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TheWolf

Adamized the Raptor

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Shortly after getting my 2014 Ford Raptor, I did a full detail to protect the paint, add some jaw dropping shine, and to make it easier to wash.  Since I was new to serious detailing, I spent a lot of time researching detailing forums, watching how-to videos and asking questions.  This is the process I came up with.  Luckily the truck did not have any dealer-installed swirl marks or other scratches, so no paint correcting was required.  This was also my first time using the Cyclo.

 

Detailing Process without paint correction (machine application):

  1. Clean tires and rims with Deep Wheel Cleaner, wheel wells with All Purpose Cleaner [30 minutes].
  2. Wash vehicle with pressure washer and Car Wash Shampoo 2-bucket method, pressure washer rinse [60 minutes].
  3. If needed, do iron decontamination on body with Deep Wheel Cleaner, rinse within 5 minutes, do not let it dry.
  4. Thorough rinse and then apply Detail Spray, do not dry.
  5. Clay Bar treatment with Detail Spray (used 1.5 bars or 75% of one pack) [45 minutes]
  6. Wash vehicle with Car Wash Shampoo and 2-bucket method [45 minutes].
  7. Dry with Great White Drying Towel, do not use Detail Spray [30 minutes].
  8. SVRT on trim with Block Applicator and Microfiber Utility Towel (used 10%) [50 minutes].
  9. SVRT on tires with Hex Grip Pro Tire Dressing Applicator (used 15%) [10 minutes].
  10. Quick Sealant spray on vinyl graphics, wipe with Double Soft Towel [10 minutes].
  11. Quick Sealant spray on wheels, wipe with Microfiber Utility Towel [10 minutes].
  12. Liquid Paint Sealant with Black Machine Sealant Pad and Double Soft Towel (used 20%) [90 minutes].
  13. Brilliant Glaze with Red Machine Glazing Pad and Double Soft Towel (used 20%) [90 minutes].
  14. Americana Paste Wax with Black Machine Waxing Pad and Double Soft Towel (used about 15%) [120 minutes].
  15. Glass Cleaner on exterior windows with Microfiber Glass Cleaning Towel [10 minutes].
  16. Glass Sealant on exterior windows with Mini Applicator and Microfiber Glass Cleaning Towel (used 10%) [30 minutes].
  17. Invisible Undercarriage Spray in wheel wells.
  18. In & Out Spray on front grill.
  19. Vacuum interior.
  20. Total Interior Detailer on dash and door panels with Microfiber Utility Towel.
  21. Glass Cleaner on interior windows with Microfiber Glass Cleaning Towel.
  22. Leather & Interior Cleaner on seats with Microfiber Utility Towel.
  23. Leather Conditioner on seats with Microfiber Applicator and Microfiber Utility Towel.

Here are some pics and comments on the process:

 

Unless you are a pro, watch the videos on the Adam's site before you do each step.

20140329_165726.jpg

 

Having a rolling seat helps with the lower areas and I also added some padding to the handle of the stool so I don't scratch anything getting too close and it is also nice to rest your knees against when reaching for the center of the roof.

20140330_142828.jpg

 

Clay baring leaves a lot of residue, so I added a full wash before doing the paint sealant.

20140329_130908.jpg

 

The clay cleaned off a lot of stuff, even on new paint.

20140329_130830.jpg

 

For each section, I did around all the trim and other plastic by hand with a mini applicator to reduce the amount of clean-up. I also did the sealant on the graphics by hand.

20140330_120421.jpg

 

I then did the rest of the large areas with the Cyclo.

20140330_121041.jpg

 

Use all the good stuff.

20140330_142702.jpg

 

And have lots of Double Soft Towels.

20140330_142614.jpg

 

Photos of the results to follow in the next post, as my first attempt to build this thread crashed because the photos were too awesome.

 

Edited on 10/17/14 to update hyperlinks to new website.

Edited by TheWolf

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Since I did not get the chance to do any paint correcting on the Raptor, I decided to see what could be done to a Jeep with completely trashed paint. This Jeep is 9 years old, never been waxed, many trips though the automatic carwash, lots of scratches and brush stripes. In addition to the large scratches, the paint was covered in micro-scratches, swirls and oxidation.

After a thorough wash and clay bar, I spent about 6 hours using the Cyclo with the Paint Correcting Polish and Orange Foam Cutting Pads.  This took care of most everything but I went back over it with a Drill Backing Plate and an Orange Microfiber Cutting Pad to get the remainder of some of the deep scratches in addition to the hard to reach areas like around the door handles where all the fingernail scratches were.

