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Old 17th May 2013, 17:23   #1
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Default DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

While surfing the net casually, an ad popped up about a car accessory on Aliexpress and I landed onto the site which I do not usually do. That led me to browsing what all they had on offer. I came across a transparent film used for cold lamination which was sold in large quantities. In the uses, they had mentioned body panels of cars in order to protect from minor damage. After seeing the wonderful scotch guard by 3M, I thought of giving this idea a try too. The ORVMs of mine or usually anyones cars are prone to hits, small scratches, brushes and so on. So why not give it some protection I thought. Yes I was not looking at 3M, because though it is a quality product, at that price point I could have got my ORVM cover repainted at the dealer itself. Hell no, even a new ORVM costs 1.5k so why spend so much was what rested in my mind. Yes it is definitely worth for those chaps with expensive ORVMs, and if I had such a car, this work would have been done right when the car was purchased.

But I was not sure about the product listed online, and I was not fine with the quantity. It was either too less or too much. Also no idea about the quality either. Did not want to end up with a film with a sticky glue which would not have been of use to me. Hence, that idea was thrown out of the window. But a small portion of it rested in my mind - If it were available online, I bet it is available in the market too. Bangaloreans are familiar with SP road. Whatever can originate in China, you can always find the same thing here. I used to visit the place for some electronics projects so during a recent visit I asked a known shopkeeper if he had any idea about it. 'Yes' came the answer.

He had a 6X1ft roll of the same transparent film with him. Price was mouthwatering so I thought of giving it a try. Hence that day I brought home a roll of the film.

Experimenting start: First test mule was a glass slab. I applied the film, left it for a few days, one piece with and one piece without water for installation. The slab was left in the sun to simulate the conditions faced by our car. Removed the film and it came off with no residue - Test pass.

Now the reals: My white dio was being parked in college. For a very finicky person like me, scratches in the parking lot was the last thing I would ever expect. So covered the side fenders with the film and the result was excellent. Next step was the ORVM, which was the initial plan.

For anyone who wants to try this, here are a list of tools that you would need:

The film:
DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-film.jpg

The list of tools:
DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-tools.jpg

  • Sharp cutter(no knife or substitute)
  • Heat gun(hairdryer can do)
  • Different towels - Drying, buffing and an extra if required
  • Rubber squeege
  • Handgloves in case you are worried about the heat. But no worries as long as you are working with care
  • Measuring tape(opt)
  • Spray gun with a very dilute shampoo solution
  • The wax you use to apply on the car
  • IPA - If the surface is not smooth and has dirt embedded

How to start off:
1. Cleaning is important. Make sure there is no oil, dust or such contaminants on the surface. You can clean it with soap, IPA and also apply a layer of wax polish and buff it to achieve a good surface finish to start with.

2. Water application: The film is best applied with lots and lots of water sprayed onto the glue surface. This is because the presence of water helps the film to take shape without air bubbles and also it allows you to remove and reapply the film in order to shape it around the curves. Once you start heating the area, the water can be squeezed out. Also the capillary effect created by water helps the film to automatically fit curves when it is heated. The film is placed well.

3. Use of a heat gun: A heat gun gives rapid heat over a small area. This helps in efficiently shaping up around the curves. A hair dryer will spread heat and will also take a longer time to work. But use heat gun cautiously. It IS hot.

After the cleaning is done, the process starts.

STEP 1: Take out the film and have a rough portion cut which is big enough. Do not be stingy and ensure you cut sufficient extra film. It is better to cut excess rather than end up short of film.

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-cut-shape.jpg

STEP 2: Spray plenty of water onto the ORVM cover. Remove the backing paper from the film and spray water to the adhesive side too.

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-washed.jpg

STEP 3: Bring the film onto the cover. The presence of water will guide the film across the flat areas. Make sure the placement is correct. Else you can reposition it easily. If correct, use the squeeze to stick the flat portions and remove water from those areas.

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-initial.jpg

STEP 4: For the curves, start with the larger areas first. Here, I started with the top portion and continued till the corner. Then started with the left portion and continued to the upper corner. As soon as you heat the film, the curves are formed and you just have to flatten it out. If the film already feels sticky, apply more water. Leave the corners to the end.

FOr the corners, heat the film and pull the film behind. The film will stretch and any wrinkles will disappear. Let go of your hands after the film cools. Here is the end result of the squeezing and stretching:

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-smooth-2.jpg

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-smooth-3.jpg

If you find any wrinkles, just heat it until becomes soft and gently press it down.

