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Old 01-07-2020, 12:12 PM   #1
beworthy3
 
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Has anybody installed a paint protection film themselves

Rock chips are a pain in the ass. Trying to get ahead of it, has anybody tried installing paint protection film on the rocker panel themselves? Is it even worth an attempt?
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:16 PM   #2
Glen e
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It certainly can be done but it helps if you’ve done another couple cars first. However, protection film installers will tell you that the front end of a Camaro is the hardest car that they’ve ever done.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:27 PM   #3
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It's definitely tricky. I've done flat areas like behind the wheels on the fenders and quarters, but a front end is tricky! Add to that the fact that the material is clear, so what would might be considered acceptable for a vinyl wrap isn't for PPF. I'm a huge fan of DIY, but I understand there's a reason most professional installers are professional.
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:38 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glen e View Post
It certainly can be done but it helps if you’ve done another couple cars first. However, protection film installers will tell you that the front end of a Camaro is the hardest car that they’ve ever done.
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Originally Posted by Abubaca View Post
It's definitely tricky. I've done flat areas like behind the wheels on the fenders and quarters, but a front end is tricky! Add to that the fact that the material is clear, so what would might be considered acceptable for a vinyl wrap isn't for PPF. I'm a huge fan of DIY, but I understand there's a reason most professional installers are professional.

Ok thanks, I really just need to get the area in front of the rear wheels done. I think I might try doing that myself
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Old 01-07-2020, 12:47 PM   #5
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I did the front of my 17 Silverado myself. It is extremely challenging. If its anything bigger than an arms length I would have a professional do it or at least have a friend or two to help. I will pay a pro to do my camaro
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:19 PM   #6
Chutzpah
 
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I did the area prior to the wheel at rear fenders. A couple things I learned:

Make a pattern out a heavy craft paper. I taped to the car, made a rough outline and cut very slowly with scissors.

I used the pattern to trace onto a quality PPF ( another lesson learned, watch out for inferior / old products) Test for clarity on a small spot before wasting time.

I used quality scissors to cut the PPF, very slowly. The section I covered extended over the upper and lower body panel seam. I found it easier and less stressful to cut the line for the seam, prior to installing.

I used distilled water with a couple drops of baby shampoo in a squeeze bottle. The PPF and the surface were soaked good with this solution.

Apply the film / keep very wet until fully positioned. Squeegee out water in short firm strokes. Use a bit of isopropyl alcohol and a hairdryer at edges (if you want to roll over an edge.)

A bubble that’s smaller than a dime will eventually evaporate ( at least that’s what I was told) I had a few minor bubbles and they took about a week to disappear, while in my garage. They’ll go away faster in the sun....
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:35 PM   #7
DaveC113
 
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I installed mine, including front bumper.

Previous experience was a couple mt bikes, that was very easy... the car was NOT.

Unless you have experience installing larger pieces on complex surfaces, or have a lot of mechanical aptitude and a lot of extra time, DON'T do the front bumper yourself. It took me a full days work just for the front end pieces and didn't come out perfect. It's good enough nobody notices the flaws unless I point them out, and the guy that did my window tint was very impressed, but I wouldn't do it again.

Other parts of the car are MUCH easier but still very challenging to do large pieces like the leading edge of the roof and rockers. This stuff I'd do again...

One thing I'd do differently, for the panel in front of the rear wheels I'd use 14 mil PPF instead of the normal 8 mil thickness. I'm actually going to add a 2nd patch of matte PPF over the clear to hide all the flaws you see in clear PPF, this area of the car gets blasted. Also, I'd consider PPF up to the top of the rear wheelwell and not just the bottom panel.

Total investment for this, including pieces protecting the trunk, and other minor pieces is about 3 full days of work and $600 for a precut kit on the front end and bulk material elsewhere. A shop would have charged $2-3k.

If you do it, get an OLFA knife w/black blades and break off the blades every couple feet, it dulls blades super fast and Xacto and other blades are not sharp enough. OLFA black or scalpels only. And watch a few YT vids...

Good luck!

P.S. I'd also consider ACS side skirts and rock guards.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:19 PM   #8
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My current film area for the rears. I plan on re-doing and going another 2” H and 2” over wheel well. Reason: got a tiny paint nick on the other side, just past where I ended the film.
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Old 01-08-2020, 03:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
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It certainly can be done but it helps if you’ve done another couple cars first. However, protection film installers will tell you that the front end of a Camaro is the hardest car that they’ve ever done.
thats what my installer said and he does supercars.
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:29 AM   #10
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thats what my installer said and he does supercars.
That makes me feel better about it!
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:45 AM   #11
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Yup these cars are no joke. I had my installer do the C7 and the Camaro. He knocked the C7 out in a few hours including my CF lip, side skirts, mirrors, etc. As for Camaro he put about 8 hours into the car. He said it is the worst job ever and he owns a 6th gen lol.
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Old 01-08-2020, 04:08 PM   #12
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I did my quarter panels in front of the rear tires as well, they turned out nice. I think Chutzpah's advice is good to follow for sure. The point is to take your time, and ensure everything is very clean before starting.
I don't think I'd have the skills to do a large panel that contains bends, at least not without alot of trial and error. But for the small areas that our cars really need on the sides, and the bottom of the rocker panels, sure.
And worst case, if you try it yourself and don't like the results, the PPF comes right off. No harm done except a cheap lesson learned.

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