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Llew's Detailing & Product Review Thread
#1
So I have posted this before on Instagram (in part at least). 

I seem to have collected alot of kit and product over time. I have always tried to look after my cars from the very first one.

Some history

I remember going to Midas and using my pocket money to buy colour-matched polish for cars and then when I got my own car using very difficult to use paste waxes and Holts products with my Mom's household cloths. This was before I remember Microfibre even being a thing. Nope - wash with sunlight, single bucket and a hosepipe.

As I went along I would try different things that budget would allow for. When I started up my first business, a fair bit went into off the shelf products for my mildly hail damaged but otherwise good looking 325i. Even calamaties were an opportunity (eg: wheels were stolen and so on went some repaired M3 wheels, someone bumped into me? better see how I can fix this myself because I had limited resources) 

My S2000 being black and with really sensitive paint really made me try more interesting things. Meguiars soft wash gel and cleaner wax were staples at the time. This changed to their Gold Class wash and extremely time consuming but satisfying 3-step Deep Crystal system. I also picked up a very basic Shield polisher that I still have. It is interesting thinking back on this now how cheap things were even adjusted for inflation. It was a time of a lot of firsts - using the right products, specialised products for the interior (Eg Rally UV protectant), experimenting with wheel coatings (though nothing came close to Rally No Hands at the time).


This was also around the time I discovered Crazy Detailer and as a result Adams products, that magic waffle weave drying towel, ultra plush microfibres for different tasks and of course Pete's 53 Signature Black Pearl boutique wax which was magic on the black S2000. When it became impossible to source Ragg Top I converted to Aerospace 303 protectant for the top which kept it in good shape despite it also being a weak point on the car.

I had a lot going on in my life during these times and I found this to be a great way to unwind/relax my mind whilst doing something physical... something I still do today.

I went through phases of liking various products that were applied by hand from Collinite etc and it was a lot of trialling. I added a Subaru with Metallic paint to the garage and then my wife's Elantra so experimented with longer lasting stuff like sealants. These were chores more than the 'occasion' of detailing the S2000. By this time I had many people coming to me for help with minor things or help before cars were sold eg @Jeremy @Neven still on the forum. I helped @Sarisheng experimenting with sanding and aggressive compounds to remove an NF stain on white paint (caught quickly but not quick enough) - not totally removed but to the point that with some road film on it, only he and I knew where it was LOL.

At this point, Shield released their DA polisher (Something I had read about for years) and with the Crazy Detailer bundle price, it was a no brainer for me to try. This opened up a whole new world of detailing and I explored the new ranges of Megs professional, Menzerna, 'cheats' such as Black Hole, various pads (Lake County, Menzerna etc), various approaches to corrections etc. I found (as many no doubt have) that the most expensive things (particularly these fancy sounding things that sound like they are pitched as beauty products) are not always the best.

At this point I got the M5 and it really was in poor shape - as many comments as it garners now it really looked like it had been neglected - full of swirls, scratches, full of fallout (it hailed from Limpopo somewhere), requiring a lot of decontamination etc. There were things nobody on the forum ever saw that I worked on correcting. I thought about a pro detail on it, but I am glad I learned what to do. It was also at this point that out of necessity I learned how to care for the delicate Nappa leather in these cars, bringing it to the 'natural matte' and protecting it even now. I did a bolster redye and fixed a tear that I bought the car with. Haven't needed much work since.

So that is how I got from sunlight dishwashing liquid and mom's old cloths to chamois, sponges and off the shelf products before migrating to systems.

These products only get you so far even though I was using relatively impressive hand-applied sealants such as Fusso and Soft99s Tire product at this point (this was lightyears away from anything else I had used in terms of longevity. It was time to try Ceramic coating - something people had been raving about to the point that it seemed too good to be true, yet also impossible to ignore. 

I first paid a visit to Bigfoot Detailing (at that point Pristine Detailing) in an industrial unit at an incubation hub. I only found them because I was interested in Gyeon and they were listed as suppliers. Crazy detailer had brought in Gyeon before but was switching to something else and was in a period where nothing was available for a couple of months. It was at this point that I decided I was going to do a total overhaul of what I was using as well as approach. Off I went to them and was really impressed with what I saw (even then before they started working on delivery details for Koenigseggs) - Porsches and a Countach undergoing incredibly meticulous work. I decided to try Gyeon One and bought all the stuff to go with it including various types of cloths etc. My garage is down-lit but I also got some LED lights and a headlamp. I spent a solid 10 hours if not more prepping the M5 before finally applying the coating. There has been no going back since and you will see in the pic that there are a variety of Gyeon products I use. 

