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Old 04-01-2007, 03:30 PM   #1
adept
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My Detailing Wakthrough

At request of MR 325, I wrote up a walkthrough for what I would do to a car for a full paint restoration. I hope this will help some of you prepare your car for bimmerfest. Detailing is often the 1 thing overlooked when you are modding your car and making it perfect.


First of course, I would have to take a look at the car and decide just how much work it needs? Has it been polished recently before? Has it been clayed recently? Is any of the clear cote faded away?

If the paint is extremely swirled, has a considerate loss of depth, and it needs to be made perfect again, I would go ahead and use my best polishes on the paint. If the paint was bumpy, oxidated, and didn't feel like a baby's butt to touch, I would have to clay it.

The very first thing you want to do is find a nice spot in the shade .

First would come the wash, for a simple wash (and interior cleaning) I would use these items:

- 2x 2-gallon buckets
- Meguiars Gold Class Wash (best traditional wash product, and available off the counter)
- 2x Lrg waffle weave towel, I like Meguiars and pakshak.com the most (don't use a chamois, they create swirls because there is nowhere for the dirt to go in the towel)
- 1 sheepskin wash mitt (I cut off the cuffs on mine and use them like a small towel)
- ~4 terry cloth towels
- ~4 cheap microfiber towels
- Stoner Invisible Glass (cheap, OTC, and the best)


So the first thing you need to do is to fill up a bucket with a little soap and fill it with water. Clean the wheels and tires with the cloth towels and this soap. Get them nice and clean. Next, clean the fender wells with the same stuff. The reason to do the wheels first is so that dirt on the wheels/tires doesnt spray onto clean paint after you wash the car. If you have crappy sideskirts with lots of dirt on them, go ahead and clean them with these cloth towels as well.

Next, empty out the bucket. Fill up 1 bucket with just water, and the other with a good water/soap mixture. Wash the car using the two bucket method. That method is:
- Dip the mitt in the soapy bucket, wash your car
- When it gets dirty, clean off the dirt in the bucket with just water
- Re-soap in the other bucket and continue.
The reason to do this is so that by the end of the wash, you are still cleaning your car with clean water. Improper wash technique is the #1 reason for swirled paint. Dirt that is on your wash mitt is scratching your paint.

Rinse off the paint good. Take one of the waffle weave drying towels and remove most of the water off. Turn to the other ww towel to take care of the rest of the water. Now, take some of the cheap microfiber towels to clean door jambs, trunk jambs, and your wheels that you washed earlier. Your car should be perfectly dry now.

Next would come claying the car. I would approve of almost any clay that is available right now. Use a mixture of soap and water in an empty spray bottle, or use quick detailer as the lubricant for claying. Go around and around the paint until it is soft and clean. You will see some of the paint's depth coming back already after this step.

Rinse off the vehicle and dry again, you are now ready for polishing and waxing. Here is what I would use for a full paint restoration:

- Porter Cable machine polisher (Meg's uses the same exact machine, just with a higher price and 2 year warranty)
- Lake Country polishing pads (1 black finishing pad, 1 orange cutting pad, and 1 white polishing pad)
- Poorboy's SSR 2.5 for medium swirls (this will usually get everything out, but if your swirls are REALLY that bad, bump up to SSR 3)
- Poorboy's SSR 1 for light swirls
- Some type of durable synthetic wax/sealant (I like NXT, it's easy and cures quickly)
- Some type of jaw-dropping carnauba wax (I love P21S)
- ~4 Really good microfiber towels, again, I prefer pakshak.com or meguiars (don't cheap out on these ones)

So first you want to cover plastic and rubber areas of the car with blue painter's tape. You don't want to get wax on these areas and make them turn white. I cover the emblems, side trim, bumper trim, washer nozzles, and grilles (I'm sure I'm leaving something out).

I start the polishing off with The orange pad and SSR 2.5, with the PC at a speed of 6. Go one small section at a time. On the e30, I split the sections into this: 3 hood sections, each fender, each door, 2 halves of the roof, and then the trunk and license plate area (remove your plate). Fit in the tops of the bumpers anywhere you want here, be careful with these. First put a light amount of polish onto the pad (the first time you will need a little extra). Some people like to do an X on the pad, I like to just put three nickel sized dots on the pad. Spread the polish around the section with the PC on speed 1. Then work in the polish slowly in straight lines until it dries/hazes (now on speed 6). Remove it quickly with some QD and a MF towel after.

Next I move on to the SSR 1. Use the same method as before, except with a white pade and at speed 4 on the PC. Make sure you are removing the polish right after you are done with a little QD and a MF towel.

If there is still some residue on the car, which there really shouldn't be (SSR 1 is fairly easy compared to other products), then use some type of non-abrasive polish (I like Poorboy's Pro Polish, others like Klasse all-in-one). Use a new white pad and the PC on speed 2-3.

