Need advise on detailing - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


Auto Detailing 101 General discussion of auto cleaning and detailing. Learn tips and tricks to keep your Ford Ranger looking its best.

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  #1  
Old 04-21-2009
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Need advise on detailing

Hey guys, heres whats up.
I love my truck clean, love it shiny! but i dont really know the ins and outs of detailing it. I pretty much taught myself how to wax and im not sure if i do it well enough. I want to get really good at it.
This is what I do so far to my truck.
1-wash (mit and car soap)
2-dry with micro fiber towels
Bam basic clean

Last time I bought a little tub or turtle wax cleaning wax stuff and its alright.
How i use it is I have a small applicator, dip it in the wax (it reminds me of the consistency of pudding...) (im not sure if I am using to much or to little) and apply in little swirl patterns in sections of my truck, then I grab a micro fiber towel and swirl it off. That's pretty much my waxing job, but I know there has to be a better way of doing it. Also, come to the conclusion that maguirs (spelling) wax is the favorite from users on here so I will switch to that. I was reading another topic and they were talking about numbers or wax or something, whats that all about?

Can anyone also explain when to use the orbital buffer things? and what to use with them?

Thanks for any help, I can also clarify anything if I was to vague...
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  #2  
Old 04-21-2009
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anyone?


bump
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  #3  
Old 04-21-2009
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The only thing that I didn't see you specifically state is if you wait for the wax to haze before wiping it off. But, I'm going to assume you wait to take the wax off. I haven't done much more detailing than you've stated. But I'm going to watch your thread to learn how to do a better job!
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Old 04-21-2009
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I dont know if this will help but it helped me. I found a detailer local who teaches detailing to do it yourselfers like us. He showed me proper techniques on how to wash a car properly and even apply tire dressing properly. Alot of what you see on the net is hype or fiction and he broke it all down for me. It wasnt cheap but well worth every penny in my opinion. He detailed my truck seven months ago and it still looks great. I have seen how clay works first hand. Look for someone locally who can help. Heres the guy I go to.
www.showcardetail.com
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  #5  
Old 04-21-2009
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Pre-rinse
Wash with car soap, hot water in the bucket, and a micro fiber mit. the wool mitts get too much dirt and stuff stuck in them. Do not wash the tires yet

Dry with a leather Chaimois (sp?) "Shammy"

Clay-bar the paint on the truck.

Wash again withthe same process above.
wash wheels and tires with your old wool mit.

now dry again. after drying use a microfiber towel to dust all the air particles that have settled.

Now begin to wax. regular liquid turtle wax is fine. follow the directions for it.
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  #6  
Old 04-22-2009
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Originally Posted by filmont View Post
The only thing that I didn't see you specifically state is if you wait for the wax to haze before wiping it off. But, I'm going to assume you wait to take the wax off. I haven't done much more detailing than you've stated. But I'm going to watch your thread to learn how to do a better job!
actually i didnt let it haze. I would apply it grab a towel and then remove it... oops.

Looking for a local detailer would be awesome. Because I really want someone to show me how to do it all first hand. Any other tips?
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2009
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As far as washing, i like to do it sections. Basically i divide my truck into 8 parts and wash from the top down, and front to rear. The front and top of the truck is usually cleaner than the bottom and rear sections. Doing each section seperately and with a clean brush keeps you from smearing dirt around and causing scratches and swirling in the paint.

After each section, completely clean the brush also to prevent swirling dirt around causing scratches. Also, dont dip a dirty brush or whatever you use into the soap water bucket, that gets dirt in there and can cause scratching.

It aint rocket science! warm water is hype, and I HATE chamois lol, give me a tery cloth bath towel, and I can get my truck perfectly dry.

i always do a quick wax job after each wash. i use Meguiars Gold class car wash and Meguiars Deep crystal carnauba wax. I use microfiber towels to apply and remove the wax. if your truck is less than a couple years old (its a 2008) you really dont need much more treatment for the paint. Clay bars are for paint that hasnt been waxed in several years or has some bad scratches.
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2009
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^^ cool thanks man
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2009
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clay-bar is for once a year. wash your truck dry and slip your hand into a ziploc and gently slide it across the paint if it feels gritty needs clay, at the same time take your bare fingers and slide them gently over the paint if you can make your fingers squeak its time for wax.
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  #10  
Old 04-22-2009
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theres a simple process just 4 steps:

