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What Route To Take?


BrennanT
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So I am fairly new to the polishing/paint correction world and I am really looking for the best way to remove the swirls and oxidation from a Chevy 2500 dark gray paint job. The truck is a 2005 and has a few scratched here and there that I know won't come out but I see a good bit of swirling in the paint from previous washes overtime. I am looking at purchasing the Porter Cable to do the work but I guess my main question is what products would work best and most efficiently?

 

The main reason I ask is because unfortunately I don't have a garage that will fit the truck so I will be working completely outdoors  so I figure I would have to complete my process in that same day and I am afraid by the time I wash and clay I wouldn't be left with enough time to go through and compound, polish, finishing polish, then apply a sealant. Is there a possible way to complete the process in 2 days rather than one? I am just worried about the contaminants on the truck  overnight and not starting on a clean surface the next day? Any solutions to this issue? Thanks!

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It can be done over several days. That’s how I did my truck. I am in the same boat. Truck fits in my garage but I can’t work on while it’s in there. 

Here is a general outline how I did mine.

Day 1:

Washed the whole truck. Clayed the 3 sides of the truck bed. 3 step polished all 3 sides then applied sealant to all 3 sides. 

Day 2:

waterless washed drivers and rear drivers doors. Clayed those doors. Microfiber with heavy correcting polish both doors. Had time so I waterless washed hood and front bumper. Clayed both. Micro fiber with heavy correcting polish hood and bumper. 

Day 3:

waterless washed both passengers doors and the roof. Clayed those. Micro fiber pad and heavy correcting polish the doors. Switched to the orange foam pad and orange polish. Polished the roof and then both passenger doors. Again had time so I went on the the hood and bumper. 

Day 4:

waterless washed drivers side doors. 

orange foam with orange correcting polish drivers side doors. Switched to the white pad and finishing polish. Polished drivers side doors. Waterless washed hood bumper and passenger side doors. Completed the finish polish on the hood and passenger side doors. 

Day 5:

waterless washed cab of truck

paint sealant on the gray pad to all of cab (4 doors, hood, bumper, roof)

 

some steps went went easy and fast. Some steps took longer. It all depends on your paint condition, and the desired outcome. This was my first time polishing and I also have the Porter Cable. Some people complain about it not being smooth but I honestly had zero issues with mine. And after writing it all out I think I may have done it in 4 days not 5 I have listed. But you get the idea of what steps I took. And I only had about 5 hours each day to work on mine. If you have more time available each day you could get it done sooner. 

 

I see Shane answered when I did as well. He brings up some very valid points. He has helped me on several occasions and has valuable advise. As with others that will chime in. There are many on here with great knowledge and more time doing it than me. 

Edited by Firebuff17
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First of all, do yourself a favor and skip the PC machine.  The Adam's Swirl Killer is a better deal for the weekend polisher.  They work well and are essentially copies of the Rupes machines which are fantastic.  

 

The next bit of your post is a bit more complicated.  There's a number of variables that come into play.  Is the paint oxidized?  Or is it clear coat break down?  There's a difference between the two in that one is fixable without paint, one is not.  If it's oxidation, you'll probably want to go to a compound.  Adam's Heavy Correcting Compound with their microfiber pad is the most aggressive setup they offer.  It works really well.  You'll want to finish it after with correcting polish and an orange pad and maybe even take it all the way to finishing polish with a white pad to really bring out the gloss.  There's plenty of different combinations out there and in there that you can try to see what works.  You'll want to take a small test area (2'x2') and use that to see what process produces the results you're looking for before going after the whole vehicle.

 

You can complete the process in two days.  You'll just want to do an IPA wipedown or use a product like Coating Prep or similar to start the second day and carry on.  That's the easy part.

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Great help and info guys I really appreciate it. Honestly there isn't much oxidation in the paint at all mostly just the swirling and that's really what I am after. I would like to take care of it before it gets too late into the spring/summer and super hot on the vehicle while working outdoors. 

