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    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Life with PPF so far.

    Disclaimer: I’m not a pro by any means, just a curious guy w/ regards to coatings and detailing ‘stuff’. The thoughts below are what I *think* but have no firm foundation behind them aside from my personal experiences. That is to say, don’t take my word for anything but rather read, research and contact professionals when in doubt. You’ll likely get much better info than what some rambling guy on the Internet thinks. Caveat Emptor, as they say!

    Why PPF?

    While I’ve messed about with some coatings for the past 2-3 years, wanted to step up to the ‘next’ level of protection with a new car we planned on purchasing in Spring of 2019, a black 2019 Corvette. Our previous black Corvette, a 2004 which we’ve owned since new and driven 65k miles, was really torn up from rock chips accrued during it’s 15 year life, stuff you can’t correct out no matter what ya use. As this was planned to be one of the last ‘fun cars’ we purchased before shuffling off this mortal coil, wanted to go ‘all in’ on something that interested me (paint protection) and possible afforded ease of maintenance.

    The last time I re-did the 2004 it wasn’t but a week or so later that a rock on the freeway bounced off of the hood and took a nice chunk outta it, major depression ( Rock Chip Sadness ). Would PPF have saved that? I dunno but that experience coupled with the general wear and tear of road use made PPF a viable option for this go around. I also wanted to enjoy the experience of having a car professionally done, perhaps driven by my ever-increasing laziness.

    With the decision made, a few things worth noting regarding PPF vs other forms of protection, in my mind anyway.

    Pros:

    - Increased protection from road debris

    - Increased self-healing capabilities over` claimed self-healing coatings

    Cons:

    -Definitely not a DIY kinda prep/application, at least not in my garage

    - Should an unfortunate ‘surface incursion’ incident occur, not something I could fix myself

    -Cost; you want the ?best? as far as protection goes (they say) you’re gonna have to pay for it accordingly

    Info regarding the STEK Product

    From STEK USA Website:

    DYNOshield
    DYNOshield provides you with a top-coated paint protection film. Our nano-glass top coat is bonded to the film at a molecular level during manufacturing virtually eliminating the need for waxes or after-market top coatings.

    DYNOshield is unique in the market because of STEK’s combination of an extremely hydrophobic top coating plus self-healing properties for correction of light surface scratches. Our top coat combined with UV-resistant anti-yellowing adhesives results in extreme clarity and gloss plus improved puncture resistance.

    DYNOshield Specifications

    Glossy Finish
    Hydrophobic (Advanced water repelling properties)
    Anti-Contamination (Easy to remove contaminants)
    Stain ResistantFast Recovery Self – Healing (by heat or hot water)

    10 Year Warranty:
    DYNOshield paint protection film is warrantied for 10 Years against delamination, yellowing, bubbling and cracking.

    Thoughts on enjoying the ‘PPF Lifestyle’ after its first Spring/Summer Season:

    First and foremost, would I do it again? As opposed to coatings, absolutely…if the vehicle in question warranted the added expense and potential inconvenience if something untoward had befallen the car during normal use. As for what determines if the vehicle warranted the cost of full PPF application, that’s definitely a personal decision based upon your particular situation. In my mind, this was gonna be a ‘special’ car (wife is a true ‘Corvette Girl’), one that we were gonna hold onto for the long term so I wanted the best I could get for it, one last hurrah.

    This car was custom-ordered to our specifications from the factory and delivered right from dealer to detailer so as long as it was gonna be pristine from the start, I wanted the protection to match. And it’s black, so it needs all the help it can get. While I coulda gone with a partial PPF install on high impact areas, in for a penny, in for a pound and lets just wrap the whole thing.

    Wrapping the whole thing also appealed to my sense of consistency, symmetry and ‘order’, keeping the entire outward finish the same (PPF + Coating) on the entire surface, eliminating the chance for any inconsistencies in appearance between panels. Would I have noticed any differences if only doing a partial wrap…I dunno; I doubt it but since I tend to stare at our cars for long periods of time quite often, I might have noticed a difference in texture or appearance, either real or only imagined in my mind. Even if only imagined, why take the chance?

