Home » I Took My Cheap 200,000 Mile Jeep To Get Detailed And XPEL’d And The Results Are Incredible [Partner Post]

I Took My Cheap 200,000 Mile Jeep To Get Detailed And XPEL’d And The Results Are Incredible [Partner Post]

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Back in May, I bought the cheapest manual transmission, 4.0-liter-powered, 1991 Jeep Wrangler I could find on Craigslist. The vehicle had been repainted by the previous owner in his garage, and even though when I bought it it looked decent for a 200,000 mile machine, the paint was rather dull. But that changed when a few weeks ago I took the YJ to a shop in LA to receive XPEL Paint Protection Film, which may seem a bit ridiculous given that I just told you the paint was flat. But when I came to pick my Jeep up, I was blown away; my high-mileage, 33 year-old Jeep legitimately looks brand new, and I’m excited to show it to you!

I’ve wanted a Jeep YJ for a very, very long time. Here I am at age 24 ogling at a Hunter Green 1995 model in Virginia:

Vidframe Min Top
Vidframe Min Bottom

I was a fool not to buy that Jeep for $4,500 back in May of 2016. That’s equivalent to about $5,700 today, a deal I spent years believing I’d never find again. But then I moved to California last year, and spotted this on Craigslist:

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It was the best model-year — a 1991, the single year that offered both the coveted 4.0-liter inline-six and the old-school “fastback”-style roll bar. At $9,500, the asking price was rather steep, but I showed up anyway and met the owner and his dad, Jack. Jack had just repainted the Jeep’s hood, which had been baked by the unrelenting California sun. Just look at this:

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Anyway, I negotiated the price down to a still-rather-steep $7,800, and drove home in a decent looking white Jeep YJ:

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Despite the Jeep being in good mechanical condition, I was still unsure that I’d actually scored a good deal (and this matters to me, a certified Cheap Bastard), which is why my first article was titled: “Did I Overpay For My Completely Rust-Free Jeep Wrangler YJ?” But then I sold my full doors for $1,400, I’ll be able to sell the hard top for $1,200 easily, I sold the tires for $80, and then spent about $900 on a new soft top, tires, and for Jack to repaint the half doors he’d given me with the Jeep. So when all things were said and done, I’d paid about $6000 for a decent-looking Jeep.

I was happy with that, since this thing wasn’t meant to be a garage queen anyway — it’s my around-town cruiser and my off-road rig:

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A post shared by David Tracy (@davidntracy)

Still, I later learned that I wasn’t giving my Jeep nearly enough credit. Little did I know that, with a bit of love, my old 200,000 mile YJ could look far, far better than just “decent.”

 

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A post shared by David Tracy (@davidntracy)

Last Month, The Autopian proudly entered into a partnership with XPEL, a company known for its Paint Protection Film, or PPF. This is a self-healing film that gets applied over your paint to protect it against rock chips, scrapes from branches, shopping carts — you name it. It’s something that The Autopian’s sister-company Galpin uses (see the clip above — that was totally unprompted praise from Galpin Auto Sports’ PPF and wrap expert, Robert), and it’s something that, after much diligent research, we at The Autopian believe in.

It’s a premium product, to be sure (and in my case, I got the most elaborate treatment worth about as much as the Jeep itself), but it’s something that makes sense for lots of cars, including many off-road vehicles. I’m going to get into why in a later article, and I’ll also show the rather intricate process of actually installing the film, but for now I’d just like to show how great my Jeep looks after renowned automotive detailer and XPEL dealer “405 Motoring” in Inglewood, CA worked their magic.

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And I do mean renowned. You see the green Bronco in front of the black low-mileage FD Mazda RX-7 that some expected to become the most expensive RX-7 ever sold on Bring A Trailer?