I then used the Paint Finishing Polish and a White Foam Finishing Pad, followed by a wash, Liquid Paint Sealant, Brilliant Glaze, and then Americana Wax. I used the same processes as listed in the first post of this thread.

Here is a Before/After of a big scratch on the door.

Door Scratch.jpg

 

And another of the brush striping on the rear pillar.

Pillar Stripes.jpg

 

Overall, the paint looked as good as new. It was restored to a nice mirror finish. If it weren't for some of the door dings, you would never know the vehicle wasn't new. The Cyclo Polisher is a great tool to use. 

20140420_151603.jpg

 

20140420_151621.jpg

 

Edited by TheWolf

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The screw-on lids on the Adam's car wash buckets are very handy but I found during the first use that just inside the rim of the lid there is a little groove that traps dirt and grit which makes it hard to rinse them out.

Here is a picture of the underside of the portion of the bucket lid that stays on the bucket. This part then has the threads that the lid screws into. You can see the groove.

20140405_155952.jpg

 

I used a small squeeze tube of 100% silicone caulk to fill this groove and then smoothed it off with my finger. Problem solved.

20140405_160005.jpg

Edited by TheWolf

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After washing this black Raptor more times in the last three months than I washed my old truck in 11 years, I found that I needed better equipment and to be more efficient. The Adam's products are great but I just didn't have time to spend a few hours each weekend on a full wash and Detail Spray dry. I also found I was spending more time drying than washing.

Solution? A pressure washer and de-ionizing filter system. Most of the time, this daily driver was just dusty, or spotted from a rain storm. Using DI water in the pressure washer allows for a touch-less wash that takes about 15 minutes, then just let it air-dry. It gets it about 95-99% clean and saves a lot of time. Also, not touching it with wash pads or drying towels means no chances for any swirls or micro-scratching. For this method to work, you first have to have a good layer of sealant or wax to make the dust and minor dirt come right off.

When the Raptor gets too dirty for just a rinse, I run hot water through the pressure washer, then use a foam cannon with washing mitt for a more traditional wash, followed by a cold water DI rinse. Again, drying is optional, but I did find that some of the shampoo ends up under the trim and then drips out later, leaving residue. Forced-air drying with the Metro Sidekick helps with this.

For efficiency in setting up and putting things away, I mounted the electric pressure washer and DI filters on a cart, along with some hose reels. I even added an extension cord reel for use with the Sidekick dryer.

The other nice benefit to the DI water is you can wash in direct sunlight and no water spots.

Note that this model of electric pressure washer is designed to run hot water, most pressure washers, whether electric or gas, are water-cooled and cannot run hot water without being damaged.

 

20140607_121326.jpg

 

20140607_121342.jpg

 

20140607_121400.jpg

 

20140607_130523.jpg

Edited by TheWolf

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I also got tired of dragging out the shop vac and then trying to keep it from banging into the truck when I pulled on the hose. I tried one of the MetroVac Compact vacs that can be wall mounted. It has a strong suction and the hose is 12 feet long and 1-1/4 diameter, which makes it easy to use. I liked it so much I got another one to mount on the other side of the truck. Now, I can do a quick vac of just my side in a minute, or do the whole interior in about 5 minutes. Messy kids and black floor mats are not an easy combination.

 

20140607_132333.jpg

 

20140607_132352.jpg

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Here is a pic showing the advantage of using a foam cannon to get the shampoo on the truck and save time. I started with a good pressure washer rinse and then foamed it with the MTM Foam Cannon using three ounces of Adam's Car Wash Shampoo and a half ounce of Rinseless Wash. I still use a bucket of clean water to rinse out the wash pad between panels.

I am still experimenting with the best foaming solution concentration to get the thickest foam with better hang-time with my pressure washer. For this pic, I was using DI water through the foam cannon. One downside to the quality of the sealant and wax on the truck is that the foam just slips right off!

 

20140615_183350.jpg

Also a few pics during a recent rain storm showing the excellent beading.

 

20140617_183944.jpg

 

20140617_183955.jpg

Edited by TheWolf

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Excellent posts!  Some nice work!  Looks like you got the bug...bad!  LOL

 

Raptor came out very nice.  Are those factory wheels?

 

Jeep turn around was awesome!  Glad you are 'getting the hang' of paint correction! Haha!

 

Like you setup.  I have an electric psi washer and DI system on my 'to get' list...

