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 How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.

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How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. Empty
PostSubject: How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.   How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. I_icon_minitimeMon Jun 20, 2011 11:55 pm

Here is my Full Bore cleaning and detailing steps from start to finish.

This is only done once or twice a year and takes several days to complete the project. It will take you from Daily Driver to Show Car.

I use mainly Poorboy's World products, here's my PBW lineup for this job:

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Bug Squash
Claybar
Spray & Wipe
SSR 2.5
Professional Polish
EX Sealant
Black Hole
Natty's Paste Wax - Blue
Leather Stuff
Wheel Sealant
Bold & Bright Tire Cleaner
Trim Restorer
An assortment of microfiber towels, applicators and mits

Other supplies:

Westley's Bleche Wite
Nylon tire brush
Two 5-gallon buckets
Dawn dish soap (Only for this process, otherwise use Super Slick & Suds Concentrated Car Wash from PBW)
Electric leaf blower
Rain-X
Porter Cable Dual-Action buffer
Assortment of foam buffer pads (3 orange, 2 white, 1 grey, 2 blue/red)
Two curved foam tire dressing applicators


Now, get a couple of beers and a snack so you can take it all in:


Tip: If you have hard or not so soft water, get an in-line softener. It will dramatically reduce the amount of water spots you get.

Tip: Get a Porter Cable or similar dual action buffer and and assortment of foam pads. Were going full bore on this and in my opinion, it's the only way to go. Once you get a PC buffer, you'll give away that old orbital buffer!


Debris removal:

If your car is not garage-kept, remove any obvious debris (Leaves, twigs, bricks, dead animals, etc).

Tip: I don't use a car cover outside. Any dust that is underneath will cause micro-scratches from the wind buffetting the cover up against the car.


Tires:

Tip: Clean the tires, wheels, brake calipers and wheel-wells first. This usually takes a lot of time to do it right and doing it before washing the car means less time between washing and drying which means less chance of water spots.

1) Spray down the tires, wheels, brake calipers and wheel-wells with Westley's Bleche Wite (best stuff I've found), one side at a time.
2) Scrub the tires and wheel-wells with a wet nylon brush.
3) Use a bucket full of hot water with Dawn dishsoap and a microfiber mit to clean the the wheels. Give the wheel wells another shot with the mit also.
4) Spray everything down with water to get all of the soap and residue off.

Tip: Dont let the Westley's Bleach-White dry before rinsing.


Pre-Claybar Wash:

1) Wet the entire car down with water being sure to spray off any mud, dust or pollen.
2) If you have a spray foam set-up, this is the time to use it. Otherwise, you can do a pre-soak with some diluted Bug Squash (3:1 dilution).
3) Use a new microfiber mit and scrub the top. Do the windows as well.
4) After the top, (in this order) hit the hood, front bumper, trunk, doors, rear bumper, front fenders, rear quarter-panels, bottom of the door frame, and finally the exhaust tips.
5) Spray some water under the hood to kncok any heavy dirt out. Be careful not to directly spray the fuse box and the ECM.
6) Blow most of the water off the car with an ELECTRIC leaf blower. Finish up with a microfiber towel.

Tip: Prepare 2 buckets with hot water and Dawn dish soap. After the mit touches the car, rinse it out in the first bucket and then dip it in the second bucket before it is used on the car again.

Tip: Make sure you rinse the entire car as you wash each section to keep the soap from drying. This will also help to control water spots.


Claybar:

1) Spray the claybar and the section you're doing with some Spray & Wipe.
2) Forcefully move the claybar back and forth across the paint in quick motions. Depending on how bad your car is, it will feel like its catching on a lot of snags at first. As you go on, it will get easier until there is no friction at all.
3) Do this with all painted surfaces, turning and kneading the claybar often. You can even claybar the windows if they feel a little rough.
4) Some people prefer to clean each section with quick detailer and a MF cloth after you finish claybaring it, but I prefer to just do a post-claybar wash.

Tip: Not all claybars are created equal. The stuff you can find in your local autoparts store is generally crap. I'm a fan of PBW's, so that's what I use.

Tip: You have to keep the claybar lubricated with detailing spray otherwise it sticks to the nice smooth surface and can break apart.


Post-Claybar Wash:

Tip: I usually apply two coats of Rain-X to the glass at this point.

1) Use the two bucket method again and work from the top down. Use a new microfiber mit. There's no need to worry a specific order since the car is pretty clean at this point.
2) Blow dry it and follow up with a MF towel to get the left-overs.


