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Oh detail Gurus:

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by Jaguarpaw, Apr 14, 2011.

    • Member

    Jaguarpaw

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    Help! I'm bewildered by the vast array of products out there. I can't wash my beautiful new M3 (oh how I love saying that) until the weekend, as the 3M clear bra needs to set. She will never go into any sort of car wash; I used to love washing and detailing my 325i so I am sure this will be a labor of love, and therapeutic besides (dont bother me! I'm washing the car!)
    But what should I use? I read the clay thread with great interest, so I'm sure clay will be on the list. What do you all recommend?
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    MGarrison

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    Buy everything in the Griot's Garage catalog (which have also supported the club by sponsoring the O'fest concours, etc.), plus almost everything Zymol sells, and you'll probably have most of what you need.
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    John in VA

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    Deutsch Marques

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    A couple years ago I spent months researching detailing my cars. What I found is there are WAY too many products out there, and that everyone has a different opinion! I found that I liked the advice on Detail City best, which is now Autopia. And that in general, if you take your time and use products carefully and correctly, you will get good results.

    I found the "correct" order to treat the exterior of the car was:

    1. Wash - Use car wash soap, not dish soap or others. Two bucket meathod and whatever else you can do to keep from grinding grit into the paint while washing is best.

    2. Clay - Only necessary if there are contaminates in your paint. Place your hand inside a ziplock or sandwich baggie and lightly caress the paint. If it feels rough or a lot of friction, then you have contaminates. If it glides smoothly, skip the clay.

    3. Polish - This is probably the trickiest part, as it requires the right equipment and knowhow. If you can see swirl marks or "rainbowing" on the paint when under direct sunlight or strong lamps, polishing will give you a smooth reflective surface. I chose to go with a Porter Cable dual action polisher as it is much more forgiving than a rotary (which you can destroy your paint in a matter of seconds if you do it wrong!) At the time I researched, Meguiar's M105 and M205 were the cat's meow for polish. The trick is... how much correction does the paint need? Different cutting compound polish and different cutting pads are used depending on if it's a light correction or trying to remove deep swirls.

    4. Sealant - Once you've done all that work getting the paint nice and shiny and you can see your reflection clear as day, you need to protect the paint so you don't have to do it all over again in a month! Quality waxes (natural products, usually with caranuba - deeper shine, shorter lasting) and sealants (polymers - not as "deep" but longer lasting) are best. Usually multiple coats provide better paint protection and looks.

    5. Dressing - Various other products are used to clean glass (never use ammonia-based!), make black plastic and tires look black, trim, etc.

    And that doesn't even touch upon cleaning the engine bay or interior!

    Of course, the age and condition of your car and its paint is going to determine exactly what you need to do. You may be able to skip and clay or perhaps the clay and polish steps if your paint is in good nick. You may want to apply a coat of wax every month, week or day. You may need to clay and polish once every 2 years, or twice a year.

    As for products, I found there are a lot of people who like the Poorboy's lineup. It is good stuff and usually fairly priced! But like we enthusiasts and our BMWs, you're going to find a lot of obsessive detailing guys out there with very strong opinions and willing to spend heaps of time and money!

    M3Driver guest

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    You are So Right.....

    I guess I've tried everything on the market from the high end stuff to modestly priced. This is what I am currently using and will continue

    For leather interiors - Griot's interior cleaner and leather stuff is great.

    Wax: Meguiars NXT 2.0 with their Quick Detailer and Express Wax for touch-ups. I'll even used their "red bottle" carnuba wax for touch-ups. I keep a bottle of Meguiars quick detailer (red bottle stuff) around too.

    Dash and related: Griot's vinyl protectant; low gloss and shine. Expensive but the last bottle lasted me 3 years.

    Tires/Wheels: 3M tire restorer with Griot's wheel cleaner. Griots rubber cleaner for tires and wheel wells. I buy the wheel and rubber cleaner by the gallon and re-fill the cheap spray bottles I buy at Home Depot.

    Car Wash: The cheapest Meguiar's wash that happens to be on sale at that time at Wal-Mart.

    Bug/Tar Remover: Turtle Wax but Meguiars make some good stuff but I can't get it locally anymore.

    Glass Cleaner: What ever is on sale that doesn't have ammonia in it. Currently using Armor All Glass Cleaner.

