Keep Your Cool
Installing CoolCar's Ceramic Coating
By Peter Daniels

   Hot and noisy may be fine if you are at the football game, but it is the last thing you want when you are in your personalized truck.

   To combat these particular forces of nature, truckers have long turned to cures from glue -on, asphalt-based products and even jute matting. The latest player in this game of environmental one-upmanship is CoolCar Ceramic Insulation.

   CoolCar Ceramic is a spray-on product designed to provide vehicles with acoustical as well as thermal insulation. According to the folks at CoolCar, they do this by using a unique combination of air-filled ceramic and silicone beads, which are held in suspension by resin binders. For those of you who live on the sun (or in Arizona), CoolCar claims that its product can withstand temperatures up to 500 degrees F.

   CoolCar Ceramic adheres directly to the surface of the vehicle. Since it is sprayed on, it does not require adhesives, which may come loose from vibration and heat. One of the problems associated with glue-on matting is that it is held in place with adhesives that can break down in time, especially in areas of high heat, such as the roof.

   An added benefit of CoolCar Ceramic is it protects the substrate surface from moisture and corrosion. It adheres directly to the surface of the vehicle, so there is no way it can accumulate and hold moisture.

   CoolCar Ceramic will adhere to nearly all types of surfaces: Metal, wood, plastic, glass, Plexiglas, etc. Installation of the product is pretty basic: mask off any surface that you don't want covered and spray it on. Surfaces should be prepared similar to that required for proper adhesion of normal paint - clean, free of dirt, rust, grease or other foreign matter such as scales or paint chips.

   Applying the compound is best done with an SG-1 gun or a Schutz undercoating gun; however, we recommend the SG-1 due to its higher volume capacity. The material can also be brushed on using a 2/3 inch foam or bristle brush. The CoolCar Ceramic should be applied with one continuous coating, leaving no seams or separations, which could allow heat, sound or moisture to enter.

   Another plus is that CoolCar Ceramic is very light once it's cured. Since it is applied to only 40-mil to 60-mil worth of thickness it only adds about 3.2 pounds per gallon (at 40-mil thick), which works out to approximately 0.15-pounds per square foot.

   And for those who love the Earth, CoolCar Ceramic is biodegradable, non-toxic and cleans up with soap and water.

   We were on hand while company man Bob Hall showed both Bobco's Bob Carvajal and Truck Builder how the product works, as well as how to install it. Follow along and you can see what we learned.

1. The CoolCar Ceramic compound comes in 2-gallon buckets and is applied with this special airgun. Presently the compound is available only in black, although this makes it perfect for undercoating and interior applications.

2. One of the benefits of the CoolCar treatment is that the material stays pliable even after many years on a vehicle. According to Bob Hall, it is the fact that makes the process perfect underneath exposed fender. Hall says that even if a rock is kicked up by a tire and hits the underside of the fender, it will "give" a little. This will help to keep dents and spider webs to a minimum.
3. A - B Even though the heavy viscosity prevents the material from flying excessively when applied, it is best to tape of f any area that you don't want to be coated. Prep for the process is basically the same as when painting. The surface must be clean of dirt and grease and any rust or loose paint should be removed with a wire brush. New metal surfaces may require removal of temporary preservative coatings.

4. As with most multi-component liquids, CoolCar Ceramic needs to be mixed prior to spraying. A drill-mounted paddle, much like one that is used for stucco, is used to do this. However, low rpms (300 rpm max) are necessary, as care must be taken not to break the glass beads in the mix. The product needs to be mixed until it is creamy.
5. The last thing that you want is to spill the stuff, so the hot setup is to cut a hole in the top of the lid, poke the hose through the then use a hose clamp to keep it from pulling back out. With the lid on, the chance of disaster is reduced.

6. After that, it is a lot like spraying paint - only the CoolCar material exits the gun slowly, so patience will be a factor. Using the SG-1, CoolCar Ceramic will go on very slowly. The product should be applied in coats of 15-20 mil per coat and each layer should be allowed to cure between applications. When the material starts to dimple because of the compressed air pressure, it is thick enough and you should move on. The process needs at least 80-120 psi, with 8cfm worth of flow from the compressed air source, to start the application. This should then be reduced to 60-80 psi, at the gun. Recommended 40-mil thickness to the inside of the street rods.
7. One of the places where heat is at its worst is, or course, the firewall (another is the roof). This is an area where Bobco's Bob Carvajal will be sure to concentrate the spray.

8. Care is also taken to get the material into all of the cracks and crevices.
9. With the interior covered, Carvajal then laid down on the job to get beneath the cab.

10. Bobco mounted the doors on engine stands, which allows them to be spun into any position. Even with the small opening found in the Effie's doors, this articulation makes it easy for him to get the CoolCar Ceramic way down deep into them.
11. A-C It took about one half to two thirds of the bucket to cover the inside and underneath of the cab, but this is only the first coat. CoolCar recommends that four think coats be applied. One good thing is that the compound will flash dry in a short amount of time, so all of the coats can be applied in about two or three hours.

**All Articles/Pictures are used with permission from Truck Builder Magazine***

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