Saturday, 20 January 2018

Finished leather and the use of conditioners



There is a great deal of conflicting information on leather care being put out by leather experts themselves who use baffling pseudo scientific techno speak as another marketing ploy, which makes it difficult to find a definitive, unbiased answer. Here is one definitive truth –you are dealing with the leathers finish, not the hide itself.
The use of oils, replacement of fat liquor, oil-based conditioning, proteins or the adjustment of pH levels is totally unnecessary; the surface is a urethane that contains pigmentation (colour) it neither needs or benefits from any of the above
Unless a Premium Leather option was purchased Isocyanate based ethyl carbamate (urethane) finished leather upholstery is used by 95% as OEM in modern (post ’85) automobiles. It comprises a multi stratum polyurethane/polyacrylic resin binder system covering over the leather hide; the top strata are the surface pigmentation (colour) and an abrasion resistant urethane is used to improve flexibility, fastness and adhesion to the leather.
Half-life  [ (t1⁄2 - a decay constant) [:is the time required for a quantity to reduce to half its initial value]
The half-life of urethane is usually considered to be five-years. However, this is dependent upon it’s exposure to climatic conditions
Two or three aqueous (water- based) pigmented base coat are applied, and then finally a clear aqueous (water- based) top coat is applied as the final stage of the finishing process, which usually includes additives to give it a soft feel (patina) and abrasion resistance, as well as a limited amount of ‘slide’ to assist in entering and exiting the vehicle
It also has micro-pores that allow evaporation and hydration (the passage of water vapour through a membrane or pore) they are not sealed per se. Oils are not compatible with water-based pigmented urethane coatings and their molecules are too large to permeate, so they remain on the surface to be removed by clothing
So why would you need conditioning / what are you conditioning?
Finished leather seats consist of leather hide that has colours added (Pigmentation) and then top coated with a polyurethane/polyacrylic resin.Urethane hydrophobic (repels water) and, if it’s hydrophobic, then won’t it repel any ‘conditioning’ oils just as it repels water.
Wearing out the polyurethane/polyacrylic resin protective layer
Wear and tear of the hides protective covering requires you to use a conditioner to preserve the hide?
The urethane clear coat on the exterior paint system is subjected to environmental abuse as well as the use of high alkaline car washes and machine polisher/abrasive compounds.
Whereas the interior upholstery is only subjected to the abrasion of driver/passenger entering/exiting. Yet vendors of auto upholstery would have you believe. Could this be the need to sell various conditioning products?

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Vehicle Covers (Weather Protection - Storage)


Whether storing overnight or long term, covers are often the most effective solution. Protect your investment with a car cover, outdoors, car covers offer unequalled protection against ultraviolet (UV) radiation they are manufactured to be water-resistant and are available in various breathable fabric materials that provide protection from acid rain, pollution, bird excrement, tree sap and windblown debris, as well as protection against every type of climatic conditions, can be used for both long-term indoor or outdoor vehicle storage. 

Covercraft Products are well known in the automotive industry as the largest manufacturer of custom patterned car covers in the world. Started in 1965 as a two-person company, now with over 500-employee’s supplying the automotive aftermarket, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and specialty markets with over 45,000 custom cover patterns, made in the USA with the QS 9000 standards rating award, meeting strict international quality standards. They offer a four year replacement warranty.

Websites
· California Car Cover Company - How to Select -
· Cover World - http://www.carcoverworld.com
· Cover craft Europe - http://www.covercraft-europe.com Covercraft Europe is the world’s largest maker of custom-fit car covers, motorbike & scooter covers, jet-ski covers, pet covers, pet pads and cargo tech bags-
· Covercraft Vehicle Protection Products - http://calcarcover.com/how_to_select.aspx#ultraweave

For relative ease of handling choose a cover with a fabric weight of between 4-7 oz. per sq. yd. Used for long-term vehicle storage, either in the garage or outdoors, car covers protect against accidental scratches and dings from passers-by, car doors, lawn mowers, sporting equipment, bikes and pets.
Started in 1965 as a two-person company, now with over 500-employee’s supplying the automotive aftermarket, original equipment manufacturers (OEM) and specialty markets with over 45,000 custom cover patterns. Made in the USA with the QS 9000 standards rating award, meeting strict international quality standards

Some fabrics offer more heat insulation than others, simply because they are multi-layered and are more effective at keeping heat away from the vehicle surface, but any cover will help reduce the vehicle temperature on a hot day. They are manufactured to be water-resistant, available in various breathable fabric materials for protection against every type of climatic conditions, as well as both long-term indoor or outdoor vehicle storage

Car Cover Product Selection
A quality car cover with a soft inner liner will not damage the paint; the key is to put the cover on a car that is clean and waxed. This will help prevent any possible damage from environmental damage (ultra violet radiation, acidic bird and insect excrement, airborne dirt and grime, acid rain, and etc.). It will also keep the interior cooler avoiding the damage caused by ultra violet radiation and subsequent photo degradation. This results in discoloration, fading, embitterment, cracking, chalking and/or loss of interior vinyl, leather upholstery, carpeting, and etc.

