autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum Autogeek on TV
car wax, car care and auto detailing forumAutogeekonline autogeekonline car wax, car care and auto detailing forum HomeForumBlogAutogeek.net StoreDetailing Classes with Mike PhillipsvbGarageGalleryDetailing How To'sDetailing How ToFacebookTwitterYouTube

Go Back   Auto Geek Online Auto Detailing Forum > Detailer's Library > How to Articles

Register FAQ Upload Photos Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

» Instagram
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-13-2011, 03:33 PM   #1
Director of Training
 
Mike.Phillips@Autogeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Stuart, Florida
Posts: 50,561
How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products


Thanks you to Roger Dyer at 303 Protectant Inc. for providing me with the detailed information on on the 303 products and directions for proper use.

There's a lot of products on the market for cleaning, conditioning, maintaining and protecting vinyl surfaces and along with all these products there is a lot of misinformation and confusion.


303 Convertible Top Cleaning and Care Kit for Vinyl Tops and Tonneau Covers
Like any surface that is exposed to the elements, besides using quality products and proper techniques it’s just as important to regularly maintain surfaces exposed to the elements. All too often people will apply something to protect their vehicle’s vinyl shortly after the purchase but then it falls off the radar screen. A typical scenario goes like this,
  • Do nothing. With this approach, vinyl appearance and integrity of the material goes down hill with exposure to sun and wet weather.
  • Try to salvage the vinyl before its completely toast. This means the owner will try to find a miracle product to restore and salvage their car’s vinyl so they won’t have to replace it.


Just like most car related maintenance, performing some type of procedure on a regular schedule ensures you’ll get full service life out of the vehicle as well as enjoy its appearance value. When you properly clean your vinyl using 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner and then regularly apply an application of the 303 Aerospace Protectant, you will be doing everything you can to protect your vehicle’s vinyl surfaces.


Now let’s take a look at how to properly use 303 products to clean and protect your car’s vinyl.


1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass 2-Door with Factory Original Vinyl Top
Our demo car is a mostly original 1970 Cutlass; this car has less than 30,000 miles on it with the factory original vinyl top. The car has been re-painted using the period-correct single stage enamel paint, so it’s a great original driver for car enthusiasts.

The top, while still intact with no visible tears in the material, looks dull and lifeless; there’s no record of what’s been used on it over the years or when the last time anything beneficial was done to the vinyl.

There is what looks like some stains in the driver’s quadrant of the top but these stains have penetrated below the surface and into the vinyl material itself so it’s highly unlikely that these stains can be removed. Because the rest of the vinyl is a uniform color and appearance the owner does not want to replace the top but keep it original.

This approach to maintaining the original vinyl top is similar to the ideas presented in my article,

Taking your car's paint to its maximum potential


Only in this case we’ll be,

“Taking your car’s vinyl top to its maximum potential”



4 Easy Steps
1: Wash vinyl top using 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner to remove loose and/or embedded dirt and contaminants.

2: Remove water and dry vinyl top by patting material with quality drying chamois.

3: Apply ample 303 Aerospace Protectant and work into and over the surface.

4: Wipe off excess 303 Aerospace Protectant until top is thoroughly dry.


Now let’s look at these steps in detail…

1: Wash vinyl top using 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner to remove loose and embedded dirt and contaminants

Best Practice: Always work on a cool surface in the shade.

For some applications you can simply spray the 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner onto the surface, massage the cleaner into and over the vinyl and then remove the product before it dries.

For applications where there’s a grain or texture to the vinyl like we see with the vinyl top on this Cutlass, it’s better to rinse the top after cleaning with a source of free flowing water. To use 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner as a washing solution, mix 1 cup of 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner to water to make approximately one gallon of cleaning solution.

First spray the vinyl top with water to rinse off any loose dirt or dust.

Next, using a soft brush, apply the 303 and water cleaning solution and gently agitate the cleaning solution over and into the vinyl top. Before the cleaning solution can dry, spray the cleaning solution and any dirt, dust and other air-borne contaminants off the top with a strong spray of water.