 

Thanks Firebuff for breaking down your process super helpful and I will look into doing this if weather does not cooperate and I can't dedicate a weekend to the cause. I am glad to hear someone in my same situation has done this and achieved great results because I was a bit discouraged at first in thinking how much effort and time would go into this and it potentially being hindered by these factors. I almost gave up completely and thought I should take it to someone to do but in the end I am a real do it yourself kind of guy and I know in the long run it'll save me money and give me great satisfaction. 

 

Shane what I am understanding is if I wash and clay the entire truck the first day and get as far as I can I should them come back the second day and do a IPA wipe down and continue with the polishing steps where I had left off? I am just wondering in case the first day I only get done with the compounding would it be okay to leave the truck overnight outside and come back the next morning and spray down with the IPA and then continue on to cutting polish and into finishing polish. 

 

And to address the DA I was not set on the porter cable really I just saw it was a cheap option with good reviews so I figured as a beginner start there or I was considering the the Griot's as well. But if you are saying the SK is much superior I may have to reconsider. Any explanation behind this?

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You can break pretty much anywhere in the process and just do an IPA wipedown and resume as normal. Rain or moisture would be your biggest obstacles, and those can be avoided with planning and aren’t the end of the world. 

 

The PC machines tend to have a bit of vibration to them that can be uncomfortable for the user. Couple vibrations with a new user and it can be unsettling. Adams has the SK lineup or you can go to a Rupes machine (probably not worth the price increase for most users). It’s a solid machine with great support and takes commonly sold pads. The SK comes with spare brushes and will have enough power to correct most of what you’re willing to tackle being new to polishing. It’s also a style of polisher many are familiar with so when you need help on speeds and pad combos, it’s readily available. 

 

I recently wrote a post on selecting the right size polisher that may be helpful. You can find it here. 

Hope this helps. 

 

 

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Boy, I have to agree with Shane about skipping the Porter Cable. It's not a bad machine and was the one that most of us learned on.  But that thing will kill your shoulders with the vibrations.  Go with the Swirl Killers.  Much simpler, and much easier on your body.  Fantastic results.  There are tons of videos on how to use them so try and watch several or keep them bookmarked for reference while you're working.  Welcome to the forum.:welcomebanner:

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Thanks Rich I appreciate the input and looking forward to doing a lot more research here on the forums.

 

Shane I will look into acquiring the SK then from what it sounds like it could be all the difference in making for a more pleasant experience and ultimately make me want to continue with the process. When doing the IPA wipe down do you typically use a 50-50 mix with distilled water in a spray bottle and just wipe clean with a microfiber or is there a better method for this? 

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The application is correct. You want about 10% IPA concentration. How that’s diluted is based on the initial concentration since it’s available in different strengths. But roughly 10-12% is adequate. 

 

And yes, spray on and wipe off with a soft microfiber. 

 

You can use coating prep or any other panel wipe by a variety of manufacturers in its place which is what we commonly use. 

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So a friend of mine has a Griot's 6" DA that is new in the box unopened that he would give me for $50. Would this be worth purchasing given the price as opposed to paying full retail for the SK? Just trying to weigh my options before diving into this whole process.

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1 hour ago, BrennanT said:

So a friend of mine has a Griot's 6" DA that is new in the box unopened that he would give me for $50. Would this be worth purchasing given the price as opposed to paying full retail for the SK? Just trying to weigh my options before diving into this whole process.

 

That is a fine 'PC' type polisher - more powerful than a real Porter Cable sander/polisher.  These work best with 5.5" pads.  I used one for many years before I purchased my RUPES machines. 

You can also use a 3" backing plate/pads for smaller areas, and also hook and loop brush attachments.

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mc2hill, so even though it says it's a 6" DA you can use the 5.5" pads on it? I guess I'm a little confused cause I thought the 6" was the backing plate size and you had to always get the pads larger than the backing plate. 

