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Paint Protection Film for Maintenance

Joined
3 November 2011
Messages
3,458
Location
Saskatchewan, Canada
A number of years back somebody had provided a link to a company that was selling a version of 'crash wrap' for the explicit purpose of protecting the paint on the car from scuffs when you are doing maintenance. At the time, I checked it out and actually started to place an order until I came to the 'calculate shipping' step. The sole shipping option was UPS Express Plus - $$$. The crash wrap is essentially a big role of paint protection film and kind of heavy. The UPS shipping cost from the US to Canada was about 200% of the actual cost of the wrap after brokerage fees were added in so I kind of nixed that purchase.

I recently discovered that my local autobody supplies vendor sells PPG crash wrap. The product is called PPG VRW100 and is a 3 mil vinyl with a mild adhesive. Oreilly in the US lists it:


It is a thin version of paint protection film. The adhesive on the back allows for easy application and it passed a 24 hr easy to pull off test. Can't advise what it would be like if you left it out in the sun for a couple of weeks. It was about $150 Cdn for a 100 ft x 3 ft roll which will do me for the rest of my life and leave enough to pass on to my son for his future projects. There are US vendors that list it for $85 - $135; but, I don't know what the associated shipping costs are. The film is heavy enough and stays in place such that it will prevent paint scuffs on the rear fenders when working on the engine. It will probably prevent paint scratches / chips if a wrench or some light part slipped out of your hand and dropped on the body. If you dropped something heavier it will definitely not prevent a dent. You need the NSX service mat (which is unobtainable unless you find one on the 2nd hand market) for that. I find the aftermarket service mats do not stay in place and will scuff the paint unless you put down the cling wrap first. I put down the wrap and then tape a couple of old bath towels in place for some ding protection.

Anyway, if you are looking for some scuff protection during maintenance you may be able to source the PPG film locally for a reasonable price.
 
Update on my experience with the PPG crash wrap and perhaps a little mystery.

I used the PPG crash wrap on the rear fenders on either side of the engine and on the trunk lid to protect the paint from scuffs when I did my coolant flush and hose replacement. Because of the width of the roll the crash wrap extended up on the B pillars which I figured was a non issue. Turns out that was not such a good idea. Because of other things going on, my cooling system maintenance got extended over about 5 days, so the crash wrap was in place for that period of time. At clean up time, the crash wrap released off the metal surfaces without issue. However, removal of the film off the B pillar caused a patch of the clear coat to pull off on both pillars. What is rather odd is that the pull off was in almost the same spot on both pillars. Here are photos showing the damaged area.

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The first photo is the driver's side and the second is the passenger side. Around the damage area you can see that the clear coat almost looks a little hazy. This is not so noticeable to the eye; but shows quite clearly in the photo. Up towards the top of the B pillar on the passenger side there is a similar patch of slightly hazy clear coat. I had seen this last year and attempted to correct it with the DA buffer; but, it did not respond to buffing making me think the haze was not just surface damage.

I cleaned up the damaged area with a very light touch with the DA buffer. What is slightly aggravating is that the underlying base coat appears to be in excellent condition. Because I don't have anything to lose, I think I am going to try and feather the edge of the clear coat with something like 2000 grit wet paper and then see if I can shoot a new coat of clear over the panel. If it doesn't turn out then its off to the body shop for a professional re spray. But, that is now next year country.

I think the clear coat is at fault here, not the crash wrap. But, if you are using any kind of crash wrap perhaps keep it off the B panels to avoid this problem. This now has me wondering about if I ever need to remove the PPF on my headlight doors, bumper and mirrors is this going to mean an automatic repaint? You may want to avoid using crash wrap on those areas for protection if it is a problem with clear coat bonding over composite surfaces.
 
Man what a bummer! At least the B pillars are easy to remove and paint, if it has to come to that.

My understanding is that the pro shops have special tools and equipment to remove PPF without lifting the paint. It's not a 100% guarantee, but my shop said they've never had paint lifted with the Xpel product, even on aftermarket paint jobs. They did couch that statement by mentioning that all those cases were done within the window of the product's life and that removing unknown PPF or stuff that's been baked on there beyond the product life could cause issues. DIYs may yield different results.
 
One of the things I am wondering about is if the clear coat is hazing does that mean it is in failure mode? In that case, even if I scuff the old coat to get adhesion to the new top coat is the old coat going to lift off the base finish after the new top coat sets up.
 