2: Remove water and pat vinyl top dry
Remove any left over water by gently patting the top using a clean, soft microfiber waffle weave drying towel. After any excess water has been removed, allow some time for any residual water to evaporate so the top is completely dry before you apply the 303 Aerospace Protectant.



3: Apply 303 Aerospace Protectant and work into and over the surface
Apply the 303 Aerospace Protectant to a small section of vinyl at a time and this is key, this application needs to be a very wet application, that is you really want to saturate the vinyl with this product and then work the product over and into the vinyl using overlapping motions.


4: Wipe off excess 303 Aerospace Protectant until top is thoroughly dry
After you have thoroughly worked in the protectant, now use a clean, soft, absorbent microfiber towel to remove any excess and this is key, it is the wipe-off process where the magic happens.

Clean vinyl will only absorb and hold so much protectant, once you hit the max ability for the 303 Protectant to penetrate and coat over the vinyl, any excess must be removed. When you rub a dry cloth over the vinyl top, the wiping action will,
  1. Aid the protectant to chemically bond to the vinyl
  2. Remove any excess protectant off the vinyl and onto the cloth
  3. Convert the 303 Protectant that bonds onto the vinyl top into a repellent coating


Extra Benefits
This repellent coating is dry to the touch, not greasy and this is where the extra benefits kick in.

Dry Repellent Coating
303 Aerospace Protectant leaves a dry repellent coating on the surface. Because the surface is dry to the touch, air-borne dirt, dust and other contaminants will land on the vinyl but will not stick to it. When you wipe the surface completely dry with a dry cloth you change the wet finish to a dry repellent coating.

Applying more 303 Protectant is unnecessary, unwanted and it won’t properly bond to the newly applied 303 Aerospace Protectant anyway.

This is a case where more and more product is not better and better but instead, properly and thoroughly applying ONE application is the correct procedure. Then with time and wear-n-tear, simply repeat the process.


Wet Build-up Products
Some products for vinyl on the market are build-up products, that is the manufacturer recommends applying multiple applications of their product for more and better protection. These types of products are typically oily and they don’t completely dry to the touch. This leaves the vinyl wet or moist on the surface and air-born pollution, dirt, dust and other contaminants will stick to the vinyl and create a soil build-up which will accelerate deterioration.


Breathability
Breathability is defined as the ability to dissipate heat into the air. It does not mean the vinyl breathes like a human breathes in an out air using their lungs. Vinyl has within it plasticizer oils which add fluidity or flexibility to the vinyl material. This flexibility allows the vinyl to expand and contract with temperature changes.

Wet Build-up Products restrict the breathability of the vinyl and thus holds heat in and overtime this deteriorates the vinyl material. 303 Aerospace Protectant will not hinder breathability.


Protect the Protective Top Coat
Plasticizers are volatile, that simply means they can and will evaporate or become a vapor at normal temperatures and atmospheric pressures. The plasticizers are added to the vinyl material and then a protective top coat is applied to the vinyl to better to lock or seal in the plasticizers. So the ideal goal in maintaining vinyl is to protect the original top coat on new vinyl and this will protect the vinyl material under it.

As the top coat is degraded or worn off, the plasticizer oils will out-gas and this will leave the vinyl hard, rigid and brittle and this is when you will see vinyl crack or fracture.

To protect the top coat you want to stick with cleaning agents that take this top coat into account, this is where we come full circle to the beginning of this article where you are recommended to use the 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner to clean vinyl surfaces as it is specifically formulated to clean will causing no harm to the top coat.

Things to avoid getting onto vinyl are substances and solutions that can harm or degrade the top coat, this would include oils or oily products, fats, harsh detergents, and things like suntan oils on your skin in the case of things like seats, both car seats and boat seats, as well as any place skin would touch.


Best in Class UV Protection
303 Aerospace Protectant is recognized by leading manufacturers of vinyl, rubbers and plastics for providing the maximum level of UV screening protection. Exposure to the sun’s rays will fade and deteriorate vinyl topping, clear vinyl windows and other plastics & rubbers, By regularly using 303 Aerospace Protectant you’ll be doing everything you can to block out harmful UV rays and extend the service life as well as the appearance of your car’s vinyl top.


