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Old 08-31-2012, 10:54 PM   #1
Stinger9
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I took my clear bra off tonight

I bet anyone who has ever thought about putting a clear bra on the front of their car for road rash protection has wondered what it might do to the paint if they ever had to remove it. More than seven years ago I wondered the same thing when I purchased and installed a pre-cut kit made from the 3M quality material.
Since then I've used my car to cross the US from NY to LA and back seven times. Only a few rocks that hit the film have been large enough to leave a permanent tiny tear and/or penetrate to the paint.
Recently I had reason to have an insurance company pay for a fill and respray of my rear bumper cover at my BMW dealer's body shop. They did a nice job for a reasonable price. This inspired me to have them do my front bumper which naturally required that I remove the clear bra.

All I see suggests that the bras can be easily removed with a heat gun and patience with no damage to the paint. Tonight I went out with a hairdryer and started heating at one edge and then pulling the plastic off.
First I found that heating the plastic softened the adhesive so much that some remained behind. So I bravely continued gradually applying pressure to pull the bra off with no heat. Risking damaging the paint because the whole bumper will be removed and repaired and resprayed.

Bottom line is that I gently pulled off all the bra on my front bumper cover, mostly without heat. Not one bit of paint was damaged. The protection did preserve the paint which still looks close to new now that it is naked again.
I think the guy in the body shop will wonder why I'm getting the cover redone, as much of the previously covered area lacks any significant amount of damage.
And now that I see how reasonable and easy it is to get the covers redone, I doubt I'll reapply a bra to those areas. I'll take my chance with chips because it's easy to get rid of them.



My car in Cali:
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Last edited by Stinger9; 09-01-2012 at 10:45 AM.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:09 PM   #2
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This is good to know

I am getting my front resprayed soon and i also have a clear bra.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:31 PM   #3
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Clear bras are absolutely worth it. Seeing the front end of my ZHP, I wish the original owner used a clear bra. It would have really made a difference.
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:15 AM   #4
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Clear bras are absolutely worth it. Seeing the front end of my ZHP, I wish the original owner used a clear bra. It would have really made a difference.
Very true, but they definitely need to be cleaned often and also replaced. Mine isn't bad, but looks a little dirty. Anyone know how much replacements are?
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:57 AM   #5
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What's the point in having a pristine front end if it's underneath a bra 24/7? Just saying
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:05 AM   #6
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What's the point in having a pristine front end if it's underneath a bra 24/7? Just saying
That's what I tell my girlfriend.
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Lestat_ View Post
What's the point in having a pristine front end if it's underneath a bra 24/7? Just saying
Do you know what a clear bra is?
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Old 09-01-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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Anyone know how much replacements are?
DIY or professionally installed?

How extensive coverage?
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Old 09-01-2012, 11:46 AM   #9
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i have a clear bra on my ZHP...looks like crap with all the bugs etc sometimes, but it's great to know none of that is on the car
did you notice any difference in the paint color bewteen the clear bra areas and other areas after you took it off? did the covered area look newer ? (That would suck if it did, but you're getting it painted anyway)
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Old 09-01-2012, 01:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lestat_ View Post
What's the point in having a pristine front end if it's underneath a bra 24/7? Just saying
Note the "CLEAR" part of the item, Clear Bra.
Clear as in transparent. When new, it is perfect and your car looks normal.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Washburn View Post
i have a clear bra on my ZHP...looks like crap with all the bugs etc sometimes, but it's great to know none of that is on the car
did you notice any difference in the paint color bewteen the clear bra areas and other areas after you took it off? did the covered area look newer ? (That would suck if it did, but you're getting it painted anyway)
It should be fine unless your paint is really faded on the rest of the car.
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:46 PM   #11
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Note the "CLEAR" part of the item, Clear Bra.
Clear as in transparent. When new, it is perfect and your car looks normal.
You can facepalm yourself all day long, but I'll tell you what is not: lacquered paint. And yes, your beloved bra IS visible even with a good install.

Or maybe you're the type of person who puts plastics over the couches in your living room.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:04 PM   #12
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You can facepalm yourself all day long, but I'll tell you what is not: lacquered paint. And yes, your beloved bra IS visible even with a good install.


Alright dude, whatever. My CLEAR bra is pretty hard to notice unless you know it is there on my Silver Gray paint...

Have fun repairing all those rock chips. A clear bra is better than paint chips anyday.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:18 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Washburn View Post
i have a clear bra on my ZHP...looks like crap with all the bugs etc sometimes, but it's great to know none of that is on the car
did you notice any difference in the paint color bewteen the clear bra areas and other areas after you took it off? did the covered area look newer ? (That would suck if it did, but you're getting it painted anyway)
My eight year old car sits in a garage most of the year, so the paint is close to new. So there is no difference where the clear film was removed.
Not sure if the paint covered by a bra would experience any fade.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:11 PM   #14
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i used to think Clear Bra was a waste since it shows a line on the paint and the cost. i figured i would just respray the front end whenever/if ever it may need it from chips. the gloss shine from real paint i felt would be better served.

then i found that my respray on my bumper chipped easier than the stock paint and have likley changed my mind on the whole thing. still not sure which way on the debate i feel is stronger.

Quote:
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What's the point in having a pristine front end if it's underneath a bra 24/7?
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Originally Posted by MojoJoe View Post
That's what I tell my girlfriend.
good one
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Lestat_ View Post
You can facepalm yourself all day long, but I'll tell you what is not: lacquered paint. And yes, your beloved bra IS visible even with a good install.

Or maybe you're the type of person who puts plastics over the couches in your living room.
I don't think you are talking about the same thing. At least here in the US if you buy nice stuff, you can't see it. Just as shiny as paint, and no visible seam or difference in color. The only way to tell is sometimes there will be a hairline at the edge of the film that you have to put your head within 2 feet of the paint to notice.

Also, E46's don't use lacquered paint.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:40 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lestat_ View Post
You can facepalm yourself all day long, but I'll tell you what is not: lacquered paint. And yes, your beloved bra IS visible even with a good install.

Or maybe you're the type of person who puts plastics over the couches in your living room.
No, it's not, if you do a full front wrap and actually bother to take off the moldings, kidneys, emblem, etc.
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:46 PM   #17
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I think this thread has convinced me to get a clear bra and respray. How does the clear bra stand up to rocks? does it just shrug it off?
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:50 PM   #18
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How does the clear bra stand up to rocks? does it just shrug it off?
info in my first post #1

Took a fresh look at my front bumper cover today. It is surprising how much damage the film saved my front end over 96K miles.
Almost no need to respray except for those four lousy holes they had to drill for the mounting of the euro plate when I was driving around in Germany.

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Old 09-01-2012, 09:28 PM   #19
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I work at the dealership and i have seen so many cars with clear bra that's chipped, faded and all messed up. I have witnessed a couple of times when taken off, the paint underneath comes out in immaculate condition! That clear bra takes all the punishment, so i say it really works. But i would never but it on my car. I agree with some saying "What's the point in having a pristine front end if it's underneath a bra 24/7?" I would rather use (which i do) the type of hood bra that can be taken off and put back on whenever desired.
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Old 09-01-2012, 09:36 PM   #20
Stinger9
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Wow! Difference of opinion big time!
Last thing in the world I'd do is to use your black bra.
That's what I love about private ownership of material possessions! Freedom of choice.
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