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Old 06-29-2014, 07:11 PM   #1
Metallman56
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HOW TO: Make Your Old G/A Look Like New Again

this is going to be a how to restore your g/a's paint to like new again. even if you have an 05 g/a your car will be pushing 10 years old this year. and if you have a 99 its closer to 20 years old. this thread is how to take your old faded paint, and make it look like new again. to do this were going to correct swirls.

WARNING: it is possible to damage your paint by doing this. if you don't clean your car so its spotless. do this at your own risk but if you follow my directions, I promise you wont cause any harm to your paint. if you do, its your own fault. I've done this process to a countless amount of cars with amazing results and no damage. detail at your own risk

swirls look like this



those round circles that look like spider webs in the paint. those swirls rob your car of both depth and shine, and getting rid of them will make your car shine like it was new.

now full disclaimer here, I'm not using a g/a for this how to. I'm using a hood from a late 90s ford explorer. don't worry though the process is exactly the same.

This process is about as simple and fast as I can make it. plus if you buy everything your looking at around $150 to $200. much much less than a new paint job. not to mention (and I've said this a million times) you can correct friends and family's paint for a fee and get some, if not all, of your money back.

first things first, what you'll need.



from left to right

Megs M105
Megs M205 (Megs #80 will be filling in)
A good car wash soap
Claybar Kit
Porter Cable 7424 Polisher (7424xp works too, just newer)
Cutting Pad
Polishing Pad

some things not pictured are 2) 5 gallon buckets, and at least 10 microfiber towels, and a good microfiber mit or sponge for washing, a hose, a spray nozzle, something for drying like microfiber towels a shamy or an absorber which is what I use,

okay the first thing you want to do is wash the car, by hand. don't take it to some local automated car wash for a couple of reasons. the first is the car probably wont be spotless clean, which is what it must be to start correcting paint. the 2nd is that car wash is probably on of the reasons your car looks terrible to begin with.

your going to want to hand wash it, so you know it done right.

take your 2 buckets and fill one up almost to the top, and the other about 1/2 way. the bucket that's full is going to be the dirty bucket. the 1/2 way bucket is going to be the clean bucket. its very important you don't mix the buckets. basically the idea is to rinse the sponge in the dirty bucket, using the motion like a washing machine. then go to the clean water bucket and get new water and suds. more on that in a second.

first we want to rinse off the car as best we can. to do this take your hose and spray the car off as best you can on a high pressure setting. most nozzles have a "jet" setting, that's what you want. we do this to knock as much of the dirt off the car we can before we even touch it.

once the car is 100% rinsed off, you can now start washing. put some soap in the clean bucket, and spray the hose into it on the jet setting. you should see suds start forming instantly. those suds are what we want. keep spraying until the bucket is almost overflowing with them. it should look about like this



now take your sponge and dip it in the clean water, getting as many suds on the sponge as you can. like so



suds are a freaking must for properly washing a car. the provide the lubricity between your paint and the dirt on your car. without suds the dirt will just grind up against your paint causing, you guessed it, more swirls. think of suds as the motor oil of the car wash. yes you can do it without it, but your going to be doing a hell of a lot more harm then good.

wash 1 panel at a time with as many suds as you can. each panel should look something like this.



once a panel is done take the sponge to the dirty bucket rinse it out the best you can, and ring it out over the dirty bucket before you go back to the clean water and suds. you should NEVER take the sponge from the car to the clean water, always rinse in the dirty first.

repeat until the whole car is done. here are some tips for washing
start from top to bottom
never wash in the sun
if soap starts drying on the car just rinse it off, just remember what you've already washed.
keep the car was wet as possible at all times
if you run out of suds just make more by using the jet nozzle and the hose. I usually have to make suds a total of 2 times each car wash.

now all you have to do is dry the car off. pretty easy, just start from the roof and work your way down. this is also the time to see if you've missed any spots, remember the car has to be 100% clean if were going to correct swirls, now is the time to take care of them. just sponge them off like you were doing, and rinse carefully but you might have to dry the same spot 2x if you get water everywhere. don't worry its a small price to pay.

