Automotive Detailing Basics, by turbomangt - Saturn Sky Forums: Saturn Sky Forum
Car Care and Detailing Forum Discussion of detailing and car care products and techniques.

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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Automotive Detailing Basics, by turbomangt

The secret in engine detailing is to use a water based dressing to seal the plastic and rubber after degreasing. The owner was amazed when he picked up this car.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Cleaning a Ragtop

I had a corvette in my shop last week, and the rag top was a mess. After washing it with car wash soap and added a little all purpose cleaner in the bucket and used a brissle scrub brush *(carefully ) then rised, the top came out like new. For the most part if you wash it regularly it should be fine. You can spray scotch guard fabric protector on it to protect it as well. Gary
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Glass cleaning solution

Here is a free B for you all. This is what most most professional detailers use to clean glass and windows. You won't need Windex, Sparkle, Bleach, Annomia, newspapers, vinger or anything else. Take a 32oz spray bottle, buy some DeNatured Alcohol (at any paint store or hardware store) put 3-4 oz of the Denatured Alcohol in the bottle, fill reminder with distilled water. YOu now have the most effective most economical glass cleaner around. Don't forget to use Micro fiber when cleaning glass. I have found that the 2 towel method is best on glass. The first pass picks most of the debris, and the second cleans it up. For years I could not figure this out. My windows looked great inside the shop then outside in the sun looked like hell. Now they are streak free!!!!!!!!! Gary
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Answers to questions

Buffers

Buffers, basically two types, High speed Rotary and Dual Action. The HS is DANGEROUS and should not be used unless you have experience. It creates heat to break downe the compounds, but can also burn the paint quickly. The DA buffer does what it says, two motions running at the same time, rotating and spinning in its access. Thus it doesn't create heat, but also does not do serious paint correcting. This I will discuss in future discussions.
3-M swirl remover/ this products hides the swirls does not remove them. You cannot remove swirls by hand, but you can cover them up.

Zaino
Zaino, I could talk about this for hours. I know I will upset some that use it but her is my professional opinion. Over priced and over rated. They capitalize on selling the uneducated consumer. They also make it complicated to use. (z-1 z-2 z-3 z-4 z-5 z-6 z-7, where will this end. They also sell a ZFX additive for $25 that is suppose to help the polish react. Any chemist you talk to will tell you that Synthetic Polymers worth their salt has the additives IN the product already. ZFX is just a mareting ploy. I will leave this hear for now I'm sure we will discuss this more.

Clear 3m Film

3m bra. Keep in mind that even though this may protect the paint from the chips, the film still gets chipped and creates unsightly marks when flawed. It could also discolor your paint if used for a prolonged time. They have a after market clear coat now that is 7 times stronger than factory. Its applied at body shops that are up on latest technology.

California Duster

Cal Duster, if used properly it is fine. Do not press on it, gentle pressure only.


I will be writing a step by step interior and exterior guide soon for people on other forums that have asked me. Gary

Layering
Any time you apply more than say 2-3 coats of any selant all you are doing is removing the previous layer. It does not good at all. Sure you have have great results, but what you see is the effect from the first two layers. the companies that make the stuff love when you waste product. Gary
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Basics - Using a "Clay Bar"

Since the use of clay bar is one of most essential steps in car care, I thought it would be appropiate to post the "How to" of using clay.
Everyone wants to keep their Car in top condition, but if you drive it everyday, like most of us it is subjected to all kinds of contaminants.

Biggest complaint I've heard is "how to get out surface scratches". First lets talk about how they got there. Most of time its from improper washing/drying. When the car is not prepped properly, all you do is work existing dirt into the finish. (this is called Micro Marring)

The clay bar is the best solution to ensure proper cleaning BEFORE you polish/seal. Most people never heard of clay, and if they have they don't know how to use it. After you wash your car as I normally do, feel it with your hand.

A simple test is to put your hand in a plastic baggie and gently move across the finish, (The plastic magnifies the senses in your skin 15 times that of bare flesh so you will notice things through the plastic you never before felt.) if it grabs a little, or feels rough, you have fine particles of dirt that you did not remove during the washing stage. HOW TO USE CLAY. First get yourself a fresh bucket of soapy water. break off a small piece of clay in your hand, (clay works best with lots of lubrication) lather a small section of your car, dip the clay on the water, spray the clay with quick detail spray, gently work the clay in a side to side motion. (don't press to hard, it works well with gentle pressure)

After 4-4 strokes, spray again, lather, and do another section. Keep dipping clay in the bucket, keep spraying with QD, work side to side. You will see (and feel) the finish getting cleaner, your hand will start to get the hang of it (if the surface gums up, it is not lubricated enough).

