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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
No, nothing like the sexy "Victoria's Secret"-type bras - I mean the leather or vinyl kind you put on the front of your vehicle. A few weeks after purchasing my Mariner, I got hit by a stone flung at me from the tires of a very rude dump truck on the highway. It left a small ding in the leading edge of the hood just a few inches from the right headlight. Even though the ding is barely noticeable, I was so annoyed I went online and purchased a $75 "LeBra" front end cover. I didn't get the chance to install it because winter set in and the instructions say it needs to be installed when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher. Now that the weather is warm I've been toying with the idea of putting this thing on, but I'm having some reservations, mainly because of worries about paint discoloration and the like.

Does anyone have experience with bras? Topless or covered - what are the pros and cons? Are they more trouble than they're worth? Are bras far too pretentious for your tastes? Let me know what you think or what your experience has been.
 

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We used to have one on our Pontiac Sundbird many moons ago. I don't recall it discoloring the paint. I do understand what you mean about worrying about chips in the paint as that is a concern for me also. And you have already had a mishap. :wall: We put a bug shield on our Escape and it looks real good. So far no paint chips. Our Mariner has nothing on it and I keep debating on whether or not to maybe put that clear film on it. The reason that I hesitate is the Mariner front end looks sooo awesome as is and I would hate to take away from the looks.

I know that I have been no help to you and I apologize for that. Maybe you can put it on and snap a pic and we can better advise you. :shrug:
Hopefully someone else on here will be able to help you. :)
 

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In years past bras used to never fit 100 % correct and end up wearing spots on the front. Usually where seams were would cause "rubbing" that would discolor the paint. Plus in wet conditions, they need to be removed, cleaned and dried to prevent moisture from being trapped for long periods of time. Not sure how the fit is on yours. I think over time, like years, the paint will be slightly different from being hidden underneath. But that can be cleaned up with waxing, clay baring etc to make it match again. I am not a fan of bras.
 

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Boobies??? Where... :bill: :doh: Sorry... ;) :lol:

I used to have one on my Honda Civic.



I liked the look (especially just after being Armor-All'd) and the protection it gave. The plastic clips that held it in place did leave noticeable marks in the wheel well and there was a slight color mismatch after about 5 years. Also, dust, leaves, tree seeds and bugs can all get caught between the bra and the car and leave micro scratches, especially at the edges of the bra. Car washes were a 'no-no' if I had the bra on.

It could also be a pain to put on and take off. Warmer weather definitely helped. The leather was stretchier.

When I sold the car to my neighbor, they didn't keep the bra. His kid didn't like the look... I guess it wasn't cool...
 

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I had one on my 87 escort gt...oh yeh.. that was the prolly the coolest car on the block. The paint was brighter underneath. I thought that it looked good on that car but would never put one on my escape
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Colleen said:
I know that I have been no help to you and I apologize for that. Maybe you can put it on and snap a pic and we can better advise you. :shrug:
No apologies, Colleen - every comment helps me make a decision. I hadn't thought of a bug shield, but if it will help keep the rocks from pinging the front of the hood, I'll certainly consider it. I like the idea of that clear 3M film, but like you I can't picture how it would look. Virginia has a lot of dirt/gravel roads, especially out here in the sticks where I'm at, so I need to do something. It's bad enough unpaved roads are hell on ball joints and the like, who needs to worry about paint damage, too?

And thanks for all the other replies as well - I might put the bra on this weekend just to see how it looks and to snap some pics to share here. I'm leaning towards leaving it off, though. Sounds like there are more "cons" than "pros".
 

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I had a bra on my Eagle Talon years ago. It looked cool and protected the hood from rock chips. Didn't see any discoloration or damage when I took it off and this is TEXAS heat.

I wouldn't go with a bra now...seems dated. Go with the bug shield. Just my 2 cents!

:beer:
 

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I had one on Chevy cavalier years ago and it didn't hurt anything. But I knew a guy that had one on his Civic. He left it on through the winter and it made a heck of a mess to his car. Salt and grit got under it.
 

