Torx' Guide on Detailing an Automobile

Discussion in 'Gearhead Garage' started by Torx, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    i dont have pics yet, but damn was it a strenuous workout.
    heres a list of what i used and my procedure. keep in mind since my car is black i really have to pay attention to what i do as to not leave any more scratches.

    This guide of focused on the consumer line of meguiars products. Their professional line of liquids are found in JUGS rather than small tubes and shit.

    materials/products used
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    - meguiars gold class wash (you know i gotta buy the shit with a black car on the front) :p :p
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    - one hairy wool mit
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    - wheel brush (any will do)
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    - two bucket method (i plan on upgrading to grit guard buckets)
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    - meguiars clay bar (once again, gotta buy the shit with a black car on it) :p
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    - meguiars quick detailer (used in conjunction with clay bar)
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    - assortment of microfiber cloths (autozone, meguiars)
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    - meguiars g110 dual action polisher (with velcro backing plate)
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    - meguiars w8006 soft buff pads
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    - meguiars tech wax 2.0
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    - meguiars swirlx 2.0
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    - rainx spray
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    - black magic tire shine
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    - westleys bleach white spray (for use on white walls, but cleans blackwalls exceptionally)
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    - rainx bug and tar remover
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    - California duster
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    thats just a tiny fraction of my meguiars detailing products, once i get a handle of the DA, i'll step up to the pro line products.

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    WASHING PROCEDURE
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    0. Park in a shaded area or garage area, let the car cool.

    1. Fill both buckets of water. dedicate one for water only (rinse), and the other for soap. Once your soap bucket is full, measure out a scoop of soap and pour it in. DO NOT spray into the bucket, this will just cause more suds and less concentration. Instead, just swirl your hand in the bucket of soap+water and let it mix like that. Or stick the spray deep into the water and mix like that.

    2. Spray the car down and work from the top -> down. Rinse any loose dirt off the roof, on down the sides of windows, and finnally the sides and wheels.

    3. Spray the front bumper down with bug and tar remover, let it sit for a while. Then rinse off.

    4. Grab you mit, get it nice and soapy and start on the roof. Wash one half, flip the mit over and wash the other half. Stop, then rinse the roof off.

    5. If youre quick you can wash the rear window, and front windshield, then rinse roof and windows at the same time. Remember to flip the mit over and rinse it out in the bucket before doing another section. Its good to the get sprayer and spray the mit down for safe measure every now and then.

    6. Wash the hood down, trunk, sides of the cars being careful not to get your mit dirty by touching the tires and undercarriage thus picking up rocks and dirt and swirling it into your paint. Wash one section(panel) at a time. People like to put soap on a car and let it sit, this might leave water spots, especially if washed in the sun which is a no-no.

    7. Keep the horizontal surfaces wet at all times until you get a towel to dry.

    8. Wheel brush and leftover soap should be used for the wheels. wheel cleaner sprays are optional, although i think theyre a waste of money and can damage the coatings on your wheels.. i just use leftover soap.

    9. Westleys Bleach white the blackwalls, let it sit, then spray it down... trying not to get any bleach white on the car after you just washed it. Finish the tires off with Tire shine.

    10. Use a towel or chamois to dry the car off... Heres a few tips to keep from putting more swirls and scratches into your paint. Instead of taking the towel and rubbing in circles furiously around the car, fold it in half and drape it across the roof, then pull it down towards the front of the car, down the windshield, down the hood. Same method towards the back. By this time, the car should be almost dry by itself. So take the towel and fold it to a clean side and BLOT the car's leftover wet spots. BLOT, dont rub.

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    POLISH PREP
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    1. Use the clay bar and quik detailer to work sections of the car. Kneading the clay when its gotten dirty. dont worry, just because its got contaminants in it doesnt mean it'll scratch your paint. Just means its doing it job.

