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BTW I use the much cheaper (same stuff, same package, different lable) S100 variation of P21S sold in Harley Davidson stores. You could always put a cap of the real wax over the Zaino. That combo looks pretty good. P21S / S100 is not only about as good looking as wax gets, it's also about the easiest to apply. Zaino is way harder. At first your car is pretty much tied up for a couple days.

Stan
 

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I have 12 coats of Zaino on my G35. :eek: I have to say, it really does live up to the hype. It's the most work I've ever put into a finish, but it really lasts.

It maps well to the way I treat my cars -- there's the honeymoon right after you bring it home, where the thought of spending a whole weekend rubbing the car doesn't seem so crazy.

Then the weekly detailing that goes on for the first few months..

then.. then.. well, six months of neglect with time only for a nice wash now and then.

The Zaino still washes like it was just waxed. Nothing sticks to this stuff -- I pressure-rinse it before starting, and the suds bucket never gets dirty. There's no need to claybar the car because there is No Grit.

On my other cars, I've used Meguiars for over ten years, and Klasse on one car. The Klasse (AIO and High Gloss) didn't last nearly as long as the Zaino, and never looked as good. Then again, I didn't try putting 10+ coats on either.

I didn't see any improvement after about the third coat of Zaino, and I can't honestly say I saw any difference between Z2 and Z5, but I can say that Z5 was a B*TCH to get off.. go real sparing on that stuff, it dries harder than the Z2 and takes more buffing to remove the over-haze.

Anyway, I'm undecided on the Elise. On the one hand, Zaino is king of longevity, and really makes it easy to wash gunk off the car. It's almost like a thin clearbra.

On the other hand, I just love the look of a deep carnuba shine. Mothers, P21S, doesn't matter -- they look lucious but just don't last. They collect grit and wash off easily. I like the way Vantage described Zaino as "plasticy".. like a high gloss plastic, not as much depth. Still very nice, but just not Concours class.

So.. if I am going to wax the car at least once a month, keep it parked indoors and covered, and wash any gunk off right after driving, the Carnuba is the way to go. If I want a finish to last through a few washings, then Zaino is where it's at.

I'd probably go three or four coats to start, then a new coat each month for a couple months then play it by ear. And unless someone can tell me why Z5 is needed, I'll just use Z2.
 

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JS, I don't know anything about a re-formulation, but the can of Liquid Glass I have says to let it cure for 4 hours between coats, and that multiple coats will provide more protection. They have a separate product (Liquid Glass Pre-cleaner) to do the cleaning.

It also recommends removing any regular wax before application (using the pre-cleaner), so putting a layer of carnauba wax on top means more work later. The car is pretty darn shiny as it is; mainly I just wax it for protection anyway.
 

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I'll throw in my $.02.

I used Zaino for a couple of years and decided it wasn't for me. There were lots of reasons, and I'm sure a Zaino zealot would (have) argue with me over them until I acknowledged Zaino was the best and I must have been doing something wrong with the product to not be enamored with it. People can get pretty passionate about which wax is best, but these guys get downright rabid. Present company excluded, as this conversation is quite reasonable. However, I have found that Zaino supporters are very vocal, while dissenting opinion is scarce. I simply want to make available a different perspective.

Please don't get me wrong, I'm not knocking Zaino. Sal is a nice guy and has his feet firmly planted in reality. The product has some of the best durability I have run into. My point is before you switch to a system such as Zaino, find out what is involved with the process and some of the pros and cons of the product. I have heard way too many times people who spend $100+ on the system only to find out they don't appreciate the chemistry set nature of the product.

Off my soapbox. Here is my spring process before show season.

Solvent to strip old wax
Clay
PC work:
Swirl mark removal with a medium polish
Lighter polish to remove rough edges
Synthetic for durability
carnauba prior to a show
I maintain with a detailing spray
I refresh the carnauba before each show if necessary.

In the fall, I will strip the old wax and apply a synthetic for durability. I wash the car with a polymer-bonded car wash to extend the life of the wax.

