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Various people have been saying that do not want the dealer to wash their car as they would prefer to do it themselves. But what if you want the clear film protective bra? The dealer would have to wash the car to apply the film.
 

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nxm150 said:
Various people have been saying that do not want the dealer to wash their car as they would prefer to do it themselves. But what if you want the clear film protective bra? The dealer would have to wash the car to apply the film.
Then don't order the film directly from Lotus and, instead, have it put on by another approved (by 3M) applicator. They have listings of where they are located at the 3M site.
 

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Why on earth would someone not trust the dealer to wash the car!? They'll probably say noone at the dealer is allowed to drive or sit in the car either!:D


Wow

Chris
 

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zvezdah1 said:
Why on earth would someone not trust the dealer to wash the car!? They'll probably say noone at the dealer is allowed to drive or sit in the car either!:D


Wow

Chris
Oh you wrote "drive or SIT". Not really related at all but: I used to work for CSX railroad and it was commonplace for new GM and Ford cars to arrive at the distribution centers in the South having been "lived" in during the train ride down from Michigan. The hobo's would use the cars as bedrooms and bathrooms for the trip down from the north on a pretty regular basis. The car carrier's used to be very easy to get inside, but now the RR's have buttoned up the cars a lot better to avoid the problem. FWIW(not much)
 

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Ouch, that hurt.

Two questions:

1. Wouldn't it be more likely that our Lotus dealers are a different breed? You aren't buying a Kia, and it seems many of the Lotus dealers sell new/used high end Italian machinery and the like (at least my local dealer does). I'd like to think that they have a sensitivity to new car prep that the Ford dealer never will have.

2. I'm sure this has been discussed before, but how does the Lotus protection compare to Invisishield, Xpel, Stongard? Having had Xpel on my S2000, it would seem that completeness and fit may vary (I think they all use the 3M film).

Assuming they are all roughly equivalent, it makes sense NOT to use the Lotus stuff, but rather, use either Xpel or Stongard applied by a certified local installer. In my experience, the trick with this stuff is finding a good installer, just like window tint. I think a good installer is generally one with lots of experience. . . so unless your dealer has lots of experience, I'd rather go to a 'pro'.

Thoughts?
 

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frayed said:
Ouch, that hurt.

Two questions:

1. Wouldn't it be more likely that our Lotus dealers are a different breed? You aren't buying a Kia, and it seems many of the Lotus dealers sell new/used high end Italian machinery and the like (at least my local dealer does). I'd like to think that they have a sensitivity to new car prep that the Ford dealer never will have.

2. I'm sure this has been discussed before, but how does the Lotus protection compare to Invisishield, Xpel, Stongard? Having had Xpel on my S2000, it would seem that completeness and fit may vary (I think they all use the 3M film).

Assuming they are all roughly equivalent, it makes sense NOT to use the Lotus stuff, but rather, use either Xpel or Stongard applied by a certified local installer. In my experience, the trick with this stuff is finding a good installer, just like window tint. I think a good installer is generally one with lots of experience. . . so unless your dealer has lots of experience, I'd rather go to a 'pro'.

Thoughts?
Jeff,

I really want the clear bra, due to my last 3 cars being absolutley KILLED here in san antonio by rocks and sand ect.... But I think I would be willing to make the drive to austin for the job if you or anyone else was aware of a good installer? I could use some painters tape for the first 500 miles to ensure no chips... I guess we will see.

Adamp
 

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Adam, here are some TX XPel installers. Since the dealer doesn't have experience with clear film application, I'll plan to go with one of these guys.

Problem is, the full Xpel kit is expensive. . . Stongard is cheaper, and I think the Lotus kit even cheaper

The Ding Company
4202 Santiago
Suite 11
Austin, TX 78745
512-441-9999
[email protected]

Toff Bedliners of Austin
1834 Ferguson Lane
Suite 101
Austin, TX 78754
512-339-9100
[email protected]


Austin Armor Paint Protection
Mobile Service
Austin, TX 78734
512-573-5343



Auto Shield
Mobile Service
Round Rock, TX 78681
512-845-9708
[email protected]


Car Axent
Mobile Service
San Antonio, TX 78258
210-833-6116
[email protected]


Dent Magic
8006 Durklyn
Houston, TX 77070
713-882-4055
[email protected]


Stacks Auto Protection
Mobile Service
Teague, TX 75860
903-388-4379
[email protected]


X-Pert Tint
11231 South West Freeway
Houston, TX 77031
281-575-0371
[email protected]


Dent-Tek
Mobile Service
Houston, TX 77026
713-444-8218
[email protected]
 

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BTW Adam, XPel is *based* in San Antonio, and they not only sell the kits, but install as well. I drove my S2000 to San Antonio to have them do the install.

