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Old 09-10-2008, 11:11 AM   #31
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I'm getting my car painted next week, what should I do to it when i get it back from the shop. I assume it wouldn't be as intensive as the waxing job described here.
I though of waxing it and using some sealant as well, but to be honest, I'm pretty much clueless.

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Old 09-08-2009, 10:39 PM   #32
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Bringing this thread back to life

I realize this thread is in the body/paint section, but, seeing as many of you are detailers, I was wondering if you could make some suggestions on steam cleaners.

In the next month or two I'm planning on purchasing and wanted to hear if you had any suggestions or opinions. Are they worth it?

Budget is probably 800, but I'd still like to hear your recommendations if it's over that.

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Old 02-13-2010, 10:50 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by adept View Post

I had that nasty brown stripe on the side and it was a pain in the ass to remove from my car, but it looks much better without it.
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:30 AM   #34
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Am i getting this correct.

1. wash car
2. clay car
4.wax.... but when do we put on the sealer ?
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Old 08-29-2010, 08:56 PM   #35
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yeah you wash the car as mentioned, clay the car, polish the car, and then seal the paint with a layer of wax/sealant. Wax and sealant do the same thing, they are both sealers.
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Old 09-25-2010, 10:18 PM   #36
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anyone have any current autogeek coupon codes? everything ive tried from google comes back expired....thanks
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Originally Posted by RickSloan View Post
so if you didnt get it like that did you glue fuzzy oil to the entire thing?
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Old 11-07-2010, 05:00 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Turf1600 View Post
wow - reading this made me realize i have no idea how to detail a car. Still don't.

LOLZ.... Thinking the same thing.
1987 325is
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Old 04-03-2011, 11:58 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by whakiewes View Post
I will give a quick rundown of what I do for most details that come into my shop with a few pictures.

~ Hose off entire car well. I prefer to use a pre-soap to loosen dirt and grime. Adams makes a great pre-wash. Using two buckets, I use ClearKote car wash in a 1oz:1 gallon configuration. I prefer to use a clean lambs wool mitt. I have had so-so results using boars hair. Starting from the top of rinsed and wet car, I work my way down. You want the last part you wash to be the dirtiest (front bumper, behind wheels, rocker panels). Hose after each panel to keep soap from drying into the paint. I prefer to use a an airgun when possible followed by a microfiber drying towel, but the two towel rule works well.
~ ONLY claybar a well-cleaned car. Very dirty cars may require multiple cleanings before suitable to claybar, otherwise you will ruin your clay quickly. Again, I start on the top of the car working my way down, doing the dirtiest parts last. Once I am done claybaring, I rewash the car and do an entire coat of ClearKote Quik Shine. This helps me to analyze any serious problem areas as well as give me a nice surface to work on. Always remove excess lube with a clean microfiber towel.
~ Starting with a dual action and a cutting pad (I prefer Lake Country, but I have used Meguiars and 3M, all work well), I work my cutting polish at speed 5 or 6 depending on the product. If starting with Poorboys SSR, I use speed 5. If using ClearKote Compound Creme or Blue Moose Cutting Creme, I use speed 6. I start on the top doing about 2'X2' sections. The biggest key here is to take your time. Almost every DIY detailer I have helped goes way to fast and the results are marginal. Products have to be broken down and without a rotary buffer, you need to work the product a lot. Polish each section until there is literally just a haze of polish left. If there is visible polish on the panel, you have not worked the product through. Remove left over residue with a clean microfiber towel. Wipe down car with Quik Shine to verify there is no left over cutting that needs to be done.
~ Next I move to my polishing stage. Depending on color and application I prefer to use Red Moose Machine Polish, Poorboys Professional Polish, or Meguiars Machine Polish. If cutting was not required, Poorboys SSR2.5 or 2 can be used. Using a polishing pad, I work all my products at speed 5 using the same method as above. Again polish should work to haze with no left over build up. Remove with clean microfiber towel.
~ This is the point where you shift from ailment removal to paint depth and shine. Determining what is left in the paint plays a roll in what can be used here. If the paint is very clean, I really enjoy doing a coat of ClearKote Vanilla Moose with a finishing pad. If another polish is needed, I may work SSR1 or another coat of Red Moose Machine Glaze. I prefer to use Vanilla Moose Wax because it acts as a cleaner and filler, as well as a moulding and glass treatment. I essentially apply it with a finishing pad on speed 4 to the entire car. It goes on wet and comes off wet, leaving a super-deep shine. It brings life back to mouldings and rubber surrounds as well as cleaning glass very well. Remove with clean microfiber towel after application.
~ At this point I either apply a sealant or a wax depending on customer preferences and the paint of the car. On single stage paints, I typically skip the sealant and move straight to a wax. If I am applying just a sealant, I prefer to use Optimum Opti-Seal. If I am applying a sealant and coating it with wax, I prefer to use Poorboys EX-P. Either way, I apply the sealant by hand using a quality foam pad. I let the sealant sit a minimum of 20 minutes before removal. I remove with a clean microfiber towel being very gentle. It does not take a lot of sealant for it to be effective, so be very conservative with your application.
~ There are so many waxes on the market that I am always trying something new. My products of choice are ClearKote Carnauba Moose Wax, Pinnacle Souveren, or occasionally Poorboys Natty's paste wax. Pinnacle is the most expensive but the results are always outstanding. ClearKotes and Poorboys have very similar results, difference is one is a liquid and one is a paste. ClearKote I can apply faster, Poorboys I can apply more generously without negative results. Regardless I always use a quality foam pad and apply by hand. I let the results set up until the wax is dried and dusty. Using a clean microfiber towel (usually several) I buff the car to liquid glass smoothness.
~ While the wax or sealant is setting up, I clean the wheels. I prefer to use non-acidic wheel cleaners, although on occasions there is so much brake dust build up that I have to be more aggressive. Keep in mind that wheel paint takes some serious abuse, and the last thing you want to do is aid in its corrosion. I use a sheeps wool mitt or brush to clean the wheel. At the same time I also wash the wheel wells. If cleaning for a car show, it is very important that you remove the wheels and clean the backsides as well as all suspension and brake components. For wheel cleaner I usually use Adams Wheel Cleaner or a home made secret creation .

