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SEVERE water spots/etching



Well....I'm in need of some expert advice here guys. As some of you know, I live in Minot, ND and we've been experiencing record flooding. With all this flooding comes a bunch of other problems. One of which being water mains breaking throughout the entire city. We've been on a water conservation policy for about 2 weeks now and I have not been able to wash my truck at all. A little over 2 weeks ago I had gotten it extremely dirty and caked with mud/flood water after helping some friends move their belongings out of their rural house before it flooded to their roof.


So I've had this "junk" that came from the river/sewer/mud/environment sitting on my black truck now for a little over 2 weeks with NO way to remove it until today. We finally were able to use water as we normally would. So I immediately busted out the Hotsy today and blasted the truck with 200 degree water at a pretty high pressure. I sat out there for almost 2 hours making sure every little element of that crap was gone and off my truck and out of the nooks and crannies.


I was relieved at this point because I had felt like the toxins were finally removed from my truck, but it was apparent the damage had been done. I did a two bucket wash one panel at a time to make sure nothing would dry on the truck (it was about 90 degrees outside today in the sun). I dried with detail spray and a great white drying towel. I repeated the process just to make sure what I was seeing wasn't from my previous wash. It wasn't.......


The water spots and etching from the flood seem to be on there pretty darn good. Over 75% of the truck is covered in water spots/hazing/etching that make it difficult to even get a reflection from the paint after a wash. The hood and tailgate seem to be in the best condition. Sides are the worst.


I tried to get some pics today, but the sun wasn't cooperating very well at sunset.


What are my next steps here guys? Any ideas for a more aggressive wash? At this point the swirls aren't my main concern. They were there before all of this happened and a full detail was on its way before this flood came barreling in and wrecked our city. I bought the truck used about 6 months ago and I don't think the finish had any sort of wax/polish on it when I bought it last winter. I was going to hit this thing hard for a week once it got warm this spring and never really got the chance.


I know a definite hardcore clay session is in order here and I have 2 Adam's bars waiting to be demolished. I'm hoping claying puts a dent into the water spots (not my truck obviously...haha). SSHR with the Flex? I suppose if all fails I could go the wet sanding route, but I'd like to try all I can before I get that invasive. I've wet sanded before when I used to paint vehicles to get fisheye/runs out of newly sprayed clear. Not the most fun time in the world and definitely takes skill. Its been a while since I've worked in that area of wet sanding/color sanding and I'd like it to remain that way if at all possible. Sorry this got so long, I'll try to get better pics tomorrow. Just imagine a black finish with some of the worst possible water you could imagine have sitting and baking mixed in with mud for about 2 weeks with NO way to wash it off.




EDIT: Pics added!!

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First of all Sorry to here about the flooding! If its only been a couple weeks the water spots shouldn't be etched in your paint. If you have old water spots on the hood that are etched I would use the 4'' Focal pads, the ones that are not etched the PC should take care of them and yes pics will help us tell you for sure what you need to do!

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Thanks guys. I ready your entire F350 writeup last night. The chrome bumpers resemble what the sides of my truck look like. Not sure if I'm going to have time to tackle this today or not. I am however going to do a test area with the suggestions above. I'll post pics today also. Thanks everybody!!!

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One more thing. Any tips for capturing these water spots with my camera? I didn't have a whole lot of time to mess around with setting last night around sunset. Is the sunlight better or should I pull it in the garage and smack some halogens on the finish? I was thinking I'd bust out the macro lens and see what I can get with that. Any tips would be helpful though! Thanks!!!

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Got some better pics today. These were taken after 2 rounds of a 2 bucket wash, solid round of claying and waterless wash just before taking these pics. I am making another post in the before and after section HERE. I was very pleased with the machine polishing results!







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Here are the results after 2 passes each of SSHR, SHR, and FMP all with the PC. I was extremely pleased at how well it turned out considering how it started. There are some odd reflections of my garage in the pics which appear to be imperfections. They aren't, I can honestly say this panel is 95% fully corrected, minus some focus pads coming back and taking care of the deeper surface scratches.


This panel took me about 45 minutes from start to finish so I have quite the day ahead of me tomorrow to fully correct this truck. I think this job calls for the FLEX. I think I'll start a brand new thread capturing the entire detail outside and in.











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