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How to split a car into sections to detail?


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I saw a video I think where Adam sectioned off the hood of a truck (or SUV?) into like 5-6 pieces to detail.

 

This has me confused....

 

how do I section off the parts of a car to detail? Say we detail my Corvette... how would I do it? I was thinking I'd do the whole car then wipe the detailer product off, but apparently that's the wrong way to do it.

 

any suggestions?

 

and is by hand and machine would be sectioned off differently?

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You want to work 2 ft. x 2 ft. sections.  And most suggest working a single 2x2 area to get the process for the specific car dialed in - does it need 2 section passes of PCP and 1 pass of PFP, or just 1 pass of PCP before PFP.  Work that 2x2 area until you are satisfied, then move on rest of the car is the best way.  Otherwise you just follow the label directions and do 8 hours of polishing for an only slightly shinier car! (ask me how I know  :D !).  (Once you start doing this you will start sectioning off all the cars you see!)

 

You will often see an area taped off for testing.  This allows you the have a 'line of demarcation' and you can easily see the progress made in the polished vs. the untouched area.  If you are trying a couple of different polish/pad combinations, then you will have several taped area over a hood or trunk compare the results.   

 

As for the wiping off the residue, that is personal preference.  When you work that first 2x2 area, you do want to wipe the area so you can see the progress, but after that you could leave the PCP residue on the car and start with the PFP.  Some like to use a IPA & water solution after the polishing steps.  This would remove any residue, oils, and fillers that may be left from the polishes, and let you see the actual polished surface.

 

Work area is about the same for hand & machine polishing.

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You do not want to do the entire car before wiping off the residue unless you are exactly sure what process it will take to achieve the results you desire on that particular car. This is what Michael is talking about with the 2x2 section: do the entire process to that one 2x2 section until you are satisfied with the results - now you will know exactly what you need to do to the rest of the car and will save yourself a LOT of time, effort, and product.

 

Once you know what you have to do, you work one panel at a time and go around the car (or if the panel is large like the hood, you can do half at a time). This is so you do not get ahead of yourself, and it makes it much easier to keep track of what you've already done and when you have left to do. If you are going to split your detail up over more than one day, just remember where you left off and pick up from there. I did my G8 over the course of 4 days and did 3 panels a day.

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I do mine pretty much the way Gerry explained above. After a 2x2 test area, I always start with the hood, work my way around the entire vehicle and end up with the roof. Depending on the size if the vehicle I break it down into 14 to 16 sections. If for some reason I have to stop, I know exactly where to pick up again. Never miss a section.

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