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I bought one for the Bullitt. It's good for what it is. Stone/sand/bug protector for the paint.

I wouldn't dream of doing a long drive without one on the B, it is for show and playtimes. The Tribute is another matter, since we drive our DDs till they are worthless and won't go any further. So a few stone chips in ten or so years are a small matter.

I have heard great things about the clear bra, on show cars too! :thumb: But you need to find someone that knows how to install the stuff, and it needs to be a precut kit, not something that they trim on the car. :bill: It is more expensive, it is hard to remove. ;)
 

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I have used 3M Paint protection film on my vehicles since 2001. Here in the Great White North we get lots o chips from the sand and salt in the winter. This stuff eliminates those types of chips and paint damage. 3M is probably the most well-known provider of the product. Ventureshield is another good one.

I put some on the hood, headlights and bumper.

http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Scotchgard_Paint_Protection/Film

http://www.ventureshield.com/

You can see on some of their examples it's invisible when installed on the car.
http://www.ventureshield.com/showcase.php
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Is this film the same or similar to the factory-applied stuff just in front of the rear wheel wells, above the rocker panels? If so, it would probably work great at preventing chips from flying rocks and paint damage from insect giblets along the front of the vehicle.

Dasha's comment about bras looking dated seems about right. Either way, I want to install this thing just to see what it looks like - I haven't been able to find any pics online. Unfortunately, it looks like it's gonna rain today, so I'll have to wait for the weather to cooperate before putting it on. :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Weebee, did you install this yourself? If so, what kind of reaction time does it have, such as being able to reposition it a few times before deciding where it's ultimately gonna live?

Gman, the VentureShield almost looks like it's applied the same way we apply vinyl graphics to emergency vehicles - spray everything down liberally, then smooth it out.
 

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It works good and it gives a lot of protection. The only thing that damaged it was a deer! The film is on there. It's almost invisible.

 

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I've always used a professional installer. If you do use someone, choose wisely, the good people will do a good job and not damage the paint. Since I bought my Escape used, he touched up the few tiny chips I did have before applying the film and it look great. I'll try to post a pic when I take one tomorrow.
 

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I have 3M Clear Bra on my '06 FEH and love the product. It covers the entire front bumper the first 12" of the hood, both A-pillars and the leading 6 inches of the roof. I also have the heavier film on my head and fog lights.I will have it installed on EVERY new car I purchase until something new and greater comes along. It is nearly invisible from most angles and provides exceptional rock chip protection. Several months ago I was traveling on the interstate to Sarasota when a large chunk of wood flew out of a lawn care company trailer. It caught the front of my hood pretty squarely and left a fair sized dent. After the Paul the Dent Man (free plug for great service) was done, it was good as new...zero paint damage. Another nice thing is that you don't have to worry about bug guts etching your paint. The bugs are also easier to remove. Care for it is simple...I use Plexus on it and wax it every several months (I use Ultima Paint Guard Plus sealant on the rest of the vehicle, but wax provides a bit more environmental protection for the clear bra). Minor scratches can removed with isopropyl alcohol.

I bought a kit on eBay and tried to install it on my '02 Escape. It would up a giant crumpled mess in my garbage can. I lacked the skill and patience to install it myself. I won't try that again.

I've used vinyl bras on other vehicles in the past. At the time they were OK, but I would never go back to that. Unless installed perfectly, they have a tendency to flap around at speed which is annoying and can damage the paint. I also had one stolen off the car. Only LeBra claims you can leave their bras on wet, every other company advises removing them when wet as allowing them to dry on the car can discolor the paint. I don't mean to sound like I'm knocking the OP's purchase, but if I was going to go the bra route, Colgan would be my first choice, LeBra the last. The Colgan/Wolf and even CoverCraft bras have a soft felt lining, the LeBra's lining is nothing I'd want in contact with my paint.
 
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