Nanolex vs Permanon

So back to my car detailing research.

A while back a professional detailer put me onto using Permanon and it has proved to be fantastic! I really like how you simply mix it with water, spray in on and them wipe it off to leave a brilliant shine.

However, I wondered how different a product like Nanolex was? Well, here’s a very interesting video comparison I did on the same panel, washed and clayed prior to using each product. On the left hand side of the panel I used Nanolex and on the right Permanon. Here’s what happening when you hose it down:

As you can see, the water does shed from the Permanon coated part of the paintwork but it doesn’t do that nearly as fast as the Nanolex.

So although it may look like the Nanolex wins hands down there are a few other considerations here.

Firstly, the Nanolex process involved using a Nanolex surface cleaner and then Paint & Alloy Sealant Premium. This means more time is required as well as more product and cleaning material. It isn’t a lot more but it is extra.

The Nanolex items seem not be be as eco-friendly and are certainly more flammable. Also, the Nanolex instructions also state:

“Allow the sealant to cure for a minimum of 2 hours before driving or getting wet.”

Finally, Nanolex only appears to be for paint whereas the Permanon can go on everything. I also haven’t done a price comparison here either yet.

So, I think the next step is to try the Nanolex surface cleaner with the Permanon to see whether that makes any difference (I doubt it, but worth testing).

My thinking is that once you clean the car you should protect the paintwork with Nanolex and then use Permanon over everything including the paintwork. Again, something to test on another panel on the car next time it gets washed.

I’m leaving the panel you see above coated with both sealants to see how they fair over time. I’ll work my way around the remaining panels on the car trying different combinations as part of my ongoing investigations. I’ll also do some more reading on the suppliers web site to see if I can work out what they exactly do and why the results vary.

Stay tuned for more detailing experiments.

Read the fine print

I have been chasing down a solution to my insurance dilemma this week and made a few discoveries.

Firstly, Sal from Racing Red indicated that contrary to what I thought, my existing alarm is not a 3 point alarm because if it was trying to start the car wouldn’t even allow it to crank if it indeed had a 3 point immobilization alarm. Damm! Mine certainly has ignition and cranks if the alarm is not disabled. So the only thing that must be disabled is the fuel pump.

Luckily, he was able to provide me with the name of someone who deals with my aftermarket alarm. A quick conversation with him revealed that he needs to come out to check out exactly how everything is configured. There is a chance that it has not been configured right and can be fixed easily, so I have booked him in to have a closer look this coming week.

I also believe I have done the insurance people an injustice by not fully comprehending their policy. They in fact did not say they wouldn’t insure the car. What they actually specified is that they just won’t insure it against theft until the alarm is verified as 3 point. Thus, even if I can’t get the alarm fixed prior to renewal I can at least have it insured again all other maladies except theft. It pays to read what the offering says and not get too hysterical about it eh?

That however hasn’t prevented me from shopping around a few other providers just to see what is on offer. Always good to get a comparison.

I know that, failing all other options, I can get standard comprehensive insurance from NRMA just like my normal car. Down side is that it will be $500 – $800 more expensive but at least I know I have that available if really needed.

So, I’m still looking to get the question of the configuration of my alarm sorted and once again thanks to Sal for pointing me in the right direction there. I also appreciate now that I overlooked that my current insurer will still insure me, just not for theft until the alarm is verified as 3 point. Finally, I’m still pursuing other insurance options just what to see if on offer.

Hopefully, next week I’ll have some positive news to report about the alarm, which will then put the insurance question to bed for another year.

Insurance woes

As I have said many times, it is not buying an exotic car that is the challenge it is keeping it that can really stress you out. A great example is keeping it insured.

Just before purchasing the F355 I did the rounds of preferred exotic car insurers but discovered, much to my horror, that one of the limitations was the car needed to live in its own secured garage. This was a problem for me since I didn’t have such accommodations.

Luckily, I was able to find an insurer who would provide coverage for my situation. Thus, I could purchase the car.Ah, serenity now.

Fast forward two years and now my insurance on the F355 is once again up for renewal. However, this time it turns out the the current insurer is getting out of the business so I need to apply for cover with a new firm.

