Saturday, November 19, 2011

Jaguar X-Type Bra

I have expressed my irritation previously with how soft the Jaguar's paint is, at least compared to GM paints.  I now regret not paying the outrageous $800 that the dealer wanted to apply a plastic protective sheet to the front end when I bought it.

There are enough little dings here and there that I am tempted to have some of these fixed--but then do something to prevent more damage.  For that reason, I went looking for the black rubber front mask commonly called a "bra."  These turn out to be quite scarce for the Jaguar--and I gather that automotive enthusiast feeling about these has changed in the last few years.  Bras became common on cars in the 1970s just as they were going out of fashion in other places...and now they are becoming rare on cars again, while they have become common on women again.  The reason is that bras tended to damage the paint, either because of rubbing on the paint, or trapping water against the paint.

What has become more common are these plastic protective coatings.  This is a rather thick piece of plastic, made by 3M, and some of the tests involved shooting air guns at the surface, with no damage to the paint, and often, no damage to the protective coatings.  They are not expensive; I can order this set for the hood for the X-Type for $59.95 plus shipping.

The set for the bumper is the same price:

The installation video makes me wonder if this might be a bit more challenging to do than I really want:

I may call the guy that I have do detail work on my cars, and see if he has experience doing this. It is probably worth paying someone a bit of money to install these, simply because I am sure the first few times you do it, you learn a lot.

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