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Heheheh, My 2009 Laguna Coupé Already A Classic Here!!

Discussion in '9, 11, 25, Fuego and Laguna' started by LowiePete, Mar 16, 2014.

Discuss Heheheh, My 2009 Laguna Coupé Already A Classic Here!! in the 9, 11, 25, Fuego and Laguna area at TurboRenault.co.uk.

  1. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Although written by a disabled guy with limited motor function, the copied content
    of this thread has developed into a "detailing made easy" resource, so you don't
    _have_ to be disabled to get some benefit from it. With limited motor function,
    looking for products that suit a partly physically disabled person who pursues
    this as a hobby has been quite a high priority.

    Introduction
    I started this thread nearly 5 years ago on Detailing World to not only share my
    limited experience with modern products, but to try and bring together ideas from
    others who suffer with similar problems. It's not all bad news. One small compensation
    for me is that I have heightened senses for judging drag on a wiping cloth.

    Despite my limitations, I'm aiming to show that we can probably give you
    "butcher's dog" guys a run for your money ;) This is my car, less than a
    fortnight after taking delivery...

    [​IMG]
    Of course, I was encouraged to start detailing it...

    Detailing... hmmmm.
    On my previous car I used Greased Lightning's Showroom Shine - starting the
    process off with a washed car. The car was metallic British Racing Green (on
    a Renault!) and I was nothing short of amazed at how well it brought it up.
    After 2 applications the car stayed remarkably weather-proof. By the time I
    traded it in, the finish was extremely good, especially for 7 year old paint
    resident in a sea-side town.

    I've read the various threads on this topic and all I'll say at this point is to
    follow the directions, especially the bit giving time for the product to do its
    work. The "wash" part contains surfactants that will lift the dirt into suspension,
    so the spreading needs to be by good quality micro-fibre cloth, slightly damped
    to start with. However, 6 and 7 year old paint is quite different to brand new,
    and there's lovely leather to look after too - hence my arrival here.

    As a disabled guy I especially liked not having to lug heavy buckets of suds
    about the place along with almost inevitable spills. I'm not too steady on my
    feet, so this is a major factor for me.

    2 Weeks Later
    Having had a couple of long trips away, the car had received several cleans
    with Showroom Shine. However, it was also time to get serious. This shows
    the car with a Collinite coating. The wheels may look clean, but I wasn't that
    impressed in the flesh as it were. They seemed to lack any sparkle which
    won't show in the photos.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The finish is nice and shiny, but my personal preference is for a "warmer" depth.
    IMO, the colour of this car doesn't suit the Collinite. However that purchase
    hasn't been wasted. It's fantastic on wood! My grand-father clock has probably
    never looked so good in all its 300 year history!

    One fantastic product is Opti Seal, wipe on, walk away. However, what it
    did was highlight the "cooler" shine even more.

    Update - 05 June 2009

    I think I've finally settled on a polish that suits this car's colour. I bought some
    FK1000P to do the wheels, and having read that it seems to give a "warmer"
    shine on lighter cars, I decided to give it a try. Tested on one panel, could
    see there was a satisfying difference, so I went the whole hog. Only one coat
    so far, second coat later next week perhaps, weather permitting. Wheels have
    had 2 coats and I like the results.

    Three late evening pictures of current progress...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Update - 14 June 2009
    Sunday 14th June saw me travelling up to the East Midlands meet at Lowdham.
    T'was good to finally meet some like-minds, I don't feel quite so alone now :)

    At the meet I was able to show a few guys how I apply the Greased Lightning's
    Showroom Shine. Afterward, I applied a second coat of FK1000p to the boot lid,
    left it the recommended 20 minutes in the hot sun, and Wow..!!

    Back home today and I've begun on the rest of the car and some progress
    pics are below...
    [​IMG]
    Note that I had cleaned the wheels on the side shown to test the effects of
    hotter brake dust on clean wheels. There wasn't any. The 2 coats of FK have
    done their work. I've yet to clean them in these pics!

    [​IMG]
    If you look closely, you'll see the quarter portion I brushed clean at the meet
    to show Ed how quick and easy it was. Note that the rear valance has yet
    to have its 2nd coat.

    [​IMG]
    This shot shows how much warmer the shine is and IMO how much better the
    FK suits the colour of this car.

    Update - 17 June 2009
    One other product that I've recently tested is ONR and you can read my review
    of it where I tackled what is usually seen as a dreaded job..

    Living in the East of England, with the weather predominantly driven from the
    West, means that dew and light showers will always leave a film of dirt on the
    car, including very fine sand. After 3 damp nights it'll form a crust baked hard
    by the sun. This has always been the time to take the most care - talk about
    swirls alert! So, instead of the Showroom Shine, I'm going to try using ONR for
    this task. I'll probably spray it in quite a concentrated dilution and use an MF
    cloth dampened with ONR to wipe off. Should be much cheaper as I'll only be
    doing the horizontal surfaces as a QD. Will report further on this.

    Summary of Progress So Far
    Products used...

    Greased Lightning's Showroom Shine, though some of the tasks I've previously
    used this for will probably be displaced by ONR, see above.

    ONR - still under test here, but so far, I'm very impressed with the work it does.

    FK1000p - Easy to apply, and easy to wipe off. Beware over-application as
    the surplus isn't so easy to buff off.

    Opti Seal - fabulously easy to apply and fantastic results. However, I now have
    a question. Is it a good idea to apply it over the FK1000p, or not?

    ClearKote - another easy to use product for the black plastic and tyre walls.

    Stoner Invisible Glass - fantastic performance from this product. I now clean
    the screen with a water dampened MF and buff off. Bug debris and bird muck
    present little resistance. Although the screen is very areo-dynamic, I'm amazed
    how little work the wipers need to do at speeds over 40mph or so. The beads
    just fly up and away.

    I'm partly through applying the second coat of FK1000p and will probably post
    completion pics later this week. Hopefully, from now until October, it'll just be
    soft maintenance before thinking about winter protection.

    19 June 2009
    Here they are...

    The white spots on the drivers door and glass are reflections from the
    shiny leaves of a tree behind the car.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    For my next post copies, I'm going to jump forward a couple or three years to show
    a range of newer products and how they make life so much easier than hitherto.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2014
    Paul B likes this.
  2. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    An Experiment With Spit'n'Polish

    Hello Folks,

    It's been one of those days, too sticky to stay indoors and rain threatening
    at any time outside. However, the cloud cover did give me some ideal waxing
    weather. Having been reminded of a boot-polishing routine on here, I thought
    I'd try and adapt the spit 'n polish that I used to do on my shoes, just to get
    past a far too perceptive Chief Steward at 7am each morning.

    So why would I want to do this? Well, there's not only the shine, but the
    sheer satisfaction of achieving it. Also, if you look after it, it'll last and last.
    Obviously, I'm gonna put a bit of a modern twist on this, but essentially this
    method of applying wax is time-honoured.

    One of the things to consider is the carnauba wax being used for this. A lot
    of the modern waxes contain new fangled things like solvents and polymers
    which in all probability would interfere with this process, so I've used a good
    old-fashioned wax. Harlys Wax was the weapon of choice, but a good old
    tin of Simoniz Original would probably do just as well.

    The Process
    Basically, spit 'n polish requires just a cloth, a wax and some spit. What it
    also needs is a lot of patience and when applied to shoes, some strength
    in your fore-finger. You dip into the polish just once and apply it raw,
    working it well into the surface, then leaving it to haze. The next part is
    known as "bulling".

    You apply a dollop of spit, which revives the working area, and using the
    same polishing cloth, with no extra polish, just continue to work the surface
    until either you get the shine you desire, or you repeat the spit refreshment,
    only stopping when you get to that point.

    Translated for the Car's Paint
    Using a largish foam pad, run it round the carnauba wax tin and immediately
    spritz that with liquid. I used Meguiars Ultimate Quik Detailer, about 6 squirts.
    Lightly apply to a small area, initially in a circular motion, then alternate twixt
    straight lines in opposite directions for about 2 minutes. At no time do you do
    any rubbing! This first coating is just to ensure that you don't miss a bit.

    Having made sure that you have given the area a complete coating, stand
    back for about a minute to allow it to haze. Then directly spritz the area
    with the QD. Without reloading your pad with wax, just continue working the
    surface. This is the bulling stage.

    Your wiping motions should be very light and fairly brisk, just continuing the
    wiping patterns from where you left off from the first wipe. Eventually, after
    say 4 or maybe 5 minutes, you'll notice that you'll achieve a shine that needs
    very little buffing indeed. Now, you could at this point give the paint another
    spritz. However, to get back to this state may take a further 6 to 8 minutes.
    In other words, each spritz will elongate the bulling period. Still no extra wax
    is required.

    It's your choice, if you have the patience, then go ahead with the 2nd spritz.
    Either way, buff off the paint once you get to that shiny state where if you
    continue, the surface will be too dry. It's difficult to describe, but you'll
    recognise it soon enough. The buffing will reveal a slickness that will probably
    surprise you, especially with a carnauba wax.

    You might think, why would a guy with gammy hands advocate such an
    involved way of applying wax? Well, what you will have done, with just one
    dab at the wax and just one very easy buff-off, will be the equivalent of
    applying several layers of wax. As long as you work it properly, getting it to
    the stage I've described, always working as gently as you like, there'll not be
    any satisfaction like it - guaranteed!

    Often, especially with modern waxes, you need to allow a good enough curing
    time in which to layer wax. There's actually a real risk of the solvents just
    removing the first layer. Either that, or you get to a point where buffing is
    almost impossible because the layer is too thick and too soft. Using this
    method obviates all of that.

    The finish you get will make it look like you've used a special wax, rather than
    a plain and cheap carnauba, like the Harlys is. It's probable that the slicker
    surface will repel dirt better and be very much easier to clean - I'll report
    back on this. All in all, I'm thrilled with how this experiment has gone thus far.

    With little or no sunshine, the photo quality doesn't do the process justice.
    I have a feeling it'll look much better by tomorrow anyway.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  3. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Some Questions Answered
    OK, now this might be a bit long-winded - but I'll give it a go. It would probably
    be much easier with diagrams, but in the absence...