In fact, I had one of the first S2000's in central texas, and XPel needed a car to make their kit. I donated my time, left my car, went to the zoo with the wife (the owner gave me his bimmer to drive for the day), and I only paid for materials. :)
 

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yep, I'd consider driving to S.A. to have the expel folks put mine on.

I'd just tape up the car really well for the drive down.
 

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Just got off the phone with the folks at the Ding Company (which is silly, as only God knows when I'll actually have the Elise).

Anyway, I know of the company, as they cater to the BMW and Porsche clubs, and advertise in the BMW CCA local publication. I think they can do a fine job, and I know of some folks from whom I can get referrals. I like the idea of a local place, b/c a full kit really takes all day (for install and curing) and you want to make sure that they take their time. You pay retail price for the kit, plus 85 for install.

XPel in particular is cool: The company has a pattern the the installer downloads, and sends to a cutting machine. So, the installer buys the cutting machine from
Xpel, then pays on a per/pattern basis. So, there is no shipping of materials.

Xpel:

250 hood and mirror kit
270 bumper

Stongard full kit is 570, but appears to be more comprehenisve, covering more of the hood

http://www.stongard.com/sgcontent/sgdetails.asp?id=1324

Anyone know how the Lotus kit compares in completeness to these? I thought that the price was around 400 for the Lotus kit, but you may end up paying more for install, negating the savings.
 

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Invinca-shield's std kit is $396 consists of 11 pieces and basically includes hood and bumper area. Optional kit is $324 and consists of another 14 piecses and includes lower side panles, door and trunk latches etc. Last car I had done had probably $400 of labor so total cost is around $1100+. There website is invinca-shield.com When I did the film on my other car, I was under the impression that there is a difference between the products. Also everyone does not use 3M product. Has anyone heard a cost of the Lotus suggested film and what areas it covers?
 

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Nope.

Invinca Shield, Xpel, Stongard all use 3M Paint Protection Film

I believe Dynashield and Venture use the same 3M film as well.

The difference is in the patterns. Each company has their own, the details will differ. I'm sure each company claims their patterns are better, but I'm betting that one cannot generalize, and that the answer to the question of which is best will be car specific.

$400 labor is high. I was told that if I brought in my own kit, labor would be $200; buying Xpel, labor = $85. But, like anything, I'm sure it's a function of where you are located (supply/demand). Here there are multiple Xpel trained install shops to choos from.
 

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frayed said:
Nope.

Invinca Shield, Xpel, Stongard all use 3M Paint Protection Film

I believe Dynashield and Venture use the same 3M film as well.

The difference is in the patterns. Each company has their own, the details will differ. I'm sure each company claims their patterns are better, but I'm betting that one cannot generalize, and that the answer to the question of which is best will be car specific.

$400 labor is high. I was told that if I brought in my own kit, labor would be $200; buying Xpel, labor = $85. But, like anything, I'm sure it's a function of where you are located (supply/demand). Here there are multiple Xpel trained install shops to choos from.
Visited the 3-M booth at the NY Show where they
had it applied to a silver BMW Z8. Looked great and when I asked the tech-man at the booth about the product he proceeded to show me how strong it was. We tried to pierce it with a pen and never did break through. His computer, which tied in to 3-M, had the various cut-out pieces for the Elise in its memory banks. He did suggest that 3-M supply you with an installer since they must go thru a training process before 3-M considers them an 'official' installer. P.S. - They also had a thicker film for the headlights.
 

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Yeah, the 3M film rocks. My guess is that since 3M had a booth, they are selling tons of the stuff, so more R&D cash is being thrown into the product line. When I get a chance, I'll look over their patent portfolio for shitz and giggles to see where they are going with their IP.

As for 3M's certification/authorized resellers and installers, this seems to be their list:

http://cms.3m.com/cms/US/en/2-168/cllRRFQ/view.jhtml

From there, it appears that the individual resellers have a network of installers, as in the case of XPel (listed as Reflex on 3M's site).
 

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Xpel/Reflex rocks. I really like their companies business model. Genius.

As noted, they all use the same film. It's patterns and skill you are paying for. The xpel guys told me at the LA AutoShow (we were next door in our booths) that they were trying to get specified as the installer when you ordered the dealer option. They also wanted a test fit car in Texas if I knew of anyone.
 

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Very cool. I worked directly with the Xpel/Reflex owner with my S2000. A good group. I'd heartily suggest that whoever is the first in central TX to get their ride, to give them a call.
 

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I thought Venture is a different film from 3M.

I have heard that it is the new leader in the clearbra race--supposed to yellow much less than the 3M.

Of course, for those of us with yellow cars, maybe it doesn't matter? :D
 
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