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Thread: A Guide to Detailing your car..... for everyone.

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    Post A Guide to Detailing your car..... for everyone.

    Disclaimer: I take no responsibility if you do things incorrectly and scour or mess up your paint, if you don't follow directions well. Don't bother trying this.

    Note to moderators, if you like this guide, feel free to make it sticky somewhere.

    As most of us know, the winter can do hellish things to your paint. The salt and rocks on our roads will not only destroy your clearcoat, but start the rusting process much much faster. If you notice your car doesn't shine like it used to, or notice it simply never really shined well in the first place, this guide it for you.

    Have you ever seen a car on the streets that just glistens in the sun or in the street lights at night, and wondered damn how the hell did they get the paint to look so good? Well, it's either they paid a fortune for a detailing or they did it themselves, chances are the person coughed up some serrious money for it as most people don't know the first thing about detailing a car, I even saw a number of cars at world of wheels which needed some work on the paint....as most people think detailing a car is simply throwing a coat of wax on it...... but actually it's the amount of prep work that goes into the paint BEFORE you wax.

    Im writing this because I see wayyyy too many cars in Calgary that have the paint practicaly covered in oxidation and swirl marks. If you truely love your car, your going to want it to look its best right? Right....

    Ok so what you need.....
    1. LOTS of Time (5Hrs+)
    2. Some money (between 60-150 bucks, depending on what your looking to do)
    3. Music
    4. Beer
    5. CLEAN BUCKET
    6. 100% USA Terry Cloth Towels
    7. Car soap......

    The rest is explained as you read.....

    Im going to explain two different levels of paint care, one for cars that have their paint in ok condition. This means.... little to no oxidation (the dull look you'll see on paint) and some minor swirll marks, which are those fine lines youll see in direct sunlight on the paint. And medium condition, which means, lots of oxidation, swirll marks, light scratches and rough feeling paint. The third, heavy level of damage (extreme dullness, paint chips, deep scratches) needs to be fixed by a professional with a rotary polisher, and unless you have been trained by somone who knows what they are doing.... you will fuck up your paint even worse, so I won't go into that, plus you need some expensive equipment.

    NOTE: Do everything in a shaded cool area, and make sure the engine is cool, the brakes are cool, and no direct sunlight hits the paint.

    WASHING: Important beyond all hell, washing your car on a regular basis is a very important part of keeping your paint in good condition. Use a pressureized washer, preferably one with a jet and light shower setting, and if possible one with a rubber tip just incase it strikes the paint. Then you'll need a car wash soap. I really like Meguiarís #62 car wash but any decent soap will be fine. You'll also need 100% terry cloth rags/towels for soaping. Fill your bucket (MAKE SURE ITS CLEAN) 1/4 with water and use a tad more than the recommended amount of soap. Rinse the car from top to bottom, every part of it! at least twice. Then soap from top to bottom useing a SIDE TO SIDE motion ,circular motions leave swirl marks, if your waxing, claying ...whatever, always use SIDE TO SIDE motion. Soap in sections and rinse as you go!!! Never let the soap dry on your paint. Now after all that..... it's time to dry. The best way to dry is to use an electric leaf blower..... but if you don't have one... as most of you won't... use 100% USA TERRY CLOTH TOWELS, nothing else......also be sure to open the gas tank lid, and dry the water out. Now your car is clean.....and you can now observe the level of detailing you need to do. Take the back of your hand, and move it across the paint. Is the paint fairly smooth, or very rough? Are flat surfaces on the car (hood, roof, trunk) a lot rougher than the doors? If they are, you have contaminants in your paint and you should probly do the second level of detailing.

    Now its off to the part where we create incredible smoothness, and amazing depth and reflection..... This is the part that you will be appreciating later, and the stage thatís going to set you apart from all the guys that just goto the car wash and apply a coat of wax once every year.

