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      01-17-2020, 01:04 PM   #1
ellipsis212
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I've been meaning to give you all a write up on my experience with Autoflex which is a spray wrap product. There were a few bumps and bruises along the way to get the result that I was going for but the final product makes me extremely happy! The reason I'm sharing this is so that you have information on this option in case you are considering a wrap of any kind.

A while back I came across this excellent thread from member M2PDX on his decision to go from Black Sapphire to San Marino Blue with Autoflex since that color wasn't a factory option to him. His thread has loads of info on the process and several beautiful pictures: https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1530010 so please check it out if you want to learn more about what it is and how it works. As we all know the M3/M4 could be had in a variety of individual colors but I had opted for BSM when I purchased my 2017 M3 comp (with only 1900 miles on the clock) mainly because it was/is my favorite of the standard colors that I could get my hands on.

Though I had it ceramic coated, after a while I started to get a little tired of the BSM cleaning process and I felt like I could only really enjoy it when it was spotless (which as you know is approximately 6 seconds after driving away). In addition to that I had amassed a nice group of CF goodies for the car but the whole affair was low contrast and I started pining for a blue color with pop. My two favorites were SMB and Atlantis Blue, and thus began the mental ping pong of how and whether to pursue it.

On one hand, I loved my car exactly as it was: suspension, exhaust, aero, interior mods, speakers/sub, etc. I didn't want to have to undo those since I had done everything myself, and I also knew that it might be tough to find a good candidate - especially in Atlantis. Lastly, I own the car and I didn't want to pay VA sales tax on a new one after just 18 months so I opted to put some of that money toward a wrap instead. The gloss vinyl wraps I had seen looked cool but they could never pass as an OEM finish, and matte/satin isn't my thing so I started researching options with Autoflex.

The nearest authorized installer would never return my phone calls or emails and I started to look out of state. Liquid Wrap Labs was about 5 hours away in PA and his work on instagram looked good from afar so Jon (the owner) and I began to discuss the job. He was very knowledgeable and was able to match OEM paint codes with a small upcharge from his tint supplier and he found the Atlantis mixture without issue and Autoflex allows the installer to replicate or adjust factory pearl/metallic. He indicated that the ceramic coating would need to come off but otherwise it was good to go, so last summer during a week long work trip around the country I dropped off the car on a Monday and picked it back up on a Friday. He had a GTR and Ferrari 430 in with it so I felt comfortable leaving it in his hands.

The result I got back was not great. I won't go into a ton of detail but basically he got behind and I pushed him to deliver it - the job was rushed and some mistakes were made. The car looked fantastic from 20 feet away but up close there was inconsistency, overspray, extensive surface peel, and not enough luster to merit the high gloss name. I was really disappointed driving the 5 hours home but we talked it out over the next few weeks and worked out a remedy.

He offered to peel and redo the whole thing and this time I asked him to flow coat the finish which, if you're not familiar, means clear coating, multi-stage wet sanding, polishing and then respraying several layers of clear followed by another full polish. I also asked him to ensure that there was absolutely no overspray in areas like door hinges and washer nozzles under the hood. I paid for the materials but otherwise Jon did the job at his cost. He had also moved locations since the summer and had a new state of the art paint booth this time which made me confident he could deliver a great result.

This time I said to keep it until it was done and just over a week after drop off a buddy and I drove back up to get it. I kept Jon on ice for a couple minutes while I walked around and inspected it but eventually I started laughing because of how ridiculously awesome it turned out. Take a look and judge for yourself. I'm including a few pics others took and my own iPhone pics of the nitty gritty stuff including doors so you can see where it starts/ends. This stuff is essentially really advanced plastidip and you need to be able to peel it after 3 - 5 years of use, so spraying into hinges and trim areas is not a good idea.

