Detailing

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E200K

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Given the recent chat here about clay bars etc, I thought I'd start a thread about detailing products. What products have we had good/bad experiences with? What tips can we pass on?

Personally, I find detailing quite therapeutic, but it can also be rather obsessive and can certainly be pretty time consuming.

So, what's your own detailing routine?
 

John S

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There are some new polishes that tend to leave a white dust when they dry, which seems to make them easy to clean off / polish but I notice that they tend to show up very small scratches (hair width or less) a week or so later. There are waxes that do not do this, so I will be looking for a wax that does not do this, if anyone knows of any, list them here please. (I don't want any that cost $500 a small pack)
 
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E200K

E200K

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I've had some good results with Mothers Reflections Advanced Top Coat. It's a bit expensive (about $50 for 16 fl oz (ok, I'm old school and not good at ml)) but it's really easy to use and can be applied after waxing. With a couple of applications it leaves an unbelievable glass-like finish.
 

BenzBoy

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Did you use it over the top of the Mothers wax?
I have used a number of products such as Meguiars NXT and found it left the paint shiny for a while but feeling hard and lifeless. I prefer a product with canauba wax which a number of the 2nd tier companies are dropping from their ranges because of the expense.
Did you know that Meguiars is now owned by 3M?
What does Michel recommend?
Regards,
Benz-Boy
 
B

BAR

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If one is detalling their old W116 for the first time in a few years, after washing carefully, start with a good clay bar. It is designed and formulated to remove the particulate debris and contaminants that washing and polishing can’t, Mothers suggest that their Clay Bar System will remove embedded grains of metal, tree sap, airborne environmental deposits and paint overspray.

Then go to use of a Pre-Wax Cleaner which removes oxidized paint, old wax buildup and other contaminants, cleaning and shining your paint. This mild polish smoothes the edges of larger imperfections and removes small scratches.

Next round of effort is to use a Sealer & Glaze fills and hides minor swirls and defects, minimizing unsightly visual imperfections. It should also contain a super-fine polish that further improves the paint surface.

Not mandatory, but nice to get to concours or show level: use a Pure Carnauba Wax is made with the finest Brazilian #1 yellow carnauba for superior shine and protection. It is non-abrasive, you can apply more than one coat to keep your efforts well protected.

Regarding Carnuba.. it's like the old Castrol ad, carnubas ain't carnubas. Mothers gives a good description:

http://www.mothers.com/01_mothers/01_mothers_02_carnauba.html

Making easy effort for all this, I used Mothers products and their 'Wax Attack' polisher, to apply the polishes on my car. It takes about 30 minutes for each application for a W116 using this and there is no physical strain, just glide the machine over the car paintwork. Wiping off is almost as easy, make sure you have lots of clean microfibre polishing cloths if you are going to do all three phases.

So within the space of a morning your car will be gleaming!

Then you can move onto polishing the chromework and glass; use a good chrome polish for both as it will take minor scratches out of the glasswork.

For the window trims, use Inox or WD40, they remove the oxidisation better than any metal polsh.
 
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E200K

E200K

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I've always been a bit sceptical about using a chrome cleaner on glass but I hear that it's fine, given you choose the right product.

Just out of interest, does anyone here use any of the MB products?
 

John S

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Chrome cleaner (depending upon quality), rouge and toothpaste will normally polish glass, so it should clean off the contaminants at the same time. The safest cleaner is a mix of water, cloudy ammonia and rubbing alcohol, this will not scratch or polish the surface, just clean it.

What I have seen used on cars that regularly went through an automatic car wash (and polish) over the years was to scrape a new razorblade down the surface at an acute angle. This took off a layer of wax that had built up on the rear window over a number of years, and you actually could not see there was a wax buildup until it started to layer off!
 
