I did my own on my e46 years ago, so it has
had a chance to stand the test of time.
I posted this DIY at the time:
I did the 3M clear shield bra thing myself. Shopped around on the internet by searching ď3M clear shieldĒ and came up with a few companies that offered DIY kits. They werenít strongly urging the DIY aspect, but did have videos online for instruction.
Curiously a few of the companies had upper kits and lower kits available for my Ď04 330Ci and each came in at approx. $280. But then Invinca-Shield had one complete kit for about $289. So I was amazed that by not shopping around, you could double the cost by not being careful. In reality I didnít think the full kit was necessary and Invinca-Shield sells ala carte. So I bought $181 worth of the plastic pieces. I figured that some horizontal surfaces werenít that vulnerable, and opted out of the piece that protects the front of the bumper at the very bottom. You can hardly see this portion of the bumper.
An aside here: I decided to go ahead with this project despite my failing to see any bumper damage on my other car with this type of rubber bumper. Itís 14 years old and has been across the country a few times with mucho highway miles, and even the forward facing metal/paint surfaces are not chipped. Modern bumpers and paint just seem very durable these days. But I am fascinated by the product, itís not all that expensive, and the manufacturer claims that it removes with no damage to the carís paint. They supply specific instructions as to how to remove it.
So itís admittedly an experiment to see if I notice any difference.
So I get the kit and read the instructions over and over, and this proves to be a wise move. When youíre in the middle of the project and cursing the material, itís very useful to have some of the key tips memorized. Because the tips save your life.
I started with the easy small flat pieces to gain experience with the procedure. After I gained some confidence I graduated myself to the main hood piece with the supposed cut-out for the emblem. Thatís when I got a refresher course in how unskilled I was. This job is just as hard as you might imagine. Itís tricky, requires some experience and is very frustrating because the material does not cooperate around all the complex compound curved surfaces. And I could vastly improve on the written instructions. But since when isnít that the case!
And the cursing isnít only because I didnít know what I was doing. I had the main piece peeled away from itís backing and soaked in application solution, along with the hood when I discovered that the circle that is cut-out for the emblem wasnít cut-out! Just a score! Nasty work----Thanks! So now with the pressure of time I grabbed a brand new razor blade and tried to extract the emblem ďcut-outĒ. This rips the shield material with a rough edge that would ruin the installation. Lucky for me, my professional illustrator girlfriend was inside the house and she has decades of experience razor blading artwork with commando like precision. I called and she came and worked like the pro that she is and saved my hide.
Thatís not the end of the frustration because the seemingly gentle complex curves in your hood become major hills and valleys when youíre trying to adhere the material with glass-like precision while stretching it tight. Bottom line is the memorized tips play back in your mind and thankfully the material is very durable (meaning you can pull it off and reapply it a few times if needed if you are careful) and therefore forgiving. Even tho at one point I actually thought I was going to fail, the hood install is now complete and holding fast for the past two weeks. It almost disappears just like when the pros do the install.
I know others of you have had this installed, but has anyone else done it themself?
Also, for those of you that have it on, do you have any problems with commercial car washes, or is there anything else that you have learned from experience that I should know?
Let me know if you have any questions.