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Skill and patience tester -- 02 PT Cruiser


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I recently purchased a 02 PT Cruiser for my daughter. The car was owned by an elderly lady and is in outstanding shape with only 65K miles. However, the car has been subjected to a steady diet of automatic brush washes its entire life, so a major paint correction was in order.












It looks pretty decent from a distance, but the swirls and straight line scratching is pretty severe. I also had a couple of spots that were etched pretty badly by bird bombs plus a spot on the hood where the clear coat had been blistered:










Before breaking out the PC, I wet sanded the headlights, the bird bombs, and the rear hatch where the dealer labels were attached.


I then got busy with the polisher. Correcting this car was a nightmare! I was using SSR with a PC and I could barely make any progress on the swirls after 3 passes. In desperation, I broke out my drill and green focus pads and found I could get correction with two passes. I then ended up doing the entire car twice with the PC and a focus pad, which cleaned it up pretty well. The heat and humidity weren't helping matters any either. The dusting was severe even with tons of DS and the absolute bare minimum of product.




This shot is of the front clip after the SSR steps and a pass with SHR:




The car was looking really good after the SHR pass. As I started the FMP pass, disaster struck. The spindle in my PC decided to separate from the bearing as I was just starting on the roof. The pad and spindle got spit out of the machine and left a dent and deep scratch on the roof:






I tried using my drill at slow speed with a focus pad to polish, but in the end I did the polish step by hand using the focus pad. I then finished up with a coat of Americana.


In spite of the heat, frustration, and about 20 hours (!!) of hard work, I think the results were worth it.















The moral of the story is (repeat after me):


"I need a Flex ...", "I need a Flex ...", "I need a Flex ...", :D:D:D

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Yes, I did. Thanks for letting me know about the warranty, I'll call tomorrow.


BTW -- Porter Cable sells the spindle and bearing assembly as a service part for approximately $45. The service center near me has them in stock.

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Great job! That must have been a nightmare with the drill.


Sorry about the PC.


You made me nervous with the multiple passes with SSR and getting nowhere. Now you just made me want to get a FLEX even more.

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