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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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wax/polish question

Well, I'm going to have a lot of time after my finals are over mext week, so I thought I'd fully detail the cougie. I'm planning on using the Meguiar's 3-Step Deep Crystal System (I've never tried it, and there's some laying around at home). However, I've got a couple questions.

1.)Should I use the dishwashing soap to strip the wax off of it? Or would it be okay just to use the normal carwash soap (I usually use Kit).
2.)I'm going to claybar the car too. If i use the dawn soap, is it still okay to clay bar it?

I've heard people say they've used dawn and the like before, but I haven't. Does it help that much to clear the old was off? Any tips if I do use the dish soap? Thanks

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 04:12 PM
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I've never stripped the wax off of the paint to apply new wax.
I use a soft cleaner/wax as the first step, then follow it up with carnuba or similar.
The way I see it: after a few months the old wax is pretty much gone, but there are contaminants on the paint.
I've been doing it this way since '97 and I always get near-perfect results.

By the way, I use nothing but Meguiars products.

Here's the original paint on my '88 XR7:

1996 Mercury Cougar XR7
4.6 - Dynomax-Equipped - Tranny Cooler - 3.27 T/L - 125k Miles
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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 05:32 PM
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Bringing the paint to to a base point is where you want to be. The first time will take a lot of elbow grease and about 2 days, but from there with regular 3 month 3 step mantainance you can do 3 steps with a polisher in about 4-6 hours. You want the clear coat smooth or what they call flat. Never use any thing more abrasive than what is needed. Save that stuff for particular spots. Get plenty of clean baby diapers. You don't realize how good you were treated as a baby untill you use them on the car. The cleaner acually opens the pours in the clear coat and it's pretty easy to get off. Spend the first day getting the clear coat smooth, get the tar and wax remover out for the low areas. You will find out that 95% of the stuff on your clear coat is stuff you have collected from the road. The car will look good but you are not done because the paint pours are still open. The next morning, the work begins. Polish acually gets absorbed in the open pours. It is what gives the paint that deep wet look. Use very little, it also cleans. Some spots are very hard to get it off, others are not. That's because it is soaking to the clear coat. Look at it every which way but loose, doing small 3x3 sections at a time. It is real work. By about 12 noon the polish has been removed and you are all most done, because the wax coat is a dream. What the wax does is fill in the very small pours and at the same time makes the UV rays bounce off. And it is easy to get off. This should be the end of the second day.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 10:32 PM
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I can't believe nobody's mentioned Zaino yet. I've tried everything out there and NOTHING touches Zaino for quality of shine or ease of use and application.

But yes, Dawn to strip everything off first then claybar.

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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-17-2005, 11:34 PM
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Just remember that the preperation is what will take most of the time i.e., cleaning/stripping. Also remember that it is the clear coat that you are actually working on and not the pigment. If you're removing color, your clear coat has been breeched and needs to be repaired. As for useing a "dish" detergant to wash the car? Yes, it will remove the wax and is a no-no for regular maintanance, but is a good step to remove the loose soil in preparetion for the job at hand. The (#1 step) paint cleaner/claybar system, along with a good mineral spirit (bug + tar remover) is used to do the cleaning of the clear coat. It is at this point that you want to inspect the car and do any chip or scratch repair. The next (#2) step is to apply a polish to the clear coat. What you're doing is filling and smoothing microscopic blemishes, and conditioning the clear coat. This is what will make it shine! Then of course is applying the wax to protect what you've just done. The best way to "look" at what you are doing is to always look at it from an angle. Always do a small area at a time and overlap as you go to make sure it is uniform. A small hand held polisher works well for flat and medium to large radiuses and will help to move the job along. Make sure you have plenty of pads if you use one, and good lint free, terry cloth towels, and like was said, good used cloth baby diapers. For a time several years ago, I did cleaning and detailing on the weekends for some extra cash with a friend who had a detailing shop. Meguire's 3 step system is a quality product and works well. I also would recommend Mother's paint cleaner. It is easier to remove and will leave less residue. I hope some of this helps!!

Last edited by Uncaged 94; 02-17-2005 at 11:55 PM.
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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the help guys. I may have to try the Zaino this summer. I've always used either Meguiar's or DuraGloss on my car. Duragloss just doesn't last, and I've really taken a liking to the Gold Class recently. However, a bunch of the guys I've talked to love the deep crystal system. So basically the process should be:
1.) Dawn to strip wax
2.) Clay Bar/Mineral Spirits/Cleaner (Fix any chips at this point)
3.) Polish
4.) Wax
I've got some Terry Cloth and Microfiber towels, a LOAD of baby diapers (that's all my mom used), and about a week and a half off of school.

Basically, the clearcoat is starting to crack (and bad on the hood) and I'm trying to do everything I can to keep it looking good until i can get it repainted. Things are starting to come together though. Thanks for the help guys.

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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 12:24 PM
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Zaino works really well, but Poorboys products last longer.
DetailCity.com gives them great reviews.

Here are a couple of pics of the Poorboys:

Don't get me wrong, Zaino makes a great product, but Poorboys is better IMHO.

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Last edited by Carlover007; 02-18-2005 at 12:24 PM. Reason: messed up the first pic
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 05:28 PM
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It's a lot of work, but it's cheaper than buying a new paint job. There are three things you don't want to screw up on your car. 1) The engine 2) The tranny 3) The body. Everything else is minor. Car lovers 007 car looks like particular attention has been applied to the care of the car. This is what forms the first opinions other people make of you. Nothing is more rewarding than knowing you have set high standards for yourself and achieved them. And people do notice. Getting the paint in shape is an A++ mod.
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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 07:11 PM
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You'll find some good articles on waxing/cleaning at http://www.carcareonline.com/howto.aspx

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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-18-2005, 07:26 PM
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Ok what's with the diapers? I don't quite understand the full use.
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post #11 of 11 (permalink) Old 02-19-2005, 12:46 PM
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Just towells made from the same stuff as diapers. They are extremely soft and will not scuff or scratch the paint. The problem with new clear coats is that they are so sensitive a regular turkish towell is capable of outting mild scratches in the finish created from buffing or hand polishing. They're all we use at my dad's detail shop.

I am not sure about products you can buy on the market as we don't use many of them. Meguirs is about the best and we use alot of their stuff for cutting paint. The best chemical on the planet is still Meguirs #7 but it is a MOFO to use by hand. Expect lots of rubbing.

Wash the car with water only

Check rockers and wheel well lisps for tar, remove with OOps ( good safe product ) Use one rag to remove the tar, have a damp rag to neutralize the thinner once tar is removed

Clay bar vehicle with gray or yellow brick, or comprable mild clay, DO NOT use purple unless you plan to use a high speed wheel to buff it out. Purple and black clay are similar to mild sand paper. The clay bar will strip the wax on the car of there is any

Hand rub with #7 or go with the Meguirs 3 step you were talking about.

Seal with any generic resin teflon sealant yo ucan find. I don't know the retail market so ask the guys who have posted already.

Good Luck
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