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      07-21-2011, 03:40 PM   #1
ec_E92
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Detail Advice?

I've washed/waxed my M3 but I'm about to detail the exterior for the first time and would appreciate any feedback from the pros out there!

I'm not a noob but definitely a rookie, I think I know enough to be dangerous. I'll be doing everything by hand and I have clayed my suv before and researched on autopia/autogeek/etc.

I'd consider my car's paint very dirty, even after a wash/wax it feels rough (especially the rear of the car) and I have tons of rail dust, which REALLY shows up on Alpine White. I live in the midwest and drive my car year round, taking around (5) 1200 mile round trips annually to Ohio/PA, so I get my share of bugs and road grime. It's a 2008 with 41k well enjoyed miles.

So onto my plan:

Stock fridge with beer (Sam Adam's Summer Ale or Boulevard Wheat)
Prewash car and wheels with 1Z W99 (a 1:5 concentration? never used before)
Wash with Dawn dish soap to strip all current wax
Aquartz Iron Cut (first time using this product)
Clay Bar (Meguiar's clay kit with quick detail as a lubricant)
Wash with car wash (I think I have some Turtle Wax concentrate right now)
Cleaner Wax on Shadowline Trim (Meguiar's Cleaning Wax)
Apply Sealant (Wolfgang Deep Gloss 3.0, first time using sealant)
Apply Wax (Meguiar's Gold Class)

I'm not sure how well the Meguiar's will bond to the Wolfgang but it's worth a try. I can't justify dropping $50 on a jar of Wolfgang Fuzion wax. It's so easy to get caught up in all the detailing products and drop a few Benji's.

I'm also doing the Dr. ColorChip to hit some road rash I've accumulated and they recommend 3 weeks before waxing/sealing so I've got some before I dive in.

Any tips or critiques?
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      07-21-2011, 04:39 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ec_E92 View Post
I've washed/waxed my M3 but I'm about to detail the exterior for the first time and would appreciate any feedback from the pros out there!

I'm not a noob but definitely a rookie, I think I know enough to be dangerous. I'll be doing everything by hand and I have clayed my suv before and researched on autopia/autogeek/etc.

I'd consider my car's paint very dirty, even after a wash/wax it feels rough (especially the rear of the car) and I have tons of rail dust, which REALLY shows up on Alpine White. I live in the midwest and drive my car year round, taking around (5) 1200 mile round trips annually to Ohio/PA, so I get my share of bugs and road grime. It's a 2008 with 41k well enjoyed miles.

So onto my plan:

Stock fridge with beer (Sam Adam's Summer Ale or Boulevard Wheat)
Prewash car and wheels with 1Z W99 (a 1:5 concentration? never used before)
Wash with Dove dish soap to strip all current wax
Aquartz Iron Cut (first time using this product)
Clay Bar (Meguiar's clay kit with quick detail as a lubricant)
Wash with car wash (I think I have some Turtle Wax concentrate right now)
Cleaner Wax on Shadowline Trim (Meguiar's Cleaning Wax)
Apply Sealant (Wolfgang Deep Gloss 3.0, first time using sealant)
Apply Wax (Meguiar's Gold Class)

I'm not sure how well the Meguiar's will bond to the Wolfgang but it's worth a try. I can't justify dropping $50 on a jar of Wolfgang Fuzion wax. It's so easy to get caught up in all the detailing products and drop a few Benji's.

I'm also doing the Dr. ColorChip to hit some road rash I've accumulated and they recommend 3 weeks before waxing/sealing so I've got some before I dive in.

Any tips or critiques?
My biggest concern with the regimen you have outlined is a lack of polishing. After so much use, your clear coat will have some swirls and light scratches that will need to be polished out. Given that you're using some Meguiar products, i'd recommend looking at their M205 and M105 polishes. To get those out, you'll need at least one, most likely two polishing passes before you'll be able to your finishing coats of wax/sealant.

If your budget is constrained, I would choose between a wax or sealant, rather than using both and unless you have specific issues with ferrous materials getting on your car, i'd spend the money on some polish, rather than another washing product (particularly since you're doing a wash/strip, clay and second wash).
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      07-21-2011, 05:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shizzle View Post
My biggest concern with the regimen you have outlined is a lack of polishing. After so much use, your clear coat will have some swirls and light scratches that will need to be polished out. Given that you're using some Meguiar products, i'd recommend looking at their M205 and M105 polishes. To get those out, you'll need at least one, most likely two polishing passes before you'll be able to your finishing coats of wax/sealant.

If your budget is constrained, I would choose between a wax or sealant, rather than using both and unless you have specific issues with ferrous materials getting on your car, i'd spend the money on some polish, rather than another washing product (particularly since you're doing a wash/strip, clay and second wash).
I thought about polishing as I do have light scratches/swirls and...
1. I don't have an orbital/DA
2. Time is limited
3. It scares me

I could go get a panel from a junkyard and practice but I don't have tons of free time.

