Nissan Skyline GT-R (R33) – Restoring A Japanese Classic (Part 2)
With the paintwork now corrected and refined, it was time to turn attention to protecting the various substrates and completing the finishing touches that would completely transform the GT-R.
First up, it was important to carefully apply the newly arrived Nissan badges and vinyl stickers to the uncoated paintwork.
Fitting the badges and stickers is a painstaking job. In particular the stickers, where great care has to be taken to ensure they are applied in the original factory position and without air bubbles! However, once applied they looked great. The overall appearance of the Skyline was really starting to come together. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
The first substrate to be protected was the paintwork, so the Skyline was sprayed with Gtechniq Panel Wipe to remove any polish or silicone residues which would interfere with the bonding of the protective coating. The GT-R’s owner had elected for a Platinum upgrade to the detailing package, so Japan’s finest ceramic coating, Kamikaze Collection ENREI was used.
The name ‘ENREI’ is derived from a combination of two Japanese words, En (gloss) and Rei (glamorous beauty) and is a two-step protection system involving the application of two separate coats. Base Primer Coat is organic polysiloxane-based. It acts as a primer, exploiting the molecular matrix of the clear coat, penetrating it to form strong chemical bonds. In addition to ensuring the surface is completely uniform, Base Primer Coat increases the bonding potential for the second layer; Top Coat. This second coat is inorganic siloxane-based, containing smaller molecules with a high affinity for the molecules in the base layer. This ensures a stronger and highly condensed bond compared with many other nano coatings. This prevents the water spotting issue commonly associated with nano sealants.
The application of ENREI has to be conducted following a strictly defined method, researched and developed over many months by Kamikaze Collection.
Kamikaze Collection found that in addition to the coating itself affecting performance and longevity, the way you apply it also has a major effect. Therefore, there is a designated and very specific way to apply and buff off the product. Additionally, ambient air temperature and humidity must be within set parameters to ensure it cures for maximum performance. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Once applied, ENREI discourages water and dirt from adhering to the treated surface. This has the combined effect of keeping the surface cleaner for longer and also making the contamination easier to remove, helping prevent swirls being introduced at the wash stage. ENREI is suitable for use on most surface types including freshly painted.
The intricacies of ENREI require detailers to receive specialist training in its application. On completion of training, they receive a certificate of competency endorsed by Kamikaze Collection. Only a select number of professionals worldwide are qualified and authorised to apply ENREI and Kamikaze Collection plans to keep the number limited to guarantee quality and performance.
Dirty water, grime and oils collected from everyday road use adhere to wheel lacquer and, as the wheels are hot, the contamination quickly become baked on. Brake dust particles can be even more damaging as they bond while hot and begin oxidising quickly, swelling as they do so and, left long enough, can cause pitting in the surface. To protect the wheels and prevent this type of damage, the owner specified Alloy Wheel Protection using Kamikaze Collection Stance Rim Coat. This unique coating forms a heat resistant barrier that repels water, dirt, oils and grime as well as inhibiting the build-up of brake dust. In addition, treated rims are easier to clean during the weekly wash.
To repair stone chip damage on the top front grille, the ChipEx Paint Chip Repair System was used.
Unlike many stone chip repair systems, ChipEx uses the manufacturer’s paint code to ensure the colour match is exact. After wiping the grille with a cleansing solution to remove any residues, the paint is dabbed onto the affected area using a special tool supplied by ChipEx. The new paint is flattened and blended before being left to dry.
Kamikaze Collection Intenso Window Coat was applied to the windows to provide a hydrophobic barrier.
Rainwater contains industrial and environmental fallout as well as general dirt and grit. Applying a hydrophobic coating to the windows means rainwater is encouraged to roll into beads and blow away, rather than adhering to the glass. As the water disperses, the contamination is removed, so windows stay cleaner, longer. It also makes driving less tiring during inclement weather. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
Over time, from repeatedly being squashed as the doors are open and closed, and the effect of UV rays, rubber seals can become cracked and deflated. As a natural substance, rubber requires a specialist product to keep it supple and in good condition. To plump the rubber seals and to restore the colour, Swissvax Seal Feed was applied. Once reconditioned, the seals will help to reduce road and wind noise within the cabin.
The headlight covers are also susceptible to damage from UV, causing them to become yellowed. Poor washing techniques and general use had resulted in them also becoming hazy. The plastics were restored and then protected using Meguiar’s two-step Perfect Clarity Headlight Restoration Kit.
The rear light covers had not been as badly affected, however, these too were polished and then protected.
The interior of the Skyline had also been refurbished, with the seats reupholstered in black Nappa leather, the dashboard and various panels replaced, a new steering wheel and new floor mats. After vacuuming the interior, the new leather was lightly cleaned using Colourlock Mild Leather Cleaner, a light foam solution. The foam is applied using a sponge to ensure the cleaner gets into the leather grain to lift out dirt and grease. The area is then wiped using a soft microfibre to remove the residue. Once dry, the leather was protected using Colourlock Leather Shield. Sprayed on, Leather Shield provides an abrasion resistant and hydrophobic barrier that repels dust. As it does not involve heavy conditioning cream, Leather Shield does not leave a glossy, slippery residue on the leather. This avoids the issue of dust and dirt sticking to the residue which, when combined with the effect of someone sitting on the leather creates a grinding paste that ultimately would damage the leather finish. Additionally, Leather Shield provides UV protection, helping to prevent the black pigment from drying out, cracking and fading, common issues caused by exposure to the sun.
Using a thick conditioning cream is unnecessary on new leather as it cannot be absorbed easily and tends to leave a glossy residue which attracts dust. In turn, friction turns this into an abrasive paste. Over time, this will wear away the surface of the leather leaving the colour patchy. Leather Shield simply provides an anti-static, hydrophobic barrier that helps prevent stains and whilst protecting from UV rays. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
The carpets and new custom mats were sprayed with Gtechniq I1-AB Smart Fabric. As well as protecting the fibres from stains from sources such as accidental drink spillages and muddy water, I1AB carries a persistent antibacterial function. Unpleasant and lingering smells are often caused by bacteria and mildew both of which are inhibited by I1-AB, helping to keep the interior of the car smelling fresh.
The Skyline was a big project and it’s been a pleasure being able to restore this classic sports car to its former glory. – Matt Back, UF Detailing Studio
With the GT-R cosmetically looking better than when it left the factory some 22 years ago and the soft paint protected with the best money can buy, this Japanese classic will be turning heads for many more years to come!
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