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  1. #1
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    I posted this over on Autopia and finally had a chance to post it here.

    I put this together to show the water behavior of some of the wheel coatings I have on hand. It was really based on my own curiosity. Hopefully it helps others understand the water behavior of some that are commonly used, but also to start a discussion of other user experiences.

    From my experience, not all wheel coatings are created equal. Some perform better than others in the long term.

    The test panel was prepped with 303 Step 2 polish and prep wiped with American Global Stripper.

    I have used Gyeon Rim and Pinnacle Black Label Wheel Coating as well but I gave those away to other Autopian forum members. With that said here are the candidates.

    Products:

    Gtechniq C5 Wheel Armour
    CarPro DLUX
    22ple VM1
    Adams UV Ceramic Wheel Coating
    Drexler Ceramic Wheel Coat



    Often the following questions come up, What is the best wheel coating? What wheel coating should I get? Etc., etc..

    Most of the time it is going to come down to other user experiences as each individual has a different experience with essentially any coating.

    Before I continue, I will say that one doesn’t need a wheel specific coating for a daily driver or even a garage/show car. Go ahead and use the same coating that is used on the paint. In most cases this works just fine and in some cases a paint coating outperforms a dedicated wheel coating.

    The benefit of a wheel coating is that they are rated for higher temperatures. With that said for a daily driver one will not approach those high temperatures thus my comment about just using the same paint coating on the wheels as on the paint. For those that do some sort of track driving, then a wheel coating makes sense as the wheels and calipers see higher temperatures and in general more abuse.

    Characteristics of each coating.

    GTechniq C5:

    Resistant to temperatures up to 570 degrees F
    A single application lasts up to 1 year
    Repels dirt and break dust from wheels
    Can be used on painted wheels, chrome, clear coated aluminum and stainless steel items (wheels, bumpers, engine parts, etc)

    CarPro DLUX:

    Resistant to temperature up to 800 degrees F
    Lasts up to 2 years
    Can be used on Plastic Trim, Rubber Trim, Headlights, Fog lights, Tail Lights, Wheels (painted, chrome, matte/satin, clear coated aluminum,etc), Metal Trim, Exhaust tips, Plastic Wheel Wells
    No time frame between layers for wheels. Probably similar to their paint coatings of 45-60 minutes.

    22ple VM1:

    Resistant to temperature up to 700 degrees F
    Lasts up to 3-5 years
    Will protect against road grime and brake dust build up
    Can be used on Wheels (painted, chrome, matte/satin, clear coated aluminum, etc), exhaust tips, metal trim and more
    Recommended 2-3 layers, Applied 4-6 hours apart

    Adams UV Ceramic Wheel Coating:

    Patent Pending UV tracing Technology
    9H, 6+ years protection
    Can be used on painted, powder coated, matte/satin, clear coated and anodized wheel surfaces
    Will hold up against brake dust, road salt, higher heat elements and more.
    1-2 hours between layers

    Drexler Ceramic Wheel Coat:

    Protects wheels, calipers against brake dust and dirt
    Lasts up to 1-2 years
    Recommend 2 layers, 1-2 hours between coats

    Beading shots of each products

    GTechinq C5



    CarPro DLUX



    22ple VM1



    Adams UV Ceramic Wheel Coating



    Drexler Ceramic Wheel Coat



    Beading doesn’t mean a whole lot when it comes to wheels. Nor does slickness. Both will be a byproduct of changing the surface tension. We often use beading as a sign that the product is still on the surface.

    Based on beading the ranking would be

    1. Adams UV Wheel
    2. CarPro DLUX
    3. 22ple VM1
    4. GTechnic C5/Drexler Ceramic

    Adams clearly has the tightest water beading. CarPro DLUX has the similar water beading to their paint coatings.

    Based on slickness the ranking would be

    1. Adams UV Wheel
    2. Drexler
    3. 22ple VM1
    4. CarPro DLUX
    5. Gtechniq C5

    22ple and Drexler are very close in terms of slickness. Drexler gets the edge for second place.

