Replaced Opti-Coat with CQuartz UK - Holy Gloss!

Messages
23,886
Location
CA
It has been about 10 months since I last gave my personal car any kind of exterior detailing. As some of you may have seen, the Opti-Coat 2.0 was still performing very well -- so a detail was not completely necessary at this time. However, I felt that I have greatly increased my paint correction skills since my car was last worked on, and as a result - I think I could get my car's finish to a much higher level. In addition, when the car was last coated, I only did a light polish using a very light finishing polish, so there were still defects leftover from my tunnel carwash days. So here we go... Tools used: Rupes LHR21ES - correction step Rupes LHR12E - finishing step Rupes LHR75E - used for the correction and finishing steps on the liftgate Rupes Swirl Finder Pen Light Products used: Wash: Meguiars D110 Hyper Wash Decontamination: Meguiars C2000 Fine Grade Detailing Clay Clay Lube: Optimum No Rinse - Diluted 1:16 Correction Step: Meguiars M100 with Meguiars DMF6 Microfiber Finishing Discs (to remove Opti-Coat 2.0 and remove most defects) Refinement Step: Meguiars M205 with Rupes Yellow Foam Polishing Pads Pre-Coating Wipe-down: CarPro Eraser Paint Protection: CarPro CQuartz UK, 2014 Edition. The roof received two coats, while the rest of the car received one coat. I used about 15ml for the entire car. Also, you will need 3-4 suede applicators (must be swapped out every few panels once they begin to harden) and 3 suede towels for the application process; any deviation from this approach may result in streaking and high spots which will require re-polishing the vehicle. Note: As required by CarPro, I also did a final wipe-down with CarPro Reload; the Reload is supposed to prevent water spots from forming during the first 24 hours of the coating's curing process. Here's a picture of the paint after the compounding step. DSC_1119 by thecritic89, on Flickr I used light pressure, speed 3 and a total of 3 passes in about 16"x16" sections; I think the total work time was about 2 minutes per section. There's a minimal amount of DA haze and some light to moderate micro-marring from the Meguiars microfiber finishing disc. I was getting 90% + correction with this combo and approach. (For what it's worth, I later used M100 with the new-style Meguiars MF Finishing Discs and found that there's almost zero micro marring using the same approach, hmm...) I did not take any additional pictures during the correction process, but I should mention that I tested multiple combos for the finishing step. I tried both HD Adapt and M205, paired with either Buff & Shine Blue Finishing Pads and Rupes Yellow Foam Pads. For some reason, HD Adapt was not behaving well in the warm and humid work environment, so unfortunately it was out...which is a shame since it did finish out a touch better than M205. Unfortunately, due to time constraints, a 3rd finishing step was not possible for this car...but I was still fairly happy with the finish that I was able to get from M205. Also, the Buff & Shine Blue finishing pads were only removing about 90% of the micro-marring; the Rupes Yellow Pads removed all of the micro-marring and left the same finish. I am starting to agree that stiffer foam pads work best on these larger-stroke DA machines. Some people have reported problems finishing with full-strength M205, and I think the issue is sometimes related to the amount of product that they are using. M205 has a lot of abrasives in it, and can be used for heavy correction if it is paired with the right pad and machine. For finishing, IMO, you need to use a small amount (1-2 small drops) and limit your working time to 30-45 seconds...which is about 2-3 moderate-speed passes. Just realize that this approach WILL result in some amount of filling (due to the oils not fully breaking down), so it is VERY important to IPA wipe your test section multiple times to ensure that you are getting the result that you wanted. Another approach is to mix 12 drops of M205 in a quart of water (Kevin Brown came up with this idea), and use this to finish down. However, this approach was not aggressive enough to remove all of the leftover micro-marring in one "session," but I can see it working well for light haze on finicky paints. Anyway, here are some final pictures. My photography skills really do not capture the gloss and darkening effect that CQuartz UK added to the finish: DSC_1141 by thecritic89, on Flickr DSC_1139 by thecritic89, on Flickr DSC_1147 by thecritic89, on Flickr DSC_1142 by thecritic89, on Flickr DSC_1127 by thecritic89, on Flickr DSC_1131 by thecritic89, on Flickr Here are a few tips on the CQuartz UK application process. For one, I found it to be a lot more challenging than Opti-Coat. It is fairly finicky and does not like warm, humid temperatures. The trick is to go heavy on the product ($$), do long/fast strokes and apply it to very small sections at a time. Apply, and wipe-up IMMEDIATELY. For instance, I would split up my doors into 5 sections. You will also need to swap out the applicators every few panels because the product will begin to harden on the suede applicators (and you may experience streaking issues); a good rule of thumb is to swap out the suede applicator piece whenever you start to feel more resistance during the spreading of the product. Lastly, only use the CarPro Suede Towels to wipe up the reside. They have a tremendous amount of "bite" which allow them to easily wipe-up the residue, yet they will not marr the surface. However, they have very little capacity so they will need to be swapped out every couple of panels...or else you'll find yourself re-depositing the residue back onto the surface. I hope you enjoyed this long read. If you have any questions, please let me know! - Critic
 
Messages
147
Location
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Nice shine. Question: Seeing that you are from California, do you guys out there have to wash / wax / polish more frequently due to pollution, ocean air, wild fires, etc. that you have going on.
 
