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Info: Front End Covers (Bras)

  #1  
Old 12-06-2018, 07:13 AM
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Arrow Front End Covers (Bras)

Front End Covers – Colgan Custom vs. LeBra

Who else has and uses one on theirs? I’ve had experiences with both Colgan Custom in the past (I had one of theirs for my 2003 SS) and currently LeBra which I’ve been using on my 2006 SS for seven years now. The LeBra is okay and does what it’s supposed to – the downside to the LeBra is the hood piece significantly scratches the paint along the hem after it’s been on the car and driven with each time. I don’t feel I should have to buff out the line of scratches it makes each time – either it’s not tight enough or the hem isn’t padded properly, or both. Because of that, I personally don’t use my hood piece anymore. Bottom line – I would have bought a Colgan Custom front cover but they don’t make them for the 06-07 so I’m stuck with the LeBra. If you can, I’d recommend Colgan hands down.

Colgan Custom > Looks and feels high quality. Removable. Very snug, tight fit. Thick material. Fully padded inside. $208.

LeBra > Quality is okay. Removable. Tight fit but not super snug; appears it may stretch out a bit over time. Thinner material. Inside is only padded around the hems (and it's questionable the way it's done). $105.

Clear Bra > Basically invisible. Once applied, it stays on the car indefinitely and can be washed over as you'd normally wash the vehicle. Depending on how often it's exposed to the elements, it can shrink and crack over time. Edge can accumulate debris over time. $800+ professional install (can diy for significantly less).

How a removable bra should be used properly
I suggest only installing it on a clean vehicle, preferably one that’s just been washed. These bras should be on the vehicle as tight as possible – any loose sections or edges will flutter in the wind and damage the paint. I also suggest not driving with it on in the rain – the rain water can actually draw a considerable amount of road debris up under the bra which can do a lot of damage to the paint – the longer it’s left on unattended, the more debris it collects and traps which increases the rate and amount of damage. And I definitely wouldn’t leave it on in the snow. These covers really aren’t meant to be put on and left on indefinitely – that can do a lot more harm than good and you’ll actually do the exact opposite of what you bought it for (see last two pics below). If you are leaving it on the vehicle for longer periods of time, at least take it off regularly to wash the vehicle and clean out the bra to remove any debris that’s lodged in it.

How I use mine
I really only use my front cover for extended highway trips. I put it on only after the car has been washed and is absolutely clean. I do not leave it on the car for more than whatever trip I’m driving or for more than a day or two sitting. And I also do not drive with it on while raining – if I get stuck with it on and it starts raining I’ll pull over and take it off.







Potential damage without proper care
The below images show the damage that can be done by leaving a bra on without proper maintenance, care and regular cleanings. Trapped debris accumulates and grinds into the paint (and in this case, all the way down to bare metal). 'Set it and forget it' and you'll be coming back later for a $2,000 paint job.



 

Last edited by 06mistreSS; 12-11-2018 at 02:11 PM.
  #2  
Old 12-10-2018, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 06mistreSS View Post
Clear Bra > Basically invisible. Once applied, it stays on the car indefinitely and can be washed over as you'd normally wash the vehicle. Can shrink and crack when exposed to the elements over time; will eventually collect dirt/debris along perimeter edge. Very expensive when comparing to the other two. $800+
IMO this is the only decent option nowadays. The other bras have a huge negative impact on looks and can severely damage the paint as shown.

A few notes about it:
-The cost can be much lower if you DIY. I did our '15 Edge for about $250 with 3M. I can't imagine I had more than $800 in vinyl to wrap my whole vette. As with any vinyl job, it's almost all labor. So if you're willing to put in the time to learn and do it you can save a ton.
-If the dirt line is not preferred, you can wrap the whole hood, fenders, and front bumper. I'd imagine you could be under $500 pretty easily if DIY.
-Properly installed vinyl won't shrink / pucker. It needs to be post heated to relieve stress once installed, especially on the curvy sections.
-Id also be careful leaving it on indefinitely, but it certainly depends on the climate. Out here in AZ you may only get 4 or 5 years out of it, especially on horizontal surfaces parked in the sun all the time. Makes it harder to remove if you leave it too long.


