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Sounds like a plan....... does it?

clcollins Mar 17, 2009

  1. clcollins

    clcollins Member

    I’m getting myself ready to spend a day or more on cleaning to paintwork of my car (2002 A3 1.9TDI Quattro, Ebony Black), it is a much love work horse, however, much to my shame; it is looking rather neglected.

    I have a mish/mash of products that I’m proposing to use, here’s the plan, please feel free to put me on the right path if anything strikes you as being incorrect.

    Jet wash with water only
    Jet wash / with APC and warm water
    Hand wash with wool mitt and Megs Gold Class shampoo
    Towel dry
    Clay entire car
    Apply and work Megs deep crystal paint cleaner with a Porter Cable
    Apply and work Megs deep crystal polish with a Porter Cable
    Wipe down with Menzerna Top Inspection and assess
    Apply and work Chemical Guys Jet Seal with Porter Cable
    Apply and work Megs Gold Class liquid wax

    How does that sound, have got it wrong anywhere? The reason for the mish/mash of products is that I read reviews and think “I’ve got to have some of that”, but have never got round to using it! I’ve had the PC for about 15 months, it’s never been used! Come on, don’t pretend I’m the only one that does this :whistle2:

    Ideally I’d like to use the Blackfire products on my car, but with a box full of products worth somewhere in the region of £100+ (there are others I haven’t told you about) I can’t justify spending anymore.

    Thanks in advance, Christian
  2. S3 Rav

    S3 Rav Well-Known Member

    sounds good just give it a quick wash after the clay
  3. WX51TXR

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    Given what you have to work with, the plan looks fine, with the following changes...

    1. Whilst washing after claying is not strictly necessary if the claying is done properly, it certainly doesn't hurt, so you may wish to add in this step.

    2. The Meguiars Deep Crystal Polish will probably lay down some fillers in addition to gloss enhancing oils, so you may wish to skip the Top Inspection step in order to retain the benefit of applying the polish (Top Inspection is best used after doing heavy corrective polishing, which you will not be doing with the products to hand).

    3. I would personally apply multiple coats of Jetseal and skip the Gold Class, which contains some polishing particles and will thus potentially slightly strip back the underlying sealant layer. My evidence for this is the dusting that Gold Glass gives off when applied and buffed off - pure protective products do not do this, which leads me to believe Meguiars incorporate a little bit of polish in order to brighten the finish in cases where no prior polishing is done.

    Other than that, you should get a very reasonable result.

  4. clcollins

    clcollins Member

    There’s a lot of meaning in those opening words isn’t there, “given what you have to work with”. So the question is what do I do, spend a day or more working on the paintwork with products that are just ‘ok’, or set them aside and get the proper stuff?

    I know what my heart says, the wallet disagrees however, but hey, when it starts earning the money itself I’ll start listening to it.

    As I wrote earlier the car is a 2002 A3, Ebony Black, oh and it’s just clocked 105,000 miles.

    The car has never been through an auto car wash, but the paintwork is marked and on the dull side.

    I want the car to be the best it can be, however I am aware the PC has its limitations, but I wouldn’t trust myself with a rotary. As it is I’ll be getting some dings and dents repaired after the detailing, I don’t want to have to get sections re-sprayed also!

    Do I ditch the Megs entirely, or keep the cleaner and ditch just the polish and wax. Or do I ditch everything I have and start and start over.

    Given the colour of my car, is Blackfire still the way to go or is there something else that has taken over at the top of the ‘must have’ list?
  5. WX51TXR

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    Sorry, I didn't mean to put a downer on things; you would achieve a decent enough result with the above products/routine, but I'm not going to kid you, the level of correction will be limited and it's not going to be jaw dropping in terms of the final finish. Decision time: either stick to the above and accept a decent enough result until such time as you can commit fully to the following... or go with the heart and be dammed with what the wallet says!This is what would produce awesome results...

    Wash (ideally every week)

    Advanced Car Wash Kit - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/advanced-car-wash-kit-wash.html (choosing the Poorboys shampoo)

    Decontaminate (once or twice a year, spring and autumn are the best times)

    Step 1 - Autosmart Tardis & Accessories (to remove tar spots, tree sap, etc) - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/autosmart-tardis-clean.html

    Step 2 - Meguiars Quik Clay Kit (to remove industrial fallout, soot, etc) - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/meguiars-quik-clay-kit-clean.html

    Polish (after claying, thus done once or twice a year)

