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The Detail Department
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  #1  
Old 07-11-2004, 04:42 PM
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Observations of a PC virgin

Well, yesterday I finally decided to try out the PC and bits that I'd bought earlier from another 'Fester. This was a chance to strip off my previous, unhappy experience with Meguiar's NXT and go back to good 'ol Klasse AIO+SG. So after reading up on some old threads here, I decided to have a go.

So I did the Dawn, clay (didn't need much of that since I clayed prior to NXT), and decided to try Griots Polish 3 that was in the package of stuff I bought. I have to say it was NOT the product to try first-time-out with the PC. Even though I was using the correct pad (Griots orange) and the correct speed, I think I used too much product. I did the hood and a door, and decided to just take it off, which was a PITA. And it didn't do jack for some of the fine scratches and marks I had on my hood. Oh well. I'm going to have to get some hands-on tutorial or something before I tackle polishing again.

AIO was a completely different matter. Using Griots red pad, it couldn't have gone better. The pad did shed a little at first. The softness of the pad was just right for the AIO, and the fact that I used less product and the PC got it on much more evenly meant removal (hand) was easy, and the end result was fantastic.

On to SG. I only had the 2 Griots pads, so earlier yesterday I went out and got the softest pad Meguiars sells, the SoftBuff pad. This pad is somewhere between the red and orange Griots pads, and I didn't like it very much for SG. It seemed to like being slowed down a bit, so I took it down to 3, which helped, but I can't help but wonder if it would have been even better with a Griots red. In any case, I discovered that the SG set up hard, and was about as hard to remove as if SG is normally left on overnight (I probably left it on about 1.5hrs while I had dinner), and I had to use a bit if QD to remove.

So I have Klasse back on my car again (yay!) and have some time with the PC under my belt.

I recall reading that one of you regulars uses a PC for AIO but not for SG. Is there any particular reason? And for those who do use the PC with SG, do you have any suggestions?
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  #2  
Old 07-11-2004, 04:52 PM
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I too found that #3 polish did nothing for my hood scratches, #2 helped a bit but I am still a bit dissappointed
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  #3  
Old 07-11-2004, 05:15 PM
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Guys, #3 isn't going to do jack for anything most of us would consider meeting the criteria of a "scratch". Your disappointment is a result of mis-set expectations, not the product.

#3 is exceedingly mild as an abrasive. It is meant as a final polish, so it has very little cutting action. It's best for removing minor swirls in the very top of the clearcoat, removing mild hard water spots, discontinuity in the reflectivity of the surface due to bug guts, bird droppings, etc. And again, only for relatively mild stuff. Remember that "bee sh!t" thread I posted last year? That stuff always leaves a slight dull spot on my paint that is damage to the very top surface of the clearcoat... #3 usually takes this sort of thing right out. It will not be hidden with washing, claying, and wax, however. It is damage in just the top molecular layer or two.

To get out or reduce the visibility of bonafide scratches that penetrate the clearcoat layer significantly (less than 20%), you'll need to do some careful work with #2 or even #1, then work your way back up to #3 as a final polish. #1 will result in a dull appearing surface, revealing the abrasive, high-cutting nature of the product. #2 will also, but it is far more subtle and less noticable.

Scratches that exceed 30-35% of the thickness of the clearcoat are basically not repairable with polishing. You can knock them down quite a bit and make them far less visually apparent, then with some good glaze or wax, can fill them to the point that they can only be seen if you know where to look and point them out.

Anything that makes it all the way through to the color layer is just SOL. You've got to live with it. I can say from direct experience that you do not want to try to repair such a scratch with clearcoat and wetsanding. Almost impossible.

Down to the primer, and, well, if you have a dark car you pretty much have to do some sort of touch-up / wetsanding process to tone it down and keep it from grabbing the eye.

Back to the subject at hand, #3 is perfect for a regular, twice a year polishing to clean up the paint surface, polishing out those spots of dullness that accumulate from suicide bugs and flying creature droppings, as well as other assaults. This routine, followed by a good wax job, and the car will look fabulous. However. use the wrong product for the wrong application, and you will be disappointed.
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  #4  
Old 07-11-2004, 06:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
I recall reading that one of you regulars uses a PC for AIO but not for SG. Is there any particular reason? And for those who do use the PC with SG, do you have any suggestions?
I think the biggest complaint would probably be the amount of SG product necessary to use w/ the PC. I do that part by hand, although I've thought about trying the PC w/ the CMA grey pad on a panel.
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  #5  
Old 07-11-2004, 07:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jw
I think the biggest complaint would probably be the amount of SG product necessary to use w/ the PC. I do that part by hand, although I've thought about trying the PC w/ the CMA grey pad on a panel.
Are you sying I should have tried using more instead of less? ALso is the 'CMA grey pad' very soft or on the firm side? I've already noticed that pad selection is quite critical.
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  #6  
Old 07-11-2004, 08:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
Are you sying I should have tried using more instead of less? ALso is the 'CMA grey pad' very soft or on the firm side? I've already noticed that pad selection is quite critical.
I haven't tried SG w/ the PC, but what I've heard is that it takes a lot more of the SG product to use with the PC than it would if you did it by hand. If that's just the main problem, then it really isn't a big deal except cost. The bottle of SG I have looks like it would last a while. I've got 3 more side panels to do and I'll try the PC on them to see how it goes. As for the grey pad its defintely hard than the white one I used for AIO. No cutting, just a polisher.

