Two months have gone by and the Cross8 transformation is well under way with brand new Potenza S007 tyres and the unique Line-X treatment.
My Bridgestone Potenza S001 tyres have been an amazing tyre over the last two years, but with rego looming and the new Potenza S007 hitting the shelves in Australia, it was time to jump in and experience the many improvements claimed by Bridgestone on the new tyre. Looking at the S007 you can instantly see the rounded shoulder for improved cornering at high speed, the tread pattern has changed significantly, and you wouldn’t be all that wrong if you felt there was a slight resemblance to the Michelin. Developed as original equipment for Ferrari F12 Berlinetta and Aston Martin DB11, the S007 has been designed for high-speed vehicles requiring the maximum levels of cornering performance, also bringing superior wearing and durability, straight-line speed, outstanding cornering grip in all weather conditions and exceptional steering response. My first good run around the bends and straights of a few of my favourite roads through the national park confirmed Bridgestone’s claims. The Potenza S007 came alive when corning at speed under acceleration. It was smooth quiet and brought a precision driving experience.
Get It On, It’s Line-X Time
Forget about the maintenance that is required for the upkeep of a good vinyl job. If you are looking for a tough and gutsy finish for your work and play vehicle that will make scratches, minor dents and damage a thing of the past, it’s time to Line-X it.
Line-X is massive in the US, where it was developed and is now making waves of success across 40 countries globally. After watching this process completely transform my Cross8, I’m not that surprised. Line-X is a Polyurea product that traditionally started as a spray on Ute bed liner product but today has a pile of other usages including commercial, industrial, agricultural, military and custom applications. So after catching up with Guy Robertson, the owner of Line-X Sydney Inner West, and hearing about the possibilities that exist with this product, I was pretty much sold getting this stuff on the Cross8 as soon as Guy was ready to go.
After having the car back from Guy and his team, I must admit it has completely changed the look of the vehicle. I’m getting a level of attention I wasn’t expecting. People are drawn to this product. They can’t quite figure it out at first. We are so used to every car being finished with a flat painted surface. The rough textured finish of Line-X is like sandpaper. People just want to touch it which, once upon a time, with high finish painted panels, you would have cringed at. But with Line-X, you can literally run your key up the side of the panel and leave absolutely no mark at all. So worrying about leaving your car on work sites, shopping centres or on the street in busy areas are a thing of the past. The kicker is you get the toughness of the product, but it still looks top shelf. In the last week, I’ve had three or four people ask to take photos of the car when at traffic lights or parked on the side of the road. The old 2004 Cross8 has turned into a head turner.
If you don’t believe me when talking about how tough this product is google “Line-X watermelon drop”. You will find a group of young lads that have a watermelon sprayed in Line-X and then drop it off a structure 45m to the ground. Does the watermelon explode… not even close. After watching this and a pile of other cool clips floating around on the Internet, you very soon get an appreciation for this product.
If you’re thinking about Line-Xing your pride and joy, it’s an important point to mention, this isn’t something you can change your mind on after the fact. This stuff isn’t coming off your panels any time soon… well ever!
It is available in a host of colours, and the texture of it is very different from your usual paint job. It is sprayed on hot and settles in smooth, but the final coat is finessed into the air which settles in a rough sandpaper-like finish on the vehicle. Utterly different from any respray you have seen.
“People Can’t Help But Approach Me To Ask What The Hell It Is. It Now Looks Like A Cross Between A Mad Max Film Stunt Car And A Post-Apocalyptic Workhorse.”
Don’t expect this to be quick process either. With a preparation similar to respraying your vehicle, the car is stripped, sanded, bogged, filled, primed and eventually sprayed. On my Cross8 there were dozens of individual parts and panels that needed to be stripped, cleaned up and individually sprayed. Parts including doors, bumper bars, bonnet and the numerous sections that made up the ute tray are all painstaking removed from the car and prepared for the upcoming spray.
Keeping all of this in mind, the cost of Line-Xing your entire ute or even ute bed is relative to the amount of time it takes to break down the elements involved before even thinking about the spray. Cost-wise this isn’t a cheap exercise, just like a good quality respray isn’t cheap. But with Line-X, you are receiving a finish which will outlive every other element of the vehicle. There will be no more scratches, resprays or minor dents again. It won’t stop damage in a car accident but sure will stop any panel damage from trees and scrub when 4wding in the bush and stop scratches from tradies carrying materials and equipment on work sites and getting complacent with small impacts and brushing past with full loads. I can comfortably run my key down the panels with absolutely no marks or damage left behind.
I asked Guy if I could hang around and document the spraying of my Cross8 which he was happy to do. The process was just as interesting and intriguing to watch as the product is itself.
The spray booth is a large well-ventilated area and Guy and his offsider Andrew entirely suit up in protective sealed suites with full masks and breathing apparatus. Trust me, no one wants a Line-X lung! The boys looked like– and the Cross8 very soon looked like – a sci-fi spaceship as it took on its new identity. To say that this product has changed the look of the car is a massive understatement. My Cross8 always looked pretty cool – I thought– as far as utes from 2004 went, but was far from a show stopper. After getting the Line-X treatment, the old gal is now getting attention like she never had before. People can’t help but approach me to ask what the hell it is. It now looks like a cross between a Mad Max film stunt car and a post-apocalyptic workhorse. I couldn’t help but add a bonnet scoop as there is still every possibility that at some point in the future some forced induction may be on the cards. All in all the Line-X spray has achieved exactly what I was looking for. It’s created a physically tougher and more robust vehicle as well as giving her a great new look that is actually turning a hell of a lot more heads than I was expecting. This isn’t a look that everyone will like, it’s probably going to be quite polarising, people will love it or hate it, but regardless of its looks, it is now pretty much bulletproof, as well as probably a good 30-40kg heavier than she was before– which for me is a minimal price to pay for the many other advantages that have been achieved with this fantastic product.
If you are interested contact Guy on 0416 245 948.
Jamie “The Colonel” Gray