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Technical Topics Cosmetic Maintenance: Wash, Wax, Detailing, Repairs 2020 BMW M340i - Portimao Blue - CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 and Gliss

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      04-05-2020, 04:05 PM   #1
gofast182
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2020 BMW M340i - Portimao Blue - CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0 and Gliss

So I chose CQuartz UK 3.0 and Gliss despite still being dubious of coatings: 2 years of protection...IF you have a sacrificial layer for what's already supposed to be your 'super durable' sacrificial layer plus other bespoke maintenance products. Anyway it still seemed like a good choice for my car as a daily driver that lives outside. Plus I really wanted the experience of applying a 'big boy' coating under my belt (my previous coating experience was Polish Angel Cosmic V2 which was very simple to use). After reading good reviews of many CarPro products, I decided to stay in the family for other things used on this project.

My Portimao Blue M340i xDrive was a special order that I picked up at the BMW Performance Center in Spartanburg, SC (one of the best experiences of my life, do it if you're getting a new BMW). I got the car in December and used the winter to decide what to use for my LSP in the spring. I maintained it only with regular washes during winter. My first and main goal of this process was to remove some factory-installed marring and micro scratches. That was accomplished with CarPro Essense and my Rupes LHR15 Mk III polisher with a yellow Rupes pad. One of the best things I did for this project was convert my old PC 7424XP to a 3" setup to allow me to get into the primary area the micro scratches were bothering me (angled upper portion of the door panels). With the PC I used a 3" URO-Fiber pad which is the best pad I've ever used.

The COVID-19 situation played right into this project (silver lining I guess) allowing me to take as much time as I wanted without having to drive the car. I used my old barn/garage which usually only holds one car, my 2006 Honda S2000 track car. The lighting in there isn't great which is one of the biggest lessons learned through this process: do everything you can to bring as much light to the process as possible. Where I thought things went off the rails in a major way was when I noticed that my microfiber towels were leaving fibers/lint behind as I buffed off the CQ UK 3.0. I thought I ruined the car (at least temporarily until the coating with embedded fibers could be polished off). Luckily that wasn't the case. The fibers were mobile and the application of Gliss collected them at the end of each stroke and my new emergency-buy Costco microfibers lifted them off.

Not that some of you don't know already, but CQ UK 3.0 was no joke when it came to high spots. I'd put the high spots into three classifications: 1. legit high spots where you could feel and see the coating sticking up from the clear, 2. rainbow spots where the product wasn't wiped off fully, and 3. slight dark spots where the coating was wiped off but just a tiny bit more was there. I only had one of the first kind at the base of my driver side A-pillar, two of the second kind on each side where the front fenders meet the bumper, and probably half a dozen of the slightly dark spots. The slight dark spots were only noticeable after I thought I was done and pulled the car out into daylight. A couple of the slight dark spots I was able rub CQ UK 3.0 over them enough to get the solvents to reactivate the initial coating and remove the dark spot. The others were handled with Essence and my PC since the areas were small and the URO-Fiber pad was more effective (then re-coat and re-top with Gliss).

The end result is good and I'm happy with the finish. Looking perpendicular to the finish, the gloss doesn't look too remarkable; however, when looking at oblique angles there's a noticeable increase in reflectivity. The car hasn't seen rain yet but the majority of the car has had CQ UK 3.0 and Gliss on it for a week while in the garage. The touch up spots are currently at 24h post Gliss (48h post CQ UK 3.0). At this point am I glad I did it? Absolutely. I wish I had more product and another car to do it better.

Key lessons learned for newbies using Essence and applying CQ UK 3.0 and Gliss:
  1. The URO-Fiber pad was awesome, it corrected and finished down effortlessly
  2. Having a 3" setup helped tremendously with tighter areas
  3. Do everything you can to throw as much light at the work as possible, diffuse light works even better for the coating process
  4. Use new microfibers with low pile/weight for coating removal, even if you've got a great cleaning process, don't assume they're clean
  5. You've heard it before but wipe well beyond the area you're working the coating
  6. If correcting high spots don't tape off with painter's tape, the coating actually darkens the finish and you will then see a line where the tape was that's hard to blend back in


PRODUCTS USED:
Wash and decon:
Meguiar's D111
Two bucket method with grit guards
Ryobi 1600/1.2 pressure washer
MTM Hydro: hose, gun, PF-22 foam cannon
Speedmaster Wheel Brush
Merino wool wash mitt - flats
Detailer's Domain microfiber mitt - sides and lowers
CarPro Iron-X
Pinnacle Poly Clay
Absorber chamois
Metrovac Master Blaster

Polish/correction:
Rupes LHR15 Mk III
Rupes yellow pad
PC 7424XP
Chemical Guys 3" backing plate
URO-Fiber 3" pad
CarPro Essence
Cobra Gunmetal Elite 360gsm microfiber (not new)

Coating/LSP:
CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0
Cobra Gunmetal Elite 360gsm microfiber (not new)
Supreme 530 600gsm (secondary buff) (not new)
CarPro Gliss
Costco microfiber towels, low pile (NEW)

Wheels/calipers:
Tuff Shine Tire Cleaner
Sonax Full Effect wheel cleaner
Meguiar's wheel brush
Kitchen sponge (for stubborn dirt on barrels)
(Same wash gear as above)
CarPro Multi-X (for calipers and wheel well liners)
CarPro CQuartz UK 3.0
Tuff Shine Tire Clearcoat

Misc:
Torin Big Red Creeper Seat
Scangrip headlamp


PHOTOS:
Here's what you're all waiting for, although it's not a super exciting transformation because it's already a new car...

