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RAY330i
03-15-2002, 01:44 AM
Hi everyone....

Just got my 330i Silver Ti 2 months ago... wanna do my 1st waxing this weekend....

I have read a lot of emails about wax brand and cleaning agent names. But I am still not sure what should be the correct steps/procedures to clean and wax the car... would any of you give me a detail step by step guide? If possible, with suggested product brand please!

Also, I don't really understand the need for paint cleaner.. could any one explain?

How about interior cleaning? How to clean Leather and the wood trim?

I know that I have asked a lot of question, but I really don't want to have a wrong start and make permanent scretches on the car.

Thanks a lot !

Dr. Phil
03-15-2002, 05:46 AM
Compliments of Ripsnort

Originally posted by Ripsnort
I decided to post my "schedule" for one year on my automobile finish. This schedule was decided on after speaking to a Griots rep, a professional car detailer, and gather opinions from many at Autopia. I basically went with the most consistent information.

Note: No products are mentioned (Except P21S Paint cleaner since its a magical potion that brings out the luster) below since its my opinion that its not necessarily the product, but the surface preparation, product application and removal that makes or breaks a good product.

Twice a year
See washing method at bottom that I prefer to use.
~Wash with Dawn to strip old wax, rinse.
~Wash with quality car shampoo, rinse.
~Claybar using detail spray for lubricant (leftover rinse water acts as lube too)
~Rinse and dry
~Using Porter Cable (PC) I apply polish 2 ft. by 2 ft. section at a time.
~Remove polish after completing each section by hand with 100% cotton towels.
~Using PC, apply P21S Paint Cleaner. Same method as polish.
~Remove P21S Paint Cleaner after completing each section by hand with 100% cotton towels.
~Using PC, apply quality wax, same method as polish.
~Remove wax after completing each section by hand with 100% cotton towels.
~Use a finish detail spray with 100% cotton towels.

Total time: 4-6 hours, depending on 'interuptions' from my kids!

Every 3 months
~Wash with Dawn to strip old wax, rinse.
~Wash with quality car shampoo, rinse.
~Rinse and dry
~Using Porter Cable (PC) I apply P21S paint cleaner on a 2 ft. by 2 ft. section at a time.
~Remove P21S paint cleaner after completing each section by hand with 100% cotton towels.
~Using PC, apply quality wax, same method as polish.
~Remove wax after completing each section by hand with 100% cotton towels.
~Use a finish detail spray with 100% cotton towels.

Total time: 2-3 hours.

Once a week
~Rinse the car to begin with.
~Using a wash mitt, one linear motion, then flip the mitt, back across the same area, rinse in
2nd bucket, then back into the soapy bucket, repeat. I rinse off each section when finished.
~Use the straight hose to rinse entire car, which sheds 80% of the water if the car is waxed.
~Use a california water blade on the flat surfaces, and synthetic chamois to clean up areas the the CWB doesn't get.
~Griot speed shine (or any good detail finish spray) to complete the job.

Total time: 45 min.

Works for me!

I did my first wax yesterday and skipped the paint cleaning step. I was able to get away with it because of my lighter color, but I did notice some light dirt on wax pad. So in retrospect I probably should have done it and will next time.:thumb:

No leather for me, but Lexol products are good (cleaner and conditioner). I use Vinelyx myself. For the wood, I simply use a damp 100% cotton towel.

Guest84
03-15-2002, 06:50 AM
Paint cleaners will 'feed' the clear coat with essential oils, as well as cover up any swirl marks. P21S is a highly recommended product, do a google search on the web and you'll find websites that sell it. My BMW dealership had it in stock.

I would at very least minimum do:

Wash with Dawn to strip old wax
Wash with quality car shampoo
Dry then apply a paint cleaner
Apply wax to protect the finish.

What you use to apply and remove these products is more important than the product itself IMO. Use the best cotton towels on the market if possible, some like the Micro fiber towels.

RAY330i
03-15-2002, 11:04 AM
So I am planning to do the following:

1. remove old wax using Dawn (What's Dawn, Dawn for Laundary?)
2. wash car with shampoo (Turtlewax sampoo)
3. Claybar using detail spray for lubricant (why doing that? What's Claybar?)
4. Polish using Meguiar #7 show car glaze.
5. P21S paint cleanser
6. Wax with Meguiar #26 yellow wax
7. SpeedShine for final detailing.

Am I correct? Any problem with the product I use?

As Ripsnort says the cotton cloth is very very important, where can I get a good quality cotton towel? Also, What is Porter Cable(PC). Where can I get them? How do they look like?

Thanks agian for your helpful advice. :thumb: :thumb:

Guest84
03-15-2002, 11:25 AM
Dawn is Liquid Dish Detergent. Don't bother with the anti-bacterial stuff unless you plan to do surgery on the hood of your car. :D

Claybar: Shouldn't need to if your car is relatively new. Its used to eliminate paint overspray, and contaminants that might have worked their way into your clear coat. Very important to get "good" claybar, some of the cheap stuff may indeed damage your finish. (I highly recommend Griotsgarage.com for all finish products)

Griots also has some EXCELLENT cotton towelettes, perfect size for wiping, buffing the finish. If you don't want to wait for them in the UPS mail, then find some old cotton towels your wife's not using anymore, make sure the tag says "100% cottom" and then cut the tag and the emboidery/edges off, the thread they use on the edges may not be cotton, but synthentic, which could induce swirls. Just make sure to wash them WITHOUT any fabric softener products. alittle soap and thats it!