For the Elise, I will stick with a carnauba. It won't be a daily driver, and I think a carnauba gives the best depth and warmth. I'll sacrifice durability for what I feel is a better look.
 

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Detailer,
I really appreciate your input! I did my car with zaino today for the first time, you're right, it's a very time consuming process, but if it holds up as well as I'm told it will, don't mind.

Now, what's your opinion of microfiber towels? I used one today for the first time but only to dry the car, I just don't have faith in them as a buffing cloth, I'll stick with cotton towels for that, the MF did work great for drying the car.

Chris
PS> I'm going to need a second MF towel so if you stock them I"ll order from you as you're a supporter of etalk
 

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DP,
I pretty much agree with what you said, and you might note that users such as Stan and myself prefer a P21S system to a Zaino system when it comes to pure looks. I do like how Zaino looks, but the main reason is durability. The less I touch the paint, the less effort I have to expend removing the swirls later. Inevitably however, they accumulate enough to warrant a day of polishing.

Now...if only you would tell us which synthetic and which carnauba you like to use. :D If I had to guess, either Glanz or Klasse?

Do you know the relative abrasive level of the Einszett Paint Polish and Metallic Polish, as compared to perhaps a few Meguiars products or a few Menzerna polishes? I remember getting the Metallic Polish and Glanz wax as a sample when they first started distributing widely in the U.S. Glanz was very interesting on the first try.

- J

PS: We are fortunate in that the hardcore Zaino zealot has yet to surface on this board. No one seems to be contesting that apparent negatives of the product.
 

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Chris,
More or less, there are a few situations where I find cotton towels useful, but otherwise MF seems to have spoiled us otherwise. Cotton seems to work better when I'm performing a "dirty" task, such as wiping Leatherique off my seats or wiping down a sidewall. Stains like these may not come out of your MF towel. A high quality cotton towel is also beneficial as some of them tend to have more bite when removing a polish than a very soft MF towel. Some MF towels are better than others at removal and some even had different finishes on either side of the towel. I usually work through it, but some people like to break up the dried product with the cotton towel and then wipe the remaining residue with a MF towel, which really sweep the paint surface clean.
 

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Here is the PRO/CON list that I had sent to Mikester in his question about Zaino vs. P21S, a fairly typical carnauba. We have yet to touch on hybrids on this board, such as polymers with oil emulsions.

Zaino: synthetic (probably polymer) formula, liquid
PROS:
- high reflectivity
- super slick after a few coats
- very high longevity, at least six months
- car wash and detailing spray help longevity, renew shine
- dirt washes off easily
- easy maintenance
- no chalky residue
CONS:
- fairly involving initial application
- has no blemish hiding properties, requires a new or like-new surface to start
- lacks some depth in appearance, described as plastic-like or sterile shine. Like wrapping your paint in a shiny clear skin.
- attacts dust (even if it washes off easily). Zaino claims quick detailer use helps, but have not been able to remedy

P21S/S100: natural carnauba wax, paste
PROS:
- S100 version is same product, sells for $10 cheaper
- wonderful shine and depth of appearance, shimmers in the sun
- fairly slick, more slick with something like Klasse All-in-One underneath
- easiest product to apply, wipe on and wipe off.
- can quickly apply to small areas compared to Zaino
- available in certain stores
- leaves no chalky residue when buffing, but does can stay in cracks if not careful
- dirt washes off well
CONS:
- longevity leaves something to be desired if you do not like waxing frequently. A few hot weeks could obliterate it.
 

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I don't think you will be dissapointed with the durability of Zaino. It seems to last forever.

MF is outstanding. I no longer use cotton on my cars. MF is more expensive that cotton, but its useful life far exceeds that of cotton. Quality MF is rated from 300-400 washes where cotton is lucky to see 100.

Keep in mind, not all MF is created equal. Quality control is a huge issue. My best advice is to purchase from a company you trust. A good vendor will do your QC work for you and reject anything that is below standard. If you have any doubt about the quality of your MF, give it the old CD test.

