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    1. 02-04-2018 10:33 AM #1
      Yes we have a detailing forum, but it is:

      A) slow
      B) February so even slower

      If there's one thing I hate, it's washing/claying/glazing/sealing/waxing. I typically do two big rounds of it (spring cleaning and winter prep) where I will do all of those steps, and then mid-summer I will try to top it off with just a couple coats of wax. I typically use Chemical Guys products. That said, it doesn't seem to matter how clean the paint is, or how many coats I do, it seems like within just weeks/several heavy rains the water beading stops and I'm pretty sure there's nothing left on there. While the car looks amazing when first done, I can't help but think what's the point when just weeks later the water is flat on the surface.

      So I'm thinking I might just want to try a DIY ceramic coating this spring just to see how I like it. The prep work is no big deal, I am experienced with paint corrections etc. and the surface will be washed/clayed/polished (if needed)/IPA wipedown.

      I'm primarily looking for longevity (particularly in a winter salt state) and UV protection from the sun. What are the best/longest lasting DIY coatings? What have you used, how was your experience, how have they held up? Are they a true replacement for the dregs of waxing?
      Last edited by puma1552; 02-04-2018 at 11:17 AM.

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    3. Member Mike0105's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 11:11 AM #2
      I've been using 22PLE for a few years now and love the way it looks. Durability wise it lasts about 12 months but I know some of the other coatings out there last even longer. It's so easy to use I'm not sure if I'd ever go back to sealing/waxing my vehicles.
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    4. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 11:24 AM #3
      Personally I’d prefer a ceramic coating that is UV cured. All the product manufacturers are constantly improving their formulas but my understanding is that ease of install is directly and inversely proportional to longevity. Also look at thickness of the coating as one potential indicator of scratch resistance. The last time I did research CQuartz was good for like 2 years, OptiCoat Pro+ was good for like 4 years and Modesta is good for 8-10 regardless of whatever the warranty says. And don’t count on the warranty as they can be difficult to honor claims. Instead choose a professional installer as proper application is equally important to whatever product they apply. Another variable is glossiness. All require proper paint correction and prep prior to application.
      Last edited by freedomgli; 02-04-2018 at 11:26 AM.

    5. Member thndr8's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 11:39 AM #4
      I've been using CQuartz. It has revolutionized how I clean my car now. I buy it from Amazon for $50 in 50mL. That's enough to do 2 coats, my wheels, and I'm left with 1/4 bottle for future touchups on my GLI. I do the normal paint correction then IPA wipe down and apply 2 coats. I apply Reload if I think the car will get wet within the 7 day cure time. No soap for a week to cure. My paint is so butter smooth and shines better than ever. I know the feeling with how you do it. It never lasted for me and washing scratches would show up in a month. I don't own a foam cannon and use one bucket with a microfiber mitt. Now, I do Cquartz once a year. Usually after winter to fix all the paint chips and scratches from winter driving. CO road rash is brutal. I do not get scratches from washing anymore. I use Carpro Reload once a month after a wash to keep it up. Just wipe on, wipe off. And the car is so easy to wash now. Between washes, I usually just use Mequairs Wash and Wax to wipe off the dust daily. Maybe wash it once a month now. When we head to the mountains to go skiing and I come back down and my white car is brown from the stuff they put down for snow storms. I stop at my self serve car wash and just spray off the road salt and the car looks good as new. Spray it down with Wash and Wax and wipe. Freshly washed car after skiing. No scratches. I'm sold on the stuff. Haven't tried any other brands, but I would think all coatings would act the same. I think the difference would be in ease of application between all the brands. Surface prep is key to longevity and making the paint pop.

