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Getting ready for spring

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I've never tried it, but I've been told that it's a good product..

As it's supposed to be nice this afternoon. I'd like to give CG's ONE a shot at the van:

http://www.chemicalguys.com/Waterless_Wash.../wac_107_16.htm

It's a waterless wash/LSP product. I have a couple of other waterless washes, but I think that ONE is the only (err..) one capable of handling the amount of dirt, including salt, on the van's paint. I'm pretty curious to see how well it works in this instance. I figure that if I mar the paint in the process, given salt's abrasive nature, I'm going to compound and polish it anyway in a few weeks. OTOH, if it works out, I'll definitely buy more.

I've seen ONE used on very dirty paint with good results. Here's to hoping for the same.

I am very skeptical of waterless washes, but would be willing to try I guess.

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I am very skeptical of waterless washes

I am, too. When the paint is very slick and not dirty, just dusty, I have no issues with a waterless wash. Having looked at the paint with a 1000w halogen before and after, I'm comfortable knowing that it doesn't mar the clear coat. OTOH, using a waterless product on a dirty car lacking a durable LSP makes me nervous, which is why I'm curious to see what happens with the van. The other waterless products in my arsenal aren't designed to remove stuck-on dirt, but ONE is supposed to do well in this instance. We'll see....

...but would be willing to try I guess.

Just say the word, and I'll shoot some samples your way.

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I am, too. When the paint is very slick and not dirty, just dusty, I have no issues with a waterless wash. Having looked at the paint with a 1000w halogen before and after, I'm comfortable knowing that it doesn't mar the clear coat. OTOH, using a waterless product on a dirty car lacking a durable LSP makes me nervous, which is why I'm curious to see what happens with the van. The other waterless products in my arsenal aren't designed to remove stuck-on dirt, but ONE is supposed to do well in this instance. We'll see....

Just say the word, and I'll shoot some samples your way.

That would be awesome. :)

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I realized after I posted that I linked an incorrect product. CG's site no longer lists ONE, but here's a ONE demo from Youtube:

I used it on the van and the results weren't bad : smooth, clean, slick paint, albeit lacking clarity. Either the product has fillers, or it truly didn't mar the paint, as I couldn't see any issues under a halogen. IIRC, I paid ~$8 for 12oz on Autopia. The van, which is admittedly not small, took about a third of the bottle. It's not the most cost-effective product, but it is unique in its application.

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Ok yesterday I was able to work on the sled a little. Used the Meguires NXT speed detailer to help take away some dust and what ever got under the cover in the last 2 months. Then followed up with the Eagle One Nanowax spray. Not to go into a major review as I have only used it twice, but it seems to be a decent product (the Nanowax). Only thing is the sprayer sprays too much per squeeze I feel. Also, there is no need to let dry to a haze, just spray on and wipe off quick. But if you don't wipe off quickly it can be streaky and you have to really rub down the surface to work in the product and bring out the shine. The concept of the chemical that they explain on the bottle is interesting (as in smaller particles fill in irregularities in the paint better and leave a smooth and even surface).

Side note, after learning about Barry M., once I run out of the NXT Speed Detailer, I will need to find a different replacement. I have some Mothers spray detailer left over from the clay bar pack, but have not really used it for detailing just for the clay bar.

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Ok yesterday I was able to work on the sled a little. Used the Meguires NXT speed detailer to help take away some dust and what ever got under the cover in the last 2 months. Then followed up with the Eagle One Nanowax spray. Not to go into a major review as I have only used it twice, but it seems to be a decent product (the Nanowax). Only thing is the sprayer sprays too much per squeeze I feel. Also, there is no need to let dry to a haze, just spray on and wipe off quick. But if you don't wipe off quickly it can be streaky and you have to really rub down the surface to work in the product and bring out the shine. The concept of the chemical that they explain on the bottle is interesting (as in smaller particles fill in irregularities in the paint better and leave a smooth and even surface).