    CLAYING:
    Now, if your paint looks generally pretty good, but your if your hand catches rough spots and it fells pretty grimey even though its clean. ..... use a clay bar...... yes thats right, a bar of clay that you will RUB against your paint. If you have never done this to your paint, I reccommend you do, the results are AMAZING. the paint will feel BRAND NEW.... This step can take off a small bit of clear coat and should not be done more than twice a year. I like to use the Mothers clay bar (which you can get at most auto parts stores, call before you go so you don't waste a trip, but even crappy Canadian Tire has them most of the time). It will come with a little bar of yellow clay, and a bottle of spray which you will use as a lubricant. Soak the clay by spraying it several times to keep it wet. Do this entire part in sections, do it panal by panal drying as you go along. Spray a healthy amount of the shine lubricant over the spot and rub the clay bar gently with very light pressure until you no longer feel friction and the clay feels like its gliding on a piece of ice. If you drop the bar, your screwed and need another one, the dirt and shit on the ground will collect in the bar and will end up doing more harm than good.





    LEVEL I ( Light damage, smooth paint...light swirls....a little on the dull side)

    This is going to take a few hours, but not as many as the second stage, and is totally done by hand.


    What youll need to do........


    Get some 3M Imperial Hand Glaze , some auto part places will carry it in their store but if not order some of it online. This is glaze that lightly cleans/polishes the paint and fills in light swirl marks. It's gentle enough to use as often as you wish. I apply this stuff and all polishes and waxes, with a yellow foam meguiarís pad. Put a small ammount on the centre of the pad and use a side to side motion, thoroughly, you don't want to let the stuff dry or you will regret it as its a pain in the ass to get off afterwards. Do it section by section and once you've gone over the entire panal thoroughly use a clean and rinsed terry cloth towel to clean it off (SIDE TO SIDE MOTION!!!!) The paint should be very smooth feeling and look MUCH MUCH better. If your really really into getting a deep deep glossy look, also a coat of #7 Meguires Show Car Glaze (useing the same steps as the 3M) will really get it looking deep and glossy. The meguires product has oils which seep into the paint and just give it an incredible gloss look)

    Once your done this stage your ready to wax, which is at the bottom of this LONG document (I didn't realize it would take so much writing, but there is no point in stoping now)


    LEVEL II


    For this stage, you have some pretty nasty swirl marks in the car from taking it to the car wash.... (YES thats where you got those from)

    Your going to need a RANDOM orbital buffer,these change speed and rotational pattern, so you donít generate excessive heat on one area of the paint..... if you have a regular buffer and don't know how to use it.... DON'T!!! Also these suckers will cost you a little bit of cash, there are several different models and some can get very pricey.... I have a porter cable I got at an auction thats worth almost 200 bucks. So if you know somone that has one, borrow it.

    This time instead of the imperial hand glaze, your going to want 3m Imperial Machine glaze, which is designed to be put on obviously by a machine. Use a foam applicator pad...... put a small amount on the pad and put the bad against the paint before starting the buffer. Use medium pressure and the side to side motion, follow the same steps you would useing the LEVEL I (if you didn't read it, do it anyway because youll follow up with level I afterwards). Make sure you go over the panal several times, thoroughly, say a dozen times. Do two passes like this, one vertically and one horizontaly. Clean it off before it drys, buff by hand with a towel, once with a damp towel and once with a dry towel. Once the paint is buffed and clean.... go back and do a LEVEL I cleaning.




    WAX: THE LAST STEP!!!!

    Waxing is the protection step but NOT the gloss step (as it is often mistaken) as you will have already noticed since your paint should be looking pretty damn nice now. The best waxes to use are, Blitz wax..... Meguires #26 Yellow or Gold Class wax (which is synthetic, meaning it wont add that deeper gloss that carnuba wax does, but it will last longer) I recomend the Blitz or the #26...... use the wax in the same way you would apply the Imperial Hand Glaze in the LEVEL I section. Instead however, let it dry for about an hour..... then use clean another clean Terry towel to buff it out.... I normally do two coats before buffing it out. It is however up to you. The two coats, will last longer and protect your hard worked detailing job longer. If your really looking for that extra step, apply a coat of Klasse sealant before waxing, do very very thin coats, let it dry just as you would the wax, BUT make sure you use thin coats or it will be a mother fucker to buff off...... this stuff is a miracle for the paint, and will seal it and protect it much longer than just wax. It also adds a nice shine and waterproofing.


