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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Wash, Wax, Detailing and Cosmetic protection/repairs > Amateur Questions



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      05-01-2009, 12:42 AM   #1
ericsmithcpa
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Amateur Questions

Hello everyone, I'm quite the amateur at detailing... never used a buffer, heck I've never really waxed a car at all. So looking for advice before I mess up my paint, and y'all seem fairly clever about such things...

1) The way everyone talks about ONR it sounds like great stuff... pictures of dirty cars washed with this stuff, suddenly look like they've been washed and waxed. But, I'm in Texas - so it's not cold, and water is cheap. I wouldn't mind hosing down the car, if a shampoo that requires rinsing would do a better job. Might it be worth the extra time to drag a hose across the yard to use a product like CG Wash and Gloss? Should I use a wax/sealant in addition to these products, or are they basically one step deals?

2) Being an amateur, I've always used (and been very dissatisfied with) Armor All for interior detailing. It's shiny. Shiny is bad, and it seems to be dusty after a couple of days. But I like the quick and easy factor. Suggestions on best/most popular product for interior trim that won't look shiny or smell like flowers?

3) I have a clear bra. I bought some of the xpel sealant to use on it, if something is better for it then I'd love to hear. I kind of like the idea of not having UV protection on it, which would seem to age the paint at a different rate than the rest of the car. I'm not sure which of the other sealers have UV protection, or perhaps UV protection really doesn't matter and I just haven't figured it out yet?

4) Wax/sealant... Is there a product that is particularly quick/easy that will give good results? I'm hesitant to start using a buffer now after reading about people messing up their paint with them... maybe I should practice on my wife's car first if it's really worth it to use a buffer

I saw the DI site, so I'll plan to order from them. Thanks in advance for the help.

Eric
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      05-01-2009, 05:02 AM   #2
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DI is a great site I just order a shit ton of stuff for detailing my car. I can't wait until it all gets here.
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      05-01-2009, 08:32 AM   #3
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+1 for Detailed Image just read their how-to pages. detailing a car is pretty easy if you have the right products and equipment. if you havent used a buffer def practice on someone elses car.

for interior 303 Aerospace is the best imo. no flowery smell and uv protection.

for sealant go with CG M-seal. its really easy to use, goes on easy comes off easy.

for a wax get a paste or soft wax. something like Poorboys Blue or Red
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      05-01-2009, 08:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ericsmithcpa View Post
Hello everyone, I'm quite the amateur at detailing... never used a buffer, heck I've never really waxed a car at all. So looking for advice before I mess up my paint, and y'all seem fairly clever about such things...

1) The way everyone talks about ONR it sounds like great stuff... pictures of dirty cars washed with this stuff, suddenly look like they've been washed and waxed. But, I'm in Texas - so it's not cold, and water is cheap. I wouldn't mind hosing down the car, if a shampoo that requires rinsing would do a better job. Might it be worth the extra time to drag a hose across the yard to use a product like CG Wash and Gloss? Should I use a wax/sealant in addition to these products, or are they basically one step deals?

2) Being an amateur, I've always used (and been very dissatisfied with) Armor All for interior detailing. It's shiny. Shiny is bad, and it seems to be dusty after a couple of days. But I like the quick and easy factor. Suggestions on best/most popular product for interior trim that won't look shiny or smell like flowers?

3) I have a clear bra. I bought some of the xpel sealant to use on it, if something is better for it then I'd love to hear. I kind of like the idea of not having UV protection on it, which would seem to age the paint at a different rate than the rest of the car. I'm not sure which of the other sealers have UV protection, or perhaps UV protection really doesn't matter and I just haven't figured it out yet?

4) Wax/sealant... Is there a product that is particularly quick/easy that will give good results? I'm hesitant to start using a buffer now after reading about people messing up their paint with them... maybe I should practice on my wife's car first if it's really worth it to use a buffer

I saw the DI site, so I'll plan to order from them. Thanks in advance for the help.

Eric
# 1 - CG are good products. more than one step involved. It will take at least few hours if you want it done right.

# 2 - Swissvax, CG, etc. go ask Phil ( phil@detailersdomain ) or George (Detailed Image).

# 3 - I would not use any sealants on the clear bra. try plexus

# 4 - SwissVax ($$$$), Zaino, Natty Wax, P21s. etc. all good stuff. ask Phil or George.
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      05-01-2009, 12:39 PM   #5
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You got water and weather, do a full wash. Using water to rinse the dirt off after it's been lifted by the suds will help in prventing swirls.

303 is my fav for anything plastic/rubber. No shine, and UV protection.

I'm a Zaino guy. Toughest thing about Zaino is using WAY TOO MUCH the first couple of times. Less is definately more.