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      02-04-2018 11:54 AM #5
      Quote Originally Posted by thndr8 View Post
      I've been using CQuartz. It has revolutionized how I clean my car now. I buy it from Amazon for $50 in 50mL. That's enough to do 2 coats, my wheels, and I'm left with 1/4 bottle for future touchups on my GLI. I do the normal paint correction then IPA wipe down and apply 2 coats. I apply Reload if I think the car will get wet within the 7 day cure time. No soap for a week to cure. My paint is so butter smooth and shines better than ever. I know the feeling with how you do it. It never lasted for me and washing scratches would show up in a month. I don't own a foam cannon and use one bucket with a microfiber mitt. Now, I do Cquartz once a year. Usually after winter to fix all the paint chips and scratches from winter driving. CO road rash is brutal. I do not get scratches from washing anymore. I use Carpro Reload once a month after a wash to keep it up. Just wipe on, wipe off. And the car is so easy to wash now. Between washes, I usually just use Mequairs Wash and Wax to wipe off the dust daily. Maybe wash it once a month now. When we head to the mountains to go skiing and I come back down and my white car is brown from the stuff they put down for snow storms. I stop at my self serve car wash and just spray off the road salt and the car looks good as new. Spray it down with Wash and Wax and wipe. Freshly washed car after skiing. No scratches. I'm sold on the stuff. Haven't tried any other brands, but I would think all coatings would act the same. I think the difference would be in ease of application between all the brands. Surface prep is key to longevity and making the paint pop.
      I've had Ceramic Pro 9H (my local detailer switched from CQuartz to this) and that is UV cured as well (a little less glossy than CQuartz, but more durable) which with 4 layers has a lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty requires "maintenance" washes with your detailer to keep it.
      Ceramic Pro also makes a "Strong" product that is good for wheels / calipers. I didn't wash my wheels for a couple of months since I got it applied, and I was able to wipe off all of the salt / brake dust inside the barrel with just a quick squirt of a de-greaser and no scrubbing.

      I have a leased car now, so I didn't need that much time on mine and he gave me a discount to try a new product on my car called "SB3" (no idea what it is) and I took his recommendation - my car still beads water even as it melts / freezes (I'll see beads of frozen water on my car in the morning). I've applied CarPro reload once after a wash this winter (on a warm day) to freshen it up.

      There are so many options out there now for ceramic coatings that you almost can't go wrong with a product. If your detailer is well known and recommends a product (and does a great job with prep) you will end up loving it.
      Last edited by iliveoncaffiene; 02-04-2018 at 11:56 AM.
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    7. Member Accidental L8 apex's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 12:26 PM #6
      I know prices will vary from region to region, but what's a guesstimate on what these run? I simply don't have the neck or back to do something so labor intensive anymore and need to farm this out.
      Something witty will be in this exact spot soon.

    8. Member freedomgli's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 12:29 PM #7
      Quote Originally Posted by Accidental L8 apex View Post
      I know prices will vary from region to region, but what's a guesstimate on what these run? I simply don't have the neck or back to do something so labor intensive anymore and need to farm this out.
      Depends on size of vehicle (labor time and materials), amount of paint correction needed, and whether you’re doing just painted finishes or all trim, glass, wheels, etc. also. You can get it done for anywhere from $400-$500 at a sketchy detailer for a small car with minimal paint correction up to $1500 or more for an SUV with everything done right in a clean, new workshop.

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      02-04-2018 12:58 PM #8
      Quote Originally Posted by Accidental L8 apex View Post
      I know prices will vary from region to region, but what's a guesstimate on what these run? I simply don't have the neck or back to do something so labor intensive anymore and need to farm this out.
      Out of curiosity's sake from this thread, and I've been considering getting this done on my car I just contacted a local shop that specializes in clear-bras and ceramic coating for a quote...this is what I got... includes paint correction as well.. for my 2010 Mini Cooper.


      Crystal serum light, 5 year warranty. $899

      Crystal serum ultra, 9 year warranty. $1399
      /| OMGHAI |\

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      02-04-2018 12:58 PM #9
      I installed CQuartz UK on my car last season. The shine was remarkable and installation wasn't as difficult as I expected. That said, I'm not super impressed with its resistance to marring.
      After a few washes (two bucket, with a grit guard) and car show wipe downs with ONR waterless wash diluted to quick detailer strength I'm still getting very pronounced marring on the hood especially. I considered that maybe I hadn't corrected the swirls before coating and thus had coated over them so I finished it down to bare paint and corrected again. This time I verified swirl removal before recoating. I got the same result however: marring present after a few weeks.


      Are the marr-resistant qualities overstated or am I doing something wrong in the application?
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      02-04-2018 01:35 PM #10
      I had Ceramic Pro 9H applied to my Fiesta ST after purchase last August and it's hard to imagine having it any other way on future vehicles.