    So, let's start with a visualised area, half of a bonnet side or a quarter of a
    roof. You start with circular motions from top left to top right and step down
    to work back to the left and across again until the whole area is covered.
    Now you go straight up, and back down, in straight lines like a mowing action,
    then across and back.

    Once you've covered the whole area and you haven't missed anywhere, at
    any one point there will be wax bonding taking place. As you come to pass
    over it after the first spritz, the water will prevent the immediate bonding of
    new layers with those existing, simply carrying the wax in suspension over it.

    However, at no point is this process even. You don't have any control over
    the amount of water between the wax layers, so some of the original layer
    could indeed be temporarily compromised, only to be filled with new wax.
    Another factor in this is the wildly varying amount of pressure that you are
    bound to apply. In some areas you are bound to squeeze out the water,
    but this could be over set wax anyway. A second layer will be applied.

    Over the area as a whole, bearing in mind that you could be working it for
    anything up to 10 minutes means that you'll have countless and very
    random overlaps between the layers. In my minds eye, interleaving is
    probably the closest description I could get to what's on the paint. I hope
    that makes sense.

    The best way for me to check on how swirled my paintwork is, is to go out
    at dead of night and check the reflections from the street lamp opposite.
    The previous time that I did this led me to believe that it might soon be
    a good idea to get someone to do a quick machine refinement. Last night,
    I was pretty pleased at what I saw. The machine can be delayed a while yet.
    Oh my goodness, would it! ...and would that I had the skill to do it too!

    I've just been out to the car, the cloudiness is being a pain. What I'm seeing
    is a surface very much akin to that of a wax twice the price, i.e. the CG 50/50
    Please ignore the dirty wheels, may tackle them later today...

    [​IMG]

    From my point of view I'm doing this for both looks and protection. The
    idea being to get the surface as hydrophobic as I can get it, _and_ still have
    a "warm" finish. I'm not a fan of the cold hard look, especially as the flake
    pop is silver. As far as durability goes, to a great extent, that's academic.
    However, it should make maintenance easier. The slickness of the surface
    tells me that instantly.

    IMO, debating on just how many layers there actually are, should probably
    be seen as something akin to navel-contemplation. (no disrespect Dave!)
    I find that layering wax is quite difficult, especially as with some waxes the
    solvents may be interfering anyway. So I see this method as more of making
    best use of every dab of wax and just seeking the best shine from it. Both
    from the application and the results viewpoint, the process is very satisfying.

    The paint on the carbon fibre parts of the car both look and feel wet!

    I can't believe that it's 4 weeks ago since I tried the "spit & polish" technique.
    Here's how the car looked then...

    [​IMG]

    ...and here it is today.

    [​IMG]

    We had some prolonged rain here yesterday, the beading was simply amazing!
    Since the waxing the car has had a couple or three ONR wipedowns and a
    UQD treatment.

    Next Monday, the car goes in to have the brake calipers painted, so the
    wheels are going to get a thorough treatment...
    Wash - ironX - clay - pre-wax - FK1000p sealant and SV Autobahn waxed.
    All this in preparation for the World Series by Renault on 20th/21st and the
    Stamford Car Show over the Bank Holiday. Busy, busy...:buffer:

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  4. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Stamford Car Show 2011
    The 2011 Stamford Car Show was another fantastic day out with something
    like over 400 cars on display. Here's the Laguna...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This is the car treated to a coat of CG Black Light, on top of the previous
    Harlys Wax coating, which I'm kinda pleased with.

    The fly-pasts by the Vulcan & Wellington bombers were something pretty
    special too!

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  5. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    gTechniq P1 Polish Review

    Hello Folks,

    Well, it's that time of year again; of thinking about stripping back all the summer
    layers and preparing for winter. So, while I'm planning to do a write-up on my
    winter prep, something new has appeared in my armoury that's definitely worth
    a word or three. Having watched the video and read through several posts
    where it has featured, I thought I'd try gTechniq's P1 polish.

    Now of course there was no way I can or could use this by machine and if I'm
    going to be realistic about this, my limited motor function is also not going to
    help with hand application either. To date, all my pre-wax cleaners have been
    chemically based, the P1 would be the first true "polish" I'd have used. So, it
    was with some trepidation that I ordered a £25 bottle. More about that, later.

    My first trial with the P1 was on a Mercedes owned by the farmer's wife on
    the farm where I stay twice-yearly. This car is subject to no little abuse, not
    least all the Cumbrian rain. I did detail this car about 18 months ago, but
    someone "helpfully" removed all the protection by taking it to the farm's
    TFR laden power-wash facility. The first thing I noticed with this product
    was the audible indication of the paint's roughness.

    This audible smoothness indicator was going to be very useful later when I
    tackled the Mk1 Escort RS2000 under the covers. Now of course I'm not able
    to apply anything like the kind of pressure on the foam pad that most of you
    guys can. Compared to you, I'd probably only be tickling the surface. Would
    this be enough to have _any_ impact at all?

    Well, the first thing I did was to mask off an area of the boot lid on the Merc
    and then have a go. Getting the protective gloves on and off proved quite
    difficult in comparison to getting the sound of the pad crossing the paint
    down to the finest of whispers. However, the result wasn't as clear as that
    shown in the gTechniq video. Oh well, you can't win them all, so no pics.

    Does it Get Rid of Swirls?
    Of course, for any hand-applied polish, that's always going to be one of the
    hottest questions. The answer is not straight-forward. I don't want to say
    that it's an outright no, because there is no question that the paint is one
    whole lot smoother after treatment. Certainly, treating the area behind door
    handles gives a very satisfying result!

    Looking at my own car, use of P1 has by no means rendered the paintwork
    swirl-free. However, those that remain are much fewer than hitherto. Back
    in the winter of 2009 I have a feeling that I may have inadvertantly added
    some swirls by not being careful enough when salt was present. It's probably
    these that are still bugging me today and are only ever going to be removed
    by machine.

    Is P1 Good Value For Money?
    My initial response to this is No. £25 is no small amount to pay for something
    that is nothing more than a cream carrying a measured amount of abrasive
    material. OK, so it's nano, but I'm not convinced that it justifies this price.
    It desperately needs some competition to bring it down.

    Having said that, the results _could_ provide a very good argument for a
    complete justification of its price. So, once comparisons like that are made,
    the cost doesn't seem quite so painful. However, the greatest redeeming
    factor in this is its versatility. Yes, you did read correctly, there are a myriad
    ways to use this product. The clue to this came from someone saying use P1
    diluted 4:1 in response to a request for a paint-cleaner suggestion.

    With there being two application processes - i.e. using both smooth and
    smoother sides of the applicator pad, you'd think that it was going to use
    twice as much product when compared to a pre-wax cleaner. However,
    and this does depend upon you regularly examining the pad, it is possible to
    make this product stretch a good bit further than may be expected.

    How, by intermittent spritzes of ONR on either side the pad. As long as you
    check that there's no build-up of crud on the pad, it's quite feasible to do
    twice the area as this photo shows...

    [​IMG]

    So, the upshot is that you can either use it neat, or extend its use simply
    by a few sprays of ONR.

    The roof eventually came out looking like this...
    [​IMG]

    Does P1 Have any Downsides?
    Apart from taking care to protect your hands while applying there is one small
    niggle. It tends to find the tiniest cracks to dry white into, as seen in the
    chrome and rubber here. If, like me, you don't remove these before appyling
    your wax, it'll take the most finicky brush you can find to remove.

    [​IMG]

    Overall
    For paintwork preparation there is no doubt that this is the best product that
    I've used to date. Apart from the cost, I have no hesitation in recommending
    it. For use by hand you will need plenty of patience, but there's no doubt
    that you'll be rewarded for it.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  6. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    An Antidote to Meaningless Lists

    While I was pondering over the idea mentioned in a previous post it occurred
    to me that we regularly see "top 5" list requests, most of which end up in an
    incongruous morass of complication. Miraculously, another rather extensive
    one has just appeared. If _anyone_ actually gains knowledge from these posts,
    then I'd be very surprised indeed. Of course, I am aware of what is/could be
    called the "sheep mentality", but here's the antidote...

    Thinking this through, and because my armoury has now gathered a whole
    variety of products, I'm going to tackle this on a season by season basis. This
    gives me an opportunity to describe different approaches, often using or
    re-using the same product. This leads to a core of just a few products that
    are useful all year round.

    Optimum No Rinse / ONR
    Those of you familiar with my postings will know why I'd always place ONR at
    the top of any list. This product has been the revelation that has allowed me
    to continue to be a "detailer". I use it quite differently in winter than in other
    seasons, and I'll go into detail appropriately when writing these up.

    CG Hose-Free Eco Wash / HFE
    This is my favoured product for washing wheels all year round. If the car
    gets too dirty at other times, I'll happily use HFE as a pre-wash to ONR.
    Twice this year I've turned to HFE to help remove bizzare concrete dust
    coatings the car has received. Grrrrr...

    Megs Ultimate Quik Detailer / UQD
    For an off the shelf product I've been very surprised and quite delighted with
    the performance of this product. The nozzles on the latest bottles allow you
    to apply it in an extremely fine mist and the shine / beading / slickness of
    the surface after use is very satisfying. There is still a place for other QD
    products, but UQD is what I most often reach for now.

    Polishes, Pre-Wax Cleaners and Waxes
    As all of these products are now put away until the spring, in readiness for
    the "summer prep", I'll expand more on them when that part of the discussion
    is reached. All I will say is that unless you have the luxury of a heated and
    dehumidified work area, it's a nonsense to try and apply waxes or sealants
    until the spring. Now that we have the cold and damp weather, the time for
    applying these is long passed.

    It's not just a waste of time, effort and indeed product, you will be
    severely compromising the protection levels and longevity of that protection.
    In a nutshell, applying paste waxes or sealants at ambient temperatures of
    less than 60degF / 15degC is not in anyone's best interests. I'll agree that
    the finish will probably look fine, but I'd not count upon it lasting any while.