    So after the waxing step...... youll be exhausted..... but you wont be able to stop staring at your car.....especially if it's black.... It will look like liquid black on wheels, and it will be worth it...... trust me.

    Wow holy shit that took a while and several beers to get through, if your wondering why I took all that time to write that..... well it's because so many people just don't understand how to protect the paint of their car, and after you see what your car looks like afterwards...... you'll be thanking me.

    It's taken several years of trial and error on my behalf to get this right, but its very worth it. Good luck to all of you guys who will take up this challenge and PM me if you have any more questions.
    Last edited by Expiredsoda; 05-29-2003 at 01:25 PM.
    A drug person can learn to handle such things as seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to deal with this trip.
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    Helpful information but this thread has "attempt to advertise for free" written all over it
    Looking for a new VW? How about a used vehicle? We are Central Albertas #1 source for pre-owned vehicles
    I will beat any deal on a new VW for beyonders

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    this should be deleted, its a advertisment basically. thx for trying

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    good post i think

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    if the mods are really pissy about this, then just delete the 2 links. Not a big deal.

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    Advertisement for what? GOOD PRODUCTS? Ok whatever you guys.... there are several differnt product types listed here and IM NOT SELLING THEM. I can't belive you guys would mistake that, if you want your car to look like shit..... fine by me.

    EDIT: Ok there the URL links have been deleted. The thing is with car detailing is you WANT TO USE THE BEST STUFF. And not crap, which there is a lot of out there. So you can use whatever you have, but you won't get the same results. This is the same fucking thing as listing a garret turbo as the best to use in certain applications.
    Last edited by Expiredsoda; 05-28-2003 at 09:46 PM.
    A drug person can learn to handle such things as seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to deal with this trip.
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    The URL is gone, I simply posted that there because the 3m stuff is NOT easy to find.
    A drug person can learn to handle such things as seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to deal with this trip.
    - Raoul S. Duke

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    I appreciate the info

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    Originally posted by Redlyne_mr2

    Don't think that we didnt notice you take out the website address for car care products...this isnt your typical ricer, ignorant boy racer car forum

    Do you think im trying to appeal to ignorance? Yeah thats why I just wrote a 7000 word document for YOU TO USE.
    A drug person can learn to handle such things as seeing their dead grandmother crawling up their leg with a knife in her teeth. But no one should be asked to deal with this trip.
    - Raoul S. Duke

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    Originally posted by Expiredsoda



    Do you think im trying to appeal to ignorance? Yeah thats why I just wrote a 7000 word document for YOU TO USE.
    i counted 1900

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    Good info man.... thanx....
    "I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered."
    -Thomas Jefferson 1802

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    i actually read the whole thing.
    but my car is like 13 years old. so i need to get a new paint job because the previous owner always left the car outside and the sun started to fade the paint.

    also isnt it illegal to wash your car with soap on your driveway?
    just wondering because i think i heard that before

  13. #13
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    yeah it is illegal but just do it anyways.

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    ohhh chirst what isnt illegal

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    isnt it illegal to wash your car with soap on your driveway?
    yeh.... but everyone is doing it

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    fuck im not gonna read all that shit, lot's of places have specials on now for professional jobs. thanks anyways.

    p.s. what are you trying to sell ?

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    yeh just do it anyway, now like they actually patrol the street to look for ppl who washes their cars.. they have better things to do.. like giving out exhaust and tints tickets

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    Originally posted by Hipermax_d
    i actually read the whole thing.
    but my car is like 13 years old. so i need to get a new paint job because the previous owner always left the car outside and the sun started to fade the paint.

    also isnt it illegal to wash your car with soap on your driveway?
    just wondering because i think i heard that before
    Its only illegal if people complain about you. Most people don't really give a damn if you wash your car at home... Then again you get the friggin tree huggers that call you in

    Nice tips on car cleaning though

    I think bol can add to this thread though
    omgwtfbbq

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    For level one can you apply that 3M or Meguires glaze with an orbital, or does it have to be done by hand?
    You start with a bag full of luck and an empty bag of experience. The trick is to fill the bag of experience before you empty the bag of luck.

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    haha you guys are too funny, the guy posts some good info on car body detailing and you guys just pounce on him haha, some ppl

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