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PPF Installation Options (plot cut vs bulk)

ryanjeffords

Member
Dec 19, 2020
227
304
Texas
My car is currently at the shop getting all of the windows tinted (including the windshield) and full frontal PPF (bumper, hood, fenders, mirrors, headlights).

I'll admit, when I chose the shop I did, I chose the installer based on his experience and attention to detail. He has 30 years of tinting experience and has been wrapping/ppfing for some portion of that. His wife described him as "anal" and often times won't let a car leave until it's "perfect". All of the reviews on Google said his attention to detail is top notch. His work looked good, but I didn't get out a magnifying glass and inspect every corner and seam. I didn't ask too many questions about the installation of the PPF because I just assumed it was all the same.

He mentioned that he uses a plotter for PPF which I later learned means it might not be 100% edge-to-edge coverage. I've seen a mixed bag of comments on "plotter installs are TOTAL GARBAGE" to "it's fine if you're looking for a quick and easy install without breaking the bank".

What's everyone's thoughts on this topic?
 

ryanjeffords

Member
Dec 19, 2020
227
304
Texas
Forgot to mention...

For reference, I'm paying $1,600 for the PPF (not including tint). This is a full frontal installation (bumper, hood, fenders, headlights, mirrors) and he's also throwing in wrapping the door edges.

For $1,600...I thought that was pretty competitive and I haven't seen the car yet, but I know he popped the frunk (because he had to call me to get it open), so maybe some edges will be wrapped? Hopefully...
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,376
1,192
USA
If plotter means pre cut, that’s what I have on my hood and it wrapped around all edges/to underside of the hood. Had a perfect cutout for the Tesla emblem
 

TMYB-C1

Supporting Member
Feb 15, 2021
60
7
USA
I plan on doing a full wrap and was quoted around 4.5k, 6k with ceramic coating if I remember correctly. Not expecting to take delivery until the end of March, appreciate any insight others may have.
 

ryanjeffords

Member
Dec 19, 2020
227
304
Texas
lol, well the shop just posted a few pictures of my car on their Facebook page and the hood is getting wrapped with bulk...so that's good!
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,376
1,192
USA
Correct. Well, that’s promising.

Did you do the bumper and fenders as well?

On my Y I only did the hood. My first time with PPF (watched DOZENS of youtube videos) and while I was successful with the hood (easy since its flat and no curves, but still takes much time to get right/no bubbles/wrinkles, etc. KNowing how to stretch just enough, but not too much, aligning, smoothing, etc) I can tell that trying the bumper as a DIYer with almost no experience runs HIGH risk of messing up the expensive sheet of PPF.

And I refuse to pay $500 (Quote price here) for front bumper only. Not worth the value to ME when I factor in how all of my other vehicles front ends have looked after say, 6 yrs and over 100k miles and when I factor in how much money I've gotten by selling those vehicles myself to private owners.

For $200 for the front bumper? Thats a price point I possibly would do. $500? not happening. That $500 already went into stocks
 

2101Guy

Active Member
Jan 6, 2020
1,376
1,192
USA
I plan on doing a full wrap and was quoted around 4.5k, 6k with ceramic coating if I remember correctly. Not expecting to take delivery until the end of March, appreciate any insight others may have.

Personal choice. But I think if you read around this forum, youtube, etc, 1.5k for ceramic coating is a total rip off. Can order this, watch a couple youtube videos, and EASILY apply yourself.

https://www.amazon.com/CarPro-CQuar...t=&hvlocphy=9008393&hvtargid=pla-599112722804

Alternatively, since you are doing PPF and since PPF is micro swirl/micro scratch resistant and cant get damaged by bird poop, etc? Do you even NEED ceramic? Or is a basic wax or sealant applied couple times a year, good enough? Again, personal choice.
 
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Scarecrow

Member
Jan 18, 2021
79
54
Bay Area, CA
IMHO, it doesn’t matter if the installer is using plotter cut or bulk. It’s all about the quality of the workmanship. I was talked into bulk by my installer because of increased coverage and claims of greater experience. This was all excused by the installer since he only had the car for 5 and a half days for full front plus doors and Graphene coat. Claimed that it normally takes weeks, hence all the flaws. I have some amazing well sealed corners, but some that are meh. Then some areas where they push the stretch too far and had to trim back (driver side mirror).

I had the opposite experience with Huper Optik Ceramic for our home windows. There were two installers over two days (19 windows and 2 sliding doors). One installer had plotter cut from the home office and one window that day needed to be redone because the plotter cut didn’t go to the edge of the pane, and he put a crease in it trying too hard to center. The other installer did larger panes and sliding doors with bulk. Install was flawless and he was quicker. Clearly skilled.

We had a conversation about films, including PPF. He said larger shops with more volume can afford plotters and it saves by preventing wasted film. His opinion was experience is more important. Plotter cut helps position the film easier than bulk, so there may be time savings. As others pointed out before, plotter cut can be set to have excess to get coverage similar to bulk.
 
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ryanjeffords

Member
Dec 19, 2020
227
304
Texas
IMHO, it doesn’t matter if the installer is using plotter cut or bulk. It’s all about the quality of the workmanship. I was talked into bulk by my installer because of increased coverage and claims of greater experience. This was all excused by the installer since he only had the car for 5 and a half days for full front plus doors and Graphene coat. Claimed that it normally takes weeks, hence all the flaws. I have some amazing well sealed corners, but some that are meh. Then some areas where they push the stretch too far and had to trim back (driver side mirror).

I had the opposite experience with Huper Optik Ceramic for our home windows. There were two installers over two days (19 windows and 2 sliding doors). One installer had plotter cut from the home office and one window that day needed to be redone because the plotter cut didn’t go to the edge of the pane, and he put a crease in it trying too hard to center. The other installer did larger panes and sliding doors with bulk. Install was flawless and he was quicker. Clearly skilled.

We had a conversation about films, including PPF. He said larger shops with more volume can afford plotters and it saves by preventing wasted film. His opinion was experience is more important. Plotter cut helps position the film easier than bulk, so there may be time savings. As others pointed out before, plotter cut can be set to have excess to get coverage similar to bulk.

This is great advice. I chose the installer because of his attention to detail and years of experience. I chose him because with all of that experience, I have to assume he's not going to use a sub-par install method. This is a daily driver -- not a Monet that hangs on the wall in some museum. I wanted PPF for the protection from road debris. Also, I absolutely refuse to pay $2k+ just to make sure every corner is wrapped.

I'll take edges all day long if they're cut precise and are installed properly. Plus, I'm paying $1,600 for a full frontal PPF... that's a pretty good price given this guy's experience.

I'm picking the car up in an hour, so I'll report back when I get it.
 

TMYB-C1

Supporting Member
Feb 15, 2021
60
7
USA
This is great advice. I chose the installer because of his attention to detail and years of experience. I chose him because with all of that experience, I have to assume he's not going to use a sub-par install method. This is a daily driver -- not a Monet that hangs on the wall in some museum. I wanted PPF for the protection from road debris. Also, I absolutely refuse to pay $2k+ just to make sure every corner is wrapped.

I'll take edges all day long if they're cut precise and are installed properly. Plus, I'm paying $1,600 for a full frontal PPF... that's a pretty good price given this guy's experience.

I'm picking the car up in an hour, so I'll report back when I get it.

How'd it go?
 

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