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Discussion Starter #1
One thing that has always bugged me about paint protective films is the edge of the film that cuts right across the hood of cars in one of the most visible spots on the car. I was looking at a Carrera GT the other day, thinking "Why would someone pay a half-million dollars for a car and then put film on it with a line right across the middle of the hood?" And then, I heard that ChrisH had a rock chip on his front fender above where the film ended and wondered if there was a way to solve these problems.

Shortly after that, Sam called and asked if I wanted to be the first one to have a completely covered front clam with no edges or seams across the top (test case to see if it could be done). I thought for about a half-second before agreeing. All of the patterns that I am aware of are designed to work with 24" rolls of film. So, to do a job the size of the Elise front clam, you have to use a 48" roll of film. That means it has to be custom cut on the car. Something you really, really want a superb installer for. Based on my past experience with Premier, I didn't hesitate to say yes.

Sam and Wilson replaced my small front top and side pieces of film (above the "bumper" cut line) with a huge (6'6"x4') piece of film that covers the entire clam with no seams. They spent about 4 ½ hours installing that huge piece of film (we finished at 4 am this morning, so forgive me if this post is incomprehensible). It took a lot of work and skill, though Sam believes he could do the next one in much less time. I'm always amazed watching them work.

In the end I have to say that it "almost" covers the entire front clam. From the bumper cut line in front to the bottom of the windshield posts turns out to be about 52", so there are a few square inches in that small triangular area of the clam right at the bottom of each windshield post that isn't covered (see picture). This does leave a short, exposed edge right in front of each rearview mirror, but it is very unobtrusive and in a place no one would be looking for a film edge.

With all the edges wrapped wherever possible, maximum possible protection, and no seams, this has to be the ultimate clear bra (well, on a car anyway). It's, basically, an invisible bra.

It's a little difficult to illustrate this with pictures…there isn't anything to see. The great part about this full bra, is just that. No edges, no seams, no orange peel (VentureShield film). I will post a couple of pictures to illustrate the no additional orange peel aspect of the Venture film and to show the only exposed edge.

The picture showing the exposed edge has two sets of arrows. The white ones point to the actual edge on my car. The yellow ones point to where the edge would likely be on subsequent installations. Stretching the film as far as it is on my car was just too much and added probably an hour to the installation time.

The picture showing the degree of orange peel in the paint already and that same area with the Venture film is the forward upper rear wheel opening where the Armourfend pattern extends up from the severe damage area below (I don't recall whether StarShield covers this area, or not). There is virtually no difference in the covered area versus the exposed paint.

For my own curiosity, how many people would want this kind of coverage?
 

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I totally agree that it would be great to avoid the seam on the hood, although after 6 months it isn't bothering me as much as I thought it would.

I guess the big question would be, how much does it cost to install just the hood piece?
 

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WOW Chris.. that looks amazing..

What would that cost?? I would love to get somthing like that done when my elise comes in.

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I already had Premier's full package installed, and was in the process of having them replace the early Armourfend clam top and side pieces with a larger X-Pel piece when this came up. Sam didn't know if the 48" piece could really be done or how much time it would take. After finishing the installation, Sam said he plans to sell the full Armourfend kit plus custom piece as a package for $1390.

The Armourfend pieces cover a lot more areas than StarShield and the ones Sam uses are larger than normal to allow him to roll the edges over the ends of body pieces or into body seams. That is very labor intensive and obviously adds to his costs. For instance, Sam removes the front access panels, covers them in film and wraps the film over the edges, so you cannot tell they have film on them.

In addition to the areas that StarShield covers, the Armourfend patterns completely cover the access panels below the windshield, covers the headlights and turn signals, surrounds all the keyholes and expands on a few other pieces. You also get the VentureShield film which is heavier than the 3M product (8 mil vs. 6 mil) and no orange peel. And a lifetime gauranty.
 

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Here are some pics of before and after
 

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Sam,

Whomever can you wax it the same as a regular car? Does it get dirtier faster? Any problems using a Clay bar? Detailing a PITA?

Need more info.. Cause if i can get this instead of the Starshield for not much more $$ i would totally rather do this. Hell do the whole car with it for that matter. :nanner:

One last thing... Is it as shiny as without it? Can you still see the car SHINE in the sun?

Any drawbacks?

Ryan
 

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No drawbacks. You can wash and wax it as if it's not there. The film is the clearest we've used, which means, whatever's under the film will come right through. All you have to do is wash and wax it as if it's paint. As a matter of fact, the film is more scratch resistant than 3M's film. It doesn't use a clear coat to retain its gloss....as many people already know, clear coat scratches fairly easily (swirls esp on black). We've seen many Elise's w/ the 3M film swirled up just like the paint would. You will not have this problem w/ our film.
 

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Ok sam,

So when i get my elise, HOPEFULLY in November, how much would it cost you to come out here to FL and install this on the whole car?

