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Old 22-06-2009, 03:26 PM   #21
Lowiepete
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Guess Who's Thrilled?

Hello Folks,

Well, obviously I'm thrilled to see this thread promoted to a sticky. So a big
thank-you to Bigpikle and Pit-Viper. It's now up to you guys to adopt it so
that it doesn't become the "Gospel according to Steve..."

A Suggestion
To save adding short replies like "Nice one..." could I ask you to either...
a) Use the "Rate Thread" button just above this post on the right
or
b) Simply use the "Thanks" button at the bottom of those posts where
you think it's warranted.
This helps keep the thread on topic and you have still registered
your response. Many thanks.

Back On-topic
RaceGlazer's reply is very apt. There is one small ambition with regard to
wheel-cleaning. In the jargon I believe it's called "Touchless" cleaning. So the
question is: Can there be a polish / sealant combination that can achieve this
without resorting to a PW?

Presently I have 2 coats of FK1000p on the wheels and cleaning them with
an old MF is a breeze, probably just as easy as a brush. But, it does mean
having to bend / kneel / sit in position to achieve it. As I've mentioned, the
3 bar pressure from a 5L portable garden sprayer just creates an unholy mess.

I guess that if there isn't a wax / sealant combination, then some small pump
(nothing like the power of a PW) maybe a solution. Is anyone aware of such
a thing?

Regards,
Steve

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Old 27-06-2009, 02:48 PM   #22
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The "Optimum Triple" - Part 1

Hello Folks,

The next stage of my learning takes me what I'm calling the "Optimum Triple"
experiment. I, half-jokingly, said using ONR, followed by OID and topped by OOS
would probably give some good results. To my surprise, someone responded
that he'd done it and suggested I give it a try. It's a cloudy day here, with
some intermittent sunny periods, so the pics may not be too clever.

So, here goes...
For stage 1 I'm trialling on a front wing panel. Here's the car as I found it,
having left it perfectly clean last night. The crud on the bonnet was repeated
on the wing in smaller sizes, but don't really show in the photo.


Then a quick wipe over with ONR. By the way, I've learned something today.
ONR does _not_ add or take anything away from the existing finish when its
mixed and used as a QD. The polymer coating appears to stick to the dirt,
not to the paint. Perhaps, in my relative inexperience, I'd got the wrong end
of the stick. This _will_ have an effect on how I rotate use of products in the
future, but I've yet to think through how.

Update 10 July 2009
Most of the above paragraph is factually incorrect! I'd based this information
upon the very useful write-ups that Gareth from Detailed Obsession provides
with many of the products that he sells. Having discussed this with him,
Gareth has now amended his notes. If you have recently purchased ONR his
updated information is now as follows...
Quote:
Due to ONR’s versatility, it is also fully suitable to be used as a quick detailer
and a clay bar lubricant. When used as a quick detailer, this product is one
of the few that is a pure QD – it will not leave behind any polish or wax that
will affect the bonding of other products. Therefore it is ideal if you wish to
wipe down your car without specifically adding or removing anything to the
finish. ONR's polymers will help the surface repel water.
So, here's the panel after its ONR wipeover...


Then came application of the OID. What a revelation! Spray a fine mist over
and wipe it around. As I've mentioned, I have heightened sensation in being
able to feel drag. In this case, I was only feeling slickness!

Here's the panel after the OID application...


These 3 photos were taken within a period of as many minutes.

This next photo shows the driver's door coated with OID and rear panel only
treated with ONR. I'm not complaining, but the reflections are masking the
difference. You can possibly notice it by looking at the fancy chevron shape
reflection above the fold across the two panels.


1 Hour Later
This includes the write-up to this point, adding pics, getting refreshments,
chats to passers-by etc, and Part 1 is complete. Here's the car ready for
its Opti Seal coating. Wheels and glass yet to cleaned...


The two MF cloths used in the process...
Although the OID is stated to be a cleaner, being as I'm doing this as if it were
my weekly car wash, I've opted to use separate cloths and it's proved quite
revealing. During the week I had used ONR on the horizontal surfaces, but this
clean was all over every surface except for glass and wheels. I'm not sure that
I'd want that amount of dirt in the OID cloth. So, despite having 2 applications
to make, the risks of marring imo are greatly reduced, even though I'm not able
to apply much pressure in the first place.


Now to find the applicator, which has gone into hiding. I hope that, if it means
a trip to Halfords, the local seagulls don't leave another thanks for calling
deposit, like they did last night.