My thought process behind sealant and wax was that during winter I won't get to wash my car much, let alone wax it. So I'm looking for as much protection as I can get. And I'm not sure if I actually have a problem with ferrous metals (haven't removed them at all yet) but I do know they are all over the car presently (original rail dust, brake metal, snow plow, other conspiracy theories).

I'm just getting into this world of detailing and quickly learning you have to draw the line somewhere as there are so many specialized products out there in addition to theories and techniques. Where you draw the line is the question, my car is a DD - I want to take care of it, however, it's not an exotic or show car.

Thanks for the response and whats your POA for the ugly Toronto winters?

Edit: I'm not tied to Meguiar's by the way, just used in the past with good success and reasonably priced.
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Last edited by ec_E92; 07-21-2011 at 05:38 PM. Reason: not a meguiar's whore
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      07-21-2011, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ec_E92 View Post
I thought about polishing as I do have light scratches/swirls and...
1. I don't have an orbital/DA
2. Time is limited
3. It scares me

I could go get a panel from a junkyard and practice but I don't have tons of free time.

My thought process behind sealant and wax was that during winter I won't get to wash my car much, let alone wax it. So I'm looking for as much protection as I can get. And I'm not sure if I actually have a problem with ferrous metals (haven't removed them at all yet) but I do know they are all over the car presently (original rail dust, brake metal, snow plow, other conspiracy theories).

I'm just getting into this world of detailing and quickly learning you have to draw the line somewhere as there are so many specialized products out there in addition to theories and techniques. Where you draw the line is the question, my car is a DD - I want to take care of it, however, it's not an exotic or show car.

Thanks for the response and whats your POA for the ugly Toronto winters?

Edit: I'm not tied to Meguiar's by the way, just used in the past with good success and reasonably priced.
If you're not sure about a problem with ferrous materials, just use clay. I asked one of the pros here in the detailing section about iron cut, and they mainly recommend it to help reduce claying times. If you do a good pass with clay (it should get rail/brake dust off), then you can probably do without it - and save the money for an orbital/DA. You'll be surprised how easy it is to use one, don't let it scare you.

I have an AW car as well, and I like the glassy look of sealants over waxes. As a result, I usually do a couple coats of sealant (I really like Menzerna Powerlock and i've also had good results with Blackfire Wet Diamond). I usually do one intensive detail in the spring and one in the fall - which is when my M3 is a DD. A couple good layers of sealant lasts me through the winters up here in Toronto, although I don't drive the M3 much in the winter.

My recommendation is to keep things simple until you're at the point where you're willing to start polishing. Get a good car wash product, good clay bar and lube and pick one of either a wax or sealant. Once you're ready, add a fine polish to the mix, and finally a strong polish once you're confident and have the time.

PS. I'm only a brand whore when it comes to beer. Given that I'm Canadian, I keep my fridge full of Mill St. Stock Ale and Sleeman's Honey Brown - anything else is just wrong
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      07-21-2011, 08:10 PM   #5
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I'd do a light polish instead of the cleaner wax, then follow up with the sealant.

The wax over the sealant should be fine, but should let the sealant cure first so as not to waste your time applying the wax. Actually two coats of the wolfgang should be easier to apply and will look quite good on it's own.
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      07-21-2011, 10:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sensi09 View Post
I'd do a light polish instead of the cleaner wax, then follow up with the sealant.

The wax over the sealant should be fine, but should let the sealant cure first so as not to waste your time applying the wax. Actually two coats of the wolfgang should be easier to apply and will look quite good on it's own.
To be honest the cleaner wax was only for the trim as mentioned in another thread on here. I agree it's not necessary after clay and iron cut.

I think Wolfgang suggests 12 hours for curing, forgot to mention that in The Plan!
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      07-21-2011, 10:13 PM   #7
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Quote:

If you're not sure about a problem with ferrous materials, just use clay. I asked one of the pros here in the detailing section about iron cut, and they mainly recommend it to help reduce claying times. If you do a good pass with clay (it should get rail/brake dust off), then you can probably do without it - and save the money for an orbital/DA. You'll be surprised how easy it is to use one, don't let it scare you.

I have an AW car as well, and I like the glassy look of sealants over waxes. As a result, I usually do a couple coats of sealant (I really like Menzerna Powerlock and i've also had good results with Blackfire Wet Diamond). I usually do one intensive detail in the spring and one in the fall - which is when my M3 is a DD. A couple good layers of sealant lasts me through the winters up here in Toronto, although I don't drive the M3 much in the winter.

My recommendation is to keep things simple until you're at the point where you're willing to start polishing. Get a good car wash product, good clay bar and lube and pick one of either a wax or sealant. Once you're ready, add a fine polish to the mix, and finally a strong polish once you're confident and have the time.

