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  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray


    Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray





    Below you'll find the process I used to prep a 1969 Camaro so the paint, glass and chrome would be in the proper condition to test out the new Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray. This product is for paint that is smooth and clean. That means after washing and drying your car, the paint should pass the Baggie Test. If the paint feels rough or has a pebble texture feel, that is you can feel "bumps" on the paint, then you should at a minimum clay the paint before using this spray-on Si02 sealant.


    Swirls are okay
    The paint does NOT have to be swirl free. That's right, you can seal paint with swirls and scratches and in fact I know some detailers that offer this as one of their packages for customers with daily drivers that don't really care about swirls they just want the paint protected. Believe it or not, most people don't know the difference between a squirrel and a swirl.


    For clarification,

    This is a Squirrel




    These are Swirls




    And yup.... most people don't know the difference and for the most part don't care. They look at their car as a means of transportation not a reflection of their personality that they must toil over endlessly to ensure it looks perfect all of the time. Just wanted to point this out because you can use this product on swirled out paint but you really want the paint to be contaminant free and that means using detailing clay to remove contaminants if the paint does not pass the Baggie Test.


    Now I'm going somewhere with this so just sit back and let me drive.

    About 2-3 years ago one of my local car buddies let me use a 1969 Camaro he had recently purchased for one of my big 3-day classes here at Autogeek in Stuart, Florida. We hold these classes 3 times a year, January, May and September and for each class I need between 13 and 15 cars. Out of the 13 to 15 cars 10 of them need to be "cool" because one of the things I teach in these classes, actually the primary thing I teach is

    Show Car Detailing


    And the only real or authentic way to learn show car detailing is if you're actually working on show cars. So Jim lets me use the Camaro as one of the training cars and it comes out perfect. Fast forward a few years and Jim removes the BIG BLOCK Chevy engine and installs a radical Small Block Chevy engine. So far so good. So last week I meet Jim at the local Tuesday night Lew's Crew Cruise-in and ask him if I can borrow his car for some video work we need to do because.... well because it's cool car. Jim of course says' "Yes".

    He drops the car off and after it's moved into the garage I look at the paint, clean off a section with some spray detailer and then FEEL the paint. Oh my gosh! The paint feels like sandpaper! My guess is when they did the engine swap they also re-sprayed the firewall and the inner fenders with a fresh coat of flat black paint because when you pop the hood the firewall and the inside of the fenders have a very crisp, black appearance - as though they've been freshly painted. Just a guess on my part but the Mother's Detailing Clay is going to vindicate me.


    So here's the engine compartment - note how the engine has a fresh Chevy Orange paint job and if you look closely, the firewall, inner fenderwells, and anything that's not motor related has a fresh black paint job.








    But the paint looks good?

    Everyone that walked into the garage talked about how nice the Camaro looked. It's true, it looked great! Heck my class did a show car detail to it. But looks can be deceiving.

    I like white colored clay because it very accurately shows me the color of any contaminants on the paint. I didn't have any white clay though but I had some yellow clay from Mothers. So I always use what I have. I sprayed down some clay lube and then clayed a section of paint.

    After making just a few passes on the trunk lid, (shot a little video too), I turned the clay over and here's what I saw!





    Here's a close-up - that's what black overspray looks like when you remove it using detailing clay





    So here's the point. I asked Jim if Autogeek could use his 1969 Chevy Camaro for some video work and he was kind enough to say yes and then bring it to Autogeek on our schedule. After I found out it was severely contaminated I felt compelled to remove the contamination and the associated follow up work necessary as a way of saying thank you to Jim for helping us out.

    Just by coincidence, I have a new Si02 sealant to test out so ask usual, everything in life works out for all the right reasons.

    As you can see from the black contamination on the clay, there's no way I can test out the new Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray until I first remove all the contamination. Now here's where I'm going to go deeper... the overspray isn't just on the paint... it's on everything, this means glass, chrome bumpers and all the trim. And it's BAD!

    So while I don't normally wash classic cars as a professional courtesy to the owners and as a Best Practice - I know the best way to remove all the assumed overspray contamination off the entire exterior of the car would be to foam it and then take a Medium Nanoskin Towel to it so that's what I did.



    Apologies for the first few pictures, I had my camera set-up wrong and so the first few pictures were fairly blown-out.

    Whenever I wash a car, for a project, my own car or teach a class, I use and show the Grit Guard Universal Detailing Cart. Why? Because it suspends the wash bucket off the ground so I don't have to bend over each time I want to dip a wash mitt into soapy water. It also holds all my stuff.





    Here you can see my foam gun, microfiber chenille wash mitt, tire clean, wheel cleaner and the Medium Grade Nanoskin Mitt. Sorry no action shots of these tools being used, everyone here at Autogeek is busy with all our customers holiday shopping.





    After the final rinse, you can see standing water on the car....







    I've been wanting to test out the new Griot's Garage Extra-Large PFM Edgeless Drying Towel so today was the day.