This industry exaggerates a LOT when it comes to product with many paid shills in many places and detailers happy to talk about mediocre product in glowing terms in exchange for freebies, but for the most part I have been happy with Gyeon and Carpro's performance vs. claims. You will never achieve them on daily cars, but they also aren't gone in a month like some other brands. The ancillary products beyond the coating and prep stages are also good but there comes a point (eg with tyre products) where nothing is REALLY going to be much better in terms of longevity due to specific use cases and you might be happier using a shorter duration, cheaper product that is easy to apply vs. eg: Gyeon tyre where you really need a heat gun and very clean surface to get maybe 2 months (in a dry season) better duration than Soft99's tyre product that is just wipe-on... or Rally which is R50 and is 'fire and forget' but lasts a week. Garage queens are a different story....

======

In terms of the kit that I am using

I use an aging Karcher K5 pressure washer which has gotten the job done for years. My old K4 is still in use at my father in law's place. I am (post lockdown) going to get an HD 5/15 pro unit as a replacement and sell this one on.

I traded up from my Shield unit for a Rupes Mille forced rotation unit. This isn't one for a novice detailer. Although I don't consider myself to be a pro, I do feel comfortable with the switch. I do wish I had kept my Shield DA for some jobs though.

I recently added a Karcher Professional Puzzi 8/1C extraction unit for upholstery and carpets. This is an expensive piece of kit but Karcher quality and support in my experience has been exceptional. When I get a bit more time, I am going to do the writeup and detailed pics on this unit.

I think over time I've dealt with most of the car care supply side companies and I don't think there is a bad one I've come across unlike car tuners!! The exception to the community are those characters who buy a basic machine, do their mates car or a car with extremely minor defects and then think they are suddenly a pro detailer... like that cousin that buys a dslr and suddenly watermarks all their pics then wants to charge you to cover your kids party. I never wanted to be that guy and hence have never charged for help I have given people.


I've tried and found favourites across things like boutique waxes, sealants, various polishes, compounds, systems, machines... finally being converted to ceramic. Cars currently have a mix of Carpro and Gyeon of various types. It seems graphene may be next.

For me its part of the passion for cars and all things mechanical... helping friends and family and helping control stress as a plus. I am not sure if some of them realise what that free leather coating (if I'm running low or reaching use-by date) or scratch removal/paint/panel correction etc would have cost them in product alone ??. Its also something both the kids take seriously and get involved in... sometimes fighting over who helps me with what.

I've had requests and offers of money many times... even randomly here and on instagram... and sent them off to people who have proper detailing studios, tools, lighting and time beyond anything I could do in my garage... and also because people are people... expecting alot from a little... either way my hourly rates would seem expensive if I had to charge them ???. Maybe one day after lockdown when I can have the gift of space that still eludes me ?? As a plus I didnt need to rush out for masks or gloves to stave off COVID-19 due to this side of my addiction/passion either ?


This was a long post and subsequent posts will cover individual pieces of kit. Watch this space as I am working on a private detailing studio for my next house (but that is an even longer story, which COVID-19 is not helping!)

Anyway thanks for reading if you've made it this far and next posts should hopefully be interesting focusing on the individual bits!

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#2
Great thread @TurboLlew, looking forward to this and all other content you have to share!
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#3
Great write up!
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#4
Great post Llew.

Its a pity the S2K isn't around anymore so you could showcase how you mastered the care techniques of black paint.
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#5
So first post is on the Karcher Puzzi 8/1C. It is also my newest addition until post lockdown when I will likely add the HD 5/15C pro pressure washer

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My pet hate is cleaning carpets as to do an effective job takes a heck of a lot of effort and you risk your car smelling like wet dog if not done properly.

This unit is a very powerful extraction vacuum for upholstery and carpets. I looked for the Bissell unit featured in some online detailing videos but could not find one in SA and importing one would be both costly and difficult to find support for.

I have long been a fan of Karcher and came across this unit in my search. Being part of the professional range means that it comes with a 2 year warranty but also 10 year guarantee of parts availability from date of purchase. I've mentioned before that I've had really good experiences with their support over the years and repairs have been cost effective or even free when needed.

Setting up the unit is super easy. I have an additional crevice tool that also has a spray head on it. There are no clips that might break off or spools to worry about. It feels like a very high quality tool despite being the baby of the professional range. You can purchase additional items to make it easier to do larger sections of carpet. However, at that point I can see the size of tank becoming a challenge. Using warm (50 degree) water means it is difficult for me to judge how much heat this outputs really, but it is going to be warmer than a regular vaccuum.