    In the end, no regrets after (only) 3500 miles and 7 months; in this particular situation I am quite happy with the path taken, in part because it exposed me to a new form of protection that I had no personal experience with…curiosity and all, must be satisfied.

    Some things to consider if interested in pursuing PPF

    I’ve come to the conclusion that *THE* most important part of a satisfactory PPF installation is not necessarily the product installed but rather the people who installed it. Since having PPF installed I’ve obviously been more focused on that when attending auto-related gatherings where there may be vehicles that have PPF installed. I’ve seen great installs, good installs, OK installs and, uh…not so great installs. Not knowing what was agreed upon and the price paid, can’t tell if any of those were ‘worth the money’ or led to sadness.

    Another noteworthy point regarding installation is just what ‘type’ of installation you’re paying for. From what I understand, there’s kinda a few different types of PPF installs:

    A strict ‘pattern installation’ from a kit, no customization or allowances for variability in panel size/fit. The ones I’ve seen that I believe are like this have less wrapped corners around, for instance, the rear quarter panel transition to the back end. I’ve seen a few where instead of wrapping around from quarter panel to rear end, 2 individual pieces are used, one for the rear quarter and one for the rear surfaces. This leaves a gap in coverage at the corner of the panel and 2 seams.

    A ‘customized’ pattern installation where the pattern is *perhaps* downloaded from a repository/file, loaded into a plotter/cutter which cuts a general and likely a bit over-sized pattern/piece from bulk film which is then installed, tucked and wrapped in a little more complete manner than #1 above.

    Result: less seams, more coverage.

    A totally custom installation where all pieces are cut from bulk and applied as completely (or as incompletely as installer sees fit/has the skill to do).

    Another add-on to a service like this is partial or total disassembly of vehicle exterior to further reduce the visible seams.

    I can’t say for sure that those are indeed the ‘general’ installation types but it seems to be consistent with what I have read here and there and seen on PPF’d vehicles. In any event, the end result is highly dependent on the installers skills and if you’re not well-versed on PPF (I really didn’t know much about the specifics) the trust you have in your installer is of utmost importance.

    There were things regarding the entire experience that I left to the installers judgement because, well, they know a lot more about this stuff than I do. Fortunately, they were a great help and having complete faith in their recommendations and skills made the entire process very entertaining as opposed to nerve-wracking.

    An example of the above was the topic of paint correction before PPF application.

    Obviously, with a black car that came outta a General Motors plant, I was expecting paint correction would be necessary even with it being a new car that the dealer did not touch upon delivery….heck, even Ferrari doesn’t pump out factory fresh, flawless paint I guess. However, a nice, unexpected benefit of PPF is that it will cover up some minor flaws in the paintwork often making a complete correction unnecessary.

    While as an overly-OCD-ish owner of a black car I was somewhat taken aback by this approach, it was another example of where having faith in your installer pays great dividends. While they would have done a complete correction prior to application of PPF if I had requested it, they suggested waiting to see the actual vehicle in person and then determining if this would be a necessary step; as it turns out, it wasn’t necessary and the results bear this out…there were no flaws that I could find anywhere on the painted surfaces of the vehicle.

    A penny saved is a penny earned and that’s a whole lotta pennies I saved in avoiding a complete correction and the associated expense when it makes no difference in the visual outcome.

    Are there factory flaws in the paint under the PPF…quite possibly but to me, it’s kinda like “If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it really make a sound?”, that is, if I can’t see it, do I really care? For me…no.

    The installer could have easily sold me a full paint correction and I woulda gone for it with no hesitation but since it wasn’t truly necessary they saved me that expense.

    And since I don’t have a Bill Gates-ian bank account, that’s a definite plus.

