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      04-30-2012, 09:21 AM   #1
PatrickC23
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Clear Bra

Anyone here install clear bra yet on their F10? I've never been one to do this, but if I'm joining the $100k car club, I think I'll be doing it this time around.

Since I'm getting Alpine White, my main question for those with experience is if it causes any paint discoloration or vice versa. Over time, will the portion covered in clear bra discolor due to the adhesive. OR will the rest of the car discolor some compared to the clear bra since that portion is protected.

Im guessing on darker cars its harder to tell, but since Im getting white, Im a bit concerned - thx
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      04-30-2012, 09:36 AM   #2
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I would strongly recommend getting a clear bra. I didn't initially on my M3 but after just 6 months it looked like my Acura did after 18! BMW seems to use really soft paint. Anyway, I have VentureShield and you can't really tell it's there even from inches away after you've been told it's there; the only spot it's visible is at the edge of the panels where you can see the edge of the film, but even that's only visible from very up close. I've heard a clear bra can be visible on black cars (especially when installed poorly), but I think white if anything will be the hardest of all to spot clear bra on; white is already so bright and reflective that it should hide it even more effectively, kind of like how white hides dirt whereas it's totally obvious on a black car.

VentureShield will NOT discolor the paint over time because it's UV-transparent, which means paint under the bra will fade along with the rest of the car. It WILL become less transparent over time (it's guaranteed to stay clear for 4 years) but when that happens you can just have it professionally removed and get a fresh coat installed. You should also wash your car at least once per month after getting clear bra because bug spatter and other residue left on there too long can leave permanent tiny gray clouds; again, it won't leave any colored marks (just a mostly clear gray) and it's not noticeable unless you're up close, especially on white, but it might bother you if you're OCD.

FWIW, I got it on my front bumper, headlights, and mirrors. I deliberated on the hood but if you only cover part of it, you'll definitely see a seam there because it ends in the middle of a panel, so your options are either to deal with the seam, cover the entire hood (not cheap), or leave the hood exposed. I left the hood exposed and of course there are some tiny dings on the very edge of the hood just above the front bumper, but hey nothing will be perfect forever.

Lastly, the only issue you might run into is the installer not having computer-guided cutout patterns for the F10 M5 yet. I'd recommend going to a shop that uses them because you get a much more precise fit that way, which means more coverage of the panel and a cleaner installation -- but then you have to wait until that installer's software vendor makes a pattern for the F10 M5's panels.
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      04-30-2012, 09:41 AM   #3
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I had this on my E63 AMG. Worth every penny
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      04-30-2012, 09:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I would strongly recommend getting a clear bra. I didn't initially on my M3 but after just 6 months it looked like my Acura did after 18! BMW seems to use really soft paint. Anyway, I have VentureShield and you can't really tell it's there even from inches away after you've been told it's there; the only spot it's visible is at the edge of the panels where you can see the edge of the film, but even that's only visible from very up close. I've heard a clear bra can be visible on black cars (especially when installed poorly), but I think white if anything will be the hardest of all to spot clear bra on; white is already so bright and reflective that it should hide it even more effectively, kind of like how white hides dirt whereas it's totally obvious on a black car.

VentureShield will NOT discolor the paint over time because it's UV-transparent, which means paint under the bra will fade along with the rest of the car. It WILL become less transparent over time (it's guaranteed to stay clear for 4 years) but when that happens you can just have it professionally removed and get a fresh coat installed. You should also wash your car at least once per month after getting clear bra because bug spatter and other residue left on there too long can leave permanent tiny gray clouds; again, it won't leave any colored marks (just a mostly clear gray) and it's not noticeable unless you're up close, especially on white, but it might bother you if you're OCD.

FWIW, I got it on my front bumper, headlights, and mirrors. I deliberated on the hood but if you only cover part of it, you'll definitely see a seam there because it ends in the middle of a panel, so your options are either to deal with the seam, cover the entire hood (not cheap), or leave the hood exposed. I left the hood exposed and of course there are some tiny dings on the very edge of the hood just above the front bumper, but hey nothing will be perfect forever.