1. wash
2. clay
3. polish
4. wax

you can clay your truck as much as you want it doesnt have to be a once a year thing, its not aggressive enough to strip paint... its just clay lol. But yes wait for the wax to dry after applying it, try the finger swipe method... this is were you wait for a minute or so... then just use your index finger or whatever and just swipe it across the newly waxed area, if wax comes off and you can tell then its time for the rest of the wax to come off, if the area you swiped is still greasy looking wait longer.. just keep doing this till you see wax comming off with your finger. Also dont get ahead of your self break down the truck into small sections... dont need to rush this if you want it to look good. As far as the numbers if you look at meguiars web site and look at their professional products it shows the cut, now something like #83 doesnt mean that it cuts 83% of the paint, that 83 is like a product number, on each polishing bottle they have a cut scale. You can join Meguiars Online forum, I am on there and you can learn a lot form those guys.

for the buffer, Id look into getting a Porter Cable as they are relatively inexpensive and have variable speeds. You can use it for polishes like #83 and waxes just need to use the right pads too. But all of meguiars products can be applied by hand and Ive gotten great results by doing it all by hand, I recently stepped up to a G110 because I want even better results.... plus if you use your hands its like a work out, just be sure to plan out the next few days, dont do the whole vehicle in one day... thats just crazy and you will get worn out.

Polishes like #83 are a cut, they remove a very small portion of paint because you have to remove paint to get rid of the swirl marks, holograms and light scratches that are put into paints. Something like #7 is something that you would use before or after a wax, note that it doesnt have any cutting abilities, it adds to the final finish to help make it all look glossy or wet looking.

Id suggest using NXT wax its very similar to #21 which is my favorite wax, but its cheaper but you get the same results, and these two last longer than other waxes. If you have a darker color vehicle I would suggest Gold Class wax or my favorite combo #7 + #26 looks great on any vehicle. Its all trial and error, how else do we learn lol. ALSO NEVER USE DISH DETERGENT!!! although if you are really lazy and dont want to clay the truck then do this... but use dish detergent too much or often and then you will have a clear coat failure... I always recommend not using it...

Good Luck and I hoped this helped

Last edited by Rapala; 04-22-2009 at 08:50 AM.
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  #11  
Old 04-22-2009
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Icon12

I use a Micro fiber wash mit to wash the top half of my truck wich is the blue part and a clean wool mit to wash the gray part and the step rails. I also use a soft brush to wash the vinal part of my truck. it gets the dirt in the crevases (spelling stinks srry) out without scratching it. the micro fiber mit stays on my hand better too.

Last edited by LILBLUE; 04-22-2009 at 11:28 AM. Reason: forgot to say something
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  #12  
Old 04-22-2009
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I've found several "How To" vids on line. I like these best.

http://www.adamspolishes.com/t-videos.aspx
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  #13  
Old 04-22-2009
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ok here is what i use www.waterlesscarwashproducts.com

now lots of great advice here so far,


how to video about 15mb.
http://www.waterlesscarwashproducts.com/video/demoh.wmv

Low quality of same video 3mb.
http://www.waterlesscarwashproducts.com/video/demol.wmv
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  #14  
Old 04-22-2009
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thats really cool, I have never heard of that until now... hhmmm
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  #15  
Old 04-22-2009
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check the prefered vendor forum, a bunch of people here are using it as well
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  #16  
Old 04-22-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MemphisSenior View Post
I've found several "How To" vids on line. I like these best.

http://www.adamspolishes.com/t-videos.aspx
This is how I roll. Adam's stuff is a little pricey, but I've never found anything so easy to use and that worked so good, and customer service is top notch.
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  #17  
Old 04-23-2009
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How to wash and wax

Okay heres how I roll
muy importante -park in the shade.
Spray wheels down with wheel cleaner of your choice, rub with mit, cloth, wheel brush whatever. (spray on wheelwell and mud flaps as well)
If tires are dirty spray with Wesleys bleach white tire cleaner, scrub with nylon brush.
Rinse wheels, tires and wheelwells, then rinse entire truck top to bottom, undercarriage as needed.

