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  1. #1
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    I`ve messed around with a pretty fair amount of consumer level coatings in the past 18 months including:

    Cquartz Classic w/ Gyeon Cure
    Wolfgang Uber Ceramic
    McKees 37 Paint Coating
    Gyeon Prime w/ Gyeon Cure
    Gyeon Mohs w/ Gyeon Cure
    Pearl Nano
    Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light w/ Liquid Crystal C2V3
    The Gloss Shop Ceramic Coating
    22ple HPC w/ VS1 Final Coat
    Feynlab Ceramic
    Kamikaze Miyabi
    Kamikaze ISM


    Some were on personal cars, most were on fleet vehicles at work. All were decon’d/clayed/compounded/polished as necessary using a variety of machines (Flex 3401, Rupes LHR15 Mk2, Rupes LHR75 Mini, Griots Garage 6” DA), a variety of pads (LC flat, LC Hydrotech, LC Force Hybrid, LC Thin Pros, Rupes, Megs Microfiber discs, B & S Uro Cell, B & S Uro Tec, Scholls Spider Pads. Mostly for Flex was the LC Force Hybrids and usually on Rupes the Megs microfiber discs and Rupes foam pads) as well as a variety of compounds and polishes (Wolfgang Uber Compound, Total Swirl Remover, Finishing Glaze, Menzerna FG400, 2400, 3500 & 3800; Rupes Blue, yellow and white compounds/polishes, Sonax Perfect Finish, Jescar Compound and Finishing Polish, Scholl Concepts S20 Black and S40, Meguiars M101, M205 and D300).


    Fleet vehicles were completed and then released into the wild, none have been washed since coating application. Most sit outside nearly all the time, likely average 20K miles since application. They ranged from 2016 Ford Transit Exteneded Vans (man, those things SUCKED to correct), Ford E250 panel vans from 2008 thru 2014 and Ford Ranger pickup trucks; all either bright red or a burgundy metallic color.


    Our personal cars are a 2016 Honda Civic Coupe in Aegean Blue Metallic, a 2016 Subaru WRX in Crystal Black Silica Metallic (sold 1 month after doing the whole Kamikaze combo on it…oops!), a 2017 Honda Accord V6 Coupe in black, and a 2004 Corvette in, well…black, non metallic. They get washed when dirty using Gyeon Foam at 1:10 dilution w/ SunJoe SPX3001 pressure washer, MTM PF22 Foam Cannon, Gyeon Bathe, 1-bucket wash (gasp!), flood rinsed and then dried with platinum pluffle towels, using Kamikaze Overcoat as a drying aid about once a month.


    As for my experience, well…perhaps ‘marginally functional garage hobbyist’ is the best way to describe it. Picked up a DA for the first time about 18 months ago when I bought the Subaru and realized just looking at it wrong would leave a swirl/mark. That’s when I began looking into coatings, first doing most of our cars with WG Uber Ceramic in Spring 2016. First use of Kamikaze was Miyabi + ISM + Overcoat in October 2016; added Infinity Wax to the mix in Spring 2017.


    While all were solid products and there were really no disappointments in the bunch, I found nothing that gives me the satisfaction and comfort level of the Kamikaze products.


    We`ve had it (Miyabi/ISM/Overcoat and added Infinity and Stance in Spring 2017) on one of our daily drivers since 10/2016 and our auto usage habits, local environmental conditions and maintenance routines haven`t fazed it one bit since application. It just always looks great to my eye, holds up, protects and keeps itself clean with minimal effort. It made it thru daily use in the NE Ohio winter without any noticeable degradation whatsoever and a good summer rainstorm is akin to a free car wash with this stuff; self-cleaning is simply without compare.


    Does that make it the best consumer level coating in all the land? Really can`t answer that because there are so many individual and somewhat subjective variables involved in a statement such as that...but I can say that for ME, yes, it is the best coating in my world. The stuff just plain works.


    Since this is all somewhat of a hobby for me, with the added benefit of incredible protection and appearance, at the end of the day it has to be fun too. The whole Kamikaze `experience` has been just too much fun for me to continue to look for the next greatest `thing`...every time I look at the cars I find some new nuance, smile and am reminded of all of the enjoyment that went into it.


