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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Everyone,

Apologies for all the questions....but I have another one.

In preparation for the Great Central road trek, would I need a Car bra or some type of protection from stone chips etc. What have people used? I have been reading about some invisible mask (3M), but wasn't sure if that was in Australia or not?

Any advice would be great.

Thanks
Ian
 

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the 3M mask is available. I know of a few friends who have their vehicles 'masked'.
IMHO it would be preferable to a car bra, given the 'unsealed' road conditions you ar expecting. Dust/sand/debris caught between the bra and the duco could cause significant damage.
 

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Hi Ian,

I used a locally made car bra (Car Bra Australia -) in one of my trips last year and have some mixed emotions about it.
Whilst it certainly stops stone damage and "sandblasting" of the front end it did create a couple of issues for me.

1. I found that with the bra fitted there was a lot of wind "fluttering/bellowing" of the bra on the uppermost edge on the bonnet by oncoming b-doubles or road trains, so much so that I resorted to adding an elastic strap right across the top edge and strapped to the wheel arches in an attempt to minimise the movement of the bra in that area, it was somewhat a help but still found some fine scratching to the duco because of it.

2. There was some duco scratching in the wheel arch are on both sides where the bra wasn't stretched quite tight enough against the body and again was caused by wind buffeting.

3. When I removed the bra after our trip I noticed some staining of the acrylic headlights, seems some sort of chemical reaction took place between the clear headlight material on the bra and my headlights, some did polish out but it's still visible to me, others would not notice unless this was pointed out to them.

So, whilst it does do a great job to minimise stone damage if does come with some issues so I would not recommend the "car bra" option based on my experience.

I did get some quotes on the 3M clear film before buying the car bra and at the time i thought it was quite expensive however it is a "once of" expense and will stay on for protection on an ongoing basis and if you believe the advertising it is nearly invisible and does not damage the duco.

If you go down the clear film road, I suggest you get all the exposed front end areas covered including 1/4 to 1/2 bonnet, bumper, door mirrors, top of windscreen area and the inside of your door handles (yep, found some stone chips in there as well).

Let us know what you settle on.


Tonyb

BTW, in my pic, under the T1 bra you will find my T2, the bra I fitted originally was made for the T1 model.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the info, are there any places in Sydney that do the clear plastic option?
 

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WTF is "duco" I asked myself . . . and Bong . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duco

You live and learn!

But is it pronounced do-ko or duck-o [with an Ozzie twang of course]?
 

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WTF is "duco" I asked myself . . . and Bong . . .

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duco

You live and learn!

But is it pronounced do-ko or duck-o [with an Ozzie twang of course]?
For the uneducated Duco was an early Dulux (Dupont) automotive paint base which preceded Dulon being the original Two Pack
Duco was an enamel base where Dulon was acrylic based.
Old and long gone paint tehnologies.

Down here on the inverted Island we pronounce it "Dew Co". The only thing that goes Twang here is a Roo running into a Cockies fence.

Stuart...
 

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Thanks guys!
 

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I can vouch for Ventureshield - fantastic product. I used it on a brand new Transporter on the bonnet, down on the lower vent area and tops of front quarter panels. Protected the paint beautifully and no one knew it was there unless I pointed it out. The bonnets of these chip really easily and the red paint is also pretty weak.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for the heads up....just not sure now if $750 will be worth it as I have no idea how chipped it may get??
 

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Another option to consider would be vinyl wrapping the front or whole car and then afterwards or when damaged can easily be peeled off. Also let's you change colors.
 

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Getting closer to the trip and I still can't decide if it will be worth $750 for front protection or how many chips I would get on the Central Road? Has anyone gone over it previously and had bad chips?
 

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Getting closer to the trip and I still can't decide if it will be worth $750 for front protection or how many chips I would get on the Central Road? Has anyone gone over it previously and had bad chips?
Your question is similar to asking "not sure if I need to carry a spare tyre, help me decide, how many have had a flat?"......... the answer is, that there is no right answer as it all comes down to chance.

Maybe the question you need to answer is:

How long do I plan to keep the car?
Is this going to be my only trip on a dirt road?
Will a no stone damage front end add to my resale value at the end?

$750 amortised over 3 years is only $250 p.a. pretty much one night out per year for you and friend at a restaurant.

If you do choose to go ahead make sure that you get the film applied over the headlights and rear vision mirror fronts as well as in my experience they do cop a bit of a hiding, especially the headlights.

TonyB
 

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Getting closer to the trip and I still can't decide if it will be worth $750 for front protection or how many chips I would get on the Central Road? Has anyone gone over it previously and had bad chips?
I think this one is a personal preference, or maybe a personal comfort factor. Lots of people use the bras and more recently the stick-on or spray on clear as protection. We did 7500kms in June 2015 through northern NSW, out to Bourke and down the Darling, across to SA and up through the Flinders, Innamincka and Birdsville and a few hundred kms of the Simpson Desert back to the Gold Coast. More than 3000kms on outback dirt roads (gravel, rocky, sandy and some mud) and didn't get a chip (sorry, one windscreen chip on the bitumen highway to Toowoomba). Maybe lucky, or maybe minimised by from not driving too close on outback roads? Cheers Paul.
 

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I never drove my Transporter on dirt roads but still had lots of chips - I was getting a spot of rust the size of a grain of rice fixed near the windscreen under warranty so I paid myself to have the bonnet resprayed at the same time - I then waited 2 weeks for the paint to cure and had the Venturesheild fitted. I know the van is a different profile which made it susceptible to chips, but you have metallic paint and that is not easy to touch up with a good result.
 
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