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First time DA tips?

Discussion in 'Detailing' started by scotty76, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 28, 2012]
    Will be buying a DA in the next couple of weeks. Does anyone have any tips for a first timer? I've been reading here, Detailing World and watching vids on YouTube.

    Must admit I'm wavering slightly. Was going to go for Lime Prime followed by AG HD wax. However, on Detailing World have seen an old thread where a guy with the same coloured car (A4 - Dolphin Grey) has gone for Megs #80 Speed Glaze and the results look stunning.

    And finally... is it OK if I clay in advance, say a few days before, as long as I do a thorough wash before starting with the DA?

    Thanks for any hints.
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  3. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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    [Jan 28, 2012]
    I'd clay the same day, otherwise you might pick up contaminants in between, and the last thing you want is to drag anything around with a polisher. I just got a few products and followed all the tips I picked up online. Different products work for different colours and techniques, so try and find someone with the same colour car and see what they've used.
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  4. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 29, 2012]
    I had a feeling you'd say that about the clay. :) I'm usually pushed for time which is why I was trying to save time. I guess if it's really an issue I could do a few panels this time say roof, bonnet and boot and try and do some more another time. As long as I get the polish or cleanser + LSP done on the treated panels it should be fine.
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  5. willowsdad
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    willowsdad Sideways

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    [Jan 29, 2012]
    If you clayed it a few days before, when you did clay it again it'd be a lot quicker. Shouldn't take too long to lime prime with a DA, I jetsealed with my DA in under an hour. It's just waiting for it to cure that takes the time.
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  6. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Jan 29, 2012]
    It's always best to clay before you polish, therefore if you feel that you do not have enough time to do the whole car and then polish do it in sections like you have mentioned. Ensuring that you finish those panels off completely with your LSP of choice.

    The DA is not necessarily a tool to speed up the job but it will give you a much better result....in some cases it can take longer using the machine than by hand as you work small areas but get a much better correction; depth and finished look.
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  7. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Jan 30, 2012]
    Thanks Jen. I'm just looking to get a better finish than by hand so I'm happy to do a few panels at a time if that's all I have time for. I'm not expecting the DA to speed things up. :) It could be amusing for a while though if I have several shiney panels and some duller ones. Ah well.
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  8. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    Me again, sorry. :)

    How many pads do I need to do a whole A4?

    How should I prime the hex logic pads?
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  9. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    It depends on the current state of the paintwork and in an ideal world I use one pad per half car so that you use a new pad for the second half. Also you need to consider the fact that you'll more than likely need a Orange Hex Logic due to the hard paint; refine with the Green Hex Logic and finish with the Black - if your planning on doing a full correction.

    Therefore your looking at needing 6 pads altogether....but obviously it depends on what your budget is.

    To prime the pads we have specific pad conditioner from Chemical Guys which I use, but as an alternative you can use a watered down quick detailer or even IPA panel wipe will work.

    Dont forget about cleaning the pads too as this needs to be done while your going around the car. The pads can become clogged which means that this affects the quality of polishing. Get yourself an old tooth brush to brush the dry polish out (spin the pad and place the brush on it to loosen all the particles).

    Over night soak the pads in some warm water with fairy liquid or soda crystals (you can get these from the supermarket as well) rinse throughly in the morning and allow to dry naturally.
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  10. scotty76
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    scotty76 Well-Known Member

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    Thanks for the detailed reply Jen. I'm only going to be using Lime Prime so not aiming to correct. I believe this needs a white hex logic pad as discussed in the Juicy Detailing section? Sorry, I should have made a better attempt at explaining!

    Now if the weather would just warm up a bit I could get this stuff ordered to have a go!
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  11. NARMAK
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    NARMAK Member

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    I'm kind of in the process of finding information on whether it would also be worth me getting a DA when detailing out new phantom black A4.

    Whats the general concensus, can you get away with a detailing by hand on a brand new car with no claying and just a proper wash and dry? or is it best to clay the bodywork, rims and use a DA. I've never used a DA before like scotty and watched even less videos to be even remotely confident.