Almost done! Move on to the black finishing pad, and your choice of wax. I think NXT is easy, and right in the middle in terms of durability and looks. Make sure you are parked in the shade for waxing! Go around the whole car with this stuff and the PC on speed 1. Get a nice even spread. Let it sit for 10 mins and have a drink. Then remove it with another MF towel and some QD. If you are really into it, you can do this last step twice, and possibly with a different wax (one that is more for looks and not so durable like P21S).

Your paint should be perfect now, look at it and be happy with your work. Finish up with some trim protectant and glass cleaner. Then do your interior if it is needed. No tricks with these steps, just make sure to use clean towels.

Here are a couple before/afters of my e30 (crappy pics and crappy weather sorry):

BEFORE




AFTER




Remember to not cheap out on your towels and to use clean towels during the whole process. I stress this because this is how your car gets swirled.


I hope this helped a lot of you!
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Old 04-01-2007, 03:36 PM   #2
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This is very similar to the way I detail my car. I just washed, clayed and waxed last weekend (I don't have a PC polisher yet).

My first time using P21S wax, that stuff is amazing. I used about 25-30 terry cloth towels in the process, I'll also stress that you can't skimp on clean towels.
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Old 04-01-2007, 04:08 PM   #3
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Heylo,

According to what I've been told as soon as the paint is oxidized it is toast. As my 325is had/has oxidized paint, I have observed it.

Once I was cleaning out the exterior of the car, like the rear side window jambs. Noticed that the degreaser was making the paint run. So did glass cleaner. So I tried a corner of the car, and used glass cleaner to clean off the oxidized paint. Lo and behold what was underneath? Fresh paint, and no clear coat.

Also I have been told not to use power applicators for waxing.
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Old 04-01-2007, 05:20 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Ablice View Post
Heylo,

According to what I've been told as soon as the paint is oxidized it is toast. As my 325is had/has oxidized paint, I have observed it.

Once I was cleaning out the exterior of the car, like the rear side window jambs. Noticed that the degreaser was making the paint run. So did glass cleaner. So I tried a corner of the car, and used glass cleaner to clean off the oxidized paint. Lo and behold what was underneath? Fresh paint, and no clear coat.

Also I have been told not to use power applicators for waxing.
What you have been told is incorrect.

Oxidized paint is not toast, it can be corrected. Surface contamintation, or pollution, bonds to your paint and this process is called oxidation. It is "on top" of your paint and it is difficult to get off, but claying your car takes care of this with ease. I have taken care of numerous cars that needed to be clayed, and plenty cars that are badly oxidized.

Degreaser has oils in it (and some window cleaners do to). It is not good to apply these onto your paint, you are doing it a disservice. What you are doing, is applying a thin layer of oil on your car and giving it the appearance that the car looks well again. You are not taking off any oxidation. Clay and heavy-cutting compounds are the only way, and clay is much safer compared to the latter.

And as far as waxing with a power applicator goes, there is nothing wrong with it. In fact it is a far superior method as long as you keep the speed down (like I mentioned). With a machine polisher/applicator, you are applying a thin, even coat of wax. When you use your hand, you hand does not evenly apply the wax on the paint. Of course, there really isnt any damage done to your car by waxing by hand, but it is better and much easier to do it by machine.

I hope this clears things up,
- Aaron
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Old 04-25-2007, 11:27 AM   #5
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Right now I use Klasse AIO and HG sealent with my porter cable buffer and a layer of P21S on top. Would you recommend using the SSR 2 & 1 in conjuction to remove some residual swirling that I have?

How do you feel about using terry or microfiber bonnets on a polisher to remove/buff wax?

Also the previous owner had a sunroof deflector on the car for a long long time and it has left a tan line on the roof, I have tried lots of things to get rid of it to no avail, can you suggest a product?
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Old 04-25-2007, 12:55 PM   #6
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Quote:
The very first thing you want to do is find a nice spot in the shade .
Amen. Preach Adept , PREACH!!

In the weekend I did a car in 95F weather, no clouds and you can bet I took 3x as long. Good thing I work with Poorboy's World & ClearKote products.

Great idea for a Sticky
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Old 04-25-2007, 01:03 PM   #7
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uhh, so new best friend, wanna help me detail my ride for Bfest??
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Old 05-02-2007, 11:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Schnell 318 View Post
Right now I use Klasse AIO and HG sealent with my porter cable buffer and a layer of P21S on top. Would you recommend using the SSR 2 & 1 in conjuction to remove some residual swirling that I have?

How do you feel about using terry or microfiber bonnets on a polisher to remove/buff wax?

