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Discussion Starter #1
While I'm a confirmed Blackfire user, I've been curious about the latest wave of paint coatings on the market. I purchased a small bottle of Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light for use on my '08 Titan KC LWB. This tow vehicle lives outside 24/7 and endures some of the harshest weather Colorado can throw at it. Even a careful application of Blackfire sealant usually lasts only 1-2 months.

Here's a quick review of the initial application of Crystal Serum Light (CSL)on the Leer shell of my Titan. It was repainted last year and I'd like to keep it looking halfway decent. After careful attention to prepping the surface (where I found some paint spots that were already degrading) with wash and clay. I tried parking the Titan in a shady area behind my garage to apply the Crystal Serum Light. Not ideal, as the instructions say to keep it indoors for the first 12 hours after application. On well, I got up on a ladder and primed the applicator pad with two capfuls (they provide a dropper to aid in this) and worked a 2 X 2' area. Almost as soon as the area was cross-hatched, the coating dried and I used a microfiber cloth to "level" the area, starting from just outside the area.

CSL dries quickly to a high shine with a smooth, slick surface. Working quickly on both sides of the truck, I at least got down one coat on the shell (except those small sections that need a touch up) in about an hour. It seems most of the work is in the preparation, as the application and leveling don't take very long. That's good, as my recovering back was aching after stretching to reach all the sections of this 8' shell later that night. Someday I may do the entire truck, but that's way in the future.



This should be a good test for CSL, as the painted surface was fresh and clean. Then there was sufficient time for it to bond to the paint with clear weather over five days. But there's a late spring rain to snow storm heading in tonight to really scour that surface and welcome it. I'll check it from time-to-time and see how CSL holds up. The hope is the Titan will get 1-3 years of protection from this coating- we'll see!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Yesterday I drove the Titan around town and got to evaluate the CSL on the topper. It clearly beads water like a wax or sealant, but the area I left uncoated (due to the paint problem) didn't bead. Dirt that was left in the snow more easily drained off even without a wash. Neglected to mention the tailgate also got the CSL treatment and will wait until later in the year (when the Blackfire sealant begins to wear off) to coat the rest of the Titan. Apparently, this stuff doesn't easily layer, so it'll be interesting to see how long one coat really lasts.
 

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Summer solstice update: the CSL coating has been blasted by snow and rain this spring and now we'll see how summer heat affects it. The next area to get CSL coated is the hood, as the Blackfire coating is fading pretty quickly. But the durability test of the CSL continues to impress on the shell and tailgate, as water continues to bead on these two sections where it was treated. Still a chore to keep it clean, but as daytime temps reach the upper 90's and into the 100-degree area, there's no rest for the paint!
 

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Well, I may be simply updating this thread for my own benefit, but the CSL trial continues. On a hot July day, I tried washing, claying and polishing the smoke (K51) paint. The hood and A-pillars are unfortunately, beyond help. Sure, the remaining finish looks shiny and the faded areas get a bit less obvious. But what is obvious is that the hood needs a total repaint, no question. Rather than waste any of the precious CSL coating, I elected to pick another area in better shape.

The roof was repainted last summer when the faded paint and white spots became too apparent. It's been fully cured and was Blackfired earlier this year. But that's all gone now, although the paint remains in great shape. I elected to apply CSL, and had to find a nice shady spot to apply it. With temps in the 90 degree F range, the CSL went on quickly and had to be leveled almost as quickly. Leveling with a microfiber cloth both smooths and polishes the coating. That roof is now gleaming and it's off to my favorite paint shop to get an estimate on the hood.
 

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Bummer that you have to paint the hood. My Titan gets a synthetic paint sealant twice a year and it's been holding up well, even after a lot of visits to the car wash.
 

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Bummer that you have to paint the hood. My Titan gets a synthetic paint sealant twice a year and it's been holding up well, even after a lot of visits to the car wash.
Thanks for the reply. My Titan lived a hard life as a Texas work truck before it made it to Colorado. Try as I might, the hood is slowly going, even with two applications of Blackfire sealant a year. What brand of sealant are you using?
 