Lastly, the only issue you might run into is the installer not having computer-guided cutout patterns for the F10 M5 yet. I'd recommend going to a shop that uses them because you get a much more precise fit that way, which means more coverage of the panel and a cleaner installation -- but then you have to wait until that installer's software vendor makes a pattern for the F10 M5's panels.
Thx

Im definitely OCD - but some imperfections in the bra are better than actual chips in the paint. Looking at the F10, the hood seems to have a pretty straight cutoff so Id probably do that front portion and the bumper, maybe side mirrors. I dont think Id do any of the side paneling or headlights.

So how many companies do this? For some reason I thought Clear bra was a brand - but maybe its just a generic term. Is Venture Shield one of the better (best) ones?
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      04-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #5
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My car has a clear bra on my headlights, front bumper, rear bumper and side skirts. It's hard to tell any color difference, but factory paint always shines better, especially after wax.
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      04-30-2012, 09:59 AM   #6
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What options are there for temporary clear bras - since I may do Performance Center delivery? Other than the Griots I saw in a delivery post and the ugly black leather bras.
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      04-30-2012, 10:01 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by singularity View Post
My car has a clear bra on headlights, front bumper, rear bumper and side skirts.
Your installer had the proper software for cutting the film?

What brand did you go with? I saw you have Llumar protective film, not sure if they do clear bra as well.

Any close up pics of the film installed?
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      04-30-2012, 10:10 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patsc23 View Post
Your installer had the proper software for cutting the film?

What brand did you go with? I saw you have Llumar protective film, not sure if they do clear bra as well.

Any close up pics of the film installed?
Not sure to be honest, but I think it's 3M with a 1 year warranty by the installer. Window tints are Llumar, and have protective properties too. No point in posting pictures because you won't be able to tell any difference from pictures, it's difficult to tell the difference even in person.

It's just that overall effect is not as good as factory, but that's normal after all
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      04-30-2012, 10:15 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patsc23 View Post
Thx

Im definitely OCD - but some imperfections in the bra are better than actual chips in the paint. Looking at the F10, the hood seems to have a pretty straight cutoff so Id probably do that front portion and the bumper, maybe side mirrors. I dont think Id do any of the side paneling or headlights.

So how many companies do this? For some reason I thought Clear bra was a brand - but maybe its just a generic term. Is Venture Shield one of the better (best) ones?
VentureShield is one of the most popular brands and from what I've read one of the best; many installers use it. Clear bra is just a generic term. 3M used to have a competing product, but they recently purchased VentureShield, so I think it's pretty clear which product they think is superior. There's a new product called Avery Nano something (I think), but I've never seen it and from what I've heard, it's about the same, though not as many installers use it because they don't make it in 60" wide rolls yet, which means their product can't be used on most hoods -- and installers don't like to mix brands on the same car or deal with offering two brands of essentially identical products. Pics are pointless because you really can't see anything, trust me.

Looking at the F10 M5's hood, I actually wouldn't bother with it at all because I'd forgotten that the F10 front bumper comes all the way up and even inches back along the top for a bit before meeting the hood line, so I think protecting the hood would be worthless. I'd definitely do the headlights though; you'd be amazed how many chips in the plastic housing you'll get from rocks and such -- and BMW headlights ain't cheap to replace! If you want a reason to go with side mirrors, go on a long drive and see how many bugs and things get stuck on your mirrors. That will tell you where your exposure points are.

For temporary bras, you'd have to go with leather, or even carpet tape as some have done coming home from PCD. Installing clear bras just takes too much time to be worth installing it temporarily. Or you could find a VentureShield installer near the PCD and book them; it's a same-day job if you get your car there early, so if you can hang around there an extra day, just do that.
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      04-30-2012, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
VentureShield is one of the most popular brands and from what I've read one of the best; many installers use it. Clear bra is just a generic term. 3M used to have a competing product, but they're recently purchased VentureShield, so I think it's pretty clear which product they think is superior. There's a new product called Avery Nano something (I think), but I've never seen it and from what I've heard, it's about the same, though not as many installers use it because they don't make it in 60" wide rolls yet, which means their product can't be used on most hoods -- and installers don't like to mix brands. Pics are pointless because you really can't see anything, trust me.