IIRC, I have some Nanowax liquid that I tested once or twice. I'll toss it in the box with the other stuff.

Side note, after learning about Barry M., once I run out of the NXT Speed Detailer, I will need to find a different replacement. I have some Mothers spray detailer left over from the clay bar pack, but have not really used it for detailing just for the clay bar.

The QD is my favorite product type, as it allows one to try something new and fun without long-lasting effects. As such, I've used almost every QD around and I have another contestant arriving today. If you have Mothers Showtime QD, then it's indeed very good. It's one of three OTC QDs that can be recommended for a high-end detail - Meguires #34 from their professional Mirror Glaze line that can usually be had at major autoparts stores, Mothers Showtime, and Duragloss Marine QD. Showtime and #34 are both bodyshop safe, and can be used with a wax or a sealant.

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I have been keeping my eyes out for Duragloss, since my back yard backs up to the Chesapeake Bay there are more then a few boat shops around so there is a chance one of them has the Duragloss Marine. Also, with the Cali Gold shine on our 4-door for the price, I think I will be choosing Mothers this year over Meguires for the regular use products that I buy on a steady basis, just hard to keep that car clean when it is on the road every single day. Might need to pop into a few more auto parts places this weekend, plus I believe we have a $50 Visa gift card I can use up 1/2 for fun. :)

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I have been keeping my eyes out for Duragloss, since my back yard backs up to the Chesapeake Bay there are more then a few boat shops around so there is a chance one of them has the Duragloss Marine.

From what I understand, quite a few boat shops sell the brand. Of course, now that I've said that, your odds of finding it are automatically lower. :lol:

You may also want to keep an eye out for Duragloss (ie. DG) 501:

http://www.duragloss.com/product.asp?pid=308

It's a very good AIO (ie. All In One) - a strong chemical cleaner and a sealant in one application.

Also, with the Cali Gold shine on our 4-door for the price, I think I will be choosing Mothers this year over Meguires for the regular use products that I buy on a steady basis, just hard to keep that car clean when it is on the road every single day. Might need to pop into a few more auto parts places this weekend, plus I believe we have a $50 Visa gift card I can use up 1/2 for fun. :)

I usually check the clearance racks at Pep Boys/ Target/ Walmart every few weeks. I've found really nice stuff at more than 50% off.

As it was very nice out yesterday, I started polishing the side of the car that was painted fall. I used the Flex with black/grey Lake Country and Meguires pads. These pads have no cut, so they allow a finishing polish to work the paint. I tried the new Optimum Finish polish (OFP), Manzerna FPII, Griots MP3, and settled on Meguires 205. I did the passenger side and the hood. The paint looks gorgeous, but my body feels like it's going to fall apart. Really, I'm in pain. I haven't had this kind of a workout in months. :o

After the polishing, I applied some glaze to the paint to allow it to off-gas. Once I finish polishing the rest of the car, I'll go back with a softer pad, same polishes, to bring out more gloss. I figure that I'll be done by mid-June, just in time to start laying down the LSPs.

The rest of the car will require a slightly different approach. It's factory paint is harder and it has some light marring on the clear coat in a few spots by the lower edges of the doors. I'll start with a white pad and a medium polish; it's always best to begin with the most gentle combo. Once I gauge the paint, the rest should flow pretty easily.

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If we have time today on the way home, I will see if we can hit up one of the boat shops on route 40. I need to do another polish application on both cars for sure. Might get out the buffer.

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Just put about 2 hours into polishing the hood on the 5. Feel like I am making progress, but very little bits at a time. :(

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Just put about 2 hours into polishing the hood on the 5. Feel like I am making progress, but very little bits at a time. :(

I was just about to post and ask how things were going. What color is the 5, BTW?

phpcAMe2y.jpg

I used 303 on the interior plastics today. 303 is the reference standard for dressings. It lasts a long time, offers true UV protection, and it leaves a nice satin finish that isn't greasy to the touch. I've strayed away from it in recent years and forgot just how good it is. In some ways, I prefer Poorboys Natural Look (ie. PB NL) on the dash, as its finish is matte with no gloss at all, but its durability isn't great. There's always something to spoil the party. :)

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In photo, my sled on the left, 5 on the right. Dark forest green to answer your question, one of the BMW specific colors.