Use the unprinted side of a CD. AOL sends me several a month. With medium pressure, rub the MF across the CD. If it scratches, don't use it on your paint. If you really dig in, you will get scratching from almost any towel. The idea is to use slightly more pressure than you think you do on your car.

Here is a list of towel types and general uses:
Super low pile/general purpose-interior and wheels
Soft short pile-wax removal
Fluffy long pile-final buffing and quick detail cleanup
Waffle Weave-drying
 

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NIck and Vantage,
Thanks for all the pointers.
Nick looking at your web page, I'm a bit confused as to which one to use for buffing wax. You say it should be a fluffy long pile, which one of your products would this be? Also, it seems with the exception of the waffle weave, these towels are roughly 12" sq. How many would you say it takes to buff an entire elise sized car?
Thanks
CHris
 

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Vantage said:
DP,
I pretty much agree with what you said, and you might note that users such as Stan and myself prefer a P21S system to a Zaino system when it comes to pure looks. I do like how Zaino looks, but the main reason is durability. The less I touch the paint, the less effort I have to expend removing the swirls later. Inevitably however, they accumulate enough to warrant a day of polishing.

Now...if only you would tell us which synthetic and which carnauba you like to use. :D If I had to guess, either Glanz or Klasse?

Do you know the relative abrasive level of the Einszett Paint Polish and Metallic Polish, as compared to perhaps a few Meguiars products or a few Menzerna polishes? I remember getting the Metallic Polish and Glanz wax as a sample when they first started distributing widely in the U.S. Glanz was very interesting on the first try.

- J

PS: We are fortunate in that the hardcore Zaino zealot has yet to surface on this board. No one seems to be contesting that apparent negatives of the product.
Oh, I fully agree. Zaino durability could be called the best. One thing my wife really liked about it was the way dirt seemed to fall off the car when washed. I thought it attracted too much dust and finger prints were an issue for me. I think your above list is very accurate.

Yes, I use Glanz for my synthetic. I have been using (shhhh) Swissol as my carnauba. I think it looks much warmer and deeper than P21S. Whether it looks $100 deeper is open for debate. :)

Comparing the abrasive qualities of the 1Z polishes to well known brands, I would say the Paint Polish is between 3M SMR and their Perfect-It III Rubbing Compound 05933. I think it is about 1.5-2.5 steps below Menzerna Intensive. Intensive is on par with einszett Ultra Paint Polish.

The 1Z Metallic is very light. It is about equal to Menzerna Final Polish. Keep in mind that the Metallic has some concealers and a high percentage of carnauba so while they are similarly abrasive, that is where the commonality ends.
 

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zvezdah1 said:
NIck and Vantage,
Thanks for all the pointers.
Nick looking at your web page, I'm a bit confused as to which one to use for buffing wax. You say it should be a fluffy long pile, which one of your products would this be? Also, it seems with the exception of the waffle weave, these towels are roughly 12" sq. How many would you say it takes to buff an entire elise sized car?
Thanks
CHris
Thanks for checking out the site. One Paradise Green should be plenty for a car much larger than the Elise. These towels really gobble up the wax. As for the size, the towel is a little bigger at 16x16.

One should use the low pile side to remove the heavy wax then flip it over for a final buff. Even removing P21S-which recommends removal when not fully dry-the towel will not pill up with wet wax.
 

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Thanks for the nice discussion!

Nick, nice site! Just made a purchase for some various towels. The box of towels will look nice right beside my unopened box of Zaino products for the next 3 months until my car gets here......

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #34
Nick,

For those with very short attention spans (me), can you give us a recommendation for a starter kit for use with a new Elise?
 

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Randy Chase said:
Nick,

For those with very short attention spans (me), can you give us a recommendation for a starter kit for use with a new Elise?
I would be happy to. Remember, these lists are based on my preferences and should not be interpreted as facts or rules. They are simply my opinions and should be considered guidelines.