    And yes, I probably put way too much thought into It but that`s what hobbies are for, no?


    Put it all together and this is what works best for me so I`ve finally got all our cars wrapped up with it and will now just sit back and enjoy its benefits for a while.


    Regarding the individual products, *my* thoughts follow, totally subjective, tailored to what I want out of a coating, namely:
    1. Great Self Cleaning Abilities: Our cars see rain and often get rained on in the morning and then sit outside in the sun in the afternoon; don’t like waterspots. I like clean cars but don’t like cleaning cars.


    2. Durability and resistance to environmental contamination like water spots and bird bombs. Don’t wanna have to worry about running home and immediately dealing with removing things that would otherwise etch bare paint. Like hard water spots did to our Corvette during the Zaino years. Also has to last cuz I don’t wanna be hauling out compounds and polishes every Spring, given reasonable maintenance.


    3. Appearance: Well, stuff has to look good. Has to accentuate body lines, curves and hard edges. It needs to make me stop and admire it when walking towards it, walking away from it or catching a glance in the garage when I take out the garbage.




    Regarding the individual coatings I used while trying to find something that topped the Kamikaze products, I’ll offer up the most subjective of opinions below:


    Cquartz Classic: Applied in January 2017 to a 2016 Ford Transit Extended Van. It’s a solid product, especially given the generally low cost. Application is easy, the looks are good. Finished application is not especially slick, so I topped it with Gyeon Cure. It has remained nice looking, resisted permanent water spotting. A solid, middle of the pack product that likely won’t disappoint. Nothing extremely notable about it to me, however.


    Wolfgang Uber Ceramic: Applied in Spring 2016 to 2 of our personal cars, a 2016 black metallic WRX (daily driver all year long, garaged at night, likely 17K miles a year) and 2004 black Corvette (Spring/Summer/Fall usage, stored in winter, maybe 7500 miles a year, does see rain). Being stored thru the winter, the Corvette made it to Spring of 2017 in good shape with the WG Uber; the WRX, however, had completely failed on the vertical panels. Even decon and slight clay could not restore coating properties. IMO, this product, wheil looking good and easy to apply, is just not durable and given the relatively high cost, not among the best choices for me, all things considered.


    McKees 37 Paint Coating: For the cost, this one surprised me. Used it on a friend’s car that gets occasional washing, daily driven, about 5000 miles year-round. Nice looks, easy maintenance when combined with another SiO2 add-on like or Gyeon Wetcoat or Cure. It’s still doing nicely after application in Summer 2016, generally maintained with Gyeon Wetcoat on occasion. On its own, maybe it wouldn’t last as long but I cant say for sure


    Gyeon Prime: It’s nice, easy to use and has some good initial water behavior. Good glossy looks, I’d place it a bit below Cquartz. It just really didn’t do much for me.


    Gyeon Mohs: This is a nice product, among the best at self-cleaning since applied to a fleet Ford Ranger in February 2016. Has always looked clean despite never having been washed since application. Beading has fallen off a bit but it still looks clean, shiny and to a none-ocd person, would look freshly washed. Seems to resist marring better than some of the others.


    Pearl Nano: Base Coat/Top Coat system. I did a bright red Ford Ranger in this, never been washed since application in Feb/March 2016. Gotta kinda jump thru some hoops to get this stuff, did not excel in self-cleaning but was decent. Given the pricing (not outrageous, but in the 22ple HPC range for Base/Top 50ml), not something I’d be interesting in using again. It’s a nice product but not notable enough to continue with when easier, equal performing choices are available. Will say that their glass coating IS nice, worked better for me than Gyeon View or Kamikaze Intenso.


    Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light: I really wanted to like this; I like the name, the packaging and the company and upon initial application (topped with Liquid Crystal C2V3) it darkened the bright red paint of the 2014 Ford E250 van I used it on. Nice, deep, rich gloss, easy application. Unfortunately, once released into the wild it was prone to water spotting (easily removed) and was probably the worst of all I tried in self-cleaning abilities. Oddly enough, about 3 months in it started keeping itself cleaner with no outside intervention except for Mother Nature and her rain. Have seen evidence that if topped with EXO, it’s a whole ‘nuther animal, with incredible hydrophobic properties which would significantly aid in self cleaning abilities.


