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  1. #1
    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Black Vehicle - Paint Protection thoughts

    Recently purchased a '21 Black Rebel w/ Night Trim and looking for some insight or advice.

    I've read plenty of horror stories about the paint & rock chips, and live in Arizona so that's going to be a problem in my near future. I want to add PPF to the Hood, Front Fenders, & Headlights before it all accumulates a lot of damage. But because it's black, the other part that hit me was that the front end will look really nice with the protection from the film while everything rear of it may look more worn over time, even with waxing.

    Has anyone had experience with clear bras & black vehicles? What are your thoughts about the difference in appearance of the film vs rest of vehicle? My main concern is protecting the front of the vehicle, my secondary concern is how it'll alter the appearance.

    Down the rabbit hole further...
    Full wraps are being quoted at $5,000-7,000.
    Front end wraps (headlights, bumpers, full fenders, full hood) are quoted at ~$1500-$1900.

    A full wrap would insulate me from worrying about damage, and protect from scratches when offroading, but then it also hit me that you could just re-paint the entire vehicle for half the cost of a full wrap. What routes have you all explored? Any experience to share?
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  2. #2
    Keanu Reeves Checking In Zackad's Avatar
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    I make this post as someone who has looked into all these options but ultimately never moved forward with anything.

    It sounds like you value your paint, but will also be putting it through some trials with offroading and such. That said, I would never repaint an offroad truck that is gonna see abuse, because it will ultimately be wasted money.

    You can do the front end like you planned, but you will def see a slight paint difference over time between the protected and unprotected areas. Probably won't be as noticeable with black as it would with white or some other colors. Might become more apparent once the film is removed.

    If you like the black color best, I would do the whole truck if you can afford it. It will do great protecting from rock chips and sun damage, as well as offer offroading protection from kicked up dirt/rocks/branches, and mild scrapes you might get going into some tighter areas. But honestly, i'd wrap with a diff color since you live in AZ with a black vehicle. I've owned black vehicles here in southern california and I never will again lmao.

    Now if you're going the method of repainting, I'd suggest repainting with bedliner. It will be even more durable than a PPF. However, it'll add some weight to your truck, and isn't really reversible, so be sure you're done with your black paint before you go that route.
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  3. #3
    Registered User akmerle's Avatar
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    Man when it comes to black vehicles, there are basically only two options. Full PPF, or just learn to live with some form of cosmetic finish issues. Black only works if it’s some form of having a uniform finish since it shows EVERYTHING.

    3 of my last 5 trucks have been black, and I have finally had enough of the constant headache. Current truck is a Black Platinum Tundra, and will never buy another black rig. I’m too anal for it.

    I do my own semi-annual decon / clay / polish / seal. The old saying is true, “having a black truck is a part time job”.
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    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Thank you for your thoughts. I do plan to keep the vehicle for a while and because I will be using this to go camping, etc (not necessarily rock crawling) and it's black, I do want to protect it. Won't wrap it to another color though lol.

    But you're right akmerle, it's a pain and I think throwing a full-wrap on it could save me a lot of headaches.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Murph0408's Avatar
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    i have a challenger and a ram and both are phantom black with the flakes in it.

    for protection i do IGL Premier every spring on the challenger. this is after a pretty big job with clay bar, buffing where necessary, even alcohol wipes sometimes. strip it down and then seal it up with ceramic. worth the effort. car is 4 or 5 years old now and looks like a million dollars. my buddy does this kind of work as a side gig and i help. takes a couple hours.

    the truck is turning 10 now and honestly i just do a hand wax a few times a year myself. from 5 feet away it still looks the part.

    manage your expectations. i endorse the ceramic sealant. i can't speak on the wrap stuff.
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  6. #6
    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Murph0408 View Post
    i have a challenger and a ram and both are phantom black with the flakes in it.

    for protection i do IGL Premier every spring on the challenger. this is after a pretty big job with clay bar, buffing where necessary, even alcohol wipes sometimes. strip it down and then seal it up with ceramic. worth the effort. car is 4 or 5 years old now and looks like a million dollars. my buddy does this kind of work as a side gig and i help. takes a couple hours.

    the truck is turning 10 now and honestly i just do a hand wax a few times a year myself. from 5 feet away it still looks the part.

    manage your expectations. i endorse the ceramic sealant. i can't speak on the wrap stuff.
    Thank you, I remember the work I put in to make my 17' GT look amazing (dealer once ran it through an auto wash once and swirls galore, I lost it), but it's A LOT of work, which brings appreciation for your vehicle. I'm worried a black truck that's going to be under a sunny sky & see possible abuse would make me go nuts though. I did toy with the idea of ceramics but the roads in AZ are absolute horse-**** and highway driving will destroy whatever beautiful front fascia exists.

