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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Has anyone used this Z-CS Clear Seal? It's a new product from Zaino. What were your results if so? Thanks!
 

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Has anyone used this Z-CS Clear Seal? It's a new product from Zaino. What were your results if so? Thanks!
Z-CS has been around since 2007 IIRC.


Personally, I have no experience with Z-CS but I do use Optimum Opti-Seal which is essentially the same type of product (released at the same time as Z-CS in fact). Another popular one is Ultima Paint Guard Plus. These are what folks in the detailing community consider a WOWA (wipe on, walk away) sealant. It’s something you literally wipe on vehicle and then allow to “flash off” without wiping. The consistency is watery or more like a very light oil. Thin, even coats are key to applying the product without streaking.

I can’t speak for Z-CS but Optimum OS has decent durability, great compatibility and you really can’t beat its ease of use. You can also apply it to just about any surface on the car including trim, windows, paint, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Kean. I know you know you're stuff. I honestly thought Z-CS was new. I'm going to try it and hopefully I can give it a good review.
 

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Thanks Kean. I know you know you're stuff. I honestly thought Z-CS was new. I'm going to try it and hopefully I can give it a good review.
I tend to spend a little too much time on the detailing sites/forums and have a habit off buying things to try (although Im getting better). ;)

Please let us know how it goes. ZCS should be quite similar to OOS or UPGP. I like OOS and use it on occasion. The WOWA process doesn't get much easier. Just remember to apply whisper thin and make sure the finish is in the condition you are happy with before starting. These sealants don't do any sort of concealing or cleaning and basically what you start with is what you're left with (ie scratches, water spots, etc.). They are really meant to go over a finish that is pre-corrected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'm starting to know that feeling Kean. I've gotten more products for my Challenger than for all my other vehicles combined.
 

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I have use Zaino Clear seal since it came out. Very easy to use and leaves a good shine with good durability. It works well on dark black plastic also.
 

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I have use Zaino Clear seal since it came out. Very easy to use and leaves a good shine with good durability. It works well on dark black plastic also.
I can’t speak for ZCS but with Optimum OS (essentially the same in the basic regard of it being a WOWA product), I have found it very versatile. I still use it to apply to all types of trim, wheels, etc. I even got to a point where I started experimenting with application via airbrush (an idea I got from a fellow member on Autopia.org a while back). It actually works really well this way for me although I do waste more product than I would applying via a foam pad. However, it really helps speed up application on wheels or other components with more complex surfaces, crevices, etc. when I need to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I used this product over the weekend and yes I used a little to much in a couple of spots! But the shine is awesome. My challenger is black and it really makes the crystal in the paint jump out at you. I'm planning on doing a second coat this coming weekend as well. I'm pleased with this product. It is easy to apply and I had minimal buffing to do after in the areas where I went a little heavy with the product. I do think I will need to treat the plastics before I apply the second coat however. They just didn't get the black I was looking for on these pieces.
 

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I used this product over the weekend and yes I used a little to much in a couple of spots! But the shine is awesome. My challenger is black and it really makes the crystal in the paint jump out at you. I'm planning on doing a second coat this coming weekend as well. I'm pleased with this product. It is easy to apply and I had minimal buffing to do after in the areas where I went a little heavy with the product. I do think I will need to treat the plastics before I apply the second coat however. They just didn't get the black I was looking for on these pieces.


Don't worry. Most folks do apply these types of products a little too much during their initial use. If you're ever wondering if you have enough on the pad, swipe it on one of the windows (makes it easier to see just how much is being released from the media).

Also, I would be careful as to how much (and when) you "buff" when hitting those thick/high spots. These products are really meant to be left alone once applied (even gentle wiping can remove it). If you see that you may have added a bit too much to an area on a pass, sometimes going back over it with the pad will help. However, most of the product should really flash off shortly after it transfers to the surface but there may be some areas that appear like they have an oil slick-like residue. Resist the temptation to immediately wipe those areas. It’s best just to let it be. Some of the product will flash off immediately while other areas may take up to 30 minutes or so. In either case, I would leave it alone for several hours before hitting those high spots or (in my case) I will just wait until my next wash (especially if the car is being used during that time). ….gently using a quick detailer and a quality, plush, paint safe towel should also help remove excess after allowing it to cure.