Bare Minimum List:
1. A nice wool mitt. A wool mitt holds tons of soapy water. This is the key to not introducing swirls during the wash process. My second choice would be cotton and I recommend against using a MF mitt to wash the car.

2. einszett Perls Shampoo. It has some unique polymers that actually shine up the car as you wash. It's like a quick detailer and car wash in one. It's not very sudsy, but it is very slick.

3. A waffle weave drying towel. One will be plenty for the Elise, but it's nice to have two around.

4. Your favorite wax. Choose a synthetic for durability and a carnauba for depth. Combine the two for the best of both worlds.

5. Paradise Green MF towel.

6. Einszett Lackfinish detailing spray. This is great for a gloss refresher when you don't have time to wax, or in a bird poo emergency. I had one such emergency today as I was driving home.

Expanded List:
7. einszett Windscreen Cleaner. This stuff is quite powerful and makes short work of vinyl and plastic off-gassing.

8. MF Glass Cloth. This is probably my favorite MF cloth. It's non-shedding and really cuts through hazing and grime.

9. A polish to remove dealer-installed swirls. Something light, like einszett Metallic should be plenty.

10. Vinyl protectant. 303 Aerospace and einszett Tiefenpfleger are both excellent. Their great for both inside and out.

11. Tire Dressing. I am currently loving RaggTopp Vinyl Protectant. It leaves a nice dark finish without the shine.

12. All Purpose Cleaner. As strange as it may sound, 303 Convertible Top Cleaner is my choice. I have used it on seats, carpet, silk, linen and grease. It is safe on just about everything that is water-safe.

13. Wheel Cleaner. We need to find out how bad the dust is on the Elise. If it's sticky like German dust, we will need something stronger. The dust from OEM Japanese pads almost wash off with water.

14. Leather Care. Lexol is a safe bet for a new car.

15. A cotton wash mitt for wheels and under lower panels.

16. Oh, I almost forgot clay. It's not necessary, but I find even brand new cars have quite a bit of paint contamination when delivered.


Well, I'm sure I forgot something, but at least you have a good starter list. Also, if you have specific questions or just don't want to post, I am happy to answer them by phone or email. 800-405-9970 or [email protected]
 

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420HP said:
Thanks for the nice discussion!

Nick, nice site! Just made a purchase for some various towels. The box of towels will look nice right beside my unopened box of Zaino products for the next 3 months until my car gets here......

Todd
Thank you so much for shopping with us. :)
 

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Nick,

1) Do you recommend that I clay my new Elise before I apply my wax coats? Is it really necessary? You said in the earlier post that even new cars have contaminants from the factory.

2) With the size of the Elise being so small and curvaceous, do you even recommend using a porter cable to buff/polish?

3) What's the best way to remove wax from the black fins?
 

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1) I think it is a good idea to clay a new car. They tend to pick up quite a bit of contamination on the boat, at the dock and from the truck ride to the dealer. Since the Elise has a composite body, you don't have to worry about rust, but it's still a good idea to clean up the paint. I like to use a mirror analogy. Even a dusty mirror will show your reflection. Clean the mirror and the results are obvious. The same goes for your paint. If there are small particles reflecting light in odd directions, your paint won't have as good a reflection and will look slightly dull.

2) I fully intend to use my PC on the car. I think the results are so much better than by hand. The curves are going to take some getting used to, but don't expect them to be a big issue. I will use a 6 1/2" polishing pad, a 5" plate and a light polish.

3) A good quality wax won't stain the plastic. If for some reason the plastic does get wax residue, I would start with a detergent with high alkali content, such as Dawn dishwashing soap. Use it directly on the plastic and agitate with a toothbrush.

If that doesn't work, move to a heavier cleaner, such as 303 Aerospace Cleaner. I would try P21S Total Auto Wash after that. My last attempt would be with einszett Plastic Reiniger. It's pretty hard core, so I might choose to cover the stain with a dressing rather than risk discoloration with such a strong cleaner.
 
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