Edited by BrennanT
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1 hour ago, BrennanT said:

mc2hill, so even though it says it's a 6" DA you can use the 5.5" pads on it? I guess I'm a little confused cause I thought the 6" was the backing plate size and you had to always get the pads larger than the backing plate. 

No, you need to buy a 5”backing plate.

 

 It is an ok machine, but the SK gives quicker results, as I have both.

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22 hours ago, BrennanT said:

mc2hill, so even though it says it's a 6" DA you can use the 5.5" pads on it? I guess I'm a little confused cause I thought the 6" was the backing plate size and you had to always get the pads larger than the backing plate. 

 

21 hours ago, Nickfire20 said:

No, you need to buy a 5”backing plate.

 

 It is an ok machine, but the SK gives quicker results, as I have both.

 

Like Nick said, you will need the 5" backing plate for the 5.5" pads.  The 6" backing plate and pads are too big for this machine to work efficiently - many of us long time Adam's users know that, as Adam's originally sold 6.5" pads for these machines.  They worked but the smaller pads are faster.  

This machine does not operate as smoothly as the Swirl Killer or RUPES long throw DA's, but $50 is a great price to get started with machine polishing. 

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I have the griots 6" machine and got it before adam had the swirl killers.  The lifetime warranty is great but i've found the machine stalls when going into curves so correcting curves is kind of a b****.  I will be getting the 5" plate for mine to try and help with this and for flat panels it works great but you might want to make sure that lifetime warranty would transfer before you bought one.  if it didn't and money is an issue you can pick one up at harbor freight but if it were me and i could afford it i'd def go with the 15mm swirl killer.  trying to figure out how i can add that to my arsenal w/o the wife getting pissed lol.

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Thanks guys based on the feedback here I think I may wait a couple weeks and save up for the SK and purchase the kit with correcting compound and the cutting polish and finish with a sealant.

 

If the SK is truly more effective in a shorter amount of time as well as smoother operating I think it would be worth the investment to make a first experience one that will be enjoyable an make me want to continue polishing.

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1 hour ago, BrennanT said:

Thanks guys based on the feedback here I think I may wait a couple weeks and save up for the SK and purchase the kit with correcting compound and the cutting polish and finish with a sealant.

 

If the SK is truly more effective in a shorter amount of time as well as smoother operating I think it would be worth the investment to make a first experience one that will be enjoyable an make me want to continue polishing.

 

Always be on the look out for sales.  I agree with the SK being good. 

 

If you want to do it over 2 days, I would split it up do the box one day then the cab.  Luckily there is a good break in it, the worse part for me always seems to be the hood, bumpers, and fenders.  So maybe start on the box and try some things out and get a good feel for things, they are good straight panels.  I have a Dark Grey 2017 Silverado, and the day after I got it I used my SK then use glaze, then sealant over the top.  Truck looks amazing, even now after 6 months it still have the very slick looking color, but it is starting to get to the point where it needs it again. 

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1 hour ago, BrennanT said:

Thanks guys based on the feedback here I think I may wait a couple weeks and save up for the SK and purchase the kit with correcting compound and the cutting polish and finish with a sealant.

 

If the SK is truly more effective in a shorter amount of time as well as smoother operating I think it would be worth the investment to make a first experience one that will be enjoyable an make me want to continue polishing.

Definitely a good choice,  take advantage of their kits, as they save money and the current sale as well 

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I did something similar with my old car. I didn’t have a garage so this is what I did. 

Day 1: I washed, iron decon, and clayed. 

Day 2: I compounded and polished the drivers side and trunk. Also had that side of the car parked away from the sun so the paint was not in the direct sun. Did an IPA wipedown and then applied a ceramic coating. Did this early so it had 8-10 hours to cure.

Day 3: I compounded and polished the passenger side out of the sun. And then did my IPA wipedown and applied the coating. 

Day 4: Did the hood and roof in the same process. Actually parked in the shade for those panels.

