All of the “Tankslapper” instructions, which are found here, apply to the 3M & Xpel film as well, with a few exceptions as follows:
This film will stick to low gloss finishes, but at the same time will render a glossy look to whatever it is covering.
The 3M version is ready to use immediately, not need to wait to wash or ride your bike
You should use the Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and water mixture as your primary installation solution - 2 drops for every ounce of water is a good starting point – Keep the alcohol and water mixture – 70% water to 30% isopropyl - standing by for any areas along the edges that lift, usually where applied over a contour. It’s a faster drying solution that should be sprayed generously in between the film and the paint to flush away the soapy solution and accelerate adhesion.
You can remove the 3M film at anytime during the installation process, but not to where you can reuse it again if it’s allowed to stay attached to your paint for an hour, or even less in some cases. It will have begun to setup to the point to where it would nictitate excessive force to get it to release in such a way the you could reinstall without cosmetic damage to the adhesive side of the film, e.g. finger prints, stretching it out of shape, in other words the term “invisible” would no longer apply. If your want more time to install the film and extend the period of time you can remove it beyond the “estimated” hour, add more soap. Then when you’re sure you have it the way you want it, pull it back a half at a time, re-flood with the recommended soap ratio and squeegee it back on again.
Use a rag, pushing it off the edge of the film at the end of the process to blot up water before the water has a chance to migrate back under the film, as soon a the squeegee is pulled away. This will help in stubborn areas that won’t stay down.
We send along a small remnant of 3M film for you to practice with before you begin the installation of the actual pieces of your kit. This will help you to familiarize yourself with the characteristics of the film; in addition it will afford you an opportunity to test your installation solution ratio to see if it is suitable for the installation conditions. Hot weather accelerates adhesion and could necessitate a few more drops of soap. Not enough soap will make it difficult to remove trapped water and air pockets and leave you with a bubbly finish. Blisters of water are okay to leave to evaporate out through the film on their own; few days of warm weather is all that’s necessary. The same can not be said for trapped air, so if you see air pockets, pull the film back to that point, spray more installation solution and continue
Do not seal the edge – the last ¼ to ½ inch - of the film anywhere on any piece until you are sure it is the way you want it, this will help in two ways: First it will reduce bunching up of the film in any one spot. The film will squirm around as you begin to squeegee it, in a effort to find the path of least resistance – and in some instances needs to be helped along by stretching - and by working with it here, you will find it easier to polish off the edge without the film buckling up or folding over onto itself . Second it will give you something to grab onto – use the blade of the squeegee instead of a finger on the adhesive side of the film to yank the film off – in the event that removal is necessary to reposition or re-flood the working area.
If the practice piece leaves you feeling like the task is beyond your skill level, don’t go on to the kit pieces before you seek help or decide to return it, because we can’t take the kit back simply because you failed to get satisfactory results. Once you remove the film from the release paper, we can’t resell it, and subsequently can’t offer a refund. Drop by our shop for an installation if possible, or seek professional installers in you area. Even though we design our patterns not to be too ambitious in its coverage, taking into a account that a do-it-yourselfer is going to attempt the installation on their own, we can’t guarantee that anyone can install it, because skill levels vary. If you don’t trust your skill level and think you might have trouble, then we recommend you consider the “Tankslapper” film, its fool prove. But at the same time does an equally good job of protecting your paint.
We offer these tips from our training and experience installing film, and are more than willing to coach by phone if needed, 7 days a week. These are the key points, and if done properly will lead to an unbelievably invisible protective skin that will leave your paint finish in showroom condition. As a matter of fact, there will be no way you can harm your paint finish with this film in place without damaging the panel below.