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Starting first partial detail today (Clay, PC, Wax) Few Questions


Brian123

Question

I don't plan to do the whole car, but to practice on the hood and/or roof today. I want to Wash, Clay, then try Fine Machine Polish first on the light swirls from washing, Swirl and Haze if needed, followed by Machine Super Sealant, then Americana Wax (12 or so hours after the Sealant is applied I think).

 

Quick Questions:

 

1: Stripping the paint with Dawn. Since I plan to do one or two areas only, it's probably a bad idea to use dawn on the whole car, leaving areas unprotected, right? Should I just use Adam's shampoo and expect the claying on the hood and roof to remove most any old wax or sealant from the dealer? At least enough to practice using a PC and then Wax?

 

2: For claying, I'm low on Detail Spray. I was going to use Waterless Wash as another lubricant, but while it was in the trunk the spray nozzle unscrewed itself. The trunk smells REALLY nice now : ) Must of been two thirds of a bottle, left no stains, wherever it went. So I picked up another brand's "quick detailer," that I hope will do the trick.

 

3: Contours! My 2012 Mustang has plenty on the hood. The normal PC pads will work except for a recessed area on each side. There's a raised area where the pads might hang over the edge by an inch on each side.

 

Any tips based off the images below would be appreciated.

 

Such as, should I polish over the seem between the hood and the wheel well, going over the area the pad is resting on (that overhangs each side). I probably shouldn't go into the small recessed area next to the pad, even the wider part at an angle, letting it go over the edge? I may need 4 inch pads to do the whole car (One reason I want to practice on these areas first).

 

car-contours.jpg

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12 answers to this question

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1: Stripping the paint with Dawn. Since I plan to do one or two areas only, it's probably a bad idea to use dawn on the whole car, leaving areas unprotected, right? Should I just use Adam's shampoo and expect the claying on the hood and roof to remove most any old wax or sealant from the dealer? At least enough to practice using a PC and then Wax?

 

Wash, then do an IPA wipe down to remove old protection. Mix Isopropyl alcohol 50/50 with water, spray on the panel, and wipe with a MF towel.

 

2: For claying, I'm low on Detail Spray. I was going to use Waterless Wash as another lubricant, but while it was in the trunk the spray nozzle unscrewed itself. The trunk smells REALLY nice now : ) Must of been two thirds of a bottle, left no stains, wherever it went. So I picked up another brand's "quick detailer," that I hope will do the trick.

 

OTC detail spray should be ok. I have some left over that I use on the door jams. Sounds like you need a DS Daily Special!

 

3: Contours! My 2012 Mustang has plenty on the hood. The normal PC pads will work except for a recessed area on each side. There's a raised area where the pads might hang over the edge by an inch on each side.

 

Any tips based off the images below would be appreciated.

 

Don't worry about the seams, and try your best to move the pad around to get the large pad into the contours. You can always go back and work those areas by hand. Ok, so a DS and Focus pads Daily Special!

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With those contours on the hood you'll be prone to getting dusting off the pads as its tougher to keep them flat on the surface. Just something to be aware of. I'd use the focus pads for the smaller contour sections.

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Thanks for the tips, I've scaled my plans back this weekend.

 

I just washed the car and had to dry it in dark. But once I pulled back in my garage and turned on a 1000 watt work light, I was able to catch areas I missed. With the work light, I can see I'll need a 2nd great white towel. And is it possible to use too much shampoo, the car could of just been wet, but the work light showed it was hazy after some time.

 

NEW QUESTION:

 

Wow, that clay bar is sticky. It's been in about 58-60 degree temperature. So, should I use the whole Adam's Clay Bar, or break it into two? It's pretty tough at the moment. Should it be in warmer temperature before I try to use it? It felt like if I started messing with it that I'd get residue on my hands.

 

I'm just going to try a small area on the hood. Sounds like a rough surface gliding my fingers across.

 

 

Also, How long should it take to wash?

 

Getting supplies out. Connecting water hose (have quick connects), trying to handle the darn pressure washer for basic $10 foaming gun (a pain to setup and put away), rinse car, foam car, fill buckets, rinse car, wash car, rinse, water sheet, dry, dry again to catch loose water. Put away supplies, man. And the whole time I feel like I'm messing up the paint. Think it took 2 hours or so.