26309640005_large.jpg

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That's a gorgeous 5-series. I love the body, the color, and the wheels - stunning!

I used the rotary on the van yesterday. Let's just say that I need a lot of practice. It's not like running my usual random-orbitals; there's a steep learning curve ahead. Next weekend, I'll setup the extra hood that I have and work with the rotary a bit more.

As a point of interest, here is a price list for a high-end details. The prices are in Canadian currency, but it does give one an idea as to the time needed to complete a multi-stage polish:

http://www.autowerkesexclusive.com/detailing.html

IME, US pricing is pretty much the same for this kind of work. Some charge by the hour, but most offer a flat fee package rate. I once had someone who worked for a client ask for a price quote. I don't detail professionally, but she insisted. I looked at her car and said that it would take me 2-3 days of work at a cost of $500-$600, depending on the paint, itself. From my POV, it was a deal, but she looked like she was about to faint. I think she expected a typical hack fee of $75 for a wash and wax by an idiot like this:

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/1571-car-detailing-exterior

If you guys watch these videos, keep in mind that almost everything this guy does and says is completely incorrect. I got the link from a multi-page thread culminating in total disbelief that someone like this is allowed to touch a quality automobile.

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800-2200-0-L.jpg

I heard that some Pep Boys stores carried Surf City Garage products. I was driving by a store today and sure enough they had a full display of SCG. I picked up the glass cleaner, the UV-safe QD, and the Grime Destroyer that's supposed to be phenomenal. Can't wait to try them!

As I was walking though the store, I saw the Brinkmann Xenon light pictured above. It's been out for a while, but the stock usually goes pretty fast. The light is used for checking the paint. A 1000w dual-halogen shop light is arguably a better tool, but it isn't exactly portable. With the Xenon, I can sit on my rolling mechanics chair, machine polish, and check the work after a quick Iso wipe-down without getting up. Fantastic. Needless to say, I got one.

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The light is used for checking the paint. A 1000w dual-halogen shop light is arguably a better tool,

i was always told to take the car out in to natural day light on a nice sunny day even shop light hide stuff surprise surprise when you find it.

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i was always told to take the car out in to natural day light on a nice sunny day even shop light hide stuff surprise surprise when you find it.

I couldn't agree more. No question, direct sunlight is best by far. It just isn't always practical to roll the car out after every pass, and polishing in the sun can be difficult. Too, it's hard for direct sunlight to hit the side panels on a car, espescially toward the bottom of the doors, side skirts, etc, if the time of day isn't right. FWIW, I always check the work under direct sunlight. Sometimes, though, I need to wait a day or two for the sun to be bright enough.

Florescent light can hide a lot of defects. In some ways, an incandescent lamp is better, but a halogen pretty much rules all common options. HIDs, like parking lot lights, can work well. One of these days I'll install one in the garage. I'm still kicking myself for not doing it when we had an electrician run a few lines to my office.

Edit: forgot to mention that the flash of a camera also works very well.

Edited by Speed

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That's a gorgeous 5-series. I love the body, the color, and the wheels - stunning!

I used the rotary on the van yesterday. Let's just say that I need a lot of practice. It's not like running my usual random-orbitals; there's a steep learning curve ahead. Next weekend, I'll setup the extra hood that I have and work with the rotary a bit more.

