July '16

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36 THE SHOP JULY 2016 RESTYLING/AFTERMARKET ACCESSORIES barrage of dirt, rubber, grit and even hot oil and water when someone has mechanical problems. Cleaning off the race's road rash is a lot easier when PPF is applied. LOOK INVISIBLE & SEAMLESS Helcberger gets his PPF and patterns from the manufacturer, which is XPEL. He selects his products based on a number of important factors. One that is not often mentioned is the sheen, or finish, of the PPF. Ideally, it should closely mimic the finish of the paint. That way, when viewed from an angle, there is no difference between the two where seams meet. It's just another detail that makes the job look invisible and seamless. Helc- berger points out the owners of most of the high-end cars he works on are very detail-oriented and it's not as much as they seek out such details, as they seem to enjoy not seeing them. After the PPF has been cut to the tem- plates on his plotter/cutter, Helcberger organizes the pieces so they will be readily available during the job. Another tip is to lay out the pieces much like an engine builder lays out all the components before assembling. This is also the best time to inventory the pieces to make sure they are all avail- able. Then an array of lights gets switched on, allowing for the operator to get used to the level of brightness before the job actually starts. Helcberger uses regular florescent lights, not halogens. He says halogens are too bright and working in that brightness can Helcberger uses regular florescent lights, mounted on a movable rack. A PPF job includes all surfaces that would be exposed to airflow at speed. Helcberger cuts just above the paint with a new sharp-pointed knife blade. Experience keeps him from touching the paint... PPF: TIPS & HACKS

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