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Auto Clear Bra Installation


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I had been meaning to install a 3M Auto Clear Bra on my 400h and finally got around to it this weekend. I just sold a 10 year old car and the front bumper and hood were filled with small rock nicks not to mention all the bug marks. I decided to try a clear bra on my 400h for some added protection.

I bought the kit on Ebay for $150 (Clear Gold Model). It came with precut pieces for the front of the hood and front fenders (it covers about 8-10" of the front of the hood), the front bumper and the mirrors. The videos on this web link were very helpful. The kit came with the squeegee. The overlay material is pretty heavy and quite strong and the precut pieces were, for the most part, cut to the proper sizes and shapes

http://advancedautotrim.com/aatinstall.htm

It was not an easy project and isn't as easy as it looks in the videos. It took me about 4-5 hours but it can definitely be done by an amateur. With the spray solutions, you can take your time and even redo sections if needed. I got the hang of it fairly fast. With considerable patience you can get rid of the vast majority of bubbles. The front bumper was by far the most difficult with all the vents, lights, etc to work around. I used a small syringe afterwards to repair a few of the remaining bubble marks as shown on the videos.

I think it is a good product. It is barely visible on my Matador Red vehicle. A casual observer would not notice it on the car although if you look close you can see the edge lines, etc. I had to redo one section and it took 2 hands pulling very hard to pull the edge back so it definitely won't be coming off on its own (with carwashes, etc.). I am sure that in the future when I remove it (probably when I sell the car), I will happy I did it. Compared to a dealer installation of $600+, it was reasonably priced.

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I didn't take any pictures during my installation and you wouldn't even be able to see anything on a picture of the car now. It would be like taking a picture of a clear screen overlay on an LCD screen - virtually invisible.

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Just thought I would offer words from experience for those considering the clear bra...we had it dealer installed in the summer of 05 on the wht 06 RX400h. They charged $600 for just the hood cover! It's been GREAT as the rest of the bumper shows pronounced rock damage and the bra has not faded or peeled in any way. Eventually you will see dirt slightly build at the edges. However, when I got my 07 GS450h, I was STILL scepticle (high price), so I didn't get it immediately. Well, after 3 long roadtrips w/i 2 mos, the chips started to mount. I again called the dealer and they wanted $900 for just the hood and bumper kit. I happen to shop around and called the same guy the dealer was to have install it. Well, he came to the house and for $200 less, he added in the mirrors and head/foglights! Long story short...I'm a fan! If you plan to keep the car/truck for a while, it's a WORTHY investment! I bet it won't hurt the resale value should you sell it either.

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