Footnote
All the pics I've taken were with a Fuji A101 1.3 Megapixel camera. As I'm not
too steady on my feet, there's very little point in my investing in superior
gear because I'll probably introduce more camera shake. Getting out a tripod
and stuff is a bit like having to set up PW stuff is for you. My apologies if the
quality doesn't sufficiently show differences.

Part 2 of this will be when I apply the Opti-Seal. Be back later folks...

Regards,
Steve

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Old 27-06-2009, 05:55 PM   #23
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The "Optimum Triple" - Part 2

Hello Folks,

Well, the application of the Opti Seal was a breeze, around 5 or 6 mins. What
was noticeable this time was how easily the applicator slid over the paint, due
to the slickness of surface left by the OID. After 2 applications, the top of the
fluid is still a quarter-inch above the label, so it's hugely economical to use.
The result is looking very satisfying so far.

There is one other side-effect of the OID which I accidentally found out.
The bottom corner of the black plastic has a part coating which gives us
an unexpected 50/50 with ONR/OID


Here's a shot of the car about 3 hours after application of the OOS...


Cleaning the Wheels
At first glance, the wheels didn't seem to be too dirty...


...though closer inspection showed that some spokes had quite a heavy
brake-dust coating. Over the past 3 weeks, all I've been doing is either
brushing or wiping the wheels over with a lightly dampened MF.

For the first wheel, I sprayed a coating of OID. My thinking being that I don't
really want 2 processes (ONR/OID) here. This revealed just how much dust
there was...


However, unlike the ONR, there was some evaporation whilst I was wiping out
the spokes with an MF cloth, so it did need repeat strays. Then...

Aaaarghh! What about those wheel-nut sockets? That won't pass muster
will it?


So a quick spray of ONR, left a minute or two while I retrieved my long-bristle
soft brush. A quick tickle around each orifice. Then just a cursory wipe away
of the dirtier parts before applying the OID and a final buff to get to this...


However, I quickly came to the conclusion that this was too much like hard
work. Let's try another method. So the 2 front wheels were tackled with sprays
of ONR and a good brushing after leaving it for a minute. Here it is before its
wipe away and spraying of the OID coating...


For the final wheel, another change of tactic. How about using Greased Lightning's
Showroom Shine? Here's the wheel with its misted coating...


I kinda overdid it a bit, being in a confined space didn't allow me much control
over the spray button. Well, at least it'll show up on the photo was my excuse,
but then I didn't allow for the flash.

Just a quick brush over left the wheel cleaner than the ONR, so all it needed
was a buff over. So, even though I may not use the GLSS on the body paintwork
quite so often in the future, it certainly has its place when wheel cleaning /
maintaining. There was minimal difference in the slickness feel of the spokes
between GLSS and OID. Here's the finished wheel...


Whilst I was sat doing the front wheel, I couldn't resist taking this photo of
the bonnet. However, it doesn't do the real finish justice.


I gather that the OOS will produce an even better shine by the morning.
We'll see...

Regards,
Steve

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Old 27-06-2009, 11:09 PM   #24
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Damn, I've Got it Wrong Way Round
Quote:
from Optimum Web Site...
Optimum Instant Detailer & Gloss Enhancer is also an excellent companion product to
Optimum Opti-Seal. Whereas Opti-Seal’s main objective is protection, Optimum Instant
Detailer pours on the gloss and slickness. The combination can’t be beat! Wait about 30
minutes after applying Opti-Seal to use Optimum Instant Detailer.
Oh, well, I know what my first job is in the morning...

Regards,
Steve

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Old 27-06-2009, 11:49 PM   #25
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Thanks for the updates and pics, Steve

I don't think I said before, but that's a very nice looking car you have there, mate

Just out of interest, what are you using the showroom shine spray with - a regular trigger spray or the small pump atomisor thing? I could never my atomisor to work properly and it never came out as a fine spray like it's supposed to, it came out as a thin jet, which is no good. Just looking at the spray pattern on your wheels there it looks quite a good, even distribution.

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Old 28-06-2009, 12:33 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pit Viper View Post
...a regular trigger spray or the small pump atomisor thing? I could never my
atomisor to work properly and it never came out as a fine spray like it's
supposed to, it came out as a thin jet, which is no good.
Hi P-V,
I'm using the original pump atomiser which gives me the fine mist. But I find it
very difficult to control, as the pic has shown. The latest 32oz bottles do have
an adjustable spray attachment which I'm using to apply the ONR and OID.
So, when I get another bottle become available, I'll probably transfer to that.

