Product Review: Gtechniq Panel Wipe, C1 & EXOv2by Brian Guy
In this review I will cover Gtechniq’s Panel Wipe, C1 Crystal Lacquer & EXOv2 Ultra Durable Hybrid Coating.
Before applying any coating it is important to have your paint surface fully polished and prepped. Proper paint prep will be the most crucial part about the detail as a whole. If the prep is poor, the coating will preform poorly. If the prep is great, you will achieve superior durable results with this Gtechniq combo. With this topic on coatings I would also recommend you take a look at this article on “Consumer Confusion On Vehicle Protection“. This article basically covers how to choose the right detailer and the prep work to have the best coating experience possible.
In this article I have a brand new 2014 Audi RS7 in Suzuka Grey and a Brand new Corvette C7 in Night Race Blue. Both of these vehilces will be getting the same work done, so you can see how each color looks when properly cared for! I’ve found that coatings are very well suited for brand new cars. Prep work is somewhat minimal, to a degree, and minimal prep work means a more budget friendly detail. The cars get started off on the right track with protection. Plus, taking a brand new car and making it look better than new is very gratifying as a professional detailer!
After all prep work is complete, we are now ready to apply the coating.
Step 1) Clean and prep your work environment and get ready for the final steps. Gather up the clean towels that will be used for coating, also the Gtechniq products that will be used (Panel Wipe, C1 and EXOv2). Have the vehicle completely clean from all dust that may have occurred in the polishing stages. If any window treatment/protection is to be done, I usually do it before the coating is applied. Be sure to work in a controlled environment. C1 and EXO will react differently at high temps / high humidity. If you are working in high temp environment, work in smaller sections to avoid hard to remove excess product.
Step 2) Get ready to “Take Your Time”, we do not want to rush a coating process. These products can’t be applied like waxes and sealants, so leave yourself enough time to work slow while getting use to the products.
Step 3) As we said above about the prep being a huge role, the Panel Wipe steps are very important. Take your time going around the vehicle being sure that you’ve not missed any areas of paint-work by working one panel at a time. I usually use two or three towels in this process. Be sure to take long strokes across the entire panel. The first towel will become most saturated with the Panel Wipe. Try to keep this towel going in one direction (not back and forth). The second and third towel can be used for back and forth to remove the remaining polishing residue. The idea here is to lift any and all oils off the paint surface so that the product has the ability to fully bond to the surface. If you do not have Panel Wipe, IPA could be used as an alternative (Panel Wipe is recommended for Gtechniq).
Step 4) Application of C1 Crystal Lacquer (C1 comes with applicator pads)
- Pour a few drops on to the provided applicator.
- I like to define the area that I will be coated by getting the edges done first. Create your box then color it in if you will.
- Work in straight lines (up down, side to side). Overlap each pass to be sure you’ve covered the entire area. One overlapping pattern should be enough.
- Allow the product to set on the panel for a minimum of two minutes. This could vary based on humidity and temperatures. Do your small test spot to see how much time you will have to work with.
- Apply more product when needed.
C1 comes with plenty of applicator pads to complete a vehicle. Be sure to switch them out before they become hard. If the applicator pad does become hard and you still use it, it will scratch the paint work.
Step 5) Get a few clean MF towels ready that will be used for the coating. 3 to 4 towels would be my recommendation.
Gtechniq did a seminar at Detail Fest early this year and they would refer to this as “The Three Towel Method”.
- Towel 1: Use in long overlapping strokes to smooth out the product after application to make sure the coat is nice and even.
- Towel 2: Use to remove any of the excess product from the paint surface.
- Towel 3: This towel will remain as clean as possible and free of product within the fibers. This towel will be used for final wipe downs. If any product gets into this towel, turn it into towel number 2 for the next panel and grab another clean towel for “towel #3” use.
This is a pretty crucial step with any coating. I will be putting together another article on how to reduce and have no marring during an application process. It will also point out how panels can become marred through the technique of wiping. Stay tuned for this article!
Step 6) Be sure to check for high spots first, then allow the C1 Lacquer Coat to cure. If you are working in a controlled environment and the panels are at a nice cool temp, the C1 will take around “6 hrs” to cure before being able to apply EXOv2. Higher temps or humidity will cause for longer cure time.
