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Old 03-21-2008, 01:01 AM
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Default The Ultimate Detail Thread: 60+ Photos; Techniques; Tips; Processes Inside!

Below you will find many different tips, processes, and techniques I use to detail my vehicle. I will BOLD each category in red to make the thread easier to browse.

The products I used have been tried and true for me. By no means are these products necessarily the best or only options to detail your ride. There are simply too many good products out there to stick to just one!

The Sentra before washing:




The supplies and set-up:
I always like to plan on a detail. I will get all my products, equipment and supplies ready
to go. I like to set out a large bath towel to place my tools and microfibers on. This prevents them from getting contaminated with dirt, leaves, debris, etc.



Karcher 1400 PSI Electric pressure washer with a 45ft. hose. (added a 25ft. extension hose)


Engine Bay Cleaning:
If I decide on washing the engine when doing a detail, the engine is always the FIRST thing you should detail. This way when you are rinsing the dirty engine and such, the nasty water will not get on a freshly washed car. Also, the wind will blow some of the harsh chemicals back on to the paint. Obviously, if you wash the car after this, you will be able to wash and rinse the overspray away.

I generally do not cover anything in the engine. Because I have a pressure washer, and the output is around 70-80% air, and 20-30% water, a pressure washer is very safe with an engine. I like to use one more so for the safety of less water than the power of it.
*NOTE: If you want to cover things up, foil is a common material to use. Cover the battery terminals, alternator, air filter, and other exposed electrical connections.

Before:



After wetting the engine I then spray Purple Power diluted 1:1 over everything as a base chemical. I then spray DP's Engine degreaser over the entire engine again, concentrating on the heavily greasy areas. This is a very powerful chemical. Be sure to also spray underneath the hood!


After letting sit for 1-2 min., I then agitate with a brush. I use a soft bristled Meguiar's long handled brush:


After rinsing:

Last edited by blacksentra07; 03-21-2008 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:02 AM
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I then proceed to wash the rest of the car to let the engine dry as much as it can by itself. I then help it dry by taking an old bath towel.
After drying:


For a dressing and protectant I love to use Armor All Tire Foam. I am fairly generous with the amount used.
After applying foam:



If the weather is warm, I let the foam dry and do it's work by itself. Since today it was only about 50*'s, I cranked up the engine and let the tire foam "bake" on the engine for approximately 5-10 min.
After sitting for about 30 min:





Wheel, Tire, and Fender Well Cleaning
This is usually my first step went not cleaning the engine. Reason is the same as the engine. Overspray with chemicals can be washed off when washing the car AFTER the wheels.

Wheel, Tire before:


First thing I do is rinse and spray the wheels, tires, and fender well. I then squirt the fender well and tire with Purple Power diluted 1:1. I then spray the wheel itself with Meguiar's Wheel Brightener diluted 4:1.


I use a Mother's fender well brush to agitate and scrub the fender wells.


Next I scrub the tires with a heavy duty coarse Meguiar's tire brush:


I then use a soft Mr. Clean wheel brush to clean the wheels. This is something I found at a local retail store for something like $2.00. It's extremely soft and I absolutely love it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:03 AM
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The I spray and rinse the entire wheel, tire, fender well:


Washing the General Car:
My favorite soap to use is Duargloss #901. Has a great cherry scent and is EXTREMELY suddsy. The ratio is about one ouce of #901 to a gallon of water. I mix this in a 5 gal. bucket. The wash mitt I love to use is called a SchMitt made by Edge pads. It is made of a very soft and densely packed foam. One side is white designed for general cleaning; whereas the flip side is a much coarser yellow pad that works well for removing bug splatters.

Tip: Always wash the shaded part of the vehicle first and the sunny side last. This way water spots are far less likely to form. Be sure to also dry the sunny side first.


Duragloss #901 and the SchMitt in action:



Drying:
My drying towels are Cobra Waffle Weave Guzzlers. I have 3 distinct sizes all of which are used for different areas.

Rinsing:



ALWAYS dry your car! Be sure to dry the sunny side first to help prevent water spotting.



Make sure to also always dry your wheels!:


Tire Dressing:
One of my favorite things of a detailed vehicle are shiny tires.

After I dry the vehicle, I spray the tires AND fender wells with Armor All Tire Foam.
(If you haven't been able to tell, I love this tire foam):


After foaming all 4 tires/fender wells, I let the product sit for about 2-3 min. I then take an OLD bath towel and generously wipe off the foam. The foam acts as a TERRIFIC tire cleaner:
Right half of the tire wiped:

Last edited by blacksentra07; 03-21-2008 at 01:10 AM.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:03 AM
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After this I then apply my tire dressing. One of my favorites believe it or not is Armor All Extreme Tire GEL. Gels have great shine and more importantly durability. The foam that was just wiped off acts as a GREAT base for this gel. Also improves looks and durability:



After:


Check for Water Runnings:
Make sure to go over the car again and again. You will certainly find some areas where the water has ran down. Examples: trunk, door jams, license plates, etc.