    Pics of vehicles? Here's my new baby:

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  7. #7
    Registered User akmerle's Avatar
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    Since you are keeping this truck long term (beautiful truck btw), buy once / cry one, and PPF ASAP. If you are already thinking of keeping the new truck finish, the best time to do it is YESTERDAY. Otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself as you are constantly battling keeping the finish like you want it.

    I can’t recommend ceramic coating a black rig (I’ve done it myself on 3 rigs now). It’s a ton of prep work, and a bunch of work itself. I now just use a quality ceramic wax, and do it more often.

    I would say at least 90% of the actual improvement with ceramic coatings is done in all the decon / clay / buff / polish. Which even with ceramic will easily show swirls / blemishes, and touchless washes don’t clean black rigs enough to show the shine (especially with metallic flake paints). You’ll be going back over a black vehicle multiple times a year anyhow. Ceramic is a waste at that point.

    Lol, these damn black trucks have lead to me having two shelves of detailing equipment and products. It’s a never ending rabbit hole.
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  8. #8
    Registered User Murph0408's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by XterraRob View Post
    Pics of vehicles? Here's my new baby:
    that thing's a killer. as a ram/dodge guy i appreciate the new ones.

    car-
    SRT BW.jpg

    truck is an 11 Ram:
    Attached Images
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  9. #9
    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akmerle View Post
    Since you are keeping this truck long term (beautiful truck btw), buy once / cry one, and PPF ASAP. If you are already thinking of keeping the new truck finish, the best time to do it is YESTERDAY. Otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself as you are constantly battling keeping the finish like you want it.

    I can’t recommend ceramic coating a black rig (I’ve done it myself on 3 rigs now). It’s a ton of prep work, and a bunch of work itself. I now just use a quality ceramic wax, and do it more often.

    I would say at least 90% of the actual improvement with ceramic coatings is done in all the decon / clay / buff / polish. Which even with ceramic will easily show swirls / blemishes, and touchless washes don’t clean black rigs enough to show the shine (especially with metallic flake paints). You’ll be going back over a black vehicle multiple times a year anyhow. Ceramic is a waste at that point.

    Lol, these damn black trucks have lead to me having two shelves of detailing equipment and products. It’s a never ending rabbit hole.
    But they look good! Was leaning towards a white rebel but I didn't like how the black bumpers/grill meshed with the white body. The Black on Black looks amazing though, I knew I was dancing with the Devil due to how imperfections would show.

    Have any pics of your work?

    Originally Posted by Murph0408 View Post
    that thing's a killer. as a ram/dodge guy i appreciate the new ones.

    car-
    Attachment 9314143

    truck is an 11 Ram:
    Love the Challenger & Ram!

    What kind of tires do you have on it?

    I really like the Black or Red w/ Chrome on the RAM, no matter the generation. It's crazy that Dodge still produces the 1500 Classic, but it is a good looking truck.
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  10. #10
    Registered User Murph0408's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by XterraRob View Post
    What kind of tires do you have on it?

    I really like the Black or Red w/ Chrome on the RAM, no matter the generation. It's crazy that Dodge still produces the 1500 Classic, but it is a good looking truck.
    appreciate that. i have BF Goodrich TA KO2s on there. put them on around 50k miles; i'm just past 75k now.

    i like that you didn't get side steps. i pulled mine too. if you need a bed topper i endorse the bakflip G2, i've had that thing at least a decade and it's held together well. perfect fit for the 5'7 bed
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  11. #11
    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Murph0408 View Post
    appreciate that. i have BF Goodrich TA KO2s on there. put them on around 50k miles; i'm just past 75k now.

    i like that you didn't get side steps. i pulled mine too. if you need a bed topper i endorse the bakflip G2, i've had that thing at least a decade and it's held together well. perfect fit for the 5'7 bed
    I might get some rock rails if I ever back into doing more gnarly stuff, but it's a big truck and not a smaller SUV/truck Can't beat the room though. Thanks for the tip on the Bakflip.
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    Registered User kovalchuk71's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by akmerle View Post
    Since you are keeping this truck long term (beautiful truck btw), buy once / cry one, and PPF ASAP. If you are already thinking of keeping the new truck finish, the best time to do it is YESTERDAY. Otherwise you’ll be kicking yourself as you are constantly battling keeping the finish like you want it.

    I can’t recommend ceramic coating a black rig (I’ve done it myself on 3 rigs now). It’s a ton of prep work, and a bunch of work itself. I now just use a quality ceramic wax, and do it more often.

