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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > New to detailing, need sealant advice



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      05-29-2014, 05:04 PM   #1
glennjoseph
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Arrow New to detailing, need sealant advice

I'm new to detailing, I've read a bunch of posts about it on here including the sticky regarding the things to get and proper techniques. I have a jet black E92 335i M-sport. I've read that my paint is rather soft, not sure if anyone can help.

Here are the things I currently own:
Mothers California Gold Car Wash
CG Chenille Microfiber Wash Mitt
Simoniz S57 Detailing Clay Bar
Meguiar's Water Magnet Drying Towel
Mothers California Gold Showtime Instant Detailer Spray
PC 7424XP
Orange Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Foam Pad
Menzerna Power Finish Finishing Polish

I know I'm missing microfiber towels and in regards to sealant/wax, I'd like to use a synthetic sealant so I don't have to apply it as often.

If I have the Menzerna polish, do I still need the Klasse AIO polish? and if I'm not using the Klasse AIO should I still invest in the Klasse High Gloss Sealant?

Recommendations?
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      05-29-2014, 09:03 PM   #2
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If you intend on just "cleaning" the paint and not removing swirls, the AIO is enough. A polish is often used as a 2nd step after the compound, to help clear up the haze and put some depth in the paint. Some even contains sone glaze which helps temporarely fill up the void in those micro scratches.
Sealants are synthetic, wax such as carnuba is natural. Any quality sealant is fine, popular brands are mothers, meguiar, blackfire, chemical guys, wolfgang, optimum. I use Wolfgang swirl remover, finishing glaze ans sealant, works great on BSM hard paint.
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      05-29-2014, 09:08 PM   #3
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Also, having the right pad helps, orange is cutting mostly used with compounds. You need at least 2 pads of each (yellow, white, red is optional) if doing whole car. I do sealant and/or wax by hand with a foam applicator.
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      05-29-2014, 09:13 PM   #4
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There are a million sealants, polished, swirl removers, etc etc. You already have the basics and yes, a good synthetic sealant wax is the best way to go s the final step for pain and finish protection. If you have a black car, I would recommend the meguiars black wax.

The process I use for my jet blck 335 is as follows:

Wash

Clay

Use scratch remover/more abrasive compound for deeper scratches. No need to specifics like swirl remover or anything like that. You only need to use these for spots that need them, not entire vehicle. When you polish during the next step, this will take away very subtle swirl and scratch marks.

Next I do a quick wash just to get off any residue or compound stuff that might be on the car still

Last is a sealant of your choice, but for a black car I would recommend the meguiars black wax.

Anything I missed to the professionals on this forum?
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      05-29-2014, 10:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjoseph View Post
I'm new to detailing, I've read a bunch of posts about it on here including the sticky regarding the things to get and proper techniques. I have a jet black E92 335i M-sport. I've read that my paint is rather soft, not sure if anyone can help.

Here are the things I currently own:
Mothers California Gold Car Wash
CG Chenille Microfiber Wash Mitt
Simoniz S57 Detailing Clay Bar
Meguiar's Water Magnet Drying Towel
Mothers California Gold Showtime Instant Detailer Spray
PC 7424XP
Orange Lake Country 5 1/2 Inch Foam Pad
Menzerna Power Finish Finishing Polish

I know I'm missing microfiber towels and in regards to sealant/wax, I'd like to use a synthetic sealant so I don't have to apply it as often.

If I have the Menzerna polish, do I still need the Klasse AIO polish? and if I'm not using the Klasse AIO should I still invest in the Klasse High Gloss Sealant?

Recommendations?
Menzerna PF2500 is more of a med/light polish. With the right pad combination, you should be able to remove close to 90% of the defects. Do a few test spots to dial in your process before doing the whole car. Start with a polishing pad and if that is not getting the desire results then move to a light cutting pad....if still not getting it then a heavy cutting... then fiber...and so on.

Menzerna is a diminishing polish so you have to make sure the polish breaks down to achieve best results. Make sure you mark the backing plate so you could monitor the rotations. Not enough pressure = pad spin too fast = nothing happens. Too much pressure = pad don't spin = nothing happens. Menzerna tends to be bit oily and I generally do a IPA wipe down immediately after to ensure the panel being completely naked (no filler, no oil, no film, etc). This also ensure the result is the actual result as well as to promote better adhesion with A sealant/wax. This might not be necessary if you are using Menzerna power lock sealant since most company designed their products to work together as far as "adhesion" is concern.