How to tell when it’s time to re-apply 303 Aerospace Protectant
After 303 Aerospace Protectant is applied water should and will bead up on the surface, as you see water beading ability diminishing over time repeated washings and exposure to the elements, simple repeat the washing, drying and application steps. Another way to maintain a max level of ultraviolet protection and repellency is merely to re-apply 303 Aerospace Protectant sufficiently often enough to keep up the like-new appearance it imparts to the vinyl.



303 Convertible Top Cleaning and Care Kit for Vinyl Tops and Tonneau Covers





Here's our demo car, a 1970 Oldsmobile Cutlass with less than 30,000 original miles





The original vinyl top is intact, with no rips and in good overall condition except that it is dull and lifeless looking.




There are two in-grained stains over the Driver's section of the roof, the stain has penetrated into the vinyl material and cannot be removed without damaging or replacing the vinyl.





To use 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner as a washing solution, mix 1 cup of 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner to water to make approximately one gallon of cleaning solution.







Pour the straight 303 Fabric/Vinyl Convertible Top Cleaner into a clean bucket and add enough water to make 1-gallon of cleaning solution.





Using a soft brush, apply the 303 and water cleaning solution and gently agitate the cleaning solution over and into the vinyl top. Before the cleaning solution can dry, spray the cleaning solution and any dirt, dust and other air-borne contaminants off the top with a strong spray of water.


Gently scrubbing the vinyl using a 20 inch brush Montana Original Boar’s Hair Wheel Brush





Gently scrubbing the B-Pillar using a Natural Horse Hair Interior Upholstery Brush









Remove any left over water by gently patting the top using a clean, soft microfiber waffle weave drying towel like the Guzzler. After any excess water has been removed, allow some time for any residual water to evaporate so the top is completely dry before you apply the 303 Aerospace Protectant.





303 Vinyl Convertible Top Kit





Only the front half will be treated to demonstrate how 303 Aerospace Protectant restores a vibrant, new appearance to old, worn and faded vinyl.





Dampen an applicator pad like this Cobra Microfiber Applicator Pads with 303 Aerospace Protectant.





Then spray a wet application of 303 Aerospace Protectant onto the vinyl top.





Now work the product into and over the grain of the vinyl thoroughly using overlapping motions.





Using a clean, soft dry microfiber towel, remove any excess product, fold to a dry side and wipe the top till it's dry to the touch.







In this article I'm repeating the process to the other side, in the real world you would repeat the process to the rest of the top.





After applying a wet application of 303 Aerospace Protectant, wipe the surface till it's completely dry. Fold your microfiber towel 4-ways to give you 8 sides to wipe with and re-fold towel as needed to provide you with a dry wiping side.





Here are the results, you can clearly see how the 303 Aerospace Protectant has brought out the richness of color of the blue pigment in the vinyl top.





The left side is treated, the right side is un-treated





Extreme close-up of the natural factory grain in the vinyl top





Then after taking pictures we finished the back half...





The results are a like-new factory appearance that's not greasy, wet or oily







303 Products when properly used will protect your car's vinyl surfaces as well as maintain a factory new appearance.





On Autogeek.net

303 Vinyl Convertible Top Kit

Natural Horse Hair Interior Upholstery Brush

20 inch brush Montana Original Boar’s Hair Wheel Brush

The Guzzler Combo Kit

Cobra Microfiber Applicator Pads

All Purpose Microfiber Towels - 3 Pack


Mike.Phillips@Autogeek is online now  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 03:47 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
mdb917's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 698
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Excellent write-up Mike!

I'll be looking for your write up using 303 on Fabric. It appears that 303 covers both Vinyl and Fabric with the same product. So, I'm curious how (or if) the process will differ.
mdb917 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 03:59 PM   #3
Director of Training
 
Mike.Phillips@Autogeek's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Stuart, Florida
Posts: 50,561
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdb917 View Post
Excellent write-up Mike!
Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdb917 View Post

I'll be looking for your write up using 303 on Fabric. It appears that 303 covers both Vinyl and Fabric with the same product. So, I'm curious how (or if) the process will differ.
Working on a similar article but probably won't have it finished till February... we start filming our TV show next week so I'll be traveling and when I get back I have to prepare for the upcoming Detailing 101 and 102 classes.

