Bruce showed up one day with his vehicle completely covered by a grey magnetic material to protect his vehicle. I asked him to tell us how he created the covering.
I own a hummer H2. At the classes and other outings, people have asked me about a product I’m using to minimize the “pin stripping” that happens when off-roading. Tom suggested that I share it with the extended family at 4×4 training. With the Hummer I was getting a lot of minor finish scratches and I’m finding that owners of other brands are also complaining of the same thing particularly if it is a vehicle that is used in day to day operations and cosmetics are an issue.
There is a product called “flexible magnets” that is available thru “McMaster Carr “. They are listed on the web and are local in the LA area. Hummer offers them cut to size as an available accessory however they are very pricy and Hummer does not supply pieces to cover the window frame areas. Basically it is a “rubber” product that is impregnated with a magnetic material that sticks to any metal surface. It comes in rolls 24” wide and you can purchase any length up 50ft (per roll). Pieces can then be cut to size for individual areas of the vehicle. It comes in different thicknesses. I am presently using 1/32” but am considering trying .025 in future. The 1/32 can tear under its own weight at installation/removal near a cut area (for door handles etc) when the material is hot. It is prone to tear depending on how you are holding it. Once the material is fitted to the vehicle a tape must be applied to the leading edges of each sheet to prevent lifting in the air stream on the freeway or a branch that could lift the forward edge resulting in the sheet peeling back and exceeding the magnet’s ability to adhere to the metal. I use a clear tape that is available at ace hardware. It doesn’t leave a residue on the paint work when removing providing you take it off in a timely manner. For quick repairs (to the sheets) I use black duct tape which will adhere to anything forever.
I realize this sounds like a large pain in the butt and it can be, unless you enjoy the anticipation of preparing your vehicle for the next outing. Having spent time buffing out multiple scratches each time I return from a trip I’ve elected to spend the time prepping the truck with the magnets and not having to worry about the scratches devaluating my “investment”.
When you log on to McMaster Carr, (http://www.mcmaster.com/) in the upper right hand corner there is a search box. Type “flexible magnets”! That will take you to the page. It talks about several different kinds. You want the ones that are described as black on both sides, magnets on one side. Select the thickness you want. You’re looking for part # 5756k53 or 5756k55 depending on the thickness you select. Call for a will call order. They will ship, however it might be costly as a full roll is quite heavy. The magnets will cut very easily with an Exacto knife, sharp utility knife or a good quality pair of shop scissors. Remember to leave enough room on the leading edge to install the tape. My suggestion is to cut out your basic shape, put it on the vehicle then mark your cut outs. Don’t get frustrated if your cuts are not perfect. Remember, you’re after protection not perfection.