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#4742795 - 04/29/18 08:52 PM First time doing a "full" detail
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2188
Loc: The Northeast
I've been a bad boy and haven't properly hand washed my cars in almost two yrs. Before then, the extent of my 'detailing' was claying and waxing. Two yrs of exclusively using automatic car washes has left my cars with fine scratches. I understand compounding and polishing can help with that. I plan to do a full five-step detail to beautify my cars. I don't have a DA polisher so everything will be hand-done using good ol' elbow grease.

My game plan:

1) Wash: Meguiar's Gold Class Shampoo
2) Clay: Meguiar's Clay Kit w/Quik Detailer
3) Compound: Meguiar's UC
4) Polish: Meguiar's UP
5) Wax: Meguiar's Carnuba Plus

Any tips or advice is much appreciated.
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#4742831 - 04/29/18 09:25 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
Reddy45 Offline


Registered: 08/15/08
Posts: 2879
Loc: USA
I think the polish step is much deserved. The soaps at automatic car washes are a lot stronger than needed, and they tend to suck the "moisture" out of the paint. Your products and process looks fine to me.

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#4742834 - 04/29/18 09:31 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
Imp4 Offline


Registered: 04/06/18
Posts: 222
Loc: Somewhere in time
'Moist' paint... smirk
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#4742846 - 04/29/18 09:45 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
jmsjags Offline


Registered: 10/16/09
Posts: 649
Loc: Richmond, VA
Quick tip... try the Meguiar's Ultimate Wash and Wax. As long as you wash your car more frequency you will be able to skip the extra waxing step.
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#4742864 - 04/29/18 10:09 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
Stevie Offline


Registered: 11/08/04
Posts: 159
Loc: Port Aransas, TX
Originally Posted By: mclasser
My game plan:

1) Wash: Meguiar's Gold Class Shampoo
2) Clay: Meguiar's Clay Kit w/Quik Detailer
3) Compound: Meguiar's UC
4) Polish: Meguiar's UP
5) Wax: Meguiar's Carnuba Plus

Any tips or advice is much appreciated.


I like your plan.

My Red Mercedes SLK I bought as it came off a 3 year lease. Obviously had been to the car washes with lots of swirls and fine scratches.

I washed then clayed.
Maguire's Ultimate compound is a miracle when used with the Harbor freight DA with orange pad. Came out so good that I skipped the Meguiar's UP I had.

Then went to Klasse All in one with DA
Then Klasse sealant glaze with a second coat the next day.

The red paint job is now so smooth, shinny, and wet. Just beautiful.

I like your game plan too, but get a Harbor Freight Dual Action Polisher. I paid $69 and I see them on sale for $49.

Also you can skip the waxing and use Nu Finish as I did on my previous much older SLK. The results were very nice.

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#4742944 - 04/30/18 02:22 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
raytseng Offline


Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 2309
Loc: CA
Switch the clay to the newer synthetic "clay" mitt/rubberizedsheet.
The most commonly over the counter one is the Mothers Speed Clay 2.0.
You will be able to wash it out much easier and more often than real clay "clay" and be much more effective faster with less chance of marring from random particles.

I would also lay down a layer of synthetic polymer sealantwax before the carnuba wax.

E.g. Meguairs Ultimate wax if you're a meguiars fan.
You could do this in place of 4.

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#4742970 - 04/30/18 04:44 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
rooflessVW Offline


Registered: 12/24/11
Posts: 3825
Loc: North Carolina
If you don't have a DA don't try it. You won't get anywhere. At least pick up the Harbor Freight unit and some decent pads.

And as to what can be achieved using only Meguiar's Ultimate line:



After trying it, I can't find a reason to use anything else.

Edit: FWIW, Meguiar's Gold Class has now been enhanced with cross-linking polymers and should offer a great blend of protection and shine.


