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The Detailing Thread

Discussion in 'Body Work & Detailing' started by Concours.John, December 10, 2017.

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    1. Concours.John

      Concours.John Elite Explorer

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      I made this thread to contribute to this community.First off I want nothing from this. Just offering over 20 years experience in the show car field. Here I will answer any questions on Rinseless washing, Waterless washing, andTwo bucket method. I can also share on polishing (my specialty) . I will also talk about interior cleaning and chemicals. Then ceramic or other coatings. Understand I will not accept work from this site. I am an owner and want to share, this all will be how to do it right for free. So ask away.
       
      Last edited: December 10, 2017
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    3. PooPooSandwich

      PooPooSandwich New Member

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      Just recently got a Torq for Christmas since I've been wanting to detail my White Explorer. I was so excited! I've polished cars before, but just basic jane. This time I need a good detail and was thinking it would be easy. But after trying to figure out what to do and how many different ways I'm still confused :(.

      I have hard water deposits on the car as well as swirl marks.

      I thought I would compound because I've read about that but then I was reading it scratches your car and that's not what I want. I just want to make it shine again without water marks all on the side of my car.

      I also thought Chemical Guys was supposed to be the best, but there are so many other things out there. :(

      With the torq, do you recommend any brand for the Explorer? Also any order?
       
    4. Concours.John

      Concours.John Elite Explorer

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      I will try and address this in order. It may be a little long but hope it helps in diagnosing the problem for you and others.

      First thing with the water spots would be to figure out where they are coming from. IE; sprinklers, water drying during wash be it wash water or rinse water, or contaminated rain. All leave a different or more extreme condition behind. Some even etch into the clear slightly. Soap water spots will usually wash away or clay off. All others leave some sort of contamination behind that bonds to the surface as the water evaporates. These minerals or deposits are what forms the "ring" as the deposits float to the edge following the surface tension of the droplet. In severely contaminated water it may form the "ring" and a dull looking center. This is very common but typically minor from drive through car washes and their recycled water. In other cases it is heavy mineral content.

      The Following Must Be Done in a Shaded Area or Garage:
      When dealing with water spots the thing to remember is something is bonded to the paint. The first step would be a thorough wash insuring water is not drying on the surface. Then a decontamination first with a clay bar and dedicated lube spray (these are sold in kits in virtually every auto parts store or online). The next step would be to neutralize and remove any minerals left behind. In mild cases (soap residue spotting and mild water spots) a soft microfiber soaked in distilled white vinegar works (best to buy a gallon for whole car use). You are not scrubbing but gently washing the surface repeatedly with it keeping the surface wet. It is best to do a test area to see if this effective or not and thoroughly rinsing after with a rinse less or waterless wash solution. If the vinegar seems to do nothing a dedicated water/mineral spot remover may be necessary such as Optimum MDR or Car Pro Spotless. The process is the same and they both need rinsed after and not recommended to dry on surface. Follow the directions on the bottle. I have used both and directions are on point. After all this you may still be left with etching and polishing may still be needed. However this step still needs to be done prior to polish. The oils in any polish tend to fill theses defects and they will return. Yes in the past it was common practice to take a compound and remove them. However you are removing a substantial amount of clear to do it. This could result in early clear coat failure. The late 80's Mustangs and other Fords later came new with horrible etching and many that were "fixed" ended up with paint failure.

      As far as going onto polishing (note not compounding). Modern paint (post 90) reacts very well to less abrasive technology. You said you have some experience which is good. It really is not that daunting. You just need proper tools. These cars are what I call slab cars as there are not tons of tight areas. If you can tell me what equipment you have I can point you in a low stress low budget approach.

      As far as after care and washing please google videos on ONR rinse less and waterless washing. Also the two bucket method. If it is ok with Mods I can also post some links to videos done by people I trust. You are right there is so much out there and unfortunately most are rebranded products with new marketing hype. Feel free to ask me to fill in any blanks regarding sealants and post polishing environmental protection.
       
