We recently had the pleasure of welcoming a McLaren 765LT to our studio in Hampshire. If you want to know what it takes to install PPF on a McLaren, read on because we share all the details!
About the car:
The McLaren 765LT is the latest in the Super Series Longtail (LT) cars, superseding the 675LT. It is a more powerful, lighter, and harder accelerating version of the already ballistic 720S. McLaren will manufacture only 765 of these vehicles.
PPF on a McLaren:
As a longstanding client, we have provided detailing services and PPF installation on this client’s cars for years. He intends to use this particular car on both road and track, so he was after the best protection possible and knew that Xpel PPF fits the brief!
Arrival and Inspection:
A first for us, this car came to our Hampshire studio wearing a previous application of Ngenco Paint Protection Spray (PPS). We had to remove this before we could install Xpel PPF.
If you’ve not heard of PPS, in theory, it sounds like the best thing ever. A liquid product, applied in a spray booth that, once dried, will be perfectly clear and form a flexible barrier against stone chips and flying debris, just like PPF. However, because it’s sprayed on, it has 100% coverage, with no seams, joins or edges, so it should be completely invisible. Sounds too good to be true, right? You know how the saying goes… If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
There needs to be a significant amount of car disassembly to apply PPS. Therefore, when it comes to removing it, the same applies. When we got the car, it was clear that there were several failure points where panels met and had rubbed and disturbed the PPS. This was an 18-month-old installation but looked like 20-year-old, uncared-for paint. It looked worn and very, very dull.
There were various flaws in the PPS, lumps and pitted areas. We found no evidence that it can self-heal as our Xpel PPF can.
The Preparation for PPF on a McLaren:
The preparation before installing PPF on this McLaren was challenging.
The first job was to remove all the damaged and tired-looking PPS from the car before we could reinstall PPF.
A supposed benefit of PPS is that it can be harmlessly and very cleanly peeled from paintwork, leaving no glue residue. That was true to some extent; we peeled the PPS from the top of the bonnet in a matter of moments. But when we came to the edges and the corners, where the material seemed much thinner, it was very reluctant to give up its hold on the paint.
We needed to remove a significant amount of the front of the car to remove the PPS. The film had rucked up in the gap between the headlight pods and the main bumper assembly. Then again, between the main part of the bumper and the lower splitter areas. Small amounts of vibration in gaps that were no longer there because they were stuffed with PPS had caused the material to fail and push out. This break in the surface meant water was getting in under the PPS, causing more widespread failure. In short, it was a mess.
We can remove a standard bumper from a car in around 10 minutes. But due to the complexity of the McLaren, this disassembly process took hours. We even had to call upon the help of our local Hampshire-based body shop friends to help us safely remove it from the car.
Once we had separated everything, we spent further hours painstakingly removing every last piece of PPS from every part of the bodywork before we polished each part.
Only then could we go about putting the car back together, ensuring each of the 100 odd fittings found their rightful home!
The client chose our PPF Extended Track Pack. The coverage area consisted of the entire front end, sills, A-pillars and front of the roof, and inner door areas. It was important to include these; they are unique to McLaren architecture and can be prone to collecting stones thrown up by sticky Pirelli Trofeo R tyres.
When the time came for this exceptional McLaren to leave our Hampshire studio, we drove it back to our client’s home. That was a lot of fun, I (Paul) drove, and Matt followed. He said it was certainly attracting a lot of attention on the motorway!
Our client was delighted with the results. Given the model’s rarity, he’d only had the choice of two when he was buying and didn’t like the colour scheme of the other. So, he was concerned with its slightly aged appearance but was confident we’d be able to rescue it. With the PPS gone and Xpel PPF installed, we machine-polished the rest of the car before applying ceramic coatings to everything. It looked amazing; the paint is a unique MSO option, which might look black, but up close, it is the ‘blackest’ paint I’ve ever seen, like a mirror! This car represented nearly five full work days, but the results justified every second.
One thing that became very apparent while we prepared this stunning vehicle for its PPF installation was how the already ‘in situ’ PPS (Paint Protection Spray) hampered our progress.
So, if you are considering PPS or intend to buy a car sprayed with PPS, please think about the cost implications of removal and refreshing compared to a straightforward PPF installation, as these can be significant.
Contact us if you need PPF on a McLaren or any other vehicle. We love taking care of your daily drivers as much as we love welcoming supercars to our Hampshire studio.