The $200 Detailing Challenge | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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The $200 Detailing Challenge

I just bought a black 2003 Mustang that I plan to use as a daily driver. As one might expect, the previous owner had absolutely no idea how to properly care for black paint. As soon as the weather breaks and it warms up outside, I'm going to task myself with correcting the paint. I've used a lot of different products in the past with varying degrees of success. Naturally, I've found that there can be a huge difference between many of your easily found parts store products and your higher end products. With that being said, some parts stores and even Walmart carry some pretty good stuff that can get you by in a pinch. Case in point, I use Meguiar's Gold Class and Surf City Garage car washes and I think they're both fantastic. You'll see that my list is both a mix of readily available and harder to find products.

So here is the challenge. If you had $200 and you needed pretty much everything, what would you buy? We'll assume the purchaser already owns buckets, grit guards, a wash mitt, assorted microfibers, pads, and a dual action tool (i.e. Porter Cable 7424XP). Let's keep this at or below $200 as I feel that is a realistic number that your average Joe would feel comfortable investing. You'll notice that some items such as the cleaners and dressings are combined. Feel free to separate these if you prefer two distinct products. My list uses a sealer instead of a wax. Sealers are more durable for daily drivers whereas waxes are great for that deep glossy look. The problem with wax is that it doesn't last nearly as long as a sealer. I'm anxious to try a hybrid sealer/wax product from Poorboys, but for the time being, my list includes more familiar products. If this thread is successful, maybe we can start another one for higher end products.

The Necessities:

1 - Car Wash Concentrate
2 - Clay Bar
3 - Clay Bar Lubricant
4 - Cut Compound
5 - Swirl Polish
6 - Finish Polish
7 - Sealer/Wax
8 - Wheel Cleaner
9 - Tire Cleaner
10 - Tire/Trim Dressing
11 - Leather Cleaner/Conditioner
12 - Hard Surface Cleaner/Protectant
13 - Glass Cleaner

My List:

1 - Meguiar's Gold Class: $10
2 - Sonus SFX Ultra Fine Clay Bar: $20
3 - Sonus Glyde Clay Bar Lubricant: $12
4 - Prima Cut Compound: $19
5 - Prima Swirl Polish: $17
6 - Prima Finish Polish: $17
7 - Klasse High Gloss Sealant: $20
8 - Meguiar's Hot Rims All Wheel Cleaner: $6
9 - Wesley's Bleach White - $3
10 - Optimum Tire Shine: $12
11 - Poorboys Leather Stuff: $18
12 - Poorboys World Natural Look: $12
13 - Surf City Garage Clearly Better Glass Cleaner: $8
Total: $174

Dirt, where are you?!?!