    Ease of application

    1. Adams UV Wheel
    2. Gtechniq C5
    3. Drexler
    4. 22ple VM1
    5. CarPro DLUX

    We are splitting hairs here with the top 4. I could easily swap these out for one another. I rated 22ple lower due to it needing 4-6 hours between layers even with its generous 3-5 minute flash time window. DLUX is the tackiest one to wipe off and thus is at the bottom even though it is almost wipe on wipe off.

    Adams takes the top spot for being able to visually see where the product has been applied to using the UV light.

    Interesting enough C5 was the slickest upon removal, similar to Crystal Serum Light and Exo yet it was the least slickest once it cured.

    Based on sheeting the ranking would be

    1. Gtechniq C5
    2. Drexler
    3. 22ple VM1
    4. CarPro DLUX
    5. Adams UV Wheel

    You are probably asking why did I rank them in this order. Well I ranked them in this order based on how much water was left behind on the surface and whether or not the coating tended to bead or sheet as soon as the water hit the coated surface.

    If one is looking for a sheeting type coating then C5 would be the clear winner. It left the least amount of water on the surface being more hydrophilic.

    22ple VM1 is in the middle. Not quite hydrophilic like GTechniq C5 and not as hydrophobic as Adams and CarPro.

    Drexler Ceramic Wheel Coat is similar to Gtechniq C5 in its application, water beading and sheeting. Similar to the Drexler Ceramic Base Coat in their paint coating which resembles Crystal Serum Light in application and water behavior

    Based on price

    1. CarPro DLUX – 30ml for $39.99 equates to $1.33/ml
    2. Drexler Ceramic – 20ml for $28.90 equates to $1.45/ml
    3. Adams UV Wheel – 50ml for $80 equates to $1.6/ml
    4. Gtechniq C5 – 30ml for $49.99 equates to $1.67/ml
    5. 22ple VM1 - 30ml for $109.99 equates to $3.67/ml

    DLUX gets the top spot on overall price per ml. It is also the most versatile coating as it can be used on wheels, plastics, trim, metal rubber, etc.

    22ple VM1 has the highest cost per ml. Their products are generally priced higher than other brands and in most cases the average user is turned off by the price. But from my experience, 22ple VM1 has the overall best performance (durability, self cleaning) between my experience with C5 and DLUX. This could always change if I find another wheel coating that rivals 22ple. So for me the performance offsets the cost.

    Based on durability. I can not comment on the overall performance of Adams or Drexler. My experience with those products are pending as they are new to me. I will provide feedback after a year of testing them.

    1. 22ple VM1 - After 12 months its hydrophobic properties are still present. Still the best self cleaning up to this time frame. Two layers applied.
    2. CarPro DLUX - After about 12 months it lost its hydrophobic properties and turned to sheeting. Self cleaning degraded. One layer applied
    3. Gtechniq C5 - After about 10-11 months it lost its hydrophobic properties and turned to sheeting. Self cleaning degraded. One layer applied
    4. Gyeon Rim - After about 8-9 months it lost its hydrophobic properties and turned to sheeting. Self cleaning degraded. One layer applied.


    For those interested in seeing the slickness and water behavior then feel free to watch the videos.




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  3. #2
    Senior Member vobro's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Great write up! I’ve used CQDLUX the most but recently tried the Adams Paint and Wheel coatings and really enjoyed the uv feature. It really helps on intricate curves and will let you know heavy/thin areas, I also noticed a higher gloss with the Adams although that’s probably going to be a short term thing.

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    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    I did a bit [small bit] searching online a couple days ago for a long term 50/50 test between a coated wheel vs. uncoated wheel and couldnít find a true test done right that shows the actual difference... Why hasnít anyone done that?
    Specifically I think a true long term test should be done by coating 2 wheels on a vehicle and leaving the other 2 on the opposite side uncoated for a minimum of 3 months and showing how maintenance cleanings are done on both sides.