    Really, I'm not trying to be a spoil-sport by saying this. I'm fully aware of the
    therapeutic benefits of waxing; I just don't wan't anyone to end up with an
    inevitable disappointment caused by being ill-informed. At best it'll be a very
    poor compromise, at worst it may put you off using products which, when
    applied in ideal conditions, are probably the best value for money there is.

    Accessories
    I'm loosely using this term to mean the products that help you focus on the
    details. Top of that list is FK108AS - a product much more versatile and much
    cheaper (in the larger sizes) than the much vaunted Aerospace protectant.
    Also included are MF noodle mitts, MF cloths and wheel brushes. More anon.

    The next post will go into detail of how I approach my winter regime...

    <off to put on "thinking-cap" b.b.s.>

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  7. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Winter Detailing

    Hello Folks,

    Of course, the starting point for this missive is a thoroughly prepared and
    protected car. Back in September I gave the paintwork a good clean with
    gTechniq P1, followed by 2 coats of FK1000p, then several days later
    followed that with 2 coats of CG Blacklight and finally a coating of CG V7
    hybrid a day or so after that. Yes, I know I could have stopped with the FK,
    but while I like its protection, I'm not that keen on its glassy bling.

    Since then, other than my usual bucketless washes, the car has had a couple
    of what I'd call heavy washes, using HFE as the "lubricant" to loosen and
    remove fine concrete dust deposited from an electric cutting disc. The first
    time this happened I blew my top because it could have been avoided. Grrrrr...

    As carrying full buckets of suds is particularly hazardous for me, with almost
    inevitable spills, I just diluted 1 capful of HFE into about 4 or 5 litres of fairly
    warm water and used a noodle mitt to spread it around in a contactless
    fashion, squeezing out around 6 to 9 inches above the surface.

    The second contactless pass several moments later usually sees movement
    and concentration of the dust as it gathers into the bodywork valleys. Any
    wiping was generally following a gentle squeeze of liquid on its travels,
    ensuring that plenty of liquid was in pursuit of the particles.

    I'm describing this in some detail because I use the very same technique when
    the car is covered in salt. Although with salt, I use ONR instead of HFE and I
    also pre-spray the paint with ONR at QD strength. As regular readers of my
    posts on ONR will know, I use ONR in a bucketless wash fashion for most of
    the year. The existing swirls are, I believe, the result from the first time I did
    this as an experiment in winter with ONR and salt. It was a salutory lesson!

    I've learned that when washing a car covered in salt, especially when it's icy,
    it's a big mistake to under apply water or washing solution to the surface.
    The problem is that road salt, even when partly dissolved, can still be just as
    abrasive as sharp sand. The biggest part of that problem is that the partly
    dissolved salt is invisible! That's not to say that you need to use copious
    amounts of water either. Basically, you need just enough to fully dissolve the
    salt and to keep it dissolved whilst it is still in contact with the paint.

    You'll still use a lot less than with a hose. I probably use no more than 8-10
    litres over two buckets. At the point where I replenish, there'll probably still
    be over a litre of solution left in the bottom, so only 6 or 7 litres will ever
    reach the ground.

    So, once the car has had it's bucket assisted pre-wash, rather than dry it,
    I will then go on with my usual ONR bucketless wash technique. Why?
    Because, until I can be sure all vestiges of salt are removed, there is no way
    I would put a dry MF towel anywhere near the paint. Please remember that
    use of a hose is neither practical nor available at this point. The only real
    difference twixt summer and winter is the number of MF cloths used. In the
    summer, I'm quite happy to wring out an MF cloth that has become saturated
    with the ONR solution, provided that I have at least 2 clean folds left to use.
    With salt present, absolutely no chance!

    One other benefit of using ONR is that you can watch it evaporate and know
    that you will not get water spots. The existing polished surface is doing its
    bit to repel the water; all you need do is ensure that your MF cloth is still
    absorbing the surplus. Also, all the MF cloths are rinsed out in a bucket with
    dish detergent to rid them of as much salt as possible before they go into the
    washing machine.

    The beauty of ONR is that it will really help with delaying the water in the salt
    from evaporating. When I read of others' experiences with ONR, I get a very
    distinct impression that they fall into 2 types of user. Those who treat it like
    a shampoo and add work to compensate for it, and those, like me, who treat
    it like a cleaner, and allow the product to do its work for them.

    If you fall into the first category, all I can say to you is relax. If you apply
    ONR in a fashion where you allow it get into and under the dirt, it not only
    rewards you with less work, you actually reduce the risks of marring and
    smearing. After using ordinary shampoos and the 2BM, I'm aware that it can
    be a huge leap of faith. As long as you are using dilutions suitable for your
    water hardness, then it is quite OK to trust the product. It isn't a shampoo!

    The other bug-bear in winter is cleaning the wheels. Again, thorough prep and
    protection in the autumn reaps its rewards. With the wheels wearing FK1000p
    topped with SwissVax, they repel a fair bit. Problem is that even though I'm
    a light brake-pedal user the pad dust is still a nightmare. Mix in the wet and
    a good dose of salt and other road muck, they still present some work to
    get them clean.

    Once again, it's HFE, rather than ONR, that I turn to for this task. One capful
    into a half-filled bucket and I'll do one wheel and the underside of the arches.
    In summer that'll do for 2 wheels. Again, to the best of my ability, I try and
    apply as much liquid as needed in a contactless fashion by squeezing out the
    mitt, with my hand supporting me as I rest it at the top of the wheel.

    That's allowing the liquid to do its work while I get myself down into a better
    supported position where I can concentrate on cleaning between the spokes,
    in probably quite ungainly fashion. In summer, I'll happily get into my folding
    chair and enjoy the weather; in winter this has to be as quick a crouch as I
    can manage. No matter when, the main advantage of using HFE is that there
    is no need to rinse, or even dry...

    Next comes the glass. The windscreen and rear window have coatings of
    gTechniq glass treatment, so when doing the full wash I try to get as much
    liquid to go rearward as I can. Because of its rake and the way the wipers lie
    in protection, only the base of the screen will gather muck to any extent.
    Areas outside the wiper reach are easily cleaned with plain water. So, I simply
    use one dampened MF cloth, no chemicals, and immediately follow this with
    another to dry.

    Around the wiper arms and below will be dealt with depending upon what has
    gathered there. If it's bad, then some warm water and a separate clean
    noodle mitt will be used. At this point we have a clean car on the outside,
    so next comes the decision of what, if anything, to do next.

    If it's a fine day and it isn't too damp or too chilly, then following up with a
    QD is fine. Probably my favourite all-year-round product is FK #425, even if
    it is the most garish pink liquid to be found :) Using a plush MF cloth, folded
    into two, and using just one quarter for the initial wipe after every spray, you
    can and should be quite parsimonious with the application.

    Generally speaking, by the time you have applied to and wiped-off from the
    horizontal surfaces, you'll have enough product on that quarter of the cloth
    to do the verticals, without applying more product. Be careful about over
    applying and watch out for the dew point. Do be aware that the product is
    meant to flash dry. In other words, it must happen! Otherwise, you'll work
    against yourself and not only get streaking, you run the risk of the product
    combining with the dew/water and possibly weakening your existing wax
    protection because it hasn't dried!

    Can any waxes be used in winter? Well, certainly no paste wax, that I know
    of, unless you can create the ideal application environment indoors. Of the
    liquid waxes I believe that all the Collinites are also temperature dependant,
    so of the commonly used ones that I have tried, it leaves Optimum Car Wax
    and Megs Nxt. Of the two, I'd probably only try the OCW, but only on a day
    when I'd consider using a QD. With the current protection levels I don't think
    that a need for a wax will occur again until I do my summer prep next April.

    Going back to QDs, I'm quite looking forward to trying out the Megs UQD in
    the cold weather. Compared to their liquid waxes, which I haven't rated that
    highly, it has been a fairly recent but very impressive find. Will report back on
    this as and when.

    Car cleaning in winter need not be an arduous task. Certainly, for me, being
    introduced to ONR has meant that I'm prepared to go out there in winter and
    indulge my passion for stroking those beautiful metal curves without doing any
    damage. HFE has meant that even those closely spaced spokes don't present
    too much of a cleaning problem either. I still have a healthy respect for the
    salt-monster, but I hope this missive helps you to make winter washing less
    of a chore. The only watchwords for both products are: allow and enjoy!

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  8. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Spring Detailing & Summer Prep
    Hello Folks,

    Of course, the slightly warmer and longer days of spring herald the expectation
    of renewing intimate connection with the car's paint and getting it to look its
    very best. Before I launch into the products bit, I want to use the intro for
    this missive to describe an overall approach to detailing. My car will be 3 years
    old next March and so far it has not had...
    • a power washer anywhere near it, not even the wheel arches
    • a polishing machine
    • or a clay bar applied to it, other than once on the wheel backs
    What that means is that it does not take aggressive means of cleaning in order
    to maintain a good shine. Indeed, I think this missive will demonstrate the
    yang, of the benefits of a gentler approach.

    I know, this paragraph is going to talk about some of the shibboleths of car
    detailing. Every time I see snowfoam on a car, a little part of me shivers.
    This is especially so when there is nothing on the ground to catch any of
    the spent liquid. When you think of the pain that oxygen deprivation causes in
    mammals, I dread to think what it does to marine life. You don't ever want
    to experience a dead river; the sight, the smell, the sheer desolation!

    Why do I have this attitude? Because, if you pre-spray ONR and allow that
    to dwell, it will give any snowfoam a full and complete run for its money
    when it comes to cleaning ability, with almost nil run-off by comparison.
    Oh, and I haven't mentioned the preparatory work and clearing up work that
    is saved.

    As for avoiding any machine polishing, well, it's all in the wash technique. I'm
    pretty well convinced that what I'd call the major swirls on my paintwork were
    caused during the first winter's experiment with ONR. Considering the softness
    of the Renault paint, I so far haven't found the need for a machine polish. It
    has been a "maybe" topic for countless months, but I still don't find any
    pressing need. Again, it's a plus for the "gently-gently" approach.

