Cadillac Detailing and Bodywork - Interior and Exterior including Body and Wheels Discussion, The right way to wax a Cadillac in Item Specific Cadillac Discussion; The problem with newer paints is that they aren't as hard as the old ones so you have to be ...
The problem with newer paints is that they aren't as hard as the old ones so you have to be very careful about how warm you get them while polishing. Remember one thing, no matter what paint color you have, no matter what make car, when you're waxing and polishing, you're working on clear.
If you want the paint to "feel" smooth as hell, you're going to need to "color-sand" it. At least that's what we used to call it. It means to do a wet sand with 1000-1200 paper and get out all the orange peel. The problem with that is sometimes you're not left with a lot of clear. And sometimes if you don't know what you're doing, you can go through the clear and into the color coat ( or base-coat). That's why when you get a custom paint job, there is usually extra clear applied to allow for the wet sanding.
Personally, I always use a rotary machine to get the finish clean and smooth, and then after that I'll only have to use an orbital buffer and maybe a hand-applied glaze.
You can't put Teflon on your car at ANY price to be honest. It's a process that cannot be used in this way. It's the same as when companies claim to have a Teflon motor oil additive. Remember Slick 50? As I recall, they claim (or claimed) that their additive would apply a Teflon coating to all your internal engine parts. A quick conversation with an engineer from Dupont quickly convinced me that those claims were bogus.
As for what's the BEST protectant to put on your paint? What produces the BEST shine? There are so many products out there that do equally well no matter what anyone says. It's a VERY subjective call. There is no BEST. Just remember that there is at least one tip. If it's a "cleaner" wax, or has anything in it that's supposed to prepare the surface or eliminate scratches etc., it MAY do a great job but will not last as long as a basic sealer without the "cleaner" additive. It may produce a superior shine but it will not last as long.
Elvis makes a very good suggestion. 3M stuff is very good, but I like Zaino in place of the 3M wax and 3M Gloss enhancer. A couple of coats with Zaino makes a killer shine. Also I also recomend Zaino leather cleaner and cream. And NO, I am not a dealer.
Originally posted by Elvis I don't have a Cadillac yet, but I hope this is a helpful contribution:
For the past three years I've been on a quest for the best auto-finish products. Here's my process and my chosen products:
1) Meguiar's clay bar (twice a year)
2) 3M Swirl Remover (once a year, apply with orbital buffer)
3) 3M Imperial Hand Glaze (twice a year)
4) 3M Paste Wax--still experimenting here (as often as possible)
5) 3M Gloss Enhancer (detailing spray, as often as desired)
6) Kit car wash--I like the smell (always wash by hand if possible)
You confirmed my suspicion, Sunrise. I haven't been as impressed with the 3m wax, either.
I really never worried much about which wax to use because I did it so often I didn't think it mattered. I always considered the preliminary stuff to be more important than the final coat. And I guess that I was doing such a good job cleaning, compounding, polishing and glazing that ANY wax would've looked good.
Elvis, I think you are right, the key is prep work. Waxes are all pretty good and the differences are probably very difficult to sort out objectively. As a Corvette owner, I subscribe to the Corvette Forum and picked up many useful hints, things that work well, from guys that are absolutely fanatical. Those same folks, or at least the majority, seem to prefer the combination of 3M you listed along with Zano or Mequires. I started with the 3M/Zano on my vette and the result was amazing. That's not to say that similar results could be obtained with other products.
I have used the porter cable and HIGHLY recomend it. With the over $2000 i spent last year on detailing suplies i would say the PC was my best investment. But don't buy it from Griots. It's way overpriced. The thing to do is go to lowe's or some other local hardware store, and check the price on the Porter Cable 7336. It's the EXACT same machine as the 7424, except it comes with the 6 inch counter weight rather than the 5 (most detailing pads are 6 inches so this is a big plus). I picked up my PC for ~$110 at lowes here in CO.
Once you buy the PC you need pads. I've tried 4 different brands. Meguiars are good if you can find them (check with paint stores). The other place to get some good ones is from CMA (classic motoring accessories, www.properautocare.com) They have a kit you can buy that comes with the velcro backing plate (which you NEED to use most pads) and some other pads. For basic work their standard polishing pads are good. But if you really want to get some action you should try the "orange power pads". Those are excelent. If you have any questions please ask.
