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    Ask Detailedimage !

    Post questions here for Detailedimage.com.

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    Ask DetailedImage....

    I just wanted to quickly introduce myself to the detailing community here on BimmerBoost. My name is Greg and I'm the co-owner & co-founder of www.DetailedImage.com. Our website carries many high quality automotive detailing products to help you get outstanding results from your detailing efforts. I have years of both professional and personal detailing experience to help provide meaningful detailing advice. My goal is to help you find the right process and products to best meet your needs. If you want to do a full detail we can help you outline what is needed and we can also help people who just want a quick one step process. I don't claim to know everything but hopefully I can help you get your ride looking it's best! I also wanted to extend all the forum members a 10% discount 10offBB, some exclusions do apply.

    Very simply I hope this thread is a place where you can ask me detailing questions and I'll do my best to help. My specialty is helping you clean, shine and protect virtually any surface your vehicle has. If you can provide as many details as possible about your situation that is a big help. Some helpful information would be: year, make, model, color, specific problem, desired resolution, products you have already tried or have, etc. Thank you for reading and I look forward to hearing from you guys!

    Greg @ DI

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    I would like to know how to remove swirls and what products to use. Oh, and in which order Click here to enlarge If you could post up that info, that would be great.
    This is a great question and one of the most common detailing questions. The answer can be somewhat long but I'll try and consolidate it. Swirls are essentially micro-scratches in the clear coat that make the surface look dull and faded. They most commonly come from the washing and drying process. To make sure you are using the proper techniques while washing and drying check out our detailing guide. If you need to upgrade your washing and drying products check out our DI Packages Washing and Drying Starter Package, or just pick out any single products you may need to add.

    Glazes, sealants and waxes in general will not remove swirls, just cover them up temporarily at best. To permanently remove swirls you have to use polishes that contain micro-abrasive particles. I know that term may sound scary or harsh but it's actually very safe and gentle. These polishes help smooth out the clear coat so it looks and feels smooth again. This restores an optically clear clear coat which is critical to getting that deep shine back in the paint. Polishes need a lot of pressure to be worked in the surface properly so using a buffer is a huge help for working in a polish. Hand applications do work to a certain extent but they have their limitations. An orbital buffer like the Porter Cable 7424XP Random Orbital Buffer or Flex XC 3401 VRG is totally safe even for first time detailers and significantly improves your results. A rotary buffer can restore a flawless clear coat but they are a little more challenging to work with. With a skilled operator the rotary buffer is an outstanding tool. If you want to play it safe an orbital buffer is perfect! If you would like to learn more about any of these buffers please let me know I'd be happy to explain.

    For most vehicles I recommend a medium and light polish combination. I recommend starting off with the Meguiar's Ultra-Cut Compound M105 and following it up with the Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish M205. This combo is great at removing swirls and making the clear coat look far more vibrant. When you are done protect the surface and enhance the shine with your favorite sealant or wax. If you need a recommendation for maximum shine let me know and I'll give you some suggestions.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Greg @ DI

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    Ok, enough of me taking my car to car washes. Its time I get some good stuff and take care of it myself.

    So, what do you recommend? At this point, I dont have anything... down to the sponges/rags. Several people have told me that I need to wax my car already to protect the paint, and I think they are right.

    Basically, I need the sponges, soap, wax, applicatiors etc etc... Do you have kits ?

    Thanks.

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    What is the best way/method for claying your car? and should it always be done prior to waxing?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Got PSI Click here to enlarge
    Ok, enough of me taking my car to car washes. Its time I get some good stuff and take care of it myself.

    So, what do you recommend? At this point, I dont have anything... down to the sponges/rags. Several people have told me that I need to wax my car already to protect the paint, and I think they are right.

    Basically, I need the sponges, soap, wax, applicatiors etc etc... Do you have kits ?

