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2005 350SLK
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Discussion Starter #1
Having just sold my A4 to a lucky buyer, I have noticed that there were some chips on the plastic housing of the lights. It was not a big deal because I hardly took my car out of the garage.

Given how expensive our lights are, is there any classy and practical way of protecting these plastic lenses at a reasonable cost?
 

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slk 350
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126 Posts
There is product out called the clear bra.I'm having mine done next week.You can go this wb site xpel.com.I'm covering the lights front grill and mirrors.Cost is $700.00.Exspensive but no stone chips.
 

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Doing the same with my Black car. When i got it from the dealer on my G35 it included replacement coverage and quantee agnaist lense or light breakage and chipping!
 

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The best protection is to follow the two second rule when driving behind people on the highway. Leave enough space between you and the car in front and you will be amazed how much less likely you are to get rock chips. My last 3 cars have been turned in at the end of the lease with less than 4 small paint chips in the front paint area.

Also I have noticed that it is more important to stay back in the winter when the paint and plastics are more brittle. During the summer, paint and plastic seems to be able to take more punishment and bounce back. Or maybe it's just because their is more debris on the roads in the winter.
 

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'14 CLS63 AMG S, '10 GLK350, '03 SL5000
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289 Posts
See This URL for Headlight & Bra Covers

The biggest chip I had in headlight of my M3 was from a motorcycle traveling in the opposite direction! Since then, I try to cover all lights and paint with some kind of covering. I have the "clear bra" 3M on my headlights, front hood, etc. as installed by the dealer and a thicker material on my fog lights -- see below.

The "clear bra" over the headlights will prevent the plastic from becoming sandblasted by small gravel, but will not really provide much protection from a significant size rock.

The best protection is the thicker (40mils, about a mm) covering available precut for many cars.

You can find this and the clear bra kit for the SLK350 at

http://www.xpel.com/products/configurator.asp?prevtype=1&prevyear=2005&prevmake=26&prevmodel=906&prevsubmodel=0&prevseries=0&type=1&year=2005&make=26&model=906&submodel=2652

As far as I can tell, this is not yet available for the SLK55. Seems to me that the 350 and 55 have the same headlights, but perhaps the fog lights are different and that is why this company does not yet list the kit for the 55.

I bought this thicker material in 2 clear sheets from Bavarian Auto (www.BavAuto.com, $45) and used it to cover my fog lights. Unfortunately, the 19"x8" sheets are not quite big enough to cover thet SLK headlights. I considered using this for the bottom, most-vertical part of the headlights, but thought that I'd wait in hope that this will eventually become available for our SLKs.
 

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2005 SLK55 AMG
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788 Posts
Gordon, you stated previously that you do have a "clear bra" installed on your SLK55. Mine is coming in mid-May. Like your post on the headlight covering, I can not find any company yet that has the clear bra for the SLK55 (talking hood and bumper, not just the headlights).

What did you do? Did you find someone to do a full custom from the roll (i.e. not a pattern)? How did it turn out? How did you find someone to do it? I've searched my area, with no luck so far.
 

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'14 CLS63 AMG S, '10 GLK350, '03 SL5000
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bloflin - 4/3/2005 2:40 PM
Did you find someone to do a full custom from the roll (i.e. not a pattern)? How did it turn out? How did you find someone to do it?
The MB dealer (Glauser Mercedes, Westminster, Colorado) contracted this out to someone locally that does this. I do not know if they purchased a kit or did a complete custom job. Cost was $476, including a 20% discount off of "normal price."

They may have started with the SLK350 kit that is available from the link in my previous post for the "Hood, Fender and Mirror kit" 'cause I believe that these pieces are the same for the 350 and 55. However, they did also include the A pillars (next to the windshield), the headlights and door handle inserts. I have on order a 12 ft. x 8 inch roll from J.C. Whitney (www.jcwhitney.com) that I intend to use to cover the vertical part of the front bumper myself.

BTW -- I also put a small piece of the thicker material on the rocker panel just ahead of the rear tires where it flares out because I've noticed some small pitting there. If you have someone do a bra for you, I'd ask that they also put some there, even if it is the thinner material.
 

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slk 55
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Fog Light Protection

Does anyone know of a source for the 40mil material that Gordon refers to above that is precut to size for SLK55 fog lights? Thanks.
 

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2008 SLK55 AMG
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837 Posts
Check out Performance Products, and autosportcatalog.com. I am not sure if they are 40 mil inthickness though.
 

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jakepratt said:
The best protection is to follow the two second rule when driving behind people on the highway. Leave enough space between you and the car in front and you will be amazed how much less likely you are to get rock chips. My last 3 cars have been turned in at the end of the lease with less than 4 small paint chips in the front paint area.

Also I have noticed that it is more important to stay back in the winter when the paint and plastics are more brittle. During the summer, paint and plastic seems to be able to take more punishment and bounce back. Or maybe it's just because their is more debris on the roads in the winter.
:D I like your advice the best. No I don't like paint chips that occur when driving. I'm just not sold on the clear paint products. One chip is too many, but what percentage of people here use their SLK as a daily driver? Not me. I'll use the two second rule plus a few. Thanks for the advice.
 

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2008 SLK55 AMG
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In California, the DMV booklet recommends 3 second rule and I try to follow this as often as I can specially on the freeways.
 

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slk 55
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Thanks ETYU. I couldn't find them at either of those websites. Anyone else have any suggestions, thanks.
 

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'06 SLK350, '01ML320
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etyu said:
In California, the DMV booklet recommends 3 second rule and I try to follow this as often as I can specially on the freeways.
ETYU what is the 3 second rule?
I think in NJ the DMV recommends to keep 2x your car length from the car ahead.
 

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2008 SLK55 AMG
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benz--man said:
ETYU what is the 3 second rule?
I think in NJ the DMV recommends to keep 2x your car length from the car ahead.
It is not based on distance but it should take you 3 seconds to reach a point/landmark that the car in front of you just passed. This is actually more distance than the usual 3 or 4 car lengths and is a better safety rule.
 

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2008 SLK55 AMG
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'06 SLK350, '01ML320
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I was wrong!
Now I remembered; in NJ you need one car length for each 10 mph.
(3 car lengths @ 30 mph, 4 car lengths @ 40 mph and so on)

etyu said:
It is not based on distance but it should take you 3 seconds to reach a point/landmark that the car in front of you just passed. This is actually more distance than the usual 3 or 4 car lengths and is a better safety rule.
But the 3 seconds does not make any sense. At 65 mph your car travels about 95 ft in one second. So will you stay 285 ft (more then 21 car lengths) away from the car in front? That’s way too much if you’re asking me.
 

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2008 SLK55 AMG
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benz--man said:
I was wrong!
Now I remembered; in NJ you need one car length for each 10 mph.
(3 car lengths @ 30 mph, 4 car lengths @ 40 mph and so on)



But the 3 seconds does not make any sense. At 65 mph your car travels about 95 ft in one second. So will you stay 285 ft (more then 21 car lengths) away from the car in front? That’s way too much if you’re asking me.
I think that's their point. I usually do betwen 2 to 3 seconds behind. There would be less risk for getting stone chips.
 

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I believe the 3 seconds is based on total time needed to recognize a dangerous situation, move the foot to the brake and start braking plus a little safety margin.
 
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