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I use the sealant from Adam's Polishes. Their HQ isn't too far from you.
 

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Forgot to mention, the CSL coating on the Titan's Leer shell and tailgate continues to look great. Smooth and very shiny with minimal upkeep! It's still early days, but I like the way CSL is working so far.
 

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End-of-summer update: this CSL coating takes a lickin' and keeps on tickin'! Although the Titan stays out 24/7, it seems like a quick rinse or wash to keep the bird poop and dust off is all this truck has needed for almost five months. Still haven't had the hood and fenders painted yet, but it's readily apparent where the CSL has been applied. But the real test still lies ahead, when the fall rains and winter snow fly in Colorado.
 

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Since I'm in the same weather zone (assumption made) I'm hoping for more info on that. Would hate to see what the black will look like when it starts to age.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Since I'm in the same weather zone (assumption made) I'm hoping for more info on that. Would hate to see what the black will look like when it starts to age.
Black is difficult to keep clean and polished. Looks great when new, but unless you have a big garage, your Titan may have to live outside like mine. Worse yet, my smoke paint spent the first four years of life as a work truck in Texas. Since then, I've washed, cleaned, clayed and polished with Blackfire. This works well with my garage kept Nissan and Infiniti, but seems far less effective with the Titan.

It'll be interesting to see how the Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light coating works this winter. That's when automotive paint really needs some protection from Colorado weather. I really love trying to preserve and renew older vehicles like my Titan!
 

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Here it is; the end of November. But the CSL is holding up well on the Titan and shows little sign of deterioration. Water still beads after seven months in our harsh Colorado climate, even though I don't clean the truck or the shell much. No racing until next year, and the true tests of winter await in the coming months.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Happy 2018 and time for a Gtechniq Crystal Serum Light (CSL) update on the Titan. The results are mixed as March starts; I just washed the truck and the horizontal surfaces seem to have very little CSL protection left. That's not the case with the vertical sections like the doors, fenders and sides, which shed water (and dirt) easily. Of course, the hood and sections I did not apply CSL to looked bad. The hood and top of fenders simply need to be repainted, so why waste any detailing time on them?

I'll get the repainting done this spring, along with a new windshield to replace the badly cracked one. But here in Colorado, our springtime often brings a lot of hail and I'm not tempting fate by jumping on all those tasks at once. Sorry for the lack of photos, but that dilapidated hood and cracked windshield just don't let this Titan shine on at this point in time.
 

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Our paint SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


 

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Discussion Starter #17
Whow- my original paint is bad, but not that bad! I notice that picture is of a horizontal surface with peeling clear coat. How are the vertical surfaces on your Red Alert Titan?
 

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The sides look Ok, but the bedsides are showing signs of doing the same thing. I'm beyond pissed, and Nissan just said sorry, it's out of the 3 year warranty. 3 years for paint?? I could choke them.
 

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Our paint SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Holy cow. I kept my 06 outside it was dark blue, when I traded it it was starting to peel some around the rain gutters, but nothing like that. There is no reason for that and should be recalled and honestly if I had, had a problem such as that I would have not purchased another. Owning this one since new, even with a healthy wax the gun metal color of mine seems to chip easily. At only 28k on my 15 I removed my wheel spacers and put my mud flaps back on to save the side of my truck. I have a couple nasty chips I need to touch up before they become a problem.
 

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The sides look Ok, but the bedsides are showing signs of doing the same thing. I'm beyond pissed, and Nissan just said sorry, it's out of the 3 year warranty. 3 years for paint?? I could choke them.
My smoke-colored Titan was purchased after FIVE years of living in Texas as a work truck and that graphite grey paint still looks good...on the sides. But any horizontal surfaces (hood, top of fenders, A-pillars and roof) have really taken the brunt of the damage. Seems to be a trend with modern, water based paints on modern vehicles.
 
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