A car cover must allow transpiration; when you have any solid or liquid in a humid environment, you have absorption of water at the surface. Moisture due to condensation must to allowed to dissipate, otherwise the paint will haze and if moisture is trapped it will damage the paint surface. For these reasons when storing a vehicle never place anything (i.e. a water-proof tarp) on top of a car cover

Moisture Entrapment
Paint will sometimes show ‘hazing” after removing a car cover that has not allowed transpiration. The temporary hazing, which can appear as a slight dull discoloration, stain, or raised surface in the paint is caused by the paint finish absorbing moisture

Correction- In most cases, by applying Isopropyl alcohol and exposure to heat (sunlight) allows the moisture to evaporate within a few hours. For colder climates, moisture evaporation recovery can be accelerated by placing the vehicle indoors and using a portable infrared heat lamp (or professional-type heat gun). Allow the affected area to outgas by not using a wax or sealer on the affected are for a few days

In extreme cases if a waterproof cover i.e. a tarp is used to cover a vehicle it may cause delamination. A polyurethane paint (high solid / low solvent) clear coat can absorb moisture; as water molecules are smaller than a cross-linked clear coats molecule. Moisture (condensation) can permeate and break down the chemical bonds between the clear coat and the basecoat; this sometimes produces small bubbles in the paint surface. This will also cause delamination between the layers since once the chemical bond is destroyed; only the weaker mechanical bond remains.

Do not use   plastic/Tarpaulin to cover vehicle, it will trap moisture and stain paint

1. Vehicle Storage

a) Indoor: Dustop ™ a four layer cover with maximum dust protection and its soft inner layer protects paint.

b) Long Term Outdoor: WeatherShield™ heavy duty (HD) - primarily for intense sun environments and long-term storage provides optimum protection from a multi-layer breathable (heavyweight) fabric.

2. Outdoor Weather Protection - Ultratect Car Cover:
This car cover doesn’t just keep your vehicle looking showroom new; this cutting-edge fabric retains its sharp looks longer than other materials. Each cover is stitched together using solution-dyed WeatherMax® SL fabrics, the most fade-resistant you can find. Every single thread is dyed from the inside out, not just on its surface. This advanced colouring process leaves your Ultratect car cover fully fade resistant.

Along with retaining its colour longer, this cover also delivers superior outdoor protection against water and UV rays. It’s finished on both sides with HydroMax to repel rain and morning dew, yet still remains fully breathable for natural drying. And, this lightweight car cover blocks against even the harshest sun exposure.

Never one-size-fits-all, they are custom tailored for a form fit on your vehicle. Plus, this tight cover holds its shape longer than most and won’t get baggy. You even get a solid 4-year warranty

a) Severe Rain Storms: 
EvolutionTM (Technalon™) - a heavyweight, four-layer fabric for extended outdoor use, but especially heavy rain protection.

b) Inclement Weather: 
Noah™ by Kimberly Clark™ — a three-layer fabric to provide more water resistance than most covers as well as UVR protection for extended outdoor use, but especially heavy rain protection.

c) Severe sun exposure: 
Sunbrella™ by Glen Raven Mills, Inc In areas of high sun but little rain a Sunbrella™ cover provides the best UVR protection for prolonged sun exposure, a durable long-lasting fabric that protects interior and exterior finish, provides almost complete UV block, fade and water resistant.

d) Severe sun exposure: 
Reflec'tect™ Lightweight woven fabric has a UV-reflective silver-colour finish that helps keep the vehicle cooler, fabric is water resistant and also repels dust and dirt to help keep the vehicle clean, compact for easy trunk storage,3 Year Warranty Easy to handle for installation and removal, this lightweight cover provides good all season protection.

3. Convertible Interior Care:
 Sunbrella™ by Clen Raven Mills, Inc. Easy to use protection for convertibles when the top is down, the interior cover protects the windshield and the vehicle interior from UV radiation, the suns heat, airborne pollutants, and droppings from trees and birds

4. Two-cover system:
During high winds the use of this system will avoid paint surface marring from the cover being buffered by high force winds

1. Dustop™ - 4 layer cover with maximum dust protection and its soft inner layer protects paint.

2. WeatherShield™ HD- primarily for intense sun environments and long-term storage provides optimum protection from a multi-layer breathable (heavyweight) fabric.
Car Covers - Car Cover World: Complete Covercraft Range, Custom-Fit Covers, Ready-Fit Covers, Tonneau Covers, Front End Masks, Seat Savers, UV Heat shields

Placing Cover on Vehicle
Do not place a car cover on a dusty or dirty car (dry surface with a waffle weave towel or remove dust with a car duster) Ensure that the cover fits well and keep the cover clean (dust / dirt between the inside of the cover or the vehicle surface will cause scratching) Purchase a good quality cover that is manufactured from a durable fabric suitable for your local climatic conditions and expected usage.

To place car cover on vehicle; start by placing the rolled-up cover on the centre of the roof (do not drag cover across vehicle surface as it may cause scratching) unroll from the middle to the rear of vehicle and then middle to front, unroll left side and then right using mirror `pockets' (if fitted) Ensure that cover is `tight' and attach cable and lock (if required) Remove from vehicle opposite to the above and store dry cover in storage bag (if supplied)

Ensure that cover is `tight' and attach cable and lock (if required) Remove from vehicle opposite to the above and store dry cover in storage bag (if supplied)

In strong wind conditions when removing the car cover use the side mirrors as 'anchors’. Remove the front and back portions and then roll towards the top. Then, remove the mirror pocket from one side mirror, then the other. Use a similar method when covering the car, by first attaching the mirror pockets to the side mirrors.

Removing Cover
Pull the front edge up to about halfway along the length of the car, and then do the same with the back edge so that it meets the front edge, you've just got outside to outside contact. You can then fold the cover in half and only have inside to inside contact, and continue folding this way until it's manageable and can be stuffed into a carry bag. Of course, you then need to be very careful when placing it back on the car so that you perform the above operation in reverse order.