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The screw-on lids on the Adam's car wash buckets are very handy but I found during the first use that just inside the rim of the lid there is a little groove that traps dirt and grit which makes it hard to rinse them out.

 

Here is a picture of the underside of the portion of the bucket lid that stays on the bucket. This part then has the threads that the lid screws into. You can see the groove.

attachicon.gif20140405_155952.jpg

 

I used a small squeeze tube of 100% silicone caulk to fill this groove and then smoothed it off with my finger. Problem solved.

attachicon.gif20140405_160005.jpg

Good idea.....I have taken my off for that reason.

BTW, Your truck looks great!!

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Yes, the wheels are factory. Here's some pics with the new Tire Shine.

 

20140726_091330.jpg

20140726_091340.jpg

 

I also found that a Kwazar sprayer works better on the Tire Shine than the standard sprayer.

 

20140808_123011.jpg

20140808_123322.jpg

Edited by TheWolf

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The screw-on lids on the Adam's car wash buckets are very handy but I found during the first use that just inside the rim of the lid there is a little groove that traps dirt and grit which makes it hard to rinse them out.

 

Here is a picture of the underside of the portion of the bucket lid that stays on the bucket. This part then has the threads that the lid screws into. You can see the groove.

attachicon.gif20140405_155952.jpg

 

I used a small squeeze tube of 100% silicone caulk to fill this groove and then smoothed it off with my finger. Problem solved.

attachicon.gif20140405_160005.jpg

 

 

 

great idea...thanks for sharing

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Eley corp hose reels? The best.

The hose reels are made by General Pump. I liked them because they were wider rather than too tall, so they fit on the cart better. They have worked well so far.

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When I first started researching and learning about the various products and proper methods for detailing, it was a bit overwhelming. Since it took five months from ordering the truck to taking delivery, I had lots of time to figure out what the different products are for and what the proper methods are, from washing to fixing paint issues to adding shine and protection.

Here are some tips and tricks that I think are useful for the beginning detailer. Some are basic and others are ones you may think are a bit extreme. Everyone has their own methods and ideas. I am not an expert so please provide constructive comments or opinions. If, for example, you have always detailed with rings on all ten fingers like Mr. T and have never had an issue, then keep at it. These are not do-or-die, my-way-or-the-highway items and I am not looking to start any arguments.

I realize there is an entire section on this forum for Tips & Tricks, my intent is to have a condensed list of some basic ones for the beginner who may not have the time to go through all the topics and replies.

I plan to edit this post in the future by adding or revising items as needed. If you have any tips or tricks that you think would be helpful to the beginner, post them and I will update this list.


  • If you are just getting started with detailing, you don’t really need all the equipment (pressure washer, DI filters, machine polisher) to get good results. Start with the proper washing equipment and methods for a two-bucket wash, use some Revive Hand Polish, and finish with Buttery Wax. Obviously any serious paint damage will require a machine but just removing most of the swirls and oxidation by hand and then adding some wax for shine and protection will make a big difference in how your vehicle looks.
  • Wear clean clothes and change your shirt if it gets dirty or wet during washing. You don’t want any dirt from your clothing falling into the polish or wax as it could cause damage to the paint. Do not wear rings, watches or other jewelry.
  • Work in a clean area if possible. If you have to work outside, avoid windy days so dirt or dust does not get blown onto the paint while you are working.
  • Cleaning the vehicle is the most important step. Any dirt hiding out could get picked-up during polishing or waxing and create damage.
  • Drying with just a towel can take a long time trying to get under all the trim and you often get sneaky drips during the Paint Sealant and the water around the lug nuts jumps out when you spray the Quick Sealant. A blower like the MetroVac Sidekick is very helpful. If you use a compressor make sure it is oil-less, you don’t want to be spraying a mist of oil onto the paint prior to sealing it.
  • If you are going to Clay Bar, you don’t need to dry unless your water is hard and leaves spots, just spray the whole vehicle with Detail Spray when it is still wet.
  • First apply SVRT to all the trim and plastic to keep the polishes, sealants and waxes from soaking in, which reduces the time spent cleaning product off these areas. A small foam painting brush works well for applying SVRT to narrow trim like around the windows.
  • I would wash again after any large paint correcting job to remove any abrasives from the nooks and crannies. The abrasives could get picked-up by the applicator during the sealant, glaze or wax and cause damage. Reapply SVRT to trim as needed.
  • Label any applicators for use on a specific product (such as sealant, glaze and wax) and then use that applicator for that product each time, i.e. don't wax with an applicator that you used for sealant on the last detail. [credit Ricky Bobby]
  • Do the paint sealant on everything painted including flares and bumpers. I only did the Glaze on the shiny body paint.
  • Do the headlights and taillights with the same steps as the paint.
  • Have extra towels and applicators for each step. If you drop it, DO NOT USE IT AGAIN even if it looks clean. Same goes for the clay bars. Figure on using two Double Soft Towels for each step but have a few extra.
  • The Paint Sealant and Glaze were easy to remove but the Americana Wax took some more work. Don’t get too far ahead applying the wax before going back to remove the haze. The Glaze was slow to dry, I applied to the whole truck before removing. The Paint Sealant is very hard to clean out of applicators. I used a lot of All Purpose Cleaner and Microfiber Revitalizer but next time I will just toss the applicators used on the Paint Sealant.
  • If you are working in a garage with a smooth concrete floor, use a piece of cardboard that has been cut to fit around the front and sides of the tire to keep the floor from getting too slippery from spraying products on the wheels and tires.
  • Follow the rule of "LEAST AGRESSIVE FIRST" for all processes.  Don't just use all the products for the sake of using them.  If washing weekly, you probably don't need to use DWC every time.  If your wheels and tires are just dusty, try just using Shampoo.  If that is not enough, try some GWC, then only use the most aggressive DWC when really needed.  Same goes for polishing.  Try the least aggressive product first on a test section and evaluate the results.  If Revive is not enough, try PFP.  If that is not enough then go to PCP.  And for the interior, if your seats are not visibly dirty, you don't need to use the cleaner first, just use some Leather Conditioner on a towel for a damp wipe-down.  The same goes for plastics, only use a cleaner if really needed, a wipe with TID is usually enough for routine maintenance.

