Black 2014 Nissan GT-R - Compound and Polish on "Scratch Shield"
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Thread: Black 2014 Nissan GT-R - Compound and Polish on "Scratch Shield"

  1. #1
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    Feb 2013
    North Andover MA
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    Black 2014 Nissan GT-R - Compound and Polish on "Scratch Shield"

    Now everyone has heard of the horror stories involved with Nissan's Scratch Shield Clear, which we all know it by a self healing paint system. The logic behind this is actually great, a clear that has the ability to "re-flow" and repair the scratch with heat you'd normally expect from the sun.
    The end result is not that great of a outcome, if the scratch is either deep or due to a variety of other reason it won't repair, you still need conventional means to remove the defects/damage. The problem you come into derives from the element it relys on to self heal... heat, the heat built up from conventional means can and will force the paint to actually return the defect that was previously removed.
    While working on the latest GT-R, I actually came to realize that the Scratch Shield works more as a memory state than re-flowing the clear. When this was realized, working with the paint became less frustrating, not easier, just less frustrating.

    This customer was referred to us, he needed someone who knew what they were doing when it came to getting paint to a perfect state. When he purchased her, the dealership sought it fit to try and "buff" the paint, instead they instilled swirls and holograms throughout. The initial walkthrough showed the hood and fenders full of holograms, but the sides seemed clear of any major defects which was revealed to be untrue when the vehicle was washed and stripped of any polish, glaze, or wax and it was revealed they used a glaze to fill in the defects on the sides of the paint.

    In the initial walkthrough, the holograms and swirls on the hood were very clear and present, several hours later when I went to do my thorough walkthrough, and to take the before pics, the sun had begun to set and no matter which angle I shot, the holograms didn't show up in the outside pics, They did however show up under the halogens and LED's of the shop.

    Now I've read several horror stories resulting from the Scratch Shield paint system, and the difficulty resulting in attempts to restore the paint. So reading these, I knew ahead of time that working on this type of clear wouldn't be easy in any sense... but I wasn't expecting this much difficulty.
    I decided to work on the worst part, the hood. I took my normal approach with soft paint, which is to use Menzerna 400 and either 85RD or 2500 due to the amount and type of lubrication in there polishes and compounds. I used them with my Rupes 21 and initially used Meguiars Microfiber Discs and Buff n Shine Microfiber discs, and ended switching to foam as the GT-R paint was too soft for Microfiber discs. I also switched to a range of Meguiars compounds and polishes, 101, 100, 105, and 205 as the heat was building up faster than Menzerna was able to break down. This whole process, all on the hood, took around 4 hours, all to no avail. Obviously I ended up getting frustrated, but instead of giving up I decided to reach out to a couple friends, and one reached out to me when he saw I was getting no where fast with the hood. Kevin Brown and Richard Lin are to be credited for this save, there experience and know how combined are the reason why I was able to do what I was able to do. I was merely the vessel to there abilities.

    Some Before Shots

    Some After Shots


    Richard Lin's advice was to keep the panel cold by any and all means. Cold towels, ice cold panels cooled before and after polishing with ice cold water. So that's what I did, I got 5lbs of ice, a bag of microfiber towels, a couple spray bottles with DI water, and bucket to put that all in. This is the foundation that I was able to achieve the results I obtained.

    Let's try something:

    Hands down my favorite saying from Kevin Brown, this saying means so much more to me than someone with positive answer. To me, this speaks volumes of Kevin, he may not know right away what will work with what your doing, but he's going to help you get the solution to your problem. I got on the phone with Kevin at 11pm eastern time and through several calls back and forth my last call was around 1 am. We already knew we had to keep the area I was working cool, so the area being polished was extended, arm speed was slowed down, and ice water almost continuously sprayed on the work area.
    First step was with Orange LC Foam and 105, the amount of water sprayed on the panel negated any dusting that normally occurs with 105 and allowed the compound to fully break down with the slow arm speed and larger area being worked.

    As you can see in the reflection in the following pictures, the sun's starting to come up and light up the sky. Lets get the finishing polishing done so we can coat the paint with Opti-Coat Pro.

    I will normally do a step to an entire vehicle before proceeding to the next step, this time I chose to get each panel perfect as I went to each one. After compounding with the LC Orange pad, I followed that with 205 and a LC White Pad, and this is where it gets different, Kevin recommended using a spray bottle with 14 drops of 205 mixed with Ice water on the LC White Pad. This is essentially to finish down the panel as best as possible. The water keeps the the pad clean and paint cool and the 205 gives the necessary lubrication between the pad and paint. Here you're allowing the pad to correct the paint, not the polish. And finally this is finished with Optimum Primer Polish on a LC Green pad. This recipe allowed me to get the paint to 95% correction. Out of all the defects, scratches, holograms, and swirls, there are 5 I couldn't remove. All of which I couldn't find when I had it outside with owner.

    Lets take it outside!

    Sun glare took over this photo... I wish I noticed this and I could of taken another.

    The key to success with self healing paint is patience and determination, I polished the paint for a total of 20 hours... straight! From 11am Saturday to 7am Sunday morning, once I started I wanted to stop but I didn't want to give up. Once we figured out the gameplan I didn't want to stop, so I didn't. Essentially a 4 step and Opti-Coat Pro in 22 hours. Which I honestly believe is the reason why we achieved the results we got. Keep the paint cold, prevent it from returning back to it's previous state, keep your pads clean... I cannot emphasize on this enough, don't let a dirty pad ruin your work. It's ok to think outside the box, working a larger area allows the area you polished to cool before you return to it, and finally, keep your arm movement slow, not slow enough for heat to build up faster, but slow enough where the polish is allowed to break down more efficiently and minimizing your panel passes which also minimizes the amount of heat being built up in the area being worked.

    Another thing I came to realize with this particular job was that no one person knows everything, but if you have the right people in your corner you can do the impossible, do jobs you didn't know you can do. I like to think of myself as a exceptional detailer, but I have an insatiable hunger for knowledge, I want to know more, learn more, and get better, and the friends I have made, people I have networked with have allowed me to do this. If it wasn't for 2 people on the other side of the US willing to help me solve a problem this job may have very well had a completely different outcome. Doing so has allowed me to gain a new customers trust, and potentially set me on a different level that others in my area. A level that I wish all detailers in my area where on, so that all the cars in this area looked like rockstars. I hope this winded write up helps others facing this particular paint system. If you have a question that I didn't answer please ask, lets get this knowledge out if it isn't already.

    If you'd like to view all the photos that we uploaded, you can view them here:
    2014 Nissan GT-R - 3 Step Compound/Polish + Opti-Coat Pro

    Here's some night shots as we were about to bring it back in and cover her for a morning pickup.

    William Castro - Owner/Operator/Enthusiast - Serving Northeast MA & Southeast NH - (978)590-5028 - www.ProAutoDetailing.netCOMING SOON

  2. #2
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    Oct 2013
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    Re: Black 2014 Nissan GT-R - Compound and Polish on "Scratch Shield"

    Awesome work! I had no idea about the Scratch shield on these vehicles. Good to see everyone came together to find a solution.

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