car but it seems to be pretty thick. I use Meguiar's NXT in multiple applications and the shine from the clear bra is definitely less attractive than the shine from black paint. It has been this way since day one.

I know that I would have dents and chips on the hood if it wasn't for the clear bra. It has taken the hits and deflected the chips. This is the only cosmetic mod that I have but well worth the money.
 

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1959 Cadillac, 1980 Cadillac,Former 2005 CTS-V; now a 2009 V
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Discussion Starter #14
oh awesome info on the thickness... i'll have to check with that. thanks for that bit.
 
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