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-smooth4.jpg

After being satisfied with the edges, heat the edges once again and press it down so that they are not lose. If they are not bonded properly, the wrinkles will come back after a minute or so. Wait until no abnormality arises. After that, comes the cutting part

STEP 5: Cutting - Please ensure you do not cut directly on the paint surface. Here, the film is cut along the gap, which does not induce damage. Carry out the cutting very slowly such that the blade wont run over the paint. While peeling the extra film, peel it slowly to make sure the cutting is complete. Else it will peel away the other areas too.

After cutting, heat the edges of the film again and press it down to ensure there are no loose areas. Do not try peeling off the film for sometime until all the water is dried. Here is the final result:

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-finished1.jpg

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-finished2.jpg

Here is the right ORVM:

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-right1.jpg

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-right2.jpg

Here is my dio with the film applied:

DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs-dionsamp.jpg

Last edited by audioholic : 17th May 2013 at 18:04.
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Old 17th May 2013, 22:13   #2
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Mods Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th May 2013, 15:57   #3
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

Awesome DIY
very very neat!!!
Can you also mention the Cost Incurred!!!
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Old 20th May 2013, 16:44   #4
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Thanks Incontrol,
Cost of the roll was Rs. 120. Apart from that, all other materials are from my tool collection. If you take the cost of the film only for the mirrors, it will come to less than Rs 30 per mirror. I used the roll for two sides of my dio, its entire mudguard, and two ORVMs.
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Old 20th May 2013, 17:08   #5
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

Great DIY, and a well finished look. But the film is so thin I don't think it will give protection except for the smallest of scratches, maybe I'm wrong
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Old 20th May 2013, 17:22   #6
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

GReat !! Thanks for sharing. Is it really reliable as the 3M PPF ?

Have you tested how far it can withstand the stretch?

Just curious to know as i might be needing something of similar sort and this could be a good idea. Thanks again.
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Old 20th May 2013, 21:51   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shiv_1984 View Post
GReat !! Thanks for sharing. Is it really reliable as the 3M PPF ?

Have you tested how far it can withstand the stretch?
As I have told initially, I am not an expert to compare between the two. For me, it is simple - It solves my need.

Regarding the stretcheablity, the film is not stretched so much. In fact it is compressed in some areas. To fit the curves, the film is just heated to take shape. The only place when it requires some stretching takes place in the edge to remove wrinkles. After the wrinkles are stretched and pressed, the film is reheated to relieve it of any excess tension. So it will remain like that without issues.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goandude View Post
Great DIY, and a well finished look. But the film is so thin I don't think it will give protection except for the smallest of scratches, maybe I'm wrong
Not sure if there is any standard for measuring how much protection it offers but I took the car keys and wrote things on the film. Thats enough for me. Main requirements are to protect from brushes with our apartment pillar and to resist that ocassional mirror rub against another vehicle or biker. Both have been tested so far.
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Old 21st May 2013, 13:06   #8
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

Quote:
Originally Posted by audioholic View Post
Thanks Incontrol,
Cost of the roll was Rs. 120. Apart from that, all other materials are from my tool collection. If you take the cost of the film only for the mirrors, it will come to less than Rs 30 per mirror. I used the roll for two sides of my dio, its entire mudguard, and two ORVMs.
Hi audioholic,

Nice DYI and very tempting, can you share the name of the roll mfg, will check if its available online, I am planning to do this for my BIL Honda Unicorn which is silver in color.

was tempted to go to 3M but looking at your post I can take a chance of doing it locally since the cost involved is not much.

Thanks again for the detailed info.
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Old 21st May 2013, 16:58   #9
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The brand name IIRC is irivera or Riviera as I threw away the box and roll board. I think it is widely available online but not sure if each one is different in quality. Will get another roll soon for the ORVMs of my WagonR so will update on the product details.
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Old 21st May 2013, 18:03   #10
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

found this online

http://www.jhaveriflexo.com/Surface-...tion-Film.html

any suggestions
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Old 21st May 2013, 19:22   #11
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

That is an Indian product which I dont think is meant for permanent applications. When I was in the search, this was the one which caught my eye http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Free-...762830918.html

However, as I had mentioned, the size was not to my requirement so I dropped the idea.
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Old 26th May 2013, 00:44   #12
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Default Re: DIY: Protection Film for ORVMs

Can you tell me which shop in SP road has this? I want to try it on my rides.

Also any idea if I can buy damping sheets locally? Dynamat and Dampmat is costing about 10k which is a lot. I keep hearing about local unbranded stuff which sells for a lot less.

Thanks!

CS
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Old 26th May 2013, 09:09   #13
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As soon as you enter SP road, there is a bylane that parts diagonally to the left. Walk straight into that road for some distance and to your right you will find a shop that sells mobile acccessories as well as tools for electronics handling. He will have it. Ask for a roll of film or protection film.

No idea about damping sheets but if you ask some people or shopkeepers,they would give you some leads to the right place.
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