Tell the wife you are doing her's first because she's so much more important than yourself She needn't know you are experimenting. If you get one of the Flex units, you'd have to try pretty hard to burn the paint.
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      05-02-2009, 10:17 AM   #6
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Thanks so much guys, I just put in my order at DI... went with the 303 Aerospace, Chem Guys Wash & Gloss & M-seal... I have plexus for airplane canopies, it looks like the same stuff, I guess I'll stick to that for the bra and see how it goes.
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      05-10-2009, 04:44 PM   #7
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Okay, I got my stuff from detailed image this week, and got to work this morning. My wife advised that she would appreciate me not flooding the yard, and not washing the car in the garage... so I headed to one of those drive through coin operated pressure wash places (just to use the shade and the rinse water). Which worked out great until the guy in the stall next to me got a little bit excited with the high pressure rinse and I had to dry my car again halfway through buffing off the sealant.

Anyway, after washing with the CG Wash & Gloss it looked so good I was tempted to stop and call it a day. It took about 2 hours to get a good wash, then I dried with something called "the absorber," which worked fairly well. The towel was substantially clean when done drying, so I figured I'd done a decent enough job of washing.

Then I set to work with the CG M-seal. This is where things got difficult. Initially I tried putting it on really thin (using a microfiber covered sponge), but it seemed to clump up fairly quickly, so I figured maybe it was drying too fast and I needed to use more. So I did (which might have been the reason it was sooo hard to buff it all off). About halfway through buffing it off I was looking around for someone who might want to help me finish buffing for $20 bucks. Never found anyone, but I finally got it off, and got my exercise for the week too. Now that I'm done, I'm ordering a buffer, today.

There was one spot on the passenger door that looked like it still had a very small amount of sealant on it, and it wouldn't buff off no matter how vigorously I buffed. Now I'm wondering if it may be overspray from the prior owner fixing a door ding or something. I couldn't get it to show in the pictures. If anyone has any ideas about this, please let me know.

For the clear bra, just washed and used plexus and it looks just about as good as the rest of the car.

Haven't done the inside of my car yet, but I did my wife's car with the 303 aerospace and that scored me some big points - so thanks for the good suggestions!

Here are the pics (if anyone has suggestions for taking pics feel free to share... I'm just as amateur a photographer as I am a detailer:

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      05-10-2009, 04:51 PM   #8
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I really like the way the WeatherTech clear covers look on this too... that's another tip I picked up somewhere on this board... $50 bucks well spent. This might be my new favorite website.
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      05-10-2009, 06:06 PM   #9
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Looks good, nice job!

Not sure about CG M-Seal, but CG JetSeal can be applied by hand without much aggravation. My guess is that you may have just used a little too much, that's the only time it should be tough to remove. It's best applied thin as possible.

If you're going to use a buffer, try a LC Blue finishing pad.
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      05-11-2009, 07:59 AM   #10
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yes the mseal has to applied really thin. you should barely be able to see it when applied correctly.
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      05-11-2009, 12:33 PM   #11
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Even without water restrictions (which are about to be enacted in San Diego, BTW), I'd still recommend ONR. first, it's easy to use. Just mix in a bucket with water, soak a grout sponge/washing mit, wipe the car (use little pressure), dry with a microfiber towel (again, use little pressure). You can do this in the garage since there's not much waste water. This is good since your paint will stay cool instead of baking in the sun. Washing a car baking in the sun is never a good idea. And I'd suspect your paint will get rather warm in Texas!

I use about 1 3/4 gallons of water every time I wash the car. It's always good to use less water. I lose about 1/4 - 1/2 gallon while washing.

Finally, ONR saves me time. I can wash the car in 35-40 minutes with ONR. Using the traditional method always takes me at least 45-60 minutes.
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      05-11-2009, 02:29 PM   #12
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apply the mseal as thin as possible, u want more layer than thicker!
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      05-11-2009, 04:04 PM   #13
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Looks good!!! Your last shot, the side profile, really shines and shows off the metallic quality of your paint!

Something to keep in mind -- those Citrus-based washes are very potent. They are great for prepping paint, but may be a bit harsh for a weekly wash (stripping your wax potentially) if you aren't careful when you dilute it. I find the CG Maxi Suds work great for a pH neutral weekly wash.
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      05-11-2009, 05:47 PM   #14
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Car looks sharp, thanks for sharing the photos.

As others mentioned, you want to apply the M-Seal as thin as possible. The product should spread pretty thin and after it's worked into the paint, it should barely be visible as twinturboa51 mentioned.

Gig103 brought up a good point, you want to make sure you're using about a .25 - .5 ounce of product per gallon of water during maintenance washes with the Citrus Wash & Gloss. Using too concentrated of a product could remove the M-Seal leaving you with no protection.

Thanks again for your support, if you have any questions on anything, please do not hesitate to ask.

Cheers,

George
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