Truck Condom aka paint protection film

5119 Views 12 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  gysnst2
I purchased clear paint protection film to cover the front hood (up about 12"), front bumper, headlights, tailgate, and sides up 18". Film is made by 3m and has a 5 year warranty. Total cost of film $630. The front pieces came pre-cut whereas I ordered bulk pieces for the sides and tailgate. On the bulk film I had to cut out areas for badges and tailgate handle. Also, had to cut to fit each door and area in front of rear wheel.

Started on the truck condom install this past weekend. Have been waiting for warm days to do the install, and looks like mid 40's was as good as I was gonna get. Tools I used were the smoothing yellow tool, towel, hair dryer, small scissors for trimming, tape measure, spray bottle filled with alcohol/water solution, and lots of patience.

Day 1 - Installed the front first.

Day 2 - Installed the tailgate and 3/4 of driver side

Driver side completed on gold two-tone color. 4 pieces total. Will be adding another 6" to the bottom of the green color.

Waiting on another sunny weekend day to finish the driver side and entire passenger side. Each day I worked on this a minimum of eight hours. Started around 29 degrees (8:30am) and would finish around 34 degrees (4:30 to 5pm). Although I was doing this all day for 2 days it didn't feel like an all day job. I really took my time and allowed my obsessive compulsion to drive me. I washed each area prior to installing since I had a bit of road grime.

Helpful hints: use lots of water/alcohol solution. The film smooths out much better when it is wet and the vehicle is wet. There is a high degree of stretchiness to the film but be careful when stretching as it may be harder to smooth edges when stretched. Use a hair dryer to heat film so it will contour to curves and to help flatten edges. Use lots of smoothing strokes to remove air bubbles. Sometimes I would smooth one area over and over and over and over. When cutting bulk film I used a quilters cutting wheel to give a smooth cut over a long distance. If you use scissors you will get a jagged cut and it will not smooth as nice. Scissors are good for detail trimming only.

When installing the front hood I found it easier to start in the middle and smooth outwards. When installing the tailgate and sides I found it easy to start at the top all the way across and work down.

Any questions about specifics just message me.
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After seeing some of the swirl marks and rock chips on my Ram I wish I would have done this to my Sport. Oh well next time. Nice job on yours!
Very nice! That takes a lot of time but you'll be happy in 5 years when the paint is still perfect!

I have some question if you don't mind as I want to add this in some areas of mine:
Where did you buy the stuff?
Is it really "invisible", or can you see it, can you see the edges?
Did you fold the ends around the lip of the panels?
Do you know if it just peels off if you want to remove it in the future, or is there any problems with it like leaving a line in the paint or anything if you remove it?

Thanks for any help!
Hi Sean,
I purchased all the film on ebay from a vendor called Clear Defender. I highly recommend them as they have great customer service and good pricing. I initially made an offer on the deluxe front protection. It was listed for $249 and I offered $204.95. I also added in my offer that I wanted to purchase the headlight kit and bulk film for the tailgate and sides. They accepted my $204.95 offer for the front, sold the headlight kit for $50 (listed for $56) and the bulk pieces were $113.36 for both sides - each measuring 18" x 108", and the tailgate was $99.41 measuring 24" x 72". They gave me free shipping, too, and included the yellow tool.

Is it invisible.....yes and no. You totally cannot see it from about 6-8 ft away, but if you are standing right next to the truck you can see it. You can see the line where the film ends, but it's not unattractive. Also, I've noticed some bubbles that I didn't quite smooth out good enough. Again, from about 6-8 ft away you can't even see the bubbles, but you can see them if you're right next to the vehicle. I'll see if I can get some pictures that will show the lines and bubbles. I'm also going to try to see if I can smooth out the bubbles when the weather gets in the 70's.

Did I fold the ends around the lips of panels....yes and no. On an area such as the doors where the door ended I cut the film to about 1/8" from where the door ended. But, where the body of the truck curved (like the end of the cab) I cut the film a little longer and tucked it in. It would be extremely difficult if you wanted to wrap the film around the edge of the door. Maybe a professional installed could do that. I had trouble with a couple of areas where there were multiple curves.

When I purchased the film they said that it could easily be removed without damaging the paint. I can say that when I would have to take a piece off to re-adjust it seemed like it was stuck really well. I was a bit worried that paint might come off, but I peeled it off slowly and it came off no problem. I don't know of any issues with it leaving a line if you take it off.

I will see if I can get some pics that will show the lines that way you can see how the pieces are cut and placed, and get a better feel of how it will look. I am more comfortable with seeing the film line than seeing chips/scratches.
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That is some awesome stuff. I co-worker bought stuff like it for his new mini cooper. He was ranting on about how awesome it was and I think he paid extra so that it wasn't uv protected. That way his hood will will fade with the rest of the car. You did a fantastic job though. From the pictures it looks like a professional did it. Congrats!
Thanks tariskellog for answering my questions! I plan on doing this (whether myself or paying a professional) and appreciate the info!
I was finally able to get pics and edit a hot pink line in them to show where the paint protection film is to give a better idea of how it shows up.

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^I can just barely notice it. Thanks for posting.
Nice. I think I'll do that to my front bumper when I paint it.
Very cool, looks great. I was quoted 850- to do the front of the hood, bumper capp, H lights, 8" up from bottom of rockers/door sills and qtr panel.
Seeing yours I think I can do it myself.
What kind of ach/soap solution are you using?
Very cool, looks great. I was quoted 850- to do the front of the hood, bumper capp, H lights, 8" up from bottom of rockers/door sills and qtr panel.
Seeing yours I think I can do it myself.
What kind of ach/soap solution are you using?
I used an alcohol + water solution. There were no instructions on what ratio so I used 1 part alcohol to 4 parts water. I also used distilled water 'cuz our well water is very hard and has lots of calcium deposits. Yes, you can do it yourself and save some $. Mine is not perfect, but at least the little flaws aren't very noticeable. Just take your time. Thanks for the kudos!
Wow looks amazing. I have a buddie who specializes in tint and body wraps. Wraps are becoming a big thing. He has the knack to do them but he says they are very time consuming. He uses no-tears baby shampoo and water. And the usual other tools. I tried to do a wrap on my sled and gave up. I'm to much of a perfectionist.

Ps the bubbles will motslikley work them selfs out. With the sun and heat. At least that's what I'm told. Lol.
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