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I'm looking to detail my FX this summer, been deciding if I should spend days doing Zaino, or spend $ to bring it to a shop and get it detailed.

Then I came accross this X-Kote thing; there's a shop really close to my place that do this. I inquired and its basically they prep and re do your clear coat. It removes all the swirls, scratches and pretty much renews your paint by applying new clear coat. They argued unlike polish and wax that wears off overtime, this is permanant.

I'm pretty unknowlegble in this situation so I thought I'd get some help here.

Here's their FAQ and basically some before/after pix and things like that.

http://www.x-kote.com/faq.htm

Thanks!
 

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I took turbocad's detailing advice yesterday: normal hand car wash, claybar'ed the entire car, re-washed and dried, apply ICE liquid wax and let it haze (10-15mins), buff and polish. The experience is lots of work but the reward is looking great.

overall cost, it's about ~$35 of materials and 6 hrs of labor.

(the secret: claybar)

good luck on your task(s).
 

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The before and after shots are impressive but I've never heard of the process. Check to see how long the local shop has been an x-cote rep and then check their history through the BBB for the same period.
 

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My brother is a Zaino zealot (although why anyone would go to all that effort for an Eclipse I have no idea). I don't have that kind of time so I did something similar to Soonster - complete, thorough hand wash and shammy dry (no, not Sham WOW, just a regular shammy), thorough clay bar treatment (I used the blue clay - the white clay is too fine grade to get the deep contaminants off), and to finish it off I used a paint sealant called Pearl Guard manufactured by a Canadian company called Pro-Techseal. It's a fantastic finish and sheds water like a duck. Great mirror finish, and the effort was the same as Soonster: about 6 hours total (and it was a great workout too!).
 

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Ive been looking at X Kote for a bit now. Alot of car dealers use it to restore their lease returns that have been abused. You should try it and post back your expierience. They are a large chain, there are a few places here in vancouver that do it.
 

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Any idea what X-Kote charges for the average size car?
Bill
 

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here's my procedure.

(before washing, i use simple green on all black plastic trim, exhaust, and tires)
optional: if you are really picky, put some dish soap in first wash bucket to remove wax already on car)
1. rinse/wash/rinse
2. wash/rinse
3. claybar it up
4. wash
5.Dry (I use a leaf blower/ air compressor to get all the cracks, takes longer but is better IMO)
6. two choices: P21S wax/detail spray only OR cleanerwax/wax/3Mglaze/detail spray, one body panel at a time.
Apply wax, allow to haze but remove before fully dried. Buff out with microfiber.
then I use plastic polish on headlights/fogs (tails if not painted, if so, use regular wax)
wipe down entire car with microfiber or soft cotton towel
7. black again on the bottom black trim, black window trim, black spoiler, antennae (peanut oil doesnt last as long IMO)
8. apply tire wet ( I like eagle 1. not too glossy, gives a nice look)
9. wax wheels (i do because they are painted/powdercoat....)
10. Window cleaner (I use rainX)/final wipedown.

FINISHED
 

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Dont do X Kote. I just talked to a few auto painters about this procedure . they said to stay away from it. In a few years it will peel of your car in large pieces. Reminds me of Diamond cote back in the day, they had the same issues and went under. I wonder if this is the same crap with a different name. Dealerships use it to seel cars. They look good at time of purchase but in a few years.....
 

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Once you've read the directions for Zaino's products, and you have their basic kit in hand, the whole job should take up no more than a day for the exterior, plus another half-day if you decide to do the interior as well. (It's merely a Saturday-Sunday project.) Once you become familiar with Zaino and you quickly get the hang of using their products, your efficiency will go way up, and so too will your enjoyment factor. Indeed, you will soon find yourself spending far more time admiring the results than it took you to achieve them in the first place. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #11
VanFX said:
Dont do X Kote. I just talked to a few auto painters about this procedure . they said to stay away from it. In a few years it will peel of your car in large pieces. Reminds me of Diamond cote back in the day, they had the same issues and went under. I wonder if this is the same crap with a different name. Dealerships use it to seel cars. They look good at time of purchase but in a few years.....
Which Dealership mentioned this?? now you're scaring me. I'm was planning to book x-kote this May or June timeframe... and re apply every 2-3 years.. but I certainly don't want my FX's paint to fall into pieces........ what should I do now??

I was thinking to do the Zaino AFTER recoat w/ X-kote... but now I'm lost.
 

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A quick story: I live in Ohio, where we tend to have rather harsh winters, rainy summers, lots of acid rain and bird poop, etc. At any rate, my last vehicle was a new (at the time) white 2003 Toyota 4Runner Limited AWD, which I purchased in 9/03. I immediately Xaino'd it (including clay bar) with 3 successive coats of Zaino, and I then re-Zaino'd it every spring and late fall (applying 2 coats each time) until around 2007, when I had a hunch that the 4Runner's finish was so well protected due to all of my previous applications of Zaino that I decided to not Zaino it any further, until and unless I saw any signs of the need for another application.

Well, when I traded in the 4Runner last January (140,000 miles on the odometer, mind you) towards the purchase of my new 2010 FX35, I first ran it through a soft-touch car wash, and the entire exterior and interior finish of the truck was simply pristine, with no rust or any dull spots. In fact, after carefully inspecting my 4Runner during our negotiations, at one point the Infiniti dealer joked that he would've thought that the truck had been mostly garaged and not driven much, except for the fact that it had 140,000 miles on the clock, and it had obviously not been repainted, etc. He asked what my secret was, and I simply said "Zaino" and in reply he said that he'd heard about these products from some of their more fastidious customers, but that the vast majority of people who lease or own high-end vehicles tend to trade them in every few years, and so they often don't pay much attention to, and/or have little interest in spending the time to take such good care of their vehicles. Good point.