    Has anyone ever done or seen that?

    As far as water beading on wheels? Iíve always been of the opinion that water beads on all wheels at a better than decent level, so Iíve never really seen what Iíd consider impressive water behavior on wheels.. Thatís the main reason I havenít tried a wheel coating yet.. But if someone could truly prove a major difference in self cleaning abilities then I might finally jump into trying a good wheel coating.

  6. #4
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by vobro View Post
    Great write up! I’ve used CQDLUX the most but recently tried the Adams Paint and Wheel coatings and really enjoyed the uv feature. It really helps on intricate curves and will let you know heavy/thin areas, I also noticed a higher gloss with the Adams although that’s probably going to be a short term thing.
    Thanks. Adams has themselves a unique application method that stands out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    I did a bit [small bit] searching online a couple days ago for a long term 50/50 test between a coated wheel vs. uncoated wheel and couldn’t find a true test done right that shows the actual difference... Why hasn’t anyone done that?
    Specifically I think a true long term test should be done by coating 2 wheels on a vehicle and leaving the other 2 on the opposite side uncoated for a minimum of 3 months and showing how maintenance cleanings are done on both sides.

    Has anyone ever done or seen that?

    As far as water beading on wheels? I’ve always been of the opinion that water beads on all wheels at a better than decent level, so I’ve never really seen what I’d consider impressive water behavior on wheels.. That’s the main reason I haven’t tried a wheel coating yet.. But if someone could truly prove a major difference in self cleaning abilities then I might finally jump into trying a good wheel coating.
    Sounds like you volunteered yourself to perform this test and review.

  7. #5
    Senior Member Desertnate's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Great write up! This is the only example I can think of which has this many coatings all in one place.

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guz View Post
    The benefit of a wheel coating is that they are rated for higher temperatures. With that said for a daily driver one will not approach those high temperatures thus my comment about just using the same paint coating on the wheels as on the paint. For those that do some sort of track driving, then a wheel coating makes sense as the wheels and calipers see higher temperatures and in general more abuse.
    Nothing scientific, but I routinely autocrossed my last car with the summer wheels coated by CQuartz "regular" coating. Between daily driving and the autocross, I still saw two full warm seasons and they were well into the third season when I sold them and the car. Granted, autocrossing doesn't generate heat in the brakes like a track day, but they do still get pretty hot for short periods of time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    As far as water beading on wheels? I’ve always been of the opinion that water beads on all wheels at a better than decent level, so I’ve never really seen what I’d consider impressive water behavior on wheels.. That’s the main reason I haven’t tried a wheel coating yet.. But if someone could truly prove a major difference in self cleaning abilities then I might finally jump into trying a good wheel coating.
    I agree wheels tend to somehow bead water on their own, but I did see a difference when I coated my wheels. The beads are tighter than a "naked" wheel, and the water tends to sheet off much faster when a coating has been applied. When left to sit in the rain, the wheels seem to have less water standing on them since the beads just roll off.

    When I coated my wheels beading wasn't a priority and I thought self cleaning was, but that too became less of a priority. Over time I noticed the wheels did seem to keep themselves a little cleaner until brake dust built up and smothered the coating. I find the real advantage to coating my wheels is long term protection and ease of cleaning. I drive German cars with performance brakes and they get dirty FAST. Now add the element of driving these cars in the winter when I may only get to wash the wheels once a month, if I'm lucky. For my summer wheels, I've found the coated wheels clean up much easier and faster than one without any LSP or even a sealant like 845. For my winters the same is true, plus they keep the brake dust and winter grime from sticking to the surface in a way that makes it really hard to remove or damage the wheels itself. The coatings hold up for several years of season use versus only a couple months with other products like and AIO, Klasse SG or 845.
    Drop by to see the latest at The Car Geek Blog

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  9. #6
    Senior Member vobro's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    I did a bit [small bit] searching online a couple days ago for a long term 50/50 test between a coated wheel vs. uncoated wheel and couldn’t find a true test done right that shows the actual difference... Why hasn’t anyone done that?
    Specifically I think a true long term test should be done by coating 2 wheels on a vehicle and leaving the other 2 on the opposite side uncoated for a minimum of 3 months and showing how maintenance cleanings are done on both sides.