Once you get it down, its easy. The key is lubrication, gentle side to side motion. also, after a few sections, press the clay in your hand in and out, making a fresh surface. It looks and feels like play dough, so you can make a new surface by working it.

One piece will do the whole car. IF YOU DROP THE CLAY THROW IT OUT, USE A NEW PIECE! It will pick up dirt from the ground and become a hazard, working like sandpaper. after you do the whole car, wash car again to remove clay residue, dry with large waffle weave micro fiber towel. Follow up with a paint cleaner and sealant. Your finish will be show car ready. Gary


Added:
Why do you clay a new car? Because when your car is shipped from the factory it attracks rail dust. Occurs when the friction between the steel train tracks rubs agains the steel wheels it creates hot metal fibers that stick to your finish.

Here is a simple test to see if you need to clay. Wash and dry your car. Get a plastic zip lock baggie. Put your hand in it and touch your finish - don't worry it won't hurt it. Now rub your hand gently around, if you feel bumps, roughness like fine sandpaper, that is the grit on your car you never noticed. Clay will remove that.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-08-2006, 09:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Introduction

Greetings Dedicated Auto Enthusiast.
I came to this forum because I happen to LOVE the new Solstice, in fact I plan to have the first turbo on my block. I just happen to be a professional detailer, and I have expressed interest in starting a Detailing Forum on this site. Here is some background on what I do. My name is Gary Kouba and I opened my business in 2001. My main focus, in addition to performing state of the art auto detailing, is to teach and educate the public on modern techniques and applications involved in proper detailing. In order to achieve this, I started auto detailing clinics shortly after I open my business, and the first class attracted over 65 people. This told me the public had a need and desire to learn about car care. I now teach auto detailing classes at the college level for continuing adult education. My classes have become so popular that the Chicago Tribune, Daily Herald and America’s Car Care Business have written articles about them. I write detailing articles for Professional Car Washing and Detailing Magazine and also run my own car care column in the Community Press. I serve on the board of directors for the Professional Detailers Association (www.detailersassociation.com), and I’m one of 6 PDA Certified Master Detailers in the state of Illinois. I currently run 5 detailing forums on other car sites. I have done work for the Oprah show and presidents of corporations and my detailing work has been featured in trade magazines. I believe a detailing section here will benefit all the members, and I will do my part to provide answers as best I can. I look forward to talking with you all soon.
Best Regards in Car Care,
Gary Kouba
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Paint Chip Repair Made Easy

Paint Chip Repair Made Easy

None of us can avoid those darn paint chips. They annoy us every time we wash our car when we see them. They also seem to grow in size and dimension every week.

Well, we can do something about it, short of a costly body shop visit. Here are some things you will need first: factory touchup paint, a pack of artist brushes (you can buy these at any craft store for under 5 bucks) a can of Acrylic Lacquer thinner, old rags, piece of cardboard, and a small container.

I tell people is to wash their car first. The reason for washing is that many times a blemish may be removed during the cleaning stage, thus you won't not need to touch it up.

Begin by taking some of the thinner and pour a small amount into a container. Shake your touch up paint well (most factory paint is thick).

Have your small piece of cardboard and an old rag next to you. Put about a dime size amount of paint on the cardboard, pick out a brush the correct size that will match the size of the chips you are working on.

The problem with the brush supplied with the paint is that it is large enough to paint your garage doors, NOT your chips. Always remember this, "less is best". You can avoid those unsightly "blobs" by using less paint.

Take your brush and put it in the thinner, dab dry. There will still be enough thinner in the brush to thin the paint. Apply the brush to the paint, moving it around. You will be thinning the paint just enough to make it easy to work with.

Now go to your chips and lightly touch them. *NOTE, the paint will dry fast on your brush; you might only get to one chip at first before the brush gets dried out and the paint gets stiff. Just simply start process over again, and move on to your next chip.

Once you get the hang of it, you might get 2-3 chips done before you need to thin again. After 24 hours, you have the option of putting a coat of clear on (nail polish works for this as well) which you can get at an auto supply store.

Some have told me that leaving it just with the paint works fine, without the clear. Try a hidden area with the clear first and see how it looks before you move on.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Clay Bar continued

Lets get our detailing section started, first topic clay bar. In the detailing classes I run at colleges and high schools I have found that 90% of the owners I come in contact with have no experience with clay bar. Clay bar not only removes rail dust found on new cars shipped from the factory but it also removes micro particles that do not come off during the car wash stage. What happens if you don't remove them, when you go to dry, all you are doing is rubbing these contaminants into the finish, creating scratches and micro marring. When an Air borne contaminants come in contact with your finish it is "ON" the finish, Keep in mind this is what clay does, it removes particles "ON" the finish. lets take water spots as an example. if you react to them in a reasonable amount of time, clay can remove it. if you let it go, it becomes "etched" into the finish. Once this happens clay is useless. Problems "IN" the finish need to be address with a paint cleaner or other more aggressive products. Sometimes you can correct it by hand, but in more serious cases, you may need the work of a professional with knowledge of buffer use. You may continue this thread with more questions I will try to answer. Gary Perfect Auto Finish, Owner

http://www.autopia-carcare.com/inf-clay.html
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Clean those wheels

Now is a good time to remove your wheels and get a coat of synthetic inside the rim to protect it before winter. If you clean inside your wheels twice a year they will be easier to care for week to week.