    When I first took delivery of the car, there was some roughness in the paint
    and any serious detailer I spoke to drew attention to it. However, the regular
    spring and summer clean-backs of the surface have now rendered it very
    smooth. Indeed this leads me well into the proper start of this section of
    the product run-down.

    Pre-Wax Cleaners
    Of course, before applying any of these products the car needs to be very
    thoroughly washed. Usually, by mid-April, the road salt is put away for use
    later in the year, so that risk has gone. Up to now, I've tried a whole variety
    of PWC products, most if not all with satisfying levels of success.

    The P21S/R222 PWC is a firm favourite and is certainly easily applied and
    removed. The Raceglaze product is similar, though slightly thicker than the
    P21S which, in my hands, made it slightly easier to apply to the pad.
    However, probably my favourite product was Optimum's Poli-Seal. Of course
    this not so much a PWC but an AIO and the base for the following coats of
    wax was noticeably better, for just as much work as the other two products.

    Each time I've cleaned back the paint, so it has got that tiny bit smoother.
    What this has shown is that products applied in the interim have been doing
    their protective bit. However, the apple-cart has been well and truly upset
    by the arrival of the gTechniq P1 polish.

    Currently, I do now have mixed feelings about doing both a summer and winter
    prep. Of course I always look forward to both, but the amount of work that's
    involved does leave its mark. It'll take several days for my hands to recover
    from all that rubbing. Yeah, it'll be the equivalent of a tickle by most of you,
    but the discomfort doesn't get easier to cope with. I guess you know where
    this is going; I'm seriously considering doing an "annual" clean-down instead.

    The main reasons for this are that I can achieve such a fantasticly good
    basic surface clean with the P1 and the protection products I use are by no
    means spent at the time they presently get removed. I guess that's the
    beauty of using 21stC products, although I'm not ready to go down the
    entire nano-road. The sheer satisfaction of using a wax is not going to be
    thrown away yet awhile. I've already discussed using P1 in a previous post
    on this thread, so it's on to choice of waxes / LSPs.

    Waxes / Sealants / Glazes & Hybrids
    As you can probably tell from the sub-title, I've waved my PayPal at a very
    wide variety of potions. Most, but not all, have been pastes, which have been
    a preference for most of my life. The hard Simoniz wax of the 1960's was a
    beast to get the best out of, but the satisfaction when it went well was off
    the scale. No clear-coat paints back then, either.

    Of the plain carnauba waxes that I've tried, there's...
    • Valentine's Concours
    • Valentine's Road & Track
    • CG 50/50
    • Collinite 476S
    • Harlys Wax
    • Optimum Car Wax (Liquid)
    • Megs Nxt Wax (Liquid)

    The first two are very good waxes. They both have a common drawback in
    that you have to pick a suitable day for application. If it's too warm, or too
    breezy or there's high humidity, then both application and removal needs to
    be well judged to avoid it being hard work. Otherwise, fantastic finish,
    particularly from the Concours. Both last well.

    In stark contrast to this is the CG 50/50 - a breeze to apply and remove with
    matching performance in both looks and durability. While the Collinite is quite
    legendary in performance, the high polymer content gave my paint a far too
    cool blingy finish that I wasn't keen on. Out of the lot, it's probably the Harlys
    that presents the best all-round ease of use, finish, protection, satisfaction
    and value for money.

    My "spit and polish" test using the Harlys earlier this year was a huge success.
    My passenger door still has not been stripped back and it's only in certain
    lights that you can tell. Although having had several coats of various QDs it's
    still repelling water. Anyone who questions the durability of the Harlys has
    either not applied it in ideal conditons or they have mistreated it since. Again,
    I believe it's back to the "gently-gently" approach that's winning through.

    [​IMG]
    The car just a few days into the Spit'n'Polish test. Wheels show that it does get driven :)

    The Megs liquid wax was nothing to write home about, while the OCW is a
    regular refill into my armoury. I tend to use it more like a QD, though for a
    liquid, it stands on its own for shine and durability. As with all the Optimum
    range, application is so simple.

    Sealants
    After using Collinite and seeing its glassy finish, I've not been that drawn to
    using sealants, mostly because to my eyes the silver metallic flake doesn't
    respond well to that glassy look. It's just not to my taste - I prefer the warm
    and deep look to the cool and stark. However, never to be missing from my
    armoury is FK1000p - yeah, another cool and stark finisher that demands
    some extra work, but, for its price and performance, it's no wonder that it's
    very popular here.

    The one thing I like most is that it will take almost anything on top of it, as
    long as you allow time for it to fully cure in ideal conditions. The combination
    of the FK with Harlys or CG 50/50 on top is really very satisfying. On the
    wheels, nothing I've tried beats it for durability. On the other hand, I've
    experimented with various mixes to try and get some better flake-pop out of
    the wheels. On its own, the looks from FK don't quite get there.

    [​IMG]
    The car with front panels wearing just one coat of 50/50

    Of course, there's another sealant that I've used, OptiSeal. Now that is one
    serious contender for the bling awards, but for me it has several down sides.
    Just like the FK, it has some serious solvents in it that sweep away all or most
    of what's gone on before. Just watch how easily FK1000p will remove tar
    spots from wheels! There's no question that Optiseal is also easier to apply
    than almost any other sealant.

    For me, it's just the finish I'm not keen on and I'm not sure that it matches
    the longevity of protection that the FK provides. I could be wrong on this last
    point! The OptiSeal is reserved for the days when the ease of use has to
    have a higher priority than the resulting looks.

    Glazes & Hybrids etc.
    Among my investigations, trials and experiments, have been a mix of a few
    products that seem to defy any form of classification. Strangely, they all
    come from the Chemical Guys stable. My first go with a CG product was their
    MF cloth cleaner which I was not impressed with. That to the extent where I
    was fairly ambivalent about trying anything else of theirs. Until, reading the
    HFE reviews here that was. You already know how I feel about that product.

    This was followed by trialling CG's Wet Mirror Finish - this was actually a 2nd
    choice because my first wasn't presently in stock. There is one common
    problem with all of CG's "mayonnaise style" products; getting a consistent and
    even amount of product onto the pad. Almost inevitably, you end up with too
    much on the pad and you begin to work against yourself. In common with
    most, if not all, quality products, less is more!

    Going back to the WMF - if you can keep a consistently thin coating, it
    performs well as a base for FK1000p - though you do need to let it harden
    overnight. Otherwise, the FK solvents are more than likely to wipe it away.
    I tried this on my wheels with some success and I'm likely to repeat it at
    the point when the SwissVax Pneu runs out. Nothing goes to waste here!

    More recently, I've been trialling CG's BlackLight LSP - neither a sealant nor
    a wax, and apparently a new breed of coating altogether. A breeze to apply
    subject to the aforementioned consistency barrier, and just as easy to buff
    off. The closest way that I can describe the resulting surface is that it looks
    and feels like a cured wax that has also had a QD like FK425 applied to it. It's
    kinda plastic but much less glassy than a sealant. 2 coats and it seems to
    present a good protection barrier. It's still under test here, but no cause for
    any concern thus far.

    The other potion I've tried is the V7 Hybrid which seems to be recommended
    for going on top of the BlackLight. To me, the V7 wasn't that much better
    than Megs UQD at a vastly inflated price. It also doesn't seem to go as far
    as the UQD which was quite surprising. I'm not sure that I'll be feeling bereft
    enough to buy a second bottle.

    Of course, with the classic lines of my car, no product is going to be tested
    to its limits, and with such a range of potions to hand, there's little excuse
    for the car to look shabby at any time. Anyway, back to the point, and my
    preparations for a summer prep. As I've already hinted, I think 2012 is going
    to herald a change in approach. Of course, with it being a trial, I'm nowhere
    near a point of advocating this regime, though I do have a sneaking suspicion
    that it will work well enough to satisfy even my fussiness.

    Basically, in April I will be giving the car a very thorough clean back with the
    P1. If needs be, I'll even have two goes at this. As ever, it's all in the prep,
    so I'll pay it as much attention as it needs, bearing in mind my physical limits.
    From there, certainly 2 coats of FK1000p, with at least an overnight wait
    twixt the first and second. I know that you can layer the FK within just 40
    minutes or so, but in mid-April I feel that it's too soon in the year for that.
    I'll now need these coatings to protect for 12 rather than 5 or 6 months!

    Now, the choice of what comes next. Probably, it'll be just one coat of WMF
    followed by 2 coats of CG 50/50. The wax is a toss-up - it could be replaced
    with the Harlys. The thinking here is that I will top-up the carnauba as the
    sacrificial layer probably in late July or early August and again as late as I
    dare toward the end of September maybe early October. All being weather
    dependant of course.

    I may well experiment with the BlackLight and apply that in place of the
    WMF - it apparently takes either a sealant or a wax on top. So, it'll be very
    interesting times to come. Of course, I'll report back in due course. Up to
    now, the Summer prep has been kept tidy by regular bucketless ONR washes
    and application of various QDs, and that'll be the subject of my next missive.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  9. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Delving Into The QD Minefield

    It's my belief that if I were to ask 50 people to describe what a QD is, or
    what they expect a QD to do, I'd get 50 vastly different answers. The list of
    expectations from a QD seems to be as vast as the range of products that
    are described as being QDs.

    For me, a QD product helps fill the void when waxing is too much and just a
    quick wash is not enough. When you've got some cherished metal to care
    for, the simplicity of an ONR wash can just be too simple or plain too quick!
    In the back of your mind is a desire for a slickness of feel, or perhaps the
    sheer reflective beauty of that "just waxed" look. Of course, it's all marketing
    BS and just another method of parting us from our hard-earned. Or is it?

    Well, if you're wondering how badly I've been bitten by this bug, the number
    of QD products I've tried is fairly extensive, especially in just under 3 years of
    "modern detailing".

    I know that I've often referred to ONR as being a QD, but to me this firmly
    remains in the cleaners category. To my mind, far too much is made of the
    polymer coating left behind by ONR. When you consider the dilutions that are
    involved; at 32:1 or more, it doesn't really qualify as a QD. If it's mostly the
    cleaning ability that you seek from a QD, then ONR will top the list.