    The Gloss Shop Ceramic Coating: This was V1, they have since released V2 which I want to try sometime. I’d put it in the same class as Cquartz as far as performance goes. Longevity began to drop off as far as self-cleaning goes, but not to Gtechniq CSL levels. It’s good and I’ll bet if topped with an SiO2 booster, would amp up performance. The looks on a metallic burgundy paint in the sun was fantastic, really brought out the metallic.


    22ple HPC: This was a favorite and for a while, I thought it was gonna unseat the Kamikaze as my favorite. Incredible gloss, most of any I used, the hard, candy gloss appearance. Great self-cleaning abilities, even 6 months after application with no washing/topping or anything. Application is bizarrely easy, very forgiving. It flashes much like a wax or sealant when time to remove so less guesswork there. I applied at the end of March 2017 to a 2016 Ford Transit Extended van, bright red, and it immediately gave that cliché’d Molten Glass look to the paint.
    EDIT: The one downside with the HPC is that while they recommend multiple layers, they also recommend 24hrs curing between layers; that can be kinda inconvenient.


    It was so nice that I used it on the 2017 black Honda Acccord Coupe I traded in the WRX on. Applied around July 4 to the Accord, it sure looked like a winner…until I pulled it in the garage next to the recently completed Corvette (Kamikaze Miyabi x2, ISM x1, Infinity Wax and Overcoat). The Accord with the 22ple HPC still looked glossy and nice, with a mirror finish that looked a foot deep. Unfortunately, the Corvette with the Kamikaze looked glossy and nice, with a mirror finish that looked a MILE deep. Goodbye 22ple, hello Kamikaze on the black Accord.


    Feynlab Ceramic: I gave this a shot on the Corvette in between removing 2016’s WG Uber and applying the Kamikaze. It was crazy forgiving in application, long window between apply/remove and left a sharp glossy finish that was quite nice. Unfortunately, the self-cleaning and water behavior was poor, leaving significant water spots after a rainstorm. Again, easily removed with wash but still…not in Kamikaze league in that respect.


    So, what conclusions have I come to after spending all that time (and money) auditioning all those coatings? Well, considering the climate I live in, the looks I like and the characteristics of coating that I consider primary, I’ve kinda settled on the below for folks who want their car coated; I broken into the top, money is no object choice and then the others at number 2a, b & c depending on conditions, color, appearance and durability desired.


    1. Kamikaze Miyabi x 2, ISM x 1, (Infinity Wax optional, just gives a really nice, subtle ‘relaxed high gloss’ to the finish) and maintain with Kamikaze Overcoat. Looks are a mixture of high gloss, deep, warm, rich glow and the self cleaning abilities are beyond compare. Coming up on the 1 year anniversary of application to our daily driven, sits outside 8 months a year, metallic blue Honda Civic and the thing just *always* looks great. Sure, it gets a bit dirty and nose to paint you will see the dirt but the water spots after rain seem to shrink and disappear before spotting, taking much of the surface contamination with them. Bird bombs come off with little to no effort/pressure, even if dried by the sun, leaving no mark. Being a Kamikaze fan, I`m sure no one is surprised by this coming from me.


    2a. Kamikaze Miyabi x 2, maintained with Overcoat. High gloss, hard candy type look. Great self cleaning and at $90 for 30ml, pretty good bargain. Would use on dark cars that don’t wanna go for the whole Kamikaze enchilada. Easy application, 5-15 minute window between application/removal given appropriate climate/temperature. Just so very easy to use.


    2b. 22ple HPC. Much like the Miyabi alone, this high-gloss choice is good for lighter colored cars. Did a white Honda CRV in this and it really brought out the subtle metallic/pearl character of the paint. More $$ than Miyabi but nearly as stellar at self cleaning goes.