I dutifully complete all the forms only to discover that I can’t be insured unless I can confirm the car has an alarm that auto activates and disables the car in three ways!

Now this is a problem, because, being a second hand car and having been through a number of different owners, I have no history on the after market alarm system that is installed in the car. I certainly know that it auto arms as I discovered a few days after purchase, however how can I ‘prove’ that it disables the car in 3 ways?

I understand the requirement from the insurance company and I understand it is totally their prerogative to insure me BUT given the fact that this is a used car how do I go about proving it conforms with their requirements? Surely, they have come across this situation before and can give me some options?

I am pretty sure it does meet the requirements but again, no proof, no insurance, which leaves me probably with the need to search for an insurance alternative. This again will no doubt raise the issue about housing the car in a fully locked garage, once again limiting my options and most likely significantly raising the cost of insuring the F355.

Luckily, I still have some time before the existing insurance expires but I’ll need to get onto it quick smart and start finding out what is available.

This is certainly one of the major learnings I have had about the car. Unless you have a lock up garage in which to store the car your insurance options are somewhat limited, which is somewhat of a pain for those of us who can’t afford a freestanding house (which on average in Sydney at the moment, is far more expensive than a Ferrari!).

So, one of the things you NEED to check before you go out and buy the car of your dreams, is to check how much it will cost to insure in the location where you plan for it live. You may find the results of this somewhat tougher than you think as I have!

Final coat

After the last repair episode I had applied the first coat of paint to the injury.

I now applied a second coat of paint, waited a week and then applied a coat of clear coat to the area. I found that the clear coat did  cause some of the second coat to come off which was a concern.

I made sure that injury had a good coat (perhaps a little too generous with that upon reflection) of clear as well as applying it over some other minor scuffs in the area.



You can see the final before and after shots above. Although far from prefect I am very pleased with what I have been able to achieve having no knowledge at all of how to fix this issue at the start.

With that in mind, here are my learnings:

1. Beware where you reverse so this sort of thing doesn’t happen in the first place. A little bit of caution on my part initially would have avoided this whole thing.

2. Mask the area off using masking tape.

3. Sand back the affected area using 300 – 600 grit sandpaper. 1200 grit will work but you’ll spend a lot more time sanding if you do. You will also probably get better results if you use a machine but you’ll need to be very careful about not taking off too much but I think a machine sander will provider a much smoother overall finish that by hand.

4. Fill the crack. No matter how small it looks you should fill it. I think resin is a better bet however that will generally leave a bulge which needs more sanding back. A filler, like bog, will probably be easier to apply and leave a flatter finished surface resulting in less sanding later. If you do use resin DON’T use the nozzle from the applicator but use a skewer stick to apply the resin into the locations you want. A toothpick is too small for the job in my experience.

5. Clean and sand back before every coat. This ensure a good bonding surface for the next layer.

6. Allow the layer you apply to thoroughly dry. In my case I learnt to leave it at least 7 days!

7. Less is more. You can apply too much paint, too much clear coat and sand too much. If it looks like it is enough then walk away, you can add more later if need be.

8. Be patient. This process will take a while given the need to have everything dry properly.

So where to from here? I’ll touch up a few areas, especially the edges of the repair, and apply clear coat to a few additional spots I painted last week under the car for completeness. I think the final stage of the repair would be to give the area a good polish using a rotary polisher. That should remove some of the bumps I can see in the paint repair as well as blend it a bit better. This doesn’t have to be done immediately as I want to get a dual action rotary polisher but practice doing paint correction on another car before I take the polisher to the F355.

The other job I’ll now look at doing is repairing the other scratches and chips the car has (mainly underneath the front bumper). No need for sanding there. All I should have to do is clean, paint and then apply clear coat. Easy!

Now there are still some hairline cracks in the rear bumper but for the time being I am going to leave those as I don’t think they are worth trying to fix at this stage. Maybe down the track after the area has been polished I will re-evaluate. So all in all a good learning experience and a good (if somewhat imperfect) result.