Looking at the F10 M5's hood, I actually wouldn't bother with it at all because I'd forgotten that the F10 front bumper comes all the way up and even inches back along the top for a bit before meeting the hood line, so I think protecting the hood would be worthless. I'd definitely do the headlights though; you'd be amazed how many chips in the plastic housing you'll get from rocks and such -- and BMW headlights ain't cheap to replace! If you want a reason to go with side mirrors, go on a long drive and see how many bugs and things get stuck on your mirrors. That will tell you where your exposure points are.

For temporary bras, you'd have to go with leather, or even carpet tape as some have done coming home from PCD. Installing clear bras just takes too much time to be worth installing it temporarily. Or you could find a VentureShield installer near the PCD and book them; it's a same-day job if you get your car there early, so if you can hang around there an extra day, just do that.
Chances of me being willing to give up my M5 right after it being delivered for a clear bra install are ZERO! So I guess I'd have to find some way to temporarily protect the car.

Ill look into covering the lights - but I just saw a provision in my insurance (Geico) that covers glass AND plastic light housings. Although that would really just cover it if it cracked I guess.

By carpet tape do you mean painters tape?
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      04-30-2012, 10:44 AM   #11
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Had my red m3 with a clear braw done in the rear on the bumper, and in the front bumper. Couldn't tell the difference unless i touched the actual paint. I'll definitely be doing this on the f10, especially since im going with alphine white.
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      04-30-2012, 11:03 AM   #12
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Wouldn't it be more prudent to do an entire car wrap using the same 3M film or equivalent than just specific portions of the car such as just part of the front, sides and back?
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      04-30-2012, 11:06 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patsc23 View Post
Chances of me being willing to give up my M5 right after it being delivered for a clear bra install are ZERO! So I guess I'd have to find some way to temporarily protect the car.

Ill look into covering the lights - but I just saw a provision in my insurance (Geico) that covers glass AND plastic light housings. Although that would really just cover it if it cracked I guess.

By carpet tape do you mean painters tape?
Haha, good point about giving it up right away. Yes, I meant painter's tape. It seems to work well based on delivery threads created by people who did that. Yes, insurance will probably cover headlight damage, but like you said probably only after it's functionally damaged, and it's more of a hassle that way anyway. Getting both headlights covered was only an extra $40.
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      04-30-2012, 11:08 AM   #14
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Wouldn't it be more prudent to do an entire car wrap using the same 3M film or equivalent than just specific portions of the car such as just part of the front, sides and back?
Prudent? Maybe. Necessary? Probably not. Expensive? You bet, probably $3-4K to wrap the entire car in VentureShield. And that assumes you're ok with every surface of the car feeling like plastic every time you touch it, never mind what happens in 4 years when the film starts to discolor and you either have to pony up another $3-4K to get it pulled off and a fresh film reapplied or deal with a car that always looks weird no matter how much you wash it.