Cleaning – Maintenance / Care
Car cover fabric performance can be severely affected by dirt that builds up on and within the material. It can cause the windshield and paint to become dirty and fogged as well as create wicking where it actually helps pull water through the fabric, nullifying any water resistant properties the fabric may have had. Cleaning your cover will help to keep your vehicle clean and to increase the service life of the cover.

Some fabrics offer more heat insulation than others, simply because they are multi-layered and are more effective at keeping heat away from the vehicle surface, but any cover will help reduce the vehicle temperature on a hot day.

They are manufactured to be water-resistant, available in various breathable fabric materials for protection against most types of climatic conditions, as well as both long-term indoor or outdoor vehicle storage.

Commercial Washing Machine
• Use a soft Horse Hair brush and a vacuum to remove any loose dust or dirt
• Covers should be taken to a commercial Laundromat and washed in large automatic washers without agitator. Use Woolite® (no soap or detergent). Wash your cover using the "Normal" or "Permanent Press" cycles in cold or warm water. Do not wash in hot water.
• Put the cover through two rinse cycles - it is important that the entire cleaning solution be removed in order to preserve the cover's water resistance, and then air dry.
• Do not put the cover in an automatic heated dryer (the fabric can melt or shrink)
• Do not dry-clean covers as the chemicals used will negatively affect the fabric protection abilities and durability

Car Cover Cleaning and Care
• Use a soft Horse Hair brush and a vacuum to remove any loose dust or dirt
• Gently rinse cover with clean water
• Wash with a 5:1 clean water / Woolite solution, using a soft brush to loosen any stubborn dirt (Do not scrub surface (see Spots and Stains)
• Thoroughly rinse with clean water to remove soap solution
• Allow to thoroughly air-dry
• Apply 303™ High Tech Fabric Guard by spraying from approximately 6-inch above the surface with a side-to-side motion, dampen but do not saturate.
• Two applications will ensure complete coverage, allow air-drying between applications.
• Allow cover to dry before storage.
• The inside of a cover may also be cleaned by turning it inside-out on the vehicle and repeating the above steps
• Allow to thoroughly air-dry

RaggTopp Horse Hair Brush - this natural horse hair brush will not harm the finish of your cover. It’ nonabrasive and is incredibly soft, yet strong enough to get into the fibres and texture of your fabric cover. The design of the brush makes it easy to grip and gently scrub dirt and grime from your convertible top, car cover or other fabric and vinyl material like tonneau covers, vinyl awnings.

Notes – Do not
1. Clean a car cover in a washer with a centre agitator
2. Use fabric softener.
3. Dry a non-woven or specialty type cover in a dryer.

Maintenance:
About once per month, dependent upon usage / climate, rinse the cover with clean water by gently hosing to remove surface dust or dirt that may have settled. This will extend the time requirements for between soap and water cleaning / washing. Use a rolling tape type lint brush, designed to remove lint from clothing, on your car cover. Daily use will remove any lint or light dust and reduce cleaning time dramatically.

Spots and Stains - spray the spot until wet with 303TM Cleaner & Spot Remover™, agitate with a medium-soft brush and let stand. Then blot up the stain and excess cleaner as described above. If necessary, repeat, agitate and let stand a few minutes before wiping clean. Dry completely before use

Hand Washing
• Use a soft Horse Hair brush and a vacuum to remove any loose dust or dirt.
• With the cover on the vehicle wet the surface
• Spots and Stains - spray the spot until wet with 303TM Cleaner & Spot Remover™, agitate with a medium-soft brush and let stand. Then blot up the stain and excess cleaner as described above. If necessary, repeat, agitate and let stand a few minutes before wiping clean.
• Using a clean low pressure water hose, an alkaline soap and a medium stiff brush – wet the surface with water and apply the soap by brushing.
• Rinse thoroughly and allow to dry

Infrared Radiation
Infrared radiation represents part of the ultra violet solar spectrum (approximately 55%-60%). The remaining heat source comes from visible and ultra violet (UV) light
Heat alone will not cause photosynthesis (fading) UVB radiation is what is responsible, although it will dry the resin (binder system) in paint; leading to oxidation. It will also dry out the oils and plasticizers in vinyl and other materials and may lead to structural damage (this is especially relevant to open top convertibles)
Ultra violet penetration of auto glass; UV radiation is present in the sun’s rays throughout the year in varying amounts. Ordinary auto window glass filters out about 97% of the UV-B radiation and about 37% of UV-A radiation.

Touchless Car Cover
Unlike a traditional car cover, it will take seconds to put the Touchless Car Cover on your vehicle or take it off. No longer will dust and dirt get on your well taken care of car because of a dirty traditional car cover.
• Concours enthusiasts - put your car away on site the day before, work on it in the rain,
• Indoor storage in open barns, car ports- drive in and out, saving time
• Outdoor summer storage under trees, on driveways, for classics and modern cars- you can drive a wet or dirty car straight in
• Race cars in the paddock - keeps open cars dry and provides a workplace
• Detailer’s carry on working when it rains without cumbersome and heavy pop-ups
• Newly re-sprayed cars - protect without touching
Its UV protection will save your interior from the harmful effects of the sun. Best of all, this remarkable hand assembled car cover costs about the same or less than a traditional quality car cover. By protecting your pride and joy you will recover the cost many times over at resale - Vertar
Universal front / rear entry, 16'4" / 4.98m long, folds into own bag 4 ft. x 2 inches, steel cable and padlock supplied