    FK#425
    When it comes to raw slickness, shine and ease of application, then FK425
    really takes some beating. It's far too easy to over apply it, and the moment
    you do, you work against yourself. On a squeaky clean car, and using a
    plush MF towel, you should have enough on the cloth from doing a horizontal
    surface to also do the verticals. I will often do the front wings immediately
    after wiping the spray off each side of the bonnet; similar thing with the
    roof and doors. The rear wings may just get a nominal spraying because I'll
    tackle the rear valance with the residue from the boot lid.

    Optimum Instant Detailer - OID
    I feel a little ambivalent about using this product outside on my silver flake.
    However, for a QD to tackle interior plastics, door cards etc., it's unbeatable!
    The faint bubble-gum smell is pleasant rather than overpowering. I'm not sure
    that I want constant olfactory reminders of how clean the plastic is. I'm far
    more keen on the subtlety of interior aromas, and OID fits the bill perfectly.

    Optimum Car Wax
    Yeah, I know, it's not a QD. However, if you want to apply a wax in about
    the same time that takes to apply a QD, this product will never disappoint.
    OK, I'll readily admit to being an Optimum whore, but when products go on
    that easily, and perform to every possible expectation, their place as one
    of the first to reach for products is fully justified. I could wax lyrical...

    SwissVax QD
    This product was a tempter into purchasing a magazine subscription almost
    2 years ago. As a QD product it's pretty special and my use of it is only
    ever for high-days and show days. Certainly, I'd accept it willingly as a gift,
    but whether or not I'd wave my PayPal toward its outright purchase is quite
    another matter.

    The time for that test will come when it runs out. However, that won't be
    for some while yet because of how little you need to use. One of the most
    recent QD's I've purchased has been CG's V7 - and that quite magically
    disappears into the paint like nobody's business. By comparison with the
    SV QD it could in fact be a more expensive option. The two certainly won't
    bear comparison in terms of finish - the SV will win hands-down!

    Your perfectly smooth and slick surface will seem quite rough by comparison.
    The SV QD is the only product that has ever provided an audible squeak when
    applied directly to the pad, rather than to the paint surface. The only other
    drawback is that you apply it like a wax, even allowing it to haze a little
    before you buff off. No spray and wipe here! Needless to say, the results are
    worth it!

    Megs Ultimate Quik Detailer - UQD
    If ever there was a really surprising off-the-shelf product, then Megs UQD
    ticks all the boxes. Even though it is an OTS product, it isn't any cheaper
    than any specialist product that you buy on-line. Compare it directly to
    FK425 in terms of volume and it's not good value. In terms of performance
    though, it does take some beating. If you're a fan of nice tight beads after
    a rain shower, this is your product!

    Of note is the newly designed spray head on the bottle. It delivers the finest
    of sprays so that you can very simply regulate the amount you apply to your
    paint. As with any quality product, less is more. However, if you over apply
    there isn't so much of a downside. I think you'd probably be quite hard
    pressed to make this product streak.

    The resulting slickness of the paint may not quite match that of the FK or
    even the OID, but don't be fooled into thinking that it isn't much good as a
    result. Just like ONR, you're left wondering just how such a fine liquid can
    provide that level of protection. Did I mention the beading?

    Chemical Guys V7
    Although I've already mentioned this product I still think it deserves a place
    in a list of favoured products. I have recently replenished my stock of V7 to
    give it a fair crack of the whip. What the guys at CG seem to be doing is
    challenging all the fairly established practices, such as applying sealant
    after a wax rather than before, which in itself is absolutely no bad thing.

    The risk is that it could backfire on them. The description of V7 hybrid being
    either a QD or a sealant already seems to cause some confusion. At the time
    of writing, if I were given a choice twixt V7 and UQD, without question I'd
    pick up the UQD. There may be more to V7 than meets the eye, so the
    research continues...

    Gliptone Body Gloss
    Gliptone are probably better known for their leather care products. However,
    their range of other car detailing products need not be overlooked. When I
    first used the Body Gloss, I was actually quite disappointed. Yes, it left the
    paintwork feeling slick enough, but where was that just-waxed look?

    Patience my dear fellow, patience. After an hour or so, I came back out to
    the car and was quite simply amazed. If you want instant results, then this
    stuff isn't for you. However, if it's shine you want and you're prepared to give
    the product time to plate out, you won't be disappointed.

    It may have been short-lived, but there was also some evidence of it filling
    in some of the lighter swirls. It's the same garish colour as the FK425, which
    to my mind, still beats it.

    Lucas Slick Mist
    This was just an impulse buy while in the motor factors buying some Greased
    Lightning Oil Additive. I'd heard it mentioned previously, and it didn't seem to
    disappoint. However, what I found was a very thin liquid that didn't impress
    me too much. Unlike the UQD, I think the emphasis on this product leads
    toward shine rather than any level of protection. Far too glassy for my taste.

    The spray head seems to be deliberately (carelessly) designed to spread the
    product all over the place, with little semblance of control for the user. I'm
    not about to be bullied into restocking when that tactic is used. Beading was
    fairly disappointing and longevity seemed virtually nil. So, at a similar price
    point to the UQD, I'd not be too disappointed if it was out of stock.

    Conclusions
    Well, the first reach QD product is usually the FK425, though others in the
    armoury have their places as described. There's little to compare to the
    therapeutic affects of waxing a car. So, the QD certainly fits the bill when
    applying any paste wax would just be pure overkill.

    What I'm finding is that I have a preference for the more versatile products.
    So, the OID will not be replenished, simply because I've found that FK108AS,
    which does my tyres and plastic trim on the outside, performs brilliantly on
    the rubber, plastic and indeed the leather on the inside, not forgetting all
    the bits and bobs under the bonnet.

    Putting things together, I'm getting to a point where there are now some core
    products that I'll always replenish. The excitement of trying other products
    has worn off a tad, mostly because I keep coming back to the core. Having
    said that, I've just learned that I've been a prize draw winner with a box of
    potions coming from Serious Performance. So, that'll be quite an adventure
    and I'm really looking forward to writing about things other than ONR :)

    So, the core products...

    Cleaner / Shampoo - ONR for bodywork, HFE for wheels
    Polish - gTechniq P1 / OPS
    QD - FK425 / OCW
    Sealant - FK1000p
    Wax - Harlys
    Tyres / Trim - FK108AS
    Glass - gTechniq G3

    So 3 products each from Optimum and Finish Kare I guess is no surprise.

    Having washed the car today, I have to say that I'm very impressed with the
    protection offered by the CG Black Light so far, though the large and irregular
    beads do take some wiping away. I was quite surprised at how relatively clean
    the car was; it's hardly been touched for almost a month! That is quite likely
    to become another core product if its protection continues. Maybe it'll be the
    Harlys for summer, and BL for winter.

    If you've been following this, there's one product that's not in the core list
    which may be a tad surprising; the CG 50/50 wax. Totally brilliant product, but
    I hesitate at the 40 quid price tag. The Harlys, at around half the price more
    than justifies its presence in the list.

    The Future - Bits yet to Solve
    When I first joined this forum, my major desire was to be comfortable about
    maintaining my own machine, and displaying the results without being a tad
    embarrassed. Luckily, far from it, even if you guys do set the bar pretty high!
    Modern technologies have meant that my objectives have been relatively
    easy to achieve, which has been a pleasant surprise. I'm hoping that I can
    continue keeping Tia's Taxi in a reasonably tidy state for some while to come.
    The eye-opener for me has been the wide range of products that I've been
    able to either adapt or adopt to suit my needs.

    However, even as someone with gammy hands, I'm not yet ready to go with
    the longer-lasting nano treatments, tempting as they are. It's good to know
    that they exist, but I'll save them for when I'm more or less forced into it by
    being confined to a wheelchair; long may that day be put into abeyance!

    One of the drawbacks with using the "mayonnaise" style products from CG has
    been to get an even and regular blob of it on the applicator pad each time you
    go to replenish it. It's just too easy to overwhelm it. So, finding a good pump
    dispenser that my hands can cope with is probably number one task on the list.

    If you've reached this far, I hope you've enjoyed your reading...

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  10. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Looking After Your Hands
    Hello Folks,

    Since receipt of my prize parcel from Serious Performance yet a distinct lack
    of decent detailing weather, I've been wondering about what to write here.
    However, to concentrate on the "potions" contained in the box is really
    doing it a disservice. The reason being that it also contained a range of
    application and removal media, some of which I either didn't know existed
    or had completely overlooked.

    I suppose that it's too easy to overlook the bits and bobs we use to apply
    our various potions, but to someone with limited motor function, this is a
    choice that can have very frustrating consequences. For the most part, the
    biggest hurdle to overcome is simply keeping hold and a decent control over
    the pad. All too often, it'll fly out of your hand and sod's law will dictate that
    it finds the grubbiest part of the floor upon which to land.

    Of course, trying to keep hold has further tribulations; it doesn't take long
    before your fingers will ache, so you need to experiment with different
    grasping techniques. Then of course is the biggest hurdle; getting an even
    and _thin_ coating on the paint, almost on pain of death because you'll be
    punished further in getting the stuff off if it's on too thick :wall:

    So, imagine getting hold of a foam applicator that's not only very easy to
    hold, it's the simplest of designs and dirt cheap! I speak of the rather good
    SP Tyre Dressing Applicator. IMO, calling it that is not doing it any favours!
    There's no question that it'll easily apply a thin coat of liquid wax / sealant
    and its absolute simplicity of design will mean real control on how much.

    At first sight all you have in your hand is a round piece of foam, so what's
    so easy about holding that? Well, as soon as you squeeze it, two controlled
    cuts into it are revealed and once taken advantage of, anyone would be
    very hard-pressed to have it fly out of their hand. Even when I scrunch up
    the top half, the lower bit stays more or less in shape.

    In essence, these applicators are clearly undersold! If I'd known about them,
    I'd have ordered them several times, at least half a dozen at a time. I hadn't
    translated the "split-foam" part of the description as being "extremely easy to
    hold and control", so even if you have hands that work properly, do please
    look after them...