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Well, that belongs to arguably the greatest basketball player of all time, Lebron James, who by the way had just had that vehicle XPEL PPF’d:

 

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A post shared by ???? (@kingjames)

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Part of the Paint Protection Film application process involves cleaning the paint and detailing/correcting it, as necessary. Once the car’s paint has been optimized, XPEL gets applied to lock it all in. More than just locking in beautiful paint, the PPF actually adds a gorgeous “candy” type look to the paint that makes the vehicle look even better. Seriously, look at my 200,000 mile machine:

I’m just in awe. The video above shows it best, but even in these photos you can tell that it legitimately looks like a brand new Jeep:

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I installed the cheapest soft top and soft top hardware I could find on Amazon, and now I’m driving around in what I consider The Best Deal in Jeeps:

And apparently 329 people (so far) agree, and that’s a lot given how rarely I tend to Tweet. If you’re not on that app, here are those pics:

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How did this thing end up looking this good? Just wow.

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Anyway, I’m excited to eventually put XPEL to the test by beating the everliving bejesus out of this Jeep. Until then, I’ll just enjoy how that detail job and that candy-ing PPF makes this Jeep look brand new and makes me feel like a million bucks behind the wheel.

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Dr. Asteroid
Dr. Asteroid
3 months ago

I’m glad you worked out a deal that you could accept for a vehicle you love but having already blown lots of money on a weathered Jeep with high miles and age and then dumping a briefcase of cash for a non-permanent protection on a car who’s driver plans to immediately drive daily and flog through anything it encounters, I feel you will be in the hole ????️ pretty quickly. But you know what? I understand what it’s like to buy something I love and spend more money than I should as well. If it makes you happy, then by golly just do it. Your Jeep looks good for 200k miles.

Jb996
Jb996
3 months ago

BTW “a 10 year warranty”
https://www.xpel.com/warranty-information

It’s 10 years for product defects “such as yellowing, cracking, blistering, and delaminating.”
It’s 4 years for defects such as “oxidation, loss of gloss, UV damage, fading”.

“The Company’s Products must be stored, handled, installed, used, and maintained in accordance with instructions provided by the Company, and this Limited Warranty is conditioned upon compliance with all such instructions.”

The care instructions are light, which is good. Some cleaning advice, but “Seal with XPEL Ceramic Boost at least once every 6 months to preserve high gloss.”

**So in order to get the 4 year gloss warranty, you will still need to ceramic coat your car every 6 months.**

The warranty does not cover, among other things,
“5. Stains, and scratches;
6. Damage to the wrapped surface due to improper wash techniques, automatic car washes or incorrect wash tools that may cause abrasion or by third parties not authorized by the Company;
7. Scratches, scuffs, scrapes, chips to the painted surface;
8. Water spots

11. Use of non-XPEL branded ceramic coatings;
12. Damages caused by outside forces, including the physical impact of rocks or road debris.”

Which I understand they can’t cover damage to the car, but it’s funny to spend $6k on protection, but still have to hand-wash with certain special products and to have to apply a new ceramic coating every 6 months.

And I’m not trying to be entirely negative. I’m looking into it because I would love to make the case for myself to get it done, at least on my 996. But so far it’s a really hard sell.

Jb996
Jb996
3 months ago

I’ve always been conflicted on PPF.
I understand XPEL is great, and for a really high end car I could see the reasoning. I hate seeing dings in my cars’ paint. But it’s sooooo expensive!

Only the bumper for my car is $500 for just the plastic film. Install labor would probably double that, just for the bumper!
I can’t find a precut kit for my entire car, but extrapolating, $2.5k or more seems likely.
Add labor for the paint correction and install, and it’s easily $5-6k.

That’s a lot of money to protect paint for a few years.
I suppose if I had as much money as Lebron, or had it being done for free, sure!
But I’m still too sensible with my money. So far…

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
3 months ago

David, you write you got “the most elaborate treatment worth about as much as the Jeep itself”. Could/would you share with us how many monies it would have been if one of us plebs walked in off the street to get the same thing? It does look pretty amazing, but the conversation gets complicated if it’s $10k.

