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      09-01-2020, 12:50 PM   #1
PACarGuy
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Hey experienced detailers, wanted to get your thoughts on my plan to detail my 2012 M3. The paint is in very good, glossy condition with very few defects that I can see besides a few small stone chips on the hood that I've tried my best to touch up, and it spends pretty much all of its time in a garage, but I'd like to do a light DA cleanup/polish before putting on a LSP (probably "The Last Coat").

I bought a couple of "finishing polishes" - Menzerna 3500 and Meguiar's D302 - and the Lake Country 5.5" set of foam pads (Orange, White, Black) since I don't think the car really needs paint correction or compounding, though I am new at this so not really sure. I am leaning towards the Menzerna 3500 since it has a very light cut (3/10) to clean up any minor imperfections and produces high gloss, but I'm trying to decide which pad to use. The white is supposedly a "polishing" pad and the black is a "finishing" pad. Which would you recommend? Or are there better options like the Menzerna soft cut foam pad? Am I overthinking it?

Any thoughts or other tips appreciated. I am of course planning to do a full wash, decontamination, clay bar and eraser before polishing.
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      09-02-2020, 10:58 PM   #2
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Meguiar's D302 is designed for a microfiber pad. Does a nice job. Depending on how much you need to pollish, you can try some of the other polishes for foam pads. (I use Meguiar's ultimate polish with a medium pad for light work)
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      09-03-2020, 12:47 AM   #3
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3500 is to be used with Black Foam Pad. It wil restore the gloss but might not be able to remove deeper scratches/swirls.
I believe 3500 is a superfine compound so you be OK if your paint is in good shape.
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      09-03-2020, 08:31 AM   #4
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Thank you both.
Didn't realize the D302 was mainly for microfiber so I guess I'll go with the Menzerna and try the black foam pad.

Obviously harder to see imperfections on gray, but overall the paint is in good shape as you can see, so hopefully this combo will be enough to just add even more gloss.
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      09-21-2020, 05:12 PM   #5
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Started off with menzerna soft cut pad and 3500 polish, but after deeper inspection with a bright LED light, I discovered some of the clear needed more correcting, and the initial combo wasn't doing the trick. Ended up going all the way to a wool cutting disc and correcting compound to get some of the random scratches reduced, and then re-polished with the original menzerna combo. Much more work than I initially realized - the clear coat on these cars is pretty damn hard! There are still a few random defects and a pro could get it even clearer with more aggressive stuff, but it already looks way better. Of course, it's really tough to spot defects on gray paint, which is both good and bad...
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Last edited by PACarGuy; 09-24-2020 at 01:17 PM..
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