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Discussion Starter #1
Not sure how it will hold up so I’m not exactly endorsing this (yet). The Rugged Trail T/A tires throw stones worse than any tire I’ve ever had. Because I spend so much time on gravel roads I had to do something, and with winter coming sooner than later. Couldn’t bring myself to herc the truck yet, and really feel the higher end Paint Protection Film (PPF) works well. Cost was prohibitive for the 3M to have it installed though. I read everything I could about doing a self install but the cost was at least several hundred dollars for materials.

Stumbled across Trimbrite Bodyguard Paint Protection Film which is black and textured slightly almost like herc on a roll. Reviews at Cablelas http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/reviews.jsp?productid=520817 looked good so thought I’d give it a try. Found it at autobarn cheapest and got 4 rolls shipped for $63. http://www.autobarn.net/trit9020series.html It comes in 12 ft. rolls and is just slightly shy of 6 inches wide. 3 rolls would have worked but knew I’d need extra, and did.

Directions say install with temps between 60-80 but that hasn’t been possible. I did notice the warmer it is the easier it is to install and might have been easier if it was warmer. Almost gave up after the first couple of hours but finally got the hang of it somewhat, ripped off what I had and started over. The results aren’t too bad. Like I said not sure how it will hold up. Air bubbles were the biggest problem and some could not get out no matter what. Pricked those with a saftey pin and worked them flat.



A heat gun on low helps it bend easier and lay flatter. Have to be very careful though as it only takes a second to ruin it. Before starting I cleaned the surface with Mineral Spirits to remove wax followed by a good scrubbing with Dawn and a final water rinse. Directions say for large pieces you can soak it in water first, however it will not stay on vertical surfaces that way. So I started it on the top edge dry and used a water spray bottle with 2 drops of baby shampoo like 3M film installers under the rest. Squeegee and heat gun slowly working down worked somewhat well. Ran the top course just under the door molding and folded the bottom over and to the inside of the door making sure the weep holes stayed clear. On the rocker started on the inside of the jam at the vertical junction and it covers almost perfectly to the bottom of the frame. After I was done noticed you could see white from the inside vertical door frame so I cut strips to cover and protect that. On the rear started up the side where the factory PPF was but it really looked goofy to me so I ended up taking it off. A lot easier to do than if I would have been painting it!

Several of the reviewers said do not overlap pieces but I did hoping they were referring to the clear. It seems to take a coat of wax pretty well but right now I’m more worried about protection from salt and rocks than looks. Even if it only lasts a couple of years without looking like crap I’ll be happy and by then will paint the rockers and door sill.

It works well so far, it is MUCH quieter without all those rocks bouncing off the rocker panel. More importantly though is it stopped the paint chipping.
 

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It only cost $150 to have both rocker panels clear-bra'ed. A little pricey, but not outrageous.
 

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Wow $150 is cheap, if I could get it done for that would in a heart beat. They wanted $450 here for the 3M PPF. The experience of an experienced installer is worth every penny IMO.
 

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Yeah - I went with a local guy that was really experienced, and does all of his own installs. It was $400 total for the hood, front of fender, rockers, and door edges. He does use the 3M film too.
 

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When I had my BFG's I never had rocks hitting the rocker panel, but then again if your daily drive is on gravel then I can see why you did this...great job!
 

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Dunno, mabbe pics don't do it justice, but I'd rather Herc it than install the film...
 

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I could provide pics of the film - but you wouldn't see anything. On a silver X, with clear film, it is invisible unless you are 2 feet away.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
vman wondered what you ended up doing, I started looking about the time you first posted about the chipping on your OR. Unfortunately I waited too long and clear PPF is no longer an option, looks like someone hit my rockers with a shotgun blast in several areas. Here is a close up but it still isn’t the same as in person. You can see the seam line in the front section from the layer underneath. Have to get pretty close to see it though and most of the time it is covered in dust, dirt and mud anyhow. Like I said more of a stop gap and just need to get through the next 6 months of winter salt season. The texture is rough, but not as coarse as herc.



See a lot of rigs with herc on them and they are easy to spot after a couple of years, I don’t care for the fading or coarseness of herculiner but that is a personal thing obviously. Snoopy looks like he is doing well with Durabak and he updated it at the beginning of the month to say it is holding up well.
http://thenewx.org/phpbb2/viewtopic.php?t=2098

Durabak also makes a smooth coat which is what I’ll probably end up using.
http://www.nonslipcoating.com/scratchguard.htm
 

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The clear film is a great idea. Being a storm chaser it made me wonder about a coating for the entire vehicle to help stop some hail damage :p

Either way, I'd like to do the rocker panels at least.
 

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Thanks Iron,

Now this gives a better idea about what it looks like. How tough is that stuff? I am somewhat concerned about my rocker panels because the chips are easily seen on the black paint. I was going to LineX them and the rear corners of the bumper, but I am not sure about the prices + fading over time. Herc is an option as well...

Have you tried taking them off? I am curious if it leaves any nasty stuff on the paint. Also, how glossy is it? If anybody has it on a black X, please post the pics :) With sliders potentially coming soon, I need to figure out if I have to put anything on my rockers.

Thanks!
 

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It is easy to remove especially with a heat gun. Much easier to remove than the 3M PPF patch that Nissan installs, the 3M adhesive is truly a much superior product.

After removing the pieces I ran up the rear door fender I cleaned it with goo-b-gone, mineral spirits and then dawn dish soap. Can’t tell it was ever there. By trying different heights and locations you can use it as a test template for herc, durabak, lineX , etc. Those products you are not getting off without a grinder.

I feel black on black is one of the harder ones to do. It isn’t glossy like the black plastic on the bug deflector or window deflectors. Looks very close to LineX when new, not exactly matte but not a wet look either. I have noticed a number of vehicles with black stripes and decals that are older and the edges will fade and turn lighter in color over time. That is going to show up on a black paint job. I started at the rear and moved forward hoping any exposed edges would then face to the rear away from the wind to minimize wear.

It is fairly tough but is not going to stop a boulder, not sure about heavy scratches yet. If it lasts 2 years that would be really great, if I get through the winter that is acceptable. On the other hand don’t want to admit how much time it took to install it and have it look as seamless as possible.

LineX would be high on my list too if not using a film. It isn’t as coarse as herc and has somewhat better UV protection. Still it is not the easiest thing to clean. First weekend had the X took the wife and dogs to a nearby State park for a swim. On the way back I was throwing stones out of the tires for almost 10 miles after I hit pavement again. The wife turned to me and said “you got to do something about that�. That was before I removed the mud flaps, it’s much worse now. Figuring I had a blank check from the Admiral I got the quote for PPF and the cost made me think twice. Was going to get a LineX quote too but never did.

I keep most vehicles 8-10 years so am very concerned about the fading from all of the coatings.

Don’t know if it is a long term solution without redoing it every couple of years, hard to tell and for the price figured I wouldn’t get burned too badly if it doesn’t work out. If you think this is something you want to try PM me your address and I’ll send you a piece that you can use to get an idea.
 

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Thanks for the info. I am not sure how long I will keep the X for, so some mods that other people may find questionable are in the air now. It helps knowing that you can take the film off.
 
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