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If I can't fit in a full detail...

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I live in Florida and right now the weather is either dang hot with lots of sun or rainy and slightly cooler.  My garage is only big enough to "tuck" my truck in and not big enough to move around on 3 sides.  I want to do a full detail but given the direct sunshine makes the truck too hot and the cloudy periods usually mean rain I have a short period of time in which I can work.  Since my time windows aren't long enough to do a full detail I plan to try to break the detail into two parts.  Keeping in mind that I will have to drive the car in between the two sessions does anyone have any experience with this and have any recommendations (other than buy a house with a bigger garage)?  My thought is to wash, clay and polish in one session and then strip wash, seal, glaze and wax in the second session.  Thanks for your input.

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I'm no expert by any means. I'm sure some of the more knowledgeable members will chime in. However, I wouldn't drive the vehicle without any layer of sealant or wax on it. I would simply take the area I was working on to completion. And on the next session, do the same for the remainder. Again, I'm not expert but that's my two cents. Good luck!

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I too have a small garage, and I'm a little inpatient, polishing with a DA is boring for to me, but I love cleaning and sealing/waxing. I work in small sections at a time, I clay, clean with APC, and waterless, then polish, seal, glaze, wax.

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Rob hit the nail on the head - don't drive without some sort of protective layer on the car. Should something hit your car...bird bomb, tree sap, etc...you could do some damage to your paint. So I'd recommend strip wash (vs. normal since you want to take everything off before you start the process), clay, polish, alcohol wipe down (50/50 isopropyl alcohol with blue waffle weave towels) to remove the oils, wet the car, and apply HGG (it can protect the car for 2-3 months, so you'll have more than enough time). Then, next session, strip wash (again, to remove the HGG), check for any new swirls and correct if necessary, and proceed to seal, glaze and wax.

 

Post some pics when done!

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You'll be fine driving the vehicle for a while without protection on it. See what I've just completed over three weeks:

http://www.adamsforums.com/topic/33420-ceramic-coating-cant-stop-staring/

 

Just look the paint over regularly, carry some Waterless Wash and Waterless Wash microfiber towels with you to remove bugs from the front bumper and and bird bombs that might hit you.

 

Think about how many vehicles are out there that don't have on them now, or never get waxed or sealed. It's not like the paint's going to begin to deteriorate.

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+3. I live in pretty hot weather, and just washing the truck takes about an hour so its almost impossible for me to do a whole detail in one day here. 

 

What I did, was wash the truck normally, then the next day, get a small bucket with strip wash and wash one panel. Kinda like rinseless, but strip wash instead. Then clay bar it while its still covered with strip wash, and dry it out with another towel. No need to rinse. 

Then go to town with your polish and sealant. 

 

That way your car is always protected, and you dont have to stress out about finishing on time.

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Just do the car sections at a time. Add some quick protection like h20 guard. You could go without protection like most cars on the road today. But, well, look at those cars lol. Not very good condition.

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What I do in small garages is go on a diet, then pull the vehicle close to one side of the garage, do a section at a time then flip the car around do the other section.

 

For my own car I bust out the night lights wash and wax at night makes it oh so right. I'm part of the night crew washing the cars.

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There is nothing wrong with it being driving with out protection as long as it is not an extended period of time.  I also live in Florida, and just finished doing a detail on my grandson's Camaro. It had not been waxed since he bought it about 6 months ago and he had no idea on how to take care of it, so he was using dawn.  So needless to say it had no protection on it for some time.  See the images below.. 

 

I did it in the driveway just last Friday.  We washed it, clayed it, machine polished and waxed.  I will admit with the humidity in the air it took some time for the polish to flash.  But we got it done.

But again if you cannot do it all at one time washed it and clay it.  Before you start the polish a few days later if it is really dirty wash it again or use the waterless wash or rinseless wash, followed by polishing and then sealant and or wax.

post-118-0-98346100-1500813545_thumb.jpg
post-118-0-05010200-1500813525_thumb.jpg

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And then when bird poops without protection you'll wish you had a barrier of wax protection.

 

 

Or not...

k732tbe.jpg

No protection on the finish, and it wiped off with no ill effects. A vehicle's paint really is quite durable...

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This is an adam's forum with a wealth of knowledge on how to keep your vehicle protected under all circumstances. I'm fairly sure 99.9% of us wouldn't be caught dead driving around with bare paint. Some times it may be unavoidable, and may not have ill effects, but I sure as hell sleep better knowing I'm not going to drive out one day with bug guts etched into my clearcoat. Anybody in Florida knows that bug guts or even water spots combined with the intense sun and heat is a death sentence for paint or windows. And it only takes a couple hours. I know, because trying to keep my Tuxedo Black Raptor clean in a Florida summer required 7 days a week, 24 hours a day attention.

 

So OP, just do the vehicle panel by panel and give yourself that peace of mind. It's worth it.

Edited by Mariner

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brzn, is that the only kind of poop you have available, from experience in hotter climates there are white poops and small yellow poop dots that will damage the paint here in California, there is no right or wrong answer here but I can guarantee that leaving poop on paint cooking in direct sunlight will cook the paint!

 

 

Or not...

k732tbe.jpg

No protection on the finish, and it wiped off with no ill effects. A vehicle's paint really is quite durable...

