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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Detailing 101: Common Question and Answers, What and Where to buy stuff + Technique



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      06-12-2007, 12:13 PM   #155
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David, thanks for the helpful info, but here is how I do it every 3 months.

1. Wash with Z7
2. Then with Z5
3. Z2
4. Finish with Z6

On the regular wash (every 2 weeks), I will just wash with Z7 and finish with Z6. Let me know what you think. Thank you.
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      06-12-2007, 02:48 PM   #156
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Originally Posted by misterng View Post
David, thanks for the helpful info, but here is how I do it every 3 months.

1. Wash with Z7
2. Then with Z5
3. Z2
4. Finish with Z6

On the regular wash (every 2 weeks), I will just wash with Z7 and finish with Z6. Let me know what you think. Thank you.
That is a good plan as well! Nothing wrong with that. I'm just getting lazy, and because of that I usually add more Z2 or Z5 after 6 months. And the beauty of Zaino is that it will last well beyond even the 6 month mark.
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      06-12-2007, 03:00 PM   #157
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That is a good plan as well! Nothing wrong with that. I'm just getting lazy, and because of that I usually add more Z2 or Z5 after 6 months. And the beauty of Zaino is that it will last well beyond even the 6 month mark.
One question, if I use other wax products in between, for example "turtle wax" and finish with Z6. Would that work? Would the Z6 wipes away those waxes? Thanks.
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      06-12-2007, 06:29 PM   #158
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For example, if you want to give your paint a good cleaning and throw on only one coat of sealant, then you can use AIO and Z2.
So I've already washed it, used AIO, ZFX enabled Z2, then Z6. I ran out of time before I was able to add the 2nd coat of ZFX enabled Z2. It's now dirty, so I need to wash it again. That's fine. Can I wash, then add Z2? Or must I AIO to prep for the Z2? Also, my Z2 was mixed with ZFX will be about 5 days old before I use it again. Is that OK?

I've thrown a bit of a twist in this process by doing only 1 coat of sealant, and then coming back days later.
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      06-13-2007, 09:23 AM   #159
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One question, if I use other wax products in between, for example "turtle wax" and finish with Z6. Would that work? Would the Z6 wipes away those waxes? Thanks.
If you want to add more layers of Zaino Z2 or Z5 after you have used the turtle wax, then no, it will not work. the Z6 will not wipe it away. My advice, Use Z2 or Z5 once every three months, and use your Z6 every few washes in between to help rejuvenate it. Don't bother with any other wax products.
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      06-13-2007, 09:32 AM   #160
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So I've already washed it, used AIO, ZFX enabled Z2, then Z6. I ran out of time before I was able to add the 2nd coat of ZFX enabled Z2. It's now dirty, so I need to wash it again. That's fine. Can I wash, then add Z2? Or must I AIO to prep for the Z2? Also, my Z2 was mixed with ZFX will be about 5 days old before I use it again. Is that OK?

I've thrown a bit of a twist in this process by doing only 1 coat of sealant, and then coming back days later.
ZAIO is only required for the first coat of Z2 (or Z5). Any subsequent coats, up to 10, can be added over top 24 hours apart without using ZAIO again. As for ZFX, it is only required in two scenarios; 1) You want to apply up to 3 coats of Z2 (or Z5) in one 24 hour period; 2) You only want to apply one layer of Z2 (or Z5) but do not want to use ZAIO. ZFX is also a bonding agent like ZAIO and can be used for just the first coat as well. Any subsequent coats (without ZFX), up to 10, can be added over top 24 hours apart.

In terms of the Z2 + ZFX you mixed 5 days ago, throw it away. It's garbage. Any ZFX enabled Z2 or Z5 needs to be used within 24 hours of mixing.
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      06-13-2007, 11:44 AM   #161
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ZAIO is only required for the first coat of Z2 (or Z5). Any subsequent coats, up to 10, can be added over top 24 hours apart without using ZAIO again. As for ZFX, it is only required in two scenarios; 1) You want to apply up to 3 coats of Z2 (or Z5) in one 24 hour period; 2) You only want to apply one layer of Z2 (or Z5) but do not want to use ZAIO. ZFX is also a bonding agent like ZAIO and can be used for just the first coat as well. Any subsequent coats (without ZFX), up to 10, can be added over top 24 hours apart.