Fits:
• Aston Martin up to DB7, DB9, DBS and V8
• BMW up to 6 series
• Bentley Continental
• Ferrari up to 599, F430
• Lamborghini up to Murcielago
• Mercedes to SL, E-Class
• Porsche all models except Cayenne
• Volvo - even the V70 estate and XC70



How Temperatures affect Detailing (Product Storage, Shelf Life and Application)



How Temperatures affect Detailing
Detailing products should be applied to a cool dry surface out of direct sunlight (actual surface temperature of the vehicle) ideal range between 50 (10.C) and 80.F (26.C)

The other climate related condition that should be avoided when applying car care products is direct sunlight, as this will dramatically increase the surface temperature compared to ambient temperatures causing the product to dry prematurely and may render it ineffective.
· Surface Temperature (actual surface temperature of the vehicle) between 50 (10.oC) and 80.oF (26.oC) products will work well within a much broader temperature range, i.e. > 45. °F to < 90.° F (4.5-32.oC) but at 45 degrees it will take much longer to dry, perhaps as much as two to three hours) but the best results will be achieved in the 60° to 70° F (15-21.oC) range.
· Most detailing products contain solvents that if used on a hot surface will flash (evaporate) and will negatively affect the product used.
· The oils and waxes used in polishes to provide surface lubrication will evaporate, leading to dry buffing and surface scratches
· Sunlight - all chemicals should be stored in a closed cabinet or at the very least out of direct sunlight exposure for extended periods of time. Sun can cause colour and scent changes, as well as affect their performance; especially with products like Glass Cleaner, Waterless Wash, and APC. Exposing chemicals to sunlight during use shouldn’t be of concern, but try to return the bottles to a shady or covered area if they won't be used for more than a few minutes.
· A hot surface temperature will cause the car wash concentrates to dry out and when rinsing the surface will cause rapid drying , which will leave water spots
· Using cold water on hot metal will cause heat stress, which will lead to the metal deforming, cracking and failure (rotors, engine parts) once they are warped the brakes cannot work, thermal shock could also cause the engine block structurally fail.
· The same principle applies to hot water on a cold surface (i.e. defrosting ice from a windscreen)

· Cold ambient temperatures  (40.°F >) - water- based products (polish, wax, fabric cleaners, etc) will be negatively affected  at lower temps i.e. some polishes use wax as a lubricant, which will solidify during lower temp conditions, causing the polish to 'clump' and become unworkable

Fracture/evaporation temperatures
[: the melting point of a solid is the temperature range at which it changes state from solid to liquid. At the melting point the solid and liquid phase exists in equilibrium.] 

Polymers (including Acrylic polymers) 350.°F, Silicone oil 350.°F, Mineral oils 200.°F, Synthetic blends (Carnauba wax / polymers) 200.°F, Carnauba wax 183.°F, Bee’s wax 130.°F in actual practice the high temperatures frequently encountered by vehicles from the radiation causes wax compounds to melt.
For example, painted surfaces exposed to ambient temperatures of 85. °F in direct sunlight will obtain a temperature of 195. °F or more. It should be noted that there is a range of temperatures at which melting begins and that the 'melting point' is the end point of that range

The most important thing to be aware of when preparing to wax your car is the temperature of the actual surface area being waxed. This is even more important than the ambient temperature, which should be between 50° and 80. °F (10° - 26.7. °C) Higher temperatures will cause the solvents to flash leaving a ‘hard’ wax on the paint surface that is very difficult to remove.

If the car has been in the sun for any time, it should be brought into the shade and allowed to cool off before applying any wax or glaze. Applying wax when the temperature is less than 60.°F could result in streaking or difficulty in removing it from the surface.  

Storage (Product)

All car acre products are negatively impacted by wide temperature fluctuations and extremes of high or low temperatures, especially with the now VOC compliant chemicals. As far as wax storage is concerned standard room temperature will suffice; a refrigerator provides a stable temperature / humidity, which equates to a longer shelf life to the products.
Water-based car care products should not be stored at temperatures below > 35.F (wax 45.F) if they freeze they may become unstable and therefore unusable, ideal storage temperature range- 50- 7.F with an average humidity range. Most car care products have a ‘useful life’ of approximately 2-3 years provided they are stored as above.

Keep containers tightly closed and ensure they are not compromised (fractured or leaking seals) store in a dry, cool and well-ventilated place. Keep away from direct sunlight. Do not allow to freeze. 
Do not store at temperature extremes (below 40 – over 80.OF +) as heat will destabilise emulsified products (wax, polymer sealants, polishes, etc)

Avoid extreme temperature swings as the chemicals will become unstable, which will create problems with the performance of the product. Some separate out; others lose their effectiveness if they are heated past a certain point. Most car care products will separate and may become unusable after being subjected to freezing temperatures.  Products should never be used whilst separated; unmixed chemicals may result in a very concentrated mixture, which could inflict damage

All chemicals should be stored in a closed cabinet or at the very least out of direct sunlight exposure for extended periods of time. Sun can cause colour and scent changes, as well as affect their performance; especially with products like Glass Cleaner, Waterless Wash, and APC. Exposing chemicals to sunlight during use shouldn’t be of concern, but try to return the bottles to a shady or covered area if they won't be used for more than a few minutes.

The chemical composition of waxes rarely ever change regardless of what form it is in, whether it is melted to a semi-liquid or remains as a semi-solid. Temperature has little to no effect as far as inhibiting the shelf life of wax, a cool temperatures and constant humidity will slow the evaporation of solvents from the wax, thus keeping the wax softer and easier to use over a longer period of time.