      As others stated the ease of maintenance is incredible, especially with a vehicle that creates a lot of brake dust. The biggest difference is the touch-less car washes are actually able to get the grime off during the winter months whereas some grime would always be left without a ceramic coating.

      Just the coating on mine with a lifetime warranty was around $900 and as others said it requires annual "maintenance washes" but it feels worth it knowing it'll preserve the paint for the life of the car. 6 months in and water still beads just as well as day 1 although for future vehicles I'll probably go ahead and apply it myself.

      Last edited by SourKrout; 02-04-2018 at 01:44 PM.

    12. Banned NeverEnoughCars's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 01:51 PM #11
      Quote Originally Posted by SourKrout View Post
      Just the coating on mine with a lifetime warranty was around $900 and as others said it requires annual "maintenance washes" but it feels worth it knowing it'll preserve the paint for the life of the car.
      How much are these "maintenance washes" and how often do you need to do them?

    13. Member feetsies's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 01:55 PM #12
      I also ceramic coated my FiST. I opted for the 5 year coating as I don't expect, at this time, to own the car longer than that. It was well worth the money. I believe I paid about $800. I'm not sure if there is any other maintenance other than regular washing. The car looks great, and the water beads right off every time. Well worth the money IMO.


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    14. Member Smigelski's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 03:01 PM #13
      Subscribed. I really want to know about the ceramic coatings. I'd like to apply it myself to the Golf R.

      The brakes the Golf are super dusty, but I've never had a problem cleaning the dust off of even the barrels. Before the stock Summer wheels go back on the car, I'm going to coat them with Pinnacle Black Label Diamond Wheel Coating. I figured it was a good way to dip my feet into the world of ceramic coatings.

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      02-04-2018 05:30 PM #14
      I've done it myself and am very happy with the results.

      I used Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light and on top of that, a couple layers of Gtechniq Exo V3. Supposedly, the CSL is swirl resistant while the Exo is hydrophobic and creates crazy beading (more on that later). In combination, the products should last 3-5 years. Applying these products is super easy; I used these instructions, substituting IPA solution for the panel wipe before applying the first layer. Give it a couple hours between layers. The hardest part remains doing the polishing beforehand, which you're doing no matter what sealant you're using. But I did everything in a day and the total cost of supplies was around $200.

      Here are the results in the shade and in the sun:





      It's real shiny, folks. It has a gloss and glassiness well above anything that I've seen from a conventional wax or sealant. It retains a nice gloss and depth even with a layer of dust on it.

      My favorite part is that it's really easy to take care of after the coating is applied. I did this 6 months ago and have washed my car with soap and water twice since. Other than that, I'll just go to the self-service car wash every couple of weeks and spray it down. Beads really well, here is a video of spraying down the car when it's dirty.



      The hydrophobic properties mean that the car is dry once we're a half mile down the road. If it rains a bit and you drive off, the car stays clean because the water beads off and takes dirt with it. I imagine if you park outside where your car gets a lot of dew on it, you could keep it reasonably clean by just driving to work in the morning.

    16. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 05:41 PM #15
      I thought we would discuss actual ceramic coatings. Like for pistons and exhausts and stuff.

      This stuff is not exactly "ceramic". If it was, your paint would be destroyed.
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      02-04-2018 05:57 PM #16
      Does anyone have experience with this stuff on trucks that go off-road? I was thinking about it while pinstriping the **** out of my 4Runner last week... if it can take some of that abuse instead of the clear coat, I'd get it applied tomorrow.

      EDIT: Seeing all the FiSTs in here is really messing with me.

    18. 02-04-2018 06:09 PM #17
      Quote Originally Posted by atomicalex View Post
      I thought we would discuss actual ceramic coatings. Like for pistons and exhausts and stuff.

      This stuff is not exactly "ceramic". If it was, your paint would be destroyed.
      That's what I thought too.

      Back in ye olde goode dayz of mid 90's I had my manifold coated by Jet-Hot.

      https://www.jet-hot.com/thermal-barrier/

      I opted for the gray topcoat.

      It was highly effective and as advertised,
      but I really missed seeing the glow after a spirited run when I'd let it idle a few minutes before shutdown.
      I'd pop the clamshell hood and stand there gazing, it was especially beautiful on crisp fall evenings...