In terms of the Z2 + ZFX you mixed 5 days ago, throw it away. It's garbage. Any ZFX enabled Z2 or Z5 needs to be used within 24 hours of mixing.
Thanks, David. I called Zaino, as I wanted to talk about this, and learned that AIO, because it is a mild abrasive, will remove any Z2. Therefore, (and supporting what you said), I only want to use AIO for the full twice yearly detail. At this point, since I've already AIO'd, I'll wash, dry, and if I want to do 2 more coats of Z2, I need to enable it with ZFX. If I decide I only want 1 additional coat of Z2, I'll put straight on - no ZFX.

And I did confirm w/ the Zaino rep (Mr. Zaino or owner?) one always wants to use a damp applicator pad with any liquid polish or sealant.

Who ever thought detailing the paint could be so complex?? Once you learn it, it all comes together.
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      06-13-2007, 01:55 PM   #162
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Yup, that's correct. AIO will remove any previous layers of Z2 or Z5.

It sounds like you got it! Let us know how your continued detailing goes!
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      06-13-2007, 02:34 PM   #163
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David, is it necessary to has ZAIO as a base coat before Z5 or Z2? I hate anything that has residue in it, so I just wash my car with Z7 and spray some turtle wet wax on top of the wet car and wipe it dry, then Z5, Z2 and Z6 (every 3 months) and only Z7, turtle wet wax and Z6 on regular wash (every 2 weeks). I also use turtle wet wax on the wheels after each wash and wipe it dry and realize that the wheels are more shinny, smooth and last longer (without brake dust), or should I try Z6 on the wheels as well (Zaino stated that Z6 is the antistatic formula that will reduce dust and dirt pickup by 60%)? Let me know your opinion. Thanks.
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      06-13-2007, 06:36 PM   #164
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David, is it necessary to has ZAIO as a base coat before Z5 or Z2? I hate anything that has residue in it, so I just wash my car with Z7 and spray some turtle wet wax on top of the wet car and wipe it dry, then Z5, Z2 and Z6 (every 3 months) and only Z7, turtle wet wax and Z6 on regular wash (every 2 weeks). I also use turtle wet wax on the wheels after each wash and wipe it dry and realize that the wheels are more shinny, smooth and last longer (without brake dust), or should I try Z6 on the wheels as well (Zaino stated that Z6 is the antistatic formula that will reduce dust and dirt pickup by 60%)? Let me know your opinion. Thanks.
You only need to use ZAIO for the first coat of Z2 or Z5 (whichever you apply first). The next 10 coats (spaced 24 hours apart) of Z2 or Z5 you apply can be applied without using ZAIO.

Now in terms of the turtle wax, like I said before, don't use it. It will inhibit any future layers of Z2 or Z5 you apply in between your big details (when you will use ZAIO). If you like what the turtle wax spray wax gives you, then I'd suggest buying the Zaino equivalent, Z8. It is also a spray wax that is compatible with the Zaino system. It will give the extrra glow you like. You can also use it on wheels.
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      06-15-2007, 08:28 PM   #165
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David,

I've read every post in this thread and I wanted to ask you something that I did not really see addressed.

I have a 2006 330i which I keep impeccably clean. But living in Germany and reaching 120 mph and higher I have a real problem with bugs. I've tried bug remover (Turtle wax) and spend way too much time trying to high pressure wash the bugs off (which I know is not the best for the paint). I've considered a clear bra but I like the challenge.

What is the best method to remove these bugs? This just drives me absolutely nuts. I just ordered some Mother's Clay although I'm still a "clay virgin." Will that help? Anyway TIA for any help you can provide.
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      06-16-2007, 12:13 PM   #166
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David,

I've read every post in this thread and I wanted to ask you something that I did not really see addressed.

I have a 2006 330i which I keep impeccably clean. But living in Germany and reaching 120 mph and higher I have a real problem with bugs. I've tried bug remover (Turtle wax) and spend way too much time trying to high pressure wash the bugs off (which I know is not the best for the paint). I've considered a clear bra but I like the challenge.

