: Exterior Detailing



fivepix
06-02-11, 10:49 AM
Hi guys,

I have a few questions about detailing the exterior of the Escalade (White Diamond Paint). I normally bring my truck to a detailing shop but have yet to find one that I like, most do an alright job but in most cases I’ve picked up the vehicle and have found areas they missed or simply just overlooked. Maybe I’m just too picky but I’m now wanting to start doing it myself. But I have a few question before I start messing around:

• How often do you wash & wax your vehicle? If I do a full detail I’m assuming it would last a few months with some basic washes in between?

• Here are the steps I’ve been told to do: Wash, Dry, Polish and then Wax. Is Polishing recommended? I’ve been told that if your paint is in good condition polishing may not be required. What exactly is this step and do I really need to do it?

• I normally bring in my truck to get clay bar in the spring due to rail dust after the long winter. Should I clay bar every time I detail the exterior or should I only do this once or twice a year? Also do I clay bar the entire vehicle or the spots that require it?

• I’m also going to be hand waxing the vehicle I don’t think I trust myself with machine just yet :cool2:

If you have other tips please pass them and info is appreciated.

RVC
06-02-11, 02:14 PM
I just started machine polishing my truck about 2 weeks ago. I have put a total of 10 hours into bringing the finish back and I must say it's alot of work but damn it's shiny....and it's black! The website is called autopia, just google it. There is so much info on there. My finish has improved 100%. I use a Porter Cable DA polisher. No risk of burning your paint.

hcvone
06-02-11, 03:53 PM
Hi guys,

I have a few questions about detailing the exterior of the Escalade (White Diamond Paint). I normally bring my truck to a detailing shop but have yet to find one that I like, most do an alright job but in most cases I’ve picked up the vehicle and have found areas they missed or simply just overlooked. Maybe I’m just too picky but I’m now wanting to start doing it myself. But I have a few question before I start messing around:

• How often do you wash & wax your vehicle? If I do a full detail I’m assuming it would last a few months with some basic washes in between?
If you use a synthetic wax it will last 3-6 months, of course longer if you have a garage, a buffer is a must, Porter Cable is a good unit, if looking for something better look at the Flex buffers. I of course use Zaino, have for 15 years and sold it for 10, with Zaino I can "wax" twice a year, I wash as needed, once a week or every other week depends on weather, detail spray after wash which helps add durability

• Here are the steps I’ve been told to do: Wash, Dry, Polish and then Wax. Is Polishing recommended? I’ve been told that if your paint is in good condition polishing may not be required. What exactly is this step and do I really need to do it?GM cars/trucks have a lot of orange peel, polishing is important for two reasons, better reflection, and your wax will last longer with a flat surface to hold on to, also claying is important and should be done before polishing

• I normally bring in my truck to get clay bar in the spring due to rail dust after the long winter. Should I clay bar every time I detail the exterior or should I only do this once or twice a year? Also do I clay bar the entire vehicle or the spots that require it?I always clay once a year in the spring, it only helps

• I’m also going to be hand waxing the vehicle I don’t think I trust myself with machine just yet :cool2:Hand waxing is fine, you only need a buffer for abrasive products like paint cleansers

If you have other tips please pass them and info is appreciated.


Look around the internet there is some good info on car care

fivepix
06-02-11, 07:38 PM
When I use the clay bar should I only target the panels that need it or the entire vehicle?

Thanks for the reply's great advise :)

Mha
06-03-11, 12:13 AM
How much is that polisher? I was thinking of getting a cheap one but was scared of messing up my truck. What should I look for when buying a polisher that will not harm the finish.

EVIL_C5
06-03-11, 08:15 AM
How much is that polisher? I was thinking of getting a cheap one but was scared of messing up my truck. What should I look for when buying a polisher that will not harm the finish.

the original porter cable and a mild pad wont damage the paint unless you have dirt on the pad. my wife can even use one.

I use my PC to apply sealant, and my flex 3401 to correct any defects, and only break out the rotary for serious work.

not sure what color you guys have, but on dark colors, the one thing I always tell people is, the less you touch the surface, the less it will scratch. I have a CR Spotless water conditioner, and can rinse my car or truck off and walk away without drying and there will be no spots. you can also use a blower to dry the water off. I will only wash if I have time to do it right and not be rushed.

