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Old 06-01-2002, 07:22 PM   #1
johnnyp
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Member#: 19213
Join Date: May 2002
Unhappy XPel Clear bra air bubbles - advice please

Hi all. I just had detailwerks in campbell install a xpel clear bra on my wrx. When I came to pick up the car, there were quite a few visible air bubbles. Rik, the owner said that this was completely normal and that they would evaporate over the next 3 weeks.

Can somebody who's had this done please advise me as to whether this is true? I didn't know air could go through plastic, but that's what Detailwerks said.

As it is now, it looks pretty crummy. I probably could have done as good a job on my own. I paid the install fee hoping for a really clean, nice install, but so far, i'm a little bummed. If anybody has experience with this, please let me know.

Thanks a lot.

John
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Old 06-01-2002, 07:30 PM   #2
98kPa
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Some plastic is porous, some isn't. I dunno about XPel, but what he's saying is certainly not impossible. However, in my completely unknowledgeable opinion, this sounds like crap.

Call the manufacturer and ask. If they say his claim is bogus, dont call the detail place back, go there in person. If he doesn't believe you, then have him call the manufacturer while you are there.

If worse comes to worst, you get a letter from the manufacturer stating "if done properly there should be no bubbles" or something like that and show it to him.

But then again... he might be right, and honest. I'm sorry I don't actually know what I'm talking about

jason
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Old 06-01-2002, 09:33 PM   #3
odyss3y
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are you sure the bubbles are air and not pockets of chemicals? when i had my windows tinted you could see the glue stuff but after a few days they were gone w/o a trace. give it some time and see if he is being honest.
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Old 06-01-2002, 10:46 PM   #4
johnnyp
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I'm not sure what's in there. Depending on the amount of light and the angle viewed at, it sometimes looks like air, it sometimes looks like dirt, and it sometimes can't be seen at all. The other crummy thing is that there are stretch lines in various places. Rik said the kit comes small and has to be stretched into place, so there's nothing that can be done about that.

Anyway, I hope I'm worrying needlessly. He seemed like a decent and honest guy, but I'm worrying anyway just because I shelled out big bucks and it looks chintzy with the bubbles all over the place.

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Old 06-02-2002, 05:07 AM   #5
Impala SS AutoXer
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96 Impala SS
(Former 02 WRX Wagon)

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Are these BIG bubbles, or little tiny (say, less than 1 mm) pockets of air?

If they are the latter, they will disappear. Happens with any plastic film, including window tint. It is mostly leftover residue (i.e. moisture) from the install.

Give it a couple of weeks to completely dry.

If you want to "speed up" the process, put the car out in the sun.
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Old 06-02-2002, 10:55 AM   #6
satrya
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2002 GDAA
797

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I'm not an expert, but I've installed 3M Scotchcal (the one from x-pel) in various parts of my car. So, this is based on my observation on my car only.

(1) Air bubbles:

(1a) If the bubbles trap the alcohol solution, they will go away. This seems to be unavoidable when you install the thicker sheets such as those for the headlights & fogs. Mine streaks pretty bad in the first 2 weeks, but it's perfectly fine afterwards. The time it takes for these streaks to dissapear depends on the sunlight exposure. Based on this, apparently the alcohol solution does evaporate through the 3M sheet.

(1b) If the bubbles trap air, then it will not go away. If I recall correctly, there is a "bubble remover" tool (I believe x-pel sells these). It basically punches a hole so that the air can be removed.

(2) Stretch marks:

I'm not sure to what extent these marks are, but it seems like it's quite difficult not to have some stretch marks appear when you're working on highly curved surfaces (e.g. The leading edge of the hood scoop, going into the scoop inlet). As for how much is considered "sloppy job", and how little is considered "as good as it gets", I can't really tell. I know I could prevent stretch &/ fold marks in parts like hood, side doors, top side of the bumper, etc., but the hood scoop inlet seems to be one of the tricky parts. If you're talking about a stretch &/ fold mark in a very large surface such as a hood, i.m.h.o., it could have been prevented.

The good news is that since these things are easy to remove, you can always redo a part that you don't really like.

my 2 cents
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Old 06-02-2002, 05:25 PM   #7
johnnyp
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i think i may be a little on the "big bubble" side. they're definitely not 1mm or smaller. The ones I see are usually about 2-3mm. The bigger ones are easy enough for me to squash down with my thumb, but they seem to reinflate somehow b/c I keep finding new ones every couple of hours.

Seems strange. Well, I'll wait a few weeks as many of you have suggested and see what turns up.

Thanks for all the advice!
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Old 06-03-2002, 02:22 AM   #8
satrya
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797

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Quote:
Originally posted by johnnyp
i think i may be a little on the "big bubble" side. they're definitely not 1mm or smaller. The ones I see are usually about 2-3mm. The bigger ones are easy enough for me to squash down with my thumb, but they seem to reinflate somehow b/c I keep finding new ones every couple of hours.
If they seem to reinflate, then it probably won't dissapear unless you use the remover tool, which punctures the 3M so that air can escape.

Good luck
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Old 06-28-2002, 10:41 PM   #9
mo168
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Default Is your bubble gone now? johnnyp

Hi all, I just did my subi with clear bar

I got it from Invinca-Shield, Inc. for $240 + $40 overnight shipping (I can't wait)

I end up spending 5 hours doing my hood, front bumper, since Invinca-Shield, Inc. has 13 pieces not like xpal 2 piece, every part I have to get it down, but there is stratch mark i can't avoid as the WRX bumper are so curve and complicated, as far is the hood, i do have some glue spot and small bubble less then 1mm, hope it will go away in a week


Anyways what can I expect as in South Florida, no one doing clear bra and stuff..

5 hours.. amazing..
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Old 06-30-2002, 11:43 PM   #10
johnnyp
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most bubbles went away. looks ok except for one or two places with stretch marks.

i may take it back to the store, but i might just live with it.

jsp
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