What is the best method to remove these bugs? This just drives me absolutely nuts. I just ordered some Mother's Clay although I'm still a "clay virgin." Will that help? Anyway TIA for any help you can provide.
Normally I would say car wash soap would be enough to get the bug guts off provided you have a good coat of wax or sealant on he paint. However, if the bug guts are really baked in and hard to remove, then you will need a dedicated tar and bug remover. I believe 3M makes a good one that should take care of your bug problem. One thing to keep in mind, aggressive tar and bug removers will take off any wax o sealant you applied, so you will need to re-wax/seal once you are done.
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      06-16-2007, 06:35 PM   #167
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Normally I would say car wash soap would be enough to get the bug guts off provided you have a good coat of wax or sealant on he paint. However, if the bug guts are really baked in and hard to remove, then you will need a dedicated tar and bug remover. I believe 3M makes a good one that should take care of your bug problem. One thing to keep in mind, aggressive tar and bug removers will take off any wax o sealant you applied, so you will need to re-wax/seal once you are done.

Thanks, I'll give the 3M a shot. The issue I have is that although I don't use the car as a daily driver, I do take it on long trips. I've been to Italy twice and to Finland with it and when bugs are hitting your vehicle at 120mph over a 600 to 1000 mile trip it really accumulates. On the Finland trip I even washed it about half way to remove the 4311 bugs that met their death on my grille and windshield but it still took me three washes to get all the bugs off once I returned.

FWIW I spoke to an M3 owner today at the carwash (I was washing the wife's Ford there not my rig) and he also has read your advice and just ordered some clay. Neither of us had ever even heard of this before reading this thread.
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      06-16-2007, 07:33 PM   #168
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Finishing My Twice-Yearly Zaino Detail

Using all Zaino products (except the clay) I just finished washing my car to prepare it for a 2nd coat of Z2. One thing I immediately noticed was how the mitt literally glided over the paint. Amazing. This was due to almost fully detailing the car last week. I ran out of time and had to stop after wash, dry, clay, AIO, one coat of Z2, and finishing with Z6. While washing, I was very aware to rinse the mitt after each use (both sides) with moderate force water. Doing this, after fully washing the car, my bucket of soapy water looked like it had not been used. Paying attention like this, you will never introduce dirty (contaminated) water to your car.

After washing and drying, I checked the bottom 12 inches, all the way around the car, especially the front, for any touch up opportunities for clay. I found a few. One area the clay really worked well was inside the driver and passenter doors, the area where the driver or passenter lift their feet to get in. I wasn't able to remove the black scratches/streaks with the mitt and soapy water, but the clay took it right off. Very very nice.

After wringing out the excess water from my applicator, and applying Z2, I immediately realized how easy the 2nd coat of Z2 went on. Although it still required a bit more effort to remove. I find it difficult to see where I applied the Z2 and where I have not. My color is BMW's Titanium Silver, and it is just hard to see the difference. I need to come up with a pattern to memorize so I don't have to rely on my eyes.

I'm now taking a short break, and off to Z8 it. I didn't use ZFX in my Z2, so I cannot put on another coat, but I don't think I want to at this time, anyway. It looks great, and I can't wait for the Z8. That clay is pure magic, David. I'm so pleased I read this post and am now familiar with clay. It really works.

EDIT: Just finished the Z8. Well, I've never seen my paint look like this. I don't even remember it looking this good new, though it was in May '99. The Z8 is like a low viscosity cough syrup! Kind of orangish-yellowish, and even smells sweet. I could put a third coat of Z2 on, perhaps on the next normal wash in 2-3 weeks.

One thing I like A LOT re: cleaning the wheels is that after I clean them as the first step of the wash using soapy water and three different Oxo brushes (LOVE the brushes, bought them as a kit), I then clean them (both wheel and tire) really well using the cleaner high-gloss wheel cleaner David recommended. So the wheels are all detailed BEFORE I even begin washing the car. That way, when the car is finished and nice and clean, I don't have the ugly brake dust to content with while I'm drying my clean car. The wheels and tires are now wet, and wiping them with another clean towel gets them just a bit cleaner. In the past I'd detail the tires at the end, but I like detailing them first much better.

