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Old 04-04-2015, 09:22 AM   #1
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3M Front Cap Clear Film

I have a 2004 with the 3M clear film on the front cap. It is intact but has small hairline cracks over it's surface. An RV repair shop told me the fix was to remove the film, repaint the cap and install new film, a $2 grand job. Apart from adding a fabric bra and covering the front is there any other options that work?
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Old 04-04-2015, 10:52 AM   #2
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If you are careful, you can remove the film and not damage the paint. Use a plastic razor blade along with a little heat from a heat gun. Time consuming but cheaper than what you were quoted.
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Old 04-04-2015, 11:25 AM   #3
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We removed ours with the plastic razor blades and a clothes steamer. Very tedious job. Did it without much paint damage except for where the film had held rock chips in place until we removed it. You probably won't need a repaint until after you remove the film and drive around awhile. In one 750 mi trip I picked up at least six more chips so a repaint is in our future. Not sure how I can protect it then.
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Old 04-04-2015, 12:00 PM   #4
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Remove I can understand and all of the above replies were accurate. There is excellent decal desolve products on the market along with the plastic razor blades will make short work of it. But have it installed again ???? Try a Bra mush less costly, can be cleaned easily and removed when you get to campground.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:27 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt5701 View Post
I have a 2004 with the 3M clear film on the front cap. It is intact but has small hairline cracks over it's surface. An RV repair shop told me the fix was to remove the film, repaint the cap and install new film, a $2 grand job. Apart from adding a fabric bra and covering the front is there any other options that work?
There's always the other option., accident.
I had a senior moment with a gravel burm last summer which resulted in some broken Fiberglass on the front end. Ended up with a whole front end repaint, new Diamond Shield and both headlights.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:30 PM   #6
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I hope you aren't advocating doing something illegal like faking an accident or filing a false claim! Both can get you jail time.
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Old 04-04-2015, 01:51 PM   #7
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I hope you aren't advocating doing something illegal like faking an accident or filing a false claim! Both can get you jail time.
Trust me, this was no fake. Was the worst day of my life at the time but in the end it turned out OK. Guess my opening line was "out of line".
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Old 04-04-2015, 06:53 PM   #8
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I removed my 3M mask about 3 years ago. It took me about 40 hours using a small portable steamer and plastic scrapers. After the plastic was removed it left a thick film of glue, I tried various removers but nothing worked as well as gasoline. I only had a couple of rock chips, I touched up the ones in the black paint area and left the rest alone.

Overall the front end still looks good.

I would not have a new mask put on, IMHO the benefit is minimal since I still ended up with rock chips and the cost is excessive. As hard as it was to get off I'm not going down that road again.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:26 PM   #9
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Jim, a good automotive "Bug & Tar Remover" usually can get glue and similar gunk off your finish. We use a spray can version that put a sort of gel/slime on the surface and then it begins to bubble. If you let it sit and work a few minutes it does do better. You can then use a plastic scraper to scrape it off. I use an all-purpose spray cleaner afterward to get any remainng film off. Try it first to make sure it won't harm your finish; I have never had it harm our finish.

Happy travels.
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Old 04-04-2015, 08:38 PM   #10
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Our is starting the cracking as well .... so very glad you posted up .... I am told from some Vette guys, this can be removed as described above .... after a good cleaning and touch up, a new clear 'bra' can be done .... there are a lot of guys out there these days doing wraps on everything imaginable .... and they can fit a new clear wrap pretty easily .... and for not too much money ..... I for one would not recommend not protecting the nose as made mention prior .... its worth the investment .... we will work on our "Bus" next winter when we get back to AZ.
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Old 04-04-2015, 09:09 PM   #11
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Trust me, this was no fake. Was the worst day of my life at the time but in the end it turned out OK. Guess my opening line was "out of line".
If that was the worst day of your life, you've had a wonderful life!
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Old 04-05-2015, 06:55 AM   #12
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After 36,000 miles I have almost no rock chips and rarely get them on my cars as well. Is this a gravel road issue or driving on freshly sanded road?
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:50 AM   #13
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I think the best solution is to [carefully] remove the film and re-paint if necessary. It is often possible to peel the film away without damage, but by no means a sure thing and it's a lot of hours of labor (and thus exensuve unless you DIY). I would not apply new film - save the money and re-paint when and if needed. It's probably about the same cost anyway. You should get at least 5 years from the front paint, even without a bra. I use touch up paint for the little stone chips and they are invisible from just a couple feet away.
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Old 04-05-2015, 08:11 PM   #14
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3M front cap clear film

Thanks for all of your feedback. I tried the accident route with a steer tire blowout and don't want to do that again. The decal remover and other products seems like something to try with the plastic blades.
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