But, to paraphrase the late Paul Harvey, there's more to this story... First of all, I knew from my experiences with previous SUV's that once a new, "everyday" vehicle has been correctly Zaino'd every 6 months for a few cycles, the resulting finish is typically quite impervious and resilient, even when regularly run through automated soft-touch car washes, as well as so-called "brushless" automated washers (both use acidic and alkaline solutions at some point) which I frequently use at least 15-30 times/year, particularly during momentary breaks in harsh winter weather conditions, in which a vehicle should frequently be passed through an automated car wash with a strong under-carriage underspray in order to regularly blast-away accumulated road salt in particular, which is of course highly corrosive if allowed to go unchecked.

I stopped Zaino'ing my 4Runner in 2007, after which it was subjected to all manner of acid rain, bird ****, direct sunlight on 100 degree days, grimy off-road dust and mud, thick coatings of corrosive road salt, etc, not to mention regular passages through automated car washes. At any rate, the last time I ran my 4Runner through such a car wash was right before I took it to the Infiniti dealership to negotiate. Well, let me tell you that after it came out of this car wash, water still beaded-up everywhere on the finish, and there were no flat spots of pooling water on the hood or elsewhere, which would indicate areas where the clearcoat had become degraded, stripped bare, and porous.

Again, I will repeat that my 4Runner had not received another application of Zaino since 2007, yet in 1/10 it was still emerging from an automated car wash, looking **** near as good as when it was new. In my opinion, the secret here is simply Zaino, as well as getting off your ass and thoroughly washing and then detailing your vehicle every 6 months for the first few years with Zaino; and each time, applying 2-3 coats of their polishes during these semiannual sessions, which typically takes no more than a leisurely Saturday-Sunday's day's work in your garage, while listening to NPR radio programs, or music, whatever.

The time will fly by, you will have fun, you will be thrilled with results of your efforts. (Zaino products also smell wonderful.) The next day, while your vehicle is still in your garage, you will likely feel like completing the next and last step, which is cleaning and detailing the interior, using Zaino's "Leather In A Bottle" in particular. This stuff is not only very nourishing and good for leather and vinyl, it also smells so nice.

For those who are unfamiliar with Zaino, let's bust the most common misperception and myth floating about on the web, right here and now: Zaino does not take several days to complete, nor does it involve a "cardiac workout" unless you've neglected your vehicle (or you've previously applied crappy products, such as "waxes" or cheap clearcoat treatments) to the point that you have f*cked up the finish in the first place, and you then find yourself in need of spending extra time in order to get rid of these residues using Dawn Blue, etc. If you get off on the right foot with Zaino, the rest is actually quite easy, but it does require you to have some patience and open-mindedness.

All you need to know in order to use Zaino products is clearly explained at their web site. Take some time to read and learn, and you will no longer be attracted to quick-fix scams such as X-Goat. Meanwhile, here are a few tips to keep in mind...

1) From the outset, it's best to avoid this project until you can do the work with the vehicle parked in an enclosed garage. Do not attempt to wash and dry the vehicle, nor apply the polishes in either direct or indirect sunlight, nor in outdoor shade. The vehicle should be in a garage. If you wanna work on your suntan, that's fine, just don't do it during this project. Again, keep the vehicle in a garage, sheltered from the sun.

2) If you've done your homework, you have learned that when it comes to applying Zaino polishes, it only takes a very small amount of polish, periodically applied to an applicator pad, pre-wetted with Z-6, to cover the entire vehicle. Until you figure this out, you will likely apply too much Zaino polish, which will not hurt the finish, but doing so will simply waste the polish, and unless your using their ZFX additive, these polishes may be rather slow to dry and cure if you've applied too much, and the humidity is high and/or the ambient temp is low. ( A general rule of thumb: If the surface of the vehicle feels tacky when you begin to buff-off the polish, you have either applied too much, and/or the polish has not yet cured and dried enough.)

3) In general, it's often best to avoid attempting to take shortcuts by, for example, using any type of electrically-powered orbital buffers, etc. Unless you are an expert, these power tools may quickly cause friction burns and swirl marks in the clearcoat. The best approach is to apply and remove these polishes by hand.

4) Don't be afraid to get creative with Zaino's various polishes. For example, there's one polish for general use, and there's another for helping to fill-in and reduce swirl marks and superficial scratches in the clearcoat. Instead of applying each product separately, I've found that that in many cases, simply mixing them together, activating them both with ZFX, and then applying this mix to the finish often seems to work nearly as well as applying and removing them in separate applications.
 

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johnmax said:
Ghost Hunter said:
A quick story:
That wasnt really a quick story :p
:lol:

I think you should do a Zaino infomercial... :)

But one thing I'd like to add... my wheat interior was stained by a pair of dark jeans... I tried the Zaino stuff and it didn't work very well... one of these days, I'll get off my @$$ and try Leatherique on it since I've heard good things about their stuff... but the Zaino stuff DOES smell pretty good... if my clearcoat wasn't so screwed, I'd try it on my FX... just gotta get off my butt and drive down to NYC to have Andrew do a clearcoat correction for me first before I even bother using any of the good stuff... :p
 

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I have used x-kote on three of my vehicals now. The first was a black 2005 dodge ram with faded paint and swirl marks like crazy. Got it x-koted 3 years ago. Truck looked newer than brand new for 2.5 years. I just sold it last week...it took only two days to sell for full asking price. The second was my brand new VW passat that is black. The dealership swirled the crap out of it when I took it for its first service. After banging my fist at them to fix it....they finally agrees to the x-kote. The car looks shiner than the ones rolling off of the trucks!! Been a year now....no issues. Just make sure to wash with micro fiber sponges and dry with Sheeps skin. The third is my recently purchased 2005 tundra. It is white.
 
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