One last tip - everything you do to your paint (except maybe bug remover), such as polish, Z2, Z6, Z8, etc., do to your wheels. David, I don't recall if you've mentioned this, but the guy at Zaino told me this, and I love that tip.

Last edited by rtjones; 06-16-2007 at 08:22 PM.
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      06-18-2007, 12:36 AM   #169
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Poorboy's Wheel Sealant

David,

The thread "Performing your own new car prep" suggests Poorboy's Wheel Sealant. If I'm treating my wheels as I am my paint, is this needed? Does it provide easier cleaning and/or better defense against brake dust, etc.? Yesterday I put on a coat of Z2 and Z8, and did the same for my wheels, and can't imagine them looking any better (unless I take them off my car for more thorough cleaning).

Also, finishing my detailing today I realized I do not have any interior trim cleaner (i.e., dash, door trim, etc.). The thread mentioned above suggests Aerospace 303 for the trim. Is this your choice for interior trim, or if not, what is? Is the product called "Aerospace 303 Protectant"?

I took a shortcut today, and actually used Mother's FX Tire Shine, even though I wouldn't use it long term. I first put it on my applicator pad, and the interior looks really good, though I do want to buy some proper interior trim protectant/cleaner.

EDIT: Another question, David. I do have a couple very minor scratches in my car, that I didn't even notice until it was detailed. You have stressed that swirls cannot be removed by hand. I'm a bit confused reading Zaino's application instructions for their Z-PC. In part, it reads,

"For HAND use: apply a small amount of Zaino Z-PC Fusion to a cotton or foam applicator pad (draw an "X" from corner-to corner of your pad). Work a small area (no bigger than 2' x 2') with the Zaino Fusion, using firm motions. Work the product for as long as necessary - stop to occasionally check your progress. Circular motions may be used, but always finish with front-to-back or up-and-down motions...".

It then continues with directions for machine use. What is your take on this?

Thanks,
Ron

Last edited by rtjones; 06-18-2007 at 03:05 AM.
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      06-18-2007, 01:04 PM   #170
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Thanks, I'll give the 3M a shot. The issue I have is that although I don't use the car as a daily driver, I do take it on long trips. I've been to Italy twice and to Finland with it and when bugs are hitting your vehicle at 120mph over a 600 to 1000 mile trip it really accumulates. On the Finland trip I even washed it about half way to remove the 4311 bugs that met their death on my grille and windshield but it still took me three washes to get all the bugs off once I returned.

FWIW I spoke to an M3 owner today at the carwash (I was washing the wife's Ford there not my rig) and he also has read your advice and just ordered some clay. Neither of us had ever even heard of this before reading this thread.
I'm glad people are seeing the thread and taking back some of the tips! Clay is great stuff and can make a real different in how your paint feels!
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      06-18-2007, 01:06 PM   #171
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Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
Using all Zaino products (except the clay) I just finished washing my car to prepare it for a 2nd coat of Z2. One thing I immediately noticed was how the mitt literally glided over the paint. Amazing. This was due to almost fully detailing the car last week. I ran out of time and had to stop after wash, dry, clay, AIO, one coat of Z2, and finishing with Z6. While washing, I was very aware to rinse the mitt after each use (both sides) with moderate force water. Doing this, after fully washing the car, my bucket of soapy water looked like it had not been used. Paying attention like this, you will never introduce dirty (contaminated) water to your car.

After washing and drying, I checked the bottom 12 inches, all the way around the car, especially the front, for any touch up opportunities for clay. I found a few. One area the clay really worked well was inside the driver and passenter doors, the area where the driver or passenter lift their feet to get in. I wasn't able to remove the black scratches/streaks with the mitt and soapy water, but the clay took it right off. Very very nice.

After wringing out the excess water from my applicator, and applying Z2, I immediately realized how easy the 2nd coat of Z2 went on. Although it still required a bit more effort to remove. I find it difficult to see where I applied the Z2 and where I have not. My color is BMW's Titanium Silver, and it is just hard to see the difference. I need to come up with a pattern to memorize so I don't have to rely on my eyes.