PS. I'm only a brand whore when it comes to beer. Given that I'm Canadian, I keep my fridge full of Mill St. Stock Ale and Sleeman's Honey Brown - anything else is just wrong
I agree keeping it simple is a good plan and I like the idea of just trying the sealant on it's own to see how I like it. I'll have time before winter hits to throw wax on later this fall if I feel the need.

I tried just clay on my wife's SUV and I swear some spots 'reappeared' the next morning when I went to wax it. Maybe I'm not using an aggressive enough clay.

I also question how iron cut claims to "open your paints pores", seems like a misleading statement but people swear by it on some detailing forums.

Thanks for the tips and Cheers!
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      07-22-2011, 12:56 AM   #8
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a little adjustment to your plan...

=Wash with Dawn if you dont want to buy a dedicated car wash soap that will strip the car
-Iron cut to reduce the clay time
-POLISH the car - Its going to need it and your efforts will be useless if you dont. The amount of claying you are going to need is going to scuff and mar your finish more than you think! AW car, not taken care of regularly, 3 years old...DEFINITELY needs a polishing two years ago! If you dont want to buy a machine and the necessary stuff along with it (dont blame you), then have it corrected by a pro and then maintain it from then on..it will look better, last longer, and you will be MUCH happier in the end! People think that a wax is what they need, but a polishing is always better! Oh and polishing by hand is a waste of time. The results are never as good and takes MUCH longer than with a machine!
-IPA wipedown - dont need to re-wash the car necessarily, but if you are using a lot of clay lube and its taking a lot of work, then a car wash might be a good idea - just another option to possibly save you some time.
-Seal the car with wolfgang
-Wax the next day

You dont need to do a pre-treat car wash to wash the car.
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      07-22-2011, 12:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Envious Eric View Post
a little adjustment to your plan...

=Wash with Dawn if you dont want to buy a dedicated car wash soap that will strip the car
-Iron cut to reduce the clay time
-POLISH the car - Its going to need it and your efforts will be useless if you dont. The amount of claying you are going to need is going to scuff and mar your finish more than you think! AW car, not taken care of regularly, 3 years old...DEFINITELY needs a polishing two years ago! If you dont want to buy a machine and the necessary stuff along with it (dont blame you), then have it corrected by a pro and then maintain it from then on..it will look better, last longer, and you will be MUCH happier in the end! People think that a wax is what they need, but a polishing is always better! Oh and polishing by hand is a waste of time. The results are never as good and takes MUCH longer than with a machine!
-IPA wipedown - dont need to re-wash the car necessarily, but if you are using a lot of clay lube and its taking a lot of work, then a car wash might be a good idea - just another option to possibly save you some time.
-Seal the car with wolfgang
-Wax the next day

You dont need to do a pre-treat car wash to wash the car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ec_E92 View Post
Wash with Dawn dish soap to strip all current wax
Eric, I meant Dawn dish soap to strip wax, thanks for clarifying!

For the pre-wash, I like how versatile the W99 product is on paint/wheels/glass/carpet so I'm curious to see how it works. I need something to loosen the bugs caked onto my bumper. Driving through back-country roads in Wisc and Illinois in the summer is awful, they're honestly painted on and it takes me a good 30 min to just wash my front bumper after a road trip. Using it as a wheel cleaner is a bonus rather than getting a dedicated wheel cleaner like Sonax.

The more I think about it I am leaning towards trying a light polish. Asking around I have a friend who has an orbital to lend to me. Your comment about the amount of claying I'll be doing and the subsequent micro-marring from all the junk I'm pulling out of the clear is what's really drawing me into the polishing side. And as for giving it to a pro, I'm a DIY guy, and I have the utmost respect for their skill and trade, but it's part of the enjoyment I get out of my car is personally going over it and taking care of it - I just can't bring myself to do it. It'll be a slow learning process. Plus if I'm putting in the time and effort I might as well do it right.

So I'm sure once I get this mastered I'll be back in a few weeks researching how to wetsand to get rid of the orange peel... damn these forums

-Eric
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      07-22-2011, 02:36 PM   #10
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You should definitely invest in an orbital such as the porter cable 7424xp. It's around $120 on amazon which is good amount cheaper than what we sell it for at the shop!

Good thing about the orbital is that it's user friends and you wont burn through the paint like a rotary can do. As Eric highly recommended, polish is key for paint correction..especially after claying your car. As far as products go, there's so much to choose from along with products that are easier to use for the novice or beginner all the way to the products that take more time which are recommended for the pros. Feel free to ask questions and do searches on this site. There's a lot of info out there. Good luck
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      08-05-2011, 03:57 PM   #11
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Dude compound the rough swirly spots, then drink, then polish your entire car, then drink again, then wax your car. You will smile when done with a beer in hand lol

Seriously mcguires compound polish and wax.
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