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'84 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #1
After I was front-ended, I had the nose of my S3 Spider repainted last March. Since then, in about 3500 miles, the front end's gotten 6 or 7 chips from pebbles. Very annoying.

Apparently a clear-film 'bra' is the solution, but I have some questions. Two people have quoted me $1,000 and up to cover the whole front end, which seems like a lot.


What's the right film to get? Has it eliminated rock chips?


Has anyone tried applying the film themselves? How hard was it?


I don't think I need to cover the whole front end. The chips have been confined to the air dam under the bumper and the shovel nose in front of the hood between the headlight coves (see attached). Would it be OK to just cover those areas?

Thanks,

David OD
Laguna CA
 

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The material isn't very expensive - it's the labor cost.

I've seen people cover the front bumper, headlights and front end of the hood. As long as you don't restrict airflow to the radiator, it's okay.

Pros: protects against chips and scratches
UV protection for the paint
Can help if you "brush" into something

Cons: Can see a difference between covered and not covered areas
At the point where the film ends, you can get a distinct wax line
Big rocks can still chip the paint.
Damage to the film looks worse than a chip in the paint.
 

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The amount of time required for paint prep, and the associated costs are terribly sobering and immediately devastating with the first highway trip. Once you have a quality paint job, you cannot drive the car because every stone chip is another dagger in your heart.

The clear "vinyl" covering is ridiculously expensive and requires many many hours...and the price is readily $2k JUST for the nose and mirrors, in my area. For the whole car, it is thousands more, and I am told 100 hours(!!??) due to the need for paint prep underneath.
But, it is great for parking lot scrapes (except keying) and small low velocity stones. ALSO, you can do a complete color change without having to do the usual paint prep.

The bra solution is frowned upon by many aficionados due to its effect on underlying surfaces and especially when it gets wet...altho it protects the paint the best against stones. You have to constantly remove the bra and clean out the grit that accumulates underneath, as well as letting it dry out. But, it is cheapest and most durable....altho of limited coverage (front surfaces only).

So, the easiest is a bra with best stone protection on the nose and front areas. The BEST long lasting protection is the film. BUT the one most people end up choosing is just living with stone chips and scratches and getting resprays...and watching your $5-8-10k paint jobs deteriorate...a death of ten thousand tiny daggers.

No single ideal SOLUTION is available....yet!
Maybe someday they will coat cars with rubber...wait! That's called dipping! Plenty of internet articles on that, done with a spray can, over a weekend in the parking lot, and with easy spot-spraying when you get a stone chips.
I think the problem is the matte color (not shiny) and the "budget" impression it has.
As soon as this becomes socially acceptable...probably accompanied by a suitable high price...this might come back to mainstream.

Waittaminit. Just because it's blue collar??!! What are you...a Kardashian?
 

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'84 Spider Veloce
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Discussion Starter #4
Does anyone know if there are precut templates available for a Series 3? I've watched some youtube installation videos and installation doesn't look terribly difficult. I used to cover stick-n-tissue model planes that were more difficult.

David OD
Laguna CA
 

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I very much doubt a company will have pre cut a template for an S3 spider.....knowing they might sell one or - at a push - maybe two kits;)
templates for alfa seem to be restricted to new models, and then only a few at that.
3M PAINT PROTECTION FILM | PRO SERIES KIT CATALOGUE

the only bra you are going to find for the S3 is this (eeks!)
1985 Spider with Black Head Cover

But you could just buy a few meters of the clear bra vinyl and try it yourself...
 

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For me, the front air dam looks FAR worse than the area between the headlights. I would go with a DIY solution and only do the front air dam; two reasons, 1) it receives more chips and 2) is less noticeable due to the location being under the front bumper.
 
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