Your schedule looks good to me! Wish we had the weather, or I'd be getting busy too! Damn rain! :(

Edit: Porter Cable is a brand name of one of the best Random Orbital polishers you can get for a relatively inexpensive cost.

http://www.coastaltools.com has them, model 7424, roughly $119

johnlew
03-15-2002, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by RAY330i

6. Wax with Meguiar #26 yellow wax
7. SpeedShine for final detailing.

Am I correct? Any problem with the product I use?



Whew, I got tired just reading that. I found the Meguiar yellow to be hazy/cloudy on my ti silver finish, like BLITZ much better, and it's much easier to use. But with your speedshine step, maybe the haze isn't an issue. I've never tried the speedshine, or similar, stuff but will this summer.

P.S. Ti Silver is so easy that we don't have to be as labor intensive as the dark color guys. For all your extra work you may not notice a thing. Swirls and stuff like that are just completely unnoticeable unless you've really abused the paint. Quite frankly, I'd dawn it, ps clean, wax and speedshine.

thewaxtest
03-15-2002, 11:40 AM
Rip, just a few suggestions to add to your killer schedule/info.

1) I would always suggest a clay job on a new car, especially a BMW. Our beloved autos travel thousands of miles across the ocean (well, most of them do), where they're subjected to all sorts of nasty conditions. The clay won't hurt, especially if it's a gentle clay like the Griot's is.

I prefer the Clay Magic clay bars (available at many places, let me know if you need some vendor info), preferably the "blue" bars (they're the Fine bars). I clayed our brand new 2002 Tahoe and was shocked at how much grit and grime was on the clay bar. What I found out is that the grit is "rail dust" that comes from the vehicle being transported by Train. I'm glad I got it out of there, but I'm super an@l when it comes to detailing... ;-)

2) The Griot's MicroFiber towels are awesome, but they're pricey. I've found great MicroFiber's at: NeatItems.com, yosteve.com (not me, btw), and properautocare.com (Viper towels). I have the Griot's towels, but after buying 12 of them I had to find a slightly less expensive alternative.

3) Porter Cable is a type of Random Orbital Buffer. They have several models including the 7424 and the 7336. Both are a 6", electric, random orbital buffer that features a 4.75Amp motor, adjustable speed and a velcro backed backing plate. This is the best buffer I have ever seen/used (and I've used a bunch of them). Highly recommend you get one of these if you don't already have one!

Guest84
03-15-2002, 11:48 AM
Rgr that Steve :thumb: I claybar on my twice a year major detail schedule, some folks are skeptical of claybar (bad results from a bad product, whats the term...shiit in, shiit out? ;) ) but I digress..

Alee and I always preach "Its not so much the product you use as it is the surface preparation and application/removal of that product." Word to live by! I've seen people ruin a perfectly good finish by not following proper steps in insuring the finish is "prepped"(Major swirls)

Porter Cable is the best thing that every happened to me! :)

johnlew
03-15-2002, 11:49 AM
Originally posted by thewaxtest
3) Porter Cable is a type of Random Orbital Buffer. They have several models including the 7424 and the 7336. Both are a 6", electric, random orbital buffer that features a 4.75Amp motor, adjustable speed and a velcro backed backing plate. This is the best buffer I have ever seen/used (and I've used a bunch of them). Highly recommend you get one of these if you don't already have one!

Oh, he has one, alright:thumb:

thewaxtest
03-15-2002, 11:53 AM
Sorry, the PC comment wasn't directed toward Rip - it was for the benefit of the person who asked what the PC was...sorry for any confusion.

Judging by Rip's pics, there's no doubt that he is indeed, a master detailer!

Guest84
03-15-2002, 11:54 AM
John, I think he's referring to the original poster, I emailed Steve to comment in this thread.

Incidently, the Porter Cable does a nice job on my bald head too :eek: :)

johnlew
03-15-2002, 11:56 AM
Thewaxtest,

Does this mean my advice kinda sucked? I've never clayed my car and when I run my hand over the paint it's smooth as glass. Sure, under the rocker panel and maybe right behind the wheel well I can feel stuff. Find most all of it comes right off with bug and tar removers. Granted, I don't go the levels you guys do and could never get away with my routine on a dark finish, but I sure get alot of compliments on the shine on my car.

http://home.wi.rr.com/bmw330cic/car_files/image007.jpg

vexed
03-15-2002, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by johnlew


Whew, I got tired just reading that. I found the Meguiar yellow to be hazy/cloudy on my ti silver finish, like BLITZ much better, and it's much easier to use. But with your speedshine step, maybe the haze isn't an issue. I've never tried the speedshine, or similar, stuff but will this summer.