One of the things I am wondering about is if the clear coat is hazing does that mean it is in failure mode? In that case, even if I scuff the old coat to get adhesion to the new top coat is the old coat going to lift off the base finish after the new top coat sets up.
Yes. Hazing is a sign of chemical breakdown in the paint (typically due to UV, but also age). The NSX B pillars are kind of notorious for it- they came pre-painted from the factory so maybe they used a thinner coat? Here's my original B pillar from my 92. It's very common to see hazing and paint burns.

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I'd just pull your pillars and have them re-shot. Should only be a couple hundred bucks and you'll have the advantage and durability of a modern clear coat. The BASF clear on my Imola is hard as a diamond lol- buffing it was miserable.
 
removing unknown PPF or stuff that's been baked on there beyond the product life could cause issues.

Yeah, get your PPF removed within 5 years. When I needed to remove 8-year-old Xpel from one of my other cars, the nearest person who'd even attempt it was 400 miles away, and it cost a fortune.
 
That’s very interesting. I wonder if given enough time the adhesive on the PPF will react with the paint and cause damage to it and if the amount of UV the car is exposed to makes any difference? The fact the stuff only lasts 5 years sure makes it crazy expensive and the idea of half the paint coming off makes a few rock chips seem minor in comparison especially since I have managed to avoid even that using an old school nose mask ( yeah I’m that old ) for road trips.
 
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I'll let you know in 8 years when the Xpell on my SUV will be 10..Its warrantied for 10 btw..
 
That’s very interesting. I wonder if given enough time the adhesive on the PPF will react with the paint and cause damage to it and if the amount of UV the car is exposed to makes any difference? The fact the stuff only lasts 5 years sure makes it crazy expensive and the idea of half the paint coming off makes a few rock chips seem minor in comparison especially since I have managed to avoid even that using an old school nose mask ( yeah I’m that old ) for road trips.
PPF has come a long way, including the adhesives. My Xpel Ultimate Plus has a 10 year warranty and the installers say it is certified to be removable within that time window. However, they mentioned it depends on conditions. A garaged car like mine that is only used occasionally should last the full lifetime, but they told me I should come back in around the 8 year mark for a re-application. They also said for a car that is left outside in the elements, they recommend replacing the PPF after about 5 years despite the warranty, since the temperature swings and UV degrade the adhesive faster and there is a greater chance of paint damage.

My shop also said there is a technique to slowly peeling the PPF back and using water and heat to re-activate the adhesive so it becomes soft and releases from the paint surface. They strongly advised against a DIY peel-off LOL. Thankfully both my paint shop and PPF are local and friends, so god forbid if there is any paint lifting, I can take it to Mike and he'll re-shoot it. He saved my specific shading paint code from the color change, so he can match it perfectly. Still, I get it- no once wants to drop 4 Gs on PPF and see their paint come off when it's peeled back!
 
exactly removal is a slow process with much heat...
 
I am familiar with the recommended removal method - towels soaked in a pot of boiling water and then applied over the PPF to soften the adhesive and then pull up at a small angle relative to the body panel. As docjohn says - slow.

The PPF has been on my car since 2012 so I have blown way past those best before dates. The warranty was for 5 years covering failure of the PPF, no guidance on removability. It is still in good condition (always garaged) so I guess it is on there now until something happens.
 
I had xpel removed at the 8 year mark on a garaged nsx and it pulled paint on mine also. Xpel would do nothing for me and said that it was old paint so they couldn't do anything about it. My installer uses Stek now and he said the adhesive is not as sticky as the old xpel self healing.
 
My NSX came with the front end covered with clear PPF, with no information on when it was applied, other than it was the previous owner more than 4 years ago. I didn't realize this stuff had a best-before date. I'm wondering if I should try to have it removed immediately and re-applied, risking paint damage, or just plan to leave it forever. It's on the front 2', the mirrors, and door handle recesses. This is making me anxious. 😰
 
I have no data to back this up; but, my gut reaction is that if the car is stored in a garage and the PPF is in good shape, leave it alone and deal with the PPF failure or repaint issue when something happens. If the car gets a lot of UV exposure and the PPF looks like it might be deteriorating, then the decision is harder. You might want to remove the PPF now to preclude paint damage; but, you do run the risk that 'now' might still be too late and you get some clear coat lift.
 
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