Sunlight - all chemicals should be stored in a closed cabinet or at the very least out of direct sunlight exposure for extended periods of time.

Sun can cause colour and scent changes, as well as affect their performance; especially with products like Glass Cleaner, Waterless Wash, and APC. Exposing chemicals to sunlight during use shouldn’t be of concern, but try to return the bottles to a shady or covered area if they won't be used for more than a few minutes.

Shelf-Life
Providing their contains have a tight seal, are not compromised by fractures or (air) leaks, and use at least a single stage chlorination of the plastic, so that  it is resistant to petrochemical solvents; without this the sides will ‘collapse’, which is actually the solvents in the product escaping through the micro pores of the plastic.

All liquid products should be shaken well before use and stored in light resistant containers
a) Polymers have a shelf life of approx 3-5 years if kept in their original containers and stored at temperatures as above
b) Nanotechnology coatings - should be stored in tightly sealed containers and protected from heat and moisture. Recommended storage temperatures are 30. ° - 122. °.F Shelf life is approximately 12 months, provided the material is stored in sealed in its original containers, between 65. ° - 75. °.F.

c) Polish - technically 2 years, providing the bottle is kept closed, and the product has not separated or the solvents haven’t  evaporated by leaching ( the bottle will become semi- collapsed) there should be no problem with use for three years after sale date

d) Waxes - will last almost indefinitely, provided that they are stored a sealed in their original containers and in the refrigerator or controlled environment once opened.

Liquid - should last approx 18 months if stored at normal room temperature. 

Paste wax – once the solvents evaporate the wax will solidify and shrink, which will negatively impact both spread ability and adherence

e) Detailing Chemicals (Wheel cleaners, All purpose cleaners (APC) and etc) have an almost indefinite shelf life if kept in their original containers and stored at temperatures as above, see also Product separation

f) Product separation - if product emulsion separates it could be indicative of age (but not necessarily past its useful life) shake vigorously for 5-10 minutes and see if the product re- mixes.

Product shelf -life may vary from one manufacturer to another, if in doubt check with product mfg or vend

All car care products are negatively impacted by wide temperature fluctuations and extremes of high or low temperatures. As far as wax storage is concerned standard room temperature will suffice; a refrigerator provides a stable temperature / humidity, which equates to a longer shelf life to the products.
Water-based car care products should not be stored at temperatures below > 35.F (wax 45.F) if they freeze they may become unstable and therefore unusable, ideal storage temperature range- 50- 7.F with an average humidity range.

Product shelf -life may vary from one manufacturer to another, if in doubt check with product manufacturer .

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Motorcycle Detailing


Motorcycle detain is time consuming so have a rolling stool and a pad to kneel on, and a scissor lift if you intend detailing motorbikes on a regular basis

Random Orbital Polisher
Griot's Garage - Professional Random Orbital 3 Inch Polisher gives you the feel and performance of a larger polisher in a compact size that goes anywhere, even those tight spots. Use the Griot's Garage Professional Random Orbital 3 Inch Polisher for motorcycles. It polishes painted areas easily, polishes up chrome, and applies wax quickly. Just select the appropriate 3 inch Griot's Garage foam pad for the job. The included 3- inch backing plate accommodates any hook and loop pad.

Foam Pads
3M Perfect-It 3-inch Foam Buffing Pads for polishing and refining paint after sanding they have a convoluted design that "breathes", meaning air can pass under the pad. The passage of air breaks the surface tension so the pad glides more easily over the paint. As you work, the pad holds the polish better than a flat pad to reduce splatter and product waste.

Metal Surface Polishing
It is important to be able to recognise the different metal finishes used as some OEM use different materials (stainless steel, polished chrome and etc) before choosing a product to clean or polish any metal surface you must be certain of the material used, as the correct care product requirements are vastly different. If in doubt as to the material used consult the manufacturer

· Aluminum alloys- aluminum is the predominant metal, typical alloying elements are copper, zinc, manganese, silicon, and magnesium. There are two principal classifications, namely casting alloys and wrought alloys-dull looking metal colour. Do not use P21 Total Auto Wash or S100 Bike Wash undiluted as it may discolour aluminium. 
· Magnesium alloy (Mags)- light weight and  usually a very bright metal
· Anodized aluminum - many metals are structurally weakened by the oxidation process, but not aluminum. It can actually be made stronger and more durable through a process called 'anodizing'.
· Chrome (plating) - often referred to simply as chrome, is a technique of electroplating a thin layer of chromium onto a metal object
· Stainless steel – also known as inox steel from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy
· Wheel spokes - before polishing spokes make sure they're chrome, OEM spokes are thin cadmium plated and using an abrasive polish aggressively will remove the cadmium.

Cleanliness is Critical

Starting with a clean surface is the most important part of the polishing process. Any dirt on the wheel will be mixed in with the polish and will scratch while you are polishing. Wash and rinse the surface with a citrus based product (P21S Total Auto Wash or (P21s Polishing Soap-not intended for use on painted, clear coated or anodized surfaces) thoroughly dry the surface and wipe down with a solvent-based (DuPont PrepSol)

• Keep this area clean and free of used buffing pads and soiled cloths. A build-up of solvents, metal shavings and oil can be hazardous.
• Work in well ventilated areas.
• Do not use polishes that contain anhydrous solvents, ammonia or acids on aluminium, brass, copper or bronze. These chemicals attack zinc and alloys, which are normally present in these metals.
• Clean the surface before you begin polishing. Even dust can cause scratching when rubbed across a surface.
• Work small areas at a time on large jobs as it's faster and it will give you a more consistent finish.
• Apply light pressure and take your time when applying polish or compounds. Let your machine and product do the work.
• Polish in the direction of the grain if the metal is rolled.
• Wipe down surface with isopropyl alcohol (IPA) between buffing steps to remove cleaning residue. Buffing pad lines or polish residue in seams can be removed with flour.
• Wiping cloths should have no labels or sewn edges with plastic thread.
• Lightly mist the surface with distilled water before the final buffing step. This seals both metal and wax, and helps reduce future water staining from rain and condensation.