    Appearance



    Since the PPF is 8mil/203 microns thick and will cover up some minor flaws, will adding such a layer alter the appearance any? The difference is (or has been) unnoticeable by everyone except a dork like me.

    I can tell that there is a very, very slight difference in a panel covered with PPF as opposed to a painted/coated panel but it’s not enough that I would be able to tell without staring at the surface for a loooong time. It has slightly less ‘sharpness’ in reflection and if looking down the side while laying on the floor with a ScanGrip light at just the right angle, this will become apparent if your looking for it.

    And yeah, that’s the kinda dumb stuff I sometimes do to satisfy my curiosity….entertainment is where ya find it and all. Still, when washed and topped with a suitable product, the black is black and the reflectivity is great.

    Maintenance

    I’m a foam cannon guy as besides being fun I figure “It can only help, it can’t hurt” so why not? With that in mind when it comes time to wash I’ll give a quick rinse with a pressure washer very carefully (more on this below) foam it, rinse it again, bucket wash it, air dry it with the ‘ol air dryer and then (far too often than is necessary) apply some Polish Angel Cosmic Spritz to the paint.

    After the first or second wash this year (can’t remember which) I noticed some small spots on the hood, panicked a bit and called the the installer.

    They said just give it a quick hit with some water spot remover which took care of the problem easily. Since that initial incident, it’s been a trouble free Summer and Fall in that regard, no repeat incidents.

    The PPF was coated with a Film Coating after application for a bit of extra protection and that combo combined with the Cosmic Spritz has made for an easy maintenance routine so far. This car does get driven in the rain, will get rained on in the morning and then bake in the sun in the afternoon and in the Fall occasionally get buried in leaves if left in the driveway too long…all of which have thus far left no staining or other visual flaws on the painted surface.

    Random thoughts on the entire experience and a few other items

    Things I’d like to do that I can’t:

    Can’t get too crazy with the pressure washer when washing: The film will have some exposed edges here and there, ya just can’t cover every bend, twist and angle on a car (nor should you from what I’ve read) or hide every edge of the film so have to be careful with the pressure washer.

    Even with the widest 40 degree white tip on the gun, I generally stay farther away from the surface when rinsing and foaming. Haven’t had any issues but I don’t want to either; mostly a common sense approach works well enough, even with my sometimes flawed perception what common sense really is.

    No waxing: Even though I’m a ‘coating junkie’, dropping some wax on a car is sometimes a nice (and easy) way to spend a sunny afternoon. I have found some coating-friendly waxes that I like to use and I am eager to try the relatively recently released Polish Angel High Gloss Paste Wax but alas, won’t be using it on this car.

    No matter how carefully it’s applied, the risk of catching a film edge and getting some buildup there would not be a good thing, especially on black. Bummer, but a small price to pay for the other advantages of PPF.

    Alas, into every life a little rain (or shopping cart in this case) must fall: At some point midway thru the summer, the back corner of the car got really whacked by something, given the color left there I’m guessing it was a shopping cart or similar heinous device.

    It left a small tear in the PPF which, since it’s so small and inconspicuous, gave me a chance to muck about with the film up close and personal-like. While usually these ‘great ideas’ of mine lead to bigger problems, this actually turned out OK.



    I was able to carefully trim away a small piece of the torn film (with surgical scissors I ordered online), wet the area down, apply a little heat and re-seat the film.

    The edge remains a little jagged cuz that film is some pretty tough (and flexible) stuff and not wanting to go farther (Translation: “Make it worse”) I left it at that. I’d guess someone with steadier hands and a sharper eye could take a sharp knife and clean up the edge a bit but it’s so small and un-noticeable as is that I have no issues with it.

    Subsequent washings and maintenance since the incident indicate that so far, the film is nicely ?glued? to the surface at the edges, no lifting has subsequently occurred. Out of sight, out of mind.