    2c. Gyeon Mohs. Perhaps the best all-around choice for daily drivers at a reasonable cost. Great self-cleaning, and solid protection. I left a bird bomb on the hood for a week or so, backing in the hot summer sun and when it rained and removed itself, it left no mark. I think it’s one of the ‘harder’ coatings by reputation and I saw nothing that discredits that claim. I have seen that topping this with Gyeon Can Coat can add some longevity and amp up the gloss into ‘hard candy’ territory as opposed to it’s native deep, warm glow type gloss.

    I`d still like to try the new McKees and the new Gloss Shop Ceramic soon (and I still have unopened Gyeon Prime, 30ml and Gyeon Mohs, 50ml, Gyeon Can Coat and Gyeon Booster in my cabinet) but I`m too tired, too broke (in my wife`s eyes regarding detailing expenditures anyway) and it`s kinda nice not having the next product and car on my mind. I am gonna use up Miyabi and ISM this weekend on a black Ford Escort daily driver for a guy at work, mostly to see how good I can get the paint and then to see how well Kamikaze holds up on a car that will likely see very little in the way of Autopian-attention. I also wanna try leveling/removing a coating with the CarPro microsuede towels that some people seem to enjoy using.

    Its been fun and interesting for sure, no regrets...

  2. #2

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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Thank you for taking the time to share all that information.
    Jay
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  3. #3
    JustJesus's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Sweet post. Thanks for sharing the experience with all those. And saving me money from having to do it myself. Not that I would, but yeah. Thanks!
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  4. #4
    atgonzales's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Budget...you are a mad man but your thoughts and input on the variety of coatings really make us all better informed and much appreciated for efforts and documentation...nicely done
    gonzodetailing.wordpress.com

    Anything in life worth doing is worth over doing, moderation is for cowards
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  5. #5

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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Thanks for the great write up! Now try polish angel if you think kamakaze is easy!
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  6. #6
    Wax Waster Ronkh's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Great review(s)

    Thank you!
    Formerly the "Best Detailer", now just Super Wax Waster Man. Not necessarily tactful, but normally right. It`s good to be da King !!!
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  7. #7
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Couldn`t have done it without all you fine folks here on Autopia, you guys really know your stuff and are always willing to share...still reaching for Brandt, Ron and others levels of clarity!

    Come quite a long way since I first picked up a Griots Garage 6" DA, slathered some compound on a foam pad, cranked it up to 6 and fired it up...before putting it down on the paint; quite a cleanup needed on the garage walls, ceiling and door and it took me about 20 minutes to find the pad, resting on top of the closed garage door edge. Bet I couldn`t do that again if I tried.

  8. #8
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    Thanks for the great write up! Now try polish angel if you think kamakaze is easy!
    Sigh...there`s always more unicorns to chase. Have had PA stuff in my cart many times. Maybe someday...

    Thanks for all your help when I first tried Kamikaze a year ago....very much appreciate it.
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  9. #9

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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Dang it, with great info like this, rabbit hole here i come lol
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  10. #10

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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    No problem, glad to help! Just keep it in stock if you like it, you never know with Kai?
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  11. #11
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    That Kamikaze combo looks killer, been eyeing it a while. You ever use the artificial clear coat? Curious if it’s really beneficial and worth it.

    If I can swing an Acura for my next car(the new TLX with the red cockpit looks sweet), I’ll definitely go the kamikaze route.

  12. #12
    LEDetailng's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    A definitive guide to coatings! Thanks for compiling this info.
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  13. #13
    upon3's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Great reviews. This clears up a lot of questions I had about the various products you were testing. It does appear that many of the durability claims of many of the manufacturers comes up sadly short, too.
    Purple Towel Detailing
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  14. #14
    BudgetPlan1's Avatar
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike lambert View Post
    No problem, glad to help! Just keep it in stock if you like it, you never know with Kai?
    As a hobbyist, that just adds to the intangibly quirky appeal of the product. For a pro, could see it being an issue...

  15. #15
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    Re: Think I`m done messing around with coatings, final thoughts...

    Fantastic feedback Budget... truly enjoyed and appreciated all you have written on your coating journey. Hat tip to you sir
    FinishPro Detailing Enhancements
    Web: www.finishpro.com.au Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finishproAU/ Email: sales@finishpro.com.au
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