DIY: CARPRO CQuartz UK 3.0 on the Type R

With isolation in full effect now, there’s really nothing else to do but find things to pass the time… For a long time, I’ve really been wanting to ceramic coat the CTR but prior to all of this COVID-19 stuff, our weekends have always been busy and I’ve got no time during the week.

With the weather and the roads still not at a point where it’s good enough to drive the car, it’s at least nice enough to work in the garage without freezing your ass off. As a result, I picked up some CARPRO products at Carzilla and went to town this weekend.

I’ll try my best to walk you through the process – it’s hard without video and I didn’t have any dedicated video set up to even do it so pics should do!

The process probably took me a good 5-8 hours from start to finish. It was rather quick as the paint was already in decent condition and I had already paint corrected last year, so it was only a matter of going over again to get anything that accumulated since then.

Aria spent a lot of time outside with me keeping me company. All dressed up and ready to tackle the project…

I won’t talk about washing the car because that’s pretty self-explanatory… After washing, I soaked the car in IronX. I was a little skeptical of the product because I wasn’t actually sure how much it would get… But if I was going to do this, I might as well do it the right way and go all the way.

When you spray it on, it goes on clear and it smells horrible. It also lingers long after you’ve rinsed it off lol.

Here it is sprayed onto the grill. I think with the ambient temperature only being about +5C on Saturday, it might have been a bit too cold or this is what it looks like when applied over PPF.

More shots of it sitting doing its thing…

IronX is supposed to start to turn to a reddish purple to show you all the iron contaminants after about 5 minutes. On the front of the car, it was really start to show a lot..

Same with the sideskirts…

The hood was the biggest culprit of contaminants as you can see by the hood scoop.

Same with the back of the car where a lot of the soot and dirt kicks up while driving…

Another spot on the trunk.

After several minutes, you take a soft MF mitt/cloth and rub it into the surface to try and agitate it a bit more. It ends up working like a light soap.

I was expecting a lot to be on the doors, but there was little, if any.

Once you’re finished with IronX, the next step would be to clay bar. It’s important to use IronX first to make your claying a little bit easier. It just makes more sense to get rid of any iron first and then to use your clay to get anything it couldn’t get.

Work the clay in your palms to mold it to make a nice flat-ish piece to rub along the car.

I’m always a little skeptical about clay barring my cars because I always believe I take good care of it. I wash by hand using a bucket method, I dry by hand, and I wash often… But even as new as the CTR is, look at what came off of half of the car. Just goes to show you that clay barring is not underrated and should be done regularly…

On the other half of the car after remolding the clay to a fresh side.

One thing claybarring really helps with is cleaning the edges of your 3M. Over time, the edges of your 3M (if any) can gather some gunk. Claying gets rid of it nicely.

A nice fresh headlight…

After I was done claying, I washed the car one more time and I always hate drying it but it’s always Aria’s favourite thing to do. She’s pretty good at it too LOL

Work work work…

Nicely clayed and ready for the next step… 

Braving the chilly weather to help a brotha out.

All washed and dried. Ready for polish.

My go-to polish has always been Menzerna. It works well with good results and has pretty low dusting.

I had to remove the Advan decals as well so I could apply ceramic coating properly. Sad 😦

Here’s the passenger side after the first pass of polishing… Meanwhile, Aria is sweeping the water out of the garage. LOL

Also removed the license plate to polish and clean behind there. It was filthy back there. Don’t forget that!

I also got a smaller backing plate so that I could get the little areas that a 6″ pad can’t get. Also important for little crevices and such to properly polish those hard-to-reach areas.

Oh and as a side note, I’m using a Porter Cable 7424. Believe it or not, this thing is almost 12 years old and is still running like a champ. It has literally been bulletproof for me. I want to make the jump to a rotary but this thing won’t die! LOL oh well… It’s served me well all these years and continues to do so.

Here’s a shot of the wing and hatch being polished.

And here is the finished result – all swirls and micro-marring gone. 

Another piece I ended up doing was the tail lights and head lights. I can’t stand hazy lights… 

A closer shot…

Front grill and bumper all polished up…

Looking all slick.

Another shot. Note – the front is fully wrapped in PPF. As good as it is at hiding swirls, it doesn’t prevent everything. I ended up lightly polishing it as well and it came out good as new.

Crystal clear.

Another shot…

Had to call it a day as the sun was setting and it was getting too cold to do much else. I left it in the garage ready to tackle it today.