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  11. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Hello Folks,

    Anyone who's been following this thread since last November will probably think
    that I've got myself all confuzzled, especially as back then I was talking about
    probably doing a summer prep in April. Oh well, better the late warm weather
    than none I suppose.

    Earlier this month I spent 10 days in Cumbria and had 2 cars to do during my
    stay. It was a chance to do some work on cars that needed the treatment
    and it was also a good opportunity to try some products that were new to
    me. You may well have read my missives about FK #350 and the Serious
    Performance polishing and refining pads in the review section.

    Anyway, part of my experiments involved the much praised Wet Glaze 2.
    Simon from Wax Attack was kind enough to send me a sample rescued from a
    broken pot and I was able to use it to good effect on the Mk.2 RS2000 in
    bright red that I had to prepare for the Great Lakes Run. More of that anon,
    suffice to say that I was very impressed with the results and the owner, who's
    not that easily impressed, was delighted!

    So that brings me to today, or more accurately yesterday when the weather
    was so cold that I was resorting to reading anything and everything just to
    stave off massive boredom. I was reading a page on the Wax Attack site
    where it was suggesting that Wet Glaze 2 could also be mixed with other
    liquid wax or sealant products, creating a hybrid.

    OK, so I'm still a tad ahead of myself. Those of you who have read the pads
    review will have seen that one of the pre-wax cleaners I used came from
    Serious Performance too. Not only that, on the Merc C class I also used a
    liquid sealant from the same stable on the wheels. It was very easy to apply
    and just as easy to buff off.

    So, back to yesterday and the :speechles moment when it occurred to me that
    I'd have a go at mixing the remaining Wet Glaze sample with an equal amount
    of the SP Sealant to create my hybrid. I've since bought a full bottle of the
    WG2 if it doesn't work out. Finally, we get to this afternoon and the highest
    heat has passed allowing me to have a chance to put this hybrid to the test.

    After a good ONR wash of the roof, I had a go at pre-wax cleaning using the
    SP Paint Cleaner. Unlike the Merc in Cumbria, hardly anything of consequence
    came off. Having had some success with claying on the RS2000 I got bold
    and gave the Laguna a quick once-over, with very little getting grabbed.
    Washed down with ONR once more and it was on with the hybrid. I used one
    of the soft black SP waffle pads, pre-injected with some ONR to apply it.

    Getting an even coating was fairly easy so buffing off was fairly easy too. I
    was able to coat the whole roof before buffing. A second coat was applied
    fairly soon after and getting the even coat was even easier than the first.
    I also left it a little longer before buffing off. What I was being left with as a
    finish has been very pleasing indeed!

    This photo is with the sun behind me and is a patch taken from the full-size
    image...
    [​IMG]

    This photo is into the sun, and shows the fantastic flake-pop that this finish
    is producing... :thumb:
    [​IMG]

    As an experiment, it's been hugely successful! I will definitely treat the whole
    car to see whether or not I like it. As you probably know I prefer a deeper
    look to a glassy one, so we'll see what happens. As for my proposed "annual
    clean down", that's postponed until August when I have the World Series by
    Renault event to prepare for...

    Regards,
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2014
  12. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Hello Folks,

    Well, I was going to entitle this missive with Glassy or Classy? - The
    very dull, but ideal waxing outdoors, weather precludes that. I've now only
    three more panels to do down the near side with my hybrid mix. While I'm
    liking the shine and especially the slickness, I've got an uneasy feeling that
    it'll turn out too glassy.

    Hopefully, we might get some sunshine on Thursday in order to make a better
    evaluation. In the meantime some very sticky pollen from a flowering tree 2
    gardens upwind is causing some problems. I may leave that exposed side until
    either the wind direction changes or the blossom finally falls off...

    [​IMG]
    My usual rear 3/4 view; please ignore the dirty wheels...

    So, classy or glassy?

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  13. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Mayonnaise Style Waxes / Sealants / LSPs
    Hello Folks,

    The first thing that I'd like to say is that if anyone can come up with a good
    dispenser for these products, there is a gap in the market! The need is for
    a controlled amount to come out at every press or squeeze. Obviously, the
    manufacturers are laughing because they _know_ it's inevitable that we'll use,
    that is waste, far too much product. OK, rant over...

    The purpose of this missive is to give a comparative run-down of the several
    products that I've used over the past couple of years which fall into this
    marketing category. Generally, most of these do perform very well, but there
    is very much a blurring of the edges twixt wax, glaze, sealant and/or LSP.
    I'll try and clarify this as much as I can.

    CG Butter Wet Wax - BWW
    This is the first of this style of product to find its way into my armoury and
    it has yet to disappoint. Following several reports of not much longevity from
    it as an LSP, despite the packaging claims, I've tended to treat it as a glaze
    under a sealant. For example, this has worked very well on wheels under the
    usual 2 coats of FK #1000p sealant. The effect was to give more depth to
    the silver and enhance the flake pop. There was no compromising of the
    sealant by doing this.

    CG Wet Mirror Finish - WMF
    Now WMF is definitely a glaze, and a very good one at that! Really, there is
    very little to choose between it and the BWW. Where it really comes into its
    own is on solid colours. Both the red and blue Escort RS cars that I've treated
    with this product have resolved to very satisfying finishes, with great depth
    and clarity. I've mostly used Collinite 476S as the LSP, though a wax like
    Harlys works well over it too. The latter will always give better depth, but
    not be quite as bomb-proof in terms of protection.

    CG - Black Light - CGBL
    This product is probably the biggest marketing enigma going! Is it a bird, or is
    it a plane? Who knows? Despite its strangely funky marketing, this product is
    excellent! It was my LSP over the past winter where it surprised me at how
    well it resisted the road salt and almost washed itself whenever it rained.
    Of the 3 CG products, this is probably the most finicky to apply - or more
    correctly on how to judge when it's ready to buff off.

    This product is completely unforgiving if you over-egg the applicator pad!
    However, get a very thin and even amount on the paint, then it's glaze and
    sealant all in one and the depth of shine is very satisfying. None of the CG
    products give too much of a glassy shine, at least not as glassy as dedicated
    sealants will.

    I've heard talk of CGBL not giving much longevity. That's not been my
    experience, but then my washing methods are probably far more gentle than
    others that we read about.

    [​IMG]
    If anyone asks about wax combinations on silver, a coat of BWW + another of CGBL as seen
    above speaks for itself... Who would have thought of how this 8yr old farm workhorse gets neglected?


    Wet Glaze 2 - WG2
    Leaving the CG stable we come to Wax Attack's WG2. For anyone that has
    previously used CGBL, the first thing that you'll notice is the very striking
    similarity to CGBL, both in terms of application and in resulting finish. For me,
    when it comes to replenishing stock in the future it'll be one or t'other but
    not both. One thing I can't comment upon is WG2 as an LSP because I have
    yet to use it in that way. That could be the deciding factor.

    Though you can't put a fag-paper between them in terms of performance,
    don't get me wrong, neither will disappoint! I was also hugely impressed with
    the hybrid of WG2 with Serious Performance Liquid Sealant I made.

    Finish Kare #2180 Ultra Poly Wipe Sealant - UPWS
    All of the previously mentioned products could probably be described as
    newcomers when compared to UPWS, which in fact is a completely new
    entry into my armoury. If you prefer a glassy finish, especially if you have
    silver paint, then this may be the best choice of the lot! The benefits of the
    FK#1000p sealant are almost legendary here, though application and removal
    can be a tad problematic.

    So, if ease of application comes higher than out and out protection, then
    don't overlook this product. I'll do an "official" review of it early next week,
    but I mention it here just to give comparison with the others. The index
    numbers of both shine and protection are at 10 and with the quality of all
    FK products I've used, I have no reason to doubt the claims for this product.

    If you're looking for some depth, then some carnauba wax over the top will
    be needed. In essence UPWS provides a protecting glaze that looks fantastic
    if you like glassy finishes. The bottle instructions read a bit like the ultimate
    detailer's dream, so will bring its own satisfaction too...:speechles

    Conclusions
    I guess that the cynics among us may claim that these mayonnaise style
    products are all pretty similar, with none of them being a "one step" answer.
    From the point of view of a guy with gammy hands, the sooner I can resolve
    the dispensing issue the better! That's the one draw-back that all these
    products have in common; certainly overdoing the dose puts you into a
    position where you'll be working against yourself in no small measure. There's
    a very real risk of compromising both finish and longevity!

    Otherwise, none of these products could be classed as a waste of money.
    I'm not sure why there are such polarised views as witnessed here. Each
    product fulfils its own niche very well. As with any purchase options, it'll be
    down to personal taste in the kind of finish that's being sought. Hopefully,
    this missive has helped in making that choice.


    Regards,
    Steve
     
  14. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    QDs Revisited
    November 2012 Update
    There's another couple of QD products to add to the list. However, they are
    both variations on a theme, so they'll come under one heading.

    Serious Performance Show Detailer - V2 +
    Serious Performance Show Detailer - V2 - 1 US Gallon Refill

    This product was given an excellent review by Spoony back in May 2010.
    Despite the titles shown, both products come in similar size bottles. For the
    US gallon derivative, you get a measuring cup for adding concentrated product
    to water. This gives you some control over its strength, if needed. With Alex
    at SP being closely linked to Finish Kare, it would not surprise me if the
    Show Detailer was their manufactured by them. Hence its quality!

    [​IMG]
    The car given an ONR wash and SP Show Detailer treatment on return from Cumbria

    Although the colour resembles the FK#425, the feel of the product could not
    be more different! When you spray it on your paint and go to wipe it, your
    plush MF towel will feel like it has suddenly been attached to roller skates,
    the slickness is released that quickly. For finish, it's certainly on a par with
    FK#425, and I went back to Alex for the US gallon on the strength of it.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  15. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Annual Product Review 2012
    Hello Folks,
    Well, where does the time go? It barely seems possible that 12 months have
    passed since I was last writing up a resume of the previous year's trials and
    triumphs. You may recall that I had tentatively come to the conclusion that
    I could do annual clean-downs, rather than the more usual summer and
    winter prep sessions. Best laid plans and all... :wall:

    My conclusions back then came down to using some core products that would
    always find a place in my armoury. These were as follows...
    Has anything changed in the interim? Heck yeah! I've had my eyes opened in
    a direction that I had not in the least anticipated. I've alluded to this on a
    few occasions in posts since, but to say that I was a bit taken aback is really
    no understatement. The cause of all this? An early New Year parcel from none
    other than Alex at Serious Performance. It was my DW Xmas Draw prize.