once your car is 100% dry and 100% clean you need to move it indoors if you can, like a garage. if you cant that's fine but you need to take it in 100% shade like a carport. the paint has to be cool to the touch for the best results.

now were going to clay bar the car. you can get a kit from almost anywhere that sells automotive wax including walmart. the kit is between $17 and $23. both mothers and Megs have kits and neither one is really better then the other just get which one is cheaper, and make sure it has 2 clay bars in it.

so your probably thinking "how the hell is clay going to improve my paint?". great question. basically it cleans out the pours of your paint. just like on your face, your paint has pours, and they cant be cleaned out with just normal washing. you need something more to clean them, which is where the clay bar comes in. you should clay your paint about once a year to help keep your paints depth.



once you buy the kit, you'll need to take out the spray detailer and the clay. break the clay in half just in case you drop the clay on the ground. if that happens throw the clay away. DO NOT I repeat DO NOT use it again. if you do its like rubbing sand paper across it. throw it away and get a new piece.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:12 PM   #2
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claying is pretty simple. all you do is spray the detailer over the surface of the paint, and rub the clay over it in a back and forth motion.




than wipe off the excess detailer and repeat the to the whole car. once you get a process down it shouldn't take too long to do the whole car. it takes me about an hour by myself. if you can get someone to wipe off the detailer for you, you can really fly.

also after your clay ever panel knead the clay. its going to turn a brownish black, that's normal, and means your doing it correctly. also if you missed a spot you'll be able to tell because it wont be smooth. after you clay your car will be as smooth as you've ever felt. if you miss a spot it will be obvious to the touch.

now we can move on to swirl correcting.

what you'll need

Porter cable 7424
M105
Microfiber Towels
Cutting Pad

take your cutting pad and put it on the PC (porter cable 7427). then open your M105 and put a few dots on the pad.



turn the PC to the lowest setting (1) and turn it on while your holding it against your paint. if you turn it on when its not against the paint, your going to spray polish everywhere, so make sure when you turn it on your ready to use it.

on the low setting work the polish into the paint with the PC on. your going to want to go in small sections of the paint. no more than about 2' by 2'. once the polish is spread turn the PC up to its highest setting (6) and press down with about 15 to 20 lbs of force. not a ton of pressure you want the PC to spin, but enough to cause some friction against the paint. also your going to need to move it slowly in a grid like pattern. first up and down overlapping with each path. then left to right again overlapping after each pass. basically the pattern you would mow the lawn with. it doesn't matter if you go up and down first, or left to right first. once you complete the pattern turn off the PC and wipe off the polish with the MF (microfiber) towel. also its much easier to see if your correcting the paint under really good light. the more light the better. you should be able to use that light to see if the swirls are going away or not. if they are not, you might need to repeat this step. if you do need to repeat try using more pressure, or going slower, or both. repeat until the whole car is done.

ALSO IMPORTANT g/a's are know for pealing clear coat on the painted plastic parts. Both bumpers, and side mirrors. I recommend not using the PC on those parts, because your going to cause more harm than good. or if those panels are more pinkish than the rest of the car I'd skip them. mine are like that, even after years of excessive wax protection.

your car should be basically swirl free now. but were not done yet. we need to polish the color out. were going to use the PC, M205, and the polishing pad.



this is going to be very similar to the compounding step with M105.

put some M205 on the polish pad like in the above picture. then on low speed turn PC on against the paint. rub it in at a low setting at first, then turn the PC up to 4 or 5. you don't need to press nearly as hard this time, as we don't need the friction we needed before. you still need to go in the grid pattern though, but you can go a little faster than you did before. still only work in sections no bigger than 2'x2'. once your done, just wipe off the polish with a MF towel. do this to the whole car.

now the difference should be clear. here is a bit of a before and after on my test hood.

BEFORE


AFTER


the final step is to put a fresh coat of wax on. what type of wax you use depends on what you want out of it. either a synthetic wax which will give you okay shine, but high durability. or a carnauba wax, which will give you great shine, but you will have to reapply in about a month. I personally use Klasse All In One, which gives me both good shine and good durability. just remember whatever you use its better than nothing. getting a good coat of wax will help protect your paint for damage in the future.

if you have and question or comments feel free to ask. i'll help in any way I can.