    Thanks.
    Thank you for the post I'd be happy to help you put together a list of products that best meet your needs. Detailing is really not too hard with a little bit of knowledge and quality products you can get great results. My biggest recommendation is to read our detailing guide. It provides step by step instructions as well as other critical information to help you better understand detailing. Before I complete my list of suggestions please let me know a little bit more about your vehicle (year, make, model, mileage, color, basic condition, etc.). Also please let me know what areas you are looking for help with such as interior, leather, glass, wheels, tires, removing swirls, protecting paint, etc. The more details the better. I already have some good ideas for you but I just want to get some more info to provide the best recommendations possible. Thank you again for the post and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Greg @ DI

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Dark Phantom Click here to enlarge
    What is the best way/method for claying your car? and should it always be done prior to waxing?
    For a detailed write up on how to use a clay bar please read our clay bar section of our detailing guide. If you have any questions after reading that please don't hesitate to ask. A clay bar essentially deep cleans the paint and the cleaner the paint is the more optically clear it is. Therefore a wax can reflect back a deeper shine. Additionally waxes can't really bond to contaminants so removing them helps the wax last longer. I suggest using a clay bar at least 1 - 2 times per year but you can certainly use it more often. If you have any questions please let me know.

    Greg @ Di

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DetailedImage.com Click here to enlarge
    This is a great question and one of the most common detailing questions. The answer can be somewhat long but I'll try and consolidate it. Swirls are essentially micro-scratches in the clear coat that make the surface look dull and faded. They most commonly come from the washing and drying process. To make sure you are using the proper techniques while washing and drying check out our detailing guide. If you need to upgrade your washing and drying products check out our DI Packages Washing and Drying Starter Package, or just pick out any single products you may need to add.

    Glazes, sealants and waxes in general will not remove swirls, just cover them up temporarily at best. To permanently remove swirls you have to use polishes that contain micro-abrasive particles. I know that term may sound scary or harsh but it's actually very safe and gentle. These polishes help smooth out the clear coat so it looks and feels smooth again. This restores an optically clear clear coat which is critical to getting that deep shine back in the paint. Polishes need a lot of pressure to be worked in the surface properly so using a buffer is a huge help for working in a polish. Hand applications do work to a certain extent but they have their limitations. An orbital buffer like the Porter Cable 7424XP Random Orbital Buffer or Flex XC 3401 VRG is totally safe even for first time detailers and significantly improves your results. A rotary buffer can restore a flawless clear coat but they are a little more challenging to work with. With a skilled operator the rotary buffer is an outstanding tool. If you want to play it safe an orbital buffer is perfect! If you would like to learn more about any of these buffers please let me know I'd be happy to explain.

    For most vehicles I recommend a medium and light polish combination. I recommend starting off with the Meguiar's Ultra-Cut Compound M105 and following it up with the Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish M205. This combo is great at removing swirls and making the clear coat look far more vibrant. When you are done protect the surface and enhance the shine with your favorite sealant or wax. If you need a recommendation for maximum shine let me know and I'll give you some suggestions.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

    Greg @ DI
    Thank you!

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DetailedImage.com Click here to enlarge
    For a detailed write up on how to use a clay bar please read our clay bar section of our detailing guide. If you have any questions after reading that please don't hesitate to ask. A clay bar essentially deep cleans the paint and the cleaner the paint is the more optically clear it is. Therefore a wax can reflect back a deeper shine. Additionally waxes can't really bond to contaminants so removing them helps the wax last longer. I suggest using a clay bar at least 1 - 2 times per year but you can certainly use it more often. If you have any questions please let me know.

    Greg @ Di
    Would you mind creating a new thread for your detailing guide in here? I'll make it a Sticky (hehe, get it?).

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    Would you mind creating a new thread for your detailing guide in here? I'll make it a Sticky (hehe, get it?).
    Lol, I'll make another thread in here with a bunch of great detailing references for the community to check out and learn from.

    Greg @ DI

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DetailedImage.com Click here to enlarge
    Lol, I'll make another thread in here with a bunch of great detailing references for the community to check out and learn from.

    Greg @ DI
    That is what I'm talking about! You guys are good, thanks. Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
    That is what I'm talking about! You guys are good, thanks. Click here to enlarge
    All set, let me know if you think anything should be added or edited.

    Greg @ DI

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DetailedImage.com Click here to enlarge
    All set, let me know if you think anything should be added or edited.

