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      09-10-2012, 09:25 AM   #1
VMcV3y
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Install clear bra after 15k miles and 200 chips?

2012 E93 M3: Euro Delivery and picked-up in Spartanburg in March 2012. Now has 15,000 miles on it.

The M3 is the first low-ride car that I've owned in over a decade. (all high-lift pickup trucks and motorcycles).

The front end of the M3 is gorgeous, owing to the LeMans Blue Metallic combined with the flat, painted bumper surfaces!

I did not want to install protection over the front of the car because I felt it was unnecessary.

However...

Though the car has benefited from weekly hand-washes by a local, reputable business, I finally had the opportunity to wax it, yesterday setting in two coats. I examined every bit of the front of the car (bumper, grill-separator, and hood leading-edge.) And I am quite stunned by the quantity of paint-eating-insect-impacts and rock chips!

I'll allow that my former vehicle, a Mazda B3000 DS, was significantly higher from ground-level than the M3, but it seems that the paint on the Mazda was more durable - 150,000 miles and less than 1/10th the amount of little dents vs the M3.


Two broad questions for the group, please:

(a) Is it too late to install a clear bra? I know it will not repair the slight dings on the front of the car, but it would protect from further damage. If a clear bra is installed over these little pits, will they stand-out more from under the plastic coating?

(b) I searched several postings on here about this topic, and a few people made off-handed comments about skipping the clear bra and just getting a repaint done. It may have been a joke...but has anyone here actually tried this technique....of just getting the front-end repainted on regular intervals? If so, what was your experience? Did you do this at the five-year mark, or six-year, or....? What was the cost?


It is my daily driver and I expect wear-and-tear as a natural part of being on the pavement. But I'm a bit concerned that the front bumper will look like the load-side of a garbage dumpster by the time it rolls the 50,000 mark.


.
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      09-10-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
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It all depends how much you care how your car looks. Personally, if the front of my car had a lot of chips, etc., I would have it repainted and then put the bra on.
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      09-10-2012, 10:15 AM   #3
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With that much damage already done, it's probably time for a respray and then install the clear bra if you want to protect it. No point in putting a bra on over the chips and defects in the paint.

Find a good place to do the bra install otherwise it'll look like crap.
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      09-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #4
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I would go with the above suggestions to repaint and then clear bra. But it is a good idea to clear bra the headlights as soon as possible because the cost of replacing headlights is much more than repainting.
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      09-10-2012, 10:49 AM   #5
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I'll echo what's been said: Get a respray first then put on a clear bra. Why cover up damaged paint?
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      09-10-2012, 11:10 AM   #6
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Respray it then clear bra it.
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      09-10-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Thanks, all, for the input.

I didn't even know the headlights could be covered. Nice.

This is one of those things that, because it apparently works so well, most people do not have a clue that the front of cars are coated with these. I had no idea until recently a few people told me and I looked closely at their cars.
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      09-10-2012, 01:03 PM   #8
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repaint then bra
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      09-11-2012, 12:09 PM   #9
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I have a 2010 le mans blue e92 and am in the exact same boat OP. Going to re-spray then look into clear bra. Mine is pretty rough on the front bumper and while i love LMB, it definitely shows all the wear all to well.
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      09-11-2012, 12:14 PM   #10
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I have a 2010 le mans blue e92 and am in the exact same boat OP. Going to re-spray then look into clear bra. Mine is pretty rough on the front bumper and while i love LMB, it definitely shows all the wear all to well.
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