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descemet said:
what would be a more mild agent? is Meguiar's heavy cut cleaner more mild (per your recommendation in my other thread)? :dunno:

thanks!:)
No Meguiars Heavy is not mild. But you said your mild didn't remove the scratches? The heavy cut won't hurt it, just take it easy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I've only tried Meguiar's Scratch-X and 3M IHG so far. I've only had mild success with those. So, I thought I should take it to the next more aggressive step.

Sounds like I can try 3M Rubbing Compound (fine cut). If that doesn't work, then try the Meguiar's Heavy Cut Cleaner? Am I understanding correctly?

This is too confusing!:banghead:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
One thing that confuses me...the 3M RC bottle says "clear coat safe." How is that possible? I thought that, by definition, rubbing compound was abrasive to the car's paint and clear coat. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it!
 

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I've had great results using 3M FCRC to polish out a repair area that was wet-sanded with 1200 grit paper. I followed that up with 3M SMR and the surface looked beautiful.

As Johnlew stated, I would definitely try something milder in the future instead of jumping from Scratch-X all the way to wet-sanding. Some excellent products include Meguiar's DACP & 3M Finesse-It II. If you don't like ordering online, you can try Meguiar's Fine Cut Cleaner or (again, as per Johnlew's suggestion) Heavy Cut Cleaner if the Fine Cut just doesn't 'cut' it.
 

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descemet said:
One thing that confuses me...the 3M RC bottle says "clear coat safe." How is that possible? I thought that, by definition, rubbing compound was abrasive to the car's paint and clear coat. Please correct me if I am mistaken.

Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it!
Rubbing compound is abrasive, but the only way to remove surface imperfections such as swirls and wet-sand marks is by leveling or removing a thin layer of your clear-coat. This can only be accomplished via abrasive compounds. Don't be too scared when using 3M's Fine Cut RC. It was a bit milder than I personally thought it was going to be. Use a small foam applicator and don't apply too much pressure. Use a small amount and just work the product in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Do you think the 3M FCRC will be able to handle the 1000 grit scratches? Or, is it advisable to wetsand with a finer grain (2000 grit maybe?) before applying 3M FCRC?

I've also got some other relatively superficial scratches on my hood from rock chips that didn't go away with Scratch X. Is that the kind of thing I'd use Meguiar's Fine Cut Cleaner for?

BTW, what's Meguiar's DACP??? :dunno:
 

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I've never used 1000 grit sandpaper before & I don't know how much coarser it is than 1200, but if I had to venture a guess, I would say that the FCRC would be sufficient in removing most of the marring. If anything, it might require an extra application or two. I definitely wouldn't recommend wet-sanding again on the same area. You'd really be running the risk of thinning that area out too much, or even going through the clear and into your color-coat.

When you say superficial scratches from rock chips, are you sure they are from rock chips? b/c most of the rock chips on my car appear as little white dots that have completely permeated the clear-coat & color-coat & have exposed the primer. These kinds of marks obviously need to be touched up and is a very extensive & time-consuming process. If you are referring to scratches than can be easily felt with your fingernail, then FCRC will not be strong enough.

I would say that FCRC is good for medium to light sized SCRATCHES in your clear coat. For medium to light SWIRLS, I usually reach for 3M's Finesse-It II.

Meguiar's DACP = Meguiars Dual Action Cleaner Polish. It's a product that's similar (or slightly milder) than 3M FI-II, but contains a little more polishing oils and allows a little more room for error (i.e. less left-over marring).
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The "superficial" scratches that I am referring to are from the same rock that chipped my hood. After that darn rock hit my car (thereby exposing the primer), it skipped across my hood and seemed to have scratched the clear coat (but not gotten into the color coat) in several places.

Like I said, I tried to remove these clear coat scratches with Scratch-X. Although they improved, they didn't go away completely. I just wanted to know what alternatives I had. (FYI when I run my fingernail across these scratches, it doesn't get stuck but I can definitely feel a different texture)
 

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Ouch! We're talking about a major repair job here. I'm not sure if I want to be giving you advice here. I've done a few jobs requiring touch-up paint and wet-sanding, but it sounds like you've got some substantial damage to fix.

If the scratch can be felt with you finger nail it can't be totaly fixed without prepping & filling it with paint and then leveling (wet sanding, compound etc). If there is any part of the scratch that you can't feel you should be able to remove it (or lessen it's appearance) with the FCRC followed by a lighter polish. It might take several applications, but be sure you don't go too deep.

I would really spend some time researching the process before you begin work on your hood or even decide if you want to touch up your paint. IMO, if you want to make the damaged areas completely restored to how it was before, you'd have to touch up all scratches and then mill the repair areas down with sandpaper again. If you don't know what you're doing, it's easy to make a complete mess of your hood. The safe alternative would be to just use FCRC on all scratched areas to minimize their appearance. You probably have to ask yourself if you can live with the how the car looks with several applications of the FCRC followed by polish. IMO, it's not worth touching up scratches that haven't gone into the primer. But if you're a perfectionist when it comes to your car, then I would look into getting it touched up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The scratches from the rock skipping across my hood aren't as bad as you may think or my post may indicate. I really think that the 3M FCRC may work for those. At least, I hope so. I'll probably give it a shot tonight after work.

As for the main chip, I tried touching it up myself and it doesn't look pretty. (It might actually look worse than before) I am going to buy some 2000 grit sandpaper and see if I can flatten the mound of touchup and, hopefully, conceal it a little.

I feel like I'm digging myself into a deeper...and deeper hole. :cry:
 

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descemet said:
As for the main chip, I tried touching it up myself and it doesn't look pretty. (It might actually look worse than before) I am going to buy some 2000 grit sandpaper and see if I can flatten the mound of touchup and, hopefully, conceal it a little.
What did you use to apply the touch-up? The brush that comes with the paint is never fine enough (I like using a toothpick). Also, did you sand the chip prior to application?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I tried using the toothpick method but didn't do a very good job. My mistake was that I applied too much on when I didn't see much paint coming off the toothpick. The paint ended up clumping together.

I did not sand prior to touchup.
 
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