    I would say at least 90% of the actual improvement with ceramic coatings is done in all the decon / clay / buff / polish. Which even with ceramic will easily show swirls / blemishes, and touchless washes don’t clean black rigs enough to show the shine (especially with metallic flake paints). You’ll be going back over a black vehicle multiple times a year anyhow. Ceramic is a waste at that point.

    Lol, these damn black trucks have lead to me having two shelves of detailing equipment and products. It’s a never ending rabbit hole.
    Agreed. Ceramic is solid, but is VERY overhyped. You will still get water etching and dirt accumulation. I use
    Cquartz UK 3.0, and like it for basic protection. It’s lasts a while as well. You have to take care of it, though.

    PPF is the way to go. It will run you $6k-8k for 3M + installation, but it’s 100% worth it. PPF tech is insane these days. Little to no orange peel and great gloss. Easy to clean too.
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    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Thanks for the input everyone, getting XPEL Ultimate on the Front, Sides, & Rear of the vehicle, 10 year warranty. I think it'll go a long way to provide stress-free ownership.
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    Originally Posted by XterraRob View Post
    Thanks for the input everyone, getting XPEL Ultimate on the Front, Sides, & Rear of the vehicle, 10 year warranty. I think it'll go a long way to provide stress-free ownership.
    It’ll increase its resale value too.
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    I always need paint protection since I go hard in the paint
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    After owning a black car I would never want to own another one. It was just constant maintenance, every little imperfection shows up.
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    Originally Posted by JayJ350 View Post
    After owning a black car I would never want to own another one. It was just constant maintenance, every little imperfection shows up.
    it's true although after all the years i can't picture owning something that wasn't black. when they're clean they look incredible.

    i've always felt the secret was to get the black paints with the metallic flakes. dodge stopped using that "phantom" on the challengers. i don't think you can get it on the rams anymore either. but it is a little more forgiving and camouflages swirls or water marks more than just a straightforward jet black.
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    America First. XterraRob's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Murph0408 View Post
    it's true although after all the years i can't picture owning something that wasn't black. when they're clean they look incredible.

    i've always felt the secret was to get the black paints with the metallic flakes. dodge stopped using that "phantom" on the challengers. i don't think you can get it on the rams anymore either. but it is a little more forgiving and camouflages swirls or water marks more than just a straightforward jet black.
    They put a Diamond Sparkle type of paint on mine, better than the flat black in the sunlight.
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    https://www.obsessedgarage.com/

    I use the stuff this guy recommends. The Sealant he recommends lasts a while. Most washes are karcher electric pressure washer and completely touchless. The less you touch it the less swirls.
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    Originally Posted by kovalchuk71 View Post
    Agreed. Ceramic is solid, but is VERY overhyped. You will still get water etching and dirt accumulation. I use
    Cquartz UK 3.0, and like it for basic protection. It’s lasts a while as well. You have to take care of it, though.

    PPF is the way to go. It will run you $6k-8k for 3M + installation, but it’s 100% worth it. PPF tech is insane these days. Little to no orange peel and great gloss. Easy to clean too.
    jesus, i could never do that, imagine spending 8k for ppf and a week later some dingus dings your car door.
    i park away from everyone and is still avg one per year
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    Originally Posted by Murph0408 View Post
    it's true although after all the years i can't picture owning something that wasn't black. when they're clean they look incredible.

    i've always felt the secret was to get the black paints with the metallic flakes. dodge stopped using that "phantom" on the challengers. i don't think you can get it on the rams anymore either. but it is a little more forgiving and camouflages swirls or water marks more than just a straightforward jet black.
    Yeah I had a straight black Trans Am and that thing pretty much magnified every imperfection, but damn did it look good when I had it all polished up. Metallic paint is definitely easier to maintain, gotta agree with that, does a good job of hiding the imperfections.
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    Originally Posted by gluon View Post
    jesus, i could never do that, imagine spending 8k for ppf and a week later some dingus dings your car door.
    i park away from everyone and is still avg one per year
    I'm having them put on a thicker film since the desert brush in AZ can be pretty unforgiving, I would imagine it would absorb some degree of the impact from a lightly swung door.

    I know the feeling though, I always park pretty far out, but those *******s will find you regardless.
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    We get rock chip blasted all winter. I had a clear wrap installed on a new truck, it held up quite well on fenders and hood for 6-7 years. Started to peel a bit by the end so I just had it removed.

    The spot I didnt think about was the top of the windshield. I got blasted there a few times, next truck I may get the leading edge of the roof done.
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    XterraRob, did you paint it, or was it like that when you got it?
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