Guess I'll read up on autopia tomorrow during a hopeful lull at work.
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  #7  
Old 07-12-2004, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
Are you sying I should have tried using more instead of less? ALso is the 'CMA grey pad' very soft or on the firm side? I've already noticed that pad selection is quite critical.
I ordered the CMA grey pad along with my SG, but the instructions they packed with the products convinced me to do SG by hand instead. It requires a very thin layer (the bottle says 2oz will do an entire full sized car) and the instructions that came with the stuff says it's difficult to modulate using the buffer. I haven't tried it.

AIO on the other hand was easy to do with the PC and white pad from CMA. I have 2 3M products and orange pads awaiting use to get to the acid rain spots on my horizontal surfaces. Maybe I'll get to that this week.

I can't speak highly enough about the Klasse products. I've done 3 cars, VW, Honda and my 5'er so far. The black VW which sits outside 24/7 looked brand new when I finished the whole treatment of clay, AIO and SG.
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  #8  
Old 07-12-2004, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr530i
I ordered the CMA grey pad along with my SG, but the instructions they packed with the products convinced me to do SG by hand instead. It requires a very thin layer (the bottle says 2oz will do an entire full sized car) and the instructions that came with the stuff says it's difficult to modulate using the buffer. I haven't tried it.
2oz? I think I've used that much in 2 years. A shot glass is 1.5oz. I probably use half that.

I don't get it. Everyone says to use 'thin coats' but when the same people talk about how much they use or how many applications from a bottle they get, it sounds like they're drowning in the stuff. Which is it???
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  #9  
Old 07-12-2004, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
2oz? I think I've used that much in 2 years. A shot glass is 1.5oz. I probably use half that.

I don't get it. Everyone says to use 'thin coats' but when the same people talk about how much they use or how many applications from a bottle they get, it sounds like they're drowning in the stuff. Which is it???
I doubt I've used a full 2 oz on 2 cars combined, but one is about 1/3 a car (VW Cabrio ).

From what I understand, less is more. I haven't used SG on the 5'er yet, still have some work to do on the horizontal surfaces, then I will. From what I read here, using too much will require considerable effort to remove SG. Even the thin coat I used on the Cabrio and Honda required some QD for complete removal after letting SG set for about 2 hours. I spritzed, then used microfiber towel to remove and buff out - came off pretty easily.

I also read recently that application followed by immediate removal is the recommended process, even though the bottle says otherwise. Hmmmm.
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  #10  
Old 07-13-2004, 07:56 AM
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You really need to work the Griots Polishes going over 3'x3' areas in crisscrossing patterns until the polish almost disappears, use some pressure and adjust the speed setting so the polisher does not bog down, and change the pads a couple of times. Wipe off the product promptly after you finish each area. Like RKT BMR mentioned if you have deep swirls you need to start with #2.

I recently did a #3, AIO and Carnauba detail on my Midwest winter driving '01 and the results were excellent.
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  #11  
Old 07-13-2004, 08:33 AM
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~One man’s opinion / observations ~

There are two schools of thought on removal (the so-called WO/WO)wipe on, and then remove the residue or allow it to cross-link for 1 hour + and then remove residue.

The secret to the application of a polymer product is to apply it thin (super thin) Fill a spray bottle and mist a foam pad for application.
Apply this product using water-dampened applicator, and then spray the applicator with Sonus Spritz.
Apply Klasse products very thinly using absolute minimum pressure on the applicator.
Everything in a straight line, circular movements only add to swirl marks.
Spray the vehicle surface very lightly with Sonus Spritz between each Sealant Glaze ‘layer’.
Use a slightly damp 100% cotton towel to wipe the surface followed by a dry 100% cotton towel to remove Sealant Glaze


~Hope this helps~

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  #12  
Old 07-13-2004, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
You really need to work the Griots Polishes going over 3'x3' areas in crisscrossing patterns until the polish almost disappears, use some pressure and adjust the speed setting so the polisher does not bog down, and change the pads a couple of times. Wipe off the product promptly after you finish each area. Like RKT BMR mentioned if you have deep swirls you need to start with #2.