    2. Spray, then clay.. rub in circles, side to side, whatever, doesnt matter.
    You'll be able to tell if a surface is rough with contaminants embedded into the paint versus a smooth contaminant free cleaned area. You can stop in your section when rubbing is baby smooth.

    3. Horizontal flat surfaces are the most contaminated because contaminants in the air fall and sit on the paint. so the hood, roof, and trunk should be your main priority.

    4. Use a fresh microfiber cloth to wipe up the quick detailer. Remeber, do one section(panel) at a time and remember to knead your clay.

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    POLISHING PROCEDURE
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    0. By this time dust or little particulates might have already relanded on your cars surface so before doing any dual action polishing, make sure you swipe the section/panel youre about to polish beforehand

    0. [OPTIONAL] Use blue painters tape on sections you want to avoid or not get residue on.

    1. Swirlx 2.0 is the latest derivative of swirlx and scratchx for removing circle swirls in paint. This can be seen under a spotlight at night especially on dark/black cars. Its disgustingly crude. Used in conjunction with a DA, you can get those out for that super gloss finish.

    NOTES: dual action polishers are much for freindly to use because they have an oscillating action rather than a real spin.. thus it doesnt burn paint or edges. also if too much pressure is put on the DA it'll stop as a safety mechanism. I recommend one to any at home DIY detailer.

    2. Swipe down your section for preparation. Velcro attach your soft buff pad(w8006). Squeeze swirlx 2.0 in a + on the pad. One vertical line down from top to bottom, one line from left to right.

    3. Set the DA to setting 5 or 6 and prepare to get your world rocked.

    4. Get a good handle on the DA and make sure your cord/extention wont be in the way when manuevering. Place the DA pad firmly on the section where you wanna start. Rock the pad in a circular motion, to get the swirlx into the foam pad better. Turn the DA on and start in a left to right ->down -> then right to left. And keep going until youre at the bottom of the panel. while its still on, you wanna go up and down now. Basically you wanna cover the area in a crosshatch pattern. Dont use it in circular patterns or wherever you please.. its mandatory you use it in an even crosshatch pattern. You wanna keep 20lbs of pressure on the DA and GO SLOW, take your time.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT turn off a dual action, or orbital when raised off the surface YOU WILL MAKE A MESS. A HUGE MESS. Turn the DA on with it firmly planted on the surface and turn it off when firmly planted on the surface. Else you'll end up with polish sprayed all over your car and work area.

    NOTE: If you wanna know what 20lbs of pressure feels like, put the da with pad on a foot scale and press down until 20lbs. Thats how much pressure you should put on the surface when polishing. GO SLOW. Alot of people get intimidated by the sound and feel of a DA doing it thing and wanna rush through like theyre doing something wrong. Theres nothing to worry about, go slow and let the swirlx do its magic.



    5. Once youve done all panels you can go back and wipe off the residue if any.

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    OPTIONAL POLISH/CLEANER
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    0. This is where you use a soft buff pad and meguiars cleaner/polish over the car before waxing. Use a setting 3-4 for this.

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    OPTIONAL GLAZE
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    0. IF you want a super uber gloss then sliding a meguiars glaze on top before waxing would be great. This is optional. Use a low 1-3 setting for this. Wipe residue with microfiber

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    WAXING
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    0. Use a duster to swipe down panels of any dust or particulates before waxing.

    1. Waxing is self explanitory. I opted to do it manually with hand and pad... because my DA is a dud and wont operate on settings less than 6. (i gotta return it)

    2. Spread the tech wax, let it dry, use a fresh microfiber to wipe off. simple as that. Its waxed good when you throw a towel on the hood and it slides right off.

    3. Keep the wax off any plastic and rubber trims. its hell getting it off.

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    FINAL TOUCHES
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    0. Rainx on the windows, tire gel, rubber gel/protectants, chrome cleaners, etc

    1. throw the microfibers in the washing machine, water+dawn soap+soft buff pads = clean.


