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Old 01-01-2018, 06:29 PM   #26
VR4ownzU
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZacT View Post
Sure thing! Another note, if you are truly going right from the dealer to your detail there are two things that can make the process of coating the car worlds easier. Ask your dealer not to wash the car, and even better, ask them not to unwrap it (if it is coming directly off the boat).

The dealer wash is pretty much never a good thing, swirl heaven. If they swirl the car up that basically guarantees that a buffer will have to touch every inch of your paint before you coat it. Which is a time sink, and will cost you (either your time, or money to your detailer).

Even a new car off the boat will likely need a bit of paint correction but that type of correction can be spot based in many cases. Keeping as much of the paint under that plastic as you can will benefit you.

Have fun with the new WRX!

~Zac
I had a customer order a White 17 WRX and he didn't want us to peel the plastic off or wash it for this very reason. He was going to take it right to another shop to have it clear bra and CQuartz it himself after that was done. I didn't get a chance to see it up close but I saw it far away and it was super shiny! I want to do it to my 9-2x Aero but I'm not really sure how to start. A shop that seems pretty dang awesome at it wants an arm and a leg. Is polishing a must for a car that sits in a garage and never gets driven? It is a dark silver and has no swirl marks.
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Old 01-04-2018, 08:37 AM   #27
ZacT
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Member#: 451920
Join Date: Aug 2016
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2017 WRX Limited
World Rally Blue

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Originally Posted by VR4ownzU View Post
I had a customer order a White 17 WRX and he didn't want us to peel the plastic off or wash it for this very reason. He was going to take it right to another shop to have it clear bra and CQuartz it himself after that was done. I didn't get a chance to see it up close but I saw it far away and it was super shiny! I want to do it to my 9-2x Aero but I'm not really sure how to start. A shop that seems pretty dang awesome at it wants an arm and a leg. Is polishing a must for a car that sits in a garage and never gets driven? It is a dark silver and has no swirl marks.
My understanding of the polishing step is that it is a "requirement" only because you are "locking in" what you have with the ceramic coating. If the car is in a condition you like then there is no need.

That said, if it sits always and is never driven, you may want to look at wax over ceramic coating. The ceramic coatings look good, but the really awesome shines come from nice waxes. I daily this car so I was willing to give up some shine for the super-hydrophobic coating that would stay clean and everything. You may not have as much to gain from that... wax is also easier to undo if you decided you want to do something different later.

~Zac
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Old 01-04-2018, 11:14 AM   #28
Billboard2001
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VR4ownzU View Post
I had a customer order a White 17 WRX and he didn't want us to peel the plastic off or wash it for this very reason. He was going to take it right to another shop to have it clear bra and CQuartz it himself after that was done. I didn't get a chance to see it up close but I saw it far away and it was super shiny! I want to do it to my 9-2x Aero but I'm not really sure how to start. A shop that seems pretty dang awesome at it wants an arm and a leg. Is polishing a must for a car that sits in a garage and never gets driven? It is a dark silver and has no swirl marks.
All professional detailers (that are worth anything) will always polish at a minimum before coating a car. Coating a car makes the car condition permanent (until next polishing) so most of them won't want to associate their name with poor looking work. If the car sits often and the paint is in great condition, you may be able to negotiate a lower price based on less work that the detailer will have to do to get the car looking great before the coating.

As a side note, ZacT, where do you host your images?
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:09 PM   #29
dsn112
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If i get a car that is as perfect as described above, none of them are by the way, I do a quick once over with something like carpro essence on a finishing pad. Its a very light polish and its a perfect prep product to put down prior to coating. Not only are cars almost never as perfect as people tell you, they also typically have some protection left over no matter how much "strip wash" or IPA they used.
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Old 04-12-2018, 06:50 AM   #30
gandapanda
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Very detailed and informative post. Thanks for sharing and your WRX looks great!

S
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Old 05-08-2018, 09:17 PM   #31
2018wrx_newbie
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So I finally decided to do the ceramic coating this past weekend, in large part thanks to the inspiration by ZacT. My wife and 17-month old son were at her parent’s place so had the whole weekend to myself to tackle this project. I have never done any detailing work on my car before, save for the occasional interior vacuuming and leather seat wipe down (I know – it is a stretch to call that detailing -J). Here are the steps I followed, starting with the products I used.

Wash mitt - $6
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

This came with a 1 PC Chamois Cloth, that I was not sure what to do with it but later found it to be pretty useful for interior cleaning.