    In the end…

    All things considered, if I was getting another car that I wanted to preserve as long as I could, I would definitely consider PPF again. While I didn’t go all-in on the full custom, partial disassembly option, this installation has exceeded my expectations even though I wasn’t sure going in what those expectations should be.

    I’m still a bit careful with the car, likely more than I need to be, mostly due to the investment involved in the process and my unfamiliarity with it’s capabilities in the long-term. Each wash I got a little more comfortable with it, what it can and can’t do and by next year I’ll likely be back to treating it just like one of our coated vehicles.

    As mentioned, if you are pondering something like this be sure to very, very carefully check out the installer…in the end it’s the biggest piece of the puzzle. Find people you can trust and the entire affair becomes very, very entertaining with results you will truly appreciate.

    Only time will tell how it goes moving forward but hopefully no issues.
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  2. #2

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Excellent write up and you are spot on! And nice front engine sports car from America!
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  3. #3

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    First of all I think your Corvette is beautiful. I still own a Triple Black `04 Corvette which is being repainted currently. Thank you for taking the time to write up your experiences with PPF. Very well written and extremely helpful. Good luck with your Corvette and keep an eye out for those shopping carts.
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  4. #4

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Interesting read. Never thought about doing whole car. Mind if I ask you to PM me what something like that costs?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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  5. #5

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Very interesting to read your experiences so far with PPFed car. The PPF technology has come so far and this just proofes it that you really need to be getting in for it to notice that it`s even a PPF on it.

    Amazing write up! Thanks for shareing your experience with us!

    / Tony
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  6. #6
    atgonzales's Avatar
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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Great write from a GREAT writer, nicely done
    http://Www.gonzodetailing.com


    Anything in life worth doing is worth over doing, moderation is for cowards
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  7. #7

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Totally agree man. Worth every penny. My Camaro SS is fully done in Xpel ppf.



    IGL Authorized Coating/Kenzo Installer

    Final Inspection Auto detailing- https://www.facebook.com/FinalInspection?_rdr=p
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  8. #8
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coatings=crack View Post
    Interesting read. Never thought about doing whole car. Mind if I ask you to PM me what something like that costs?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    PM sent.

  9. #9

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    BudgetPlan1- Hey, I found this interesting! Especially given that you`re in NE Ohio.

    Oh, and IMO having it done star-to-finish wasn`t "laziness", it was a combo of prioritizing and doing what *you* want to do with your resources, including your time
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  10. #10

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Wow, BugetPlan1, it took me longer to read your PPF experience than "War and Peace" (well the first page anyway. Captain Obvious is a very slow reader! For the classic literature illiterate (literally!), Google the "War and Peace" reference and then you will understand).
    I do hope that the PPF company gives you some sort of "financial compensation" for this testimonial.

    Are you thinking about doing this PPF treatment to your Porsche Caymen??? (or am I behind the eight-ball already and this was done!)
    GB detailer

  11. #11
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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    I love the look and maintenance ease of PPF but it would make my stomach ache not to be able to mess with the paint sometimes. If I ever have it done I will do the front bumper and mirrors, but I want to play with the remaining paint.

  12. #12
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    BudgetPlan1- Hey, I found this interesting! Especially given that you`re in NE Ohio.

    Oh, and IMO having it done star-to-finish wasn`t "laziness", it was a combo of prioritizing and doing what *you* want to do with your resources, including your time
    There was a definite `joy` to the whole "Gimme a call when it`s done..." approach!

    We began planning for this in October 2018 (and began BudgetPlan-ing for it 2 years prior) so was able to alleviate some of my impatience with being able to drive the new car immediately due to the long lead time. Also, given the fact that PPF & Tint was involved and I can`t do that (know thyself) may as well have them do the `irritating to me` parts as well, notably the wheels.

    I was planning to do the glass & maybe the Film Coating myself but they surprised us by throwing those jobs in as a bonus.