    I need to describe my feelings when I first opened the parcel. I was almost
    totally underwhelmed. With my disability obviating the usual methods of car
    washing, things like shampoo, wash mitts (2 different types) and drying
    towels (again 2 types) were utterly redundant here. That little lot formed
    the basis of a prize for the [email protected] team, so it did find a good home
    in the end...

    However, I'd only scratched the surface of the box contents. There were
    still more pads and applicators and cloths, a whole variety of them, all of
    which I gave cursory glances to, with a keener eye on finding out what
    bottles of potions had been included. Apart from the mentioned shampoo,
    these amounted to a pre-wax cleaner, a liquid sealant and show detailer.
    There wasn't even a good wax? At that point of slight deflation, little did
    I know how much my detailing would change, for the better!

    It All Began With 2 Cuts
    Giving some of the pads a closer inspection revealed that some thought had
    gone into their production. There was more to this box of tricks than had first
    met my eyes! All of a sudden, here was me, with my gammy hands, able to
    hold pads in complete comfort and security.

    To say it was a revelation is no understatement! Now, I could relax with my
    attempts at applying thin coatings with little or no risk of my launching the
    applicator pad into outer space, or the more usual dust-bowl. I can't over-
    emphasize how much easier my detailing sessions could be by two simple cuts
    into the sides of pads.

    The Potions Were Not Bad - Either!
    Up to this point I'd not really dealt with Alex at SP, so I'd not taken very
    much notice of mentions of his in-house products. Do some research and one
    thing that you'll notice is that almost every reference to an SP potion meets
    with approval here. That's not an easy thing to achieve! Has it had an effect
    on my core product list? Absolutely!

    Revisiting The Core Products List
    Of course, with 3 Finish Kare products in my existing core list, and finding
    that Alex was a distributor of FK, there was room to explore their range further.
    I'm guessing there'll be little surprise that I've added 3 more of their products
    (all new to my experience) to the list...
    • Cleaner / Shampoo - ONR for bodywork, HFE for wheels / FK#146 Finish Restorer for glass and clay
    • Polish - gTechniq P1
    • Pre-Wax Cleaner - OPS / SP Paint Cleaner
    • QD - FK#425 / SP Show Detailer
    • Sealant - FK#1000p / Hybrid of SP Sealant and Wet Glaze 2
    • Paste Wax - Harlys / FK#2685 Pink Wax
    • Liquid Wax - SP Spray Wax / OCW / CG Blacklight
    • Tyres / Trim - FK#350 / FK#108AS
    • Glass - gTechniq G3
    Additions to the list are shown in green. It's quite surprising to me that there
    are 7 in total. However, let's deal with the SP products first. Despite it smelling
    almost exactly like Brasso metal polish, the SP Paint Cleaner is quite a performer!
    I tested this on a few cars and was delighted with the results every time.
    Considering that the product is non-abrasive, it was quite surprising what was
    being drawn off paint that at first sight seemed quite clean. The resulting
    smoothness was also fairly remarkable.

    I should say that on each occasion I was using another product new to me,
    the SP firm white waffle base cleaning pad, more of which later! I used the
    SP Liquid Sealant in two ways. I sealed the wheels of the Merc C class I do
    on the Cumbrian farm I stay at. I also mixed it 50 / 50 with Wet Glaze 2 as
    a very successful experiment, with very pleasing results! See Post #164...

    The SP Show Detailer became an instant hit with me, and it very seriously
    challenges FK#425 for top spot as my favourite go-to QD now. So much so,
    that I replenished my stock with the 1 US gallon concentrate and not looking
    back. At the same time I ordered a bottle of SP Spray Wax, thinking that I'd
    test this as a replacement for Optimum Car Wax. I haven't written much
    about this yet as tests are ongoing, and indeed, are quite impressive so far.

    The Finish Kare range is long established on DW; it certainly goes a long way
    before I started contributing posts here. Nevertheless, there were a few
    products that I've tried for the first time this year, and almost every one of
    them makes it to my core products list.

    The FK#146 was sold to me as a clay lube. With ONR to hand, and already
    an excellent clay lube in its own right, why look for something else, or indeed,
    how does it make the list? Well, it's down to versatility. It isn't just a clay
    lubricant at which it excells; my first use is as a cleaner. Again, how does it
    usurp ONR? Well, for starters, it's a one-cloth window cleaner. It also comes
    into its own for taking to shows. If you're a bit uncertain about ONR, then
    the #146 will probably give you more confidence as a waterless cleaner.

    Next came the revelation that was FK #350 for tyres. Well, and almost
    everywhere else that you can use FK#108AS, except perhaps where you
    need the anti-static properties. Exceptional value for money, not least
    because it's nice and gloopy, so you can water it down to taste.

    The FK#2186 Pink Wax is no stranger to DW, and I was thrilled with it!
    You do need to be a bit patient with it, doing maybe two or three swipe
    tests before you buff it off. Layer this wax, leaving an hour or three twixt
    coats will give an unbelievable depth. A tin of this will last a lifetime! I
    have yet to try this using the spit'n'polish technique, so I have yet more
    to explore with this wax.

    It Doesn't Stop There!
    Probably the greater majority of discussion on DW revolves around the
    effectiveness of various potions, be they cleaners or protectors. Very little
    gets said in detail about the cloths and pads that we use. After all, a pad is
    a pad, is a pad, right? Well, I used to think so! Rather than repeat myself, I'll
    just refer you to a review of some SP pads I did in the summer...

    Quite often too, when methods are discussed, very little information is given
    on how to use a pad or a cloth. For example, do you use a microfibre drying
    towel? If so, do you dampen it first?

    If you answered no to that question, then I do ask you to pay particular
    attention to these next few paragraphs! MF towels, when used dry, can do
    some quite unexpected damage to a smooth surface! However, contrary to
    popular belief here, that's down to the user, not the towel. If you take nowt
    else away from this missive, do take this, the only time you use a dry MF
    anything is when you are absolutely certain, beyond all possible doubt, that
    the surface is clean. So, for polishing and buffing-off of potions dry MFs are
    fine. Not for drying after washing however!

    At _all_ other times, lightly dampen them first. That's how they are designed
    to work at their best. You can inflict micro-marring with _any_ dry MF cloth,
    the pile density matters for nothing in this instance! One of the cloths that
    came from Alex was an MF cloth with different densities of pile on either side.
    How to use that? Short or long pile to buff off?

    Well, being white, I decided that I'd test the cloth on my windows, using
    Greased Lightning Showroom Shine as the cleaning agent. It soon became
    clear that I use the deeper pile side for the spreading and cleaning, and the
    shorter pile side for the buffing-off. At first this may seem completely counter
    intuitive!

    The conclusion that I also came to was that investing in some posh (to me)
    cloths was _not_ the waste of money I'd perceived it to be hitherto :speechles
    There's no question in my mind that while el cheapo Aldi cloths have their
    place in most cleaning tasks, investing in better quality items too, does bring
    a reward in making tasks simpler to achieve.

    [​IMG]
    I can't believe that I don't have later pictures of the car than this, however,
    I'm not exactly displeased with just how good it looks, even after nearly four
    years of busting most of the detailing myths you find here :)


    The Burning Question
    This time last year, before my plans got tipped-up, I'd floated the idea of
    only doing a full clean-back once a year rather than twice. So, am I still of
    the same opinion? The answer is a qualified yes.

    The reason for my hesitation is deciding upon when. Do I do it just after the
    winter, or just before? Would it be better to do it at the height of the season?
    That's the conclusion that I'm rapidly coming to, with one proviso! That a
    darned good thorough wash is given once the road-salt has been fully
    dispensed with.

    The warmer days make using clay much easier. Oh, I almost forgot, using clay
    was another first for me in 2012! Yes, I bit the fear of dropping it bullet and
    managed to fashion a use which suits my gammy hands. Basically, I don't
    physically hold the clay at all. What I do is form a cage with my hand over
    the clay bar, liberally lubricate the surface and just push the clay around
    beneath my palm, letting it float free like a puck. I was actually surprised
    that it worked!

    OK, after that small deviation, the warmer days also ensure that you can
    pick periods when temperatures and humidity are far more predictable and
    ensure that whatever potions you use are going to perform at their best.
    Quite how this plan is going to be put into action will be the subject of
    more posts into this thread. There's still about 3 months for me to mull
    over a plan of action before I make a start.

    A Couple or Three Thank-Yous
    Detailing can quite often be an insular hobby so the opportunity of being
    able to interact with others is always grabbed here. In 2012, we've had
    couple of local meetings and my thanks go to those who made an effort
    to attend. Let's hope that 2013 brings more progress.

    Obviously, despite my initial description above, I was totally thrilled to
    receive my prize parcel from Alex at Serious Performance. I want to fully
    acknowledge and thank him for his patience with all our dealings. From
    the feedback discussions about product reviews to my asking of some
    often dumb questions about various products, I have nothing but praise.
    He happens to sell some purty good products too...

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  16. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Hello Folks,

    So far, the car has been to two shows this year. An outing to Duxford in May
    and a trip to the Bromley Pageant on my birthday in June. It's out on show
    again tomorrow at the Sporting Bears do near Huntingdon.

    As far as detailing it goes, there's not too much to report. I still haven't done
    my annual clean-back and from the car's present condition, it doesn't look as
    though it's needed imminently. However, I am intending to set to and do it at
    some point in the next few weeks.