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I tested this out on a couple of sections of carpet with excellent results using just hot water. I experimented with detergent in the tank as well as detergent on the carpet itself. I think in the interests of preserving the motor, I will stick to warm water in the tank and applying the detergent directly and agitating beforehand. Either way, you have to flush the unit with clean water after using detergent in the tank. Even with a recently washed carpet, the unit managed to extract a surprising amount of dirt. Unfortunately being gloved and masked at the time, I didn't take pics of the aftermath.

Using the unit itself requires minimal effort - it is more difficult to contort yourself into position than actually using it. You just fill water into the tank, turn on the pump and motor and off you go.

This is a deeply satisfying thing to use as well for some reason. Seeing dirt literally being extracted via the clear bits on the handle and head. I am not sure if it would interest anyone for me to make videos of some of these things in action so you see first hand what is happening.
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#6
Nice one bud! Puzzi is definitely on my wishlist, such a useful tool to have.
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#7
Interesting post,

I have similar product history from the early stages!
Remember the Megz soft wash,pete 53,adams VRT, Adams QD,Shield polisher etc.

Some good products that have dissapeared over the years now that I think of it, really miss the Adams stuff.
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#8
(29-04-2020, 02:19 PM)brads7 Wrote: Interesting post,

I have similar product history from the early stages!
Remember the Megz soft wash,pete 53,adams VRT, Adams QD,Shield polisher etc.

Some good products that have dissapeared over the years now that I think of it, really miss the Adams stuff.

The Adams range was probably one of the best value ranges of product I have used. It seemed to bridge the performance between Meguiars and the more premium brands whilst a lot of the time being cheaper than you could find Meguiars for in stores. The reddish QD as a drying aid was second to none. I am still not sure why they disappeared because it seems everyone who used the products shares our sentiments. Same goes for the 'premium' or pro grade Mother's products

(29-04-2020, 01:01 PM)Jeremy Wrote: Great post Llew.

Its a pity the S2K isn't around anymore so you could showcase how you mastered the care techniques of black paint.

I think few people saw it as up close as you LOL. I don't think people realise just how difficult that car was to keep looking the way it did - colour aside, the paint was difficult to work with, the roof was very prone to tears, the leather was tough but difficult to keep looking good, plastics and trim. I still miss that car though. One day...
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#9
Nice thread, I have actually been looking into getting into the cleaning and detailing side of things - I have previously taken my car to a car wash and that was that.

Things are changing a bit now, want to get more into it and do things properly and look after the paint and the rest of the car a bit better, quite a bit to learn though and then when it comes to picking products boy is it difficult. Everyone has a different opinion and a lot of the products seem to do more or less the same thing on paper but who knows in reality.
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#10
(30-04-2020, 06:27 PM)PsyCLown Wrote: Nice thread, I have actually been looking into getting into the cleaning and detailing side of things - I have previously taken my car to a car wash and that was that.

Things are changing a bit now, want to get more into it and do things properly and look after the paint and the rest of the car a bit better, quite a bit to learn though and then when it comes to picking products boy is it difficult. Everyone has a different opinion and a lot of the products seem to do more or less the same thing on paper but who knows in reality.


Start with the wash and build your way from there .I usually shop on takealot or CrazyDetailer as It’s convenient.
For me I like a wash that smells good and is quite strong and foams easily .
I tend to use Meguiars or chemical guys .

CrazyDetailer wash kit is a good place to start once they open again .


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#11
(01-05-2020, 09:04 PM)brads7 Wrote:
(30-04-2020, 06:27 PM)PsyCLown Wrote: Nice thread, I have actually been looking into getting into the cleaning and detailing side of things - I have previously taken my car to a car wash and that was that.

Things are changing a bit now, want to get more into it and do things properly and look after the paint and the rest of the car a bit better, quite a bit to learn though and then when it comes to picking products boy is it difficult. Everyone has a different opinion and a lot of the products seem to do more or less the same thing on paper but who knows in reality.


Start with the wash and build your way from there .I usually shop on takealot or CrazyDetailer as It’s convenient.
For me I like a wash that smells good and is quite strong and foams easily .
I tend to use Meguiars or chemical guys .

CrazyDetailer wash kit is a good place to start once they open again .


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Good advice

Crazy Detailer (CD) has great advice when you go into the store as well. We also have Mo and crew on the forum, Fuzz has a ton of knowledge as well

Once your skills improve, your 'eye' improves and you start picking things that work for you, you can selectively swap things out from your starter kit.

Before you spend a cent on any kits or fancy things though, I would suggest you get grit guards for your buckets (an absolute must and just get the cheapest you can find - CD has a special on the buckets and the guards so check it out!), a 10 pack of microfibres (my favourite cheapies are the Vermark Microwiz ones believe it or not - cheaper than Shield and noticeably deeper pile/higher gsm) and the best drying towel you can afford (if you choose well, it will last you a very long time). You can decide on sponge vs. mitt - that is a can of worms LOL. No matter what you use or buy going forward, these are extremely cheap but effective measures you can take to improve your wash method.