All of the English Custom Metal Polishes (ECP) is highly concentrated for less waste. They contain micro abrasives to eliminate tedious rubbing, and wax protectants to retard oxidation. They offer one of the few true polishes for stainless steel. ECP has a reputation for excellent professional quality metal polishes and polishing supplies

Menzerna Polishing Cream
For all metals, precious metals, and plastics, the creamy metal polishes works without abrasives to remove oxidation and stains to uncover a brilliant reflective shine. Remove tarnish and discoloration from motorcycle pipes and forks the nonabrasive formula will gently clean and polish chrome without scratching. Leaves a clear protective film over the polished surface to prevent tarnishing, metal surfaces stay clean, shiny, and smooth with regular use

Exhaust Tailpipe
Spray down the inside and outside of the tips with P21S Total Auto Wash or P21S Polishing Soap, allow to dwell, it will to start break down the grime. To clean the outside parts of the exhaust use either a Mini E-Z Detail brush (they are perfect for cleaning the areas between dual-tips) or an old micro fibre used strictly for dirty jobs and Optimum Metal Polish.

Use #0000 synthetic steel wool (very fine grade) with the P21S Total Auto Wash to clean out the insides of the exhaust tips. Polish using P21S Polishing Soap (not intended for use on painted, clear coated or anodized surfaces) and/or Optimum Metal Polish and #0000 synthetic steel wool on the insides of the tips Now move on to the outside of the tips once again with Optimum Metal Polish and an older microfiber towel that is no longer used for the painted surfaces, ensure to polish with the grain.

Chrome Exhaust

[Chrome plating is a finishing treatment utilizing the electrolytic deposition of chromium. The most common form of chrome plating is the thin, decorative bright chrome, which is typically a 10-µm layer over an underlying nickel plate. When plating on iron or steel, an underlying plating of copper allows the nickel to adhere. The pores (tiny holes) in the nickel and chromium layers also promote corrosion resistance.

Bright chrome imparts a mirror-like finish to items such as metal furniture frames and automotive trim. Thicker deposits, up to 1000 µm, are called hard chrome and are used in industrial equipment to reduce friction and wear.] [1]

Use caution as the chrome plating is usually thin. Using chrome cleaner will remove the dulling that a car wash concentrate can’t. Apply a chrome cleaner (Semichrome or Mother’s Mag and Aluminium Polish) to a cool, dry exhaust, do not let the cleaner dry on the surface, for stubborn stains use #0000 synthetic steel wool and the metal polish.

To clean exhaust piping use a polishing powder (Blue Coral Blue Buster) to remove ‘blue’ from exhaust pipes wet towel and polish, it will not scratch chrome, can also be used on brass and stainless steel. Clean exhaust piping with Luster Strips. Protect the exhaust with a polymer (Zoopseal) sealant (See also Chrome / Stainless Steel Exhaust)  
Recommended products-

Cleaning- any uncoated, non-ferrous metal surface – brass, gold, silver, aluminium, magnesium, pewter, chrome, sterling, copper, stainless steel – can be brought to a brilliant shine using Simichrome.

             Protection - Zoopseal protects unfinished, brushed or polished steel, stainless steel, brass, aluminium and chrome parts from oxidation and eliminates the need for repeat polishing and extensive cleaning

 Stainless Steel Exhaust Tips / Pipe

To clean exhaust piping use a polishing powder (Blue Coral Blue Buster or Blu-Job) to remove ‘blue’ from exhaust pipes wet towel and polish, it will not scratch chrome, can also be used on brass and stainless steel.

For exhaust pipe polishing -use a strip impregnated with a metal polish (Luster Strips) (See also Chrome / Stainless Steel Exhaust) protect the exhaust components with a polymer sealant (ZoopSeal)

Information resource-
• Caswell Plating website- http:// www.caswellplating.com/bbs/
• Metal Polishing Secrets -  http://www.topoftheline.com/metal-polishing-secrets.html
Chrome
Chrome is by far the most common bright work on motorcycles as it holds a shine better than all other metals.  Chrome has a single enemy: rust.  Over time, chrome oxidizes and develops rust spots.  The higher quality the chrome plating, the more it will resist rusting, but eventually, it will happen.  If you allow the chrome to go too long without removing the rust, the chrome will become permanently pitted.

Removing rust and polishing chrome can usually restore chrome to a reasonable looking condition.  If the rust simply coats, and is not deeply embedded, the chrome should come back to life. As long as the chrome is not flaking off, you have a chance of saving it.

This Larin Jack comes with a 4 point adapter, 2 tie-downs, and a "T" handle, and has a capacity of 1,500 lbs, a low "down" profile of 2 ½ - inch, permitting access under very low clearance vehicles, and includes the safety adapter, which permits lifting from four points on the frame, each cradled and secured, includes a foot pedal release and outrigger stabilizers that hinge away to a stowed position in the frame.

