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Old 02-17-2017, 12:24 AM   #1
L1FRDOG
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Default Xpel and OptiCoat PRO+ Question

Guys, (and Gals , Anyone who is familiar with Xpel and Opticoat PRO & PRO+... I have some urgent questions. Because as I near my install date of next Tuesday my questions have only become more urgent. In the event my installer reads this (which he should) I can only say this is just part of my research. I prefer to trust, but verify...


I am getting Xpel Ultimate applied to my car next week... It will be a 3/4 coverage of Xpel Ultimate (pretty much everywhere but the rear hatch and butt... I wanted to get Opticoat Pro+ applied afterward because that is what I read online as the best way forward for my new grand sport...

However, my installer has told me that what I have read everywhere is wrong. I have been informed that Opticoat Pro can be applied to the entire car AFTER the Xpel, but if I paid for the PLUS I would be wasting money, because the PLUS will only adhere properly to the sections with actual car paint clear coat, because the PLUS (+) must bond to the vehicles clear coat, and is therefore not advisable...

I heard what was said, but wanted to verify because I have not read that information anywhere else online to back this up. Can anyone here help clarify/verify whether or not Pro+ cannot be applied to Xpel Ultimate? I ask because I have read that Xpel Ultimate has a clear coating on it (part of the Ultimate). I explicitly desired the PLUS for the gloss factor, and chose the Opticoat over products such as modesta, and cquartz even though they had been rated very high on gloss.

At this point, unless someone can provide clear evidence I am considering just not having the opticoat done and just having the entire car PPF'd with expel ultimate.

Can anyone help?

L1FRDOG

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Old 02-17-2017, 12:38 AM   #2
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Yes, listen to your installer, who obviously knows what he's talking about.

Ceramics are intended for paint. It's ridiculous to waste the money to apply them to a piece of plastic, which is intended to be sacrificial. If you have to replace the film due to damage, you will have lost your coating. If you apply it to the paint underneath, it will be pristine when the old film is removed.

The best installers know this, and sounds like you found one. My installer was one of the first to start applying film many years ago, and he also says XPEL is handing out bad advice. They're apparently worried that inexperienced installers will have trouble getting the film to adhere to a ceramic coated surface, and they'll end up being liable. A good installer will wrap all edges and have no problem.

Mine was done the same way your installer recommended and is perfect. Moreover, the film looks better when the paint surface underneath is glossy and perfectly prepared.

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Old 02-17-2017, 12:54 AM   #3
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FOOSH! You're the MAN!!
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Old 02-17-2017, 01:08 AM   #4
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I would still have the ceramic coating applied to the entire car BEFORE the film.

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:09 AM   #5
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I look at this way. If you put any sealant (ceramic or otherwise) UNDER the Xpel, the Xpel will bond to the sealant, not the clear coat. How long will the sealant last until it breaks down? Especially now that it is wearing a plastic (Xpel) sweatsuit? Who knows? CQuartz is rated for "up to" two years when it is the top surface. I'm thinking it will not last nearly as long under Xpel.

So it doesn't make sense to put sealant UNDER the Xpel.

OVER the XPel - why not? It's just another layer of protection. I have read about the healing properties of Xpel. That sounds great. What I would like to achieve is the ability to hose down the car to get dirt off and then blow dry the car (no touching). Car Washing Nirvana!

I am told that CQuartz is a great ceramic sealant that has very minimal "pores" for dirt to adhere to.

My plan is to install the Xpel and put CQuartz on just a couple Xpel panels to begin with. If the sealed panels are better than just Xpel, I'll cover the others also.

Side note: I'd put Xpel on the rear too. The GS and Z06 kick up a huge "rooster tail" of water with those wide tires. The rear end gets filthy!

Here is a link to an article I read on the topic:

http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-P...g-application/

The main article is unclear weather they CQuartz sealed the "self healing protection film". The comments below indicate they did.

Let the flames begin!

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:10 AM   #6
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Actually it's the opposite. Ceramic coatings will last indefinitely under the film, since the film is protecting the coating along with the paint. And ceramic over the film defeats the self-healing properties of XPEL Ultimate.

Your linked article clearly states they applied CQuartz to the "painted surfaces" not film.

The ceramic is allowed to cure and adhere to the paint prior to film installation. See the videos below for how long ceramic lasts under the film.