Or would I rather drive it out to Cali to get it done?

Ryan

I AM TOTALLY serious
 

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Ryan,
That's quite a drive for you.....don't recommend it at all. We were over in Miami a few wks ago for a group install for a dozen exotics, so we do travel out to your area from time to time (3-4 times / yr). Once you're ready just shoot me an email ([email protected]) and we'll try to organize something out there.
If we can't get anything going for your area in that time frame, then I would highly recommend you get some type of protection put on. As for getting someone local to put Venture's 48" MR (Master Roll), I do not believe there's anyone out there w/ access to such size. I believe there's only 2-3 companies in the U.S. to have the MR and the other two aren't in Florida.
Your vehicle would make it the 2nd Elise (that is if we don't do anymore full front clams in the next few months) in the world to have it fully wrapped.
 

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I guess once I get the car I will drop you a line. Roughly what would be the cost for a full wrap?

I would really love to get the whole thing wrapped and for a little more money adn MUCH better coverage I would rather you guys do it. Hell Maybe I will just buy it out there from BMW1 and get you guys to install it then drive it back home.

Ryan
 

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We've recently wrapped a CGT ($9000) & Enzo ($11500), so it's fairly pricey due to the 100% custom work that goes into it. To do such a wrapon the Elise, it will run about $5000 due to its much smaller size compared to the vehicles above. Project Time - 3-4 days
 

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Sam,

What did Chris have done? IF NOT the whole car, what would something like he had done cost?

Looking for options. Maybe I don't need the WHOLE car done.. not that it isn't worth it, but $5K is alot (for me)

Ryan
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
I originally had the full Armourfend kit installed plus a custom piece about the width of the trunk, going between the trunk and the edge of the "spoiler". I did this piece to prevent scuffing from loading cumbersome things into the trunk. The Armourfend kit includes everything StarShield does plus the front access panels, all the way up the front spine, the headlights and turn signals, and some extra small areas around the wheel openings and around each of the keyholes. Plus the edges are wrapped around out of sight wherever possible rather than just cut slightly short of the panel edge.

Last week Sam removed the Armourfend pieces that went between the headlights, over the fender down to the edge of the clam and up the spine. Then he used one large custom piece to cover the area from the front "bumper" cut line all the way up to the windshield, over and down the sides all the way to the bottom of the clam. On the front end of my car there are only a few square inches of exposed paint at the bottom of each windshield post.

This picture shows the car with the large sheet initially placed on it and the general area it covers. The access panels (removed in this picture) are covered separately by the standard kit):

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=193324&postcount=7

This picture shows the only area on the front clam not covered:

http://www.elisetalk.com/forums/showpost.php?p=192695&postcount=1

Sam said he would do the complete package, as on my car, for $1390.
 

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For $1400 it would def be worth it over the standard starshield.


Thanks Chris..

Sam how many cars would it take for you to come out here? Just curious if I can get anymore people.

Again I have to get my car first.

I also might have some other cars here for you to do as well.. different models and makes.

Ryan
 

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It might be nice if the install had "strategic" small pieces that were stealthy. Because if you get a mark from road debris or an abrasion then only the piece would need to be replaced. If you are picky, it looks like the rocker pieces might need replacement every year or so, for example.

For those who autocross, some cone marks don't fully come off the paint film....no matter how much you clean a ghost stays behind. Apparently heat & friction between the rubber cone and the plastic film are the issue. So if you want to periodically replace film here and there, this would have a large impact on costs if huge areas need to be recovered.
 

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It does look very nice when inspected closely. However for me, I never notice the seam, nor has anyone else that's seen the car. The seam to me is very subtle, and you have to be looking for it to notice. However for you folks that 'know' it's there and if it bothers you, it certainly is a great option.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Gridlock said:
It does look very nice when inspected closely. However for me, I never notice the seam, nor has anyone else that's seen the car. The seam to me is very subtle, and you have to be looking for it to notice. However for you folks that 'know' it's there and if it bothers you, it certainly is a great option.
Not having a visible edge running across the middle of the clam was part of my decision, but the primary reason was protection from rocks. The only rock chip I have ever had on the hood of a car was only about a foot from the windshield (on a larger, taller car). And ChrisH recently had a big rock chip above the film on his Elise. I just couldn't see paying $845 (Premier) or $995 (StarShield) and still having to go through the repair process.

Stan- Your comment about large versus small pieces might have been in regard to the earlier full-car wrap posts, but the rocker panels on my car are covered with the standard Armourfend pattern pieces, which are similar to the StarShield pieces for that area. And I fully expect those will have to be replaced over time, particularly on the LSS cars.
 

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Sam, when will you guys be back in so cal? I'm picking up a new toy soon. :nanner: Great job on the install. I just sent you a PM.
 
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