These first couple shots represent the primary goal of this mission...remove these defects!




A photo of the polishing process. I gained new respect for Brian from Apex Detail, Miranda Detail, Forensic Detailing, etc.. Not only is it not easy to take pics or video by yourself, it's even harder not to charge ahead and make progress instead of having the discipline to capture everything you want folks to see. I guess tripods and big memory cards help a lot.



Now on to the coating steps. Unfortunately I did not get a good shot of what the fibers looked like on the finish before Gliss. Imagine super fine lint/fibers stretched out straight going in the direction of how you buffed off the coating. What I'm going to show you below is how Gliss collected the fibers I was worried were cured onto the finish with the CQ UK 3.0. Then the new Costco microfibers removed them all when buffing Gliss off.







Random shot of the caliper after the first wheel removal. This was post-wash but pre-deep-clean and coating.



Here is one of the high spots that manifested as a rainbow. This had to be polished off, re-coated, and re-topped. Ironically, the same thing happened at the same spot on the other side.



Now for the end result!













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      04-07-2020, 06:14 AM   #2
gofast182
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Tough crowd. No questions?
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      04-07-2020, 06:15 AM   #3
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No questions, but it looks great!
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      04-07-2020, 10:40 AM   #4
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The car looks wonderful. We need more pics of the car under direct sunlight.
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      04-07-2020, 10:45 AM   #5
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That X5 is nice too! Nice combo
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      04-10-2020, 12:52 PM   #6
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hey man, i really appreciate this post. Just signed up to say thanks and I've saved it for future reference.
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      04-11-2020, 12:15 AM   #7
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Highly appreciate you taking the time to post this in detail, already applied a coating when i took delivery of the car, but it's worth having it saved
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      04-11-2020, 09:40 AM   #8
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Looks great! What made you go with CQ UK and Gliss vs any of the other coatings?
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      04-11-2020, 11:08 AM   #9
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Thats a great finish you've ended up with! I've heard good things about CQuartz UK. I'm yet to delve into ceramic coatings, I'm still using old fashioned wax (Collinite) and spray sealants in the colder months. I'm not sure my detailing skills are good enough yet to attempt a coating, it seems it isn't the easiest thing to apply?. Did you go with a ceramic coating for longevity more than anything?
I've heard there can be some issues with water spotting with coatings but I'm unsure if they are true or not so I'd be interested in hearing whether you run into any issues or if by having a coating its easier to maintain now.
Cheers
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      04-12-2020, 09:52 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AD18 View Post
Thats a great finish you've ended up with! I've heard good things about CQuartz UK. I'm yet to delve into ceramic coatings, I'm still using old fashioned wax (Collinite) and spray sealants in the colder months. I'm not sure my detailing skills are good enough yet to attempt a coating, it seems it isn't the easiest thing to apply?. Did you go with a ceramic coating for longevity more than anything?
I've heard there can be some issues with water spotting with coatings but I'm unsure if they are true or not so I'd be interested in hearing whether you run into any issues or if by having a coating its easier to maintain now.
Cheers
Great questions! There's nothing wrong with 845 (I'm assuming that's what you use), I still keep a bottle in my arsenal.
CQ UK 3.0 is probably the hardest of the high-end consumer coatings to apply, I chose it because I wanted to tackle it and pick up the skill. The self cleaning properties and longevity are what interest me.
If you're unsure but still want to dive into coatings I'd try Cquartz Lite which is a similar formula but will be much more forgiving to apply. Just make sure you put some good effort into stripping the Collinite or no coating will bond.
Yesterday I washed the car for the first time post-coating after wind and rain littered tree fallout on the car; it was the easiest wash and dry I've ever done.
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      04-12-2020, 10:22 AM   #11
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How many layers of uk3.0 did you do?
And how long after for Gliss?

These are products I use, and you can easily get 4 years if installed properly, prepped properly, cured properly and maintained properly.
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      04-12-2020, 02:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Preciseyyc View Post
How many layers of uk3.0 did you do?
And how long after for Gliss?

These are products I use, and you can easily get 4 years if installed properly, prepped properly, cured properly and maintained properly.
One layer of CQ and Gliss was applied just shy of 48h later.
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      04-12-2020, 02:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofast182 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preciseyyc View Post
How many layers of uk3.0 did you do?
And how long after for Gliss?

These are products I use, and you can easily get 4 years if installed properly, prepped properly, cured properly and maintained properly.
One layer of CQ and Gliss was applied just shy of 48h later.
Best results are always with minimum 2 of UK.
And then for added top the gliss with reload after 12 hours
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      04-12-2020, 02:59 PM   #14
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Someone asked for pics in direct sunlight. Ask and ye shall receive!







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      04-12-2020, 03:20 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gofast182 View Post
Someone asked for pics in direct sunlight. Ask and ye shall receive
Shiny cars makes me go weak in the knees! Beautiful
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      04-14-2020, 03:54 AM   #16
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Great job!

After using UK 3.0 and recently using Gyeon Syncro kit I have to say the Gyeon will be my go to coating system going forward. It's simply awesome to work with and the results are really good. Requires a bit more planning but worth it in my opinion.
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