Also for those that are unsure if it is safe. If you happen to be near colorado come out and visit me. The PCs are so safe that i will let you buff my car with an abrasive compound with just a little bit of instruction (there is a video a friend of mine did that is an excelent begining point). You really can't mess things up with the PC, you can however get amazing results.
Elvis: Have you tried other products besides 3m IHG? From my tests i found that while the shine was decent, it didn't last nearly as long as some other products. There are some new products out that were developed by chemists, 'engineered' to be perfect detailing products. Many of these not only give a better shine than IHG (in general.. shine depends on a lot, ie what make/model/color car and paint condition and so on) and last a lot longer. I've got a whole garage full of products, if there's something you want to try let me know and if i have some i can mail you a sample.
Also to answer the orginal question. I wax by hand. Doing the final layer of any product (or combo) is best done with just your two hands and a good microfiber cloth. Using a machine for the final coat usually ends up wasting product. The final coat doesn't need to be worked in like an abrasive, just set on top so it can adhere to the surface. It doesn't even take any less time with a buffer. The rule i use is that if i'm trying to 'fix or clean' the paint in any way i use the buffer, if i'm just enhancing, i use my hands.
The karate kid movies really put a lot of people down the wrong path with doing it by hand. First rule of waxing:
Don't work in circles.
That is how the 'wax on', 'wax off' worked in the moves, but it's wrong for your car. Here's why:
You will always have small scratches in your finish (with the exception of very very few people) these are commonly what's refered to as 'swirls'. They can vary in intensity and look, but are aparent at some level on almost every finish. Modern day clear coats are VERY soft, and the softest materials will marr them. Even those nice soft cotten towels. So when you buff off your wax you will scratch the surface slightly. If you buff off in circles your scratches face in all directions, catching lots of light.
The real way to to do it is the same direction. Most people i know follow the rule of going in the direction of air flow over the car. On your hood go from the bumper to the windshield, on the sides from front to back and so on. This way all the scraches will be in the same direction, and much less noticeable in the light.
A nice trick though is to do one coat in that direction, and if you are following in another do it in the perpindicular direction. This will align the particles (in most products) in a different fashion and give it a little extra shine. It's just a slight difference, but every little bit helps. Still though when doing this for each set of buffing off you go in a linear motion in the same direction.
Nice work, Dr. Jones! Good info that will benefit us all.
No, I haven't tried anything other than 3m IHG. I would take your word for it if you can recommend a better glaze. My car is black, and it shines like a mirror after a good detailing job.
As you probably know, scratches and swirls show up worse on a black car than any other. Until I owned this car, I never had a need for a glaze. I'd just polish every 18 months or so, and wax about every 90 days.
I became a fanatic when I bought this car. We just had our 3-yr. anniversary on Sunday. 35,000 miles and still looking showroom new.
I definitely dont have the spare time (and for that matter, the spare money) to do all this stuff. What would you recommend as the best stuff if you dont have a huge budget. Basically, I want something that gets the job done, i dont need all that fancy stuff. I do have access to a buffer, but i dont personally own one. Basically, i want something that is easy to apply and gives a good shine (i dont need it to blind people when they see it).
Originally posted by elwesso I definitely dont have the spare time (and for that matter, the spare money) to do all this stuff. What would you recommend as the best stuff if you dont have a huge budget. Basically, I want something that gets the job done, i dont need all that fancy stuff. I do have access to a buffer, but i dont personally own one. Basically, i want something that is easy to apply and gives a good shine (i dont need it to blind people when they see it).
just go to a local shop and pick up some Meguiars stuff. If you want simple just a cleaner wax. If you want a little more get a glaze and any of their pure waxes.
Ok. Does using a buffer really make that much of a difference? Also, does that spray stuff get good results? Also, what would you recommend for other detailing products (eg. leather stuff, wheel cleaner, and other products for various jobs)
Originally posted by elwesso Ok. Does using a buffer really make that much of a difference? Also, does that spray stuff get good results? Also, what would you recommend for other detailing products (eg. leather stuff, wheel cleaner, and other products for various jobs)
Buffer makes a huge difference if you are using it for what you are suposed to. And you have the right technique and products. I'll put togeather a list of products and post it here sometime soon. In general spray stuff isn't good, (regardless of what it is) but their are exceptions to every rule (ie most Quick Detailers are sprays, and some work VERY well).