Washing / Cleaning Process
· Use a tar remover / degreaser to remove dirt / grime from lower areas and wheels
· Low pressure water rinse (be careful with water around electrical units (for the ECM, fuse boxes etc use a damp micro fibre towel, and / or Q-tips or swabs).
· Use S100 Engine Brightener on wrinkle black engine and transmission cases.
· Wash with a car wash concentrate (S100 Cycle Wash or P21S Total Auto Wash) and a lamb’s wool mitt. For wheels use an EZ Detail Brush
· Detailer’s clay to remove brake dust and bugs.
· Dry the bike with using plush towels and a forced air drying machine which is a must when detailing a bike
· Protect / lube the chain using Wurth chain lube.
· The best instant bug remover I have used is Autoglym Active Insect Remover
· Don’t use any rubber dressings on hand or foot controls as you may lose you’re grip
· An Optimum no-rinse (ONR) wash works well on grips and hand controls, footboards/pegs, brake pedal and tyres, it tends to darken them slightly but it does clean them thoroughly.
· Use a matte non-slip protection for seating areas (you don't want weight shift on the seat in the middle of leaning over in a turn).
· Tyres - scrub white walls with steel wool brush and ad-limonene (citrus) based cleaner P21S Total Auto Wash (tyre dressings have no place anywhere near a motorcycle tire, even on a minuscule sidewall) it will cause the tyre to lose traction and the bike will become unstable
· Use a clean low pressure water  rinse
· Blow dry with forced air blower to remove any water residue
· Polish paint surfaces using a suitable abrasive polish / pad combination. Most motorcycle clear coats are ‘soft’- use a  Griot's Garage Professional 3" Random Orbital and a  Lake County (LC) Red foam with Menzerna PF4000 and then follow with PF 4500, check surface with a isopropyl alcohol (IPA) wipe-down process
· Clean all leather surfaces including saddle bags and then apply Leather Master Vital to ensure they remain soft, and then use a leather protection (not a conditioner)
· Clean all bright work (see specific sections).
· Paint protection use a  wipe-on walk-away polymer (Zaino Z-8 or Pinnacle Souverän™ Liquid Spray Wax)

Engine Cleaning
Break down the grease and grime by applying a quality degreaser/cleaner using modern detergent technology. You can use it all over the motorcycle; it works wonders for detailing the engine. P21S Total Auto Wash a d-limonene (citrus) based cleaner gets at all the sticky grime and greasy sludge. Containing a blend of five different powerful cleaners, it is formulated to break down the molecules that compose sticky materials. The result is a fast-acting, easy-to-use formula that removes all contaminants from your motorcycle.

All to dwell on the components for a few minutes to soften and loosen the grime by using a mini EZ Detail Brush to break up areas of major contamination then rinse off the cleaner thoroughly. There’s no need to blast the motorcycle with water, free-flowing water will work just fine.

After drying, let the engine run for a few minutes to dry up any remaining moisture. Once the engine has cooled, start applying protection to plastic shields, wires and hoses (303™ Aerospace Protectant) on all these surfaces. S100 Engine Brightener is formulated specifically for black components and will restore a like-new appearance to all black plastic, paint and rubber.

Lexan® Polycarbonate
Is a registered trademark of SABIC Innovative Plastics; a highly durable polycarbonate resin thermoplastic intended to replace traditional glass and Plexiglas where the need for strength and impact resistance justifies its higher cost.

After washing and drying the surface; use Plexus® Plastic Cleaner to clean and protect the surface. It will seal the tint material and keep it clean. It contains anti-static so it repels the dust and dirt normally attracted to plastic.
It also leaves an invisible, micro-thin layer of protection, sealing the porous surface, making it more resistant to dirt, dust and other contaminants. Regular use will help prevent crazing, yellowing and oxidation which diminishes the plastic's lustre, and appearance, non-streaking, and it dries crystal clear.

Removing scratches from polycarbonate (vehicle headlights or brake lights), in the late 1980’s, vehicle manufacturers changed the lighting lens system materials used for head lights from glass to Lexan. Eventually the lens starts to exhibit an opaque appearance and then a yellow hue on the outside of the lenses due to ultra violet radiation (UVR) and / or surface scratches this can severely restrict the amount of light reaching the road. 
Original equipment material (OEM) suppliers started to add a UVR protection to the surface of the lens in an attempt to reduce this condition and prolong the usable life of the lens


Product specific – Plexus Plastic Cleaner, Protectant and Polish -it cleans and polishes instrument panels and other plastics with ease, leaving all plastic surfaces feeling new. It also fills in the plastic's micro pores with a thin layer of protection that has anti-static properties. The anti-static properties help repel dust and other contaminates, so your plastic is cleaner for longer. Perfect for all plastic surfaces such as gauges, navigation/DVD screens, headlights, taillights, and plastic windows on convertibles
Renovo LP Aero Plastics - acrylic polish and sealant, a no-wax, non-yellowing formula containing polyethylene polymers; this product gives a super slick surface to your acrylic windshield and windows, used extensively on light aircraft.

Headlight Restoration
In the late 1980’s, vehicle manufacturers changed the lighting lens system materials used for head lights from glass to Lexan™ polycarbonate. Eventually the lens starts to exhibit an opaque appearance and then a yellow hue on the outside of the lenses due to ultra violet radiation (UV) and / or surface scratches this can severely restrict the amount of light reaching the road. Original equipment material (OEM) suppliers started to add a UVR protection to the surface of the lens in an attempt to reduce this condition and prolong the usable life of the lens
Removing Oxidation or scratches from Vehicle headlights or brake lights (polycarbonate) 

 Use these products for finishing plastics, acrylics, Lexan™ polycarbonates, Bakelite, urethanes, composites, and more. Abrasive colours of this product range from dark grey to light grey.
This material can be used wet or dry, is made with a flexible cotton backing with polymer emulsion cushioning layer and large micron graded silicon carbide crystals suspended in an ultra flexible resin bond. Grades 8000 and 12000 are made with aluminium oxide crystals.