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Again, I would not go more then a day or so without protection, and if you get anything on the car wash it off as soon as possible.  But if you look at the pictures of teh black Camaro you cannot belive what it looked like before I started.  Againhe owned it for about six months or so.  Naver waxed it and washed it with dawn.  Sits outside all the time.  With the proper procedure and Adams you can fix just about anything.

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brzn, is that the only kind of poop you have available, from experience in hotter climates there are white poops and small yellow poop dots that will damage the paint here in California, there is no right or wrong answer here but I can guarantee that leaving poop on paint cooking in direct sunlight will cook the paint!

 

 

haha the yellow poop is bee poop. I learned that not too long ago lol. 

 

To be honest tho, if your goal is to correct the paint, then there really is no point in stressing about protecting the car. Youre going to fix it anyway. However, once you finish correcting the paint, thats when I would really want to give it a coat of sealant or wax. Only because you want to make your hard work last longer.

As mentioned, most clearcoat is very strong and it takes a long long time of abuse for it to start fading out. It wont happen in a day or even a month. Usually takes years of neglect. Even on 120+ weather.

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Not all vehicles have a designated clearcoat. Mine is a single stage paint, with a clear mixed in. Contaminants to my paint is detrimental, thus never goes unprotected. I just don't understand the defense of knowingly leaving your paint unprotected when you have the time to plan a correction, which is what the OP is asking.

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Not all vehicles have a designated clearcoat. Mine is a single stage paint, with a clear mixed in. Contaminants to my paint is detrimental, thus never goes unprotected. I just don't understand the defense of knowingly leaving your paint unprotected when you have the time to plan a correction, which is what the OP is asking.

In this case the OP does NOT have the time for a full detail. He is asking if its ok to do it in section and drive in between that time with no protection. The answer is yes, its ok. 

 

If the car doesnt have factory paint, then thats a different story, but any paint from factory is made to withstand the elements for more than a few days. A buddys tacoma is also single stage and has been neglected for years. Just now you can see his hood getting swirls and scratches, nothing a polish cant handle. 

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In this case the OP does NOT have the time for a full detail. He is asking if its ok to do it in section and drive in between that time with no protection. The answer is yes, its ok. 

 

Just because it can be done, doesn't make it smart. In reality it's up to the OP to do what he thinks is right. But I'm not quite sure how driving around with bare paint beats polishing and sealing a couple panels at a time.

 

Also after rereading the Tadd's post, I also don't agree with riding around with bare paint because if you clay and polish the first session, after driving you could very well be picking up more contaminants on the road, and there's a lot more than just bugs out there. In Florida it rains almost every day, and driving along wet roads, you'll be slinging dirty water along the side of your car. Any additional contaminents may remain even after the second strip wash, then sealing it in with Paint Sealant or even prohibiting the sealant from bonding correctly.

 

So Tadd, I stand by my suggestion to strip wash, clay, polish, and seal a couple panels at a time. It's fool proof and eliminates any outside factors messing up your hard work. I've been in your situation and this is what I've done personally.

Edited by Mariner

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Just because it can be done, doesn't make it smart. In reality it's up to the OP to do what he thinks is right. But I'm not quite sure how driving around with bare paint beats polishing and sealing a couple panels at a time.

 

Bingo!

 

Im sure OP knows its not a smart idea, he just wants to know what will happen if he does. After all thats why hes asking the question, and all im saying is it wont be bad.

 

If driving in the rain for a few days messes up your paint, then maybe you got a lemon or something. Ive driven different cars in different conditions (sand dunes, mudding, hail, rain, dust storms, 120+*, farm fields, tracks, trails, beaches, you name it) and I can assure anyone clear coat is the ultimate layer of protection. It truly lasts for many years while wax and sealants only last for months.

 

Lets just agree to disagree, you think its a death sentence to drive with no sealant or wax for a few days, and I think he will be ok. Im sure OP can decide what to do from here.

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Wow.  I appreciate everyone's input almost as much as I appreciate everyone's passion for their car's paint.  I will certainly think about the different points made. Follow-up question on the polishing - after the polish has been applied is there a "layer" that is left behind or does all the polish come off leaving the paint free of all protection?  Is the Isopropyl alcohol to remove the remaining polish?  Would the strip wash accomplish that same thing or would it not be enough?

 

Thanks again for everyone's input.

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Wow. I appreciate everyone's input almost as much as I appreciate everyone's passion for their car's paint. I will certainly think about the different points made. Follow-up question on the polishing - after the polish has been applied is there a "layer" that is left behind or does all the polish come off leaving the paint free of all protection? Is the Isopropyl alcohol to remove the remaining polish? Would the strip wash accomplish that same thing or would it not be enough?

 

Thanks again for everyone's input.

There may be some polishing oils remaining. Personally, I like to do a wipe down with Coating Prep, but you can also do another strip wash or wipe down with 50/50 iso alcohol/water mix.

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haha the yellow poop is bee poop. I learned that not too long ago lol. 

 

To be honest tho, if your goal is to correct the paint, then there really is no point in stressing about protecting the car. Youre going to fix it anyway. However, once you finish correcting the paint, thats when I would really want to give it a coat of sealant or wax. Only because you want to make your hard work last longer.

As mentioned, most clearcoat is very strong and it takes a long long time of abuse for it to start fading out. It wont happen in a day or even a month. Usually takes years of neglect. Even on 120+ weather.

 

Can we just take a minute to talk about the yellow poop?! Is that what that crap (pun fully and intentionally intended) on my car is? I have these little elongated pieces of yellow that stain my white car in just a few hours. 

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