As a point of interest, here is a price list for a high-end details. The prices are in Canadian currency, but it does give one an idea as to the time needed to complete a multi-stage polish:

http://www.autowerkesexclusive.com/detailing.html

IME, US pricing is pretty much the same for this kind of work. Some charge by the hour, but most offer a flat fee package rate. I once had someone who worked for a client ask for a price quote. I don't detail professionally, but she insisted. I looked at her car and said that it would take me 2-3 days of work at a cost of $500-$600, depending on the paint, itself. From my POV, it was a deal, but she looked like she was about to faint. I think she expected a typical hack fee of $75 for a wash and wax by an idiot like this:

http://www.monkeysee.com/play/1571-car-detailing-exterior

If you guys watch these videos, keep in mind that almost everything this guy does and says is completely incorrect. I got the link from a multi-page thread culminating in total disbelief that someone like this is allowed to touch a quality automobile.

Holy crap, just watched that video of the guy detailing the Bentley, unreal. :unsure:

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I couldn't agree more. No question, direct sunlight is best by far. It just isn't always practical to roll the car out after every pass, and polishing in the sun can be difficult. Too, it's hard for direct sunlight to hit the side panels on a car, espescially toward the bottom of the doors, side skirts, etc, if the time of day isn't right. FWIW, I always check the work under direct sunlight. Sometimes, though, I need to wait a day or two for the sun to be bright enough.

Florescent light can hide a lot of defects. In some ways, an incandescent lamp is better, but a halogen pretty much rules all common options. HIDs, like parking lot lights, can work well. One of these days I'll install one in the garage. I'm still kicking myself for not doing it when we had an electrician run a few lines to my office.

Edit: forgot to mention that the flash of a camera also works very well.

I have this little 4 LED wind up flash light that works well too.

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I came across a very charming and beautifully written piece that humorously describes the pet products and the general orientation of the major detailing forums. It's a fun read:

http://www.autopia.org/forum/hot-tub/11391...onic-waxes.html

EDIT: some great deals at the Autopia store. Use the code "autopia" for an additional 10% off:

http://www.autopia-carcare.com/driveaway.html

Edited by Speed

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Holy crap, just watched that video of the guy detailing the Bentley, unreal. :unsure:

Isn't that something? Did you see the part where he talks about waxing? That was the (errr...) "best" part:

1. This joker advises folks to buy el-cheapo MFs and use them ~5 times before washing, marring the finish in the process. Unbelievable, but it gets better.

2. He says that a 'nuba is absorbed into the paint similar to a hand lotion. Of course, a 'nuba (chemically) floats just above the paint, never actually bonding to it. Absorption is a physical impossibility.

3. He asserts that all waxes are basically the same, citing Simonize (!!) as an example. The gross differences in durability, alone, must not exist on his planet. Clearly, he's never worked with modern formulations and seen their effects, firsthand.

4. He applied the wax with a frucking rag, making sure that the Bentley's paint was swirled before being returned to its owner.

As I've mentioned, I'm not a professional, so my reaction to all this was relatively calm compared to the guys who detail for a living. Understandably, they go apeshit when they see someone calling himself a detailer, yet not even knowing the basics of the profession.

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It is exactly the same feeling I have about certain "audio company owners" pretending to be professionals and giving people wrong or false information. I am far from an expert and fully understand there is probably still more that I do not know then what I do know. So I can seriously relate to the anger at a clown like this making decent enough money to afford a shop in Tysons Corner for an extended period of time. Anyone that knows the mid-Atlantic area knows that the area he is in is very expensive and shops of all kinds know they can charge what ever prices they want. This is essentially the logic of I-95 living from Alexandria, VA to Boston, MA just about everything with in reason of I-95 is just silly in price. :(

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This is essentially the logic of I-95 living from Alexandria, VA to Boston, MA just about everything with in reason of I-95 is just silly in price. :(

this is like the gas prices in michigan some city's it like $1.97 a gallon go to another city it $2.05 a gallon it a 8 cent increase from town to town city to city.any ways like your saying it's supply and demand kinda like unique whips aaron could do better i could do better speed could do better hell a trained monkey could do better. but of course they charge up the wazoo because it demanded of them by famous stars etc... the total project cost Markus Canbie sp? car was probably200-300 dollars plus equipment. but they charged him more then 10,000 -20,000 to do services that mark up for supply and demand is it a good way to do business no. but hay how has a house 10 time the size of mine then speed channel put up as the in thing this is kinda like fast and the furious with the ricers but for bass attic's like me to sit and laugh at even though though he still making thousands a week. maybe i should start to sell woofers at rollex prices maybe it would drawl a crowed to bad it's just total bs is what it is.

