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I am looking to add the clear plastic film to the front of my car.  I have seen this on a few cars, and IIRC, the good Mr. Gordon Nichols has this on Pearl.  There are others I know.  My question is: how far up the front does one normally go?  In other words, where to put the cut line?  I'm not covering the whole car, just the front to prevent/limit road rash.   Advice needed. Pictures?  What to do; what not to do.  etc.  I have a reliable reference for a shop that does this sort of thing, and want to be able to tell him what I want.

2007 JPS MotorSports Speedster

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I'll get pictures in a bit, but mine goes to about 2" up past the headlights and out to the edge of the fender flares, and the hood portion is about 12" up from the forward lip of the hood.  Because there are multiple compound curves going on all over the place, you should expect narrow, cut out gaps in a couple of places on the lower fenders to allow for the curvature of the body.  The film would naturally pucker at those spots and the installer had a special knife/tool that he could adjust the depth of cut and then just deftly cut out the pucker to allow the remaining film to lie flat.

I had mine applied in 2006? or so.  I drove Pearl over to the local (RI, at the time) Mercedes place and asked the Service Manager who they used for films on the front of new Mercedes and then used that guy, who came to the house to apply it after I removed all of the stuff on the front of the car.  16 years ago, it cost about $600.

He used BASF 8mil film which, after 16 years, is beginning to yellow from the UV rays but on my white car it is only noticeable when the light hits it just so.

@El Frazoo  i had this done to my car...it is an investment and well worth doing...that said...pick an experienced shop...the shape of these cars is not an easy application.....my car took a few days to complete and as far as cost $$$ ?... you GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR...and ill leave it at that....my coupe has small lines right at the base of the  windshield pillar .....something else to think about...have the paint correction done cuz you only get what you start with...and then after the clear film...have the entire car ceramic coated by a experienced person.....not only will car be semi protected from "road rash" (just understand it wont matter if a BIG HARD OBJECT hits it)...your car will NEVER get dirty enough to wash with a soap mitt again...use only a ceramic detail spray and clean micro fiber...my car came out very nice and the results speak for themselves....happy motoring 20211126_121212

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@El Frazoo

Pictures of the filmy beast, as promised:

First, caught form the side to get the worst possible light to accent that the film is there and how much of the hood is covered.

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In the next photo, the windshield is to the right, top of the headlight left center and this shows how much coverage there is above the headlights.  The fender curve crests about there so anything hitting above that will glance off (or so the theory goes.  And you know about theories....)  The little black dots are bug hits from last night.

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The next photo shows the upper and lower pucker cut-aways.  This occurs because of the crazy number of curves all going on in the same area, so any thicker film will bunch up beside the headlight as the curve forces the film back on itself.  This is the cure.  Note that there are zero dings in the unprotected areas, too.  The edges stand out because they're dirty.  I usually clean them before a show or something with a detailing spray and a Q-Tip along the edge to remove the tell-tale black residue from washing.

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This next shot shows the impact point of the only object that has broken through the film, happening back in 2007 or so.  It fell off a big truck in front of me on I-195, was about the size of a walnut and sounded like a bat hitting a baseball when it hit.  I put a small dab of clear nail polish on it from time to time to prevent anything getting in there under the film.   Other than that, there are no other punctures, zero stone chips and only 4 or 5  or so impacts that left a surface scar.  I actually have more dings on the rear wheel flares on their forward surfaces.

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And this photo shows normal (LED 5000K) light like outdoors.  The film pretty much disappears unless you really look for it.  I got some discoloration between the headlight bucket rubber gasket and the film, but that might be from el cheapo Asian headlight gaskets and would probably happen on any car, film or no film.

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Again, this was BASF (Germany) Optical-grade film at 8mil thickness.  IIRC, car films vary in thickness from 6mil to 10 mil (at least when I had this one applied) and for a 356, I would go with the thickest one that they can apply.

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Gordon: your Tech Notes, if I can call them that, are excellent.  I will use these pics when I speak to the film guy.  I have seen your car many times, and noted the film, sort of.  Never actually noticed the anti-bunching cut outs before.  As shown, they are pretty radical, and I get why they are there.  My much darker paint might allow for more of a disappearing act.  Maybe.  It will be what it will be.

Since my film has been on there for sixteen years and climbing, I kind-of wonder how difficult it would be to remove it if I needed to.  It was applied with a 50/50 solution of water and alcohol after the wax was stripped off of the body.   The solution gets squeegeed out as much as humanly possible and whatever is left somehow cosmically evaporates but I’ve wondered if it might act as a mild adhesive?  

Anyway, I’m not about to try stripping the stuff off just to find out.  At the very worst, I suspect gentle massaging with a heat gun along the release fold would work once you got it going.

I have the whole hood done and the full bumper and the fenders to the half way point.  If I did it again I would do the whole front Love the xpel film and after 7 years some blemishes but still looks good.    Here is the finger pointing to the edge of the film, we removed the lights and the bumpers to do it well ... So it isn't rocket science so that will   be easy for you  

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Since my film has been on there for sixteen years and climbing, I kind-of wonder how difficult it would be to remove it if I needed to.  It was applied with a 50/50 solution of water and alcohol after the wax was stripped off of the body.   The solution gets squeegeed out as much as humanly possible and whatever is left somehow cosmically evaporates but I’ve wondered if it might act as a mild adhesive?  

Anyway, I’m not about to try stripping the stuff off just to find out.  At the very worst, I suspect gentle massaging with a heat gun along the release fold would work once you got it going.

You definitely need a heat gun to remove it.

I don't recall if you're doing a Speedster or a Spyder but I would just get the whole front end done up to the windshield and the leading edge of the door crease. There is no need for cut lines anymore. The technology and the application ability of these films has increased dramatically. Have the bumper and the hood handle (if you have one) removed as well as the headlights and the horn grills etc and do the whole front end and the hood.

Txs for all the input.  It's what makes this Forum sing.

I have a friend who bought a Mustang GT several years ago, and she decided to have the whole car wrapped.  Not sure why, but she did.  Now, time and circumstance have affected the film and she wants to redo.  Or at least go back to just the paint.  She had the devil of a time finding anybody that would do the removal.  Last I heard she found a guy who would do it (method unknown) but wanted to have the car for weeks in order to do it.  I have not heard about any resolution on this yet.  Getting the film off apparently is no fun at all.   And $$$.

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