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Pop-top cleaning/maintenance...

bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Hi,
My pop-top roof is beginning to look a bit faded, that said if it's polished it does shine up. However when cleaning/polishing, the cloths used end up being the colour of the roof... Is this happening to others? Is it normal that polishing (or even leathering dry) would lift the colour from the roof? I'm worried that too much polishing will only result in further fading as the colour continues to be lifted...

My van doesn't have metallic paint, but i'm wondering if putting a layer of clear lacquer on the fiberglass roof would both protect it and give it back its shine - anyone any experience of this or can comment on this process?

Cheers
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
498
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Hi,
My pop-top roof is beginning to look a bit faded, that said if it's polished it does shine up. However when cleaning/polishing, the cloths used end up being the colour of the roof... Is this happening to others? Is it normal that polishing (or even leathering dry) would lift the colour from the roof? I'm worried that too much polishing will only result in further fading as the colour continues to be lifted...

My van doesn't have metallic paint, but i'm wondering if putting a layer of clear lacquer on the fiberglass roof would both protect it and give it back its shine - anyone any experience of this or can comment on this process?

Cheers
You have a fibreglass roof so obviously not a California as they are Aluminium. With fibreglass you have a top gel coat which is normally quite thick so wouldn’t worry too much about polishing it all away. It all depends on the quality of the roof when it was made. Try a coloured polish. Putting a coat of lacquer would be very difficult without taking the roof off....
 
bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Thanks for the reply... though just to be clear we're talking here about a T4, which is indeed a California and does have a fiberglass roof...
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
498
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Thanks for the reply... though just to be clear we're talking here about a T4, which is indeed a California and does have a fiberglass roof...
Ok it must be getting on a bit. But the same applies to the polishing.
 
westfalia

westfalia

Top Poster
Messages
3,421
Location
Germany.
Vehicle
T5 SE 174
Hi,
My pop-top roof is beginning to look a bit faded, that said if it's polished it does shine up. However when cleaning/polishing, the cloths used end up being the colour of the roof... Is this happening to others? Is it normal that polishing (or even leathering dry) would lift the colour from the roof?
What kind of polish are you using, maybe before having it lacquered try
some different products.
I use this stuff but its kinda trade only but you can find it online.Its Autosmart stuff.
images-19.jpeg
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

Messages
802
Location
Wiltshire
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
To the best of my knowledge the T4 pop top is painted. Ours is metallic silver so doesn’t fade as it’s a two part paint - colour layer and a clear lacquer. I imagine this clear lacquer could be applied to your single flat colour and should stop the oxidation/fading you’re getting. There are a number of colours that VW used that suffered the same issue, even on metal surfaces and on other vehicles. I had a Mars Red GTI that was forever needing a polish. Fine when you’re 18 and have time on your hands. If I were you I’d put the question to the body shop that did your respray. Nice simple job for them as the pop top is easily masked off from the rest of the Westy.


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bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Thanks for the feedback everyone... But now a little confused, should it be treated as a gelcoat or normal paint finish?
Even it were a gelcoat, would the lacquer idea still be a good one?
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

Messages
802
Location
Wiltshire
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Thanks for the feedback everyone... But now a little confused, should it be treated as a gelcoat or normal paint finish?
Even it were a gelcoat, would the lacquer idea still be a good one?
The gel coat on the Westy roof won’t have any colour in it - or if any it would probably be white. The colour is applied as you would to the body panels. The oxidation on your roof is a paint issue - time and weather are causing the paint surface to break down. Eventually after enough polishing you’ll probably reach the primer coat and then the fibreglass gel coat. Lacquer is most likely your best answer as it provides the glossy finish to the paint. The only issue would be if it’s compatible with a flat colour as it’s most often metallic colours that are two part paints. Your body shop will know for sure.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
498
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Its obviously not got a lacquer finish otherwise you wouldnt be getting any colour on your cloth when polishing. You do normally find with fibreglass that they have a gelcoat but they could have also sprayed the top coat of paint on..Spraying a lacquer coat on could possibly cause problems in the future if it decided to part company with the top coat.
 
mrcheesbrough

mrcheesbrough

Messages
802
Location
Wiltshire
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
Its obviously not got a lacquer finish otherwise you wouldnt be getting any colour on your cloth when polishing. You do normally find with fibreglass that they have a gelcoat but they could have also sprayed the top coat of paint on..Spraying a lacquer coat on could possibly cause problems in the future if it decided to part company with the top coat.
VW obviously don’t think a lacquer coat would be a problem. Ours is factory metallic silver and has one. No more a problem than lacquer parting ways when it’s been applied to paint on a metal surface.


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Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
498
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
VW obviously don’t think a lacquer coat would be a problem. Ours is factory metallic silver and has one. No more a problem than lacquer parting ways when it’s been applied to paint on a metal surface.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Being on a metal surface or Glassfibre makes no difference. Lacquer is normally applied to the paint pretty much straight after it has dried NOT after many many years. Unless the surface is properly prepared there is a good chance it will just peel off making it even worse than before. Clear Lacquer top coats are applied to special paint finishes not just any paint. If you have ever seen paint top coats it isn’t a gloss like on your roof it is a Matt finish and it’s the lacquer top coats that give it the high gloss finish.....
 
bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
seems I've opened a can of worms here.... :rolleyes:
but interesting to hear the comments for/against.
I was curious to know if anyone had tried to do anything like this, or had any experience of the situation.
I'll discuss with the bodyshop and see what they recommend.

:thumb
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
498
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
seems I've opened a can of worms here.... :rolleyes:
but interesting to hear the comments for/against.
I was curious to know if anyone had tried to do anything like this, or had any experience of the situation.
I'll discuss with the bodyshop and see what they recommend.

:thumb
So really in a nutshell, Its the roof and unless its really bad sometimes its best to leave well enough alone.....And to do the job properly you would need to take the roof off the vehicle.....
 
bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
In all honesty, I'm happy to go on polishing it, my concern was this 'loss' of colour into the cloths and whether or not ultimately that would be detrimental...
 
Peter Roberts

Peter Roberts

Messages
498
Location
Carmarthenshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
In all honesty, I'm happy to go on polishing it, my concern was this 'loss' of colour into the cloths and whether or not ultimately that would be detrimental...
If you put a good wax polish with a good quality product it will last a lot longer between polishes. Or better still use a good paint sealant....They last much much longer and give a fabulous finish....
 
bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
If you put a good wax polish with a good quality product it will last a lot longer between polishes. Or better still use a good paint sealant....They last much much longer and give a fabulous finish....
Can you recommend any of these products?
 
bxl_lad

bxl_lad

Its not easy being green...
Messages
575
Location
Brussels, Belgium
Vehicle
T4 PopTop
So.....
Decided to bite the bullet and have the roof clear- coated...
Time will tell if it was the right decision, but for now it looks great!

20200626_174528.jpg
 
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