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Greg220
07-02-2011, 10:43 AM
I used Meguiars #205 by hand (microfiber applicator) on black metallic. After finishing one panel I couldn't see any difference in shine between polished and unpolished parts. I went ahead and applied to the rest of the car just to make it uniform, which took over 1.5 hour. Then I used DG 105 as LSP.

To be honest, I saw very little improvement (if any) with MG 205. Last time I used only DG 105 and the car looked same as far as I can tell. So, I have a few questions:

- Did I spend too little time buffing with MG 205? How many times should I buff one spot?
- Would I see a big improvement if I used a buffing machine for MG 205?
- Have I reached the point of diminishing returns and that's why I can't see a difference with MG 205? In which case, I could save my energy and just use DG 105?

Ilovemycar
07-02-2011, 02:04 PM
Polishing a whole car by hand in today's world, I think, would be considered borderline insane. An affordable DA-RO will make for a much more successful result, with much less effort. I think hand polishing just one single panel is supposed to take hours, so 1.5 on a whole car didn't really do anything I am led to believe.

I used to only have a PC 7424XP, but I added a much more expensive Flex 3401 VRG to my arsenal. It's similar to the move from hand to a PC: same or better results, but with less work.

Yeah, doing this by hand is insane! lol

I am completely unfamiliar with Duragloss products. Since I don't know about what is/was on there, and how often you detail, you might look into wax stripping washes or chemical paint cleaners to help prep the paint before any given polish.

When you get a machine, check out the Kevin Brown Method of prepping the pads with product.

edit: your car looks nice. I suppose if you just polished two months ago, there might not be much difference. If it's driven even somewhat regularly and it's been a year, I bet that you should definitely notice a difference, however. At least with a machine!

zkeeper
07-02-2011, 02:45 PM
Yuppers, the issue is most likely the fact that you did by hand. And the whole car in 1.5hrs.
Go to www.autogeek.com and begin checking out all the videos and counsel thats provided, pop for a good DA and most likely your Megs will work fine. The Griot's DA is great, easy to use but there are other brands of course. The right pad is vital. The orange pads generally are the polisher pads and there are several available. Do the blue painter's tape visual as you start a panel and that will give you a contrasting visual and tell you what is really going on. The site has several instructional vids that describe this--you can kill hours on that site. BUT it arms you with a LOT of info and visuals to move you along.

Last, there are LOTS of products out there with which to polish--and everyone has an opinion and a favorite. I use the Griot's line and its been excellent for me and the cars I have worked on. It is generally made for the home consumer, and is very safe when used correctly. Best to get some basics, start slow and work from least aggressive to more aggressive goes without saying--but just wrote it, so that counts. :thumbup:

You can easily solve your dilema with just a little extra advanced product and a DA, but you are probably not beyond a cash in point. Good luck with it all.

Greg220
07-03-2011, 07:58 PM
Thank you for the answers. I will get a proper buffer for the next attempt. Based on the pictures, do you think I'd see a significant improvement if I polish now or should I wait until the paint gets dull? The last time the car was polished with a buffer at a dealership one year ago. Since then it's very shiny just by washing and applying synthetic polymer/wax.

There are some minor scratches which don't bother me much since they are only visible at very close distance.

csmeance
07-03-2011, 09:20 PM
I used Meguiars #205 by hand (microfiber applicator) on black metallic. After finishing one panel I couldn't see any difference in shine between polished and unpolished parts. I went ahead and applied to the rest of the car just to make it uniform, which took over 1.5 hour. Then I used DG 105 as LSP.

To be honest, I saw very little improvement (if any) with MG 205. Last time I used only DG 105 and the car looked same as far as I can tell. So, I have a few questions:

- Did I spend too little time buffing with MG 205? How many times should I buff one spot?
- Would I see a big improvement if I used a buffing machine for MG 205?
- Have I reached the point of diminishing returns and that's why I can't see a difference with MG 205? In which case, I could save my energy and just use DG 105?


The point of polishing is to remove any discolored paint (due to oxidation, chemicals, etc) and to expose a new layer. Polishing removes a TINY bit of paint every time you do it, compounding more and wet-sanding the most! Either way, they all achieve the same goal to remove a slight layer of paint. Paint removal isn't necessarily the best option sometimes, esp if the car has been maintained well with proper washing techniques, wax/sealants etc.