XPEL Ultimate itself is very hydrophobic. About the only thing I ever do to my car is a water-only hose down and blow dry. Every so often I'll follow that up with a little detailer or spray wax on the film to enhance the hydrophobic properties of the film as well as the gloss.

As to coating the back of the car, why? The purpose of film is not to protect against the car getting dirty, it's to protect against rock chips.

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Old 02-17-2017, 01:17 AM   #7
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intensify, I like your plan too!


My personal Goal is what I consider "simple".


- New Grand Sport... I live in Northern Virginia... (just think Rock Chip city!)


- I want the Xpel Ultimate to prevent/reduce rock Chips period.


- I want the Opticoat Pro to HELP me reduce the effort I need to keep my Vette "clean".


- I would "Prefer" (as an added benefit) to have it stay Glossy if possible. Pro+ adds the GLOSS factor. However I just read on the Optimum forum that the Opticoat-Gloss Coat can be applied over the regular pro for a similar effect. and since I have a tube of Gloss Coat I think I will be fine


We shall See... PICs WILL FOLLOW this saga!


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Old 02-17-2017, 01:20 AM   #8
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See these videos from my installer.


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Old 02-17-2017, 03:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
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This is really interesting.

These videos make my point exactly. The Xpel bonded to the sealant - not the clear coat.

I view this as "non-optimal". Yet the exact same facts are viewed by others as optimal.

I like the idea that the Xpel would be harder to get off if it was directly on top of the clear coat. I'd hate to accidentally catch an edge a few months/years after the install and pull off an expensive piece of PPF.

I guess it is all in your point of view.

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Old 02-17-2017, 10:36 AM   #10
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LOL. Uh, no. If you paid attention to those videos and can still hang on to that theory, I'm almost speechless.

Bonding only happens when a ceramic coating is wet and during the curing process. It is not chemically possible for the coating to bond to plastic film after it's dry and cured on the paint. It's already bonded before film installation, how the hell is it supposed to "re-bond" to film when it's dry?

You've also obviously never seen what a car looks like after removing an old PPF from naked paint. There's usually a lot of adhesive residue to remove, and it is VERY difficult to remove.

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Old 02-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #11
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I never understood some of the things people do. I get the paint protection, its like a floor mat where it protects the area underneath it. But now all of a sudden people feel the need to protect the protector.

Do people really think a "ceramic" coating is going to protect a soft plastic paint covering? I dont even understand the marketing behind calling them ceramic paint protection treatments. Ceramics are baked in a kiln. You dont pour a few drops of a liquid on a applicator and then rub it on and buff it off and call it a ceramic. Thats not how ceramics are made.
Ok, rant over.
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Old 02-17-2017, 10:45 AM   #12
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You chose your installer for a reason, so you must have done some research as to his qualifications. I say follow your installer's suggestion. He's the expert. Good luck.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:01 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
I never understood some of the things people do. I get the paint protection, its like a floor mat where it protects the area underneath it. But now all of a sudden people feel the need to protect the protector.

Do people really think a "ceramic" coating is going to protect a soft plastic paint covering? I dont even understand the marketing behind calling them ceramic paint protection treatments. Ceramics are baked in a kiln. You dont pour a few drops of a liquid on a applicator and then rub it on and buff it off and call it a ceramic. Thats not how ceramics are made.
Ok, rant over.
Yeah, you raise some good points, and the name is probably a bit of a misnomer. It's probably just best to think of the "ceramic" coatings as the longest-lasting paint protection anyone has created to date.

After almost a year after CQuartz Finest was installed on my car, driven regardless of weather conditions 3-5 days a week, water just rolls off and nothing sticks to the surface. It is weird, but it does work better than any other wax or sealant.

Also, FWIW, mine was cured with heat lamps in the very same room featured in the videos above. 3 coats were applied with each being allowed to cure before the next coat.

However, you're absolutely right that the coatings sure as hell weren't designed to be plastic film protection.

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Old 02-17-2017, 11:33 AM   #14
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My installer, who is the best in the region, installs coatings OVER the PPF. He has done it both ways and has concerns about the ability of the PPF to stick to paint which has a ceramic coating. But you're right, if you have to have the PPF replaced, it has to be coated again.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:34 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foosh View Post
LOL. Uh, no. If you paid attention to those videos and can still hang on to that theory, I'm almost speechless.