I guess as I get older, I wax and seal allot less, I probably am down to 2 times a year at this point where before my son, i would do it sometimes weekly...lol

k-shawn
06-03-11, 11:16 PM
You should only clay when needed..........wash your truck throughly and completely dry it, then gently glide your hand across your hood. If you feel roughness on the palm of your hands, then you have a lot of airborne contaminants. Claying is necessary too get your paint back too it's original luster, Mothers wax is a good product too use for your Escalade. You can use there clay bar which comes with a 5min detailer spray too use for the clay, then they have a seal & glaze, & final 100% pure carnauba.

surburban99
06-04-11, 09:33 AM
You should only need to clay bar about once a year. I do this and use the Meguiars NXT liquid wax. I normally wax a couple of times a year. I also use the Meguiars Quik Wax (Spray) on regular basis between waxing.

Good luck!

darkknight1999
06-07-11, 10:46 PM
Craybar should be done far more often than once a year. Next time you wash your car after a month of no claybar, run your hand down the paint... AFTER you wash it... Then break out a new claybar, Clay the front bumper and the front fenders, you'll change your mind ;)

I'll right up a 'how-to' for detailing and explain it all... You'll be shocked as to how bad most products on the market are... most of the Meguires products are junk, their 'better' stuff can be found in auto body supply stores.

And yes Im a professional detailer on the side. ;)

MrHolland
06-07-11, 11:05 PM
Subscribing

EVIL_C5
06-08-11, 09:01 AM
yes, claying more often is really dependant on the area you live in and outside exposure received.

my cars usually need it every few months and as stated its easy to feel if theres contaminates on the surface.

I wash and rinse, then take my hand in the soapy bucket and wipe it across the finish and can almost always find spots that need clay no matter if i just did it a week ago or not.

pictures of several cars I have detailed over the years are here.
http://picasaweb.google.com/briandrice

I used to detail in my free time, and also sold a line of products for a time, and still try out most any of the new products that come out on my own personal vehicles.

darkknight1999
06-09-11, 05:29 PM
Please note this is not a complete how-to and if your not sure how to do something please ask or hire a professinal to polish your car. However with practice... you can take a car with what seems like ruined paint and bring it back to life...

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v215/darkknight1999/Thefinalfrontendsplitinhalfinside.jpg

I take no responsibility for what you do to your own paint... again if your not sure just ask ;)

I'm a certified detailer and have been doing it for years. Some things have been left out, such as high speed buffers. because without proper instruction you can damage your paint. If you decide you can handle doing something like this, do yourself a favor and go to the junk yard and get a piece of junk panel (a red one that looks all faded) and pratice... practice and time using a high speed buffer is the only way to get good at it. This is not a trade you can pick up over night... however it is something that can be learned with practice. Take your time, and practice, practice, practice. Don't try an rush it. If you rush while detailing... you'll get exactly what you put into it... a half ass job.

The buffer will refer to in this is a Porter Cable 7424.
I recommend picking up this kit here: http://www.1car-detailing-training.com/porter-cable-buffing-kit-p-55.html that kit has a lot of what you need to get started polishing. A complete list of things you should own if you plan on really detailing and keeping your car clean and beautiful will listed at the bottom of this post.

The thing about detailing is that it’s seriously all about the prep work. If you don’t wash the car and get all the dirt off the paint when you wax the paint your waxing the dirt onto the paint... as it turns out that’s bad...

This is what I did to take this car in all its scratchy splendor and make it shine like this.
I’ll be doing most of this about once a month on my Escalade... black car no choice really... (during spring, summer, and fall (the final fall wax will need to be layered to last through the winter months)

Wash (gold class wash, heavy on the soap, why because the heavy dirt will stick to it and it help lubricate the paint while you wash) try and wash in straight lines, back and forth, I'll explain later.

Clay (I use both Optimum and Sonus clay). Both work well. I use med grade which it good for most average cars. The manufactures say to use detail spray to lube the clay, however... I just use clean soapy(the same soap you used for washing... again heavy on the soap) water from a clean bucket for the next wash) As with washing, the same goes for claying the car, do your best to go in straight lines.

Wash the car again this time doing the wheels using a proper wheel cleaner... (I use a professional grade cleaner that needs to be mixed properly, (but I recommend Hot Rims® All Wheel Cleaner from Maguire’s for the wheels for those just starting out... it does a pretty good job, I use it if I run out of the stuff I normally use) and under the hood (you can use Simple Green or the purple grease remover you can buy at Walmart), and the underside... (well as much as possible). (I use a degreaser I buy in bulk. I have different bottles mixed for different locations on the car.)

Now dry the car... you can use whatever you want. I use a couple of different things depending on what I’m doing next.

