Wednesday, August 13, 2014

BRZ Opti-Coat

I decided recently to Opti-Coat the BRZ and took yesterday and today to go ahead and get that done.  I went with the usual foam wash with Chemical Guys Maxi Sud and All Purpose Cleaner added in for some extra stripping power.  Followed by a Nanoskin clay, polish with HD Adapt, wipedown with CarPro Eraser and GTechniq Panel Wipe, then Opti-Coat.

Then after the solid foam bath and deep wheel and wheel well cleaning.

Time to let the brushes soak in some APC to clean them out while I pressed on.

Following the standard rinseless wash, I went with a Microfiber Madness Duo wipedown.  Dry Me Crazy followed by the Crazy Pile to knock out any towel marks or stray water left behind.  Not that its possible the Dry Me Crazy soaks up a ridiculous amount of water.

Nanoskin clay was next, I used Ultima Waterless Wash as the lube and just a simple waffle weave to wipedown residue leftover.  Waffle weaves are great for claying since the surface is already clean you don't need to worry about the short nap and they are lightweight, easy to use, can be folded numerous times, and soak up multiple times their weight in liquid.

D'oh!  Bottle of V07 fell and broke the sprayer, good thing I keep a few extras around and used up a bottle of CarPro Eraser on this detail.

Following with the duo wipedown, I've began to really use this technique in most aspects, two towels is better than one especially on softer paints.

RID down below, didn't try chasing this one too far, may have to use some Dr. Colorchip later on to see if it can be filled in slightly.  I don't think I'm ready for wetsanding just set but that may change.

For the polish I went with HD Adapt and a Blue Uber Pad.  Worked pretty good overall, just a light polish for most but there were a few areas where I needed to go over it again or use varying amounts of pressure.  Found a few spots after I had opti-coated where I missed some, oh well just a project for another weekend.

So, I finally decided to pass this along, I see it quite a few times about draping the cord of an orbital polisher over the shoulder.  But personally I don't think it's good enough, I've had it fall off on more than one occasion. What I've moved on to doing is wrapping the cord around my opposite leg as well, this prevents slack from building up which keeps pressure tighter on the line.  Technique only but I like it and will continue to use it.

Wipedown post polish was done with CarPro Eraser until it ran out then followed by GTechniq Panel Wipe.  Both work great, Eraser by far has a better scent but ease of use is just about equal.

Again I went with a crazy pile to ensure nothing was transferred to the surface.

Opti-Coat time!  Dual Pro Applicator as used and a Gold Plush disposable towel.  I'm not a huge fan of trusting these towels to remove all the residue and be used on the paint again.  Also, interesting issue, since I don't use Opti-Coat too often the blue applicator tip must have had some stuck in it because it refused to work, I ended up going without a tip and using it that way.  The black locking tip still works perfectly.

And the final product, followed by more than one walk-around to check for high spots and missed spots.  Found just a couple, but for a daily driver 85-90% is acceptable but I'll be sure to go back and knock out those couple missed areas and re-apply Opti-Coat.  Ensure if you do this to tape around the area to reduce the area you are removing Opti-Coat from since it needs to be re-applied after polishing.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Dr. Colorchip Review

Today, I report my findings on Dr. Colorchip.  It is bitter sweet, unfortunately I ran into a scrape with the BR-Z, but I have been wanting to try out Dr. Colorchip for quite a while, so I figured better now than ever.

Here below you can see the minor scrape.

Overall nothing too noticeable as it is so low on the car, but not something that I can live with when there are products specifically made to help. 

When buying a kit from Dr. Colorchip you input your specific car model and paint color, they then match it tot he best of their abilities. 
Included in the kit is:

Code matched paint
Small paint brush
Paint cleanser
Latex Gloves

With the BR-Z being a triple coat white with quite a bit of flake they do caution that while they match to the best of their abilities, there may be a slight mismatch.  This mainly being due to it not being a solid color such as black or a plain white, etc...

The paint cleanser used is made to clean the surface from contaminants and leave a bare surface, it can also be used to remove excess paint.  The picture below shows the packaging.

After an hour or so, following the instructions exactly here is the finished product.  It has blended better over time, and since the car was relatively new there isn't as much fade as seen in cars that are more than a couple of years old.

Overall it is a great product, it is used very easily.  The finish and final product is much better than you would get from buying a simple touch up paint tube from the dealer.  Since those usually run in the $15-25 range for most average cars, I think ponying up the cost for Dr. Colorchip or another brand like Langka is overwhelmingly worth it. 

Feel free to post or message me any questions about my process!


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Full Wheel Detail + Plasti-Dip

Plasti-dipping has grown exponentially in the last few years with car nuts using it on everything.  And for good reason, it's extremely useful, has little to no danger (watch out for the colored versions on paint), and removes by simply peeling off.  I went with the standard black for the rims to add some contrast to the White BR-Z. 

