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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my Elise back from the paint shop. It's great to have the same shade of Saffron Yellow on all the panels. The painter advised to wait 30 days before applying PPF.

I have done race car graphics, even designing and cutting my own numbers for both wet and dry applications. Greg's race parts sells the precut Xpel kits for the Elise. Has anyone applied them DIY? I did find some excellent how to videos on youtube. I plan to start with the smaller simple panels first, such as the mirrors and door sills, then move on to the larger, more difficult panels. Thoughts?

Regards,
Dan
 

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Sounds like you have a good plan with starting on smaller panels and watching YouTube vids. After peeling off all of my old ppf my wife and I did mine. Make sure you use the correct ratios of distilled water/alcohol/dial soap in a spray bottle. Make sure you have a helper when doing the large front clam pieces to avoid contamination when applying. Heat will definitely be needed over the concave/convex areas. We used a hair dryer to help conform those areas.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
@exigegus
Thanks Gus. Are you recommending a pro install using bulk sheet? I drove my Elise to an authorized Xpel installer for an appointment this morning who normally just does dealer work. After a few minutes of his attitude dealing with a customer off the street, I left with a silly expensive verbal estimate.... I thought about buying bulk sheet too, but concerned about trimming to fit and either cutting into the paint or just plain looking like crap.

@Brandonm84
Thanks Brandon. How was your result? Did you go with a pre-cut kit or bulk sheet?

The GRP precut kits look very similar to the original precut starshield installed by the importer.
 

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On my non-Lotus cars, I've had a professional install the harder areas. I would then install pre-cut Xpel film on the areas I knew wouldn't be as difficulty (hood, lights etc.). I ordered the pre-cut film directly from Xpel. This saved me a fair amount of money.

On the Lotus, I paid for professional installation when I installed my GTE front bumper because there was no pre-cut kit available and I wouldn't have ever tried to do that install.

Only suggestion I have for installation is to do it in a clean, dust free and enclosed location. I made the mistake on one car of installing a section in the driveway (a beautiful and calm day) and some debris landed under the film. Of course I didn't notice it until it was fully laid down. Most people wouldn't even see it but I know its there.
 

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@exigegus
Thanks Gus. Are you recommending a pro install using bulk sheet? I drove my Elise to an authorized Xpel installer for an appointment this morning who normally just does dealer work. After a few minutes of his attitude dealing with a customer off the street, I left with a silly expensive verbal estimate.... I thought about buying bulk sheet too, but concerned about trimming to fit and either cutting into the paint or just plain looking like crap.

@Brandonm84
Thanks Brandon. How was your result? Did you go with a pre-cut kit or bulk sheet?

The GRP precut kits look very similar to the original precut starshield installed by the importer.
My kit was all pre-cut. It was my first attempt and didn’t have the experience/confidence to apply AND cut ppf sheets. It worked out well and looks good IMO. I say if you want to save some loot go pre-cut and diy!


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2005 Chrome Orange Elise
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@exigegus
Thanks Gus. Are you recommending a pro install using bulk sheet? I drove my Elise to an authorized Xpel installer for an appointment this morning who normally just does dealer work. After a few minutes of his attitude dealing with a customer off the street, I left with a silly expensive verbal estimate.... I thought about buying bulk sheet too, but concerned about trimming to fit and either cutting into the paint or just plain looking like crap.

@Brandonm84
Thanks Brandon. How was your result? Did you go with a pre-cut kit or bulk sheet?

The GRP precut kits look very similar to the original precut starshield installed by the importer.
I just got a quote to remove old rocker panel star shield pieces under the doors and install new PPF on the front clam and rocker panels, $3150. I think that is a little high, but not nearly as bad as the $5000 estimate i got from another vendor.

Do you recall your estimate?
 

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2006 Lotus Exige
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I removed the star shield on my car, took forever. I got a quote for a little over $6000 to do the whole car. But they don’t have to do any removal.
 

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2005 Chrome Orange Elise
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I removed the star shield on my car, took forever. I got a quote for a little over $6000 to do the whole car. But they don’t have to do any removal.
Wow!! I don’t feel too bad about my quotes now! How was it to remove the star shield? I hear that steam or heat guns are a good tool for this.
 

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2006 Lotus Exige
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That quote is to cover everything from nose to tail.
I used a heat gun and no-mar plastic razor blades. Once I got the star shield off I used 3M adhesive remover to get the glue off. GooGone works but the 3M is much better. I got both at O’Riallys. Just go slow and it will peal off easer. If you try to move to fast or use too much heat it will come off in small peace’s, you can also damage the paint.
I worked on my car for a couple of hours for a few days. Then a good wash, clay, paint correcting and sealer. I ceramic coated my black car but the Lotus I’m just using sealer and wax till I put paint protector back on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Well, I'm found applying the Xpel ppf much harder than applying race car wrap graphics...

I started with the rear quarter panel piece after claybar, polish and a thorough cleaning. I had a really hard time stretching the film to fill in the crease and worst of all, the tiniest speck of dust or an insect sticking to the underside of the film made it really difficult. It was tough getting the bug parts out of the adhesive. I wound up pulling it off before I even tried locking it down with the alcohol spray.

Any suggestions?
Many thanks.
 

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I'm no expert by any means but I think its really important to apply it in as clean of an environment as possible. In an enclosed garage, no fans blowing etc.

Also, I've had success to some degree by laying the film down and tacking the middle in place. Then work out to one side at a time to achieve the necessary stretch. Sometimes it stretches fine without heat. Sometimes it needs the heat to help. Of course each panel is different and I've messed up a bunch, especially with compound curves. But, I like a challenge and learning new things.

I have also found different types of film can make it easier or more difficult. I was doing a set of round headlights a month ago and ordered pre-cut film from Xpel. I struggled mercilessly to apply it (even with heat) and ended up ruining both sides. I then made templates and cut a piece of film myself that was left over from a different vehicle (That they actually sent the wrong pattern for and reshipped. They told me to keep the wrong one they sent.). I applied that film like I was a pro. It was super easy with some heat to stretch it. But, even though they were both headlight films, they appeared to be a different type. I believe that was what made the difference in application.
 
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