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Old 03-14-2008, 05:16 PM
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Default Detailing Help (Very long)

Engine bay cleaning:

Degreaser and pressure wash with a tire foam to make it "pop" or shine, right? My problem is that I don't have access to a pressure washer for all of my cars. What else would you recommend? Also, what should I be covering up and what should I do to clean those areas? Most of my cars have a thin coat of red dirt all over the engine bay.

Full detail job (exterior):

I have four cars: two reds, one dark gray and one blue. My full detail job consists of washing complete car, clay bar, wipe down, cleaner wax on body and rims, then window, tire and vinyl treatment.

Products I use (All by hand):
Terry application pad
Costco brand microfiber
Generic brand chamois
Turtlewax ICE wash
Meguiars clay bar
Meguiars cleaner wax
Armor all window cleaner(I think)
RainX
Costco brand tire foam
Turtlewax ICE clear wax(for vinyl)

I know there are better products out there, but I don't really know what I should be purchasing because there is just so much out there that pretty much say the same things. I also need to upgrade to a polish and sealant cause I've never done that. I am going to get a porter cable, but only if I get the right products and pads to use correctly. Been looking into autogeek for PC and products, but don't know what to go to. I was simply thinking "buy the most expensive kit and it will do everything I ever want" I'm looking to spend around $400 on all my detailing essentials for the "off the assembly line" look.

What's the best poduct for cleaning vinyl trim that Jeep Cherokee Laredos and Nissan Frontiers have? Also for use on the areas around the edges of windows and such.

My exterior problems are from scratches of all kinds, chips, waterspots on all parts including chrome, hazing on headlights, etc. I know that scratches that can be felt with the nail cant be fixed by detailing.

Touch up paint is used by applying a bubble of touch up on the chip, letting cure, wetsand then polish and wax?

I'm looking to get the shine that Ive seen in the other threads on detailing, like before/after, as well as the protection.

My worst cars are the blue jeep and the red frontier which havent really been cleaned and/or waxed in over a year. The red and gray altimas could use some scratch/swirl removal, they're washed at least once every two weeks with a wax every month.

If pics would help then I can get that up by monday.

I checked this whole detailing section of the forum and found some answers, but since its all relatively new here I just went ahead and asked everything I could think of.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:09 PM
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Glad to see ya joined!!

Ok, we'll take this slow. By the end of it, this thread will probably have 50 replies, haha!!

(Before I start, my links are to Autogeek because that is simply where I've always ordered from and have never had problems. There are also many other very good quality sites out there as well.)

Portercable Kit... I would recommend the XMT kit: XMT Porter Cable 7424 Intermediate Swirl Remover Kit with CCS pads!Free Bonus!
Reason: The XMT polishes were SPECIFICALLY designed for the use of the PC7424 dual action polisher. This is also made by Pinnacle (Autogeek brand). This kit also includes the Lake County CCS pads. I really like these pads. (I also have a plentiful collection of Edge pads, but give the nod to CCS.) If you want me to go on about this and describe benefits of each, I can.

IN ADDITION to this kit, I'd highly reccomend:
XMT #2
XMT #4
White CCS Pad (6.5")
Green CCS Pad (6.5")

This will complete your set up for swirl correction, paint correction, etc. etc.

I also recommend this: XMT Pad Care Combo <font size=2><i>by Pinnacle</i></font>
One is a conditioner for the foam to use before polishing
The other is a cleaner to clean the pads after use (absolutely vital)

You mentioned trim. I would need to see a picture of the trim to see exactly what the material is.
However, for exterior plastics and such I strongly recommend 303 Protectant. It has the highest UV protectant rating compared to any other protecants. Very good product.
If the material is more of a vinyl/smooth plastic/painted, then use a carnauba wax. Works amazing and no smearing unlike liquids or spray waxes.