I recently did a #3, AIO and Carnauba detail on my Midwest winter driving '01 and the results were excellent.
Agree with Artslinger and Rkt Bmr. In rare cases, I've had to go to #1 with some bad finishes (neighbors jet black Porsche). Always "bring it back up" though, finishing with #3.
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  #13  
Old 07-13-2004, 12:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Ripsnort
Agree with Artslinger and Rkt Bmr. In rare cases, I've had to go to #1 with some bad finishes (neighbors jet black Porsche). Always "bring it back up" though, finishing with #3.
Call me Dave, Rip (and anyone else here). Easier to type. (rkt bmr's fine too if you prefer...)
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  #14  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:16 PM
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I used 1 through 3 on my 325, but it was already so beat that swirl marks wouldn't hurt it any more. I have yet to see a PC-ed car that doesn't have swirl marks/microscratches, so I avoid it, m'self.


Even Steve Griot has them on display:



Although, when you pull back from up close, the car looks fine.

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  #15  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Roadstergal
src=http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=31840>
From that far away, my car looks that good when it hasn't been washed for 6 weeks.
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  #16  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:38 PM
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Probably should clay before polishing with the PC to minimize the spider web swirls.
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  #17  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artslinger
Probably should clay before polishing with the PC to minimize the spider web swirls.
Are the swirls from the actual action of the pad and product, or from stuff sitting on the surface before the pad is applied? What I did was, right before I worked on a panel with the PC with any product, I wiped that panel down with a MF to wipe up any dust/bugs/crud that may have accumulated on it (and get ground into the paint with the PC) since the last time I applied something.
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  #18  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
Are the swirls from the actual action of the pad and product, or from stuff sitting on the surface before the pad is applied?
I'm putting my money on Stuff. Stuff is hard to avoid, and it can slip in very easily with a little breeze.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
From that far away, my car looks that good when it hasn't been washed for 6 weeks.
Ja, but that's the shot I see a lot when people say, "Look, I PCed my car!" And then you get close...
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Old 07-13-2004, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Roadstergal

Ja, but that's the shot I see a lot when people say, "Look, I PCed my car!" And then you get close...
Unless I do this outdoors (or put a LOT more lighting in my garage), there's no way I can tell if the PC did the job any better than if I did it by hand, at least on my E46. The real test is going to be when I use it on the M6.
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Old 07-13-2004, 01:56 PM
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I'm thinking those swirls were there already, before PC'ing. If a finish got to that stage where #1 griots is needed, it's in fairly bad shape to begin with.

I clear coated some helmets, wetsanded with 2000 grit to get rid of the orange peel, then used a PC with 3m Imperial medium cut compound, followed by 3m glaze. No swirls. However, this is on soft clearcoat (had only cured for a couple hours), so I don't know if that would make a difference.
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  #21  
Old 07-13-2004, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Roadstergal
I'm putting my money on Stuff. Stuff is hard to avoid, and it can slip in very easily with a little breeze.
If you want to get real OCD about it, I guess you could take a tack cloth over the surface before PC'ing.
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2004, 04:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Roadstergal
I used 1 through 3 on my 325, but it was already so beat that swirl marks wouldn't hurt it any more. I have yet to see a PC-ed car that doesn't have swirl marks/microscratches, so I avoid it, m'self.


Even Steve Griot has them on display:

Well, that does it. I'm dumping all my Griots products in the toxic waste dump I'm creating on my neighbor's property, and switching to something else. That's abominable

Has his dad seen that? Is he still in the will?

The RKT on it's worst days doesn't look like that, up close, under the lights.
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  #23  
Old 07-13-2004, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaz
Are the swirls from the actual action of the pad and product, or from stuff sitting on the surface before the pad is applied? What I did was, right before I worked on a panel with the PC with any product, I wiped that panel down with a MF to wipe up any dust/bugs/crud that may have accumulated on it (and get ground into the paint with the PC) since the last time I applied something.
I'm not too clear on the technique you were using, Kaz, but what you write above scares me.

I never put the machine to my paint surface unless it has been freshly washed and clayed. NEVER.
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  #24  
Old 07-13-2004, 05:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKT BMR
I'm not too clear on the technique you were using, Kaz, but what you write above scares me.

I never put the machine to my paint surface unless it has been freshly washed and clayed. NEVER.
No, I'm talking about stuff that's accumulated on it between the time you finished claying (or whatever your last procedure was) and starting the polishing (or the next process).

I don't know how quickly everyone else manages to do it, but enough stuff lands on the car between the time I'm finished with one process and go onto the next that it needs a wipe-down before I can start.
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  #25  
Old 07-13-2004, 05:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RKT BMR
Well, that does it. I'm dumping all my Griots products in the toxic waste dump I'm creating on my neighbor's property, and switching to something else.
Keep the wheel cleaner.
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