I'm not sure if I mentioned earlier but WOWAs are typically a "what you see is what you get" kind of product. In other words, while they may add gloss, shine, etc., they really won't do anything to hide blemishes so making sure the finish is how you want it before application is key. This is true as far as the trim as well. If it is oxidized/faded, there will likely be little difference after application of the sealant. You would need to restore the trim with an APC, AIO or other method first. I also wouldn't look to something like ZCS to "darken" those surfaces. Even on good trim it will still look "OEM". ....while using some dressings will make even new trim darker than it originally was.

Personally, I prefer to use trim-friendly sealants/waxes on trim bits whenever possible. I really don't like using dressings/protectants if I can help it. I'm currently experimenting with more permanent/semi-permanent coatings that I can simply apply and not have to worry about for months or indefinitely.

Please keep us posted on your experiences with Z-CS. I know there are similarities to the other WOWA's (including the OOS I use) so I can definitely relate. I still use/prefer other products but still keep Optimum OS on my shelf due to its ease of use and other characteristics (compatibility, decent durability, speed of application, etc.).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I waited 24 hours before I looked at the car and saw some high spots. I read on the website that the high spots can be wiped down so I did it and it all came out well.

I have used a couple of products on the trim pieces but they never seem to last very long. Amazingly enough I used freedom waterless cleaner on the trim pieces a few weeks back and it made the plastics look great and it lasted longer than say a Mothers back to black type product did. I'll probably hit the trim pieces with that before I do the z-cs again. I'd love to hear more about what you're doing with the trim pieces however!
 

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I waited 24 hours before I looked at the car and saw some high spots. I read on the website that the high spots can be wiped down so I did it and it all came out well.


Gotcha. Sounds about right. If they don’t go away after a day or so (IME) they will usually stay there until they are wiped away or the car is washed. The cure time is well before that IIRC.

I have used a couple of products on the trim pieces but they never seem to last very long. Amazingly enough I used freedom waterless cleaner on the trim pieces a few weeks back and it made the plastics look great and it lasted longer than say a Mothers back to black type product did. I'll probably hit the trim pieces with that before I do the z-cs again. I'd love to hear more about what you're doing with the trim pieces however!


….as long as whatever that waterless cleaner leaves behind (if anything) is compatible with Z-CS, I don’t see any reason you couldn’t. I know UPGP and OOS are known for their product friendliness and I would assume Z-CS is as well. Trying to coat it over something like a dressing however, I would have reservations.

B2B is a decent product but like most dressings/protectants, it needs to be re-applied relatively regularly (they don’t typically last more than a couple washes or so). ….and even with more resilient ones I have used (like Black Wow), it only buys a little more time. I mentioned I prefer sealants mainly because they tend to last a little longer, they are easier to apply and overall less messy. However, even then they require regular application and don’t always work well on all types of trim or scenarios. ….which has brought me to my search for a more permanent solution.

My interest has been sparked in these products since nano, semi-perm and permanent coatings started becoming popular in the last couple of years (and even more so in the last few months with the release of Optimum Opti-Coat to the general public). Once product in particular I had my eye on was G/Techniq C4 Trim Restorer. This is a semi-perm coating that is claimed to last 1-2 years. The major downside (like with many of these) is cost. ….a 20ml bottle of the stuff will set you back $50. However, my thought was if it ends up lasting even 6 months before noticeable deterioration, I will consider it money well spent (a little goes a long way as well). I created a thread on the subject not that long ago: (http://www.challengertalk.com/forums/f40/g-techniq-c4-57125/). I have some updates with pictures I will hopefully add in the next few days. …..jury is still out since I’m not sure if I’m that impressed with it. Also, it should be noted that some restoration of the trim must be done before application (for pieces that may be oxidized). While this product helps darken and may “restore” some of the finish, blotches and unevenness you can see on the surface can show through the C4 IME. So far, I think it works better on trim that is either new or in decent shape.