Edited by rooflessVW (04/30/18 04:45 AM)
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#4743141 - 04/30/18 09:07 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
gofast182 Offline


Registered: 04/30/13
Posts: 1677
Loc: NJ
I agree with rooflessVW.
My first foray into paint correction was 2009 and it was bad. I used a Mother's or Meg's product by hand and it made my [black] car worse. Then I picked up a Black and Decker Polisher at Lowe's, which was absolutely gutless, and it didn't help much. I took the car to be professionally detailed and it wasn't until 2 years later I had the guts to go back at it. This time I was armed with a PC 7424XP and some Menzerna Polish. Success! It wasn't long after that when family and friends were noticing just how shiny my cars were and asking for advice or for me to do them.
Moral of the story: get that harbor freight unit, some good pads, and watch some Mike Phillips videos on YouTube. Trust me.


Edited by gofast182 (04/30/18 09:12 AM)
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#4743187 - 04/30/18 09:38 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
Donald Offline


Registered: 03/21/04
Posts: 20367
Loc: Upstate NY
Hand wash
Wax with 845
Repeat 1x or 2x a year.
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#4743194 - 04/30/18 09:44 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
Propflux01 Offline


Registered: 09/26/02
Posts: 3371
Loc: Arkansastan
Get rid of the clay and use a nano sponge instead. Soooo much easier, and for me, better results. Plus, if you drop it, you just rinse off and keep going, unlike the clay, where it holds sand.
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#4743200 - 04/30/18 09:53 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
RTexasF Offline


Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 2865
Loc: North TX
OK plan except pointless without a machine polish. Do it correctly or just wash it. Trying to compound/polish by hand is far from a "full detail".

There are many all in one products that offer superior marring removal, polishing, and protection but trying to use any of them without a machine is a fool's errand. This would cut your many steps down to wash, clay, machine polish with an all in one product.

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#4743329 - 04/30/18 11:32 AM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
SirTanon Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 2069
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona - USA
mclasser - your overall plan sounds fairly similar to what I did the first time I gave it a shot on my Fusion in 2015. I used a HF DA orbital, and used Megs products to do the correction (including, but not limited to UC and UP).

I also got some Iron-X to remove any bonded rust, iron, etc.. between the wash and clay steps. I think I did about 3 or 4 washes ultimately. I also added an IPA wipe step between the polishing and waxing/sealant stage to insure good bonding, although that may have been overkill. My results were surprisingly good.

I'd say you're on the right path.
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#4743615 - 04/30/18 04:34 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
mclasser Offline


Registered: 04/13/13
Posts: 2188
Loc: The Northeast
I know a DA polisher will be the best but I'm afraid I won't properly use it. A little too much pressure in one spot, and BAM, I end up burning through the paint.
_________________________
2018 Hyundai Elantra VE -- 3K
2013 Honda Pilot EX-L 4WD -- 55K
2002 Honda Accord EX-L -- 210K
2002 Infiniti I35 -- 130K


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#4743638 - 04/30/18 04:54 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: mclasser]
SirTanon Offline


Registered: 06/23/14
Posts: 2069
Loc: Phoenix, Arizona - USA
Originally Posted By: mclasser
I know a DA polisher will be the best but I'm afraid I won't properly use it. A little too much pressure in one spot, and BAM, I end up burning through the paint.


That's the beauty of a proper DA... if you press too hard, they pretty much stop what they're doing. Almost no chance of burning the paint.
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2010 Ford Fusion SE - 2.5 liter/6F35 Trans - 255,000mi
2014 Nissan Altima SL - 2.5 liter/CVT - 53,000mi

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#4744952 - 05/01/18 08:36 PM Re: First time doing a "full" detail [Re: SirTanon]
SatinSilver Offline


Registered: 01/24/08
Posts: 9896
Loc: OH
Originally Posted By: SirTanon
I also added an IPA wipe step between the polishing and waxing/sealant stage to insure good bonding, although that may have been overkill. My results were surprisingly good.

I'd say you're on the right path.


Not overkill at all and a MUST do if you want decent durability. That combined with keeping the car free from moisture for 24 hours to help the sealant cure. Even the evening/morning dew will affect the curing process.
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