Messages
2,788
Location
Indiana
Hey The Critic: Does this quartz hard sealant "layer"? Did you put two coats on the roof because you wanted to ensure complete coverage or to build the sealant twice as thick?
 
Last edited:
Messages
8,016
Location
MI
Thanks for the write up.
Quote:
For one, I found it to be a lot more challenging than Opti-Coat.
Based on the amount of experience you have, this product does not seem to be user friendly for the casual diyer and could result in a messed up finish for us regular folks. I messed up enough "perfectly good" things as a young person to have learned my lesson. I would not use this product, and I am a very resourceful and skilled person that takes on some pretty challenging projects.
 
Messages
9,283
Location
Fayetteville, NC
Looks amazing. I wonder where CQUK ranks in terms of bang for the buck and bang for the effort category. Seems like a challenging process, and the problem is, like doitlyself already said, if a pro found this challenging, to me, personally, who is NOT a pro, it will be hard to do, expensive, and may not even turn out right. AND it's hard to escape humidity/high temps in NC most of the year. This is NOT criticizing CQ UK. I am just thinking it's not for the regular DIY detailer person. Every time I see a result like this, I'd admire, be impressed, but then revert to a combo that's easier to work with, less expensive, doesn't need expensive gadgets (high pressure water). Caveat is of course, I will do it more often, but even then I still think I might save some money and time per detail. As far as looks, I might never get THAT glossy/perfect finish, but I might come close: (As in, one time I detailed wife's new DD Mazda6, after all the winter salt fiascos, and took it to a place to get windows tinted, which also does professional detailing; the guy who owns the place asked me what products I used and he said it looked impressive... I was pretty happy - of course it was right after my detailing, and it sure didn't last 10 months, but I know I can do it again, and do it without making errors with an expensive product = peace of mind) All in all, great work, Critic.
 

The Critic

Thread starter
Messages
23,886
Location
CA
Originally Posted By: Phishin
Hey The Critic: Does this quartz hard sealant "layer"? Did you put two coats on the roof because you wanted to ensure complete coverage or to build the sealant twice as thick?
CQuartz UK can be layered. I did two layers on the roof for the added protection (if any). I chose not to do 2 coats on the rest of the car due to cost and appearance. From previous experiences, two coats of UK will darken the paint significantly and also gives it this ridiculously glossy, “plastic” appearance. 1 coat adds a decent gloss and still keeps the appearance natural.
Originally Posted By: dave180
Nice shine. Question: Seeing that you are from California, do you guys out there have to wash / wax / polish more frequently due to pollution, ocean air, wild fires, etc. that you have going on.
Not that I am aware of.
 
Messages
172
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: Phishin
Hey The Critic: Does this quartz hard sealant "layer"? Did you put two coats on the roof because you wanted to ensure complete coverage or to build the sealant twice as thick?
This isn't a sealant. It's an actual coating like Opti-Coat that builds up on the paint, so yes you can apply multiple coatings as long as you let each one cure fully in between applications. Can also be layered: Allow 1 hour minimum wait time after buffing to allow cure before applying another coat.
 
Messages
172
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: 97tbird
Seems like a challenging process, and the problem is, like doitlyself already said, if a pro found this challenging, to me, personally, who is NOT a pro, it will be hard to do, expensive, and may not even turn out right. AND it's hard to escape humidity/high temps in NC most of the year.
It really isn't that difficult. Have you ever used Ultima PGP or Opti-Seal? It isn't any more difficult than those two to apply. I found it quite easy actually and that's in FL. Trust me, it doesn't get any more humid than it does here. Not to discredit what critic said, as he knows what he is doing and his opinion is valid. If you are working on a dark colored car, it's that much easier because you can see your work easily. Check out this video and see what you think: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rAM78oDffM
 
Last edited:
Messages
172
Location
FL, USA
Originally Posted By: The Critic
I hope you enjoyed this long read. If you have any questions, please let me know! - Critic
Looks great TC. Thanks for sharing.
 
Top