      Last edited: December 29, 2017
    5. PooPooSandwich

      PooPooSandwich New Member

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      The vinegar/water combo didn't seem to work for me. It's from sprinklers. This street has nothing but hard water water wasters. It's so annoying to try and find a spot where I can park where it doesn't get wet. I do not have driveway parking. This is what I just got for Christmas, but if I really don't need it, I would rather return it and get something I might use more often?
      I also have clay bar which I like and keeps the car smooth but doesn't help with the side of the car that's water damaged. Oh and the spots on my car are with the car being clean

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    6. Concours.John

      Concours.John Elite Explorer

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      Keep it. good for your situation. Look into Meguiars microfiber polishing pads and Meg's 205 polish for correction then use foam for final finish. On white you may be good with just MF pad and 205. Just need to determine if you have six inch or 5 inch backing plate before ordering for pads. Foam will just heat up and mask defects if you need to cut defects. As far as sealing after for prevention Car Pro reload is as close to a coating you can get it has a small amount of Sio2 in it making it pretty durable and resistant. It is also great on plastic.
       
      Last edited: December 29, 2017
    7. Dora2.0

      Dora2.0 New Member

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      What's your opinion on best (ceramic) coating to apply? There are many options out there - CQuartz, Chemical Guys etc. and the pricing varies quite a bit as well. I'm planning on doing the application myself when my Sport arrives in about a month or so. Not the best time of the year to do it considering the winter we're having here in Southern Ontario, however I have heard that it's best to do it ASAP as the paint would obviously be in the best shape.

      Thanks.
       
    8. Concours.John

      Concours.John Elite Explorer

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      I have not used Chemical Guys so I can not vouch for it honestly. I am a C.Quartz Finest approved installer and have used all three.
      I can say C.Quartz UK is more suited for your climate and very durable. I have also used Optimum Pro Plus. I believe the consumer product is Gloss Coat now which is also good. The main thing about coatings is in the prep and install. The paint needs to be free of contaminants, waxes or sealants. As these products offer superior protection they do not fill defects and polishing is recommended. The pro lines polishing is required (Finest, Pro Plus). Temperature and humidity at time of install greatly affects flash times and it really needs to be done in a controlled environment with temps above 65 degrees. I highly recommend doing some you tube video research on installing which ever you choose. Any excess will leave high spots (dull looking areas) which are very difficult to remove once cured. Many if not all require a 24hr. no water or weather wait period before putting vehicle back into service.
       
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    9. Daviswilson259

      Daviswilson259 New Member

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    10. Daviswilson259

      Daviswilson259 New Member

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      It seems that Vinegar/Water combo doesn't worked for you and that spots are looking really dirty on your car, I will recommend you to use Ultima Fine Cut & Polish to remove those spots. It really makes your car shiny and glossy at very less efforts.
       
    11. Dora2.0

      Dora2.0 New Member

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      Thanks for the tips.
       
    12. karlos2

      karlos2 Active Member

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      Had success using Optimum MDR Mineral Deposit Remover. It can dissolve water spots.
       
    13. AnthonyMarc

      AnthonyMarc New Member

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      Thought I'd pop in here and give my $.02. I also have been detailing professionally for nearly 20 years and have a lot of experience with a lot of different products. When it comes to the coatings, however, I get a little cold and here's why... Nothing is going to make your car bullet proof. No coating or spray or anything else. And nothing that you apply from a bottle is going to last for years and years. Some of these coatings try to advertise like they are stronger than actual paint, but that just isn't true in the real world. And here's the other thing... If you have a vehicle that you like looking perfect, then you have to polish it at least once or twice per year to remove the swirls and spiderweb marks from daily drying and the typical marks you get from washing. So with that said, why would I want to apply a coating that costs ten times more than a sealant when I'm still going to polish it off in less than a year? The coating isn't going to protect your car from swirls and scratches. I've tried half a dozen different brands on several different cars that are exposed to various climates and conditions and none of them protected against swirls. Detailers can charge upwards of a thousand dollars to apply this product and I seriously think it is just because they know they'll see less of this customer after the coating so they are just trying to fleece them for the difference they would be making if they kept coming back. Personally I'd rather use a good sealant and put someone on a twice a year maintenance schedule for a couple hundred bucks a pop instead of charging them $1200 and saying 'I'll see you in 3 years' or something like that. A sealant protects just as well and actually looks better. Coatings are a little too 'polished rock' for me. I like a glow and wet look that you get from a polymer sealant. Something more like what a paste wax will give, but with the durability of a synthetic. Lots of options for that kind of combo.

