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After asking around, getting prices and advice (thanks sy272004), i decided to just go ahead and do it myself. I'm really just looking for feedback on the products I used as well as any techniques I don't know.

So I washed first with an average car soap. (Couldn't find the citrus stuff I see the pros using to eat off the old wax and contaminants.)
Then I used Mothers California Gold Clay Bar and Showtime Instant Detailer.
Followed by Mothers California Gold Pre-Wax Cleaner.
And lastly Turtle Wax Pure Carnauba Paste Wax.
For the wheels I used Black Magic No Scrub Wheel Cleaner.

Now most of the stuff I had already and I wasn't gonna go on a spending spree for new stuff, but I definitely want to upgrade to better products when these others are done if I should. So any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.

So I washed using a lambswool wash mitt. Dried with an absorber. Paint wasn't too bad but I wanted to clay it anyway, got a decent amount of crap out of it, mostly off hood fenders and doors. I put on the prewax cleaner with the buffer, and took it off the same way. Def made the novice mistake of not accounting for how much product the pad soaks up, ended up being very thick. Once I got all that off I put the wax on by hand, then buffed off with the buffer. I used a terry cloth pad when taking off the polish and wax. Then did a final wipe down with microfiber towels.
I did the wheels before I washed the car, sprayed the stuff on, let it sit for a few mins, and rinsed off. Really only took off the surface stuff, had to get in there and scrub off the brake dust that was starting to get caked on. But it was the only bottle I saw that said safe for all wheels.

Guess thats it, let me know what I did wrong and right, and what products to get next time around. Thanks!!

First pic from right after I got done with my cell phone. The rest were the next day.







 

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looks good. i did basically the same procedure on my brothers 02 coupe in silver as well. that car was neglected but the clay bar does wonders. now the body feels super smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
wanna do mine next?
I used to detail cars when I was younger, forgot how much I enjoyed it. Seriously considering doing it again on weekends...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
looks good. i did basically the same procedure on my brothers 02 coupe in silver as well. that car was neglected but the clay bar does wonders. now the body feels super smooth.
Yeah it definitely does, I can't stop running my hands over it now!! :banana:
 

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Without getting into things like polishing you've pretty much got it down right.

Ever heard of the two bucket system?

>Fill one bucket with water.
>Fill another separate bucket with your water and soap.
>When washing your car, dip mitt into soapy bucket, wash car, RINSE off in water bucket, then dip it in soapy bucket, repeat.

This helps keep the dirt from your car from contaminating your nice clean soapy water each time you go to start washing it.


To prevent swirls you can blow dry your car with a leaf blower or shop vac. If you want to use a towel, make sure it's a good drying towel (waffle weave, chamois, etc work pretty good).

Check out autogeekonline.net for some other great tips, but looks like you've got a good start!
 

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Looks really great, I have never used a clay bar, but need to do it soon!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Ever heard of the two bucket system?
I didn't, but makes perfect sense and will def do that next time!

And feel free to get into things like polishing, I want to know all I can. I'll be sure to pick up some waffle weave towels too. Thanks!!
 

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Without getting into things like polishing you've pretty much got it down right.

Ever heard of the two bucket system?

>Fill one bucket with water.
>Fill another separate bucket with your water and soap.
>When washing your car, dip mitt into soapy bucket, wash car, RINSE off in water bucket, then dip it in soapy bucket, repeat.

This helps keep the dirt from your car from contaminating your nice clean soapy water each time you go to start washing it.


To prevent swirls you can blow dry your car with a leaf blower or shop vac. If you want to use a towel, make sure it's a good drying towel (waffle weave, chamois, etc work pretty good).

Check out autogeekonline.net for some other great tips, but looks like you've got a good start!
Thanks. :thmsup:
 

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Too much information!

Dang it, I just wrote a ton of stuff and then accidently closed out of my tab.

ANYWAY-

And feel free to get into things like polishing, I want to know all I can.
Without getting into too much detail there are generally two ways to use polish- by hand, or with the use of a machine.

Polish would usually come between claying and waxing, you'd do it while the car's the cleanest you can get it!

The way polish works is by sanding down your paint with a very fine abrasive compound (the polish) such that the scratches in your paint become shallower and shallower and therefore less noticeable or even not there.

Think of the Grand Canyon. If that was a scratch and we wanted to get rid of it, what polish would do is lower the surrounding land until the canyon was shallower. But on a MUCH smaller scale, ha.

Different types of polish are available just like different grits of sand paper. There are fine polishes for removing extremely light swirls, and heavier polishes for working on things like deeper, bigger scratches, etc.

With the use of a machine like a DA (Dual Action) polisher or a rotary (you can Google these :) ) you have a foam pad attached to a machine that spins super fast and makes quick work out of what would usually put your arms through a lot of pain, ha. These different pads also have different abrasive qualities. The pads combined with different polishes get the job done. And there are lots of different combinations to use.

Check out autogeekonline.net for some great information. It's a forum committed to detailing with lots of helpful people.

Here's a picture from their website that I like to follow and show to people who are just getting started:



Once you've done some research give it a shot. Check it out by hand also, buy some swirl remover at your store and test out a spot on your car, see if you can remove some swirls in just that spot. Then think about buying a machine to help out. :thmsup:
 

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did a good job... think it should be lowered a lil bit though
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks Meta, that chart is so perfectly simple! And I just took a peek at autogeek and looks like I'll be spending a little time there lol.


did a good job... think it should be lowered a lil bit though
I'm thinking about it, but I need to address the rubbing thats occurring on the back wheels when I take a turn with a bump or with people in the back. Need to find a shop when I get time to see if a fender roll will solve that problem, then maybe a set of coilovers!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Now that its rained, anyone know what I should use for that trim that runs along the bottom, under the doors? I used armor all but its got streaks in it from the water running off the doors. Anything that wont run with water?
 

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Now that its rained, anyone know what I should use for that trim that runs along the bottom, under the doors? I used armor all but its got streaks in it from the water running off the doors. Anything that wont run with water?
i had splatter from the tire shine i put on my tires on the black plastic trim on mine. it didnt come off after a wash so i used fantastik all purpose cleaner and it cleaned it off.
 
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