A couple of months ago, I published an article about my passion for Japanese cars from the ’80s and ’90s. It goes without saying that I think these amazing cars should receive the attention and care they deserve. That’s why I love working on them at my Hampshire-based detailing business. In today’s article, I thought I’d shed some light on some of the intricacies of JDM Car Detailing.
JDM Car Detailing – Showing your car the attention it deserves:
A big concern with these older Japanese cars is rust. So, when it comes to JDM car detailing keeping the undercarriage clean and free from dirt is a must. It’s here that corrosive salt residues gather, and these can accelerate any existing corrosion. At Black River Details, (based in Hampshire), I like to do what is commonly referred to as a “wheels off detail”.
I remove all the wheels and thoroughly clean and decontaminate the arches during the wash process. I make sure to get rid of the compacted mud and dirt that builds up in the lip of the wheel arch. This is important. If it’s not taken care of, it acts like a sponge, holding onto moisture and salt and never really drying out. If that happens, it will eventually lead to rust.
This initial step gets rid of any iron and fallout contamination (usually from the brakes) and any tar spots. After this, I apply some protection to these areas to help keep them cleaner for longer. You’ll also find them easier to clean during the regular wash with this protection.
There are three different types of protection I use in this process:
- A ceramic coating for the plastic arch liner
- A fabric coating for carpeted arch liners
- And finally, a water-based dressing for the rest
Of course, the wheels receive a deep clean and decontamination whilst they’re off the vehicle. I have all the equipment to do this at my Hampshire premises. I’ll use the machine polisher if necessary, then apply a ceramic coating. I’ll usually use something like Kamikaze Collection Stance Rim Coat.
With any JDM car detailing, it’s important to remember these cars are 30+ years old. So, there’s going to be a level of UV degradation to the plastics both on the inside and outside. The most common symptom of this is a cracked dashboard. You often see these on Nissan S13 Silvia’s and 180SX’s. I always take care to protect these materials from harmful UV rays. This ensures that no further degradation of the material occurs.
For any matt finish or textured exterior plastics, it’s simply a case of cleaning and decontaminating the surface before applying a ceramic coating. I like to use Kamikaze Collection Zipang Coat. This product protects and restores the surface.
When it comes to a gloss black plastic, correction via machine polishing is the best option. If they’re too far gone then, they can be repainted gloss black (or any colour you wish). A ceramic coating application is the final finishing touch.
For the interior, you’ll want to ensure the surface is perfectly clean before applying a product like GTechniq C6 Matte Dash for protection.
Another thing I always recommend is to apply a high-quality window tint that blocks UV rays. This offers fantastic protection. Not just for the plastics, but for every part of the interior. You don’t need a super dark tint, even the lightest grade of window tint will provide the same level of UV protection as the darkest grade. Along with UV protection, they will also reflect a lot of heat in the summer months, preventing the interior from baking in hot sun, this only adds to the protection.
At Black River Details we’ve been in the automotive trade for years. Over that time we’ve built up a network of contacts, both here in Hampshire and from further afield. We’re really fortunate to be able to pull in the right people to offer window tinting with a high-quality film. They provide a clean, neat installation that I would be happy with on my own vehicle.
Age-Related Paint Issues:
It’s not just the plastics that can deteriorate with age, so too can the paintwork. Years of outside parking, a failure to decontaminate, improper washing techniques, little to no protection, multiple repainting repairs to panels, etching from bird dropping and water spots, can all lead to pretty tired looking paint. But, this can often be brought back to glory with a full paint correction – a much better alternative to spending upwards of £6k on a respray. Plus, after the paint correction, you can properly protect your vehicle with a high-grade ceramic coating. This coating also ensures that the maintenance of your paint finish is a breeze. Finally, it’ll help to ensure that the vehicle stays in tip-top condition for years to come.
Protecting JDM Cars with the Best in Ceramic Coatings Handmade in Japan:
To finish off this article I have to point out how these JDM cars pair up with what is, so far my favourite company, when it comes to ceramic coatings and paint protection. Of course, I’m talking about Kamikaze Collection who hand-make their products in Yokohama Japan.
From the many years of testing I’ve done with various ceramic coatings from various companies, the coatings from Kamikaze Collection always come out on top. Their best coating at the moment is Zipang Coat. Pair this with Miyabi Coat and you get the best looking coating system I’ve seen. The combination offers outstanding “self-cleaning” characteristics and hydrophobicity.
Kamikaze Collection are not a big company, but what they lack in size they make up for in the passion they have for detailing. Kamikaze Collection products are made by and made for detailers. The company is forever updating and reformulating their products to take them to the next level. In my career as a professional car detailer, I haven’t discovered anything else that comes close. I can confidently say that the investment in becoming a Kamikaze Collection Certified Detailer (based in Hampshire) has paid off and I’m super excited to see what they come up with for 2021.
Something we’ve seen in the last ten years is the steady rise in the value of these JDM cars. The most notable examples having crossed well into six figures. So it makes sense to ensure that if you are lucky enough to own one of these vehicles, you keep it in the best condition that it can be. Professional JDM car detailing, by someone who really understands these vehicles can increase a car’s value by a significant amount depending on the condition. Once detailed and with the proper maintenance, they will stay looking their best for years to come.
So, if you’re ready to show your ’80s or ’90s JDM Car some love we can help. We’re based close to Petersfield in Hampshire, contact us HERE.