2009 Mazda 3 clear bra

pwestlink

Member
Anyone out there have advise on whether a clear bra is a good thing for the money and what kind they recommend?

I heard the older ones use to turn yellow and are not for the DIY. I travel 97% highway and I am sure the front will get banged up if I do nothing. I have heard good and bad about 3M.

Any recommendations for installers in the Raleigh Fayetteville NC (hi)Area?
 

Kain

Member
You can run the power wire through a grommet in the passenger side of the firewall. Find a good ground, scrape away any paint.
 
:
Mazdaspeed3. 2008
You can run the power wire through a grommet in the passenger side of the firewall. Find a good ground, scrape away any paint.

????

My theory has always been that you are going to have to paint your front clip every 5 years anyway (especcially living in Michigan with salt and gravel train trucks) and if that is the case, clear bra or not then $1,000 for a clear bra installed just isnt worth it when they are only good for 5 years and you will have to pay another $1000 to have another put on while you still have knicks and chips where the bra wasnt. They are a good idea but are expensive and are not the end all be all for front end wear and tear.
 

Design

Member
LOL, I think the sarcasmeter broke on this forum. OP, you'd get better luck having this moved to the appearance section.

On topic (sorta), there are two major brands of clear film - 3M and Ventureshield. Both are very good. 3M guarantees their product free from defects for 5 years. Ventureshield is lifetime. The current versions of both films have been road tested for 5+ years with no cracking, fading, or orange peel effect.

Expel is a company that makes custom-cut patterns using the Ventureshield film, which is what I went with. Total installation was 600 for the bumper, grill, 24" along the hood and side fenders, side mirrors, headlights, and fog lights. It really doesn't matter which brand you choose... the installer is what makes the biggest difference. Some cars have minimal lines which make a DIY possible. The MS3 is NOT one of those cars due to the bends/lines in the bumper, grill and fog lights. It will take a professional 40% more time to do than standard cars.

I do a lot of fwy driving and have had some pretty hard impacts ranging from tire debris to gravel. Not one single mark so far in 6K. Bugs will leave a temporary stain which is bleached out by the sun in 48 hrs. On a rare occasion you may scrape something hard and cause the film to tear or ripple (like the side of a fence). It's $40.00-60.00 to patch over a new piece. It's much cheaper than sanding, painting, and blending... yet looks twice as good up close or from a distance.

IMO, it is the single best investment you can make on a 20K+ car. I got mine 1 week after purchasing my MS3. CWP is very tough to match, especially between metal and urethane. It made the purchase decision very easy for me. The film is truly invisible unless you try really hard to find it.

Here are some photos 1 day after installation. You'll see some moisture bubbles (normal) which disappeared after 7 days. My installer did come back to work out 2 bubbles in the film. Otherwise you'd never know it was there.

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I had the 3M film put on at the dealer before I picked up my 09 True Red MS3. I think it was worth the $800 bones. I had this film on my white 2000 Altima and in 7 years it never yellowed.
 

74mazda

Member
Hello everyone this is my first post.

I have had a clear bra on my last 9 vehicles. I would never drive any new vehicle without a one. This is the best investment dollar for dollar that you can spend on your car. Here's a link to see all kinds of clear bras photos.
www.clearbraphotos.com
 

KenOnBass

Member
I just had the autobahnd clear bra installed. Barely tell that it's there. So far, so good. Negotiate the price with the deal. Mine took $100 off without flinching.
 

MicaSp33d

Member
:
Mazda, Mazdaspeed3, 2008
you can buy the 3m film on ebay and bring it to a local shop. Might be cheaper that way.

I bought the whole front bumper/partial hood film including side mirrors for $175 and brought it to a local shop who put it on for $160
 

74mazda

Member
you can buy the 3m film on ebay and bring it to a local shop. Might be cheaper that way.

I bought the whole front bumper/partial hood film including side mirrors for $175 and brought it to a local shop who put it on for $160

Most good clear bra installers will not install someone else's kit. This is due to how it fits and looks once it is installed. The other problem is that there is no warranty again you don't know the age of the film ect this film shelf life is only a year, Most folks selling kits on e-bay are not authorized dealers. Go to 3M or Venture Shield web sites look at the warranty and dealer info. Besides having someone install someone else's kit does not save you money if the kit is of poor quality the installer will not care how it look when done not his kit.

Don't short cut this by going cheap on the C.B. dealer/installer if you want good support and a proper fitting kit that can be fully warranted. Film is only film its the quality of the installation that only matters.

You get what you pay for and cheap is very expensive.
 

CWPspeed3

Member
:
2008.5 MS3
The film is the cheap part, the labor (mine took about 8hrs) is where all the cost is. Mine was about $800 and I've had it just shy of a year now and its holding up fine. Different brands work better for different applications. 3M is a really thick film and a bit orange peel texture to it. Ventureshield works best for black cars, its the thinnest film and yellows quicker than the others. I went with Avery film because I was told it will yellow the slowest. All the films are going to yellow eventually and most companies use the same template so its just a matter of film preference. Now I just have random rock chips where the film didnt cover...
 

74mazda

Member
The film is the cheap part, the labor (mine took about 8hrs) is where all the cost is. Mine was about $800 and I've had it just shy of a year now and its holding up fine. Different brands work better for different applications. 3M is a really thick film and a bit orange peel texture to it. Ventureshield works best for black cars, its the thinnest film and yellows quicker than the others. I went with Avery film because I was told it will yellow the slowest. All the films are going to yellow eventually and most companies use the same template so its just a matter of film preference. Now I just have random rock chips where the film didnt cover...

All paint protection film is 8mil thick. 3M feels thicker because it has a hard coat. Venture and Avery call there's top coated. All 3 films will turn some yellow and others a brownness color. No matter which brand you must wax the film with a good paste wax at least 4 times a year. Once a week use a quick detailer. Do not use a yellow wax it will build up into the pores over time changing the color of the film. Clean any bug juices asap or the film will stain. Do not wash with dish soap.
 

CWPspeed3

Member
:
2008.5 MS3
All paint protection film is 8mil thick. 3M feels thicker because it has a hard coat. Venture and Avery call there's top coated. All 3 films will turn some yellow and others a brownness color. No matter which brand you must wax the film with a good paste wax at least 4 times a year. Once a week use a quick detailer. Do not use a yellow wax it will build up into the pores over time changing the color of the film. Clean any bug juices asap or the film will stain. Do not wash with dish soap.

I thought venture was 6mm or something thinner, it didnt have a true hard coat correct. I've forgotten some of the details in a year since ive been researching it.