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Scotchcal 3M Paint Protection film instead of Acura nose mask

5533 Views 17 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  TypeMDX
I'm considering buying an Acura MDX 2002. The dealer does not recommend the Acura nose mask. He tells me that it is difficult to remove and replace. I live in a semi-desert area and he says that dust and particles will accumulate under the nose mask and cause problems. He recommends instead 3M Scotchcal Paint Protection Film. This is a clear-coated urethane film. There are no mechanical attachments. It is installed by the dealer. Apparently, the one surface is adhesive. They claim that it lasts for years, that it minimizes stone chips and needs no special care after film application. I don't like to spend time cleaning a vehicle so the Acura nose mask seems impractical for me. I don't do any off-road driving, but the roads here contain many small pebbles. Do I need a nose mask for these conditions. If so, does anyone have any experience with the dealer-installed 3M translucent film?
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Here is a thread that I thought might be of relevance to you. There was another member who put stongard on his MDX; I think this is similar to what you're inquiring about.
*Search is difficult because of the way people have spelt "stongard." I've tried stonegard, stonguard, stoneguard, stone guard, etc...
Yes!!! it works.
It was my first time using the "http://" feature.

By the way, welcome to the forum. Many friendly folks in this edge of the woods, but once upon a blue moon, there are those who come around to stir the waters up... But all in all, this place is an MDX oasis... Great place to just surf on by between Zaino coats.
metaphor exceedence violation

Proskun, site rules prohibit more than three metaphors per sentence. Additionally, oases are rarely near wooded areas, nor are they large enough to develop surf attributes, thus producing a context violation as well. The 'stirred up' analogy is OK, particularly as it is qualified with the blue moon infrequency modifier.

This is only a probationary warning, but further metaphor abuse will require reporting of these infractions to site moderators, who will in turn be over you like a cheap suit.

Hey, welcome aboard, Dakota - sorry you had to see this! :) I live up a half-mile dirt road, but haven't seen any chipping problems...
Dakota, look at the Form Fit air deflector from Tim as an alternative to the mask. I like it better than being a masked man. Easy to clean, and remove if necessary.

But, lo! What do I see but a cascading waterfall teeming with rivulets of creative contemplation....a veritable cacaphony of sights and sounds and mixed metaphors on this thread. :D
Ghost, are you the one that took a picture of your MDX on an lake of ice? I seem to get you and Worm mixed up for some reason...

Anyways, thanks for the verbal reprimand... I'll keep myself in check with them metaphors, but my teachers didn't learn me how to read and write u.s.a. very good. I guess that's the reason I teach math. :rolleyes:
Yup, that was me on the lake - Worm's a California kind of guy. Our ice has just gotten thick enough for foot traffic (but not ATVs, as a couple folks proved this past weekend) - we figure another week or so before it will take vehicle traffic. I like to let a bunch of Explorers check it out first! :)

Hey a good math problem for your students - if a 3000 lb vehicle is on 8" of ice and parked next to 4 other 3000 lb vehicles...
octavian said:
Dakota, look at the Form Fit air deflector from Tim as an alternative to the mask. I like it better than being a masked man. Easy to clean, and remove if necessary.

How easy is it to remove the front air deflector? Is'nt it attached by the semi-permanent double sided tape? That is how the one on my Lexus is attached. It would'nt be easy to put on and off. The tape is'nt reusable.
jv....the Form Fit is attached via 4 screws into predrilled holes on the underside of the hood and 4 clips which attach to the hood, protected by vinyl overlays which make the clips (protected by rubber) easier to slip on.

I wouldn't get in a habit of pulling it on and off everytime I washed the car, and the vinyl inserts look like they could wear out and should be replaced, but there is none of the double sided sticky wicky stuff with Form Fit.
I just got the Scotchcals last week and they look good. It is visible at close, especially at the edge, but not as ugly as the black bra or even the front deflector IMO. Plus, ft deflector does nothing to protect the bumper, lights, etc. It's more noticeable on black and white cars (mine is granite green).

If you are planning to get one installed, it will be MUCH CHEAPER to bypass the dealer and find a local dealer who does the installation. I was originally planning to puchase a full kit from either Stongard or X-pel, but I found an installer locally who orders the kit from X-pel and installs them. The whole thing cost me $650 with installation, which is comparable to the cost of the full kit without the installation from Stongard. Just go to X-pel site and search for installers in your area. BTW, if you have lower trim, X-pel does NOT sell a full kit that fits the lower trim. My installer used the kit for bumper w/o the lower trim and made a custom fit over my lower trim.

