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E46 M3 (2001-2006)

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  #1  
Old 06-02-2005, 10:58 AM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Clear Bra or not, that is the question?

Peoples,

Well my Jet Black M3 has arrived at port and will be at my dealer within the next week. When it arrives, I was thinking of having them put on the clear bra? I've seen the sample hood with and without the bra at the dealership, but I wanted your opinions if it is really worth it and does it even help prevent the inevitable. What about when you wax your car? My 330ci is Titanium grey and I don't see the chips as noticable, but I'm guessing they will be on my new Black car. This of course is not avoidable. So, I wanted your opinions on whether it is worth the expense, doesn't take away the beauty? Of course they say it is clear, but can your still visiable see it even if you are not looking for it?

Thanks in advance for your help!
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  #2  
Old 06-02-2005, 11:11 AM
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It is clearly visible from within 5 feet or so...pretty much the same distance at which you will begin to see rock chips.
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  #3  
Old 06-02-2005, 12:43 PM
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Bill-SD Bill-SD is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZM3
Peoples,

Well my Jet Black M3 has arrived at port and will be at my dealer within the next week. When it arrives, I was thinking of having them put on the clear bra? I've seen the sample hood with and without the bra at the dealership, but I wanted your opinions if it is really worth it and does it even help prevent the inevitable. What about when you wax your car? My 330ci is Titanium grey and I don't see the chips as noticable, but I'm guessing they will be on my new Black car. This of course is not avoidable. So, I wanted your opinions on whether it is worth the expense, doesn't take away the beauty? Of course they say it is clear, but can your still visiable see it even if you are not looking for it?

Thanks in advance for your help!
I didn't put it on my Imola Red and I wish I had. It's noticable but I think it's better than the chips. On black, you will definately see chips!
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  #4  
Old 06-02-2005, 12:57 PM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Thanks for the reply guys. I guess it's a toss-up. In the long run, it's probably better having it, then not having it.

Thanks!
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  #5  
Old 06-02-2005, 02:35 PM
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The darker the car, the less noticeable it is. The dirtier the car (regardless of color), the more noticeable it is.

I think what it does is merely extends the amount of time between hood repaintings. Any non-protected area above the clear bra will suffer but not as bad as the protected part would look if it were unprotected.

Make sense?
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  #6  
Old 06-02-2005, 02:56 PM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Makes sense. Thanks!!!
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2005, 05:06 PM
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Lastly, DON'T have your dealer do it. Find the closest GOOD installer and have them do it. The install is an art.
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  #8  
Old 06-02-2005, 06:09 PM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Great advise. I'm having dark tint put on within a day or two when received, I'll have them do my clear bra too....
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  #9  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:12 PM
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moneydumper moneydumper is offline
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Bra

I would say it's worth it...It doesn't look bad at all...
here's a pic of mine from about 5 feet away...

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  #10  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:24 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ågent99
The darker the car, the less noticeable it is. The dirtier the car (regardless of color), the more noticeable it is.

I think what it does is merely extends the amount of time between hood repaintings. Any non-protected area above the clear bra will suffer but not as bad as the protected part would look if it were unprotected.

Make sense?

I disagree. I have a new Jet Black 330i from BMW No. Scottsdale and the clear bra is slightly more noticeable then on other colors like Tit. Silver or Silver Gray IMHO. It is especially noticeable out here in the desert when some dust catches on the line across the hood.
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  #11  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:24 PM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Looks GREAT!!! Thanks for the visual.. See you on the streets..
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  #12  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:25 PM
jetstream23 jetstream23 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZM3
Great advise. I'm having dark tint put on within a day or two when received, I'll have them do my clear bra too....
Get the Huper Optik tint !
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  #13  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:29 PM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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I'm getting my M3 from No. Scottsdale too. Great people over there. You brought up a point that I was worried about. What to do, What to do...
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  #14  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:37 PM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Jetstream23, what do you think about getting the windshield tinted?
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  #15  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:38 PM
Stuka Stuka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZM3
Thanks for the reply guys. I guess it's a toss-up. In the long run, it's probably better having it, then not having it.

Thanks!
It is not a toss up. After 2 years, clearbra less M3 front end WILL look like donkey arse, while clearbra M3 front will look prestine. When my M3 met its premature demise in the hands of savages, the front was still prestine because of clearbra, no chips, no nothing... except the rear control arm was snapped clean off.

Anyway. My Turbo had seen plenty of 185mph action and over 10 track events, and the hood is the same as the first day that I got it.

Besides, if the chip was bad enough that it tore your clearbra, you just get another one put on, and the paint is still prestine.