    I've been trying out some waxes, my pot #84 of 89 of Definitive is rather
    good. Often people ask about whether or not expensive waxes are worth it.
    Clearly, this is a good quality wax and it rewards you with ease of both
    application and removal and provides a deep shine. Without any rain, I'm
    unable to comment upon beading, but then I don't hold much store by that
    measure anyway.

    The other half of the car has been treated with Bouncers' Valentine Stawb
    & Cream wax. Almost everyone who passed as I was applying it commented
    on how nice it smells. The shine ain't bad either! All of that was done last
    weekend whilst we were "under the lid" - the cloud cover that lingers over
    the East Coast, sometimes for days on end. Looking at the weather forecast
    it seemed like a good idea because it looked like the cloud was going to clear.
    No such luck, it's still there, so I could have re-waxed today.

    As a result, the car was treated to some Swissvax QD, and the wheels got a
    coating of Reload. Tyres, trim and seats got wiped over with FK #108AS and
    the hoover tackled all the dead leaves and grass inside. The interior was a
    tad embarrassing to be honest. But it's all ready for the Sporting Bears Show
    near Huntingdon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If anyone is going, come and say Hi. The car will be wearing its "Tia's Taxi"
    plates, though it'll probably be too hot to take Tia herself.
    It's been a while since I posted some beading pictures up...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Strawb + Creme on the bootlid, 84 of 89 on the roof. Both since treated with
    SV detailer and SP show detailer since being applied a week or three back.
    The roof looked really fantastic earlier, but me in a hurry and no camera :(

    I still don't hold any store by beading, even if at times it does look good!

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  17. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    First 2013 Clean-down
    Hello Folks,

    Well, after a lot of thought, quite a bit of surface examination, and yet more
    rumination, I've set to and made a start on my 2013 clean-down. I guess I
    needed just a tad of motivation, so a chance reading of a group buy offer on
    some ArtdeShine wax seemed the way to go.

    Let me say at the outset that I probably have enough wax in my collection to
    last me at least another two lifetimes! However, ever since these products
    began to appear here, they've intrigued me. The passion that Alfred, and now
    Matt (Stangalang), have about how their products perform is pretty infectious.
    With good reason. I'll let the pictures do the talking...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    ...do they initially strike you as being products of some quality? I certainly think so!

    Claying First

    So, now some decisions had to be taken. Just how was I going to approach this
    detailing session? It simply came down to a simple test. What was clear was
    that the paint was clean. The protective potions used hitherto had done their
    tasks admirably. So, it was just a case of feeling the surface, which yielded
    another decision, that a bit of claying wouldn't go amiss.

    Following a recent thread on here, now that I'm tending to use clay more and
    more, I decided to experiment with the supposed 3M stuff offered from China.
    I was stunned to find it arrive on my doorstep within a week of ordering it.
    Bang on time.

    On that thread, views seemed to be quite polarised, both for and against. It's
    a bit like the never-ending debates we get here over el cheapo MF cloths.
    However, to all the people who claimed that it marred their paint, all I can do
    is ask: How? Or, more precisely, how, without operator error?

    Having read these posts, I was doubly careful, ensuring first of all that the
    clay was well and truly soft. That was before I tried working it into a pad.
    I simply chopped a 200g bar into 3rds and threw one piece into a plastic
    bowl and topped that with water not far off the boil. I then left it for several
    minutes until my hands could stand the water temperature.

    Working the piece into a small puck to go under my hand was easy. The clay
    was certainly doing its thing and I was listening intently for any tell-tale sign.
    Once you know what to listen for, it's amazing just how good an audible
    indicator can be. So far, and I haven't done the whole car, I've just used one
    piece. At the price, I'll be dumping it once the detail is complete.

    Certainly, it isn't as easy as pricier clays to get to a malleable state, but
    the plus side is that if you drop it, you're not gonna curse anywhere near as
    loudly as you would with the more expensive stuff. As for performance, it'll
    take someone with a pretty fancy meter to distinguish any differences.

    I achieved some very smooth paint with no visible marring, so, for me it was
    mission accomplished. As ever, I had a quick go with the Serious Performance
    Paint Cleaner, using their white pad, but was fetching off very little dirt.

    [​IMG]
    The paint now clayed, ready for its wax

    Now To The Wax
    Of course, I was itching to get some wax onto this newly smooth paint. The
    Obsidian Wax is a fairly soft paste with a very faint smell. Of course, I did as
    much reading as I could; again there were a couple of polarised views, though
    these seemed to stem around whether or not to apply it literally by hand.

    [​IMG]
    The first coat goes onto the bonnet and wings

    Now, with my motor, any chance I get, I just love appreciating those metal
    curves, but for my first go with this wax, I decided upon a method that's tried
    and tested with me. I don't know if I'm unique in taking this approach or not,
    but almost everyone I speak to about applying waxes seems to make me feel
    quite exhausted within moments; they just seem to put so much effort into
    the process.

    [​IMG]
    Anyone for flake-pop..?

    Of course, it follows that if you apply so much, then so much more effort is
    required to buff it off again. Not for me! What I've found, particularly with any
    quality product and the ADSOW certainly qualifies, is that less is definitely
    more. Oh, and there are some excellent quality waxes at budget prices, how
    about FK#1000p and Harlys Wax, straight off the bat...

    [​IMG]
    ...and more flake-pop

    Get Your Coating Thin!

    So, achieving this very thin coating. Chief among this, a good pad. I cannot
    recommend enough the soft black waffle pads from Serious Performance. The
    first thing to do is to aim the ONR nozzle into the pad and give it a good
    priming, squeezing out any excess liquid. Then, very gently dab at the paste
    wax. The Obsidian, being fairly soft only needs very light dabbing, just so you
    get a faintly visible coating on the pad. From there, use very light, brisk
    straight strokes. With the pad being lubricated by the ONR, you'll be surprised
    at just how long you can work it. There's no need to rub it round in circles!

    [​IMG]
    Some satisfying reflections. Bear in mind that this is silver paint!

    Ideal Conditions

    Obviously, avoid any surface that's hot, but you do need a minimum ambient
    temperature of 60degF / 15degC. You will get an instant indicator if the
    surface is too hot, the spreading just won't happen. You should be able to
    work in straight lines in one direction, and then work at a 90deg angle across
    the same area.

    [​IMG]
    Yet more flake-pop - getting to be a record!

    With the ADSOW, buffing-off could be achieved almost instantly. With a very
    thin coating applied, it was a breeze to buff off. What's revealed is not just
    an impressive shine, but a slickness that's very satisfying too. The whole
    experience retained its aura of quality with, as you have seen, very pleasing
    results!

    I'll be writing a few words about the screen / glass treatment later this week...

    [​IMG]
    This photo is a sneak preview of what's to come when I talk
    about the ADS Screen Treatment


    Regards,
    Steve
     
  18. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Well, I've arranged for Matt to loan me one later this month, so expect some
    comment from me early in September. I've no idea what to expect, but I do
    have a darned good candidate I can test it thoroughly upon. I'm quite looking
    forward to it... :thumb:

    Update: Just had a quick peek at AdS' Price List and the clay cloth is, wait
    for it, forty quid... That's quite an outlay if someone is trying to maintain just
    one vehicle. I guess that it's a good job that I have more than one car to do
    on a regular basis.

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  19. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    ADS Clay Cloth - 2 Reviews
    Hello Folks,

    Well, true to his word, Matt despatched an ArtDeShine clay cloth off to me.
    There is only one word to describe its effect - amazing! As you may have
    gathered from previous posts, I was a bit apprehensive over what I was going
    to have to say about a cloth costing 40 quid.

    I need not have worried! I've now worked on 4 cars with it and every time the
    results have just been impressive. The candidate car was not a disappointment;
    it had been subjected to 4 or 5 months of its usual neglect as the farm mule.
    Talk about in at the deep end, this car was going to take some cleaning!

    So, the first review shows just how effective the clay cloth is. What I did not
    expect was that I could completely knock out an entire stage of my detailing
    process; that of pre-wax cleaning. What a boon that is!

    If there's anything that affects my hands it's doing a pre-wax clean. Even
    though using the Serious Performance firm white pads did make the process
    easier, I won't miss having to leave it out. While the clay cloth, ably assisted
    by ONR, leaves gloriously clean paint, I'll still be finding a use for the pads
    when doing a final polish, where it is needed.

    The second car, also a Merc, came into the farmyard whilst I was doing a
    bit of work on my car. Its bright red colour being an instant challenge! I guess
    that I didn't need to be talked into having a go that much :) It's the subject
    of my 2nd clay cloth review, and I'll probably be doing a write-up on the full
    detail in the showroom section.

    For anyone with gammy hands I cannot recommend this cloth highly enough!
    If you look at it simply as a clay bar alternative, I think you'll be missing the
    point. It is much more than that. Not only is it very easy, in every context
    of that word, to use, the time-saving and sheer cleanliness of the paint that
    you can achieve will do nothing but completely impress you.

    I've noticed the almost inevitable threads appearing in the claying section,
    trying to make comparisons twixt the various options. To me, the _only_
    way to look at it is: Does the tool do the job? If yes, and this product
    achieves it in spades, then it'll be an investment that gives your future
    detailing quite a significant boost. Not only that, it'll do it with much less
    effort than hitherto.

    If the results come mostly from the preparation, then buy the cloth and spend
    less on expensive waxes - I know which one will give you the most satisfaction!

    Regards,
    Steve
     
  20. LowiePete

    LowiePete Well-Known Member

    Spot the Difference?
    Well, it's been a long time coming, but I finally decided to bite the bullet and
    get my wheels refurbed...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    With the car up off its wheels for a week, the opportunity was also taken to
    check behind the plastic mudguard inserts. That was actually quite pleasing
    because apart from some light dust, it looked like it had just left the factory!

    Nevertheless, everything was given a couple of coats of Bilt Hamber Dynax, a
    couple or three days apart. So, as the car is a keeper, the bits that are most
    hidden are at least well protected now.

    As for the wheels. Well, when the car is moving, you get a thin chrome rim
    appear as if by magic, so the blackness is mitigated. In the sun they look just
    fantastic! How very RenaultSport the car looks now...

    Regards,
    Steve
     
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