 

Edit on 9/27/14 to add #15, which was inspired by Scott (Sizzle Chest).

Edited by TheWolf

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One bit of information for you.

 

I am a small engine mechanic for a living, and a certified pressure pump technician (sounds fancy..NOT!)

 

Anyways, do not run water that is too hot through that unit of yours. Pressure washer pumps that are to be used with hot water are designed specifically for that. There are completely different sets of o-rings, packings and seals for cold water units, and hot water units. Your unit is designed for cold water, not hot. Warm water or barely hot water will probably be ok, but don't get too carried away with it.

 

On a side note, very nice truck. I am not a Ford man, but I have always liked the Raptor truck look and the interiors are really nice as well.

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One bit of information for you.

 

I am a small engine mechanic for a living, and a certified pressure pump technician (sounds fancy..NOT!)

 

Anyways, do not run water that is too hot through that unit of yours. Pressure washer pumps that are to be used with hot water are designed specifically for that. There are completely different sets of o-rings, packings and seals for cold water units, and hot water units. Your unit is designed for cold water, not hot. Warm water or barely hot water will probably be ok, but don't get too carried away with it.

 

On a side note, very nice truck. I am not a Ford man, but I have always liked the Raptor truck look and the interiors are really nice as well.

Yes, most pressure washers are water cooled and will be damaged by even warm water.  This one has the hot water seals and is rated to 180o F.  I typically run 100o but go to 120o when washing the undercarriage.  The pressure washer is an AR Blue Clean Professional model AR630TSS-HOT.  Have you ever worked on one of these?  It has a tri-plex pump which is supposed to make servicing it easier.

 

This one is much quieter than a gas or a cheaper electric one and it also has the auto stop/start feature which shuts the motor off when you release the trigger.  Only downside is it was too much money compared to a more powerful gas one at half the cost.

 

On your side note, I was never a Ford guy either, both of my previous trucks were Dodge.  I was never a fan of the regular F-150 but once I saw the Raptor that was it.  Here's a cell pic of the interior, the red accent seats are part of the "Special Edition" package that was new for 2014.

 

20140821_112555.jpg

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Excellent tips and spot on for most. Americana is definitely something you apply to one or two panels at most (fender and door for example) and buff off immediately. Any more and it's tough to remove.

 

Apc and dawn work well on the applicators if reusing them with a hot rinse, but I do dedicate one type of product per applicator. For example I won't wax with an applicator i used sealant with previously.

 

Work clean, and less is more are my two tips. Nice work!

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Good tip on dedicating applicators to one product. I use a Sharpie to mark them. Not all need to be marked since some applicators are color coded to a specific product. I will add this tip to the list.

I will have to try Dawn soap on the Liquid Paint Sealant next time.

I also like to clean the applicators between each step instead of having a pile of them to clean at the end when I am usually tired out.

20140330_205724.jpg

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