Be careful of brand loyalty with midrange or lower end products. They are marketed to sell as "systems" that are "Designed to work together" but I've usually found that you might have favourites from a few different manufacturers and in some instances cheap products work just as well (in some cases even better) without the price premium. Similarly you might find there is a great polish or compound from one brand but then you use a different product in the end because of the user experience or finish. There is a big jump between what you find in stores and what you find from eg: Crazy Detailer (which I think is where most people will be happiest in terms of skill required/time/cost etc) then another big jump to what you might find online at eg: Auto DNA or Pristine Detailing where you need to spend a day (or 3) prepping your car, respirators, gloves, specialist equipment etc... at which point unless you're up for the challenge, you're really better off just paying a pro to do it.

Do also cross-shop the places mentioned above as some are better on price than others depending on which brand they have direct agency for.

You might initially want to spend more on correction or interior deep cleaning products if your car is older or paint more neglected. If your car is newer maybe spend more on products to preserve the finish... Meguiars has kits put together for this purpose (I don't always agree with the contents) but they are a good starting point!
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#12
So Microfibres: Since i mentioned this in the post above, I am sure very few have thought to give dear old exaggerating Verimark a try when it comes to these things for instance. If you are using nothing at all at the moment, ANY microfibre is going to be an improvement to your process. However, microfibre towels are not all created equal and there are a few small things to take into account:

First is what you will be using them for: 

- Washing - I have two Gyeon smoothies (one for my son and I) and a Crazy detailer mitt for the wheels.

- Drying needs deep pile and absorbency, some of these have different characteristics in use - some will become waterlogged quickly, but will easily wring out. Others will be basically useless after doing a panel or two. More money gets you better towel 'tech'. I use a combination of Gyeon Silk Dryers (two sizes) which are basically witchcraft in cloth form and a very old Gyeon waffle weave cloth for wheels (these are all fairly similar - even the one from Crazy detailer). These can last years with careful use and care (I use Gyeon Towel Wash and prior to this used Snappy Clean Boost in a wash bucket to pre-soak).


- You might decide to finish with a drying aid or quick detailer before a meet or show for some extra depth - This is usually something like a polish wipe/meguiars supreme shine to it or a new 'green' shield microfibre - you might find you need 2 or 3 for a car.

- Wiping off polish or wax needs something that makes the work easier - again personal preference might apply

- Final degreasing/prep before coatings or indeed wiping away coatings you want something quite 'flat' but this is where use characteristics become very important.

- Glass products - when coated or 'polished' glass is actually easy to work with, but there are purpose made cloths for this. Even the cheapest is usually good enough (Shield/CD)

Secondly is how the towel is physically made and its condition (apart from size) - the edge stitching: is it likely to scratch? the pile itself, are there labels on it (my pet hate with the otherwise fine Shield towels). Most importantly? Is it clean? Many stores sell these towels 'loose' without packaging

Lastly think about whether a towel is the right thing to use at all for a particular task I see a lot of people trying to use towels quite aggressively in videos when a brush or clay and the right chemical are probably the right way to tackle the issue

Anyway pics are worth a thousand words: At the bottom is the verimark towel which I mentioned as excellent value at under R100 for 10 - note the edge and depth of pile relative to the two Rupes cloths above and the Carpro Boa at the top which is around 500gsm

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This is another example I mentioned above: Polish Wipe and Bald Wipe (Gyeon) - You can find equivalents from any brand really - this shows you how construction differs and then your use case becomes the determining factor in what you use.

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Gyeon Smoothie and Silk Dryer - good enough that I have two of each to use across the 4 cars when all need a wash on one day

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Yes you even get things like this:

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Again, don't get too caught up in brands and discount what your eyes and skin is telling you: There are places where eg: those Tevo dryers can be used (perhaps not for drying) etc.

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The cost of some of these 'cloths' seems high - especially when you're starting out - Many places encourage you to treat these as disposable. This is only partially true. They are indeed consumables but you aren't also recouping the money that a detailing shop is from each job.

When I am using a product directly on paint, apart from the dryers and mitts, it is a brand new out-of-the plastic towel.

If I have used it to apply or to remove ANY kind of ceramic coating (interior, trim, glass, leather) it doesn't even get washed - it goes straight into the bin. Same goes for the little suede squares etc. If you see these after a day, they have millions of tiny microshards of super sharp coating embedded into them forever. Not worth the few rands a towel costs.

Those that are cleaned then follow a lifecycle being used first for interior bits for a few cycles and progressively 'dirtier' jobs/as oil rags/general garage towels or even household towels before being thrown away entirely.
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#13
So coatings...