    Greg @ DI
    Looks perfect, :text-thankyoublue:

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DetailedImage.com Click here to enlarge
    Thank you for the post I'd be happy to help you put together a list of products that best meet your needs. Detailing is really not too hard with a little bit of knowledge and quality products you can get great results. My biggest recommendation is to read our detailing guide. It provides step by step instructions as well as other critical information to help you better understand detailing. Before I complete my list of suggestions please let me know a little bit more about your vehicle (year, make, model, mileage, color, basic condition, etc.). Also please let me know what areas you are looking for help with such as interior, leather, glass, wheels, tires, removing swirls, protecting paint, etc. The more details the better. I already have some good ideas for you but I just want to get some more info to provide the best recommendations possible. Thank you again for the post and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Greg @ DI
    2008 335i 2dr coupe. Jet black (non metallic). The car has been washed about once per month at local car washes but has never been waxed. The car is in decent condition apart from swirls. That showroom shine that we all love just isnt there anymore so I'm looking for something to help me get that back. I'm not too worried about interior right now, just looking for washing/drying products and tools as well as a paint protector/wax to help me maintain the shine. I'll take a look at the guide to get a good know how before i proceed. Hope this is enough info. I'm thinking I might need to clay bar the car in order to remove all the imperfections and contaminants in the paint.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Thanks.

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    I bought the Random Orbital Buffer and some other things back in December - still have yet to try it! it's been too cold here to get a proper wash/claying done.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Got PSI Click here to enlarge
    2008 335i 2dr coupe. Jet black (non metallic). The car has been washed about once per month at local car washes but has never been waxed. The car is in decent condition apart from swirls. That showroom shine that we all love just isnt there anymore so I'm looking for something to help me get that back. I'm not too worried about interior right now, just looking for washing/drying products and tools as well as a paint protector/wax to help me maintain the shine. I'll take a look at the guide to get a good know how before i proceed. Hope this is enough info. I'm thinking I might need to clay bar the car in order to remove all the imperfections and contaminants in the paint.

    Looking forward to your response.

    Thanks.
    Unfortunately the local car wash may be adding a ton of new swirls while washing and drying the paint. It's critical to learn the proper techniques and use quality products in the process. I recommend reading our detailing guide to make sure you use the proper techniques. If you are looking for a great value on quality products to help you start to finish look at the DI Packages Washing and Drying Starter Package. It will help you wash and dry safely so you are not constantly adding more swirls, which is very common with most car washes.

    Remove all the surface contaminants is not always possible with just a regular wash. At least 1 - 2 times per year I recommend using a clay bar. It is easy to use and really helps deep clean the paint! I highly recommend using the DI Packages DI Clay Bar and Clay Lube Combo. Again please read the Detailing Guide above if you are unsure how to use it. It's truly easy and well worth it 1 - 2 times per year.

    Next is polishing which is where you are going to really bring back that original shine! Again I do this about 1 - 2 times per year to really bring back the original shine. Polishes actually permanently remove swirls, oxidation, etc. which make the clear coat look dull. After polishing the surface will feel smoother and look more optically clear! I suggest using a two step combo for best results like the Meguiar's Ultra-Cut Compound M105 followed by the Meguiar's Ultra Finishing Polish M205. It will really help remove a lot of those swirls in the surface that are making a relatively new car look so dull. They can be applied by hand but you will get far better results with a buffer. The Porter Cable 7424 XP is extremely easy to use and completely safe even if you are a first time user. If interested we have a package deal that has everything you need including these polishes, check out this deal DI Packages Porter Cable 7424 XP, Meguiar's Polish and Hydro Pads. Thedetailing guidehas all the information you need to do a great job and I'm here to help you as well!

    Now lets protect the surface and enhance the shine! A quality sealant should be used every 3 - 6 months to ensure the paint is always protected. My favorite sealant is the Blackfire Wet Diamond with Polycharger. It's remarkably glossy, feels slick, protects for months and is easy to use. You can apply it by hand or with a blue pad and the buffer.

    You can stop there or add a wax for a little more shine, but it's not a must. The Poorboy's World Natty's Blue Paste Wax is an awesome value and designed for darker colored paints. If you are willing to spend a little bit more the Chemical Guys 50/50 Limited Series Concourse Paste Wax is awesome as well. These are both applied by hand.

    The only other product you have to have is quality microfiber towels to remove the excess product. I recommend a 12x pack of the DI Microfiber All Purpose Towel. They are paint safe, washable and highly effective at picking up the excess product!

    Alright I realize this was a lot of steps, new products, etc. so I'm ready for any questions you have. I hope this helps and I look forward to restoring the paint to like new!

    Greg @ DI
    Last edited by DetailedImage.com; 02-02-2010 at 11:21 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DarkPhantom Click here to enlarge
    I bought the Random Orbital Buffer and some other things back in December - still have yet to try it! it's been too cold here to get a proper wash/claying done.
    I'm excited for you to try out the buffer! Keep us posted on the results and if you can take any before and after pics that would be great!