While doing this I figured why not give the wheels and wheel wells a deep scrub and give them a nice coat of dressing to give it that deep black look.  Pictures inbound.

The wells weren't much to see right?  A little Optimum Power Clean and microfiber wipe down and they should be good to go.

A little deeper inspection shows what a car goes through as a daily driver.  Nothing too difficult to deal with.

And after a nice wipedown before applying the desired dressing, CarPro PERL.

Now it's time to move on to the wheels.  It sure is easier to clean them when they're off the car.  Same deal here, simple wipedown with Optimum Power Clean.   Followed by using GTechniq Panel Wipe just to ensure the panel was bare and ready to have the Plasti-Dip applied.  Here's  quick before and after of the wheel.

And the finished product of the wheel wells after the PERL has more than enough time to cure.

Now for the finished rims back on the car.

Overall the products worked well as normal.  I went through quite a few towels and it was my first time using Panel Wipe.  It went on just fine but without using it on paint I can't really comment on it's comparison to CarPro Eraser.  But for the amount I used it for it works great, easy to apply, no noticeable streaking, good smell, nothing detrimental.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Latest Haul

Courtesy of CarPro-US

2 Microfiber Madness Crazy Piles

2 Fast Glass Cloths

2 3" Low Profile Crimson Hydrotechs

16oz Spotless Water Spot Remover

Expect a review on Spotless coming up.

All in all excited to try out the Crazy Pile towels on the new BRZ.  Fast Glass cloths are indispensable, one just wasn't enough, they are perfect not only on cars but all around the house.  Spotless is mainly for water spots on the window and the Hydrotechs are just to fill a gap in my pads since I have 3" in the Tangerine and Cyan version and my only crimson was pretty well trashed by Blackfire Black Ice (definitely keep a dedicated pad for that wax it just does not come out after multiple washes).

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

New Car Prep: Subaru BR-Z

It finally came in!

And boy was the paint thrashed from some rain storms and being on a hauler for a couple of days.  Unfortunately I had to pick up this beauty on the way to work so no room to clean it or really do anything but get the license plate on and hit the road.

So with this car being transported by ship, rail, truck it was bound to see some less than perfect environmental conditions so I gave it a thorough decon that I'll outline below.

Here's a few pictures of the situation at hand.

First off, started with the wheels and wheel wells, these were actually in pretty great shape and I used some diluted Adam's APC with assorted brushes.

Then I moved on to the usual foam gun wash to get rid of loose dirt and grime, as well as start to break down remaining surface dirt.  For added effect I threw in car shampoo and some all-purpose cleaner to give it some extra kick. 

Followed by that since the foam wash got it quite a bit cleaner than I had expected, I moved on to a rinseless wash.  Standard ONRWW (Optimum No Rinse Wash and Wax) and 700gsm towels per the standard.  This went over pretty easily and didn't find anything out of the ordinary.  Overall the paint was in pretty great shape.

And finally the glass.  My Fast Glass towel before and after.

Then I moved on to a step I usually skip, IronX treatment.  And does this stuff is not pleasant to say the least.  It gets stuck in the air and clings to clothing, but with white paint (Satin White Pearl to be exact) IronX really showed it's form.  The iron bled right out.

My car is bleeding!!!

Following the iron decon step I moved on to claying the vehicle.  Using the Nanoskin Fine Grade towel.  The lube of choice was regular Optimum No Rinse and for the towel a Cobra Guzzler HD.

Well now we are all set to polish.  First to do a thorough check of RIDS (random isolated deep scratches) and areas to hit heavier.  Now whether you consider this fortunate or unfortunate white paint hides scratches extremely well.  Overall pretty impressed, there were a few areas where the paint needed special attention.  But for the most part a finishing polish and light-medium cutting pad did the job.

Here's a few shots of the RIDS we were dealing with.

Nothing too crazy minor scratches.  Bu then again I picked this car up with 6 miles on it.

The heavier scratches I used HD Adapt paired with an Uber Green (medium cut) 5.5" pad.  I tried out HD Polish and Menzerna SF4000 on a Blue Uber pad, and decided on Menzerna SF4000.

Here's a quick before and after

Next I moved on to touching up the hidden areas.  So door sills, trunk area, and nooks and crannies.  Quite a bit of grim that required some special brushes and ingenuity to get into.

And now the engine bay.  Just a simple wipedown then moving on with a Sonus Trim and Motor Kote spraydown.

Now to seal everything up.  For the glass Sonax Polymer Net Shield.

And the wax of choice.  Bouncer's Sherbet Fizz.

When waxing especially around trim and areas that are hard to reach.  Wipe away from trim and rubber weatherstripping where you dont want wax to go.  And for areas that you can't reach with a machine, push the wax that way so you ensure proper coverage.  For wiping off I use two towels, one initial one that I'll use for 2-3 panels, then a second towel to ensure it's wiped clean and buffed to a nice shine.

And the sun shots and final product!

Thanks for reading! Feel free to post up any questions or comments!