Mr Sarcastic
Mr Sarcastic
3 months ago

It looks good in photos but why do you push how it looks in photos? I guess in-person it fails?

Sklooner
Sklooner
3 months ago

I got the trucoat on mine from the factory

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
3 months ago

Your YJ really looks great! One question: when are you installing the cat door? Happy holidays!

Anthony Henderson
Anthony Henderson
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

The cats will be installing it themselves

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
3 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

Who do you think those half-doors and soft top are really for?

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago

What’s with elite athletes in Los Angeles and Broncos?

Not The Ford 289
Not The Ford 289
3 months ago

Yeah, why do they all have one?

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago

I understand this is a very good product, and that jeep really does look great, and this probably really will last a long time.

But does it look better and will it last longer than a ~$6000 paint job? Because if not then it’s rather pointless except on cars where you would never consider a $6000 paint job.

David Gaylor
David Gaylor
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Because a $6000 paint job probably wouldn’t look as good or last as long. $6000 is peanuts for paint job these days.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  David Gaylor

So you dont think a $6000 paint job will look better and last longer? I’m not so sure.

I’m not sure I’d say 6k is peanuts, a crappy Maaco respray is running $2-3k these days, and 10k will get you a nicer paint job than most cars have from the factory(honestly not hard to do). 6k is more like a midrange paint job that I would expect to look pretty good(at least 90% as good as brand new) and last minimum 10-15 years.

Eric Smith
Eric Smith
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

“Uh-oh, better get Maaco”. That slogan along with their $299 special that I need to come in for TODAY have been etched into my brain forever. Thanks for the memories.

The Cyclist
The Cyclist
3 months ago
Reply to  Rust Buckets

Where does it say the XPEL was $6,000? I’m reading he’s $6k all into the Jeep after selling the doors, the amount he can get for the hardtop + his new parts.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  The Cyclist

He didn’t specify a price, but,

“It’s a premium product, to be sure (and in my case, I got the most elaborate treatment worth about as much as the Jeep itself)”

James Davidson
James Davidson
3 months ago

I’m surprised that you did not choose the “patina and rust” clear wrap. I guess even “cheap bastards” have their limits. I hope you are feeling better!

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago

The Jeep looks fantastic, DT!

Also: It was/is/will always be Jordan. Lebron may be the perfect physical specimen for basketball, I have no qualms there, but he’s just missing something. Shucks, Lebron isn’t even the best player in this era, because Steph exists.

Hope you (and Torch) feel better and Merry Santa Day/Adam Sandler week 🙂

getstoneyII (probably)
getstoneyII (probably)
3 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

Fair enough, I totally get that angle. I guess I’ll never have respect for LBJ because of how he did the fans of Cleveland so dirty with the whole “The Decision” event. That was so selfish and disrespectful on so many levels. In any case, Dumars is my all-time favorite player regardless.

Fun Pistons factoid: Mason (Piston’s PA announcer) used to come into my bar, Karras Bros. in Rivertown. When the Pistons got Chauncey, Mason and I were shooting the breeze, and he asked me how I’d announce his name. On the fly, I came up with the “B-B-B-Billups!” intro and he smiled and told me that was going to be it. It still makes me smile when I hear my little contribution to the Goin’ To Work era team. 🙂

(In Paul Harvey’s voice): And that…is the rest of the story.

Last edited 3 months ago by getstoneyII (probably)
H4llelujah
H4llelujah
3 months ago

You know, we all go through these stages in our life, where what we like, what we value, and what we are willing to spend money on and consider “Cheap” changes like the weather.

I used to believe first that YJ’s were janky and dated looking.

I used to believe a stock Jeep was sacriledge.

I used to believe white was the worst color for a Wrangler.

I used to believe anything over 3000 bucks for a YJ was insane.

I used to believe the best “paint protection” was a couple cans of matte clear coat.