--------------------------
Update 28 July 2009
I've now tried the trigger-spray bottle and it's nowhere near as good as the
atomising pump sprayer for giving an even coating of GLSS. One drawback of
both systems is that you need a still day. The slightest breeze tends to
distribute product all over the place.

The finer the mist, the bigger the problem. However, what I now do is let
the overspray product completely dry and gently wipe it off. There's no
rubbing ever involved.
--------------------------


As for using the GLSS, this was the first time in 9 months that I had used it
with a wash brush to agitate it. The extra thickness of the liquid over the
ONR/OID gave it more lubricity. In the coming weeks, when I gather a crop
of dead flies again, I'm going to try the OID, then later with the GLSS and
add my findings to the "ONR for the Grotty Jobs" thread, using the same
process, but different products. On the basis of today's findings, I'm fairly
sure that the GLSS will be the winner there too.

Thanks for your kind comments about the car. I had a Mk2 Laguna, but when
I first saw the new Coupé as a concept car, I decided I'd find a way of buying
one no matter what. The build quality is absolutely superb and to give my local
dealership their due, they prepared the car to the highest standards - not a
swirl or buffing mark anywhere. (looks for sigh-of-relief icon)

I believe the car is mostly aimed at the German market, of course, getting
overtaken by the recession. It's certainly a "head-turner"! The admirers over
here seem to be Merc / Audi / BMW owners, so I guess the underlying principles
of its design have worked. Certainly in the UK it's a very rare car.

Another rear view of the car, with the exhaust surround leaning very much
toward current German design trends...


Regards,
Steve

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Old 28-06-2009, 06:05 PM   #27
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Hello Folks,

Here's some pics of the car after the OID on top of the OOS coating...




At least it shows that I do drive the car once in a while...

Conclusions
For me the "Optimum Triple" trial was relatively successful, I did learn a lot.
However, I'm not convinced that the OOS over FK1000p has really improved
the shine in any dramatic fashion. What it has done though is improve the
slickness of the surface. Whether or not this could have been achieved just
as well with using a couple of coats of OID is a moot point.

Earlier on I mentioned putting my thoughts in order about what products to
use as occasions arise. This has yet to be tested out, but I think it's going to
fall into this order...

1) As and when cleans - stay with ONR, it's a quick and easy job with the
minimum of effort.

2) Weekly "washes" - use the OID, with perhaps use of ONR on the more
soiled areas to try and keep the OID cloth as clean as possible.

3) Heavier "washes" - as in after long journeys in foul weather - use the GLSS.
My feeling is that the thicker liquid just helps to protect a tad better in these
situations. I may even pre-spray with ONR, instead of the GLSS as I've done
hitherto.

That should keep me going until September or October when I'll have to think
through what I'm going to do for winter protection. I may well put the car into
the hands of a professional detailer (form an orderly queue please) and get
some guidance on stripping the car back to its original lacquer, claying etc.
It would probably be interesting to see the finish that machine prepping can
bring up, compared to what my limited application pressure efforts have so
far produced.

This is probably my favourite picture of those that I've taken so far...


When I look at other people's efforts, I see distinct colours. My car seems
almost chameleon like in defying anyone being able to tell what colour it really
is. As these photos show, it can range from grey, silver, mud, beige - wanna
add to the list?

Regards,
Steve

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Old 29-06-2009, 07:46 PM   #28
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Hi Damon,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bigpikle View Post
Steve - Opti-Seal certainly releases dirt easily and cleans up nicely, but
FK1000 is also superb at that. I'd be interested to know if you find it helps
with your process, as I know several experienced detailers who swear the FK
cleans up easier than anything else....
They're probably right. Imo there seems to be little difference. However, the
feel of the paint with OID/OOS/OID coatings is something I've never experienced
before. It's so silky smooth I can barely believe it. Well worth the effort!

Thinking about this some more, I'm guessing that the prep by these guys will
have been far more thorough than my limited efforts, hence their conclusions.
Would you guys apply FK1000p only by hand, or do you machine it?
Regards,
Steve

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Old 01-07-2009, 06:12 PM   #29
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More Pictures...

Bump - added 5 more pictures to reply 17 on page 2 of this thread

By the way peepz, we do need more contributors to this thread...!

Regards,
Steve

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Old 01-07-2009, 08:05 PM   #30
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Looks fantastic I love Optimum stuff.
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