I'm now taking a short break, and off to Z8 it. I didn't use ZFX in my Z2, so I cannot put on another coat, but I don't think I want to at this time, anyway. It looks great, and I can't wait for the Z8. That clay is pure magic, David. I'm so pleased I read this post and am now familiar with clay. It really works.

EDIT: Just finished the Z8. Well, I've never seen my paint look like this. I don't even remember it looking this good new, though it was in May '99. The Z8 is like a low viscosity cough syrup! Kind of orangish-yellowish, and even smells sweet. I could put a third coat of Z2 on, perhaps on the next normal wash in 2-3 weeks.

One thing I like A LOT re: cleaning the wheels is that after I clean them as the first step of the wash using soapy water and three different Oxo brushes (LOVE the brushes, bought them as a kit), I then clean them (both wheel and tire) really well using the cleaner high-gloss wheel cleaner David recommended. So the wheels are all detailed BEFORE I even begin washing the car. That way, when the car is finished and nice and clean, I don't have the ugly brake dust to content with while I'm drying my clean car. The wheels and tires are now wet, and wiping them with another clean towel gets them just a bit cleaner. In the past I'd detail the tires at the end, but I like detailing them first much better.

One last tip - everything you do to your paint (except maybe bug remover), such as polish, Z2, Z6, Z8, etc., do to your wheels. David, I don't recall if you've mentioned this, but the guy at Zaino told me this, and I love that tip.
Ron, it sounds like you had a very gratifying detailing session.

Looking back, I don't think I mentioned to people that they treat their wheels the same as their paint (wash, clay, polish, seal). I should have. This is what I do when I detail. The gentleman you spoke with at Zaino was correct in suggesting that to you.
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      06-18-2007, 01:13 PM   #172
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David,

The thread "Performing your own new car prep" suggests Poorboy's Wheel Sealant. If I'm treating my wheels as I am my paint, is this needed? Does it provide easier cleaning and/or better defense against brake dust, etc.? Yesterday I put on a coat of Z2 and Z8, and did the same for my wheels, and can't imagine them looking any better (unless I take them off my car for more thorough cleaning).

Also, finishing my detailing today I realized I do not have any interior trim cleaner (i.e., dash, door trim, etc.). The thread mentioned above suggests Aerospace 303 for the trim. Is this your choice for interior trim, or if not, what is? Is the product called "Aerospace 303 Protectant"?

I took a shortcut today, and actually used Mother's FX Tire Shine, even though I wouldn't use it long term. I first put it on my applicator pad, and the interior looks really good, though I do want to buy some proper interior trim protectant/cleaner.

EDIT: Another question, David. I do have a couple very minor scratches in my car, that I didn't even notice until it was detailed. You have stressed that swirls cannot be removed by hand. I'm a bit confused reading Zaino's application instructions for their Z-PC. In part, it reads,

"For HAND use: apply a small amount of Zaino Z-PC Fusion to a cotton or foam applicator pad (draw an "X" from corner-to corner of your pad). Work a small area (no bigger than 2' x 2') with the Zaino Fusion, using firm motions. Work the product for as long as necessary - stop to occasionally check your progress. Circular motions may be used, but always finish with front-to-back or up-and-down motions...".

It then continues with directions for machine use. What is your take on this?

Thanks,
Ron
I've never used the PB wheel sealant. I only use Z2 on my rims and I am very happy with how it performs. IMO, don't waste your money on any wheel specific sealant. Your Zaino will do a fine job (if not better) on your rims.

The product for use on interiors is called 303 Aerospace Protectant. I personally very rarely use a product on my dash. I prefer to just dust with a damp MF towel and leave it at that. However, in the odd times I have applied a dressing to the dash, I have reached for 303. It is water based and has UV protection.

For the most part, swirls cannot be properly removed by had, which is why I always recommend a machine for swirl removal. However, for faint spot swirls here and there, you can give the ZPC a whirl by hand. I have used it by hand on my Boston Green paint with good success on very faint towel swirls.
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      06-18-2007, 01:19 PM   #173
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I've never used the PB wheel sealant. I only use Z2 on my rims and I am very happy with how it performs. IMO, don't waste your money on any wheel specific sealant. Your Zaino will do a fine job (if not better) on your rims.