The reason I suggested you use straight lines earlier is this; the PC (Porter Cable) polisher spins in a sorta circle... if the wash and clay lines are straight as you compound and polish the paint your removing those lines, thereby removing the swirl marks as well. Those straight lines are in the clearcoat... very small but there, there. You can see this for yourself if you wash and clay the car in straight lines and spray water on the body panel, you'll see the lines. So as you polish the paint its smoothes and flatens them all back out.



So anyway going back to the beginning, if you did good prep work this next part should go fairly smooth. Using the PC. It’s a step process… the worse your paint is, the deeper you need to polish. If your car looks like this, then you better plan on starting with a wool pad or at least a yellow pad. I started this with a black wool pad. (Wool pads come in different colors for grade)(please wool pads work best and are really intended for use on a high polisher, but they will work on a PC but not as well... so just start with a heavy grade foam pad mine happen to be yellow)

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v215/darkknight1999/Before.jpg

I’ll start compounding (Optimum) using a yellow or green pad (heavy to medium grit foam pad)
So go though and compound the entire car doing a panel at a time. You need to do the entire car each time you switch to a different pad type. Once you get better you’ll learn that you don’t need to do the “entire” car but just the areas that need whichever type of pad…

Once that’s done, depending on which pad you started with move on to the next pad. If you start with say a wool pad then you’ll do the following: wool-> yellow-> green pads>blue>white. (Depending on the brand the color of the pads could be different… so double check as you purchase them)
Once the car has been completely compounded, completely clean the car of compound.

After you’ve cleaned the car of compound you can polish the paint. Start with a different green pad and move onto a blue one…. And if you have a dark color car the you should finish with a white pad.

Once you have completely polished the paint its time to wax. If you did a good job cleaning the paint and polishing as you apply the wax the paint should not look really any different. A good wax can deepen the glow of the paint but it shouldn’t make it look cleaner.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v215/darkknight1999/After1.jpg

If you polished the car with Optimum polish you can use the Optimum spray wax to remove the polish. This will wax the car and remove the polish. Optimum spray wax was designed to do this. It is also safe for vinyl and trim plastic (it won’t turn it white ;) )

If you have a dark color car you can enhance the depth of the paint by adding a high quality carnauba wax on top of the spray wax. (if you decide to do this please wait 24 hrs before you wax onto of the Optimum wax) Not all spray wax can do this… in fact most can’t.

Please keep in mind that most “popular” waxes (auto store types) can not be layered, only high quality waxes can do that. Any wax with a “cleaner” in it can not be layered… as the cleaner will strip the old wax off as you apply it... a good example of that is NXT from Meguiar’s


I'll add more to this in the coming days... ;) This could be far more detailed... and I'll list the equipment I use/used to help lay it all out there.

Dobiesdaddy
06-09-11, 10:52 PM
I have detailed since '77. Ran a Concours detail shop for M-benz for 3 years. I wash by hand with two buckets all the time. Never wash or detail in the sun. I use a wool pad and a Milwaukee high speed buffer with Luster Glaze to remove scratches. ROB are for pussies to get nastiness out of the paint... no matter the pad the high speed buffer and wool pad will save time and money in the right hands! I do a full all day detail twice a year inside and out. I use a three step process to bring the paint back to life. I use a 9" ROB for the final to buff out the carnuba wax. I have the dark metalic blue on my Lade. After the hand wash I use a waffle pattern Mothers towel and pull it across the paint and a airhose with a nozzle and I wear safety goggles. Smaller areas with water are PAT dry. Everyone who sees or rides in my '07 Lade says how new it looks! I have my wife trained right and all my rides look better than the day they were bought off the lot! I have sold all my past vehicles above blue book simply because I'm one meticulous fellow.

MrHolland
06-09-11, 10:52 PM
WOW!!!!! That looks great!!! I wish I had those skills

Mha
06-10-11, 12:29 PM
I was hopping to learn somthing with this thread but theres no way I can or will ever be able to do thay :( so my question is how much does it cost to have a pro dothe the exterior of an ext?

matthones
06-10-11, 06:56 PM
I have been quoted around $400, which entails a complete and full high speed polish, wax, etc... This was only for the first cleaning, after which he charged something around $50 a wash to maintain the job he started. After which he said every 3-4 months would require a polish and wax but would run about $200.

darkknight1999
06-10-11, 08:05 PM
That pricing sounds about right if you really want to maintain the paint. Thats pretty much what I would charge as well... But keep in mind a truck this size takes a lot of time. ;)

If they are people in New England that are interest in learning I'm happy to teach someone or a group.

EVIL_C5
06-14-11, 08:27 PM
Maryland area people that are interested in pointers, I would be glad to share as well.