If you do a lot of skiing or drive in conditions with pebbles and rocks, it will definitely prevent most of rock chips that you'll have in the next 5-7 years. My kit was guranteed for 5 years by the installer, but I'm told they last longer than 7 years. By then, I'll probably not care about rock chips and just remove the film (which is very easy to do). Also, because the film is permeant to UV, the color underneath the film looks the same as the paint everywhere else, unlike the black bra option. By far, it's the most expensive way to protect your vehicle, but it's definitely the best. Bottom line is how bad do you want to protect your MDX and how long you want to keep your car clean. I thought it was worth it.
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3M ClearBra

I can't believe what these Stonegard folks are charging for their product--without installation!! We have a place here in Denver that will install 3M clearbra for the hood, bumper, mirrors, and front of fenders for a total of $400.

I also just ordered a complete set of 3M clearbra for my '02 MDX, and it came to a total of $260. That includes a video of how-to install it. I'll let you know how the install goes...
Denver is one of the city with the highest demand for clearbras (a lot of ski freaks like me), and that's why your installer gets them so cheap. Actually, I need some for another car that I have. Mcnevin, do you know if your installer ships them out of state? Thanks.
3M Clear Bra

:( Yo, Mad, the guy I got my 3M clear bra from is down in Texas. They use a computer to custom-cut the material to fit any car. The guy's name is Bill, and he's at They are nice people, and have plenty of hints for installation.

That said, I must warn you that---at least on an MDX---self-installation is NOT easy! I just completed the hood, bumper, rear view mirrors, and door edges. The small pieces are easy. The hood and bumper pieces are absolute hell to get right. The reasons for this are several fold:

1-Small air bubbles trapped under the film with soapy water(necessary for installation) in them. They tell you to prick these with a pin to get rid of them---doesn't always work.

2-Film must be stretched to fit the hood/bumper. This sounds easy, but the stuff is stiff, Man! If you don't stretch it, however, the edges are in the wrong place, and there are wrinkles everywhere to deal with.

3-It's still pretty expensive. My local guy charges $450 for hood/bumper/mirrors installed. This stuff was $260. Did I save money? Yes. Should I have had him do the job? Probably. My work LOOKS like I did it. I'll post photos later to show you the carnage.

The good news is: My MDX is protected from these Colorado winter road pebbles. I can easily remove this stuff in the future and have it replaced.
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Stongard price hard to justify....

Hello Mcnevin--

I wish your guy was local to me here in Michigan....
the Stongard price I received for our MDX was $850... Geesh.

Here in Michigan we get lotsa road crud tossed up on our cars, especially in winter... and I'd sure like some affordable paint protection on the MDX...

This product (3m tape) sure seems to have great potential, and I don't know why it's not more widely used/distributed. I have some sports car road racing experience, and know drivers who use "Helicopter Tape" -- which I assume is the same type of material as this 3m product -- but perhaps thicker to withstand the rotor wash and sandblasting on the painted parts of the copter... It works good on the front of race cars which get pelted by road debris thrown up by cars they're overtaking...


thaks for the info. The thought of installing one myself did cross my mind, but I decided to have a professional do it all for $650 (full kit with headlight and fog light protection kit). Considering that there's only one installer in the Portland area, it was a good deal. He did a great job, but there are couple of places where the edges are folding up a little around a curvature. Doesn't bother me that much though.

Also, I assuming that your local installer gets special deals from clearmask, correct? My installer gets his stuff from I briefly saw a list of my installer's cost from xpel, and the markup that xpel is charging on their website is ridiculous. I may give a call to clearmask, thanks.

I'll bet the local installers get a swingin' deal on the 3M product, that you and I would never see.
Such is the way of most wholesalers, I'm afraid...

The folks appear to be selling only to schmucks like me, though.

What irks me is the price they charge for what is essentially thick tape with good adhesive.
I have the kit on order here. the full clear bra here in Houston is $399 installed. Includes doing the mirrors and the back hatch ledge!:p

I had a full Stongard kit professionally installed on our WRX Wagon for about $600. It took two installers about 5 hours to put on. They said the WRX is one of the most difficult vehicles to do since it has a ton of ducts and openings in the front. The MDX shouldn't be nearly that difficult.
Stongard has an advantage over many other kits I have seen in that most of the sections are one piece with no relief cuts to get around curves. Fewer relief cuts mean fewer visible edges that could lift off the surface.
I'll probably have a full kit (no front trim) installed on the MDX. Agreed, the cost is a bit steep.
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