Half polished at this point…

Looking pretty spiffy so far…

Today, we were at it again. Slightly warmer outside and her Porsche was all charged and ready to go.

After I finished up polishing what I didn’t finish yesterday, the next and final step was to spray the panels with CARPRO Eraser. Eraser, unlike IronX, smells delicious. The purpose of Eraser is to just remove any polishing oils and dust that’s left over so that you’ve got a nice clean surface to apply your ceramic coating onto.

I figured I might as well do all the jams too…

All nice and clean…

Sideskirts all clean. Yes, the plastic is still on the door sills LOL.

I should note that I didn’t wipe the whole car down with Eraser and then move onto ceramic coating. I ended up going one panel at a time to ensure I had a clean surface each time. I would wipe Eraser on and buff off, and then apply CQuartz – panel by panel.

I got the 30ml bottle. Plenty to do 2 coats on the CTR plus a little more…

The included blox and suede cloth to apply…

Here’s the passenger side with CQuartz applied. Honestly not too different – it’s a little glossier and glassier but it’s not like I was bringing the paint back from terrible condition. It was pretty good to begin with.

I ended up finishing the whole car before taking anymore pics before the final results. One thing to keep in mind is flashing time and your ambient temperature. It was about +7C outside when applying and I was in the garage, so it flashed a little slower. By the time I finished 1/4 of the car, I figured the flash time for me was about 45 seconds to a minute – that’s when I was getting a bit of grab on the cloth and it wasn’t too difficult to remove.

After wiping away, always check for high spots using your ambient lighting. Check your panels at every angle and see if you missed a spot. It’s particularly harder to see on white since light reflects off of it so easily, but if you have good lighting, it’s pretty easy to spot. Think of it as checking for where you applied wax and missed wiping it away – you’re looking for a bit of haziness…

Finally all done! I took it outside to do one final check – especially on the black parts of the car.

Car looks great now! It’s never been this clean – even on the first day I picked it up lol.

Again, hard to see but it’s definitely shining…

And Aria always getting in the way…

I turned down the exposure so you could see it a bit better. No more swirls… Just full on gloss.

If it has done anything, it’s made the Champ white look even better!

Nice and slick.

Grill looking fire.

Wing and hatch nice and slick…

First time seeing the Fujitsubo outside in daylight too haha  

One last booty shot. It was pretty damn bright outside so it was hard to get good pics…

Obligatory Type R photo…

Unfortunately, any cloth you use to work with the ceramic coating must be trashed after. They’ll just get hard with ceramic in them and be unusable anyway. RIP.

The only thing left for me to do is let the coating sit on the car for another 24 hours and I think I’ll be applying one last coat for good measure. I have enough product for it anyway. Once that’s done, I let the car sit for about a week or two and I’ll apply CARPRO Reload.

Reload is basically the cherry that goes on top of your ceramic coat. It’s what provides the slick feeling and the gloss that you’re familiar with when applying waxes. CQuartz on its own doesn’t provide that just to be clear. It’s not smooth after application like wax is. You need reload to top it off and to maintain it every few months. It’s literally a spray on sealant… There’s conflicting views on how soon to apply it after ceramic coating – some say right after, some say the next day and some say to wait as long as possible if the car doesn’t have to go out. I’m going with the latter since all I have is time… The car remains in the garage for likely another month so the coating has lots of time to cure.

And one last shot of Aria to close it off. What an exhausting but rewarding project… I can’t wait for it to rain. LOL

Install: Fujitsubo Authorize RM Titanium Exhaust FK8

Finally the day has come! I was starting to get anxious on getting the exhaust on the car even though I can’t drive it yet… I didn’t want to have to worry about installing it when it gets nice out cause I’d just want to drive ASAP. I still need to find some time to do a full paint correction and then ceramic coat the car before pulling it out too.

I spent like 20 minutes on Saturday just getting the car cover off and putting the car up on jack stands. My initial plan was to just do it in stages whenever I had some free time since there’s still another few months to go. You know, take the exhaust one day and then start putting the pieces together here and there… Thankfully the guys offered to come by and help to get it all done in an hour instead. It’s a good thing too because the stock exhaust is one damn piece and it would’ve been a bitch to try and wiggle that all off myself – so thanks guys!

Getting ready to start. Don’t mind the dirty garage floor…

The car was already up in the air from Saturday so we just had to get under and get started. Punit and JC getting the tools ready to get started…

The stock exhaust in all its glory. The rear undercovers needed their clips taken out to pull the cover down a bit to access the rear hangers since they span out to the sides.