The product for use on interiors is called 303 Aerospace Protectant. I personally very rarely use a product on my dash. I prefer to just dust with a damp MF towel and leave it at that. However, in the odd times I have applied a dressing to the dash, I have reached for 303. It is water based and has UV protection.

For the most part, swirls cannot be properly removed by had, which is why I always recommend a machine for swirl removal. However, for faint spot swirls here and there, you can give the ZPC a whirl by hand. I have used it by hand on my Boston Green paint with good success on very faint towel swirls.
Thanks, David. Yeah, my scratches, though minor, are a bit deeper than faint towel swirls. So when the time comes (6 months), I'll buy the orbiter. Cheers.
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      06-18-2007, 06:34 PM   #174
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You only need to use ZAIO for the first coat of Z2 or Z5 (whichever you apply first). The next 10 coats (spaced 24 hours apart) of Z2 or Z5 you apply can be applied without using ZAIO.
David, after using AIO, how many days/weeks can I continue applying Z2 whenever I wish, without applying more AIO? From your quote here I see I can go at least 10 days. What if I want to Z2 my car after my next wash in 2 weeks? That will be 3 weeks since the last AIO.

Also, under normal circumstances, how often do you recommend claying? I'm so pleased with the results, I would like to do it every two weeks, but it removes my Z2 sealant, AND it takes a lot of time and effort to clay a car. If once a year is OK, I'd like to do the full detail every six months, and claying every other detail. What do you think of that? Thanks.
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      06-19-2007, 11:19 AM   #175
DavidN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtjones View Post
David, after using AIO, how many days/weeks can I continue applying Z2 whenever I wish, without applying more AIO? From your quote here I see I can go at least 10 days. What if I want to Z2 my car after my next wash in 2 weeks? That will be 3 weeks since the last AIO.

Also, under normal circumstances, how often do you recommend claying? I'm so pleased with the results, I would like to do it every two weeks, but it removes my Z2 sealant, AND it takes a lot of time and effort to clay a car. If once a year is OK, I'd like to do the full detail every six months, and claying every other detail. What do you think of that? Thanks.
You need to use a Zaino bonding agent(ZAIO or ZFX) with your Z2/Z5 after 10 coats of Z2/Z5 have been applied to the paint or after 6 months haave elapsed, whichever occurs first. So if you apply 10 coats of Z2 in 10 days, then you will need to use ZFX with the next layer of Z2 (I wouldn't AIO in this scenario because you will remove the previous 10 days/layers worth of work).

In terms of claying, I say once or twice a year during your big detail is plenty. Every 2 weeks is overkill.
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      06-19-2007, 12:52 PM   #176
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Between this post, a couple other stickies within "Wash, Wax, Detailing and Exterior repairs", the Zaino website, there I've read and learned a tremendous amount of info on detailing, and specifically how to use the Zaino products.

I've changed my routines for my cars. One thing I learned from detailing my '99 328i over the last couple of weeks is - it's a lot of work!!!

Once I receive my new 335i, and do the initial prep, my maintenance on both cars will be:

Full detail every year:
- wash/dry
- clay
- Z-AIO
- Z5/ZFX
- Z6
- Z2
- Z8
- interior trim, leather

Mini detail every year (alternating 6 months):

- wash/dry
- Z5/ZFX
- Z6
- Z2
- Z8

If a light polish and clay once a year is good enough for picus, it is good enough for me. The guys at Zaino also recommend claying once a year. In between wash every 1-3 weeks (depending on how dirty it is) with Z7 and finishing with Z6, vacuum, clean dash/interior trim as necessary. Between the 2 cars, this will give me my fill for auto detailing! Thanks all for your inputs. Special thanks to David, picus and George. It is greatly appreciated.

EDIT: I also plan on buying David's recommended polisher before doing my 2nd car - it should be much much easier putting on the AIO, and 2 coats of sealant.
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