 

Bedore starting my polishing each day I would wipe those panels down to remove the light dust and dirt that had accumulated over night.

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So final question here I guess before I make my purchases. I have been doing a little reading and seeing some people are using anywhere between 5-10 cutting pads to do a full size vehicle with around the same amount of polishing pads... seems like a lot of $$ up front. Do I really need that many pads to get good results on my truck? Just seems like a lot of money to shell out for a weekend DIY guy like myself that is brand new to all this.

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5 minutes ago, BrennanT said:

So final question here I guess before I make my purchases. I have been doing a little reading and seeing some people are using anywhere between 5-10 cutting pads to do a full size vehicle with around the same amount of polishing pads... seems like a lot of $$ up front. Do I really need that many pads to get good results on my truck? Just seems like a lot of money to shell out for a weekend DIY guy like myself that is brand new to all this.

 

Need is going to different between people. We buffed multiple cars a day at a shop I worked at using the same hand full of pads. Keeping them clean between panels is key. Buy the $10 conditioning brush and use it after every second time you apply product and it will stay clean. For tough spots, spray enough water to soak it then condition it with brush. You will have no problems this way. Others will say differently....

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Q:  How many polishing pads do I need to complete polishing one vehicle?

A:  You may be able to accomplish polishing an entire vehicle with one pad of each type/color; however, you would need to span this out over the course of several days, since the polishing pad will most likely have too much polish residue built up into it after you’ve polished half of the vehicle to continue being effective, and it would then need to be thoroughly cleaned out and let dry before using it again for the remainder of the vehicle.

 

Therefore, we typically recommend having at least 2 clean polishing pads of each type if you are wishing to do a full paint correction in one detailing session. Having a backup pad in case of any accidental pad damage from sharp emblems and so on is also good practice so that you don’t end up stuck in the middle of a detail while waiting for new pads to arrive.

 

Q:  What is the expected life of a polishing pad?

A:  If properly cared for and not abused, our microfiber and foam polishing pads should have a life of 3-5 full paint corrections or more. Abuse from improper technique, too much downward pressure, harsh chemical cleaners, dried up polish residue in the pad, and several other factors could reduce pad life significantly.

 

 

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16 minutes ago, BrennanT said:

So final question here I guess before I make my purchases. I have been doing a little reading and seeing some people are using anywhere between 5-10 cutting pads to do a full size vehicle with around the same amount of polishing pads... seems like a lot of $$ up front. Do I really need that many pads to get good results on my truck? Just seems like a lot of money to shell out for a weekend DIY guy like myself that is brand new to all this.

 

We typically go through 2-4 of each pad per vehicle. It depends on the condition of the vehicle, the polishes/compounds used and the experience of the user (in terms of how the materials are worked and amount of product used). 

 

Making sure tou have enough pads is essential to consistent results. I’d start with at minimum of two to three of each pad for each step you plan to use (cut, correct and polish). 

 

So yes, you can look at 9-12 pads if you total it all up. 

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Wheew thanks guys I was getting just a little worried. I'll be sure to have a few back ups and clean often to ensure consistency throughout the process.

 

Side note I've been on a lot of forums in the past for vehicles and several other hobbies of mine and this is the first one I have been on where people give you straight up answers and advice. No bashing or arguing over form or how to do things the "proper way" instead just sharing stories and things done in the past that have worked for others. So kudos to you guys out there and I look forward to keeping in touch through the forums! 

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2 hours ago, BrennanT said:

Side note I've been on a lot of forums in the past for vehicles and several other hobbies of mine and this is the first one I have been on where people give you straight up answers and advice. No bashing or arguing over form or how to do things the "proper way" instead just sharing stories and things done in the past that have worked for others. So kudos to you guys out there and I look forward to keeping in touch through the forums! 

 

This is exactly why I choose to be heavily involved in this particular forum. I don’t want to have to argue every last point with everyone who has an alternative method. 

 

It it is truly a pleasurable forum to be a part of. 

 

Enjoy your stay here. 

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