      So anyway, take it for what it is worth. If it is a show car that never gets driven, then a coating may be a good option to protect the paint from oxidation and fading. But if you enjoy detailing your car, then I'd skip the coating. A fresh coat of sealant protects from UV rays and normal damage every bit as well as a ceramic coating would do. Sure you may have to reapply the sealant every three or four months, but that's part of the fun of maintaining a shiny ride. :)
       
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    14. Concours.John

      Concours.John Elite Explorer

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      I completely agree. Coatings are not a bulletproof force field. I sell this as a easier maintenance product. unless a person is willing to follow proper wash and care techniques it is not for them. I do disagree it is fleecing a client. Only because they need to be willing and understand proper care. With that being said there can easily be 20 hours or more in prep and install of a product not to mention costs of materials if the installer cares about the end result. No vehicle or client gets a coating in my shop unless they understand this. Placing a coating over any surface not properly corrected is a disservice. I have clients who do not touch their cars going on 6 years with excellent durability of a coating. It is all about how anything is maintained. I actually disagree with coatings on show vehicles as it is my primary line of business.
       
      Last edited: March 6, 2018
    15. AnthonyMarc

      AnthonyMarc New Member

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      I don't agree with the 20 hours part. I've done full correction demonstrations with coatings on the floor at SEMA and I'd wager there wasn't more than 6 hours total involved in any given project. I don't doubt that a detailer can spend that long on a correction and coating, but I'm not getting paid by the hour, so it doesn't make sense to take that long. The thing that really boggles my mind is when people say they spent 20 hours on something that is essentially brand new. The brand new cars that are well maintained that I work on take far less time than something daily driven. It doesn't matter if it is a Honda or a Bugatti really. A new car is already in great shape. Especially one that isn't daily driven like a lot of the super cars that detailers say take them days to "properly" detail.

      I used to spend a lot of time on show cars as well. Those always looked best at the show with a fresh coat of something on them. Some people just don't get it though. They believe the hype that all they need is one coat of something and their car is good to go for the next 4 years. lol If they read the small print on the coating they got at the dealership they would see that it only lasts for 4 years if you come back every 3 months to get it reapplied. Kind of false advertising if you ask me, but whatever.... lol They don't call them 'stealerships' for nothing. I've found that aviation is where the money is in this industry. Owners have no problem paying three or four thousand dollars (or more) a couple times a year to keep their 20 million dollar jet looking good. Of course I wouldn't use a coating on one of those. It would take more money in materials that I made on a job that big. At a hundred bucks an ounce it is definitely an expensive option for a detailer to use.
       
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    16. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Great topic, what 'on the shelf' or pantry concoction would you recommend to clean the plastic paneling on the interior? Cloth and carpet cleaners?

      Thank you.
       
    17. AnthonyMarc

      AnthonyMarc New Member

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      Honestly, I find that Tuff Stuff works tremendously well as an upholstery and plastic cleaner. You may want a stiff bristled nylon brush to really agitate the product on the plastic to get grime out of the texture, but Tuff Stuff is my go to product for just about everything interior. It is a great cleaner. You'll still want to put on some sort of protectant after you are done since this is just a cleaner, but you'll be hard pressed to find something better off the shelf.

      Another thing I use frequently is just ordinary all purpose cleaner like Purple Power or whatever comes closest in gallon containers at AutoZone. That works great to clean floor mats. Spray them down with the APC, spray it with water, then scrub with your carpet brush. Continue to apply water as needed until the stains are gone. Then rinse them out and hang them on something to allow the water to run out of the mats. That works really well. Tuff Stuff works too, but for really worn in grime, I find that soaking them and scrubbing with an APC works better.
       
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    18. Spudhut

      Spudhut US Navy Submariner Elite Explorer

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      Thanks @AnthonyMarc

      Great advice. I do lack the brushes, so that will be in order to have in my cleaning collection.

      I use some Mother's and Meguiar's products; as I have for many years - and I have been happy with the results.

      You watch enough detailing videos, you could break the bank with some of these 'so-called' cleaners like the F-11. Reading the Amazon Reviews helps... and it doesnt fair well for them.
       
    19. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Thanks guys, I appreciate the updated detailing tips. I detailed cars from 1984-1989, at many dealerships, using a paint treatment as a final step offered by the private company I worked for. Things change over time.

      I'd heard of the paint coatings, and saw the pricing, but didn't know anything about them as to lifespan, care etc. I think I agree that just taking good car of the paint is best, using wax and polishes regularly... to avoid having to buff, which is abrasive and removes paint.
       

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