Before: (around door handle)


I like to use a product called Poorboy's Spray and Wipe. It's a great waterless wipe product. Really cleans up areas very well. I also use this for light dusts, fingerprints, etc.
After:


Checking for Water Spots:
Go around the vehicle to check for water spots. They'll usually form easier on glass, but of course check the paint as well.

To remove water spots, take a mixture of 50/50 water/vinegar. Spray this mix on the water spotted area and wipe off with a microfiber towel:



Taillight & Headlight Cleaning:
I LOVE to use a product called, DP Plex-All. It's an awesome plastic cleaner and protectant. It applies like foam and then buff off with a microfiber towel:


Black Plastic Trim:
I enjoy using a product called 303 protectant. It is one of the (if not the) highest rated UV protectants there is out there in the detailing world. I use this regularly.
Top half applied:
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:04 AM
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AFTER ALL OF THE ABOVE:







Taking It To The Next Level!


Quick Overview of most of my products & supplies:
Chemicals and waxes:


Microfibers and Polishing Pads:




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Old 03-21-2008, 01:05 AM
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Machine Polishing

Equipment:
Porter Cable 7424 and Metabo Rotary buffers:


Using a paint cleaner via Porter Cable 7424
Because my car has just gone through 3-4 months of a rough winter, I decided to give it something special. A massage if you will.

Products Used:
Pink Moose. Below products mixes 50/50:
ClearKote Vanilla Moose (paint cleaner)
ClearKote Red Machine Glaze (carnauba glaze)
Green CCS pad on a 5" backing plate via PC

First step:
Lightly squirt pad with XMT pad conditioner. This will open up the foam pad's pores to accept the "pink moose."


Second step:
Put a generous amount of the product (pink moose) on the pad. Once the pad is "primed" with the product, less and less product will be needed throughout the cleaning of the car:


Third step:
Spread product onto the vehicle's surface with machine off. Gradually turn up the speed once on to a max of speed 4-5. Apply the product for 1-2 minutes. Remember, we are "cleaning" the paint and not polishing:


Forth step:
Buff off with a microfiber towel:


Paint Polishing:
I found a section on my driver's side door with some light marring and some hazing. You can see this in the picture:


I switched over to a CCS White polishing pad and used Menzerna PO10FF. This polish is a very fine German nano polish. Applied via PC at speed 5.5 for approximately 4-5 minutes. Buffed off with microfiber towel:



Applying Pinnacle Souveran Paste Wax:
After finishing the entire car with Pink Moose via PC, I then applied Pinnacle Souveran. This is a very premier wax. $80 for an 8oz. jar.
As with ALL boutique waxes, you must apply "wax on, wax off." I generally do one fender at a time; wax on, buff off.


(Front bumper I applied Klasse AIO to. This acrylic wax is super durable and a very good non-stick coating.

After applied Souveran:


Plastic pillars between windows:
The plastic smooth pillars between windows I simply apply wax to. I like to use Collinite Double wax #476. It's a very very long durable wax. This is also my winter wax:
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:05 AM
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6 HOURS LATER; COMPETED!






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Old 03-21-2008, 01:46 AM
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wow, i want my car to have a shine like that. I hope the products you recommended will do just that for me.
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Old 03-21-2008, 03:10 AM
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INCREDIBLE post!
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Old 03-21-2008, 10:43 AM
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you use way too many products. I hope xmt will do it for me. i took your recommendation and got the xmt 1-3 and the pc.
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:52 PM
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Did a little bit more this morning.


Chrome Polishing:
I like to use a metal polishing brand called English Custom Metals. This specific product is the Hot Chrome Polish. I also have their trucker's blend polish for something like stainless steel.

Before:


I apply a dab of Hot chrome polish on the corner of a microfiber towel. I then apply it across the chrome letting the product do most of the work:

After applying:


After buffing:





I also went out to a local store to replace my license plate frames. The winter salts started to heavily damage my metal chrome frames. Next winter I'll make sure to take them off before winter hits.

Before:


After:
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:21 PM
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if you ever come to NY, let me know. I will pay you to detail my car.
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Last edited by blacksentra07; 03-24-2008 at 06:31 PM.
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel Clown View Post
if you ever come to NY, let me know. I will pay you to detail my car.

I certainly will. I have a side bus. in detailing so I'm using to getting paid ;) haha

I'm really kickin myself in the ass for canceling my website. It was really good.
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Old 04-08-2008, 02:49 PM
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Where did you get that chrome polish?
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Old 04-09-2008, 04:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by novs25 View Post
Where did you get that chrome polish?
English Custom Metal Polishes
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Old 01-31-2009, 06:23 PM
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Great post, I cant wait to try these new techniques and products on my altima...
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:41 AM
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you have done really nice work dude...
all the best..
try to share somemore
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:43 PM
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Holy shit man! That's an awesome thorough post
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Old 09-19-2009, 05:52 AM
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Omg really really really nice...you have all the best stuff and take really good care of your car. Ofc it helps you have a garage. Ppl in flats are not so lucky
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LinkBack to this Thread: http://www.supernissans.net/forums/auto-detailing/758-ultimate-detail-thread-60-photos-techniques-tips-processes-inside.html
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