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      02-04-2018 06:19 PM #18
      Quote Originally Posted by johntesi View Post
      Does anyone have experience with this stuff on trucks that go off-road?
      For off-road I’d think you’d need more protection to be worthwhile. Like clear paint protection film on all high wear surfaces with ceramic coat on top of that. Or just say f-it and not bother like the majority of people who use their trucks off-road.

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      02-04-2018 07:06 PM #19
      Quote Originally Posted by NeverEnoughCars View Post
      How much are these "maintenance washes" and how often do you need to do them?
      They're $75 at my detailer and need to be done annually to retain the warranty. They're supposed to consist of a thorough wash, re-application of ceramic coating as needed, and/or a booster spray. I have a full CQuartz kit and might just use the CQuartz Reload as it feels too much like a money grab.

    21. Member candy11's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 07:53 PM #20
      Quote Originally Posted by SourKrout View Post
      They're $75 at my detailer and need to be done annually to retain the warranty. They're supposed to consist of a thorough wash, re-application of ceramic coating as needed, and/or a booster spray. I have a full CQuartz kit and might just use the CQuartz Reload as it feels too much like a money grab.
      Who does your detailing?

    22. 02-04-2018 07:54 PM #21
      Id prolly ask this guy

    23. Member atomicalex's Avatar
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      02-04-2018 08:09 PM #22
      Quote Originally Posted by stiggy-pug View Post
      That's what I thought too.

      Back in ye olde goode dayz of mid 90's I had my manifold coated by Jet-Hot.

      Please continue...
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      02-04-2018 08:18 PM #23
      Quote Originally Posted by candy11 View Post
      Who does your detailing?
      Jeff at Luxor over by Costco. He seems to do quality work but if you need your car back at a specific time be sure to stress that upfront.

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      02-05-2018 08:08 AM #24
      As a part-time detailer, I'm biased to the products I use. Primarily IGL Coatings and Gyeon Quartz. In terms of installation, Gyeon introduced two coatings that are specifically designed for the diy-er (One & Pure). They're both single layer coatings with one and two year expected durations. I have the full line of Gyeon products on my car, including View, Leather Shield, Rim, Trim, Mohs and Booster which make maintenance washes super easy. Safe wash process then blow dry and use a damp MF w/ Gyeon Cure as a drying aid. I'm not a CQUARTZ fan as I find it too grabby. Gyeon is super easy to install and just takes a little patience. The real work is the paint correction and paint prep. Figure 80% of the work is done before the coating is applied.

      In terms of pricing, since it was asked, I do sedans for $350 (1 year coating) and $600 (2 year coating) plus the cost of correction. Assume $1k all-in for a 2 year coating w/ a single step correction, for reference

      All that being said, I'll likely do SwissVax Shield once my current Mohs wears down. I do miss the wax process.

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      02-05-2018 08:37 AM #25
      Quote Originally Posted by freedomgli View Post
      Depends on size of vehicle (labor time and materials), amount of paint correction needed, and whether you’re doing just painted finishes or all trim, glass, wheels, etc. also. You can get it done for anywhere from $400-$500 at a sketchy detailer for a small car with minimal paint correction up to $1500 or more for an SUV with everything done right in a clean, new workshop.
      Quote Originally Posted by Accidental L8 apex View Post
      I know prices will vary from region to region, but what's a guesstimate on what these run? I simply don't have the neck or back to do something so labor intensive anymore and need to farm this out.
      That's close to what I've experienced.
      Where I go he is a Ceramic Pro 9H installer (it is not publicly available, only through a detailer who has been "certified" [or whatever]) - and all packages include full exterior wash (iron-x, clay-bar, foam, wipe-down) + single stage polishing. Prices range from just over $1k to almost $2k for 4 layers of 9H (all also include wheel-off detailing + coating on the wheels). It might take him 1-2 days depending on how many coats (needs time between each) and 1-2 days in a dry environment to cure (you can drive it away to a garage, or let him keep the car).
      If more polishing is required or requested, he usually provides a quote for that upon inspection of the car.

      I could probably get some detailing done cheaper at a Ziebart (and they probably have a coating of their own), but the guy I go to has a good reputation, many repeat clients with old classics, and gets work from local high-end dealerships to coat cars directly from the factory (Rolls, Bentley, Viper ACR, GT3 RS, etc).
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