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3M Clear Bra (Rock Guard) update

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Old 11-25-11, 08:35 AM   #1
MX5NES350
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Default 3M Clear Bra (Rock Guard) update

I've been fielding a few questions on the clear bra I had installed on my new RX. So instead of folks needing to dig through the forum and search this will be the one stop thread for it. Since I got the hood, fenders, bumper and mirrors done I went back and had the A-pillars, above the windshield and door cups done as well. Total retail for this is around $850 with a 5 yera warranty. The 3M product is quite thin and has a clear coat allowing you to buff out any minor scratches.

Here is the vehicle as it sits just looking at it...

Click the image to open in full size.

From standing at the front in the middle and looking at this angle you can see (or maybe not) something that looks like some kind of line about 8 or so inches up the hood.

Click the image to open in full size.

I took this one since this angle is the one where you CAN see a definitive line. I took this one because it is the only angle where you definitely see there is something there. Same angle with my wife's C70 has the same result.

Click the image to open in full size.

Again, same angle showing the fender coverage. Man I love that metallic in the Stargazer...

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Side mirrors from the same angle do not show as much of a line. I am attributing that to the massive curvature of the mirrors vs. the flat-ish hood and not so curvy fenders.

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This is one taken of the hood from the front passenger corner. I am looking across the hood towards the driver side.

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Here is the driver's side a-piilar. Above the windshield is done all the way back 1 inch beyond the front of the sunroof. The seam is behind the roof rail so it isn't visible unless you are about 6 foot 5 inches tall and looking for it.

Click the image to open in full size.

Here is one of the door cups. I HATE looking at a car that has ring scratches on the door cups. I am very aware when entering the vehcile as well as my wife. Guests, passengers, etc. may not be so much.

Click the image to open in full size.

So there ya have the Rock Guard. Is it noticeable? Yeah it is depending on the angle. Is it ugly? That is subjective. In my opinion it looks better than a bunch of stone chips, even touched up ones. But again, it's subjective.
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Old 11-25-11, 02:56 PM   #2
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MX5N,

Thanks for starting this discussion. First your car looks great, like the color. Second, I think that clear coat on your bra is going to be a god-send. Being able to buff out minor scratches is truly an advantage. I like the protection a bra offers, but hate the look after some wear.

Please keep this thread updated after the ice and snow of the winter. Beside to let us know what you do for routine maintenance and products used.

Thanks.
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Old 11-25-11, 03:12 PM   #3
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clear bras are very good investment. I have never heard of an A pillar service so that should be interesting to see if you get any nicks on there. It doesnt seem like it would get that much attention from rocks.

I decided to just do the hood but to get the full hood done because I didnt want any visible lines. The front bumper would have been a good choice but it was too much money for me.
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Old 11-25-11, 03:33 PM   #4
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I did the A pillars on the 450h. I figured anything facing forward is fair game to rock chips. I can only recall one on the 330 but that's one too many. The installer had to custom fit them because they were not part of the kit.
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Old 11-25-11, 03:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kitlz View Post
I did the A pillars on the 450h. I figured anything facing forward is fair game to rock chips. I can only recall one on the 330 but that's one too many. The installer had to custom fit them because they were not part of the kit.

So I've not seen a-pillars whacked very much on any RX's that I've seen pre-owned but on my old ES it got nailed. I figure that's the difference between ride height. My a-pillares and the top of the windshield weren't part of the kit either. Nor were the door cups. All had to be cut to fit.

My wife has the same stuff done on her new C70 so I am going to be updating this as the winter progresses. My biggest review will be come spring when I detail them both (claybar, polsih, sealant) Only then will I be able to tell what paint damage this was able to avert.

And thanks for the compliments on the color. Black is beautiful
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Old 11-25-11, 05:10 PM   #6
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MX, it looks great! I think the cup door cups protection is a great idea. Where did you buy this and did you install this yourself? Also, is it possible to get only certain parts?
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Old 11-25-11, 05:23 PM   #7
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I got it installed by Rock Guard in Allentown, PA. Yes, you can buy any part you want, they cut their own pieces via CAD machine. I started out with the hood, partial fender and front bumper along with the mirrors. After seeing what they did with the a-pillars and windshield on my wife's C70 I opted for the rest. When I brought mine in there was an $800K Panamera getting the full body treatment. Nothing like having $4K to spend on the wrap... although the brake kit alone was $8500 so I guess it's relative.