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NEW QUESTION:

 

Wow, that clay bar is sticky. It's been in about 58-60 degree temperature. So, should I use the whole Adam's Clay Bar, or break it into two? It's pretty tough at the moment. Should it be in warmer temperature before I try to use it? It felt like if I started messing with it that I'd get residue on my hands.

 

I'm just going to try a small area on the hood. Sounds like a rough surface gliding my fingers across.

 

break it into thirds is how I use mine..it is very sticky just make sure to keep teh surface slick with DS

 

This^

 

Pick up some nitrile gloves. They work great for this and protect from strong chemicals too.

 

Also, How long should it take to wash?

 

Getting supplies out. Connecting water hose (have quick connects), trying to handle the darn pressure washer for basic $10 foaming gun (a pain to setup and put away), rinse car, foam car, fill buckets, rinse car, wash car, rinse, water sheet, dry, dry again to catch loose water. Put away supplies, man. And the whole time I feel like I'm messing up the paint. Think it took 2 hours or so.

 

Hard to say. Sometimes I do my truck in 30 minutes, other times 1 to 2 hours.

If you are polishing the car, I wouldn't worry about the foam gun. Also, if I am polishing the whole car, I don't try to get the car completely dry, so a damp GWDT will still work.

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Clay feels a little sticky, but that is normal. Spray some DS on the front window, then press the clay against it to make a flat smooth 'cookie' of clay, flat both sides. It helps to have a large flat area of clay to keep the marring down a bit. Wipe the finish with the clay, like you are wiping a window dry. You don't have to bear down on it, let the clay do the work. After claying a section, you may want to check your work, as some spots will require a little more attention to get them perfectly smooth. Use the sandwich baggie test (hand in the baggie, gently wipe the clean finish with your finger tips - magnifies the bumps) before and after to let you know how you're doing. Some people may clay and go, but I clay and test, clay again, test, if good, then move on to the next area. I don't want any embedded crud on the finish when I put the polisher on the paint.

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Thanks again for all the help. I managed to work on a test spot. Something about rubbing clay and using a power tool on a new car had me very worried : )

 

After doing this test, and seeing the paint greatly improve, not make it worse, has now helped me relax and not fear about ruining a new car.

 

I bought this car around July. It looked pretty good then, but my poor technique with washing has led to some swirling. I don't always need the car to be perfect, especially if I know I can always correct it, but I do want to properly apply sealant and wax twice a year, and remove swirls in the process.

 

Here are some photos of my test spot:

 

Broke the clay into thirds. It wasn't as sticky or tough as I thought after unwrapping the plastic. Baggy test was pretty bad. It wasn't that smooth when I got it. Now that test area feels near perfect. A bump here and there with a baggy test, but good enough. Glad to see how easy it was. The clay bar glided smoothly with detail spray and didn't add any scratches from what I could tell.

 

Here's the clay after the small test:

 

car-clay.jpg

 

 

The paint after claying and ready for polishing:

 

car-before.jpg

 

 

And here's the final result after using the PC. Tried Fine Machine Polish first. Minimal improvement for a quick past, so I knew Swirl & Haze Remover was needed. This time there was a quick improvement. I did a second pass to reach areas close to the tape because the pad seemed to be missing polish near the edges the first time. Followed by Fine Machine Polish again, and here's the result:

 

car-after.jpg

 

 

I then used Machine Super Sealant. In a few hours I can finally add the Americana over it.

 

You might see some dusting from the polish. Not sure what term to use. Is that from working the polish too long, using too much, too little, temperature was around 50-55 degrees? Can the dust scratch paint? I mostly applied a small X on the pad.

 

Oh, when I first used the PC, I was thinking, this isn't too bad at setting 5. Not much pressure needed. How much could 6 do, yikes, that required so much more pressure to keep it from spinning too fast. I hope my hands get use to the vibrations.

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Shoot, I can't open the Americana tub : (

 

Back when I received it in September, I maybe opened once or twice after unboxing to see the applicator and wax, but never used it. Kept it in a closet, not the garage. Temps inside my home could of hit 80+ a few times to save money.

 

I'll try running more hot water on it. My roommate thought I was being a wimp, but even he couldn't make it budge. I even flipped a rug over to use the rubber bottom. Push the lid along the rubber on the ground, good grip, but it only shredded it.

 

I saw an old thread, Click Here, so I assume I have the redesigned tub? The tub has ridges on the lid. You can see the tub in my unboxing photos here

 

Any tips?

 

UPDATE: After running really hot water on top and then sides, it finally unscrewed with ease.

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