Also keep in mind that not all 'terry' cloth is terry cloth. Genuine terry cloth is expensive and the softest to use. The bag of terry cloths you can purchase from Wal-Mart and auto parts stores will do more to damage your paint then help it. Genuine terry cloth you could use for bed sheets and pillow covers...that generic stuff I wouldn't even want to dry off from the shower with.

First I would like to thanks you guys for writing this. I have google detailing many time only to be disapointed buy the lack of detail.

whakiewes in your detailing method you do not mask the car up like the OP did why is this?

Is this because you use Vanilla Moose Wax? Do you literally apply this wax over the whole car?

thanks again guys fantastic write up can't wait to do my car. So many things I was doing wrong! LOL

Last edited by Massimo; 01-11-2012 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:52 PM   #39
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It sounds like this can easily take an entire weekend just for the exterior. How in the hell do detailers make money if they are doing this much work? Can you guys chime in on a procedure for the interior?
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:01 PM   #40
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thanks for all the info here gonna be doing a much needed thorough detail of my car. I will post pics before and after as i have 24 year old factory paint in pretty good shape but there are swirls and a few scratches. Do you guys pre treat carpet with hot water ammonia mix? A friend of mine in the carpet cleaning biz swears its really good. I have pretreated with 25% ammonia and 75% h20 works pretty good if you let it sit for 15 minutes scrub then put down carpet cleaner of choice. I use his machine to pull up all moisture and looks good. Any better way? Thanks
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Old 07-28-2011, 04:04 PM   #41
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I have been detailing my cars since I was 16 and owned my first car (2003 EP3). I have been doing a lot of research on detailing. Here is a good diagram (very vague, I know).

complementary of Autogeek.net

Check out that forum and you will learn worlds amount of detailing skills.

Edit: Oh and I just got a 1987 eta that I will be detailing this week end. I will take before and after of the paint. Stay tuned
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Old 10-06-2011, 11:27 PM   #42
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they should be fine. imo
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Old 11-09-2011, 05:58 PM   #43
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euroshark where can i find a set of euro bumpers for my e24?
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Old 11-15-2011, 05:27 PM   #44
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Any tips regarding polish/wax application around sun roof gasket, rubber side trim, or window/bumper trim?

Is it worth taping off?
Does wax do anything to the 'blackness' of trim?
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Old 01-02-2012, 05:30 PM   #45
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Everyone, I have been off of this forum for a very long time. Every day I have owned my e46, I have wished that I never sold my e30. Now that I'm looking into getting another e30, I'm back looking at r3vlimited of course.

Anyways, I am happy to answer anyone's questions.

Originally Posted by Simon S View Post
Any tips regarding polish/wax application around sun roof gasket, rubber side trim, or window/bumper trim?

Is it worth taping off?
Does wax do anything to the 'blackness' of trim?
If you are talented enough with your orbital polisher, you can angle the pad just right to have the pad only contacting the paint and not any of the trim. However, this can get difficult, even for experienced people.

Polish should never stain any of the rubber or plastic trim. At least with the polishes that I have ever used, the polish should only ever clean dirt off of the trim. The downside of this is that your polishing pad/towel will get dirty very quickly. Then, you will just be scratching the paint with the dirt that was picked up.

The problem lies with wax. Wax will stain the black trim white. You can find certain waxes out there that specifically cater to making it easier on you so you don't have to avoid the trim. But, I don't like to use any of these products.

One solution is to tape off the car before you start polishing and waxing. If you are planning on spending 4+ hours detailing, it's definitely worth spending the 20 minutes on taping off the trim. Another solution is to carry a damp towel with you and be able to wipe off the wax ASAP, before it hazes or dries. Or, the last solution is to not care, wax your trim and paint with reckless abandon, and re-dye your trim when you are done with everything else.

Originally Posted by DriverD View Post
Hey great post, I never heard of the claying product but plan to give it a try. I never really thought about it this in depth so I think I will use your model from now on. I also have a cracked windshield do have any tricks for repairing that or should I just find a indianapolis glass repair shop?
I don't have any experience with this. Every time my windshield has had a significant crack, I have had the whole windshield replaced. I have been under the impression that windshield cracks can never be fixed. Also, my insurance covers windshield replacement with no cost to me, so I have no reason not to do that.
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