So you saw this badass paint job that makes this Jeep look like a rock? Or maybe you saw one that looks like it spends its days searching the wild for barbarian women to ravage? It is most likely a Kevlar paint job (“paint” used loosely) or maybe a rubbery spray job from Line-X or something similar. What is all the rage about the Kevlar paint Jeep situation?
A Kevlar paint Jeep match is all the rage right now. It looks friggin’ awesome and it can provide a lot of protection if you do go off roading a lot.
But it does not mean it comes without drawbacks as well. If you are thinking of slapping a Kevlar covering on your ride there are some things to think about before. This is a big commitment and it will be front and center for the entire life of your truck.
That being sad that may be the best thing about it. Luckily I have researched and read everything I can about the damned subject so you can rest assure that after reading the following you will be able to decide once and for all whether doing this is best. So let’s begin with the basics:
What Is Kevlar Paint Exactly?
Kevlar is most commonly known as a bullet stopping material in bulletproof vests. Many products add bits of Kevlar and use it as a marketing ploy to claim their product is bad ass.
(Skip ahead if you don’t want to read the nerdy bits)
Commercially known as Kevlar, Poly-paraphenylene terephthalamide is a synthetic polymer that was discovered, like many great things, on accident and further developed at Dupont in the 60’s while looking for a fiber to reinforce tires.
It was an ugly waste product that caught the eye of a tech. when tested in a liquid state it was stronger than nylon. Further development found they could match the weight as steel and make it 5 times stronger and 8 times stronger than steel wire. Think of wearing steel body armor from the medieval ages thats 5x as thick but weighs the same. Damn.
Add phenylene-diamine and terephthaloyl chloride to get Kevlar and hydrochloric acid. Interconnected molecular hydrogen bonds give Kevlar its strength. It is stable in any natural temperature.
Kevlar, found on accident at Dupont, is lighter and stronger than steel.
It is a synthetic fiber that resemble cotton candy. Kevlar is used in a wide variety of applications including body armor, instruments, sports equipment, rope, airplanes etc. It works great in all temperatures. There are certain grades of Kevlar increasing in quality of strength or weight for example the lowest quality Kevlar K-29 is used for cars while Kevlar KM2 is used for military armor.
Kevlar Paint Pros And Cons
Kevlar is an amazing thing. But is Kevlar Paint for Jeep Wranglers ideal? Answer: It depends. Depends? Lame answer. But let’s look at the Kevlar paint pros and cons to see which you find important and which you couldn’t two shittes about:
Kevlar Paint Versus Other Coatings
Kevlar is a goopy, rough and tumble coating that is great for certain applications. But how does it compare to say, a truck bed liner like Line-X Body Armor? Or maybe a temporary vinyl wrap? We know the pros and cons of Kevlar. But what are the pros and cons of other wraps? Mainly, how do they compare to Kevlar? And what are the biggest deciding factors?
Looks-wise each finish is similar in appearance. Textures, thickness, and weight all have negligible differences. Color options may be limited with a Line-X Body Armor finish while color options are boundless with Kevlar and with a wrap only your imagination is you limit with color, pattern, logo, ads etc.
Kevlar and Line-X coatings are permanent. That means you will have to spend thousands of hours and/or dollars on prepping the body if you want to change the finish. Want to go back to the original paint job? Just saw a flashy purple candy glitter finish at SEMA last year? Too bad. You are screwed with this type of finish. On the other hand a wrap can be removed ay any time. It will give you pretty much the finish you had when you wrapped the car.
Looking for longevity and durability more than looks and flexibility? A Line-X type finish will give you that. It can last the longest, require the least amount of upkeep, and protect your car the best. Kevlar will protect better than Line-X but only for so long. UV ray from the sun will slowly turn it into doo doo. A wrap is basically auto plastic wrap reach your own conclusions with protection.
Each has their own advantages and things that will make your head hurt. Choose which is best for you and go from there. We live in the real world. Not the perfect one.
What Does It Cost?
On average costs are as follows from a professional body shop:
FULL BODY WRAP: $2,500-8,500
DIY options for each are:
KEVLAR: Bed liner kits are available with Kevlar bits included. They are not the same as a full Kevlar coating.
LINE-X: Starting at $200
FULL BODY WRAP: $2,500-8,500 (plus the price of the kit you bought and tried to do yourself but failed to put on decently before shelling out the cost at a pro shop)
DIY Kevlar Paint Job or Pay A Paint Shop?
The thing I hate the most about any DIY Kevlar paint Jeep project is that the person you have to blame is the person I love the most in this world. And that hurts when I finish a project.
If you are going for a Kevlar coating you are going to want to take it to a shop. There are rattle cans and bed liners that “are” Kevlar paint. But they are not the same. The options for DIY Kevlar paint Jeep coating are the same as the options to buy a baby panda. Unless you know someone important you are SOL.
Is Kevlar Paint Hail Proof?
Kevlar will off you the best protection money can buy. If an object hits your car with enough force to put a dent in it Kevlar will not do as much as you think to stop it. Kevlar will add a lot of protection. But if you hit a tree the car will dent. There won’t be a scratch on it. But you can bet the fender will have a nice tree shaped dent on it.
The finish will look brand new though. If you think Kevlar will make your car bounce off walls without a dent or scratch you are thinking of Adamantium (ask Wolverine).
It will protect against cunts keying your ride, golf ball-sized hail, and things along those lines. When the careless soccer mom steps down from her husbands F-350 and accidentally hits your door, fear not, it won’t make a difference.
For a certain amount of time Kevlar will over you the best protection money can buy. But it won’t last. Depending on how much sun it gets, its tan will fade quickly. It can go from scratch resistant to shedding yeti in a season. Ok many it is not so dramatic but you get the idea.
Is Kevlar More Hype Than Hope?
Kevlar has a certain appeal. The look and short term protection are hard to beat. Kevlar can be an ideal finish if you have a race car, 3rd, or 4th garaged truck for most of the year. It is common at truck conventions. Owners do not have to worry about minor scratches, it looks bad ass, and its a conversation starter.
For the guy that wants to improve the look of his weekend warrior sled for years to come, a Kevlar coating is not the smartest bet. After a few seasons the finish will wear away to a useless and ugly burden nobody wants to deal with. Replacing it in this condition is costly and requires a lot of man hours. You are going to have to take your truck to a shop to get it done and you will have to shell out the same if not more money as other finishes available. Maybe a Linex body armor cost is more your style. So a Jeep Kevlar paint job (or any if you really choose so) is up to you. But we have discussed what you can expect if you go this route.
Kevlar looks cool and protects in the short term. But are looks enough? For some, yes.
Is Kevlar Paint for Jeep Wranglers worth it?
No, it is not.
There are other cheaper and longer lasting options that offer the same finish. It is a hard pass for Mud Flap.
Thanks for reading and stay dirty.