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    MAINTENANCE TIPS
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    1. Bird poo RUINS PAINT. As soon as you see bird poo, meguiars quick detailer+microfiber it off ASAP.

    2. Seasonal rains = water spots. Its good to rinse after a rain especially if your rains include alot of acid, salts, and pollutants.

    3. tire gels and sprays can fling off onto your newly washed car. Make sure you get a thin gel and applicator for a "by-hand" application

    4. Meguiars clear headlight lens kit is available optionally. Basically is a kit of scratchx and a microfiber.
  2. MSP

    MSP Haunting a dead forum...

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    Wow! This is a hell of a guide Torx. Definitely need some pics, but just wow. :thumbsup:
  3. smirnoff

    smirnoff Curmudgeon

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    Very thorough. PICS asap! :)
  4. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

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    damn torx. nice post. I can't imagine how long this takes you though. Takes me like an hour just to do a basic wash on my car. So how long does it take you to do that start to finish? How much do all those products cost you at one time? I know meguiars is expensive but the best. I'm trying to sell my car, might be worth me detailing it like this if it's cheaper than paying someone to do it.

    And that's a another question taht's kinda off topic. If you are selling a car, is it worth your time and cost to detail it? If you are looking for a used car, would a detailed car make a difference in your decision? I know for me personally, I could car less if it's detailed. As long as mechnically sound and a good deal, that's all I care about.
  5. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    a full detail can take two days.. exterior/interior

    took me from 7am-12pm
    start early in the cool morning for the wash, and near lunch for finishing.

    if you wanna sell your car, detail it. get it looking good.
    buying a used car? of course i would buy a detailed car over a non. simply because that shows me the owner at least kinda cares about its upkeep

    meg's isnt too expensive, theres plenty of other brands out there.. mothers, 3M, turtle, california, zymol, all kinds of different brands. i chose meguiars because of their forums and support. BEST EVER. Thats the thing about meguiars.. they have a consumer line of products, and professional line of products. so you can choose to your liking.

    i just called them and they told me to ship it to them, and they'll just compensate me for shipping with a pad of my choosing... so it'll take about 3 weeks total before i get it back. just in time for maybe another waxing. :D
  6. Chainblade

    Chainblade Junior Member

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    well i guess I should detail it then. So hard to keep cars clean here though. It's either wet and muddy or dusty. I washed my car and it sad for the day and it was already dirty again because of the dust and stupid cotton bunnies.

    I mean if it came down to two cars that were the same and one was detailed and one was not, I'd probably get the detailed one but in no way would it affect me personally choosing a car. To me, it makes me feel like the owner is trying too hard to make it look nice to try and mask possible mechanical issues.
  7. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    well.. the thing is.. clay the car, get the roughness out.. give it a good wax.. and any dust that settles can easily be washed off or swiped off with a duster.. and it'll look like you just washed it. it leave such a smooth surface its hard for water and contaminants to stick.. they just slide right off
  8. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    a bump for you novice detailers out there..
    just got done doing my spring detailing.. came out great, no swirls BITCHES!!

    this is how its done, nigga. mask it like a man!
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    NO SWIRLS BITCHES. you gotta get that sun's reflection up close just right in order to see if you have swirls or scratches. that shit will make your dark car look like ASSS
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  9. Tacdriver

    Tacdriver Junior Member

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    +1 on the clay bar and the painters tape for certain.
  10. funkgab

    funkgab Junior Member

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    too bad its a black car :/ gets dirty 10 mins after all the goddamned trouble
  11. Torx

    Torx Indigenous Nudist

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    yep, that same day pollen had it lookin like green lantern.. thats alright, all it took was a rinse and the water sheeted off with no problem.

    painters tape is a little more time consuming, but youre doing it right and you wont get dried residue on your rubber/plastic mouldings
    imma wash it again this upcoming weekend and put another coat of wax on.

    meguiars nxt wax is the bombshitwhores.