    Greg @ DI

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    I have a question. My windshield looks horrible. No matter how hard I try to wash it, there is always a distinct line where the wipers hit the glass. How do i make my windshield look new again on the outside? Even after i finish washing the car, if i run a wet rag across the windshield, you can see the line where the wiper stop, it very annoying.
    Last edited by Laloosh; 02-04-2010 at 10:17 PM.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Laloosh Click here to enlarge
    I have a question. My windshield looks horrible. No matter how hard I try to wash it, there is always a distinct line where the wipers hit the glass. How do i make my windshield look new again on the outside? Even after i finish washing the car, if i run a wet rag across the windshield, you can see the line where the wiper stop, it very annoying.
    It is the glass BMW is using, crap quality and easily is chipped/scratched.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Laloosh Click here to enlarge
    I have a question. My windshield looks horrible. No matter how hard I try to wash it, there is always a distinct line where the wipers hit the glass. How do i make my windshield look new again on the outside? Even after i finish washing the car, if i run a wet rag across the windshield, you can see the line where the wiper stop, it very annoying.
    As the blades glide across the surface they can grind in contaminants which add micro scratches to the surface. After years of this you can actually see these lines more noticeably. If this is a driving hazard your insurance company may be able to repair it at no cost. The other I option I have may be able to help you as well which is to use the [url=http://www.detailedimage.com/Glass-Science-M5/Rain-Clear-P51/5-oz-Bonus-S1/]Glass Science Rain Clear[/url. This $6 kit comes with two bottles perfect for cleaning the glass and protecting it! The Glass Scrub helps deep clean the glass removing contaminants that are stuck in the micro-pores of the glass where it has been scratched. After you are done apply the protectant which will help force moisture to bead up and roll off with ease. It makes driving much safer and easier in rain, sleet and snow. I also recommend using the 303 Wiper Treatment on your wiper blades. It helps clean and condition the rubber so it stays free from contaminants and smooth for solid contact with the glass. If you have any questions please let me know!

    Greg @ DI

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    I see that you are suggesting the Porter Cable 7424 XP. I have always been terrified of buffers, mostly fearing making the swirls worse. What makes this one so good for beginners? I've always used microfibers and done my best to prevent swirls, but they just never go away! My new car (2010 LeMans Blue 335i) came from the dealer with several scuffs and swirls and rough spots. I've used scratch-x and a couple coats of wax. No luck so far... Any suggestions?
    2010 LeMans Blue M Sport 335i: JB3 2.0, BMS DCI, BMS TT/BG, 19" VM V714, JB Kidneys, Painted Ref, Debadged, UR CL DP's, TEIN S-Tech Springs

    Old Ride: 2007 Montego 335i 6MT 12.34@111

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wizzle335 Click here to enlarge
    I see that you are suggesting the Porter Cable 7424 XP. I have always been terrified of buffers, mostly fearing making the swirls worse. What makes this one so good for beginners? I've always used microfibers and done my best to prevent swirls, but they just never go away! My new car (2010 LeMans Blue 335i) came from the dealer with several scuffs and swirls and rough spots. I've used scratch-x and a couple coats of wax. No luck so far... Any suggestions?
    Sorry to hear the new car came with those imperfections. We do recommend the Porter Cable 7424XP Random Orbital Buffer a lot because it truly is so safe and easy to use. It goes up to 6,800 OPMs which is Oscillations Per Minute. This is a random orbit buffer so the pad kind of jiggles (aka oscillates) in a tight pattern so it generates far less heat than a rotary buffer. Rotary buffers generate significantly more power and heat which can very easily cause problems if you are not careful. The PC 7424 XP can not burn the paint and it still does a good job of removing surface imperfections. It also has a speed dial that lets you regulate the speed easily. The unit weighs only 6 lbs so it is easy to control and maneuver and operators feel comfortable right away. Rotary buffers have a tendency to "take off" on you so again more skill and practice is needed with these units compared to a PC 7424 XP. We jokingly tell people that the only way to harm your car with this buffer is to throw it at the car.

    If the marks are through the clear coat or really deep in the clear coat (feel it with your finger) a little wet sanding or touch up is probably needed. If the marks are not quite that deep I would highly recommend the DI Packages Porter Cable 7424 XP, Meguiar's Polish and Hydro Pads to you to remove the swirls and potentially the scuff marks. With this kit you get everything you need for a top quality polishing job to remove imperfections and bring back a better than new shine. After that protect the paint with your favorite sealant or wax. If you need a recommendation please let me know.