In two large buckets; one filled with clean water, the other with clean water and good carwash soap like meguires (lots of suds and wont strip wax). wash top to bottom in a sweaping motion with a microfiber mit. in sections using straight and not circular motion (helps prevent swirl marks) rinse mit in clean water after using both sides only once with short strokes. then rinsing mit in the clean bucket and then dunk in the soapy water and repeat. two buckets keeps the grit to a minimum.
rinse each section afterwashing. Keep the truck wet the entire time untill your ready to dry, water spots suck. i like to use a California silicone water blade to do the most of the drying then finish with a plush microfiber towel. clean inside of door jambs with wet drying cloth afterward.

next clay bar the paint according to manufactures directions.
then use the meguires three step system, read the directions
the paint cleaner (step one) is what will get your paint silky and clean, ready for wax. you can use this on trim to restore its color also. it also removes what the car wash didn't.
the polish (step two) wont a whole lot but its easy and goes quick.
I use two new microfiber cloths per step.
the third step is the wax you need a good carnuba wax you can chose just stay away from the tutle wax seems to have fillers and its tough to use Imo. I like megs gold class liquid wax. rub in in small sections with small sponge applicator work in with light pressure and small circular overlapping motion. allow to dry to "slight" haze the buff off with clean microfiber cloth using a diffent section of cloth every few seconds or so.

your done.

now you wont have to do anything for about 3 months except wash it.
even mud beads up and rinses right off once you do a good wax.

tips
never wash microfiber cloths with any other fabric or you will end up with lint all over your truck

use a California duster to keep the dust off of the truck so when it rains it wont stick and leave water spots.
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  #18  
Old 04-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryTasker View Post
Pre-rinse
Wash with car soap, hot water in the bucket, and a micro fiber mit. the wool mitts get too much dirt and stuff stuck in them. Do not wash the tires yet

Dry with a leather Chaimois (sp?) "Shammy"

Clay-bar the paint on the truck.

Wash again withthe same process above.
wash wheels and tires with your old wool mit.

now dry again. after drying use a microfiber towel to dust all the air particles that have settled.

Now begin to wax. regular liquid turtle wax is fine. follow the directions for it.
WRONG!!! Always wash the wheels, tires, and wells FIRST...then the rest of the car.

Also...modern synthetic 'shammys' far exceed leathers qualities as a drying towel. I use the Absorber...or something similar.
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  #19  
Old 04-23-2009
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Originally Posted by 03bamaGT View Post
WRONG!!! Always wash the wheels, tires, and wells FIRST...then the rest of the car.
Why? They are one of the dirtiest parts of the truck! I wash them last because then I dont have to worry about dirt getting in the soap water bucket and getting spread all over the paint causing swirling and scratching.

Wash the wheels, undercarriage, etc. last!
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  #20  
Old 04-23-2009
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Originally Posted by 08XLT4x4 View Post
Why? They are one of the dirtiest parts of the truck! I wash them last because then I dont have to worry about dirt getting in the soap water bucket and getting spread all over the paint causing swirling and scratching.

Wash the wheels, undercarriage, etc. last!
This is wrong...I shall explain.

1. You are usually using chemicals when cleaning wells, wheels, and tires.

2. When applying such chemicals, some may get on the paint or elsewhere.

3. Washing the wheels first allows you to get said chemicals off of the paint and elsewhere when washing the car after.

4. You should ALWAYS have a separate small bucket for wheel, tire, and well washing. Along with brushes etc.

5. Also, when washing the wheels, splatter is VERY likely to get on the paint. Washing the wheels FIRST allows you to get that off.

6. After washing your vehicle, you immediately want to dry the paint. Washing the wheels FIRST allows for this.

Are you getting the point?? Wheels, tires, and wells should always be washed FIRST! Look at any reputable professional detailer or shop. They wash the wheels FIRST.

You sir need to go back to school...Maybe try AutoGeek University?

http://autogeek.net/detailingtips.html
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  #21  
Old 04-23-2009
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I dry mine with leaf blower. But it only works well if you wax often, otherwise the water doesn't blow off very easily.
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  #22  
Old 04-23-2009
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Originally Posted by fx4me View Post
I dry mine with leaf blower. But it only works well if you wax often, otherwise the water doesn't blow off very easily.
cuz you have a subie and you hope it blows away so a ranger can drop in its spot?

jk
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  #23  
Old 04-23-2009
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I use 2 buckets to wash..

I like to clean the just used microfiber mitt in one bucket before putting it back in the clean soap bucket..
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  #24  
Old 04-23-2009
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Originally Posted by dave01978 View Post
ok here is what i use www.waterlesscarwashproducts.com

now lots of great advice here so far,


how to video about 15mb.
http://www.waterlesscarwashproducts.com/video/demoh.wmv

Low quality of same video 3mb.
http://www.waterlesscarwashproducts.com/video/demol.wmv
how does this stuff work? it looks like it would just scratch the paint all up.
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  #25  
Old 04-23-2009
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www.autopia.org

^^^ Prepare to spends hours reading stuff. There is a lot of info on that site.
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