 
  #3  
Old 12-11-2018, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by bumpin96monte View Post
IMO this is the only decent option nowadays. The other bras have a huge negative impact on looks and can severely damage the paint as shown.
...unless they're used properly. I agree that if you're going for a more permanent, long-term solution the clear bra is the way to go hands down. If you're only looking for occasional protection on long drives (in my case) the removable ones will be fine. And I don't care about looks because it's purpose is a projectile protection barrier while driving - it comes off as soon as I get to my destination.

Originally Posted by bumpin96monte View Post
A few notes about it:
-The cost can be much lower if you DIY. I did our '15 Edge for about $250 with 3M. I can't imagine I had more than $800 in vinyl to wrap my whole vette. As with any vinyl job, it's almost all labor. So if you're willing to put in the time to learn and do it you can save a ton.
-If the dirt line is not preferred, you can wrap the whole hood, fenders, and front bumper. I'd imagine you could be under $500 pretty easily if DIY.
-Properly installed vinyl won't shrink / pucker. It needs to be post heated to relieve stress once installed, especially on the curvy sections.
-Id also be careful leaving it on indefinitely, but it certainly depends on the climate. Out here in AZ you may only get 4 or 5 years out of it, especially on horizontal surfaces parked in the sun all the time. Makes it harder to remove if you leave it too long.
I agree with all these points. I recently saw someone remove a clear bra that had been on their car for 14 years. It really didn't look that bad for being on the car that long but there was roughly a 1/16" line around all the perimeters where I'm assuming lingering adhesive (from minor shrinking over time) collected dirt. Regardless, that perimeter, because of the change in height, is always going to be a catch spot for debris - I assume if it's cared for the right way it should do okay.
 
  #4  
Old 12-11-2018, 07:14 AM
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Originally Posted by 06mistreSS View Post
...unless they're used properly. I agree that if you're going for a more permanent, long-term solution the clear bra is the way to go hands down. If you're only looking for occasional protection on long drives (in my case) the removable ones will be fine. And I don't care about looks because it's purpose is a projectile protection barrier while driving - it comes off as soon as I get to my destination.
Personally, I'd rather have the protection all the time. Seems odd to spend that much money and only occasionally have protection. You never know when road debris will get kicked up at your car.



I agree with all these points. I recently saw someone remove a clear bra that had been on their car for 14 years. It really didn't look that bad for being on the car that long but there was roughly a 1/16" line around all the perimeters where I'm assuming lingering adhesive (from minor shrinking over time) collected dirt. Regardless, that perimeter, because of the change in height, is always going to be a catch spot for debris - I assume if it's cared for the right way it should do okay.
If the perimeter line is a big deal, you just wrap the whole panel (fender, hood), then there is no seam to catch dirt, etc.
 
  #5  
Old 12-11-2018, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by bumpin96monte View Post
Personally, I'd rather have the protection all the time. Seems odd to spend that much money and only occasionally have protection. You never know when road debris will get kicked up at your car.
I think you and I can agree that we could argue this until the end of time. I had my front end repainted in 2012, for $1k. So, I can get a repaint for roughly 1.5x what the clear bra alone costs. For me personally, considering how little I do drive mine, I didn't think paying 7x for the clear bra was justified at the time. And who knows, next time I may invest in one.

The main point of this write-up was to get people to consider their situation and think before they just slap a bra on their car and leave it on unattended for years.
 
  #6  
Old 12-11-2018, 01:25 PM
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Just wanted to fill in some of the blanks for the clear bra so those looking understood that there options other than going somewhere and spending $800 for a shop to do one.
 
  #7  
Old 12-11-2018, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by bumpin96monte View Post
Just wanted to fill in some of the blanks for the clear bra so those looking understood that there options other than going somewhere and spending $800 for a shop to do one.
No worries. I did update post #1 to point out the option of diy because I agree with you (if you have the time, patience and skills to do it).
 
  #8  
Old 12-31-2018, 04:09 PM
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Currenty looking for a Colgan.
 

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