I mentioned them above. This is where you go when you want durability, insane beading, an almost candy-like finish to your paint and also when you don't have the time to continuously work on your paint with polishes and waxes.

There are several that I used over time and each for different reasons. Here is a bit of a selection. It seems like I am a Gyeon agent at this point with all the products I have LOL. Anyway I haven't tried their extremely high end stuff like Dura Bead which is for certified detailers only. I also have Carpro Cquartz on the C200 which is also excellent and has very similar characteristics to the equivalent Gyeon coatings.

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and these are the core products

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Starting off with

Gyeon Wet Coat
This is a product that supposedly lasts about 12 weeks. It quite odd using it for the first time. I've used both the original and the noticeably better updated version in the pic. You spray it on a panel and then play around with it using your pressure washer. Seems like a gimmick until you are stuck in rain or you go through your next wash and it is beading and sheeting like a full-fat ceramic coating LOL. It provides protection to the whole car and (on my cars anyway) leaves NO residues or marks of any kind. You use approx. 80ml-100ml per car (in theory) but you can see from my 4L supply (and more in a smaller spray bottle) that I am totally converted to this for my own use as well as in some cases where it makes sense for my mates. Your paint needs to be in fairly good condition to use it (I used it last on the M5 when I realised I couldn't complete the detail to 'freeze' the work in progress (whether that works or not I don't know, but it has been working just fine the past 3 or 4 weeks!!). This doesn't quite last 12 weeks on cars used like ours get used, but it gets close. I am adding a 'workhorse' of some description soon and this will be the go-to product for that on top of Can-Coat.

Next in the heirarchy is Gyeon Can Coat.

This is a product that Gyeon recommends for their mobile detailers (there is a pro version as well). It comes in a kit with several nozzles and a cloth. It is not applied like a regular coating. You spray it onto the cloth and wipe it on. With these coatings I use a respirator (not essential, but why put your lungs and sinuses through torture?). There are a couple of ways of using this coating that can last around 6 months (topping up an aging coating, applying as an entry level coating on newly prepped paint) - I can see a mobile detailer offering this instead of a wax or sealant and actually saving a lot of time in terms of how it is applied.

I first used this product because I didn't know whether I was selling the M5 or not. The paint was good enough to not warrant a full detail and despite being around 14 months old (vs. a 12 month predicted life), between the prep I had done and the maintenance with Cure and sporadic use of Wet Coat, I didn't really need a full new installation of coating. I spoke to a pro who suggested I try Can Coat (I decontaminated, did a mild correction where needed and then applied this). I still had enough to do my FIL's E-class, Elantra before it was sent to my SIL and I still have plenty left over in the can now! I was very happy with the results and it was as though I had freshly applied the Gyeon One again. It is only now that I am doing a different coating.

As with any coating, your applicator/cloth needs to be tossed immediately. Also when opening the lid after sitting for some time as well as when you're closing it up, you should take care to ensure no debris enters the bottle.

It's at this point that preparation goes from important to absolutely critical as are the conditions (temperature, cleanliness) and lighting under which they are applied. This is also mask and glove territory as you are working with organic compounds that depending on the coating might leech into your skin or irritate your airways, trigger underlying respiratory conditions etc. You will see Gyeon Prep in the selection below which is used to wipe down panels after you've finished prepping the surface. There are also Gyeon polishes and compounds, but I have found it best to use your Rupes (I've used Mille Coarse & Fine), Menzerna (FG400 and SF4000) etc for the prep, wipe down with IPA and then use a final fine finishing pad to lay down some SiO2 with Prime. You don't need the Prep product if you have time to leave the car in a clean room for 24 hours.

Gyeon One is the "Enthusiast" grade product and lasts about a year. In my experience it lasted beyond a year with minimal effort. It is probably the only product in the detailing world that has out-lasted its claims. It also dramatically reduces the effort needed to wash. Having the right cloths (in the post above) as well as care products actually makes this more cost effective vs. using a 'premium' system. I think with some of the very high end boutique waxes, on certain types of finishes, you might get slightly better results if you have a REALLY good eye. At this point it becomes quite subjective either way and there are other factors that play into why you would go that route.

Gyeon Rim has better temperature resistance and can withstand harsher chemicals. In reality I think most of the coatings are able to withstand a heck of a lot once cured. I did coat my wheels with Gyeon One and found it lasted about 3 months before it was noticeably 'degrading'. Gyeon Rim remains to be seen but I will report back.

