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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As promised, here's a comparison thread. Let's get to it.

I've been sporting the CF fabric for some time now (as you can see here: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/133320-carbon-fiber-fabric-trim.html) and, much like with many things in my car, I've become a bit bored with it. In addition, there was something "not right" about it at certain angles. It's worth mentioning that I have the black carbon fiber fabric, not the standard charcoal one which has even less depth.

Recently, a new thread was posted in regards to a new carbon fiber material by 3M (http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e3...w-3m-1080-series-glossy-carbon-wrap-pics.html) so I decided to check it out.

I received a roll of 3x4 (feet) today and I tried it out right away. Here are my first impressions.

Looks: At first glance, it didn't seem as "deep" or as black as the fabric. Also, the weave pattern of the new material is larger. The new material is also much more susceptible to changes of light depending on the angle at which it's held. Also, it didn't seem as "glossy" as the material that E38 Prototype used. I used CA-421, but there's also CF-12. Looking at pictures online, I can't tell the difference.

Wrapping:
This 3M film is much easier to install than the fabric. There's no need for glue spray. The film has an adhesive back and then you just have to work the edges with a hair dryer (or heat gun, whichever you prefer). The heat softens the material enough for you to mold it and it hardens when cooled. I wrapped the piece that you see here quicker and better than the other fabric piece. In addition, while the fabric was very pliable and flexible to a degree, it allowed for deforming of the CF pattern if not done properly (so the lines going up and to the side would be wavy if you stretched it a bit much). The 3M film does not have this problem and even when you stretch the hell out of it around the corners to get a clean edge, it behaves like a champ.

Result:
I like the new material quite a bit. I haven't seen the material out in daylight or in the car yet, so I'll reserve full judgment until then, but this stuff looks as good (if not better) and it's so easy to apply. However, it's much more expensive as well.

Here are some pictures of the 2 pieces (the one with the tire pressure button is CF fabric) in different light conditions so that you can see the difference and here's also a video that lets you see how they both react to light.

 

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Looking good! I think I'm really going to like putting this in. I'm looking at my roll of the black 3M DI NOC right now, and eagerly awaiting the install. Hopefully I can do it this weekend. Thanks for the pics/vids you've helped me think I made the right choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Looking good! I think I'm really going to like putting this in. I'm looking at my roll of the black 3M DI NOC right now, and eagerly awaiting the install. Hopefully I can do it this weekend. Thanks for the pics/vids you've helped me think I made the right choice.
Without question, I'd recommend this to people with caramel interiors. I'll wait until tomorrow (for daylight) to try it on my all-black interior.
 

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I've already done a few pieces of my interior trim with the 3M Di-Noc and it is really good, and like you say, fairly easy to fit and doesn't deform.

I have had one issue however: even though the 3M comes with a sticky back, after I heated it all up and stretched it all and it looked perfect, after a week or two in the car, the glue has loosened and the edges have started coming in and now it looks ****.

I am going to pull the affected parts out and re-do it all and then glue the edges down with a hard setting glue like araldite.

HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've already done a few pieces of my interior trim with the 3M Di-Noc and it is really good, and like you say, fairly easy to fit and doesn't deform.

I have had one issue however: even though the 3M comes with a sticky back, after I heated it all up and stretched it all and it looked perfect, after a week or two in the car, the glue has loosened and the edges have started coming in and now it looks ****.

I am going to pull the affected parts out and re-do it all and then glue the edges down with a hard setting glue like araldite.

HTH
How did you cut the film behind the trim piece? Did you leave some as I did (look at the video) or did you cut it right along the edge?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So, a day later and I'm sold on this material. It's much better than the fabric in applications, look, and feel. It looks higher-end and it even feels like it when you touch it. In addition, it's solid (unlike the fabric) which is even better. I recommend this!
 

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Thanks for doing some leg work on this Diny! I will be recovering mine with this stuff now. I have a few scratches and tears in my fabric.

From your research, which of the two 3M types is superior? How much material is needed? and Where did you find the best price?

Also, any recommendation for stripping the fabric and removing the glue form previously covered trim? Did you sand yours?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Thanks for doing some leg work on this Diny! I will be recovering mine with this stuff now. I have a few scratches and tears in my fabric.

From your research, which of the two 3M types is superior? How much material is needed? and Where did you find the best price?
I got a 3x4 sheet of CA-421 from Carbon Fiber Gear. It was $96.35 shipped.

This material is superior to the fabric. It may not be as dark, but it has much better finish. It's a breeze to install as well and there's very little risk to mess up (as opposed to the fabric). With the fabric, if you messed up, you had to remove it and you wouldn't be able to use it again. With this, you lay it flat on the main surface and you just work the edges with a hair dryer. It becomes soft and pliable which makes it very easy to work around the annoying edges. Once it cools, it hardens. However, if you go back and want to redo a section, heat it up and work it again.

As for the difference between CA-421 and CF-12, I cannot say. Pictures online look just about the same. I suppose asking 3M would be a solution.

EDIT: I was also considering the possibility that the fabric did not hold up well overtime. Fortunately, I have the trim from a steering wheel that was kept in a box for some time. I compared it side-by-side to a piece that's been in the car for about a year and it looks just the same, so it held up well. However, when compared to the film, it doesn't look as good. I'll be covering that as well but after all of the other trim. I don't want to take the chance to run out of material.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I just wrapped one of the front door trim pieces, which have proven to be a pain in the *** with the fabric. Nice, easy, and pretty much flawless with the film. The heat makes it extremely pliable along the curves so you don't end up with those annoying folds.
 

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Need some outside pics and some in your black interior ASAP. :)
 

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I have a set of trim would you wrap it for me and if so how much......

thanks
 

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Is there a reputable source for the 3M 1080?

can you guys post a link for an online source?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I have a set of trim would you wrap it for me and if so how much......

thanks
I only do this locally and sparingly. I've done it for 2 guys here and it's usually a "whole day" thing. However, other board members do very fine work and might offer to do it instead (russap5 and Suro come to mind).

Thanks Diny!

My roll is coming... Did you use the primer they suggested?
I did not use the primer. Let's see how good the glue itself is. The material becomes pretty hard once applies, so we'll see how it holds up. I was surprised by how long it stays tacky. The trickiest piece was the steering wheel trim, which took 15 minutes to do, and the last parts to be worked on were very tacky still. It's really great to work with, though. Twice I found grit and a wrinkle on the work that I had done (within 5 minutes, of course). If it was the fabric, I'd have to redo the whole thing again. With this, just heat it up, peel back the part in question, and redo. Most importantly, the CF pattern does not deform, it stays perfectly straight.

Is there a reputable source for the 3M 1080?

can you guys post a link for an online source?
I got mine from Carbon Fiber Gear. They ship very quickly, too. I ordered on Friday and got it on Tuesday.

More pics coming today.
 

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It looks good Diny and as said it does have more of a "carbon" feel and appearance to it.

I have the fabric in my interior and the only thing i'll say is if you are not looking for the 100% "carbon" feel, but want it to look a little more OEM, the fabric looks extremely like the OEM carbon cube finish found on the E46's.

On a scale of 1 - 10 with 10 being most difficult how would you rate the fabric and the film to work with?
 
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