    Has anyone ever done or seen that?

    As far as water beading on wheels? I’ve always been of the opinion that water beads on all wheels at a better than decent level, so I’ve never really seen what I’d consider impressive water behavior on wheels.. That’s the main reason I haven’t tried a wheel coating yet.. But if someone could truly prove a major difference in self cleaning abilities then I might finally jump into trying a good wheel coating.
    I've noticed the biggest advantage is on the barrel, much easier to keep clean with just soap and water or a rinseless. I hate cleaning wheels but after towing my bass boat on a trip the heavy brake dust is much easier to deal with.

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    Senior Member Eldorado2k's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guz View Post
    Sounds like you volunteered yourself to perform this test and review.
    Normally Iíd be game, but Iím probably the biggest noob when it comes to coatings, so I think any official testing on the matter is better left to 1 of the many Autogeeks with experience in using coatings.

    Besides Iíve done my fair share of experiments, Iíd like to sit back and watch someone else do the work this time around.Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion Calling all coating aficionados.Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

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  13. #8
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Quote Originally Posted by Desertnate View Post
    Great write up! This is the only example I can think of which has this many coatings all in one place.

    Nothing scientific, but I routinely autocrossed my last car with the summer wheels coated by CQuartz "regular" coating. Between daily driving and the autocross, I still saw two full warm seasons and they were well into the third season when I sold them and the car. Granted, autocrossing doesn't generate heat in the brakes like a track day, but they do still get pretty hot for short periods of time.

    I agree wheels tend to somehow bead water on their own, but I did see a difference when I coated my wheels. The beads are tighter than a "naked" wheel, and the water tends to sheet off much faster when a coating has been applied. When left to sit in the rain, the wheels seem to have less water standing on them since the beads just roll off.

    When I coated my wheels beading wasn't a priority and I thought self cleaning was, but that too became less of a priority. Over time I noticed the wheels did seem to keep themselves a little cleaner until brake dust built up and smothered the coating. I find the real advantage to coating my wheels is long term protection and ease of cleaning. I drive German cars with performance brakes and they get dirty FAST. Now add the element of driving these cars in the winter when I may only get to wash the wheels once a month, if I'm lucky. For my summer wheels, I've found the coated wheels clean up much easier and faster than one without any LSP or even a sealant like 845. For my winters the same is true, plus they keep the brake dust and winter grime from sticking to the surface in a way that makes it really hard to remove or damage the wheels itself. The coatings hold up for several years of season use versus only a couple months with other products like and AIO, Klasse SG or 845.
    Thanks. That should be a testament to how good the cquartz coating is. Even Corey mentioned that he used Cquartz UK for wheels as it holds up better than DLUX.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldorado2k View Post
    Normally I’d be game, but I’m probably the biggest noob when it comes to coatings, so I think any official testing on the matter is better left to 1 of the many Autogeeks with experience in using coatings.

    Besides I’ve done my fair share of experiments, I’d like to sit back and watch someone else do the work this time around.Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion Calling all coating aficionados.Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion
    Coatings are not that hard to use. Hopefully you find someone to do this test for you. But you might be waiting awhile.

  14. #9
    Senior Member Sizzle Chest's Avatar
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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Thanks for putting it up over here...some excellent info!
    Scott Harle
    Autodermatology
    #autodermatology


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    Re: Wheel Coating Water Behavior Discussion

    Great write up, appreciate your time and effort.
    I have tried 2 different wheel coatings. Gyeon and GTechniq C5. I found the C5 to last longer and perform better/longer than Gyeon. Debating now to order up another bottle of C5 for 2020 or try something else, so great read.

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