I am working on an article though...


Mike.Phillips@Autogeek is online now  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 06:23 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 1,103
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Hey thanks for the great write up Mike, and perfect timing too. I have been wanting to try the protectant for a while and I think I will give it a shot now.

Should it be applied to leather the same way as vinyl? Meaning with only one good application as opposed to multiple?
Crazy Amos is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 06:27 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
J1nx93's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Shady Spring, WV
Posts: 309
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

I may try this on my tonneau cover, but I just got some UTTG for it.
J1nx93 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 08:37 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
Jeff120's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 801
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Thanks for the write up Mike. Having a tonneau cover its very interesting to me. I have a question for you.

Why would I want to use the 303 cleaner over say Megs APC that is also stated to be designed to clean and condition vinyl. Any additional benefits to using the 303 cleaner?
__________________
Jeff120 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 09:19 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
FUNX725's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 12,581
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Thanks for posting this excellent write-up on 303 Aerospace Protectant products. Inclusion of the Roger Dyer info and directions for proper use, along with your step-by-step indices, once again affirms that my usage all of these years of the 303 products, whether it was for cars, trucks, bikes, boats, or around the house, was indeed the correct choice!
__________________
Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk~Joaquin de Setanti
FUNX725 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-13-2011, 09:39 PM   #8
Senior Member
 
FUNX725's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 12,581
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff120 View Post
Thanks for the write up Mike. Having a tonneau cover its very interesting to me. I have a question for you.

Why would I want to use the 303 cleaner over say Megs APC that is also stated to be designed to clean and condition vinyl. Any additional benefits to using the 303 cleaner?
I believe this question is intended for Mr. Mike Phillips, but my $.02 worth.

IMO...and if I may ask: Since all APC's state their solutions can be diluted and can be used to clean anything and everything from grease, grime, and grunge to the most luxurious interior carpeting---strong statement---instead: Why not employ 303, a dedicated product, that has, and always has been, the #1 choice for UV protection since its inception?
__________________
Be wary of the man who urges an action in which he himself incurs no risk~Joaquin de Setanti
FUNX725 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Jeff120's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 801
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Quote:
Originally Posted by FUNX725 View Post
I believe this question is intended for Mr. Mike Phillips, but my $.02 worth.

IMO...and if I may ask: Since all APC's state their solutions can be diluted and can be used to clean anything and everything from grease, grime, and grunge to the most luxurious interior carpeting---strong statement---instead: Why not employ 303, a dedicated product, that has, and always has been, the #1 choice for UV protection since its inception?

Thanks, mainly because I can buy an entire gallon of APC and they claim the same thing. Also I seem to be acquiring a lot of products and when I can find something that kills 2 or more birds with one stone that that is all the better.
__________________
Jeff120 is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Old 01-14-2011, 03:42 PM   #10
Senior Member
 
pushtiulk's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Posts: 164
Re: How To Restore and Protect a Vinyl Top using 303 Products

Great article!
__________________
Auto Detailing
Leatherique Romania
pushtiulk is offline  
Digg this Post!Add Post to del.icio.usBookmark Post in TechnoratiFurl this Post!twitter
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
The Secret to Removing Oxidation and Restoring a Show Car Finish to Antique Single Stage Paints Mike.Phillips@Autogeek Ask the Expert featuring Mike Phillips 155 10-13-2014 05:41 AM
The Lesson White Paint Teaches Us Mike.Phillips@Autogeek Hot topics and Frequently asked questions 38 08-07-2014 11:04 PM
The Difference Between a Cleaner/Wax and a Finishing Wax Mike.Phillips@Autogeek Hot topics and Frequently asked questions 33 02-21-2013 04:45 AM
Cleaning a convertable top Larry A Ask the Expert featuring Mike Phillips 11 05-17-2010 07:52 AM

» October 2014
S M T W T F S
282930 1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28 29 30 31 1
» Car Care Brands
Detailer's Pro Series Car Care Products
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.1

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:07 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©PBMA - Autogeekonline.net® All Rights Reserved.

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55