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Xpel or Suntek PPF help on F3x F8x (2012-2018) BMW headlights

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Gurus and pros, please give me your wisdom as to how I should tackle ppf film install on these headlights. The shop I took it to only covered the headlights in Suntek up to the eyebrow (#5). I wasn't happy with it but I now know they probably struggled with installing the complete film. In any case, I ordered Suntek precut from an online vendor and gave it a shot after removing the shop installed headlight film. It was not an east job, especially with little to no experience with ppf. I was left with several fingers with nowhere to go. I started in the order you see in the photo below. When I finally gave up, I was left with several large and small fingers up by area number 5 as well as several adhesion marks where I had lifted too many times.

 

For those who have experience with these exact headlights, is it possible to ppf them in one piece easily? If so, how should I tackle this? If too difficult for even semi-pros, I was thinking of attempting the install a second time with Suntek and Xpel on hand (in case I screw up again). This time, I would cut the film into two pieces, essentially the opaque eyebrow area would be one piece and the larger crystal clear area would be the second piece. All suggestions are appreciated!

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Hi There,

 

I have spoken with our Technical Services technician and he has given me the following advice.

 

  • Application solution: 2-3 drops baby shampoo to a 32oz/1liter bottle of water
  • Tack solution: 1/5 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and 4/5 water (20% isopropyl alcohol/water mix ratio)

 

  1. Clean the headlight surface wiping with paper towel and isopropyl mix
  2. Spray headlight with tack solution
  3. Remove liner(make sure cap sheet has been removed, cap sheet covers top surface of PPF, will limit stretch if not removed) from film and spray with application solution
  4. Place adhesive side of film against headlight
  5. Lift tack point 1, and spray generous amount of tack solution in this area
  6. Use hard card and squeegee tack point 1 in place firmly, making sure of proper alignment
  7. Lift tack point 2 and spray tack solution in this area
  8. Place palm of hand in centre of film and stretch film toward tack point 2
  9. Whilst holding stretch, secure tack point 2, squeegee over this area firmly
  10. Lift edge around tack point area 3 and spray tack solution between film and headlight surface
  11. Squeegee tack area 3 firmly, making sure edges are sealed by wiping dry with paper towel after each pass
  12. Lift edge around tack point area 4 and spray tack solution between film and headlight surface
  13. Squeegee tack area 4 firmly, making sure edges are sealed by wiping dry with paper towel after each pass
  14. Secure all edges of film by applying heat from hairdryer whilst running squeegee carefully over edge.
  15. Finished

 

Tip: If a mistake is made at any point, lift film away and soak with application solution and start again.

 

Let me know if you need any additional support and we will be happy to contact you over the phone if needed.

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Personally I would start by tacking at 4 and concentrate the majority of the stretch around 3&5 with a bit of stretch around 2 and finally pinning at 1. Make sure you are fitting in a warm environment and if needed use a bit of warm water in your slip and flush to help. Finally use a hard card wrapped in paper towel to squeegee any fingers down.

 

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Newer BMW headlights are tough even if you've done them 100's times.  

 

If it were me, I'd skip the pre-cut kits, they are too difficult on this type of headlight.  Use a larger piece of film that's wider and much longer then the light, tack it to the inner part of the headlight near the grill, then stretch it around to the back and use the excess to stick and secure it to the fender and bumper, squeegee it all out and let it settle up for a bit then trim it all out.  This should give you full coverage with just one piece.  

 

 

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Thank you guys for all your tips and recommendations. I ended up going to a pro who used a single piece of film and custom cut it to fit. I am extremely happy with the results! Lesson learned, find the proper PPF shop to do your job correctly the first time around. There truly are too many fly-by-night hacks in this industry due to its lucrative nature. 

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