Rock Guard's website is here: http://rockguardfilm.com/

The place where I got mine installed has a FB page here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/rockguardfilm

You can see tha Panamera project as well as my wife's C70 along with other high end autos they are entrusted with. Reall y nice guys. Don't know them on a personal nature but wouldn't mind buying them a beer at some point for what they've done thusfar.
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Old 11-25-11, 05:44 PM   #8
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I would be interested in some photos / discussion from owners that do NOT have a clear bra installed to understand how the lower bumper and hood hold up to freeway speeds and use. Has anyone had a ding on the bumper go through the paint into a lower level material? If so, what color is underlying plastic?

The RX is a pretty high vehicle ... I am wondering if this is reducing the amount of damage people are seeing.
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Old 11-25-11, 07:31 PM   #9
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On my Envoy here the front bumper has some scrapes and a fine pitting from the sand they put on the roads in the winter time. This product would have saved the bumper from having to be repainted. My Lexus will go in next thursday to have it done. I will post lots of pics of next week of it. I have mods to do on the lights and other stuff and will have before and after pics.
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Old 11-25-11, 07:32 PM   #10
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In addition to hood, bumper, and mirrors, I also had the headlights and foglights done with 3M film to prevent the eventual sandblasting of those very expensive lenses.
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Old 11-26-11, 07:23 AM   #11
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Looks like they did a pretty nice install. You will be very happy with it as it makes great peace of mind while driving. I went and worked on a Lexus IS250 yesterday that had the bumper resprayed due to excessive chipping. I couldnt get over how many chips there were on the car at less than a year old. They also had an RX330 which I wil be going back to do once they get the chips corrected on it.

One thing I wanted to mention is even though 3M is a pretty good film. There are much better films out there. Avery Nano Fusion and Ventureshield Ultra to name a couple. The 3M film has entirely too much orange peel to it... and it is very noticable in the photo of your hood. The other films have a prefectly smooth surface so it blends with the paint much better. The flake in your paint will help hide it to an extent but on normal black it would stand out a lot. The other two filsm also offer lifetime warranties as oppsoed to 5 years.
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Old 11-26-11, 10:14 AM   #12
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The install is top notch. I was considering VS (which 3M owns) but finding a good installer without driving a few hours was the issue. So I weighed quality of material vs. quality of install/ease of getting any issues addressed and went with the 3M product. I won't consider Avery since I know a few people who had bad experiences with Avery and the product wasn't as easy to correct fine scratches as the 3M or VS.
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Old 11-26-11, 10:28 AM   #13
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Same here. I wanted the RX protected right off the lot. I have 3M with lifetime warranty. There is minimal scratching almost two years later and no discoloration on tungsten pearl. In addition to regular cleaning and claying, I use Klasse AIO on the clear bra. It's amazing how much dirt it picks up. There are a few spots where rocks have hit but no visible damage to the paint underneath. I've been very happy overall.
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Old 11-26-11, 11:42 AM   #14
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I have the Starfire Pearl w/o the clear bra. I've had two very small chips deep enough to show the base color. It's like a dark grey primer would be my best guess, one was on the hood (metal) and the other on the bumper (plastic). I used touch up paint and a tooth pick on both. I can find the spots but I'd defy someone that had not seen them to find them. While washing and drying this morning I found another small one on the passenger mirror.

Now where did I put that tooth pick. Oh, that's right, I'm chewing on it
Quote:
Originally Posted by UCSB View Post
I would be interested in some photos / discussion from owners that do NOT have a clear bra installed to understand how the lower bumper and hood hold up to freeway speeds and use. Has anyone had a ding on the bumper go through the paint into a lower level material? If so, what color is underlying plastic?

The RX is a pretty high vehicle ... I am wondering if this is reducing the amount of damage people are seeing.
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Old 11-26-11, 03:26 PM   #15
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Nice pictures and a beautiful job! Now if I could be so lucky as to find someone to do the same for me!
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Old 11-26-11, 03:26 PM
 
 
 
 
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