As well all of these processes of polishing/compounding/wetsanding round off the edges of scratches so any swirls and scratches you may have will appear to disappear (depending on the aggressiveness of the particular method). M205 by itself is good for light scratches and as well minor swirls as well it is good for helping to "burnish" the paint in order to produce a brilliant shine by itself. FYI many polishes and compounds are much less aggressive and can produce BAD results when you use it by hand.

In all honesty, don't polish unless you need to remove some swirls and scratches. And before you do so, please figure out what is causing them so you can fix that so you don't have to keep on removing more paint! I must say that the work on your car looks great! Keep it up!

POof540i
07-04-2011, 09:03 AM
The best way to judge the condition of your paint is to have it completely LSP-free (because they hide/mask swirls) and take some photos with a light source reflecting back to the camera, kind of like the picture below (pics in the shade do not show paint defects unless they're really bad). In the pic below, I'm using the sun to identify swirls in the paint, but any strong light will give you similar results. In order to see the true condition of your paint, you must first begin by removing the LSP through a combination of claying and chemically striping the LSP (if claying isn't enough). Then give it a good wash, dry it and finally put the car under direct sunlight. View the sun's reflection from multiple angles and see if you can spot any swirls like in the picture below. Some BMW's have really hard paint and will take a much more aggressive polish than 205 to correct the paint. The car from the picture is a 2001 BMW 540i with Orient Blue paint (it's pretty hard paint). Your car looks like it's Jet Black, or am I wrong? That paint has a reputation for having really soft paint and inducing swirls into the paint is considered inevitable, even after a single wash using improper washing techniques.

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc256/01540i/DSC_0228.jpg




This is the way it should look after its been buffed correctly. Not the best pic, but you get the idea. The paint is free from LSP's and polishing oils (which can fill-in swirls marks).

http://i216.photobucket.com/albums/cc256/01540i/DSC_0196.jpg




- Did I spend too little time buffing with MG 205? How many times should I buff one spot?

Megs 205 is a non-diminishing abrasive polish. Whether you work it for one pass or 6 passes, your only concern should be the amount of correction you're aiming for. The longer you work the polish, the more correction you'll achieve and vice versa.


- Would I see a big improvement if I used a buffing machine for MG 205?

205 is a fine polish. It will not correct very much. The deeper scratches and swirls will remain until you step up the aggressiveness of the polish your using. In short, depending on how workable the clear is, you would need a buffer and a more aggressive polish to remove the paint defects, if any exist.


- Have I reached the point of diminishing returns and that's why I can't see a difference with MG 205? In which case, I could save my energy and just use DG 105?

Your tolerance for paint defects is really up to you. Once you see the true condition of the paint, ask yourself if you want those defects there, if any, or if you don't mind masking them with LSP's.



Lastly, join the www.autogeekonline.net forum to learn how to properly care for and maintain the appearance of your car. It's a great site with a wealth of knowledge.

dboy11
07-05-2011, 07:27 AM
The reason as pointed out are two things for me. One you did this by hand, you didn't get the polish to break down. That requires heat that is generated by a machine like a rotary or orbital buffer. The second is you used a micro fiber applicator to apply the polish, cotton would be what you want. It gets a much better bite on the surface.

All that said to polish clear coat requires a machine.

Greg220
07-05-2011, 07:11 PM
Thank you again for very helpful information and advice! I really appreciate it.

Ilovemycar
07-05-2011, 07:40 PM
Thank you again for very helpful information and advice! I really appreciate it.

ddboy is helpful, and he's been doing this a lot longer than I have. However, I believe some polishes need a "break down" more than others (which I wasn't sure if that meant that some polishes didn't really need any breakdown at all?). Also, while perhaps it's true that it's heat (which is a byproduct really of mechanical things happening), you actually want to be careful with how hot some pads get. Whether that means you let them cool for a bit, or have an assortment of pads to always have a fresh (and cool) one on. Lastly, the cotton thing was specifically meant for hand polishing only, just in case it wasn't perfectly clear (just being paranoid- because even if you tried to find a cotton polish pad you might not find one, though there are microfiber and wool pads out there).

Try a Griot's or Porter Cable for starters perhaps. I wonder what that's like though, hand polishing with M205 hehe. My piece of advice when using that polish with a machine . . . wipe immediately after each section! It seems to be a real doozie to take off if it gets to sit for a while, and Jet Black under the sun . . . you might want to do it in the garage . . . then once you think you're done, take it in the sun to catch all those spots you missed to wipe (and it'll take effort). I pretty much always miss a spot myself before doing the look-over with a lot of light.