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Even thought yesterday was humid with temps in the 50s, curiosity got the better of me and I decided to try-out Griots Garage Best of Show wax (ie. GG BoS). I used a paint stripping agent on a panel, followed by an Iso wipedown. FWIW, the same thing can be accomplished with just the Isopropyl alcohol. I applied the wax to the bare paint. I'd prepped that panel last weekend, so we were good to go.

Given the somewhat unfavorable ambient conditions, the product wasn't difficult to apply. I laid down a very thin coat of the wax and gave it ~10 minutes to setup. BoS isn't known for easy removal, though thin coats help greatly. The product certainly didn't slide off the paint like my LSPs of choice, but once I gave it a light mist with a QD, BoS came off without streaking. It's something to keep in mind. When dealing with a stubborn wax or sealant, a QD usually takes it right off. I learned that the hard way when I used KSG for the first time and applied waaaaayy too much product to the paint.

I can't really comment on anything else, until BoS has a chance to cure and fully develop. Last winter, when we did the durability testing, I applied 9 LSPs to an extra hood that I have. It was kept in my office for the first, few days before going outside to weather. All of the LSPs gained very noticeable slickness and gloss after 24-48 hours, as the products cured.

My wife has been bugging me to do her Mazda. I'll probably begin working on it on Sunday, do a 2-step polish, and finish with the GG sealant topped with BoS. As the car lives outside, this will be a good test of the products' durability. Her car will probably be done after Tuesday.

Edited by Speed

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Thanks for the tip on the QD over stubborn wax. ;) I am very curious on the Griots products, as I have not heard anyone say anything negative about them, so maybe when I can afford them I will start trying them out.

When I showed the sled in 2004-2005, a number of other guys in the luxury class with me swore by Griots (keeping in mind these other vehicles were less then 18 month old fully done S-classes, M5's etc owned by men twice my age at the time and quadruple my net worth). :)

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I am very curious on the Griots products, as I have not heard anyone say anything negative about them, so maybe when I can afford them I will start trying them out.

Griots gets mixed reviews on Autopia. Some products, like the Speed Shine and the shampoo, are almost universally well-regarded. The SS is a very good value, too. The polishes get mixed reviews. Most folks feel like they don't have enough cut. From my perspective, I'd have to agree that other products - like M105 - have much more cut and can get paint correction finished quicker. On relatively mar-free paint, I do like the Griots polishes, as they haven't dusted on me yet and they're very easy to clean up. They don't flash too quickly, and they leave a LSP-ready finish.

BoS also gets mixed reviews, namely due to less than very easy removal. I haven't read much about the sealant. Griots says that it's laden with fillers, and that's the main reason I got it. All of my other LSPs are filler-free. Some paint needs a little extra help, like my wife's Mazda. The dealer "washed" it for her, while it was covered in salt, and damaged the paint severely in the process. I've got about 40 hours into the paint with a PC. I'll give it a good shot with the Flex and whatever is left will hopefully be masked by the fillers in the GG sealant.

When I showed the sled in 2004-2005, a number of other guys in the luxury class with me swore by Griots (keeping in mind these other vehicles were less then 18 month old fully done S-classes, M5's etc owned by men twice my age at the time and quadruple my net worth). :)

That seems to exemplify Griots main market. They don't really sell to the detailing community. Their main clientele consists of well-healed automotive enthusiasts who want high-quality products geared for their needs. Griots does that very well.

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