This material is available in the following grades, from course to fine: 2400, 3200 and 3600 grit, 4000, 6000, 8000, and 12K grit are also available.   

    Product specific - Scientific Instrument Services, Inc. - http://www.sisweb.com/micromesh/headlight_kits.htm
Infrared Radiation 

Infrared radiation represents part of the ultra violet solar spectrum (approximately 55%-60%). The remaining heat source comes from visible and ultra violet (UV) light

Heat alone will not cause photo degeneration (fading) UVB radiation is what is responsible, although infrared radiation (IR) will dry the resin (binder system) in paint; leading to oxidation. It will also dry out the oils and plasticizers in vinyl and other materials and may lead to structural damage
Protection from the Elements

The best way to keep a motorcycle in great condition is to protect it from the elements. Covercraft outdoor covers provide maximum protection against sun, rain, bird and tree droppings, dirt and dust. Covers also hide the motorcycle from view, helping to prevent theft. Covercraft covers are available in eleven semi-tailored sizes, including two designed exclusively for large cruisers. All covers feature steel reinforced grommets, heat shield, top air vent and where applicable a windshield liner.

WeatherShield, there's never been a cover fabric this good!  Our base cover fabric uses a patented immersion process that uses heat and pressure to permanently encase the high-strength polyester fibers with a special formulated finish that also places a durable, breathable barrier within the woven fabric to create a high-performance fabric that provides superior protection from the elements.  Unlike traditional coatings and laminations that just protect one side of the fabric, Covercraft uses a variety of computerized process controls to place protective finishes inside the fabric.  

Finally, motorcycle owners can buy a cover with a fabric that provides maximum protection, but isn't bulky and hard to store.  Full covers protect the bike from sun and rain, dust, dirt, bird and tree droppings, and pollutants in the air.  They're available in both our deluxe semi-custom sizes and the custom-patterned program for Harley-Davidson models.  Due to the unique construction of the fabric they don't need liners or vents or even heat shields (but the bike does need to cool down for about 3 to 5 minutes).  

Features and Benefits:

· Weatherproof - Fabric sheds water as soon as it hits the cover.
· Superior Dry Time - Because the fabric sheds moisture, just shake any surface moisture off the cover and it dries in minutes.
· Breathable - Allows any heat, condensation or vapors under the cover to easily escape.
· UV Resistant - Special finish additives minimize UV degradation and protect the bikes finish, seat, instrument cluster and windscreen (if applicable).
· Dust-proof - Patented fiber encapsulation process prevents dust from filtering through fabric.
· Abrasion resistant - Polymers are smooth and silky to prevent paint and windscreen abrasion.
· Easy care - Clean the cover in your home washer and dryer.
· Elastic in the hem at front and rear helps hold the cover in place.
· WeatherShield covers carry a lifetime limited warranty to the original purchaser.  Covercraft will repair or replace any cover that becomes unserviceable during normal use (subject to factory inspection).
· Colours Available -  Black, Gray, Tan / Taupe, Bright Blue, Light Blue, Red, Yellow, Green

The following is intended as a rough guide only - the actual size will be dependent upon specific vehicle model:-

· XN100-Touring – Fits largest size touring motorcycles, 1100cc + with equipment similar to XN-101
Example Honda GL1500/1800 Goldwing, BMW LT1200, Kawasaki Voyagers

· XN101-Touring – Fits 500 to 1100cc equipped with fairing, windshield, mirrors, saddlebags, sissy bar or backrest, travel chest & light bar.
Example Honda GL1200 Goldwing, BMW K100LT/K100RT, BMW R80R/R80RT

· XN102-Standard – Fits 500cc & up equipped with mirrors, short sissy bar, and backrest - with or without fairing, windshield, and saddlebags.
Example Triumph ST4 (with hard bags), Yamaha Virago

· XN103-Standard – Fits 400cc & up equipped with mirrors - with or without fairing, windshield, and saddlebags. Also sport bikes with taller windshields.

Example BMW R1150GS, BMW R1200C/R1200CE, Ducati ST2 (with saddlebags), Honda 750 Ace, Triumph Speed master / Trident, Moto Guzzi Centauro V10/V11

· XN104-Standard – Fits up to 750cc with or without mirrors.
Example BMW F650, Honda CBR 1100 / CM 250/450, Kawasaki 550/750 Zephyr, Suzuki GS850G, Triumph Thunderbird

· XN105-Sport - Fits most sport bikes with fairings up to 1100cc.
Example Honda VFR750/599, CBR 600 F4 / 900 RR, Suzuki GSX-R600/R750/R1000, Yamaha R1/R6, Triumph Daytona, Ducati 996, Ducati Supersport 750/900, Aprilia Sports bike models, Kawasaki Ninja 500/900/ZX600

· XN107-Cruiser - Fits most large Cruisers, 1100 to 1500cc with sissy bar / backrest & fairing.
Example Honda Valkyrie Touring (WITH sissy bar/backrest), Kawasaki Nomad,

· XN108-Cruiser - Same as above without sissy bar. Example Yamaha V Star, Honda Sabre, Moto Guzzi California

· XN109 - Sport Bikes 1100cc up  

· XN110 - Chopper up to 9' 8” –

·  XN111 - GL Cruiser Boss Hoss size up to 9' 3"