Gyeon MOHS is as good as you will get for a 'professional grade' product without becoming a Gyeon Certified Detailer (ie: you have a detailing studio and you have a year's worth of experience working with the products etc). The coatings beyond this point come with 5 to 10 year warranties hence needing the certification I guess (the warranty is dealer agnostic). I will have to report back to you on MOHS but the major difference is that it can be layered... This contributes to longevity and the final finish. It also makes it more crucial that you have good lighting to identify and eliminate high-spots (I have LED downlighters and mobile LEDs).

All these products are far easier to work with than most detailers would have you believe. However they are also more difficult than Youtubers would have you beleive Bluebiggrin if you have any questions please do ask. If you are half-competent at detailing and have good enough lighting available you will be absolutely fine.

Hope you found that interesting and next post will be something NOT Gyeon and NOT Karcher Bluebiggrin
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#14
If you don't mind, would you be able to put some pricing wrt to the products? They sound so awesome the way you describe them in your write ups but might be too expensive for just a regular enthusiast such as myself
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#15
(05-05-2020, 05:13 PM)TurboLlew Wrote: So coatings...

I mentioned them above. This is where you go when you want durability, insane beading, an almost candy-like finish to your paint and also when you don't have the time to continuously work on your paint with polishes and waxes.

There are several that I used over time and each for different reasons. Here is a bit of a selection. It seems like I am a Gyeon agent at this point with all the products I have LOL. Anyway I haven't tried their extremely high end stuff like Dura Bead which is for certified detailers only. I also have Carpro Cquartz on the C200 which is also excellent and has very similar characteristics to the equivalent Gyeon coatings.

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and these are the core products

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Starting off with

Gyeon Wet Coat
This is a product that supposedly lasts about 12 weeks. It quite odd using it for the first time. I've used both the original and the noticeably better updated version in the pic. You spray it on a panel and then play around with it using your pressure washer. Seems like a gimmick until you are stuck in rain or you go through your next wash and it is beading and sheeting like a full-fat ceramic coating LOL. It provides protection to the whole car and (on my cars anyway) leaves NO residues or marks of any kind. You use approx. 80ml-100ml per car (in theory) but you can see from my 4L supply (and more in a smaller spray bottle) that I am totally converted to this for my own use as well as in some cases where it makes sense for my mates. Your paint needs to be in fairly good condition to use it (I used it last on the M5 when I realised I couldn't complete the detail to 'freeze' the work in progress (whether that works or not I don't know, but it has been working just fine the past 3 or 4 weeks!!). This doesn't quite last 12 weeks on cars used like ours get used, but it gets close. I am adding a 'workhorse' of some description soon and this will be the go-to product for that on top of Can-Coat.

Next in the heirarchy is Gyeon Can Coat.

This is a product that Gyeon recommends for their mobile detailers (there is a pro version as well). It comes in a kit with several nozzles and a cloth. It is not applied like a regular coating. You spray it onto the cloth and wipe it on. With these coatings I use a respirator (not essential, but why put your lungs and sinuses through torture?). There are a couple of ways of using this coating that can last around 6 months (topping up an aging coating, applying as an entry level coating on newly prepped paint) - I can see a mobile detailer offering this instead of a wax or sealant and actually saving a lot of time in terms of how it is applied.

I first used this product because I didn't know whether I was selling the M5 or not. The paint was good enough to not warrant a full detail and despite being around 14 months old (vs. a 12 month predicted life), between the prep I had done and the maintenance with Cure and sporadic use of Wet Coat, I didn't really need a full new installation of coating. I spoke to a pro who suggested I try Can Coat (I decontaminated, did a mild correction where needed and then applied this). I still had enough to do my FIL's E-class, Elantra before it was sent to my SIL and I still have plenty left over in the can now! I was very happy with the results and it was as though I had freshly applied the Gyeon One again. It is only now that I am doing a different coating.

As with any coating, your applicator/cloth needs to be tossed immediately. Also when opening the lid after sitting for some time as well as when you're closing it up, you should take care to ensure no debris enters the bottle.

It's at this point that preparation goes from important to absolutely critical as are the conditions (temperature, cleanliness) and lighting under which they are applied. This is also mask and glove territory as you are working with organic compounds that depending on the coating might leech into your skin or irritate your airways, trigger underlying respiratory conditions etc. You will see Gyeon Prep in the selection below which is used to wipe down panels after you've finished prepping the surface. There are also Gyeon polishes and compounds, but I have found it best to use your Rupes (I've used Mille Coarse & Fine), Menzerna (FG400 and SF4000) etc for the prep, wipe down with IPA and then use a final fine finishing pad to lay down some SiO2 with Prime. You don't need the Prep product if you have time to leave the car in a clean room for 24 hours.