Fyi OP, getting my front bumper, mirrors, and headlights was $540 here. The place I used said doing the front fenders and part of the hood would have been $840. The front fenders come pretty far forward on an M3 but I didn't bother, and it shouldn't be an issue on the M5, so I wouldn't worry about that or the hood; the M5's front bumper panel goes plenty far upward and back.
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      04-30-2012, 11:48 AM   #15
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My reasoning for wrapping entirely (assuming that cost is no concern) rather than just portions is that I think It would rather look/feel strange when you get close to the car or run your hand, lets take for example, the hood, that is partially covered with film only on the front. I'm sure even if it takes really sharp eyes to see the edge of the film, I'm sure, one's touch will be more sensitive to notice the edge of the film. So wouldn't it be better to just cover the entire hood, so the protective film will run up to the edges of the hood surface? Any thoughts on this is welcomed.
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      04-30-2012, 11:54 AM   #16
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Quote:
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My reasoning for wrapping entirely (assuming that cost is no concern) rather than just portions is that I think It would rather look/feel strange when you get close to the car or run your hand, lets take for example, the hood, that is partially covered with film only on the front. I'm sure even if it takes really sharp eyes to see the edge of the film, I'm sure, one's touch will be more sensitive to notice the edge of the film. So wouldn't it be better to just cover the entire hood, so the protective film will run up to the edges of the hood surface? Any thoughts on this is welcomed.
I don't recommend covering part of any panel, especially the hood because you'll definitely see and feel it; an edge in the middle of a panel is noticeable from a few feet away -- but like I said, with the way the M5 is shaped, I don't think the hood will be a target for debris because the front bumper comes all the way up and even back a bit, so I wouldn't cover the hood at all if it were mine.

As for the whole tactile benefit of a completely covered car, I don't catch myself running my hand across panels very much, so I don't think the transition from a metal panel to a VentureShield-protected panel would ever really happen. I tend not to run my hand across a car at all to avoid leaving streak marks anyway, but even if I did, I think the cost of covering the entire car and ending up always feeling plastic would be far worse to me than feeling a transition from metal to plastic. Also, keep in mind that the front bumper and mirror covers are plastic ANYWAY.
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      04-30-2012, 12:19 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by jphughan View Post
I don't recommend covering part of any panel, especially the hood because you'll definitely see and feel it; an edge in the middle of a panel is noticeable from a few feet away -- but like I said, with the way the M5 is shaped, I don't think the hood will be a target for debris because the front bumper comes all the way up and even back a bit, so I wouldn't cover the hood at all if it were mine.

As for the whole tactile benefit of a completely covered car, I don't catch myself running my hand across panels very much, so I don't think the transition from a metal panel to a VentureShield-protected panel would ever really happen. I tend not to run my hand across a car at all to avoid leaving streak marks anyway, but even if I did, I think the cost of covering the entire car and ending up always feeling plastic would be far worse to me than feeling a transition from metal to plastic. Also, keep in mind that the front bumper and mirror covers are plastic ANYWAY.
Yea, covering the whole car is no fun. I still look forward to washing and waxing my cars. Full bra would take that away. On my current C63, the hood actually extends and overlaps my grill.

Here's a good representation of why it won't be necessary to clear bra the hood. Only the front portion and bumper would need to be wrapped.

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      04-30-2012, 12:20 PM   #18
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Im with mathewEW. I am planning to wrap the entire car (most likely going to order a Frozen color).
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      04-30-2012, 12:25 PM   #19
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Im with mathewEW. I am planning to wrap the entire car (most likely going to order a Frozen color).
And when you sell it, the second owner will rip it off and drive in a shiny new paint while you'll realize that you've been driving in a 'clear bra' paint "just for the next owner". I didn't wrap my whole car because I want to experience what I paid for, and a shiny factory paint is a big part of it.
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      04-30-2012, 12:31 PM   #20
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Im with mathewEW. I am planning to wrap the entire car (most likely going to order a Frozen color).
There was somebody here in the forums who completely did by himself a wrap, I think it was more for a frosted or matte effect rather than protection but I believe the result would have been both -- matte/frosted effect and protection.
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      04-30-2012, 01:21 PM   #21
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Im with mathewEW. I am planning to wrap the entire car (most likely going to order a Frozen color).
If you're going to wrap a frozen color, why not order a non-frozen paint then wrap it in a matte (frozen) film? That way you could rip it off should u ever want to have a regular shiny paint finish. Best of both worlds imo.

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      04-30-2012, 03:03 PM   #22
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Don't waste your money on the whole car. Front areas, ok.

Everywhere else you might get a few nicks here or there but not many. When you do, buy Dr. Color Chip and they disappear.

Wash, Clay, Polish and Wax your car, don't seal it up. You will lose all the beauty you paid for.
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