    See my mini review here,

    Review: Griot's Garage Extra-Large PFM Edgeless Drying Towel



    Mike Phillips
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  3. #2
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Continued....


    Micro-marring

    One of the questions I get asked all the time goes like this,

    Do I need to polish after claying?

    In my opinion and experience, the answer is "yes".


    Why?

    Because clearcoats are scratch-sensitive. What this means is even though they tend to be harder than traditional single stage paints they still scratch or mar easy. Before I ran the medium grade Nanoskin towel over the paint I inspect the paint inside and outside in overhead sunlight and the paint actually looked really good. By really good, I mean swirl-free. This means Jim has done a great job of taking care of the paint in so far as not inflicting swirls and scratches back into the paint, it just has or had the overspray contamination issue.

    I took these pictures showing how there are now light swirls or light marring in the paint and my guess and experience is I inflicted this when I used the Nanoskin towel on the paint. The contamination was bad and I did a fairly aggressive rubbing down of the glass, chrome and paint.














    Test Spot
    I tested the Lake Country 6.5" Black Foam Finishing Pad on the FLEX 3401 with Pinnacle Advanced Finishing Polish, which is a fine cut polish and it was not aggressive enough to remove the swirls and marring. So next I tested the 6.5" white foam polishing pad in the Force Hybrid line and it removed about 95% of the visible swirls and marring. I found the paint to be a tick on the hard side. In order to get 100% I would have to compound the car and then polish and I was happy with the results from just polishing.





    Sorry - no action shots of me doing the work but I was the only one in the garage and at work when this took place.





    I always machine polish all the glass, trim and chrome bumpers on classic cars. I use whatever the "first step product" is for the paint for these other areas. You can't give a customer their car back with shiny paint but dull glass, chrome and stainless or nickel trim.







    I spend a lot of time teaching people it takes more than ONE PAD to buff out a car. Here's the deal, when using foam pads, a clean DRY pad cuts better (or polishes better), then a wet soggy pad. In a perfect world you would use one pad per panel. A 2-door car has 9 panels and I used 7 pads on this car, so not quite one pad per panel but I definitely maintained maximum defect removal as I worked around the car by switching to a fresh clean pad often.





    Time to seal the paint!

    Now it's time to test out and use the new Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray. This is where I really want to share some valuable tips for applying any spray on product and specifically this spray-on product as it contains some very substantial Si02 and you'll feel it when you go to wipe it off.


    Step 1: First dampen a clean, folded microfiber towel with some of the Crystal Si02 spray.


    This is IMPORTANT. Why? Because you cannot spread out a wet product with a dry towel. The dry towel will try to remove the wet product as you're trying to spread it. You end up fighting yourself. So take my experienced word for it, dampen one side of a clean towel and then use this side to apply the product for the ENTIRE car. You don't need to re-fold to use a different side assuming the paint is surgically clean, which it is in my example as I just washed, mechanically decontaminated and then polished the paint.






    Step 2: Mist some of the Crystal Si02 Spray onto a section of a panel.

    Now this is IMPORTANT - ONLY work panel at a time, don't apply to the entire car. This is a very substantial product, just a mist or two will easily cover a half of a hood and leave down a uniform film.







    Softly spread the mist of spray around using an overlapping, circular motion.


    Note I'm wearing gloves. I always go with what Renny Doyle says, if it's on your skin it's in you and whatever the magic is in this product - I don't want it in me.





    Step 3: Allow the product to haze

    After the film dries to a haze, about a minute is all it takes, then remove the excess product using a clean dry microfiber towel.

    Note the product will feel a little sticky on the surface during wipe-off but still wipes off easy. Then notice how slippery and slick the paint feels. That's what I like about this product.





    Extra

    This product can be used on glass and chrome. Because I'm going to apply to the windshield and side glass, I took a few moments to take pictures of it after application. While it can be hard to see this product on paint because the product is clear like water, here's what it looks like on the glass windshield after I spread it around. As you can see, a little mist of product and then using a single side of a microfiber towel dampened with the same product spreads out a substantial film.






    Here I've wiped away a section of glass to show you no film and film of product.






    Repeat the above process to the rest of the car. Mist a spray or two to a section of a panel, spread using the dampened microfiber towel and the after the product hazes wipe off using a clean dry microfiber towel.



    Mike Phillips
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  5. #3
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Continued....

    Here's the final results - for this I'm using a new swirl finder light from Griot's.

























    This light works pretty well and easily slips into your pocket!









    I used this light on the side to light up the windshield to reveal the film on the glass.







    And here are the beauty shots!













    Simply amazing gloss and shine!





    Here's everything I used after washing and drying....





    Kind of hard to tell but the towel on the left is my application towel and it's darker because it is now damp with product. If I had another car ready to seal I could keep going.