The Fujitsubo exhaust…

Punit starting to work the hangers off…

JC on the other side… This guy always wearing nice clothes to roll around on the floor… MBN.

As you can see, it took two people on the rear section of the exhaust just to wiggle out… Another reason to be thankful I didn’t do it on my own lol

Rich came shortly after and hopped right in (under?). He was ready with his coveralls and everything. Smart guy.

All 3 of them under and working on wiggling the exhaust off the hangers. Worked the rear section out first and then wiggled the middle piece off the hangers next. I know it looks like all I’m doing is standing around taking pics but I swear I did work too LOL.

The rear section off. Punit and JC helping wiggle it off to help Rich out in the middle.

A picture of the full stock exhaust system. Kinda weird how they made it all one piece…

The stock exhaust weighing in at 38.5 lbs compared to the Fujitsubo at 26 lbs.

A few shots of the Fujitsubo titanium hangers.

The Fujitsubo center pieces. Just lining them up ready to go in.

A shot of the beautiful matte finish of Titanium and awesome workmanship…

JC and Punit attached the hangers to the sides of the main section.

One side…

The other side…

After they were done, I took some rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth to wipe off the grease and any fingerprints.

*Heart eyes*

While the hangers were being put on, Rich was under the car installing the two center pipes to be ready to mate up with the main muffler unit.

Rich was pretty much 100% under the car most of the time lol. Not a lot of room but we made it work.

Here’s a good shot of where the main muffler unit mates up to the rest of the piping. Rich is getting ready to tape and put on the clamp.

Some shots once we got it all bolted up…

Wiped down the rest of the piping to ensure no finger prints or grease was left behind. I really love that matte finish!

A shot of the muffler…

Prior to wiping – excuse the few marks…

The matte carbon tips match the faux-carbon diffuser pretty well. I really dig the look of the dual tip on the Fujitsubo – perfectly sized so it fills the tri-tip opening nicely.

Done! I’ll find some time to get some sound clips soon! Upon start up, it’s a very tame exhaust – not meant to be loud or overly aggressive and it’s perfect for me. I wanted an aftermarket system that provided a deeper growl and sounded more like how a Type R should sound but without being too ricey and farty.

It’ll take some time to break the exhaust in – on start up, there was still a lot of of dark soot coming out and the engine had been sitting for months… I can’t wait to drive it out the road and break it in – I imagine it’ll get a little deeper and a bit louder. I need to ensure the kids can still listen to the Frozen soundtrack while cruising around in the summer LOL.

Thanks again to the boys for the quick help! Always appreciated.

 

Install Day: JC’s New Coilovers

Today was the day we got together to install JC’s new coils. It’s been probably about 4-5 years since we last installed the original BC coils in his car and it was due for a replacement. He drives his CT daily so it takes the beating of the harsh winter too so when we took them out, they weren’t a pretty sight to see.

I’d have to say that coilovers are generally a pretty easy installation. A few bolts here and there, swap out and put new ones in, tighten and you’re done. BUT, after several years of being on the car and the combination of them being beat to hell by winter – a simple thing like a seized bolt can make an easy installation a pain in the ass. I think every corner of JC’s car proved to be a bitch today and it took us 6 hours to get ‘er done. I didn’t even get a chance to get a finished product pic because we finished so late and we were in a hurry to go out for mother’s day dinner. They weren’t fully settled anyway – so the picture wouldn’t have been a fair representation of what it would look like in a few days.

Anyway – let’s get to it!

Start of the day… 10AM – fresh faces, good attitude, ready to tackle anything.

Sitting pretty outside

Punit brought the soccer mom-mobile

Team meeting I guess…

Here was our first obstacle. The two strut bolts on the driver side were seized completely. I don’t think we’ve ever had strut bolts that were on this bad. We took multiple turns at it with breaker bars on both sides with no budging. We even sprayed it with penetrating oil several times and let it sit – still nada after all of us gave it a go.

While waiting for the fronts again and to catch our breaths, Punit and Gopesh were having some troubles of their own on the rear…

One of them being Aldo from behind…

While Gopesh and Punit were frustrated with the rear – Gopesh and Aldo took a stab at the fronts. We ended up snapping one of the breaker bars right off…

Voila. Guess what – it still didn’t break loose.