Scratch & Swirl Removal:

If done properly, this can be the most rewarding step. It does, however take a lot of practice to get it right. I would definitely practice on someone else's Solstice like Critterman's!

Tip: Less is more when it comes to using SSR. All it takes is about 10 "dabs" on the pad per section. If your dab is bigger than a dime, you've used too much. The more you use, the longer it will take to go through the 3 stages of breaking down.

Tip: As a rule, just before you start on a new section, wipe it down with Spray & Wipe and and a MF towel to remove any dust that may have settled.

1) On a DRY orange (light cutting) pad, make 10 dabs of SSR 2.5 pad pre-attached to your PC buffer.
2) Don't turn it on yet, but place the pad up against the car and move it around to spread the polish on the pad.
3) Set the buffer on 3-4, turn it on and quickly cover the entire section to be done. (Stage 1)
4) Once covered, set the buffer on 6 and, using medium to heavy pressure slowly work the pad back and forth / to and fro until it starts to powder. (Stage 2)
5) Now, even more slowly (about 1 inch every 2-3 seconds) with light to medium pressure work the section until there is no haze left. (Stage 3)
6) Wipe the entire car down with a heavy dose of Spray & Wipe
7) If you have some deep scratches, you may need to work the area longer or even 2-3 more times. Keep in mind, it will not cover up scratches that are down to the primer.

Tip: Keep an eye on how much gunk you build up on your pad. It should take you at least 2 pads if not 3 to do the entire car. The same applies for polishes also.

Tip: Use a large beach towel to cover the windshield and the gap under the hood. Also, leave your top up. This will help to keep most of the dust out of hard to reach places...


Polishing:

Polish is usually a non abrasive paint cleaner. Some may have the sligthest bit of abrasive in them, I stay away from them. See the step above.

Tip: Again, just before you start on a new section, wipe it down with Spray & Wipe and and a MF towel to remove any dust that may have settled.

1) Squirt an "X" of Professional Polish on a DRY white (polishing) pad pre-attached to your PC buffer. Set the buffer between 4-5, but don't turn it on yet.
2) Place the pad up against the car and move it around to spread the polish on the pad.
3) Turn the buffer on and use medium pressure while SLOWLY moving the buffer back and forth.
4) Once you have covered one section, move against the grain (to and fro) and cover the section again using a light pressure. Keep alternating until you make at least 3 passes on each section.
5) Let it dry and once it comes off easily with your finger, remove with a MF towel using back and forth motions in one direction.

Tip: Most of the time, by the time you've finished every section, the first one is ready for removal.

Tip: Removal of polishes, sealants and waxes and application of quick detailers should be done using back and forth motions as opposed to circular or multi-dirctional motions. Example, only go Front to Rear or Up and Down, not Side to Side or circles. The reason for this is that any microscratches you might make during the process are less noticible since the light has to catch them in a certain direction. As a general rule, follow the direction that water would run off (Hood/trunk - front to back. Doors/fenders/bumpers - up and down).


Glazing:

Glaze is basically a microfisher filler of sorts. It can help make those tiny little swirl marks go away and give you car a gloss that wont quit.

Tip: Once again, just before you start on a new section, wipe it down with Spray & Wipe and and a MF towel to remove any dust that may have settled.

1) Apply an "X" of Black Hole (or White Diamond for light colored cars) to a grey (finishing) pad.
2) Set the buffer on 2-3 and quickly spread it over the entire section.
3) Using medium pressure, slowly work the buffer back and forth / to and fro until you bring out a shine.
4) Once its dry, wipe it off using a MF towel.


Sealing:

Sealants do exactly that, seal your paint against the elements. They are usually made of polymers that bond to your paint (clear coat) after the cure. This is what keeps it looking fresh and clean and really makes water bead.

Tip: Do I really need to mention wiping down each section with Spray & Wipe at this point?

1) On a MOIST blue (finessing) or red (ultra-soft) pad, apply an "X" of EX Sealant (or EX-P on light colored cars).
2) Set the buffer on 1 and spread it over the entire section.
3) Using light pressure, slowly work the buffer back and forth / to and fro covering each section at least twice.
4) Once its dry, wipe it off using a MF towel.

Tip: Again, less is more. All it takes is a thin layer. If you put it on thick, your're just wasting product.

Tip: Layering - At a minimum, do at least 2 layers of sealant. The more you do, the longer it will last.