Also the previous owner had a sunroof deflector on the car for a long long time and it has left a tan line on the roof, I have tried lots of things to get rid of it to no avail, can you suggest a product?
The products you are using are awesome and durable. If you are trying to use something that has a cutting power to get rid of swirls, AIO is not abrasive at all. I love the SSR line, so I would recommend it to anyone.

Using microfiber bonets on a machine work great for removing wax/polish, but for me I think it is easier to do it by hand. I do own bonnets and I used to do it that way, but I can do a detail quicker if I just do it by hand with MF towels.

What products have you used on it? I would think that a medium-cut polish would get rid of it.


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Originally Posted by mtechnik View Post
Amen. Preach Adept , PREACH!!

In the weekend I did a car in 95F weather, no clouds and you can bet I took 3x as long. Good thing I work with Poorboy's World & ClearKote products.

Great idea for a Sticky
Ah, I hate the sun when it comes to detailing. And the fact that Poorboy's products can be used in the sun is part of why they are so awesome!


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uhh, so new best friend, wanna help me detail my ride for Bfest??
If I would have seen this earlier I would have said yes! Sorry man.. I might be able to still help you out though, either wednesday or thursday. On thursday me and David (e34) are going to wash our cars at his house, I'm sure you are invited.
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Old 05-26-2007, 06:50 PM   #9
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actually using clean towels has nothing to do with no swirls at all!! Swirls are caused by marking the paint up when using a buffer on the car. The more aggressive the polish the more likely it will swirl on you. The only way to remove swirls is either very slow speeds with a polisher and a 3m swirl remover polish for either dark or light colored cars (depending on what color it is) and a foam egg crate 3m polishing pad. OR a lot of hand rubbing you know wax on wax off with mequiars #7 polish (this is the best result but the biggest pain in the ass too) if you choose the later way your biceps and pecs will increase in size almost quaranted.
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Old 06-05-2007, 03:34 PM   #10
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actually using clean towels has nothing to do with no swirls at all!! Swirls are caused by marking the paint up when using a buffer on the car. The more aggressive the polish the more likely it will swirl on you. The only way to remove swirls is either very slow speeds with a polisher and a 3m swirl remover polish for either dark or light colored cars (depending on what color it is) and a foam egg crate 3m polishing pad. OR a lot of hand rubbing you know wax on wax off with mequiars #7 polish (this is the best result but the biggest pain in the ass too) if you choose the later way your biceps and pecs will increase in size almost quaranted.
Using clean towels and proper washing technique have a lot to do with it. Dirt on your towel scratchs the paint, and rubbing the towel on the paint over and over again will cause millions of small scratches... aka swirls. Here are the top ten causes of swirls (copied from Autopia.org):

1. Polishers/buffers with the incorrect pad or an untrained operator;
2. Harsh polishing compounds and paint cleaners;
3. Towels and applicators containing polyester threads;
4. A dirty chamois or a chamois that has not been properly maintained;
5. Wiping down a dusty or dirty car with a dry towel;
6. A dirty car duster or a car duster used on a car with too much dirt on the surface;
7. Not keeping your wash mitt or sponge properly rinsed;
8. Automated car washes with brushes and other wipers;
9. Not rinsing your car completely before washing, or not washing your car thoroughly before drying; and
10. Using a car cover when the car or the cover is not clean.

As you can see a lot of these deal with a dirty something.

Oh, and slow speeds on a machine polisher do not remove swirl marks . Its the high speed polishes that will heal a lot of damage. However, it is true that some of the high-cuts or medium-cut polishes will cause a little marring.. thats why you need to follow up with a lighter polish like I have explained.
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Old 06-06-2007, 07:28 PM   #11
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Is that single stage white, or is there clear on top?>
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:23 AM   #12
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@ Adept- Amen
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Old 06-08-2007, 01:14 AM   #13
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Is that single stage white, or is there clear on top?>
This is Alpine White 2... so there is a clear coat. Single stage would be even easier to work on and to see a night/day difference.

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@ Adept- Amen
Thanks!
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Old 07-18-2007, 12:35 AM   #14
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So wait a second.

My 325is (gone now, -.-') had paint that was rough. You probably know what I'm talking about, oxidized paint feels like, oxidized paint.

According to a paint, ugh, let's say pro cuz he apparently did bodyshop painting for awhile, the paint is toast once it got that badly oxidized. I washed it and waxed it and it still felt like raw paint afterwards.

Claying wouldn't have helped much other than to fill in little things and remove the fallout, which you couldn't find much because it was all oxidized and white.

Don't know who to believe now >.>
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Old 07-18-2007, 09:23 AM   #15
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Oxidized paint can be buffed clean. Here is my GFs hood half done


My question is how do I keep it from re-oxidizing? Where the hell do I find these products? Nice writeup, Aaron!

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