Don't get caught up with what is the "Best" product for this or the best for that. Proper techniques will compensate for bad products but no products could compensate for bad techniques.
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      05-30-2014, 08:02 AM   #6
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Don't get caught up with what is the "Best" product for this or the best for that. Proper techniques will compensate for bad products but no products could compensate for bad techniques
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      05-30-2014, 09:53 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psnt1ol View Post
Menzerna PF2500 is more of a med/light polish. With the right pad combination, you should be able to remove close to 90% of the defects. Do a few test spots to dial in your process before doing the whole car. Start with a polishing pad and if that is not getting the desire results then move to a light cutting pad....if still not getting it then a heavy cutting... then fiber...and so on.

Menzerna is a diminishing polish so you have to make sure the polish breaks down to achieve best results. Make sure you mark the backing plate so you could monitor the rotations. Not enough pressure = pad spin too fast = nothing happens. Too much pressure = pad don't spin = nothing happens. Menzerna tends to be bit oily and I generally do a IPA wipe down immediately after to ensure the panel being completely naked (no filler, no oil, no film, etc). This also ensure the result is the actual result as well as to promote better adhesion with A sealant/wax. This might not be necessary if you are using Menzerna power lock sealant since most company designed their products to work together as far as "adhesion" is concern.

Don't get caught up with what is the "Best" product for this or the best for that. Proper techniques will compensate for bad products but no products could compensate for bad techniques.
So I've done a rough analysis and the swirls are not very visible even in direct sunlight. Although, I have to say, on the rear bumper there are swirls galore...So do you recommend I use my Menzerna with the orange cutting pad on the rear bumper, or can I use it all around?

Thanks for the advice on the pressure, I'll remember that. For the areas with very light swirls can I just use my Menzerna and orange cutting pad and reduce the amount of passes? or is it necessary to buy a dedicated polishing pad? Also, I haven't bought a separate backing plate, do I need to buy one or is there another way to use my orange cutting pad with my 7424? I still need a sealant recommendation
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      05-30-2014, 07:47 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjoseph View Post
So I've done a rough analysis and the swirls are not very visible even in direct sunlight. Although, I have to say, on the rear bumper there are swirls galore...So do you recommend I use my Menzerna with the orange cutting pad on the rear bumper, or can I use it all around?

Thanks for the advice on the pressure, I'll remember that. For the areas with very light swirls can I just use my Menzerna and orange cutting pad and reduce the amount of passes? or is it necessary to buy a dedicated polishing pad? Also, I haven't bought a separate backing plate, do I need to buy one or is there another way to use my orange cutting pad with my 7424? I still need a sealant recommendation
Asking for a sealant or a wax recommendation is like asking which flavor of ice cream do you like. Since you are using Menzerna....I say Menzerna Power Lock. You will have no adhesion issues due to the synergy of the products. If it was my car....I would put a coating on it and be done with it for a few years.


The bumper generally will respond differently than the body panels since it is plastic and not metal. You should do some test spots to verify the process. I suggest picking up a few polishing pads. Start with the polishing pads for your test spots and work your way up to the cutting pads. I seldom use a cutting pad on soft paint such as Jet Black. Leveling down the defects is not the issue. Being able to finish down nicely is.

The Menzerna polish needs to break down for it to be effective. The abrasives in the polish get finer and finer with each subsequent passes. You are wasting product if you stop too early. On average....5-8 passes should do the trick in the ideal condition (indoor, working area no bigger than 1.5' x 1.5', moderate arm speed, panel temperature). After you done a few, you will know exactly when to stop by the way the buffer trail looks. It should look somewhat translucent.

You should already have a backing plate. It looks like this.


Mark your plate like this.
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      06-02-2014, 11:54 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psnt1ol View Post
Asking for a sealant or a wax recommendation is like asking which flavor of ice cream do you like. Since you are using Menzerna....I say Menzerna Power Lock. You will have no adhesion issues due to the synergy of the products. If it was my car....I would put a coating on it and be done with it for a few years.


The bumper generally will respond differently than the body panels since it is plastic and not metal. You should do some test spots to verify the process. I suggest picking up a few polishing pads. Start with the polishing pads for your test spots and work your way up to the cutting pads. I seldom use a cutting pad on soft paint such as Jet Black. Leveling down the defects is not the issue. Being able to finish down nicely is.