Another product I have been excited about is Optimum Opti-Coat (not to be confused with their Opti-Seal). This product has been on the market for a couple of years but was only available to professional detailers. After following a couple of threads from fellow Autopia.org members, it caught my attention. Just a couple of months ago Optimum decided to release OC to the public after some slight changes to the formulation (they increased the cure time to add some flexibility in application).

OC is a “permanent” coating (not a nano sealant). Unlike some of the other products (G/Techniq, AQuartz, etc.), this product will not wear off after a few years. It needs to be abraded from the surface of the paint. …..meaning, it needs to be buffed off with a compound/polish. It goes on like a WOWA sealant (like Z-CS, Opt Opti-Seal, UPGP, etc.) but any high spots that are not taken care of during the initial 30 minutes will remain (requiring polishing to remove). You need to apply it, wait 5 minutes and then “knock down” any high spots with your applicator or (gently) with a towel. This is probably obvious but good lighting is essential during application. OC is meant to be applied to paint but can also be applied to most surfaces (i.e. trim, glass, etc.). It has amazing contaminant shedding ability, added hardness and obvious durability/resilience to chemicals cleaners since it is permanent. It releases “stuff” so well from its surface that layering products (like a carnauba) or even itself is not recommended. ….it just won’t stick for long. Which brings me to its one big downside for me….

As I mentioned, in order to remove OC you must abrade it. ….and since nothing sticks to it (even consecutive layers of itself), this means you must polish down the entire panel before re-application of OC or another product if you intend to switch. Some might think “who cares… you never have to remove it since it will last for years”. However, marring is inevitable, and for folks like me who do light correction once per year to keep their finish looking close to blemish free, this means I would have to be more aggressive with my polishing simply to remove the OC instead of just using a finishing polish like I might normally (and you can imagine complex angles, etc.). On the other hand, most of the light marring will likely be limited to the OC and not the clear coat itself (so there is that added protection). ….can you tell I’m still thinking this over. ;)

Anyhow, even if I decide not to use OC “topside”, I will still likely use it for wheels and some trim bits. I recently applied it to one of the roof rails on the DD (my wife’s Forester) as a test. I was also thinking of coating the hood, roof and some of the other flat panels that will be easy to buff if I end up changing my mind. I will document and share my results in a thread soon.

On another note, I was recently following a thread (again, on one of the detailing forums I frequent) and engaged a fellow member in his discussion about a product called ETR from ValuGard. This particular member is actually a retired developer of products for AutoInt (the makers of the VG line) and was personally responsible for the development of ETR (he is also quite knowledgeable in regard to the chemistry of car care products, vehicle component compositions, paint systems, etc.). ValuGard products are used and endorsed by many of the big auto manufacturers (including Chrysler). In some cases they show up as re-branded products, in TSB’s or for use by dealer/manufacturer personnel, etc.

The reason I mentioned ETR is because it is a trim restorer with 3 steps: cleaning solution, dye and sealant. Unlike some of the other products I mentioned, it seems ETR can be applied over faded trim (or good trim for that matter) with little prep. I have been trying to help my Dad with his 2006 Avalanche for quite a while now by searching for something more permanent that he can use on the plastics (they require constant maintenance and he is getting on in years). Due to the level of oxidation, the C4 and OC simply would not work without extensive prep work (to get the finish even). However, ETR (with the dye) appears it may be the ticket I’m looking for and I will be purchasing the system in the next few days. …..I will make sure to create a new thread on this one as well and share my experiences with everyone.

Sorry for the long-winded rambling. I figured it was ok to go a little off-topic since you asked and it’s your thread. ;) Hope this made sense for the most part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
No worries about the response Kean. It is all very informative. I'd be interested in a product like ETR as well. The front lower spoiler on my car could use a product like that.

The Optimum Opti-Coat is another product I'll be looking into. I think I'm getting addicted to the detailing products! I just hope to keep my car looking good for a long, long time.
 
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