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Superd00d
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Someone that's really into detailing here give me some advice. I would like to know what you guys use for waxing and buffing. Do you do it by hand only? Do you use a buffer of some sort. What kind and how expensive (roughly) is a quality buffer if you reccomend one. I have been using the Meguir's 3-stage setup for a few years now, and have been quite pleased with the results, although doing 3 coats on and off by myself is a KILLER! If you're not using any mechanical buffer, what are you using for towels/rags. I tend to buy the round 'applicator discs' to put the coats on, and several terrycloth towels to remove the coats. I bought a small inexpensive buffer last year, but it was a complete waste of $$$. I still had to go over each coat by hand to get the stuff completely off.

Also, if anyone has a better product line that Meguir's let me know what you think of it, and what it is. My last Saturn, with the same paint color, looked GREAT still after a few years, but I'm always looking for help on 'purty, purty car' secrets.
 

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I have never used anything less then Meguir's. But i have figured out that mechanical buffing is a waste of time for most. If you don't know what you are doing you run the chance of screwing it all up. I just revert back to what my grandpa used to say..."use some g'damn elbow grease boy." Funny thing is that it worked. :D
 

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when buffing i use a DeWalt buffer. its like $150 but is a very nice buffer. if your looking for a cheaper route go to harbor freight and get thier buffer for about $25 just make sure you take it apart before using and pack the bearings with grease.

http://www.smartshoppersinc.com/dewalt/dewalt.html
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber=46507

also the buffer should look more like a grinder that a hand orbial buffer. the orbital one cannot keep up with the rpms like the rinder style.

i have always used 3M products when buffing such as the foam pad and compounds they arent too expensive and they work like a charm.

also be sure when you buff your buffing at like 1000 rpms because when you buff you hear up the paint, over heat it and burn the paint and warp your plastic.

hope this helps
 

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Buffing will just swirl the paint. On newer cars I clay bar first followed by step 3 Meguiars (wax only). The Clay bar removes all the embedded crap from the finish without scratching and with much less effort than cleaner/waxes. I only clay bar twice a year and my cars always clean up factory new. When you run out of the clay bar lubricant use Meguiars detailing spray. It works just the same.
 

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Stay away from a buffer - on a 20 year old car, it's fine - today's paint, from primer to clear, is only 1/8" thick - it's AMAZINGLY easy to dig right through the clear and color, perhaps the primer.

A clay bar once every couple of months is a great idea. I use Meguairs Cleaner Wax, leave it on, the go over the car with Wax Shop Super Glaze - here's a lazy step - you don't have to take the Meguiars off through hand buffing, the Super Glaze is liquid and does it for you.

Taking off the Super Glaze is a breeze, and you can even be a little sloppy, since it doesn't discolor rubber and vinyl trim, like door surrounds. Your car will be soft, and you'll get two wax treatments for the effort of one.

Detailing cars since 1977....
 

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I just did a quick search and found this site about detailing from a hot rod magazine:

http://www.customrodderweb.com/tech/0409cr_mothers2/

It's kind of a general guide, but is pretty informative. It's for 'high gloss' custom paint jobs, but it should work the same for our cars. They're not using any buffers, just a whole lot of elbow grease.

I do have a complaint about paint jobs nowadays from the factory...more notable on GM cars. The 'orange peel' effect is pretty bad. It seems pretty noticeable on the plastic saturns, especially colors other than silver. It seems the worst on black, but I got a silver RL because it's not as noticeable. I don't know what it is, but every GM car I look at seems to have it. Other car companies have it too, but for some reason it seems to stick out on all GM cars, even Cadillacs...I don't know if this bugs anyone else, but it bugs me pretty good.
 

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Todays paint jobs aren't the manufacturer's fault - you can blame it on the EPA - every chemical that makes paint strong, durable, smooth, elastic, etc, has been banned for being bad for the environment - one of those things, like easily warping brake rotors and brake pads that wear out too quickly, that we have to deal with, or just blame our tree hugger friends.
 

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The Karate Kid is a pretty good instructional video for waxing :D Just remember when you "wax off" not to get any goop on the car.
 

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I second the NXT Generation stuff, especially on an older car. I heard a lot of buzz about the tech wax and thought I'd give it a try. It went on easy, came off easy, and made my dark green 99 sc1 look like it did in 98... I was completely blown away.
 

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Superd00d
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Discussion Starter #11
Jim Lewis said:
Stay away from a buffer - on a 20 year old car, it's fine - today's paint, from primer to clear, is only 1/8" thick - it's AMAZINGLY easy to dig right through the clear and color, perhaps the primer.

A clay bar once every couple of months is a great idea. I use Meguairs Cleaner Wax, leave it on, the go over the car with Wax Shop Super Glaze - here's a lazy step - you don't have to take the Meguiars off through hand buffing, the Super Glaze is liquid and does it for you.

Taking off the Super Glaze is a breeze, and you can even be a little sloppy, since it doesn't discolor rubber and vinyl trim, like door surrounds. Your car will be soft, and you'll get two wax treatments for the effort of one.

Detailing cars since 1977....
How long do you typically leave the wax on? I always feel like I take it off too soon, it should be completely dry correct?

Seems like there is some consensus in the clay bar technique as well, have always looked at them, is there a particular brand or anything that is better than other?
 

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Sp00ner said:
How long do you typically leave the wax on? I always feel like I take it off too soon, it should be completely dry correct?

Seems like there is some consensus in the clay bar technique as well, have always looked at them, is there a particular brand or anything that is better than other?
Just until it gets dry - with the Wax Shop Super Glaze, it's a BREEZE to get off, even if you left it for a while. Remember (no offense if you already knew this), never wax in direct sunlight, especially if your car is a dark color.

I like Meguiar's products, although I like the Wax Shop glaze better than Meguiars. Here's a good story/recommendation on the Meguiars clay bar deal:

http://www.miata.net/products/body/meguiars_clay_bar.html

One clay bar kit will let you do your car 2-3 times. Not bad for $15.
 
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