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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, couple quick questions



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      12-08-2010, 10:34 AM   #1
new2the3
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Question New to detailing, couple quick questions

1. Buffer: 3" vs 6". I ordered the 6" Griots Garage Orbital. Do you think it is necessary to have the 3" in addition? Will it be too difficult to do certain parts of the car with only the 6"?

2. Claying: Do you wash your car after you clay it? Or do you just wipe up each spot right away with a microfiber?
2a. How long will 1 clay bar last? I plan on detailing 3 cars, do I need multiple bars?

3. Pads: How durable / long lasting are these foam pads? I plan on detailing 3 cars over a week time frame. Would it be wise to have new pads for each car? What is the proper maintenance of these foam pad?

4. Griots Garage Polishes: Will Machine Polish "3" be strong enough to take out scratches? Would you advise "2" for scratches and "3" for light swirls?

5. After Polish but before Wax: any prep required? Do you suggest a pre-wax cleaner?

6. Any reason to use a sealant on-top of a wax?

Thank you!
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      12-08-2010, 11:49 AM   #2
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1. Smaller pads will get in smaller areas and will also allow you to be more aggressive for removing more severe swirls and scratches. If you only have 6" I'd get a set of 3" or 5". If I had to pick one size to stick with and never change pads on an orbital I'd go with 5".

2. I polish immediately after claying. I rarely ever bother to wash between the two steps. One bar should be fine for 3 cars, but it really depends on the level of contamination on those cars. I just use it until it starts to look dirty. Break the bar in to smaller pieces too in case you drop a piece (throw it away if you drop it).

3. Pads can last quite a while if they are cleaned after each use. I like to switch to a fresh pad every few panels so I may use 3 pads per car and the wash them before my next use. If done on different days, those pads will outlast 3 cars/uses.

4. I've never used Griots products, so I will leave that to someone else.

5. If you've just polished, there really isn't a need to use a pre-wax cleaner. I only use a cleaner if I'm not planning to polish. Some sealants require an IPA (alcohol) wipe down of the car to remove any fillers from the polish though. That will allow the sealant to properly bonding to the paint.

6. A sealant should come BEFORE a wax. Put the sealant on the car (after the IPA wipe down) and then top with your favorite wax. Most sealants will only bond directly to the car's paint, not wax.
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      12-08-2010, 03:55 PM   #3
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Fisher hit it on the nail. I would however suggest an IPA wipe down before sealing to aid bonding. Also if you use a glaze prior to sealing make sure that glaze is compatible, usually on the bottle or companies web site.

Again Clay depends on how contaminated the paint is, I had have two just in case.

Pads last about 10 to 15 washes/uses. Basically when they start to break down you'll see it visibly and do not use a chewed up pad. Plan on 2 to 3 pads of same color per car, clean in between and let them air dry on a flat surface. I find the more cut of the pad and the polish used the quicker they degrade. I also mark my pads in ziplocs so I only use that pad with that specific polish. Probably overkill but only do my own cars. Depending on which products and whether you're doing a one step ot two step correction you'll probally want at least 3 different types of pads IE White, Black, Blue.
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Last edited by Bobble; 12-08-2010 at 04:03 PM.
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      12-10-2010, 08:40 PM   #4
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Thanks for the replies guys.
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