    Black Trim: Mother's Back to Black.

    Also Meguiars makes a Quick Interior detailer that works great on nav screens, radios, etc. I used on our electronics in the house too.
    Wretched likes this.

    drummerfc guest

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    Let us not forget the wheels, shall we?? Suuuuuure, they look great after the wash/dry/polish/etc....but what will they look like after a day of driving? How about a week??

    What will you do about the dreaded BRAKE DUST??? :eek: AAAAHHHHH!!!

    ;)

    I reccomend something like "Keep Clean Wheel" (found in Pep Boys, white bottle with blue label, can't remember the manufacturer), or a similar product made by Armour All. It's a simple procedure...once your wheels are clean AND dry, spray the stuff on and make sure it covers the entire wheel. Wait until completely dry...the longer you wait, the better the coverage. Use liberally. Just be sure to wipe the excess drippage off your tires.

    M3Driver guest

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    How to fix "BMW Brake Dust Wheel Syndrome"....Permanently

    it worked for me......:D
    • Member

    Jaguarpaw

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    thanks for all the great advice! I had my 3M clear bra put on last week and am highly annoyed to discover they didn't do it right on the passenger mirror... wrinkled and peeling off the bottom. So back to the shop for that. I drove her to Yosemite yesterday for waterfall viewing and car photography... wow car photography is hard. Too sunny, too shady, too much in the background, too much foreground....thank goodness for digital. I apologize for not posting any of my efforts as my home computer crashed last week.
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    barryb97

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    I love the Zaino products. Expensive but a little goes a long ways and the protection lasts a long time.
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    bluewagon

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    Detailing

    I just have to reply to all of you that want to use many products. A product for every area of the car.
    I use 303 for the interior plastic trim.
    Griots interior cleaner for mats and head liner ect
    Griots plastic polish for headlight plastic.
    Griots orbital polisher with Meguiars Scratch X 2 to polish the car twice a year
    Because I live in Florida where the roads are clean (no salt or sand) I have not washed my car since March of 09. It was then when I discovered http://www.wetpaintglaze.com/
    It goes on everything else glass, plastic, paint.wheels inside and out brake dust comes off with a swiffer duster.
    bluewagon
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    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Oh, fer Chrissake. . .

    . . . I wondered just how long it would take for you to leap in here with your ubiquitous trumpeting of Wet Paint Glaze. . . :eek:

    What was it, a minute and a half?
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    bluewagon

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    Detailing

    Satch : I also said I used Griots and Meguiars products.
    If people want to spend their time washing drying waxing washing windows I say let them.
    Even thou I am retired I do not want to spend my time doing all of the above.
    Thirty min. once and awhile and I am done . And the car looks great all of the time.
    bluewagon

    jtravis2 guest

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    Other than the mishap with the exterior mirror are you happy with the 3M product? You mentioned visiting Yosemite, I live in Fresno, who applied the protective covering?
    Thanks
    • Member

    Jaguarpaw

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    did not see this till now. I had the 3M put on through the dealer; East Bay BMW. Of course they outsource it to a local shop, not sure who did the actual work.
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    GSMetal

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    I'm also a big fan of the Meguiars NXT 2.0. The stuff really gives your car an amazing wet look and it's pretty easy to apply and take off. I keep it in a generic bottle so my friends don't know what it is. I get compliments on the car all the time and it's 11 years old. I don't know if the extra bucks for a carnauba wax would make it look any better.

    I would recommend claying your car first by using the Griot's clay along with the speed shine as the lubricant. I clayed my wife's used Avalon when she first got it. The car had been sitting on a lot for 6 months and the paint finish felt like sandpaper. But claying the car was super easy and made a HUGE difference once the NXT got on it.

    drummerfc guest

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    Hey, I resemble that! Some of us actually ENJOY washing/drying/waxing/etc.

    Retiring would only give me MORE time to spend keeping the car clean!
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    Wretched

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    Wow we run about 95% the same way! I feel pretty good about my choices now!

    Has anyone ever heard of a product called wet paint glaze? "JK Blue"
    • Member

    bluewagon

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    Wretched: Did you try Wet Paint??? Did you like it?
    You know I have been telling Anyone that is reading detailing forums about Wet Paint for 3 years. I think Wet paint is the best way to keep your car looking great.Easy to use, and goes on all surfaces.
    bluewagon

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