Engine Bay: I personally LOVE DP's engine degreaser. DP Engine Degreaser
You could also use a generic degreaser like Simple Green or Purple Power, but the results won't be as good especially on a very greasy engine.
You mentioned you don't have a pressure washer. Off the top of my head you could do a couple things.
One: take it to a DIY wash. Use the pressure washers there for the engine. Cleaning the engine seriously only takes a matter of minutes. Using good chemicals does alllllll the work.
Two: Use a garden hose at about 1/4 of full run. Either use your finger tip or some sprayer to make little water come out. The huge advantage of using a pressure washer is not the shear power of the water, but the fact that it gives out about 75% air and 25% water. Much safer for the Engine.
To tell ya the truth, I don't usually cover anything up, but I am extremely careful. To be on the safe side, cover up your battery, alternators, open wires, and any other areas that your common sense would tell you to.
I think of it this way, the engine HAS to be waterproof to begin with. Your car goes 70mph in pooring rain on the highway, you engine already gets soaked.

Dressing of the engine bay: I like to use a trick of Armor All tire foam. Spray everywhere that is black and just let sit. Can is $2.67 at Wal-Mart.
You can also use 303 Protectant, very good product as mentioned. (However, since it's the engine, I just use the foam. No sense in wasting a good product when another cheaper alternative does just fine for where it's being applied to).

Waxes: Take a look at the Autogeek site. (carnauba waxes). Find a couple you like, let us know, and we'll help you out. They are ALL good. Even cheaper ones (such as Poorboy's Natty's Blue), is a very very good wax and it's only $18-25???

Sealants: I prefer carnauba's, but some of the better sealants are Wolfgang deep gloss, duragloss 105 and 101, Poorboy's EX-P, Klasse AIO/Sealant, 4 star ultimate paint protection.... ok, they are all good too! haha

Hope this starts you off somewhere. Out of everything listed, I'd highly highly recommend the XMT polishes/CCS pads (or Edge), and the conditioner/cleaner.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:02 PM
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I will get right on that! my body mods can wait! I'm gonna try and talk to the autogeek people about just putting that whole package together for me at a good price. I'm hoping for about $300-$350 shipped.

How was that deal going, the one you told me about earlier?

How about the touch up paint? was I correct with that?

thanks for the speedy responce!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vsupra123 View Post
I will get right on that! my body mods can wait! I'm gonna try and talk to the autogeek people about just putting that whole package together for me at a good price. I'm hoping for about $300-$350 shipped.

How was that deal going, the one you told me about earlier?

How about the touch up paint? was I correct with that?

thanks for the speedy responce!
Yes, you are correct on touch up paint. However, you need about a 1500-2000 grit sandpaper. Also, a PC's limit is about at 1500 grit sand marks. Meaning, the PC's correction limit is about 1500 grit marks.

I have done an entire fender with water spot etching correction. I'll go ahead and make a new thread about the process with pics before/after. Be sure to look out for it!

As for Autogeek.... go ahead and sign up on their forum. My username over their is Whitethunder46.

If you sign up on the forum, there is a free shipping code with orders over $75. You'll certainly be over that limit so free shipping will save you some as well ;)
Also, they are in the process of moving to their new warehouse (which is sa-weet btw). So, I would think they are going to be having a lot sales soon.

Also, they have a lot of periodic sales throughout the year. Forum members often will get 10-20% off their TOTAL order with a special code (members only).

Hope this helps!
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:54 PM
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Here's a thread on water spot removal and possible actions to take. This is the link the the general forum, it is also copied in the "F.A.Q,'s" sub-forum for future reference :whacky011:

How to Remove Water Spots
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:22 PM
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here's a pic of my engine bay....its pretty much the same with all my other cars.

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Old 03-14-2008, 09:52 PM
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certainly dirty! haha, but to my eyes, it's like turning dirt to Gold! For that engine, I personally would go straight to the DP Engine degreaser. I'd cover the air filter and battery before going to work.

Once de-greased and relatively dry, I then would use Armor All tire foam for that particular engine because of all the random connections, covers, etc. etc. I would use some form of chrome polisher then with your Cold air intake. If you don't want to buy something online, I really like Mother's Chrome polish, it's actually very very good. Online only, I like Duragloss's aluminum polish (saturated cotton in a can), and English Custom Metals (hot chrome polish and trucker's blend)

Some engine pictures:
(My car)


Before/Afters:





(Chrome Cold Air Intake)
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:31 AM
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This thread is wonderful and thanks for your help.
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Old 03-28-2017, 02:08 AM
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Good read. nice job in cleaning your car. will take note of those detailing tips
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