    Greg @ DI

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DetailedImage.com Click here to enlarge
    Sorry to hear the new car came with those imperfections. We do recommend the Porter Cable 7424XP Random Orbital Buffer a lot because it truly is so safe and easy to use. It goes up to 6,800 OPMs which is Oscillations Per Minute. This is a random orbit buffer so the pad kind of jiggles (aka oscillates) in a tight pattern so it generates far less heat than a rotary buffer. Rotary buffers generate significantly more power and heat which can very easily cause problems if you are not careful. The PC 7424 XP can not burn the paint and it still does a good job of removing surface imperfections. It also has a speed dial that lets you regulate the speed easily. The unit weighs only 6 lbs so it is easy to control and maneuver and operators feel comfortable right away. Rotary buffers have a tendency to "take off" on you so again more skill and practice is needed with these units compared to a PC 7424 XP. We jokingly tell people that the only way to harm your car with this buffer is to throw it at the car.

    If the marks are through the clear coat or really deep in the clear coat (feel it with your finger) a little wet sanding or touch up is probably needed. If the marks are not quite that deep I would highly recommend the DI Packages Porter Cable 7424 XP, Meguiar's Polish and Hydro Pads to you to remove the swirls and potentially the scuff marks. With this kit you get everything you need for a top quality polishing job to remove imperfections and bring back a better than new shine. After that protect the paint with your favorite sealant or wax. If you need a recommendation please let me know.

    Greg @ DI
    That sounds good. I will have to order it up soon. The hood is absolutely terrible and it's driving me nuts! There are two circular scuffs that look to be quite deep. Do you have a wetsanding section on your site? The thought of doing that terrifies me even more. I will try buffing them first. Do you recommend taping off edges with this buffer as well? I have been using the NXT 2.0 wax, but am looking for an upgrade, so your suggestions are welcome.
    2010 LeMans Blue M Sport 335i: JB3 2.0, BMS DCI, BMS TT/BG, 19" VM V714, JB Kidneys, Painted Ref, Debadged, UR CL DP's, TEIN S-Tech Springs

    Old Ride: 2007 Montego 335i 6MT 12.34@111

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    Also, do you recommend claying the car this early in it's life? It seems like the paint is otherwise smooth...
    2010 LeMans Blue M Sport 335i: JB3 2.0, BMS DCI, BMS TT/BG, 19" VM V714, JB Kidneys, Painted Ref, Debadged, UR CL DP's, TEIN S-Tech Springs

    Old Ride: 2007 Montego 335i 6MT 12.34@111

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wizzle335 Click here to enlarge
    That sounds good. I will have to order it up soon. The hood is absolutely terrible and it's driving me nuts! There are two circular scuffs that look to be quite deep. Do you have a wetsanding section on your site? The thought of doing that terrifies me even more. I will try buffing them first. Do you recommend taping off edges with this buffer as well? I have been using the NXT 2.0 wax, but am looking for an upgrade, so your suggestions are welcome.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Wizzle335 Click here to enlarge
    Also, do you recommend claying the car this early in it's life? It seems like the paint is otherwise smooth...
    I do recommend using a clay bar even on brand new vehicles. Roughly 75% of all vehicles are on a train at some point in their travels and they often accumulate plenty of grime along the way. Even when the cars are wrapped they can be sitting around various parts of the country for months before it gets to you. The clay helps you get the surface clean from the start and keep it clean longer. Additionally it allows the sealant or wax to bond to the paint better for longer lasting protection and not to mention a better a shine. The DI Packages DI Clay Bar and Clay Lube Combo is a great value on a quality bar and lube if interested.

    Here is a great article on wet-sanding - http://www.detailedimage.com/Ask-a-P...e-orange-peel/. It talks a lot about orange peel here but the same basic concepts apply to scuffs, etc.

    I know I sound like a broken record with the same recommendation I give a lot of other people but here are some of my favorite products I'd suggest using.
    DI Packages Porter Cable 7424 XP, Meguiar's Polish and Hydro Pads - It has two of my favorite polishes, top quality pads and a very easy to use buffer.

    For protection try the Blackfire Wet Diamond with Polycharger! It's very durable, looks outstanding and is very easy to apply by hand or with a buffer. If you use it with a buffer get the Lake Country Blue Fine Finishing Pad. If you have any questions please let me know!

    Greg @ DI

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