    I did do the seats and interior myself though...so that`s something


    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Wow, BugetPlan1, it took me longer to read your PPF experience than "War and Peace" (well the first page anyway. Captain Obvious is a very slow reader! For the classic literature illiterate (literally!), Google the "War and Peace" reference and then you will understand).
    I do hope that the PPF company gives you some sort of "financial compensation" for this testimonial.

    Are you thinking about doing this PPF treatment to your Porsche Caymen??? (or am I behind the eight-ball already and this was done!)
    I`ve had War & Peace on the shelf and on my `Gotta read someday...` list for, oh...about 20 years now. Maybe someday.

    I thought about doing same thing to Cayman but that was kinda an impulse buy, I didnt wanna give it up for long enough to get it done...its just too much fun to drive. Also it`s used, 13k miles, and already had a nick or 2 in it so figrd not worth it to go thru the expense.

    Its not as big a deal as this delightful Agate Grey Metallic paint doesnt really show flaws much. I just did this one myself instead: https://budgetplan1.wordpress.com/so...#Cayman_Detail

    Its such a great color, stays so visibly-clean. Drove down to Southern Ohio last week to bomb around Hocking Hills on Friday (Thanks C & D: https://youtu.be/0iKGQocyzPg) went to some detailing training in Columbus on Saturday, then home Saturday night.

    All told about 500 or so miles, lots heavy rain, generally crappy weather from Friday night on and when I got home, didn`t really feel the need to wash it, still looked great! I think I`m done with black cars, this is a much easier way to go!


    Quote Originally Posted by rlmccarty2000 View Post
    I love the look and maintenance ease of PPF but it would make my stomach ache not to be able to mess with the paint sometimes. If I ever have it done I will do the front bumper and mirrors, but I want to play with the remaining paint.
    I`ve still got plenty of other cars (and work vehicles) to muck with should I feel the need...

    Not quite the same as working with your own cars but its somethin`
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  13. #13

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    BudgetPlan1- Props to you for keeping it FUN for you and your wife. That`s what counts IMO, especially with a car like that.

    Your satisfaction has me thinking that if/when I decide to have PPF/retinting done on the Crown Vic, I might take it to the same guys. Heh heh, talk about "not worth the expense!"...12YO ex-LE vehicle
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  14. #14
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Accumulator View Post
    BudgetPlan1- Props to you for keeping it FUN for you and your wife. That`s what counts IMO, especially with a car like that.
    Happy wife, happy life! And they helped with that too, sending her some flowers soon after we picked the car up:




    The entire process was a real treat from start to finish, kept us going thru the winter. Heck, we had so much fun at the dealer when we were going though the ordering/buying process that the salesman is now one of our friends that we see every time we go down to the Columbus area. Could I have saved the money buying from an out-of-state dealer, large-volume dealer? Maybe, but wanted to really enjoy the process even if it cost a bit more. Every time we look at the car we remember the whole adventure w/ a smile....it`s all part of the car`s story now. I am slowly trying to convince Margaret that she would be better off in a Boxster as opposed to the Vette; she loves the Cayman too ("Turning is fun!")...we`ll see how that goes over the winter. We`d lose our a** on the depreciation but life`s short (or as she put it when I was hesitating on buying the Cayman "Money isn`t everything, we could be dead tomorrow...call them back right now and tell them we`re buying it")

    Your satisfaction has me thinking that if/when I decide to have PPF/retinting done on the Crown Vic, I might take it to the same guys. Heh heh, talk about "not worth the expense!"...12YO ex-LE vehicle
    Eh, I`ve got at least $800 of products on wife`s daily driver Civic, original MSRP around $16k...not practical, but fun. Sometimes the journey is more important than the destination...

  15. #15

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    Re: Life with PPF so far.

    I did a full xpel wrap on my farm truck:



    My wife has had the front of her jag done since 2017 and its holding up well. I really like the self-healing abilities of the film for dings and scratches with a little hot water.
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