Thanks for helping me to grow.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Well I’m glad you have grown out of the sad misguided idea that stock jeeps are not ok. You and I can now help more people grow to a greater understanding.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  H4llelujah

Soon you’ll realize being able to depend on a car starting and arriving when you need it to, while keeping you dry and between 66-72 degrees and your fingers free of grease, is not only possible but desirable.

Jason
Jason
3 months ago

So what is the expected life on this ppf? The fleet I work in, just removed hood ppf from our white Camry’s after 4-5 years of full, Florida sun exposure. They all had green algae & mildew and were yellowing/bubbling.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

How much do they charge for fur-protection on feral cats?

Brent Ozar
Brent Ozar
3 months ago

How much do to these magic beans typically cost though?

The PPF film & installation would raise the cost of that Jeep by 50-100%.

(Source: have PPF’d or wrapped all my cars.)

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago

“and this matters to me, a certified Cheap Bastard”

Well of course, value should always matter. How much do to these magic beans typically cost though? Do I need to sell both kidneys or can I just brown bag my lunch for a while instead of splurging on Taco Bell?

How long can I expect the treatment to last if I neglect my car’s paint like it was a rental? How well does this “self heal” against car wash brushes, kicked up rocks, tree branches, vengeful spurned lovers, SoCal summer sun, bird bombings, the neighbor’s cat etc?

“Anyway, I’m excited to eventually put XPEL to the test by beating the everliving bejesus out of this Jeep.”

Looking forward to the results.

Doctor Nine
Doctor Nine
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

It’s not rated for vengeful spurned lovers. Umm… According to friends. Yeah. So.

Sensual Bugling Elk
Sensual Bugling Elk
3 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

It’s hard to protect the clear coat if someone really digs their key into it. Much less the interior if they carve their name into the leather seats. And forget about protecting the tires; you’re getting holes slashed in all four of those.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago

Nice reference there.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Doctor Nine

Depends how much Kevlar they put in that wrap.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
3 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

LOL at Taco Bell being a splurge.

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

It’s a splurge compared to shower spaghetti.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
3 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

“LOL at Taco Bell being a splurge”

Its how my co worker once described the phat lifestyle that her company’s stock options might afford by her friendly venture capitalist buddy.

Rust Buckets
Rust Buckets
3 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

Look at exactly who you are responding to. As another Cheap Bastard, I also consider $5-10 per person a splurge.

The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
The F--kshambolic Cretinoid Harvey Park
3 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

It’s a splurge because of the $8 worth of imodium you need to pick up on the way home

Dead Elvis, Inc.
Dead Elvis, Inc.
3 months ago

“Splurge” seems like fairly accurate onomatopoeia for the noises one might emit after visiting Taco Bell.

The Dude
The Dude
3 months ago

Wow, that looks amazing! I’m seriously considering this on my car, and my wife just might be on board if it means I spend less time detailing my car 🙂

I do have a spot showing oxidation, though it cleans up well and barely noticeable after some polish and wax. I guess that might be my main concern if I were to wrap my car.

Last edited 3 months ago by The Dude
Hondaimpbmw 12
Hondaimpbmw 12
3 months ago

Wow! DT driving around in a shiny, rust free vehicle. He HAS gone all Hollywood on us.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago
Reply to  Hondaimpbmw 12

Something something love is a many-splendored thing.

each to their own, I reckon, but that sonic bath was certainly blindsiding coming from a shower-spaghetti-eating, dishwasher-degreasing DT

Drive By Commenter
Drive By Commenter
3 months ago
Reply to  TOSSABL

Getting out of a perennially cloudy locale to a perennially sunny one and some constant companionship that’s not solely metallic has wrought quite the change.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
3 months ago

Way true.
And, while my comment now sounds a bit negative to me, I didn’t mean it that way at all: if he’s happy, that’s all that matters!

Jeff Grimmett
Jeff Grimmett
3 months ago

329 likes is great, but how many offered actual cashey monies? Asking for a friend.

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