CarPro cQuartz UK Edition 50 ml. Large Car Sealant Kit + Reload - $81
https://www.ebay.com/itm/CarPro-cQua...72.m2749.l2649

Simoniz 0.8 Ounces Blue Detailing Clay Bar - $9
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b...lay+Bar+&pos=0

Viking 5 Inch Microfiber Applicator Pad 6 Pack- $5
https://www.oreillyauto.com/detail/b...ator+Pad&pos=0

Meguiar's G19216 Ultimate Polish - 16 oz. - $8
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Meguiar-s...16-oz/16550273

Meguiar's Wheel and Tire Cleaner - $10
https://www.autozone.com/wash-cleane...ner/819012_0_0

Multi-purpose microfiber towels - pack of 4 - $3
https://www.walmart.com/ip/Auto-Driv...-Pack/44457274

Iso Propyl Alcohol - $2 at your local grocery store. I picked one up from my wife’s makeup drawer. Apparently ladies use it for something.

After doing a lot of research on forums, my plan of attack was as below.

1. 2 bucket car wash + drying
2. Claying
3. IPA wipe down
4. Polish
5. IPA wipe down
6. Cquartz

I had to improvise a bit along the way. I was not planning on an iron-decontamination process. But eventually decided to do it after noticing some brown spots that did not go away after the washing or claying steps, and thus suspecting these might be rust spots . So after step 3 above, I decided do an iron decontamination and the final version looked like the below.

1. 2 bucket car wash + drying (45 mts) – My car was pretty dirty since it had been washed only once since I bought in mid Jan. I used regular dish soap, since it helps remove any wax or surface coatings.

2. Claying – (30-45 mts) - Used soapy water to lubricate the surface and then apply the clay. I would not recommend the clay I purchased. It felt very hard and not easy to use. Perhaps all automotive clay is like this. I don’t have anything to compare to since I have never clayed before, but I do wish it was a bit softer.

3. IPA wipe down (25 mts) – I used a more concentrated version than is typically recommended (most forums recommend 50/50) – 70/30 IPA/water mix in a spray bottle. Spray it on and wipe with microfiber towel. Note: If I had to do it all over again, I would skip this step, since you have to do this again after iron decontamination.

4. Iron decontamination using the Meguir’s product above (10 mts) – As mentioned before, there were some very tiny brown spots. So I decided to do this step thinking it might be rust spots. Note that most forums recommend Carpro Iron-X for this step. Since this is not available in stores and only online, and I did not want to hold off on this project half way, I looked for alternatives. A guy on Youtube recommended the Meguiar's Wheel and Tire Cleaner as an alternative. Basically, his argument is that the active ingredient in this or Iron-x is the same and so it works the same way. I went to the local Autozone and picked one up. This product works exactly like Iron-X (assuming you have as much faith in Youtube as I do -J). The price is also much lower than Iron-X. Back to the brown spots, this step did not help remove it. I even tried rubbing this into a couple of these spots but that didn’t help either. I concluded that these spots were something else. More on this towards the end of this post. Anyway, I am still glad I did the iron decontamination since it is a very easy process and helped remove a lot of ferrous deposits invisible to the naked eye.

5. Rinse + Dry (25 mts)

6. IPA wipe down (25 mts)

7. Polish (1 hr) – I used the microfiber pad to polish by hand, section by section. The polish definitely gives it a shine and I would strongly recommend not skipping this step. I am a newbie to all this, and my polishing step left too many swirl marks and streaks all across the car.

8. IPA wipe down (25 mts) – This is an absolute must-do step in my opinion. After waiting about an hour or so post polishing, I did the IPA wipe-down to remove any leftover chemicals. To my pleasant surprise, this step also removed all the swirl marks and streaks left behind by my less-than-stellar polishing process. Maybe the stronger IPA concertation helped here. The surface was now super smooth.

9. Cquartz coat 1 (1 hour) - I suggest doing it on very small sections in the beginning to get a good feel for it. Instructions are on the bottle so I wont get it into it further. Doing it in small sections for the first few times will definitely help in getting the hang of it and not messing things up. I felt the 5 suede applicator towels were barely enough (manageable though). This thing starts to harden up fairly easily after a few uses, and you need to switch to a new one frequently. I was planning on doing a second CQuartz application, so was concerned about how I would manage without extra towels. Thankfully, I remembered ZacT’s tip about putting the used ones in a bucket of water to prevent it from being stiff and that’s exactly what I did once it was no longer usable.

10. Cquartz coat 2 (1 hour) - After the first coat, my plan was to apply the second coat in around 45 mts – 1 hour. I used this time to quickly hand-wash the suede applicator towels and the larger wipe-off towel with laundry detergent and throw it in the dryer to use for the second coat. These were perfectly usable after the wash/dry. Note that a second Cqaurtz coat is not necessary, some people just use the Reload after the first coat. The 50 ml bottle I had was perfect for two coats (I was a bit generous in my application, I have read and agree that about 15 ml is good for one coat if you are careful). I did not plan on using this for any other car, so thought what the heck might as well put on two coats and save the Reload for an application 3-6 months down.