Gyeon One is the "Enthusiast" grade product and lasts about a year. In my experience it lasted beyond a year with minimal effort. It is probably the only product in the detailing world that has out-lasted its claims. It also dramatically reduces the effort needed to wash. Having the right cloths (in the post above) as well as care products actually makes this more cost effective vs. using a 'premium' system. I think with some of the very high end boutique waxes, on certain types of finishes, you might get slightly better results if you have a REALLY good eye. At this point it becomes quite subjective either way and there are other factors that play into why you would go that route.

Gyeon Rim has better temperature resistance and can withstand harsher chemicals. In reality I think most of the coatings are able to withstand a heck of a lot once cured. I did coat my wheels with Gyeon One and found it lasted about 3 months before it was noticeably 'degrading'. Gyeon Rim remains to be seen but I will report back.

Gyeon MOHS is as good as you will get for a 'professional grade' product without becoming a Gyeon Certified Detailer (ie: you have a detailing studio and you have a year's worth of experience working with the products etc). The coatings beyond this point come with 5 to 10 year warranties hence needing the certification I guess (the warranty is dealer agnostic). I will have to report back to you on MOHS but the major difference is that it can be layered... This contributes to longevity and the final finish. It also makes it more crucial that you have good lighting to identify and eliminate high-spots (I have LED downlighters and mobile LEDs).

All these products are far easier to work with than most detailers would have you believe. However they are also more difficult than Youtubers would have you beleive Bluebiggrin if you have any questions please do ask. If you are half-competent at detailing and have good enough lighting available you will be absolutely fine.

Hope you found that interesting and next post will be something NOT Gyeon and NOT Karcher Bluebiggrin
Thanks for this, I have some gyeon products sitting on the shelf but havent yet gotten down to using it. Have a few questions as well.

Rep points to be given for informative posts gents.

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#16
Sure:

Wetcoat: 500ml: R140 4L: R790 ex VAT
Gyeon Prep: R297 for 1L R195 ex VAT for 500ml
Gyeon Can Coat: R683 ex VAT
Gyeon MOHS kit: Normally R1200 but R999 ex VAT (Currently on sale)
Gyeon Rim: R450 ex VAT
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#17
Good stuff Llew!

I agree regarding Wetcoat, impressive for the effort it requires. Especially useful for those hard to reach areas. I also use it on wheels between washes, I feel it adds some durability to coatings and generally keeps them cleaner between washes.
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#18
I think perhaps some of you thought I was exaggerating on the forum upgrade thread when I said I had a lot of detailing content I felt like sharing...

Anyway as promised today is less about detailing, although this product can be used for a variety of tough cleaning tasks, normally on the interior, but at times in the engine bay and outside. This is one of those tools that might sit unused for 6 months at a time, but when it's needed you realise its importance! The job itself is one that I feel a lot of people will need to do soon as

a) PPF should be changed every few years and from the stories of friends there are shops that have ruined paint when doing this removal (and removal of wraps) and blamed it on poor quality PPF... The newer PPF products are incredible and last a VERY long time but there is plenty of dodgy stuff around.

b) PPF quality fitted at car dealers might be charged at a premium price, but is usually bottom of the barrel. Just take a look at how many cars have noticeably yellowed, had application issues (lifting, edges attracting dirt) etc.

I am not anti-PPF and will be getting high quality PPF reinstalled on these panels which I am sure will hold up. There ARE products available to bring back PPF, but this was pretty much dead in the water and almost going cloudy.

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Also as promised today, it is not Karcher or Gyeon but rather from Verimark. Now I am a professional marketer/MDM (this is what pays for my detailing and car addiction) and we normally talk about Verimark in negative contexts (usually when agencies or internal 'experts' want to sell a product with a laundry list of features that range from exaggeration to pure vapourware)

However, in this thread I've already mentioned their cheap and cheerful microfibre towels and now (shock and horror) I am showing you this Genesis steamer! I've had this unit for around 6 or 7 years now and it has seen relatively light duty in my cars. I normally use it when we buy new cars or I put friends to work using it on their interiors before I tackle the application of leather shield or other treatments (When I mentioned above that my mates come over, it isn't exactly charity - they arrive prepared to quench the level of thirst that a particular kind of job is likely to generate and knowing that they will be doing some dirty work!!)

This isn't a particularly difficult unit to work with and it is pretty idiot proof (I mean my 6 year old son helped me to use it) but I do wish it had the ability to leave the pot 'open' and use a secondary trigger on the hose. It is for this reason that I enlisted a second set of hands in the form of my son to use it for this particular job!

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A bigger tank would be a big plus, but I haven't seen the need to upgrade from this unit. This becomes a problem for larger interiors like that of the M5 where you will need at least 3 fills and each fill is a 5 minute wait for the unit to cool off enough for you to open the pressure vessel. That said, like so many things in my garage, I saw enough value to know I would buy a bigger/better version one day, but never had the need because it was so reliable and functional.