So far I've had it for a month and it definitely gets a lot of attention. I'm not sure I factored that into the equation but people absolutely react to this color so I find myself having to talk about it a lot more. Overall though I think it looks great and I'm totally happy with the outcome. If you consider doing this make sure you go through an authorized installer, allow up to a full week for the job, and pay the extra money for flow coating and a full polish. Best thing is, when I'm done with it I can go right back to pristine Black or change to another option. Cost for this was around $3k FYI.
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      01-17-2020, 01:12 PM   #2
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Some more pictures
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      01-17-2020, 01:13 PM   #3
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Odds and ends. Interior details. He did a faded edge where it was masked and then applied a pinstripe tape over the edge to keep it secure. Door handles were fully removed and reinstalled. Up close on the pearl effect.
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      01-17-2020, 02:07 PM   #4
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Wowww I really hope this trend continues with more people trying this stuff as it looks superior to wrapping. Nice job! How much thicker is this material compared to a normal wrap? The only down side I can think of is when you get rock chips, you can't easily touch it up like normal paint so I'm curious on the longevity of the material.
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      01-17-2020, 02:26 PM   #5
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Wow, turned out amazing. In the photos looks like OEM paint, love it
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      01-17-2020, 03:00 PM   #6
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I like it. And the cost is low.
Looks phenomenal by the way
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      01-17-2020, 03:01 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikeyymonster View Post
Wowww I really hope this trend continues with more people trying this stuff as it looks superior to wrapping. Nice job! How much thicker is this material compared to a normal wrap? The only down side I can think of is when you get rock chips, you can't easily touch it up like normal paint so I'm curious on the longevity of the material.
That's true although you can dab some solvent on it and it will bind it together. It's only a few mil thickness plus clear so it does offer some protection but trust me I'm certainly hoping to stay out of trouble with foreign objects!
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      01-17-2020, 03:08 PM   #8
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Do you drive it during snowy winters at freeway speeds? When I lived on the East coast, after an hour trip, the amount of sand blasting really takes a toll on the front of the car. Wonder how this will hold up in that situation.
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      01-17-2020, 03:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danchee View Post
Do you drive it during snowy winters at freeway speeds? When I lived on the East coast, after an hour trip, the amount of sand blasting really takes a toll on the front of the car. Wonder how this will hold up in that situation.
This is my daily and I run Alpins on the 666M wheels during winter. Really it should hold up the same as OEM paint since the wrap has automotive clear coat. It can also be ceramic coated once it's fully cured (90 days).

Part of the beauty of it is that this paint which is temporary is going to take the abuse of the environment while the original paint is being preserved underneath.
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      01-17-2020, 04:12 PM   #10
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Wow. Thatís just redic on what can be done now.

I wonder what the cost in CA would be for this. 🤔
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      01-17-2020, 04:34 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BzsBimmer View Post
Wow. That’s just redic on what can be done now.

I wonder what the cost in CA would be for this. 🤔
CA doesn't have any authorized installers just keep that in mind. In fact only a small handful of states are authorized per the Autoflex website
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      01-17-2020, 04:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nioh_lbbm2 View Post
CA doesn't have any authorized installers just keep that in mind. In fact only a small handful of states are authorized per the Autoflex website
Figures. I bet thereís still a Prop 65 label on that paint somewhere 🤣
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      01-18-2020, 10:50 AM   #13
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Amazing. Love the depth and pearl affect. Seems like it would be difficult to remove though.
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      01-18-2020, 11:22 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Proctorw View Post
Amazing. Love the depth and pearl affect. Seems like it would be difficult to remove though.
I saw part of it being peeled in prep for the redo and it only took a few minutes, but you'd definitely have some work to do on edges with solvent and rags. The installer should peel it per Autoflex.
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      01-19-2020, 11:14 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ellipsis212 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Proctorw View Post
Amazing. Love the depth and pearl affect. Seems like it would be difficult to remove though.
I saw part of it being peeled in prep for the redo and it only took a few minutes, but you'd definitely have some work to do on edges with solvent and rags. The installer should peel it per Autoflex.
Autoflex and the job on your car looks amazing.
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      01-19-2020, 11:43 AM   #16
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Makes me want to change my car to Imola Red....
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      01-20-2020, 04:32 PM   #17
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wow amazing job
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