Tip: Let sealants cure (off-gas) for at least 24 hours before adding another coat of sealant or before waxing.


Waxing:

Waxes differ from sealants in that they don't last as long as sealants, but they add a deep, dark "richness" to your paint.

Tip: Yada, yada... Each section with Spray & Wipe... Yada, yada...

1) Dip a MOIST blue (finessing) or red (ultra-soft) pad in your tub of Natty's Paste Wax - Blue making sure to lightly rub the pad around to pick up the product.
2) Set the buffer on 1 and spread it over the entire section.
3) Using light pressure, slowly work the buffer back and forth / to and fro covering each section at least twice.
4) Once its dry, wipe it off using a MF towel.

Tip: This stuff takes forever to dry. Do the rest of your Interior Detailing while you're waiting.


Interior Detailing:

Carpets:
1) Remove the carpets, shake them out, spray em with water, and scrub them down with a LITTLE Dawn dish soap on the nylon brush.
2) Hang them up and spray them down until the water runs clear. Leave them hanging until they dry.
3) Vaccuum the rest of the car, being sure to get behind and under the seats as well as the trunk.
4) If you have any carpet stains, scub them down with dish soap then vaccuum it out as you rince with clean water.

Trim:
1) Use Trim Restorer on an applicator pad to hit all of the plastic.
2) Be shure to spread it evenly and get all the little cracks and crevaces.

Leather:
1) Using your bare hands and fingers, spread Leather Stuff around nice and thick on the seats and steering wheel.
2) It will dry after an hour or so and leave them soft and supple.
3) I also use Leather Stuff on all the seals. Dont forget the ones in the trunk and under the hood.


Exterior Detailing:

Tires:
1) Spray a decent amount of Bold and Bright on a tire dressing aplicator pad and use it to scrub each tire COMPLETELY.
2) Do the same with Trim Restorer on a new pad for a glossier look.
3) Take the car for a drive hitting at least 45 MPH for several minutes.
4) You will notice spin-off, but you'll take car of that in a moment.
5) LIGHTLY go over each tire again to even them out.

Tip: This is messy work. You may want to wear latex gloves during this process and the next one.

Wheel Wells:
1) Using the tire dressing pad with Trim Restorer, get up in the wheel wells and as far back as you can reach.

Tip: This step is often over-looked by everyone except Car Show Judges. Hint, Hint!!!

Wheels:
1) Wipe off any spin-off/dust with some Spray & Wipe on a MF towel.
2) Use an aplicator pad and apply Professional Polish to the entire wheel.
3) By the time your done with the last one, the first one is ready to be buffed clean.
4) Using a separate aplicator pad, apply a thin coat of Wheel Sealant.
5) Let this stay on until the rest of the car is detailed then remove it.
6) Consider doing another coat of Wheel Sealant after 24 hours.

Exhaust tips
1) Depending on how bad your tips are, you may have to start off some metal polish and a steel wool pad.
2) Apply some Professional Polish , inside and out. Let it dry for a few moments and then buff them out.
3) Finish up with some Wheel Sealant.
4) Since this process is similar to doing the wheels, I usually do them at the same time.

Trim:
1) Any plastic trim (rear valance and wheel wells under the hood) get a nice even dose of Trim Restorer with an aplicator pad.

Painted Surfaces, Glass and Chrome:
1) LIGHTLY mist some Spray & Wipe on a MF towel and wipe your car down in the same directions as you would when removing polishes.
2) If you get some streaking, you're using too much product.



So there it is. It takes about a week to do it right....

Posted by Go-n-def on the [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] website.
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How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.   How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. I_icon_minitimeWed Jun 22, 2011 10:08 pm

yeah im not that indepth... i spray the car off... then i wash the car off softly not to scratch it... then i spray the car off and then once i get to the show if i have my water bottle i get the dirt off then i use car detail spray across the whole car and then keep a california duster handy.... i do have some swirl marks and light scratches that im going to have to try and get out...
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PostSubject: Re: How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.   How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 24, 2011 2:26 pm

So when are you going to do that?
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PostSubject: Re: How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.   How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 24, 2011 2:46 pm

same here Matt mine is back an forth from work and home so i try my est to keep it clean all week then saturday morning i wash clean and the hole 9 yards
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How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.   How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. I_icon_minitimeWed Aug 24, 2011 11:12 pm

i'll worry about that when my car actually has clearcoat lol
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How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. Empty
PostSubject: Re: How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week.   How to go from a daily driver to a show car in a week. I_icon_minitime

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