Next, we decided to go ahead and torch it. I heated it up for a few minutes and then we bring in the big guns. Punit on the right pushing down – Gopesh on the left pulling up.

Right after this shot, it ended up breaking loose. This must have been at least the 10th time we went at it full force. Finally…

A shot of the nuts off…

Meanwhile, JC and Aldo brought some refreshments. It was a beautiful day today but a frustrating one in the garage lol.

A shot of new vs old…

As I mentioned – the old ones were not in the greatest shape…

Here’s a shot of the passenger side front all in. We had similar issues on this side, but not nearly to the same degree of difficulty as the drivers side.

The rears caused issues as one of the endlinks that JC wanted to replace was seized up. The bolt also ended up getting stripped as well. The only way to get it off at this point was to cut it off. Easy right?

A shot of the rear

Just some of the weapons used today…

The rear spring out. Same condition as the fronts.

New vs old rear struts

Hovercraft CT

It was somewhere around this point that we realized cutting that bolt off wasn’t so easy. All of us took a go at it and we spent nearly 3 hours trying to get it cut off.

Dat ass doe… Shameless plug.

Another shot of us trying to cut it off…

Finally after cutting it from two sides, we were able to stick the end of the hammer in and pry it off. What a bitch.

One of four blades we went through to cut it off.

My last shot is a happy one. All the new equipment in and ready to go. I’ll try and get some new shots of JC’s stance after vacation – but I’m happy to say that despite all the difficulty we had today, we still finished. Nice teamwork from everyone today!

Project Backyard: COMPLETED

Backyard update!!!

Well, you might have remembered from a few weeks ago when my backyard looked like the dumping grounds for the rest of the community below…

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It was sad, barren, dry and lonely. Nothing but beige and brown and the hints of green weed accents that nobody wants to ever see. It was like this for the last 2 1/2 years before we finally got around to putting something together. Like I mentioned in my previous post for my backyard – I just didn’t have the time nor the idea to start anything and I hate to start something without a vision.

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Shortly after, we made huge progress. The pergola was up, I still had about 200 lbs or more of rocks, weeds, and other debris that needed to go as you can see…

Well, fast forward to a few weeks and it’s finally complete! Yard work is a no joke – it looks easy – I mean, dig 4 holes, put the posts in, drill some other boards together and voila! Negative… It is back breaking, it is sweat-inducing and it is tiresome, but it’s all worth it in the end.

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Here is the finished product… Well like 99%. The last 1% is waiting for the grass seams to grow in and for it to root properly into the ground and turn green!

Laying the 1650 sq ft of grass was no easy feat either. The task itself is simple, but doing the work is brutal. Getting the grass, hauling it off the truck, bringing it 70 ft to the backyard, then rolling it out. Repeat.

I want to spend a few minutes just giving a huge thanks to Punit for spending his weekends and every ounce of physical strength he had in helping me put the pergola together, and laying the grass. There was no way in hell I could have finished any of this without the help of Punit. From using a two-man auger for the first time, to carrying roll after roll of sod to the back while he was sick – he never once complained and we kept chugging along. Thanks to Gopesh for lending another helping hand and for helping to carry a total of over 6000 lbs of sod in his truck to the house and for working like it’s also your damn yard. Thanks to JC for coming and completing all the small details and helping us get the little things that seem like they don’t matter – but actually play a big part in the big picture…

Anyway, I just want to share a few pics of how it all looks… It’s almost time to reap the benefits once the grass settles in!

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The awesome pergola – we also decided to put up a hammock on one side for more relaxation space…

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A shot of pergola set up. I’m thinking of one more swinging hammock… but this will do for now.

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One of our favourite additions were these solar LED mini lanterns. You’d be surprised how difficult it is to source these the way I wanted them. I literally only wanted white lantern balls made of weatherproof nylon, a solar panel, and LED bulbs – is that too much to ask?! I guess so because after searching every corner of the internet, the one place that had it was IKEA surprisingly. The bulbs themselves were literally almost sold out at the store and the lanterns were back ordered so we waited about 3 weeks for them. After about a month – we got them up and they look awesome.

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One last shot of the yard. We added stepping stones from the house to the pergola with some LED solar lights to illuminate the path. Near the back, we have a mini 7 gallon pink spire tree that eventually grows to an awesome looking cherry blossom tree with some red and silver shrubs in the other corner.

All in all – lots of sweat went into this and it all came together with the help of friends and family. FINALLY!!!