July '16

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34 THE SHOP JULY 2016 On this Ferrari, he was tasked to do a full PPF job. Of course, that starts with the nose of the car and would go rearward to include other surfaces that would be exposed to the airflow at speed. Moving back from the nose and head- lights, the A-post, mirror including base, and door handles also need protection. And that brings up the crossover element of a PPF job. Coverage is not always about the surfaces that face the air. Many areas benefit from PPF because they are high-contact areas. Door handles fall into that category, as do many areas of a race car. Race cars can use PPF for a number of reasons. We were with Helcberger as he worked on a new Viper road race car at McMann Racing. Depending on the type of racing, the first areas to be protected are the leading edges of the car. The typical street areas of nose, full and partial hood and the leading edge of a roof all see debris, rubber from race tires and any dirt thrown up from the surface or from other cars that go off the track. NO ROAD RASH REGRETS The usage then shifts to high-wear areas. Like protecting door handles on a street car, the door and window areas of a race car are prone to wear. When it's a race car that uses opening doors, like this Viper, climbing over a painted set of protective door bars can make a good paint job look old in just a few racing weekends. Also, the metal hardware of seatbelts and harnesses can chip that paint. An application of PPF on the contact areas of the roll cage will keep it looking fresh longer. And unlike paint, when the PPF has been damaged from use, it can be replaced a lot easier than painting just the roll cage again. Race cars can also use PPF in other high- wear areas that don't necessarily see the usual leading-edge wear. For example, if a race car is doing any kind of refueling during the race, the area around the gas cap can be protected with PPF. Likewise for the lower fenders behind tires. Tires throw up an almost constant Albert Helcberger installs PPF on hun- dreds of cars of all types every year. Heat guns can cause PPF to stretch more; and also can cause adhesives to be stickier. Helcberger's advice is to use a heat gun sparingly. RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES PPF: TIPS & HACKS

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