    Also, don't have access to those other fancy paint reading gizmos or the fancy light kits to identify swirl marks etc.
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  12. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    I think the weathers set to get colder by the looks of it :( ok so with using the above process you should be fine with one White hex logic pad. Use the same method in regard to priming the pad as already mentioned and be careful not to load the pad with too much product as it will splatter!

    You may need to clean the pad using the wash process I recommended as it will become saturated so I'd say do it half way through. Get a bucket of water and simply rinse the pad in it, squeeze the LP out and then put it back on the DA and spin on speed 6 to get rid of the loose water. Ie so it's not on the car just being held by you
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  13. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    On a new car it is still certainly worth claying because although it's new generally the paintwork will not be as smooth as it should be. Go for a fine poly clay rather than anything too aggressive and use plenty of lube, a must on black.

    Once clayed it gives you a uber smooth surface to work with and you will find that this helps for the following products to bond and be much more durable.

    As for using a DA - this is one of the easiest machines to use and unless you have no common sense cannot cause any major damage (particularly on VAG paintwork which is hard). For example are you really going to stand in one place on the panel for 5 minutes on the highest speed setting?! No I don't think so. You can achieve a much better shine and depth from using one, however....

    If your using new products then I would suggest trying by hand first to accomplish a good result and once you feel more confident proceed from there.

    Our Juicy detailing Beginners Clay Kit contains a 75g fine yellow poly clay bar; 500ml Juicy Lube and a EuroW All Purpose microfibre all for £9.99 which has to be the cheapest kit in the market place.

    Juicy Detailing Beginners Clay Kit | Detailing Clay | Juicy Detailing


    It is important to perfect the wash and dry technique to preserve the paintwork. Also invest in a decent quick detailer such as Chemical Guys Clear Seal or Chemical Guys Hybrid V7 which not only bring back that shine and depth but removes water marks too which are a PITA on black.

    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
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  14. NARMAK
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    NARMAK Member

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    Thanks for the advice and yeah, the cars got watermarks all over from the rain etc lately and with all the dirt as well, it looks filthy right now to say the least.

    It looks like i'll be getting the clay kit as it certainly looks like great value and almost a 'better safe than sorry' measure. I will be doing a bit more research on DAs so i can get more confident on how to theoretically use them and look at which one i can get in order to fit into my budget.

    Its all a long term investment IMO and it certainly will speed detailing up from 2 days by hand to probably a few hours for the whole car lol
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  15. Juicy Jen
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    Juicy Jen <span style="color: orange">Jen – Juicy Detailin Site Sponsor

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    It will be quicker by machine than hand HOWEVER you still need to polish small sections to generate sufficient heat to make any kind of correction. If your doing a pre wax cleanser such as Lime Prime then not quite so long.

    I've mentioned this on another post I think recently that using a machine is not necessarily quicker but gives you a much better result and depth of shine. I would still say your looking at a good days work on the car but every bodies level of cleanliness will be different.

    I'm doing an enhancement on a Candy White Seat at the beginning of next week which I'll do a write up for so this will give you an idea on how long (although it will be with a rotary)
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2012
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  16. NARMAK
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    NARMAK Member

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    [Feb 1, 2012]
    Yeah, i kinda exaggerated the time thing lol but it would definitely be great to see your write up. I'm in the process of watching videos and writeups etc but the real challenge is when you've got the thing in your hand and you actually try it for yourself.

    I'm defnitely looking for the best look and i do remember seeing that its best to mask off the sections and do them in pieces. I guess a stopwatch on my phone would also help in letting me time the panels and accurately allow me to buff them off when they're ready once i have finished with another panel.

    I actually know a guy up the road who has an A3 with titanium rotors he put on and also replaced his rear lights with LED versions, and i'm sure he would be interested in a nice detailing from me if i do my own car properly and it'll sure help recoup a decent chunk of the investment i made in the products.

    He might even make it a regular thing to get a snow foam wash and proper 2 bucket wash with a lambswool mitt as opposed to the crappy car washes that damage the paint etc but i guess i would need to know how to properly paint correct given the age of his car and the likely state its already in.

    I'm also wary of the paint condition and know that he wouldn't have as much microns as a new car but the cost of the measuring tool isn't something i'm willing to purchase as i'm not really planning on making a business out of it atm. More a hobby.
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