Bonding only happens when a ceramic coating is wet and during the curing process. It is not chemically possible for the coating to bond to plastic film after it's dry and cured on the paint. It's already bonded before film installation, how the hell is it supposed to "re-bond" to film when it's dry?

You've also obviously never seen what a car looks like after removing an old PPF from naked paint. There's usually a lot of adhesive residue to remove, and it is VERY difficult to remove.
Maybe we are having a semantics issue. If the sealant is under the PPF - the sealant is bonded (or stuck to) the clear coat; the PPF is then bonded (or stuck to) the sealant. The PPF can't be bonded (or stuck to) the clear coat because the sealant is acting as a barrier. It's a stack of layers.

If you know the installer in the videos, please ask him this question and report back:

"When you removed the 3 year old film, was there any sealant left on the clear coat or was it just the clear coat?"

Lastly you are correct that pulling old PPF off a cold car is hard and leaves residue. That is why you use those same heat lamps used for initial curing to get the PPF and painted surface warm. Then it comes off easily and leaves little residue.

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Old 02-17-2017, 11:42 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Gretz View Post
My installer, who is the best in the region, installs coatings OVER the PPF. He has done it both ways and has concerns about the ability of the PPF to stick to paint which has a ceramic coating. But you're right, if you have to have the PPF replaced, it has to be coated again.
If you install a coating over something like Xpel then how can the Xpel self correct? The coating can not shrink or expand.
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Old 02-17-2017, 11:44 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by intensifi View Post
Maybe we are having a semantics issue. If the sealant is under the PPF - the sealant is bonded (or stuck to) the clear coat; the PPF is then bonded (or stuck to) the sealant. The PPF can't be bonded (or stuck to) the clear coat because the sealant is acting as a barrier. It's a stack of layers.

If you know the installer in the videos, please ask him this question and report back:

"When you removed the 3 year old film, was there any sealant left on the clear coat or was it just the clear coat?"

Lastly you are correct that pulling old PPF off a cold car is hard and leaves residue. That is why you use those same heat lamps used for initial curing to get the PPF and painted surface warm. Then it comes off easily and leaves little residue.
The videos clearly demonstrate that when you pull a PPF off a ceramic coated surface, the coating is essentially like new and still bonded to the paint. You're left with a pristine surface with little or no film residue.

Film on top of coating + paint protects both.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
If you install a coating over something like Xpel then how can the Xpel self correct? The coating can not shrink or expand.
Correct! You've compromised the self-healing properties to some extent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Gretz View Post
My installer, who is the best in the region, installs coatings OVER the PPF. He has done it both ways and has concerns about the ability of the PPF to stick to paint which has a ceramic coating. But you're right, if you have to have the PPF replaced, it has to be coated again.
Sounds like a good way for your installer to maximize his income. If edges are wrapped there is no adherence problem. I just don't get how anyone can conclude it makes sense to pay for expensive ceramics to protect a piece of plastic.

Last edited by Foosh; 02-17-2017 at 11:56 AM. Reason: Quotes added due to intervening post.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:14 PM   #18
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The videos clearly demonstrate that when you pull a PPF off a ceramic coated surface, the coating is essentially like new and still bonded to the paint. You're left with a pristine surface with little or no film residue.
The videos might be showing that.

They might also be showing the sealant broke down to a small molecule powder which was stuck to the PPF making the PPF easy to pull off. A small molecule powder would be very hard (if not impossible) to see in a video.

This is the reason I asked you to ask the installer my question.

2nd topic: Sealant on top of PPF.

For me this has nothing to do with protecting the film. It has to do with making the car easier to wash. If the sealant has smaller pores than the film, the car will be easier to wash.

Last edited by intensifi; 02-17-2017 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 02-17-2017, 12:16 PM   #19
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I see you edited your response, after I posted, so I'm responding in kind.

Call him yourself. His business name is on the video and then it's just a matter of using Google. I'm sure he'll get a good laugh over your "powder theory."

At any rate, do whatever you want . . . your car and your money.

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Old 02-17-2017, 06:44 PM   #20
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Guys,
I called Rob @ Proform in Ellicott City, MD... He is the real deal! I'm dropping my car at his shop next week!


I too am convinced the Ceramic coating under the Xpel.


I'll work to provide before/during/after shots here.


My Thanks to Foosh for showing me the error of my ways


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