    To correct swirl marks and other light to moderate defects (fine scratches and etching) on your car, we recommend a two stage process starting with either Menzerna RD3.02 or Gloss It Extreme Cut in conjunction with Menzerna 135 mm Polishing Pads on a 125 mm flexible backing plate and Lake Country 100 mm CCS Light Cut Spot Pads on a 75 mm flexible backing plate (the larger pads are best used on larger flatter areas, while the smaller spot pads are best used on smaller more awkward areas). Working at around 4000-5000 orbits per minute (speed 4-5 on most dual action machine polishers) using light to moderate pressure should enable you to correct around 95% of the defects present in just 1-2 attempts per panel. To get an even higher level of correction, or to tackle any remaining deeper defects, you could switch to using Menzerna 135 mm Compounding Pads. These offer even more cutting power, but are more awkward to use, as they are very firm and unyielding. With the correction stage done, we recommend following up with either Menzerna 85RD or Gloss It Evolution Polish in conjunction with Menzerna 135 mm Finishing Pads on a 125 mm flexible backing plate and Lake Country 100 mm CCS Polishing Spot Pads on a 75 mm flexible backing plate (again the larger pads are best used on larger flatter areas, while the smaller spot pads are best used on smaller more awkward areas). Working at around 4000-5000 orbits per minute (speed 4-5 on most dual action machine polishers) using light pressure should enable you to produce an ultra-sharp high gloss finish, which you should then protect using either a good quality wax or sealant.

    Our choice...

    Menzerna RD3.02 - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/menzerna-rd3-02-polish.html
    Menzerna 85RD - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/menzerna-85rd-polish.html
    Menzerna 135 mm Pads - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/menzerna-135-mm-pads-polish.html
    Lake Country 100 mm CCS Technology Spot Pads - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/lake-country-100-mm-ccs-technology-spot-pads-polish.html
    Dual Action Flexible Backing Plates - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/dual-action-flexible-backing-plates-polish.html

    Protect (apply a fresh coat every 8-12 weeks)

    Whilst solid dark colours are undisputedly harder to maintain to a high standard than lighter colours, they do offer the luxury of more choices when it comes to choosing last step products to tailor the final look of the paint. This is because the intense colour depth gives a very high degree of reflectivity, which not only makes it far easier to achieve a finish with much greater clarity and depth, but also enhances how wet the paint looks, as more highlights are shown up. Consequently, it is not difficult to achieve an excellent finish on such colours, and it is quite straightforward to tailor the look of the final finish by choosing last step products that significantly enhance either reflectivity or gloss. By doing the former with a synthetic sealant you can produce a sharper, cooler, shinier finish, while by doing the latter with a high quality natural carnauba wax you can produce a softer, warmer, glossier finish. This is because sealant polymer chains tend to cross-link to form an exceptionally smooth, highly dense surface layer that transmits light very efficiently and maximises reflectivity, while natural carnauba wax coatings tend to comprise a microscopically rougher, less dense surface layer that scatters more incoming light and maximises colour intensity and gloss.

    If maximising reflectivity and producing the sharpest possible looking finish on a dark solid colour is your ultimate goal, we recommend choosing the Werkstat Acrylic Kit as your step product. This is because it delivers an incredible level of reflectivity characterised by amazing clarity and depth, and makes solid dark colours look razor sharp. However, this high degree of reflectivity and sharpness can be counter-productive in terms of colour intensity and gloss, and can leave some dark solid colours looking somewhat cold and sterile. Thus, it is not a finish that will suit all tastes. In contrast, if maximising colour intensity and gloss on a dark solid colour is your ultimate goal, we recommend choosing Raceglaze Signature Series '55' as your last step product. This is because it delivers an incredible amount of jetting that makes solid dark colours literally look like they are about to pop in front of you; no other product we have used makes such colours look as rich and intense. Further benefits afforded by Raceglaze Signature Series '55' include terrific ease of use and excellent durability, with a single application typically lasting for around three months. If neither of the above options appeal, and you would rather produce a more balanced looking finish, we recommend choosing Blackfire Wet Diamond All Finish Paint Protection, as it delivers an intense wet looking shine with excellent reflectivity and gloss.

    Our choice...

    Raceglaze Signature Series '55' - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/raceglaze-signature-series-55-protect.html
    Blackfire LSP Applicator Pad - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/blackfire-ultimate-lsp-applicator-pad-protect.html
    Poorboys Deluxe Mega Towels - http://www.polishedbliss.co.uk/acatalog/poorboys-deluxe-mega-towel-protect.html

    Example images of the '55' finish can be viewed here...


    I hope that helps, but as I said above, you will be able to achieve a pretty decent finish with what you have, but don't expect miracles in terms of the level of paint correction achieved, or the overall impact of the finish.

  6. clcollins

    clcollins Member

    Don’t worry, in no way did I think you were putting a downer on things, I’m always very interested in what you post on the site (as is everyone) and wanted to know what you would recommend.

    I’ll be ordering some Menzerna, pads, and Blackfire this week.

    Thanks for you very informative reply to my post....... now get back to detailing and post them up on here so we can all sit at our PC’s looking at automotive porn :hubbahubba:
  7. WX51TXR

    WX51TXR Polished Bliss

    Always very welcome, I enjoy trying to help you guys out! Also, remember we run the monthly show n shine competition... good chance to win £150 worth of products if you take pictures of your work and submit them, and we had an Audi-Sport winner just a couple of months ago. :yes:

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