I hope this write up inspires you guys to make your paint look great. and I hope you guys realize that its really not as hard as it sounds. and trust me if you follow my steps you wont damage your paint as long as the paint/ pad is clean.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:21 PM   #3
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As someone that's been studying how to do this properly, I thank you for the step by step. Very good info to have.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:23 PM   #4
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This needs to be pinned.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:26 PM   #5
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Great thread! I must say that after I did a full detail on my 1999 GA paint, the results were amazing. I used klasse as well and it is amazing stuff but be sure to put it on THIN. I put it on too thick and struggled to buff it off. Everyone should consider doing this.

Additional suggestions
The beginning wash use dawn to strip all the previous wax that may be on the car. After the detail be sure to always use a good car wash soap that will not strip the sealant or wax

Also to save money you can buy clay bars and use soapy water to clay the car. For a whole car it's easier and cheaper.

Put down a base coat of sealant (synthetic wax) then wait 12 hours and put a top coat of carnauba wax. Maintain the wax with spray carnauba wax after each wash. Use the spray wax while drying the car.

Last edited by gudge; 06-29-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 06-29-2014, 07:48 PM   #6
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Old 06-29-2014, 08:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
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As someone that's been studying how to do this properly, I thank you for the step by step. Very good info to have.

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This needs to be pinned.

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Great thread!
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Old 06-29-2014, 11:50 PM   #8
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Awesome as always.
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:00 AM   #9
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Great job man!!! I've detailed cars for 2 different shops now and it's always something I've thoroughly enjoyed! I enjoy it so much that I would love to open up a shop of my own someday! I appreciate a well written and thought out how to like this, I know you spend a lot of time detailing and I always enjoy reading all of your threads with pics of comparisons! I have yet to find a compound that works better than the old Megs 105/205!
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Old 06-30-2014, 12:52 AM   #10
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Great HOW-TO! I Will be using this info to detail my car as soon as i get my PC...
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Old 06-30-2014, 05:29 PM   #11
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wow thanks for the positive feedback guys.

this thread has been long overdue imo. I tried to keep it simple, yet informative. I was in a bit of a rush when I wrote it up so I didn't have the time to proof read it.

I didn't think about making this a sticky but it might be a good idea. there hasn't been a sticky started in here for years.

like I said if anyone needs any help, or anything feel free to ask. hell if your close enough and willing to drive, i'll show you in person if you want.
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Old 06-30-2014, 10:28 PM   #12
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Very nice write up, Metal! This will help peoplease who don't know where to start when it comes to detailing.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:29 PM   #13
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my car that i just bought currently has been repainted. at least once, i see parts where paint is chipped around the moldngs and i see black under the black paint already it i wouldnt be surprised if i have 3 coats of black, but anyways on some panels of the car i can see orange peel, and the reflection is not as good as it should be on a black car (should be like a mirror almost when waxed properly) if i do this will it look better? or does my car need to be wetsanded.
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Old 07-01-2014, 09:39 PM   #14
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Nice write-up.


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Old 07-01-2014, 10:41 PM   #15
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when applying wax, any recommend speeds to use? or specific pads?
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:47 PM   #16
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I personally wax by hand. Using a DA just seems wrong when waxing.
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Old 07-01-2014, 11:57 PM   #17
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Seems wrong......? How?
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Old 07-02-2014, 12:08 AM   #18
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They recommend speeds around 2 or 3 on the DA. At those speeds you even rest your finger on the machine the pad doesn't rotate so you have to use VERY VERY light pressure which IMO would take more time since you would be distracted and every now and then accidentally apply too much pressure and have the pad vibrate in place.


Personal preference. If I recall on a older thread Metal does his by hand too.
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Old 07-02-2014, 03:35 AM   #19
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He waxed mine with the DA. IIRC the pc wont do damage like other ones out there.
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Old 07-02-2014, 05:20 AM   #20
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I wax by hand. I feel I have way more control by hand and can get into all the areas of the paint much easier.
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