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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 2001 S80's clear bra has become brown (looks like rust but isn't) and brittle and needs to come off. It seems that it is glued on...in some areas it literally flakes off, in others it still peels like an ultra strong sticker...but usually leaves a sticky residue behind. <p>Suggestions?
 

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Re: Removing the clear bra....suggestions? (Jexx)

It is either an acrylic or urethane film depending on the brand, I'm going to guess yours is probably the latter, with an adhesive (usually an acrylic). <p>It can be removed by taking a hair dryer to it, warming it until it softens and then peeling up an edge and removing it; don't peel it straight back you run a greater risk of tearing it, a 30-90 degree angle is best. You can remove the remnants of the adhesive with 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or windex spiked with a good slug of isopropyl alcohol.<p>If need be, you can use a soft squeegee, to scrape of the difficult parts. Just soften it with the hair drier, spray start peeling and spray it with the windex, maybe heat a little more and then squeegee away. Give the windex some time to dissolve the bond line. You want to be very careful and use a soft squeegee so that you don't scratch your paint.<p>It will probably come off with just the heating. Polyurethane films are pretty tough and have good tensile strength, if the film is not too weathered (brittle, and it shouldn't be) it should be strong enough to take the stretching needed to pull it up without tearing it.<p>To remove the remaining adhesive try isopropanol (it may have to sit for 5 minutes to soften the adhesive) or, even better, get some of the wax & grease, etc remover that the body shops use to prep a car, any automotive paint supply will have it or and adhesive cleaner like 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner (which is essentially the same stuff only more $$).<p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Re: Removing the clear bra....suggestions? (MrTippy)

<p>Thanks so much for the advice! I used the hair dryer and it worked brilliantly. There WAS residue left over in places, which I heated and scraped off with a plastic putty knife. For some reason on the side panels, it was extra goobery, and I used the rubbing alcohol with a microfiber towel which worked great as well (of course needed a bit of elbow grease <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/wink.gif" BORDER="0"> ) . I know exactly what 3M stuff you're talking about, however I just ran out. Checked some local car parts stores and they've stopped carrying it for some reason. <p>Before:<p> <IMG SRC="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v346/illuminator321/DSC04379-1.jpg?t=1245464102" BORDER="0"> <p>After: <br> <IMG SRC="http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v346/illuminator321/DSC04381-1.jpg?t=1245464169" BORDER="0"> <p>Thanks again, MrTippy!
 

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Re: Removing the clear bra....suggestions? (Jexx)

That stuff was shot, the desert sun is tough on paint & coatings. Newer formulations of the films have better uv stability.<p>The bug, grease & wax remover is pretty much the same thing and a lot less, that's why some places don't carry the 3m product.<p>I hope your plastic putty knife was vvvvvery soft. If you have some microscratching, you try some polishing compound. 3M have very nice line of clearcoat finishing products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yeah, it was the softest plastic putty knife I could find. <p>The bug, grease, and wax remover you're talking about...is it in a brightly colored cylindrical container? And it comes out as a somewhat thick cream-colored liquid? <p>The biggest pain with this whole project was getting the residue off the plastic front panel. <p>There IS a slight discoloration between where the clearbra was and where the paint has been exposed, but it is difficult to see and basically one has to know there was a clearbra on the car to notice. Either way, it's FAR better-looking than it was in the first place, so I'm satisfied <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 

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Re: (Jexx)

I know what you are talking about and it would probably work. What I suggested is just a mix of petroleum solvents, essentially naptha--which you can get at most hardware stores (and it is similar to mineral spirits). The paint shop cleaner has some alcohol added to it and maybe one or two other solvents. It's obviously designed to be an agressive solvent, but not so much so to harm your paint.<p>The commercial bug removers are solvent probably mixed with a very fine abrasive. I would stay away from them if I have the choice.<p>The discoloration could be one of two things: the clear bra slowed the aging of the paint underneath it (and what you are seeing is the color differential) or it is something that bled out of the plastic film. My guess is that it's the former. The yellowing in the film is most like the urethane and that shouldn't bleed out. If it is something that bled out, you might be able to polish it off if it did not penetrate too deeply. But, again, my first guess is that it's just differential aging; it's as if your car had suntan lotion where the film was...<p><br>I have a clear bra, too. I consider it a sacrificial covering to protect my paint. Mine does not appear to be discolored and it sits out in the parking lot at work all day--but, then we're not Vegas.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Yeah, I also agree it's probably just differential aging. I tried polishing it a bit and didn't have much luck. <p>I also considered putting a new clearbra on to make up for the color difference, especially if they've improved the formulations for better UV stability, but I fear the car is a bit too old and it isn't worth the effort at this point. <p>But either way, it looks 100% better and I appreciate all of your kind help. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.vwvortex.com/vwbb/smile.gif" BORDER="0">
 
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