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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Car Washes not equal

I wrote this for a paper so I thought I would share it.
Car Washes
The ongoing debate comparing “touch-less” washing and “automatic touch” washes is still split. Even in the car wash industry, both sides argue until they get red faced over this controversy. Here are the issues, so you can decide for yourself.

Automatic Touch Car Washes
Over the years, great progress has been made in the materials used that actually touch your car as well as their design. The pro argument will state their case by asking have you ever been able to wash your hands just by running water over them? A good case indeed. We all know that proper hand cleansing comes from friction and soap. The same should be true when washing your car. The soaps used are usually not as aggressive as the touch-less washes (which rely strictly on chemicals to do the work), so there is no fear of strong acids being sprayed on your finish. Another factor to consider is that not all automatic washes are totally inside a heated environment. In areas where the temperature gets below zero, you drive your car in from the cold. The doors that let you in are subjected to the same temperature, allowing some ice to form on the machinery. Even if the smallest piece of ice gets between the brushes and your finish, it’s leading toward a disaster. We have all heard the horror stories of wheels being scratched, hub caps being lost, antennas breaking off, and so on. When you have all these mechanical components moving around your car, sooner or later something is going to happen.

Touch-less Washes
The best case the pro side of this issue has is that nothing comes in contact with your finish. But how can a touch-less wash clean your car without the friction to break down the dirt? If you remember your PH scale from high school, you will know that water is 7 (neutral) and acids are low ph (1-3) and alkalines are high ph (10-13). Keep in mind that both high and low ph are caustic (extremely harmful). Also, you should note that in order to neutralize any high or low ph, you need to apply the opposite. So if you spray acid on your car, you had better apply an alkaline or else it could damage your finish. This is how chemicals get a car clean in a touch-less wash. First, when you drive in. your car is sprayed with soap and water, then acid, then alkaline, then rinse. I have a problem with who is in charge of filling the chemical tanks. If for some reason the alkaline runs low and only acid is going on your car, I wouldn’t want that car to be mine.

Hand Car Washes
Most people that really take pride in their car go to hand car washes. Here are some of the problems I have found with facilities around my area. If they do not pre soak the car first and just start washing, all they are doing is rubbing the existing dirt into the finish. I have also seen places that use the same drying towels over and over again from one car to the next, transferring dirt particles from car to car. The kind of soap they are using also plays a role; too strong of a detergent will strip the wax or sealant from your finish. So you come out with a clean but unprotected car. The soap applicators that I have seen I would not use to clean my toilet, much less my car.

Fresh or Recycled Water
Now that I have given you all these facts to think about, here is another fact for you to consider. Some car washes use fresh water, others use recycled water. From the save the planet group, recycled water is the way to go. The question you have to ask yourself is, do you want all the dirty water that came from all the cars ahead of you used to wash your car? By law a car wash owner must tell you (if you ask) what process they use. Then you can decide for yourself.
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-17-2006, 09:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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The Perfect Finish

The Perfect Finish is not that hard to attain. Prep work is the most important. Most imperfections are introduced to a finish during the washing or drying stage. if you don't remove all the surface contaminants all you do is work them into the finish, creating micro marring. The AMG you see here had the following steps done to it. Hand wash with a micro fiber mitt, dried with a waffle weave MF towel. Clay bar and washed again. Deep cleaner applied to enhance the finish, the one I use has polish in it, then paint seal. You can see the results. Gary



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Swirl removal on black



This is a vintage Corvette that was repainted in dual stage paint 5 years ago. As you can see its swirl city. If you own a black car, this kind of damage can happen with improper washing/ improper drying or the improper use of a buffer (we call them "hackers") Once this happens it is nearly impossible to remove by hand. What I did in this case. wash/ clay wash again. used a paint cleaner first, then went to a swirl rewmover with my cyclo buffer, then repeated with my DAPC with a light polish, then sealed with a sealant. the results were stunning. Gary



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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 11-20-2006, 06:29 PM
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ToTheTop
Introducing some of Gary's very informative posts.

Save the Kappa!
A grassroots movement to save the Kappa platform based cars.
It's not just a car, it's a lifestyle and a community.
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