The car looked great at this point. Left it in the garage from Sunday afternoon till Tuesday morning to cure, at which point I drove it to work and left it in the middle of the parking lot (away from the trees so nothing falls on it) in the sun all day. Just left it to bake and continue to cure. After coming home, I poured some water over the hood to test and I must say the hydrophobic property was amazing! It just beaded off and was very easy to wipe off.

For the interior, I used the below.

Chemical Guys TVD_109_16 Silk Shine Sprayable Dressing (16 oz) - $9
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I hate that the dashboard and associated plastic trims fade after a couple of years of UV exposure. This product is awesome. Just clean the dashboard with a damp towel (I used the chamois that came with the mitt, this was already damp) and let it dry for a couple of minutes. Then used a microfiber pad to apply this product on. I used it pretty much wherever there was plastic including on the inside door trims, and on the leather covering the combination meter. Also on the plastic trim right below the inside of the rear window since that also gets exposed to the sun a fair amount. It looked nice and glossy, and was very easy to use and is fairly dry to the touch. Took maybe 15 mts of my time. I also used it on the tires, and this left it looking pretty clean and black.

I did steps 1-8 above and the interior on Saturday and was pretty exhausted by the end of the day. Steps 9-10 were done Sunday, and that was a breeze compared to the previous day. My legs and hands were aching pretty bad with all the bending and application. I am 37 yrs old, and haven’t been physically active much lately so should say I was pretty much beat up by late afternoon Sunday. The entire process may be a lot easier for most folks on this forum who are probably a lot younger.

If I can do it, so can you. If anyone is on the fence on this DIY project, just jump in. I would also recommend giving the car a good wash a week or few days before, so it’s easier when you tackle the full project. You will still have to wash again on the day you tackle the project, but it will be a lot easier to do so for a relatively clean car than the way I had it where the car hadn’t seen a wash in a while. Plus, if you encounter brown spots or anything similar like I did, it will give you more time to research it and get it fixed.

One side note on the previously mentioned brown spots ( actually, more like specks than spots) – These were about a few in number across various areas, and the size of a dot made by a ball point pen (like when you dot an i). For the life of me, I could not figure out what it was. Certainly not rust spots, and not stuck-on mud/sand/sap as neither iron decontamination nor claying removed these spots. Spent some time on the forums and Google and could not reach anything conclusive. I eventually decided to ignore it – it was now or never as far as the ceramic coating process was concerned. Once my wife and kid are back, there is no way I can find time for this project. Plus, the specks were extremely small in size and thankfully in the not-so-conspicuous areas such as plastic trims at the bottom of doors, or on the rear bumper edges. Not really visible unless you look very closely. Sadly, these are now pretty much sealed in with the coating and it does not help that my car’s color is white (wouldn’t notice it at all had it been a darker color). Some pictures are also attached, with the last one showing a couple of these specks (right below red highlight arrows). Love to hear if anyone has any comments/thoughts on this.

Not super happy about the spots, but overall the car looks a lot better than before and this is probably about as good as it gets as far as I am concerned (I like a clean shiny car, but not too OCD about it). Yes, sacrilege to some on these forums -J but I decided to compromise and suck it up.

Ended the day Sunday with a well-needed swedish massage followed by a couple of drinks of scotch whisky. Along with the sense of achievement, the massage and the scotch never felt better!

If anyone has any questions, feel free to shoot. I am by no means an expert, but happy to help where I can. Happy coating!








Last edited by 2018wrx_newbie; 05-11-2018 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Edit - Adding pics
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Old 05-11-2018, 10:22 AM   #32
cknowlen
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Pics don't work
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Old 05-11-2018, 02:06 PM   #33
2018wrx_newbie
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2018 WRX Limited
CWP

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Originally Posted by cknowlen View Post
Pics don't work
Strange, I was able to see the pics when logged in but could not see it either when i opened in a different browser. Not sure what happened there, but i reposed the pics and it should be working fine now.
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Old 05-20-2018, 09:22 PM   #34
cknowlen
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Join Date: Sep 2008
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Location: Connecticut
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2011 STI limited
WRB

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Originally Posted by 2018wrx_newbie View Post
Strange, I was able to see the pics when logged in but could not see it either when i opened in a different browser. Not sure what happened there, but i reposed the pics and it should be working fine now.
Edit: I see the pics now! And it was worth the wait, absolutely gorgeous. I coated my WRB STi with Optimum gloss coat, and have some minor swirls from poor washing practices over the winter. I will be using carpro Essence+ to remove those, and will be adding a coating of Carpro Gliss on top.

Last edited by cknowlen; 05-23-2018 at 11:58 AM.
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