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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Questions and Answer Detailing


  1. CAL

    I've been using the Prima products and claybar to detail my MINI. I get pretty good results. I still have minor swirl marks to content with that I'd like to remove. Everybody raves about the Porter Cable 7424XP randon orbital polisher. I've seen untold videos on Youtube showing how safe it is (vs the professional stuff the pros use). I'm wondering though in the long term whether I'm thining the clear-coat on my car? Thots?

  2. Hi Rixter
    That is wonderful to hear you get result from those products. First the quality of the Original paint on Mini is of a high grade. It is a good compromise of durability (resistence to scratching, fading from the sun, wrinkling or "spider-webbing" when impacted or dented) yet still polishes fairly well.

    I always say the detail can only be as good as the prep. Make sure your clay bar is 100& free of foreign particals like dirt, sand, grit... anything. make sure your hands are clean and feel the clay. You can actually clean a clay bar with hot water and a very mild cleaning solution that discolves everything out. prolongs the life of your claybar. Read the directions, some clay bars are only good 3-5 cars while others are good for 10- 20. For light light swirls you will most likely be using the mildest clay bar or finest grit.

    An Orbital is good for quick waxing or very mild swirl removal with a glaze. The orbital is VERY limited in its use as usually you only have 1 speed setting and it is difficult for first timers with its jerky movement. I strongly prefer, along with basically any high end bodyshop I have ever been in, is the Makita 9227C. 6 speed settings. The lowest is compared to an orbital speed. Now you can do everything from a slow finishing glaze and wax like a orbital to a full compound cut polish. Companies like AutoGlym and AutoMagic make LOTS of products for the 9227C from small fine finishing pads to mild cut foam pads to a range of Wool and synthetic Wool. And the Makita is very smooth in its operation. I paid $150 on sale for my 9227C

    As for removing clear coat... Don t worry about. I have discussed this with many product retailers and salemans. Basically all Agree that basic Glaze would remove maybe 1% of your clear coat IF THAT. A Full Cut polish cuts somewhere between 5 to MAYBE 10% but thats still high. And you compound Cut when you have to or needed something sanded. I have heard the drive in car washes with heavy chemicals can take 3 - 5 % of clear coat off in comparasin.

    My recommendation. Buy a generic Makita 9227C like a cheap at Canadian tire and Start SLOW. Detailing can be very time consuming but it sounds like you have some experience with the products. Take your time, make sure eveything is cleaned and preped, read directions on products and do it because you love your car

  3. Cool. For now I'm saving up til I can get the Porter Cable unit. Heard very good things about it, especially for a noob like me.

    Good tip about the clay, didn't know they could be washed.

  4. Rixter,
    yes wash it in hot water, you can usually see the dirt disolve into the water when washing.
    If all you want to do is machine wax an orbital is a good tool but that is the limit. An oribital just is not in the same league as a quality polisher when it comes to removing swirls/scratches/haze/oxidized paint. For an Orbital im sure it is a fantastic unit!