To wrap, or not to wrap?


timcantwell

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Like many who have been granted the privilege of ordering a new Ford GT, I still haven't decided on a color. I would like a unique color all my own, but also know that that option comes with a hefty price tag. Any color I choose will require quite a bit of clear bra film work to protect all that valuable paint, regardless of color choice. One idea I had was to go with a base color, say silver, for example, then have a high-performance custom restyling wrap done. The technology in the wrap film has come a long way in recent years with better adhesives, longer-life and some vibrant custom color choices. There are pearls, satins, matte, and metallic finishes of all kinds. The problem that I see is the complexity of the NGT's lines. It would require a top-notch experienced installer working with the best tools and film substrates. I have seen some spectacular finishes done in wrapped film on Lambos, Ferrari's and Porsche cars. Doing a wrap could potentially kill two birds with one stone by offering paint protection while giving me an option to choose a very custom body color. In fact I could probably change colors once or twice without incurring much more expense than a one-off custom paint job meant to last a life time. So here are my questions for the group:

1. Has anyone done a wrap yet or are considering a wrap on their new FGT?
2. Who are the best installers?
3. Which film maker is best, 3M?, Avery Dennison?, others?
4. What draw-backs are there to using film for custom body styling?

Are there any other thoughts or concerns?

I have only had one car in a full wrap, which was a Ferrari 430 Challenge Race Car. Ferrari did the wrap and it looked spectacular, but I did not have it done myself, I bought it that way, so I have little experience with this technique. Any thoughts are appreciated.
 
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CJ428

Farm GT
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I've done a few cars 3M is the easiest to apply and has the the overall best adhesive. Avery is a close second. Both hold up well. I used a material from an Italian company on the GT a few years ago looked cool but didn't hold up well at all to heat. Being the glutton for punishment that I am this time I used a material from another small company from Germany. So far it is held up well but did have problems with the adhesive when we were applying it.
 

Triheart7

GT Owner
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Apr 3, 2007
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Northern California
I’d want to know what complications could happen removing a wrap.

Also how long after original paint job does the paint need to cure/mature before wrapping?
 

ENZO BTR

GT Owner
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Sep 11, 2005
1,008
Southern California
Tim,

The idea of wrapping a car (for protection, appearance, or both) has gone from a non-consideration to a serious consideration for me in the past few years for the exact reasons you list. I’ve heard, from people who definitely know their s#*t, that today’s wrap technology addresses all my concerns about peeling, cracking, fading, adhesive residue, etc.

I’m also struggling with just doing a clear wrap or using the tech to do something more creative. If I can get the factory paint scheme I want I’ll probably go clear, but using the film to protect and customize the look in one shot seems like an efficient use of time/money/square footage.

If you’re looking for a place to do the work my choice would be Esoteric Detail in Ohio. They did a paint correction on my 2005 Ford GT right before rally 10 in 2015 and I was thrilled with what they were able to do with my paint after 10 years and 27,0000 miles. Here’s the article I wrote on the experience:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kbraue...ng-in-your-brand-new-cars-paint/#29e16b0f6b8a

I will likely have my GT shipped directly to them for my initial delivery so they can immediately wrap and protect those lower panels from the GT’s effective (but also chip-inducing) aero. If you call and talk to Todd or Zack let them know I sent you.
 

AJB

GT
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Jun 28, 2006
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Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Tim /Triheart7 -

--I did mine in X-pel. Not sure who manufactures the film or if X-pel is the manufacturer .
--Material is .008 inch thick on topsides and .010 inch thick for the lowers and bottom of the door. I only did one layer
--I did not do the roof, engine hatch , door sides or rear fascia or belly pans
--I may go back in the spring and to the doors and roof.
--I did 'clear' over the Liquid Blue with Frozen white stripes production paint.
--I never considered a 'color' or matte (they call the matte 'stealth") to change to look / color of the vehicle.
--they told us to let the paint cure for at least 4 weeks to de-gas before applying the wrap.
--The installer is key .....just like a paint job .......prep and install is important.
--I took mine to the Company that my Concierge/ Ford recommended. They did Bill Ford's , mine , Koskarian's, Verlander's, others in the Detroit Area .
--I watched them do several in person as recently as Wednesday.
--our body shapes are intricate, but they did a great job and it is do-able.
--make sure you install the GTGuy gravel shields too... very important.

I Just put another coat of spray wax on it last night.
I just wish it was warmer than 12 degrees...!!!
call me on my cell if you want to talk.
248-943-1911

andy (ajb)
 

ChipBeck

GT Owner
Staff member
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Feb 13, 2006
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I will likely have my GT shipped directly to them for my initial delivery so they can immediately wrap and protect those lower panels from the GT’s effective (but also chip-inducing) aero.
Gentlemen,

This would probably be a bad idea. Ford was pretty adamant that the cars cure for 30 days before wrapping them. My clear bra installer also said he would not wrap any car that was less than 30 days old. He has had new paint come off when clear bra is removed on cars wrapped too soon.

One problem with doing a color wrap is the area around the exhaust outlets. Clear bra melts and has to be removed. This is the only area on my GT that is not covered. The paint survives that heat, the wrap does not. Don’t know how you’d get around that. Paint at the rear of the wheel openings gets hit hard and needs multiple layers (mine has 4 layers of self healing film on those edges).

Question I can’t answer, are colored films self healing like the best clear films?

Chip
 

timcantwell

Le Mans 2010 Sponsor * Moderator
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Tim,

The idea of wrapping a car (for protection, appearance, or both) has gone from a non-consideration to a serious consideration for me in the past few years for the exact reasons you list. I’ve heard, from people who definitely know their s#*t, that today’s wrap technology addresses all my concerns about peeling, cracking, fading, adhesive residue, etc.