    Review
    Because this is a silicon dioxide based paint sealant I can't call it a finishing wax but that's the function it serves. It seals the paint and imparts a lot of gloss with a very slippery feel left to the paint. I don't like products that make my paint feel rubbery like some ceramic paint coatings. Application is simple as long as you use the 2-Towel Method. I found the product to be a little sticky on wipe-off but nothing a clean, soft microfiber towels cannot overcome. The gloss is simply amazing. The results look great in the pictures above, at least on my monitor and my phone, but the car looks even better in person.

    Don't be fooled by the simple application and clear appearance of the product, the film you lay down is substantial, it fills like a thick layer even when it's thin and you can really tell you've laid down some product when wiping the film off. If you want a glossy even glassy look and your car's paint is smooth to the though after washing and drying this is a great finishing sealant or even show car sealant to create that "wow" effect while protecting the paint and making future washing and drying faster due to the hydrophobic effect if the Si02.



    On Autogeek.com


    Pinnacle Crystal SiO2 Spray






    The paint looks like molten lava!






    Mike Phillips
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  7. #4
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    ***Bump***


    This product is now available on the Autogeek Store



    Mike Phillips
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  8. #5
    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Paint looks phenomenal.


  9. #6
    Senior Member Paul A.'s Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    My favorite QD type product of all time (well...my time) has been Pinnacle Crystal Mist. The product quality is top notch. While it's a blend of carnauba and polymers, the shine is exceptional and the durability acceptable.

    This new SiO2 product, for me, will be a game changer for those wash and "spray wax" type customers I see maybe every 6 months. This product will extend the LSP durability for them.

    I would imagine it would be compatible with SiO2 coatings as a topper say every 3rd or 4th weekly wash too.

    I love this new product as shown by Mike. A pitch served right into my wheelhouse!

  10. #7
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post

    Paint looks phenomenal.



    Thanks.... a lot of focused buffing went into this Camaro. The sealant maxed out the gloss.



    Quote Originally Posted by Paul A. View Post

    My favorite QD type product of all time (well...my time) has been Pinnacle Crystal Mist. The product quality is top notch. While it's a blend of carnauba and polymers, the shine is exceptional and the durability acceptable.
    The owner of the Camaro, Jim just picked up his car. It was raining of and on yesterday so he didn't want to pick it up and take a chance on getting stuck in the rain. It's truly an exceptional Camaro.

    Before he left, I gave him a brand new bottle of Pinnacle Crystal Mist and a couple of Forrest Green Microfiber Towels. I shared with him how and why to inspect his towels as I share in this article here,

    How, why & when to inspect your microfiber towels when detailing cars





    The most important how-to article I think I've ever written and so simple at the same time. Anyone that washes or details their own car should read the above article.




    Quote Originally Posted by Paul A. View Post

    This new SiO2 product, for me, will be a game changer for those wash and "spray wax" type customers I see maybe every 6 months. This product will extend the LSP durability for them.

    I would imagine it would be compatible with SiO2 coatings as a topper say every 3rd or 4th weekly wash too.

    I love this new product as shown by Mike. A pitch served right into my wheelhouse!

    Thanks Paul. If you write a review about the product I'll send you a free bottle to test out.


    Mike Phillips
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  12. #8
    Senior Member acuRAS82's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Mike, any thoughts/observations of this vs. the Wolfgang and Blackfire SiO2 sprays you reviewed this year?

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  14. #9
    Senior Member Nix's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Quote Originally Posted by acuRAS82 View Post
    Mike, any thoughts/observations of this vs. the Wolfgang and Blackfire SiO2 sprays you reviewed this year?
    really want to know this as well..3 diff sio2 spray products from same company..
    "You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality." - Ayn Ran

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  16. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: Review: Pinnacle Crystal Si02 Spray

    Quote Originally Posted by acuRAS82 View Post

    Mike, any thoughts/observations of this vs. the Wolfgang and Blackfire SiO2 sprays you reviewed this year?
    Yes. I found the Wolfgang and the BLACKFIRE Si02 sealants easier to spread and easier to remove. I think I mentioned above under the heading, Step 3: Allow the product to haze that I found the Pinnacle SiO2 product a tick on the sticky side to wipe off. For this reason I wouldn't recommend to most people to apply to an entire car before removing. While I'm not a chemist, this product seems to really impart some substantial protection. It may look clear like water but if you look at the section of glass I sprayed there's a very definitive film laid down and it is this film that seems a little sticky to remove. I also mentioned that upon removal it leave the paint very slippery and gloss.



    Quote Originally Posted by Nix View Post

    really want to know this as well..3 diff sio2 spray products from same company..
    While all three products achieve similar results – since they’re all formulated with SiO2 protection – each have their own unique properties consistent with their brand. As we’ve recommended in the past, for optimal product results, it’s best to stick with one brand for that synergistic compatibility. So if you’ve always used Wolfgang products and you have the Wolfgang Deep Gloss Paint Sealant on your vehicle, go with the Wolfgang Uber Silica Spray. If you have BLACKFIRE Paint Coating on your paint, go with the BLACKFIRE SiO2 Spray Sealant. Each of these products provides exceptional results and you can’t go wrong with any of them!


    Good questions guys...


    Mike Phillips
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