P.S. Ti Silver is so easy that we don't have to be as labor intensive as the dark color guys. For all your extra work you may not notice a thing. Swirls and stuff like that are just completely unnoticeable unless you've really abused the paint. Quite frankly, I'd dawn it, ps clean, wax and speedshine.

I'm glad I am not the only one who found that to be overwhelming. Light color=less work. My next major job will be wash, p21s cleaner and blitz wax. I do have some Instant Detailer for touch up in between coats of blitz. It helps that my car is garaged both at work and at home.

johnlew
03-15-2002, 12:05 PM
Originally posted by vexed


I'm glad I am not the only one who found that to be overwhelming. Light color=less work. My next major job will be wash, p21s cleaner and blitz wax. I do have some Instant Detailer for touch up in between coats of blitz. It helps that my car is garaged both at work and at home.

Must be our age.:thumb:

Like you, only time my car is out is when I'm driving it.

vexed
03-15-2002, 12:12 PM
Originally posted by johnlew


Must be our age.:thumb:

Like you, only time my car is out is when I'm driving it.

LOL, yes and the fact that I have too many other things to do on the weekends. But I enjoy reading all of the advice, I have learned a lot and I do have a black pickup that may be the testbed for some of these treatments.

thewaxtest
03-15-2002, 12:49 PM
John,

No - do what ever works best for your car. Anyone who knows me knows that I'm not above hopping out of my car at a stoplight to give it a quick rub with the Quick Detailer. :yikes:

Most cars surfaces feel pretty smooth from the factory/dealer, so only us nut-jobs like to clay our new cars and spend untold hours detailing and fondling our vehicles.

It sounds like all of you guys are on top of the detailing and I'm sure that your cars look better than 99.9% of the other cars on the road!

johnlew
03-15-2002, 01:13 PM
I had just about purchased a PC orbital to play with the car, actually do enjoy it to a point. Then I got to thinking, with silver am I just wasting my time, sweat and money? I think so, I look at the car and it looks so good, as you say, better than 99.99% of silvers on the road. How much more am I going to get from the silver, from any angle it shines beautifully, not a scratch or swirl to be found, even under flourescent lighting. Yet it will never have the WOW factor of black or orient or red. So, will a clay, PC job, cleaner, Blitz and speedshine make me say, "Now why didn't I do this before?" (on silver). If you think so, I'm game and would try it. Otherwise, this spring is Bug and Tar remover job, Dawn, p21s cleaner, blitz, and speedshine. p21s and speedshine are new for me.

thewaxtest
03-15-2002, 02:17 PM
Just my thoughts, but here it goes:

I held off on buying a Buffer for a number of years. Started detailing in 1985/86, and swore that I'd never use a buffer. Then, in 1994/95, I decided to try a Random Orbital (Craftsman). After one use, I said, "Why have I been so stupid for so long?"

I used the Craftsman for about a year, then I tried a Porter Cable...man, what a difference!

The PC makes the work easier, and because it's only got a 6" pad, it's really manueverable. It also makes the polishes work better because most polishes have diminishing abrasives that start off "big" and get "smaller" with heat and "work".

The biggest benefit of the PC is it makes the job easier, and it eliminates swirls without any work at all. Just make sure to get some good pads (3M, Meguiar's, Northern Manufacturing, etc) if you decide on a PC.

So, would a PC be beneficial? Probably. My 528 is silver, and I always use the PC on it. Here's what I normally do with the 528:

1) Wash with Dawn
2) Clay before car is dry, use wash solution as lube
3) Wash with P21S solution, rinse and dry
4) Apply P21S polish, using PC on speed 3 to 4, and White Northern Manufacturing Pad (polishing pad). Work the polish in until it's almost completely buffed off, remove residue with microfiber towel.
5) Hand wax with P21S
6) Dress black trim with Zaino Z16
7) Dress wheels, wheel wells, etc

Hope this helps.
-Steve

Guest84
03-15-2002, 04:25 PM
You guys with Silver make me sick! My wife has a white SUV, I can use a stiff bristle brush to wash it and it still looks great, do that to Jet black, "heart attack". :)

thewaxtest
03-15-2002, 07:04 PM
Ray, I just re-read your initial post, and I saw that you were asking a few questions about the interior and everyone seemed to have overlooked that question...(including me!)

I've used almost every interior product there is, and so far, my very favorite is the Griot's Interior Cleaner and Leather Care. You can get their "starter kit" for $29.95 (I think), which includes: Interior Cleaner (clean anything from dash to carpet to leather with it), Leather Care (an easy to use, nice leather conditioner), a bottle of Leather scent (a few shots, and it's like that new car smell again) and a nice brush for cleaning your seats/dash/etc.

For the wood trim, you can use a little of your favorite wax, just try to avoid getting it on your leather/dash/etc. Lately, I've been using Zaino's Z2 on my wood trim and it works great (I think).

Hope this helps a little more.

RAY330i
03-15-2002, 09:43 PM
Thanks for all of the inputs....

I am thinking to do some "Before" and "After" pics for my cleaning job.

Will keep you guys posted!
Thanks again! ;)