The Menzerna polish needs to break down for it to be effective. The abrasives in the polish get finer and finer with each subsequent passes. You are wasting product if you stop too early. On average....5-8 passes should do the trick in the ideal condition (indoor, working area no bigger than 1.5' x 1.5', moderate arm speed, panel temperature). After you done a few, you will know exactly when to stop by the way the buffer trail looks. It should look somewhat translucent.

You should already have a backing plate. It looks like this.


Mark your plate like this.
Thanks for the great advice! Mine didn't come with a backing plate so I'll need to get one. I will also get a few white polishing pads and to finish off I'll get Menzerna Power Lock to go with my PF2500. Also, I have a 5.5" pad so I should get a 5" backing plate correct?
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      06-02-2014, 10:11 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjoseph View Post
Thanks for the great advice! Mine didn't come with a backing plate so I'll need to get one. I will also get a few white polishing pads and to finish off I'll get Menzerna Power Lock to go with my PF2500. Also, I have a 5.5" pad so I should get a 5" backing plate correct?
Yep!!!!! You are on your way......

Let me know if you have further questions.
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      06-03-2014, 11:04 AM   #11
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Thanks! Just ordered:
5" Astro Pneumatic Velcro Backing Plate
2 CG Hex Logic White Polishing Pad 5.5"
Menzerna Power Lock Sealant
Meguiar's Supreme Shine MF Towels (3pk)

Is there ANYTHING else you think I need?

Thank you all for your great advice!
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      06-03-2014, 10:55 PM   #12
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I would recommend having a few more pads. You could do the entire car with 2 pads but you would have to clean them quite often which equates to....much longer time.

If you don't clean your pads often enough then you run the risk of ruining them very quickly as well as minimizing the overall effectiveness. Polish tends to travel to the center of the pad and as you polish. The more panels you do without cleaning...more polish will be collected at the center. Eventually, the center will be overloaded with liquid. This plus the friction (from the action of your polisher) will be the final nail to the coffin of your pad.

A pad brush will help but a few extra pads (to rotate) will definitely speed it along.
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      06-05-2014, 02:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psnt1ol View Post
I would recommend having a few more pads. You could do the entire car with 2 pads but you would have to clean them quite often which equates to....much longer time.

If you don't clean your pads often enough then you run the risk of ruining them very quickly as well as minimizing the overall effectiveness. Polish tends to travel to the center of the pad and as you polish. The more panels you do without cleaning...more polish will be collected at the center. Eventually, the center will be overloaded with liquid. This plus the friction (from the action of your polisher) will be the final nail to the coffin of your pad.

A pad brush will help but a few extra pads (to rotate) will definitely speed it along.
When you say pads you mean more white pads really right? if my paint's not too swirled up (and if I don't take it through any brush car washes) then it shouldn't really get worse correct? My orange pad will only be for spots where there are deep swirls, ie: my rear bumper.
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      06-05-2014, 05:03 PM   #14
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You should only need pads once or twice a year, unless you also invest in a paint gauge. Otherwise you run the risk of going thru the clear, into the paint, and needing a professional body shop to re-spray the clear.
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      06-05-2014, 11:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennjoseph View Post
When you say pads you mean more white pads really right? if my paint's not too swirled up (and if I don't take it through any brush car washes) then it shouldn't really get worse correct? My orange pad will only be for spots where there are deep swirls, ie: my rear bumper.
Few more pads will make the job faster and easier. You could do it with 2 pads (as in white pads) but the result might not come out to your expectation.

I would test the bumper with the white pad first. You might be surprise. The bumper is plastic and generally reacts differently than a typical body panel. It doesn't take much to correct the defects on plastic but you have to be a bit more careful since it is also easier to burn through.

I use a paint gauge prior to every detail both before and after. IMO... A numeric value to how many time one can polish a car over its lifetime before you jeopardize your paint job is somewhat overrated. The importance of how aggressive the approach was with every session should be the biggest take-a-way. Most cars will have about 130 - 180 microns of paint with a third of it being the clear coat (with exception of some Mazda's....80 - 100 microns). So... most cars will have around 40-60 microns of clear. Light polishing (on average) with a DA might take off 1 microns of clear but you might be looking at 5-6 microns on a full scale 3 steps correction with a rotary.

The idea is to "correct it once" and maintain it through proper washing techniques. ie 2 bucket wash w/ grit guards, high quality washing mediums as well as a few top notch MF drying towels.

My rules for maintaining black cars:
The less you touch it....the better.
Don't ever rub on it when it is dirty.

Most importantly..... Have fun working on your pride and joy.
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