As I alluded to above, one of the things that annoyed me was the relatively poor quality PPF that had already gotten to the point of being impossible to rescue (the front bumper is lifting and has some bubbles, but clarity is still OK as are the fenders and bonnet. The roof will have to be done as well but I am thinking of wrapping it, so I will tackle that at the same time. Steaming PPF off is easy once you've gotten the hang of it BUT you have to be very careful. There might be a bit of adhesive residue left on the paint, normally at the edges but this is easily dealt with. People say you can use a heat gun... You probably could, but I think this is a far better (and if you believe the internet) more 'correct' way of doing this. There is less risk of damaging your paint or reliance on technique than when using a heat gun IMHO. Either way this entire car is CFRP or composite of some description... I wasn't keen to have a go at it with a heat gun...

Once you've heated an edge a little bit with some steam, you can start to pull it away. The first bit is the most crucial and you should be careful until you can get a grip. Once you have a grip, you also need to avoid the temptation to apply too much force. It really shouldn't require a lot of force to remove. With my son's finger on the trigger I started to alternate between heating the 'outer' surface of the PPF while working the adhesive side with blasts of steam as I pulled it off.

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Both sides came off fine in the end. Apologies for the lighting, but you get the idea.

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As you can see the film wasn't bad from a thickness perspective and on a darker car would probably have been OK at this point (though you can even see the yellowing on black over time). This was on a squeaky clean car already so what you see is stuff that was embedded into the film, if not a reaction within the film itself causing it to yellow.

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In terms of price, you can find similar units to this one ranging from R600 to R1000.

Thanks for reading if you've made it this far. There is more Karcher content coming in the next post...
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#19
Those Genesis steamers are great.
Pulled mine out the cupboard few weeks back when COVID started; have been using it to steam the interior of the car whenever I go out shopping etc.
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#20
So...

This arrived today

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I know this is one of the 'compact class' washers from Karcher (a relative baby of the professional lineup), but the HD 5/15 C is an absolute beast relative to the K5.700. Of course I couldn't wait to get cracking and gave the M5 a quick wash Bluebiggrin

Of course, most people know what a pressure washer does and the benefits in time and water savings that you get from using one. 

The real question is what you get for a price several times greater than that of your average pressure washer? Looking at pictures, it is difficult to judge in terms of the quality of the components or absolute heft of the machine relative to the consumer grade unit.


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First up: The nozzle. There are a variety of nozzles that you can buy. It ships with a nozzle that can be set as a dirt blaster, to mix detergent (there is a built in pickup on the unit that you drop into a bucket similar to smaller units) and the one I will make most use of: Wide angle, high pressure to wash cars. I thought about buying a 'fixed' jet, but this one works fine for me. I doubt I will need anything extra other than a foam cannon (on order)... however, there are things like underbody lances that I am going to explore over time.


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Everything from the hose to the power cable is of a far, FAR higher grade than what you will find on the consumer units. The connectors are of very high quality and are all brass. Accessories on the consumer units are large and plug into the gun. With this unit, they all screw in.


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The gun itself, though bigger, is a  LOT better to use and has an anti-recoil system that actually requires less effort. You pull the trigger to unlock the actual control which is at the back of the gun. it can be locked in place with a switch at the top. The K-series gun is a bit dirty - just grabbed it for these pics for comparison! Unlike the consumer unit, there is no "force" or pressure control on the gun. YOU are the control in terms of how close you hold it to the surface and your choice of water angle.

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You find that there is marketing on the consumer units claiming "up to" a certain pressure level. Despite having had K4 and K5 (not exactly low end units), this is the first truly Pro-grade washer I've had. It almost makes the consumer unit's claim seem like the "PMPO" claim on a piece of audio equipment relative to "RMS" which many of us may be familiar with. I can definitely see this improving my wash process for the 4 cars. The noise level from the motor is actually lower than the K5 BUT the noise from the water is much greater.

Does it make sense to buy a unit that will save you 15 minutes per car at over R10K? Probably not. However, I have 4 cars and many tasks where this will work well for me. If I can save an hour to an hour and a half in a weekend I can easily justify it (that's what I tell myself anyway!) Bluebiggrin

I was considering a more 'fixed' unit, but I am glad I went this route. It is around double the weight of the consumer unit, despite being 'compact class'

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Hopefully the rest of the year will be kind to me and I can actually move into my new house with a proper private detailing studio (lighting really, I have all the tools and product) and perhaps the HDS 5/15 which has a hot water system. However with the way the exchange rate and economy look at this point, it is probably wishful thinking. I am very fortunate to still be adding toys such as this one in such a climate (albeit things that were planned for).

Please let me know if you have any questions and thanks for reading!
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