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BenzBoy

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Seems to me that far too many on here do not keep their cars clean!!! I would have expected a greater number of responses to E200K's topic. Michel? Styria? Des? What is the state of your cars? :eek: Grease-Monkey is excused because of Django.
Regards,
Benz-Boy
 

Michel

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Seems to me that far too many on here do not keep their cars clean!!! I would have expected a greater number of responses to E200K's topic. Michel? Styria? Des? What is the state of your cars? :eek: Grease-Monkey is excused because of Django.
Regards,
Benz-Boy

Can I be excused because of Jerry (he does all the cleaning) ;)
 

s class

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In my university days I used to be very particular about keeping my Ford spotless. Now, I spend all my time fixing cars so I never get to the finer aspects of ownership....
 

SEL_69L

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I currently own three cars a '79 6.9 (plated SEL 69L) for 8 years an '88 Nissan Skyline for 19 years, and a a Camry Touring manual 6cyl. All of them get the same treatment for paint condition the 6.9 yearly because it is garaged, and the other two every four months. I have access to a decent water blaster, so loose dirt gets removed from the exterior, engine bay and wheel arches; the engine bay of the Merc does NOT get blasted in the engine bay, because some of older electrical componentry is delicate with age, the other two cop the works! They are then washed with a good quality detergent, and clayed wet until the paint does not feel gritty. The gritty feeling is caused by imbedded dirt in the paint and should be removed. the are then chamoised and a good quality paint sealant applied. (Exaggeraated claims are made for paint sealants, but NONE of them give better than 6months protection to a car left out in the weather). I NEVER buff a car with this treatment, it is never required; all that does is remove a small amount of the clear topcoat on metallic paint finishes, and thus shortens paint life. I have been detailing for ten years.
 
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E200K

E200K

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G'day SEL_69L,

Which products do you use on your cars? Given your experience over 10 years, what do you find works best?
 
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BAR

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As with all things in life, it comes down to economics, time and personal preference.

Some are 'time poor' and can't invest a few hours to detail their automobiles themselves.

Some are intrinsically ‘lazy’ and don’t want to bother doing anything at all.
Some are in the position to have servants do everything for them.
Then there are those who not necessarily in any or all of the above categories, but simply like to indulge themselves in their ‘hobby’, be it their W116(s), and attempt to do everything for themselves and gain greater satisfaction.

For those in the last category, the selection of materials and products that will achieve the best finish, and possibly with the least effort: well for those, I personally recommend the Mothers range.

If your car hasn’t been cleaned / polished for a year or so, start with their clay bar: it’s fast and harmless, but smooths the finish. If there are scratches on the surface, use their scratch remover polish. Then use the Clean and Wax, followed by the Wax. For those who want just that little extra, there is a final top coat wax. Just look at the web site.

For me, the investment of a few hours effort – that’s all it takes for the 4 stages – is a rewarding exercise.

Then use their chrome polish for the bumpers – and few other real chrome bright work parts. For the window trims, use Inox or WD40. Finally and carefully apply a rubber protector to the bumper inserts and side strips.

Then park the car in your garage and cover it with a cloth and never use it again!
 
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GreaseMonkey

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Then park the car in your garage and cover it with a cloth and never use it again!

He is probably right, if my '84 280E gets yet another little shopping trolley ding, well it's not a big tragedy,
but I actually took my super-clean SLC out last weekend, (the first time I have had a chance to use it this year I think),
and now it has a 30mm scratch right in the middle of the passenger door.
No idea who or how, accident or deliberate vandalism, but it is back in the garage and staying there now.
C.M.
 
B

BAR

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I know just what you mean about supermarkets and their trolleys.

I'm of the firm opinion that we should petition to have all of them fitted with 5 MPH energy absorbing US style bumpers - they'll look as ugly as the US spec W116s, but I know that we will have better looking cars as a consequence.
 
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GreaseMonkey

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But using the SLC last week I was careful where I parked, and certainly nowhere near any supermarkets, but can we bring back capital punishment for vandals?
C.M.
 

Michel

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I actually took my super-clean SLC out last weekend, (the first time I have had a chance to use it this year I think),
and now it has a 30mm scratch right in the middle of the passenger door.
No idea who or how, accident or deliberate vandalism, but it is back in the garage and staying there now.
C.M.

OHHHH Chris....
I'm sorry to hear that....

That happened to me a few months ago with the Spur.

I know the feeling
 
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