Step 7) EXOv2 application: EXOv2 has the ability to flash much faster than C1, so it will be important to work in smaller sections for the second layer of the Gtechniq’s C1 and EXO combo. A brand new clean MF applicator is fine to use for the EXOv2 application. All the towels used in the C1 application need to be discarded and a new set of clean MF towels will be used for the second half of this process.
- Apply EXOv2 to small section (do not wait long).
- Immediately after the EXO has been applied to the section, take a clean MF towel and using light pressure over the section, go over the area with overlapping passes.
- Important note, use minimal pressure while wiping.
- A second MF towel can be used to be sure you’ve completely removed all the excess. Do not go crazy wiping and wiping as marring could occur. Smooth wipes and overlapping your passes with decent technique will be enough to do it right with minimal wipes.
- Repeat this around the remainder of the car, while switching out towels as needed.
- Allow the EXO to cure for 20 min. and apply a 2nd coat for best results (if needed or if EXOv2 is being used as a stand alone coating). 2 coats were not needed in these two details.
Step 8) Allow the vehicle to cure for another 12hrs-ish in my recommendation, before subjecting it back into the outdoor elements.
The results …
Two great brand new cars just got started off on the right track in this article!
Important Note: Be sure to properly maintain a coated car. Detailed Image & Gtechniq carry a number of products to keep the finish of a coated car going strong for months to come. C2v3 Liquid Crystal is a great option and easy to use in between washes from time to time.
Hope you enjoyed this article! If you are in the Orlando Florida area and wish to have this treatment preformed to your vehicle, I’d be happy to help in getting it done for you!
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Do the wipe off towels have to be discarded after use or can they be saved if thrown in a bucket with APC and water?
Kyle, the towel number 1 as mentioned, I usually discard. The rest of the towels used can be salvaged to a degree. I’ll usually use those towels on tires, engine detailing etc. in future details.
APC and water/warm water will aid in getting the most out of them.
I always use brand new towels when coating any vehicle. I would hate to see them only get one use. However, once used… they don’t touch painted surfaces again. Maybe a dirty door jam or something…. ah, I’m pretty picky about that.
Thanks again for the great article Brian.
Did you not have streaking issues with the exo treatment? This product seemed to be very finicky for me. The c1 was a breeze but not matter what I tried I kept having streaking issues with the exo. I ended up just placing the c2v3 on top for now. Working with other possible products but was really hoping the c1 + exo process would have went smoother as I was in process of becoming an authorized detailer. For now im using other products. Thoughts?
EXO can be a little more tricky. I would recommend working the EXO in smaller sections (has a quicker flash time than C1) and dont forget to overlap your wipes with a brand new MF towel. The EXO should be done after the C1 has had about 12 hrs or so of cure time. The more you do it the better you will get. However if you’re more comfortable with something else that will be a strong point for you. I like trying and using everything because it gives you a better all around knowledge of this (coating types) protection.
I just purchased a new 2015 Durango and was looking to put a protective coating on it as soon as possible so i ordered the C1 Crystal Lacquer (30ml) + Liquid Crystal (100ml). I was wondering if this will be enough to coat the full vehicle or will i need additional product? Also, do you have any recommendations for doing a new vehicle?
Warren, That would be enough to do the full Durango. No problem.
My recommendations would be to have the whole vehicle completely cleaned and defect free. (Most Important) Be sure to use the Gtechniq panel wipe or IPA solution to prep the surface for the coating. 2 towel process, One to be wet and used for your initial wipe down and the second for final wipe to remove any left over residue. And if you’re not sure…. Go around it again with 2 new towels and repeat the process. (If it’s showing smearing or hazing after these IPA wipe downs… Something is not right and I would say, do not apply until it’s figured out)
Has anyone had issues with exov2 water spotting real bad?
I just purchased the GTECHNIQ EXOv3 and GTECHNIQ Panel Wipe. I’m unclear about the prep before application.
1) Do I need to apply a ceramic base coat 1st?
2) The GTECHNIQ instructions state clean then “polish” before application. What polish should I use.
3) The instructions even mention clay bar is necessary. Can I use the quick was w/clay bar?
Thanks in advance for your help.
I attempted to use the panel wipe on my vehicle, but have some serious streaking that will need to be buffed out again back to where it was. I did dilute the solution, but the result is the same. I have an 09′ Bmw M3 if that makes a difference in paint.