I’m also struggling with just doing a clear wrap or using the tech to do something more creative. If I can get the factory paint scheme I want I’ll probably go clear, but using the film to protect and customize the look in one shot seems like an efficient use of time/money/square footage.

If you’re looking for a place to do the work my choice would be Esoteric Detail in Ohio. They did a paint correction on my 2005 Ford GT right before rally 10 in 2015 and I was thrilled with what they were able to do with my paint after 10 years and 27,0000 miles. Here’s the article I wrote on the experience:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/kbraue...ng-in-your-brand-new-cars-paint/#29e16b0f6b8a

I will likely have my GT shipped directly to them for my initial delivery so they can immediately wrap and protect those lower panels from the GT’s effective (but also chip-inducing) aero. If you call and talk to Todd or Zack let them know I sent you.
Great input. The good news is that I would likely have the work done in Ohio, and I am well acquainted with Esoteric. So, like you, I believe that the technology and skill-sets have matured to the point that a full wrap could indeed kill two birds with one stone. I also agree with Chip’s points. Filming around the exhaust surrounds is out of the question, so I have some thoughts on other ideas to circumvent that issue.
 
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AJB

GT
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Jun 28, 2006
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All true... about the 4 weeks cure. Ford, Multimatic, Prefix and Motor City Solutions (where I had mine wrapped) were adamant.
And , you cannot go by the build date at Multimatic since a paint touch up or repair can always happen later in the process...
So , figure on 4 Weeks after you take delivery.

What to do in the meantime ??
Put a few layers of blue painters tape on high damage areas, install the GT Guys gravel shields, leave the gorilla tape on the air inlets that the Concierge will install and drive it for the first 600 mile to oil and filter change...THEN take off the tape , give it a good suds bath and take it to the clear film installer.
andy (ajb)
 

CanadaGT

GT Owner
Sep 28, 2006
176
Edmonton Alberta
I also have the same dilemma Tim, up here in the middle of nowhere, Edmonton AB, -36 Celcius today, Who can do the job of wrapping my NFGT and what are the reprecussions of the wrap. Can it be removed successfully? I did my GT350R completely total wrap. Was expensive but I like the car and plan on keeping it. Although I cannot source another set of rims for it as of yet. My NFGT will definitely need wrapping. As always this forum is filled with good info, My thanks in advance. PS I have expelled numerous vehicles but sell them and do not know what long term issues will be.
 

Specracer

GT Owner
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Nov 28, 2005
6,470
MA
Tim, cant help you with a color wrap, Ive never done one. I however have become a big fan of clear. Xpel is my choice, and I have moved up to full wrap. I had the 05 done last winter. It came out really well. The films have gotten good enough, no orange peel look etc. One tough part of the NGT will be underside of the doors, and the heat from the exhaust area for any wrap.

That's easy, have it delivered in winter, have it sit, and Ill be ready for spring.

figure on 4 Weeks after you take delivery.

What to do in the meantime ??
 

jbyrnes

FORD GT OWNER
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Jun 13, 2006
224
Louisville CO
From Chip's comment "Ford was pretty adamant that the cars cure for 30 days before wrapping them", since paint curing is time and temperature dependent I'd give it another couple of weeks to be safe if the car when delivered is kept in a cold garage.
 

timcantwell

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From Chip's comment "Ford was pretty adamant that the cars cure for 30 days before wrapping them", since paint curing is time and temperature dependent I'd give it another couple of weeks to be safe if the car when delivered is kept in a cold garage.
No question about cure time. I am a dealer for Expel, 3M, Llumar, and have personally clear-filmed dozens of my own cars. I usually allow a minimum of 6 week’s cure time. I like Andy’s points about what to do in the meantime before reaching the first service.
 

Biginch Blake

GT Owner
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Nov 4, 2008
894
Rockville, Indiana
Tim, I have had no experience with clear wrap on any of my cars but after seeing the damage that can happen on the NFGT I knew I had to have the car covered. Did a lot of question asking and talked with several installers. There was a wide range of opinions on the best brand. I settled on and installer that handled 3 types of material. His preference was the 3M material for the ease of installation and the warranty they supply. I checked with my Concierge on when the paint was complete and waited till 5 weeks had passed. The installer purchased the pattern from XPel and cut to fit the car. He had the car 7 days and when me and my sons went to pick it up we gave it the BigInch inspection and we couldn’t believe how great it looked.

I had the complete top of the car covered and a double coat on the bottom of the doors, nothing on the belly pans. I had the aero screens with me and we installed them before I drove it home. As with anything time will tell how the clear wrap will last and how durable it is. I took the advice of others and did not cover the triangular section around the exhaust do to high heat on this panel.

Hope this helps as have the other comments. I think the installer may be as important as the material when making the decision.
 

timcantwell

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I agree with Blake. I also bought the screens which have been in hand more than a year prior to getting my car. Best to be prepared I guess.
 

ENZO BTR

GT Owner
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Sep 11, 2005
1,008
Southern California
Great advice on the cure time from Chip and others. I just got another car and it couldn’t be shipped to Esoteric before it left Detroit, but that’s just as well. I’ll let the paint “settle in” for at least a month before the wrap. There’s a local guy here in Costa Mesa that’s also supposed to be very good (Eric at Envious Detailing).

And thanks for the heads up on the exhaust panel. Makes sense, but great info for those of use who don’t want to learn the hard way.