I will always have clearbra put on my car before driving it off the lot. Hack had the pleasure of helping me painter taped the entire front of my Turbo because my installer don't travel. But hey, I was OK, I was fine representing UCLA in blue and gold, eh.
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  #16  
Old 06-02-2005, 09:57 PM
TD330ci TD330ci is offline
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I agree with Stuka. I had one put on my E36 after I had the front end resprayed. Still looks perfect after almost a year. I say go for it. I am getting one put on the E46 the day it comes in.
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  #17  
Old 06-02-2005, 11:15 PM
Jim in Oregon Jim in Oregon is offline
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I got tired answering people: "What happened to your hood? There is a big scratch across it".

Now I run a Colgan bra on the car for track days and driving long distances on the freeways.

If you put the clear bra on the car then you need to buy the rubber floormats to protect the carpet mats which are protecting the floor....and you need to get seat covers to protect the seats....and then you need to drive with gloves so perspiration doesn't touch the steering wheel and shifter.

Now that's what's call "safe car".

Forgot the car cover when parked outside at the supermarket.

Chips happen.

Be careful of the clearbra where they custom fit the plastic. I've hear horror stories from the knife they use to cut the excess off the car, actually cutting the paint. 2 years later, the plastic get peeled off to get new plastic applied and the paint gets peeled off with the plastic.
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  #18  
Old 06-03-2005, 02:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim in Oregon
Be careful of the clearbra where they custom fit the plastic. I've hear horror stories from the knife they use to cut the excess off the car, actually cutting the paint. 2 years later, the plastic get peeled off to get new plastic applied and the paint gets peeled off with the plastic.
That's why you go with aknown GOOD installer.

And considering the dings and srapes in the clear braon both cars with it, instead of the paint, I would put it on any new higher end car I got.

I use standard floor mats.

Personally I think the Colgan bras are so 80s, and look stupid to boot, did then, do now. And I have gotten most of my damage from local traveling, where you woulnd't have the Colgan on anyway.
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  #19  
Old 06-03-2005, 08:53 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jetstream23
I disagree. I have a new Jet Black 330i from BMW No. Scottsdale and the clear bra is slightly more noticeable then on other colors like Tit. Silver or Silver Gray IMHO. It is especially noticeable out here in the desert when some dust catches on the line across the hood.
I've done about 20 installs on cars and each person does seem to see it differently but I wonder because darker cars show dirt more, that it doesn't take much dirt to make the clear bra visible. Like I said, once dirty, that line cross the hood is quite visible.

One thing to keep in mind, if people looking at your car aren't aware the clear bra is on there, most won't see it. You know it is there therefore you see it all the time. Again, if the car is dirty, "Hello, Line!"
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  #20  
Old 06-03-2005, 08:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinecone
That's why you go with aknown GOOD installer.
Agree! You gotta pay for the experience.

I think most handy people could install this stuff themselves. It really isn't too hard. The problem is, after your first install, you will want to do it over now that you have a feel for the stuff. Most of it is just getting comfortable with handling the clear bra material: how to tack it down, how to stretch it, move it around, etc.

As far as the use of knifes, if you go with a pre-cut kit (like from www.xpel.com), there should be no need for bringing a knife anywhere close to your finish.
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  #21  
Old 06-03-2005, 10:16 AM
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I have a clear bra on my car. If you can afford the extra bucks, go for the 24" clear bra. (It is 24" deep so it covers more part of your hood)

Experienced Clear bra installer is a must. Check out some of the work and so you can see how it is for yourself. Check the edges, inexperienced installers have their edges not parallell to the edges of the car.
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  #22  
Old 06-03-2005, 11:43 AM
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I should add that I'd highly recommend you go ahead and wax the clear bra (assuming it is the 3M stuff) just like you do the rest of the car. You'll want several Q-Tips handy to clean up the edges of wax, however....not fun.
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  #23  
Old 06-03-2005, 11:52 AM
AZM3 AZM3 is offline
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Thanks everyone for the advice. I will look further into it here locally and see what the experts offer and get some of their opinions. Trust me, in AZ, you can find more window tint shops then banks...Gets a little hot here...
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  #24  
Old 06-05-2005, 06:22 AM
otacon otacon is offline
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I'm getting the performance center to put on the BMW car bra for me when I take delivery. I figure I want to protect the hood on my drive back up to Boston. I'm wondering if you guys also put the bra on the front bumper and the side mirrors?

I only asked them to put it on the hood and fender.

Thanks.
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S.Grey/Black|Xenon|Heated Seats|Moon Roof|HK|Power Seats|Lumbar|Rear Shade|PDC|Titan Shadow Trim|NAV|AUX|CSL Wheels|Alpine 6 disc MP3 changer|Euro Fire extinguisher|Euro medkit|DDE|OEM CSL Bootlid|UUC Evo3 SSK|Vorsteiner CSL Diffuser

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  #25  
Old 06-05-2005, 12:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by otacon
I'm wondering if you guys also put the bra on the front bumper and the side mirrors?
Yes
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